JM's quilt - half the hair.

She's looking a bit more like JM now and a little less creepy :) image

She'll look a whole heap better once she has eyes and a mouth, but at least she has hair now - nice colour too, not quite red but it sets her glasses off nicely.

It would be nice to have the face finished completely before moving to the other sections, probably would make them less odd to photograph, but by doing them last I have more control over the colour levels and I can adjust to get the best possible mix. Once the pieces are down it's tricky to move them so I like to leave the most important bits for the end. Plus it's a form of procrastination!

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The colours are off in this photo cos of the flash - but you can get an idea of how it is all going together.

JM's quilt - face tones.

Well I've done the face tones for JM's quilt, they look great and I'm feeling really confident with this one. image

I had a tough time with the glasses, using thin long pieces is really tricky and it's easy to stuff it up, I managed to make it work but it took almost add long to do the four colours of the glasses as it did for the rest of the skin! They look great, possibly my favorite colour to work with, and they suit her skin tone so well. Jan-Maree must have been thinking of me when she wore them for the photo ;)

I'm afraid it's not so flattering when she has no hair, eyes or mouth, but I can see she's going to be beautiful!

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JM's quilt and Tasmanian art quilt prize.

I finally finished the panels today for JM's quilt, they look pretty good. I get quicker each time I paint, but I keep running out of colours! image

I've ran out of room again so I've moved bits around and I'm painting next to the Christmas tree!

In other news my Tasmanian quilt came home today! It was part of the Tasmanian Art Quilt Prize for 2013, to be honest I'm not even sure how many venues it's been to over the last year, I love it because it's an art quilt but I still want to snuggle into it, it's all soft linen and denim and pretty. I've never made anything else like it but I would love to!

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The tassie art quilt prize is on again in 2015, entries close next July!

Roots

It’s an off-topic post tonight – something I’ve been thinking about but haven’t had the time to really start looking into. I’m lucky to be part of a mentorship group made up of SAQA members from Australia, and our theme for this quarter is ‘roots’. It’s been really great to see how everyone has responded to this theme – it’s a bit atypical, and open for lots of different interpretations but it certainly encourages thought.

Since we’ve moved to Cairns I’ve been exposed to much more indigenous art, and I find it really intriguing how the artists up here combine their traditional stylistic ‘roots’ with contemporary indigenous/Australian issues.  They draw on the shapes, styles and colours techniques which have been passed along from their ancestors, and incorporate their contemporary imagery with these ancient skills.

When I started thinking about our theme of ‘roots’ and how it relates to my work, I felt that I need to learn more about the way my work is influenced by my ancestors. As someone who has lived in Australia for most of their life I feel that most of my influences must be Australian, but I am also an immigrant – Is it possible for me to identify if I draw on the styles and shapes from my ethnic background?

So, my family comes from the North East of England, and we are pretty certain that a good chunk of our family has lived in the local region for a long time. The local village where my Mum grew up (and incidentally where we had Ethan’s Christening) is called Waltham, and the local Church there is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086. There are also Roman ruins in the area, as well as Bronze Age barrows (2500 – 800 BC).

James’s family mostly come from an area just North of my family (we met in Australia, it’s a complete coincidence and I like to think we would have met wherever we lived!) Although there is no way to prove it, I suspect that the red hair our boys have, that runs in both our families, could have come from the Viking invasions which took place along the East Coast of England from the late 8th Century BC.

I think what all this means, is that I have a pretty strong case for saying that my stylistic ‘roots’ could be tied to the art and decoration of the region where I was born. I can’t deny that I feel a strong affinity for home, a little bit of me is sad that I will most probably never get to live there again, and I love the shapes and textures and colours of the place – I miss it in the same way that I miss gum trees now that we live in the tropics. The thing I need to work out, is how can I incorporate the art, styles and techniques of my birthplace in my work – or am I already doing so without being conscious of it?

My first job is to work out what the artistic roots of my region are – I’m not up for that tonight, I’m exhausted after the first day of the school holidays (I’m getting soft!) but I’ve got a few places to start looking:

Bronze Age/rock art:

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/era/

Lots of ‘cups’ and ‘rings’, like this one:

Rockart_near_Gardom's_Edge_-_geograph_org_uk_-_551476

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardom's_Edge Roger Temple

Roman occupation – Sheffield:

http://www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/blog/2014/10/traces-of-empire-roman-britain

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Glass bracelets from across the Roman Empire made between 100 – 300AD © Museums Sheffield

I’m curious to see how much of the shape and design from this pocket of Britain has carried over into my work.

Start Art Quilting - ebook!

Sending out a submission for a massive international exhibition - no problem. Self-publishing a tiny intro guide to art quilting - terrifying!

The first guide - Start Art Quilting - is out there! You can get it now when you sign up to receive email posts from Lucy Carroll Textiles (if you have already subscribed it should be in your inbox now). It's free and easily downloadable via PDF.

There are tips for finding inspiration, and some ideas for taking your quilting 'outside the box'. If you're already art quilting, don't despair - there are more guides to come with exercises to take your quilting further. I love learning and reading what other quilters have to say - so I hope you will find something useful in this humble little ebook :)

If you haven't already subscribed, you can sign up easily by clicking on the link in the right sidebar:

Amazing Weekend!

Wow, we've just had an awesome few days! James's boat was decommissioned (retired from service) on Wednesday, and his parents came up to join us for the service. It was a really great parade, sometimes parades can be a bit repetitive but this one was great, and the kids loved seeing the band up close. The Navy Daily published an article all about the boats and their service: http://news.navy.gov.au/en/Nov2014/Fleet/1616#.VHF0F41EjIV

Sometimes promotion can be a low key affair - I've never been there before when James was promoted - so it was extra special when he was given his promotion in front of us (and his folks) at the reception on Wednesday night!

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On Friday night we went to the Decommissioning Ball and had a great night - very swish! An amazing photographer friend of mine was kind enough to meet up and take some pics beforehand - if you're looking for a family photographer in Cairns you can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rawgracephotography

We haven't had non-kid photos taken since we got married almost 9 years ago - it feels a bit special to have some done now :)

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And to finish of our weekend we met some friends at the beach a few hours South for a night away - we had a great time and my phone went flat pretty much as we arrived so I couldn't have been distracted even if I wanted to!

Bianca took this amazing pic of our girls, (check out her beautiful magazine at Yum. if you're into gluten free food - http://yumglutenfree.com.au/)

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Ok, last bit of news - Brenda from Serendipity Patchwork and Quilting (http://serendipitypatchwork.com.au/) shared these videos this week, both of them have images of my quilts!

Houston Quilt Festival 2014 - SAQA Exhibit I'm at the 00:50 minute point - there were no photos allowed from Houston so it's great to see some of the details in these amazing quilts online. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqdSsuHIxgE&feature=youtu.be

And this one if from the Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork, you can see quite a few of the quilts in the special Australian exhibit (including mine) at around 02:06 minute. http://videos.tf1.fr/jt-13h/2014/savez-vous-d-ou-vient-le-patchwork-8521327.html

Phew! Sorry for the huge post, it's been a massive weekend and with Christmas coming up it's just getting crazier! Hope you all had a great weekend :)

I'm multitasking.

Don't you love those days where lots gets done? I caved and turned the air conditioning on today so I'm thinking that may have had something to do with my high productivity levels. I finished some questions for an article I had overlooked (oops!) I answered some emails and I got started with the background for JM's quilt.

I'm working with acrylics again, I've put down the base layer for the purple tones in the background, most of these will be covered with other colours.

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It feels a bit strange to be interpreting a quilt with paint. But I really want the background to be the last thing you look at, so it needs to be as flat and non-attention seeking as possible. By keeping it deliberately blurred it will appear to be further away.

I also finished numbering all the sections on the template. It's a good job, sometimes the template can be a bit tricky to decode without the numbers in place, and going through the process really helps me to learn the image.

I use numbers and letters, here the glasses are a b c d and her skin is 1 to 7.

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I'll aim to finish the background tomorrow and have the panels cut ready for painting!

One Step Further

I posted onto Facebook but somehow I forgot to blog about my news from One Step Further - Yellow Box won first prize! I've heard the competition was quite tough this year, and I'm sad that once again we won't be in Melbourne until just after it's closed :( but I've seen some of the other entries online and they look fantastic. Victorian Quilters usually upload a catalogue of all the quilts as well, it's not up yet but when it is you'll be able to find it here: http://www.victorianquilters.org/?page_id=49

In case you're able to make it to the exhibition, here are the details:

One Step Further 2014 Contemporary Art Quilts – An open, juried exhibition When: 13th November – 20th December 2014 Where: Whitehorse Art Space, Box Hill Town Hall, Box Hill, Victoria.

And because it's finally on display, I can show you all some pictures!

Yellow Box_23x70in_full Yellow Box, 2014, 180 x 60cm

Yellow Box_detail Yellow Box (detail), 2014, 180 x 60cm

Happy Birthday James!

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The kids were convinced that Dad wanted a Hobbit cake. So Rosie and I made a hobbit cake this morning. She did the 'flowers' and mixed the butter cream. She also makes an excellent taste tester :)

Linc helped out with the lego hobbit.

I've finished the example for another one of the exercise projects, I know it's going back to basics, but I'm actually getting quite a bit out of it. By putting myself in the shoes of the person doing the project I have to put aside my old habits and look at things with fresh eyes.

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This one is the colour theory project (split complimentary scheme). I'm well outside of my comfort zone as I'm getting my head around Creative Cloud, but I'm really enjoying the process - I've been writing the blog about my quilting for so long now that it feels quite natural.

As it turns out...

I have a slightly obsessive personality. It's the same urge that sees me enrolling the kids in schools 5 minutes after James gets his posting order (not really - it usually takes me a day or two ;). Most of the time I'm able to stomp it down and act like a relatively normal person, but today was not my day. It all started about 10:30 last night, when I was putting on the washing and the laundry tap died. Like it just died, refused to turn off. And it was the hot water tap so I could see my shower going down the drain. And of course it's bedtime, so not only is it dark outside where I have to turn off the mains, but I'm also in my PJ's. Bummer.

Luckily, my amazing Dad came over with a spanner thing to turn the mains off and I got to sleep (after a not too cold shower). I was planning on hitting the shops today to pick up the fabric and bits for Jan-Maree's quilt, but I had to wait for the plumber so I've been stuck at home all day, not wanting to start something new and with no fabric to get stuck into JM's quilt.

So today I've given in to my 'new-idea-must-act-on-it-instantly' side and started writing the eBook.

I've had a really good day actually, I'm just getting some ideas down and I made a tiny little 'experiment' project to go in it. I'm thinking of putting together a heap of small activities, rather than one masterpiece, which can be done individually and will develop skills to build larger/more complicated quilts.

It's only tiny: Good 16

It's more about the process than just recreating something I've made - going through a set of steps to gain confidence to build your own style! Knowing my obsessive side, I'm guessing it won't take too long to get the first version of the eBook done :)

Remembrance Day (and a request for opinions)

Today was the 96th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. It was a bit low key for us this year, James was in Canberra but Linc and I watched the service on the ABC and the kids stood silent for a minute at school. I remember doing the same thing when we were kids, not really understanding what it was all about, but realising it was something important and sacred. Soldier On asked us to take another minute this year, to donate and help them support our next generation of service people - https://soldieron.giveeasy.org/campaigns/remember-2014/. If you get a chance check out their work on their website - https://www.soldieron.org.au/ and see all the ways you can get involved. Soldier_On_f Soldier On, 180 x 100cm, 2013

Jan-Maree from Aussie Hero Quilts wrote a fantastic blog post which some of you have already seen; for those of you who would like to know more about what happened and why so many years ago, you can find the post here: http://aussieheroquilts.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/on-eve-of-remembrance-day.html

I managed to get one tiny job done today for Jan-Maree's quilt; Linc was happily playing with lego (again - think he might be addicted) at the table so I set up shop next to him on the patio window. I often tape the big templates to the window; the lights box is fantastic and much more transparent but I hate having to move the templates around so much. Anyway, it's done now.

I was a bit more brutal with the lines this time, ignoring a whole heap of the less necessary ones and smoothing out some of the others - I'm wondering if the high quality of the original photo has made the template too accurate? It should be fine now, just part of the tweaking process!

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As a final note - I'd like opinions about the following:

I was speaking with a friend today about ways to spread our ideas and help people interact with our work, and she mentioned the idea of offering online courses/info packages. Teaching is something I have thought of in the past but usually dismiss (since we live a long way from major centres and tying James down as a reliable babysitter is next to impossible) - but over the past little while I've been playing around with a few ideas for an online course which people could do from home. Is this something any of you would be interested in??? I'd love to hear what you all think :)

Home again

I love going away, especially when it's time with James, but it's very nice to be home. He's off again this week so it's taking me longer than normal to get things straight; Mum and Dad did a great job with the kids but I've still got truckloads of washing to catch up on and a whole heap of fabric to sort through and stash. I've put together the full size template for JM's quilt, next is outlining the shapes on the reverse so I have a template for the visofix. All the steps to get to the final template can take forever but I like going through the process - the end result is further from the original and I quite like that, makes the quilt a little bit more cartoonish and fuzzy, like Gerhard Richter painting a photo realistic image then blurring the edges.

I've tacked the template onto a spare wall in the studio, but it won't stay there long, I usually tape them to the floor (or a table if they're small enough) so I can trace the lines without worrying about the template moving about.

I think she looks pretty good :)

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Sydney!

So great to be back in Sydney! We're not here for long, mostly just to meet little Margaret, but we managed to squeeze in a side trip to the art gallery of nsw today. We walked through the Botanic Gardens and me and my obsession with bark couldn't go past this beauty, so layered and stunning with so much colour!

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And James got to have a quick peek at HMAS Canberra. It was probably the highlight of his day and I was having a bit of a giggle at him until I realised there was a group of tradies sitting on the grass eating lunch and checking out the big boat. Boys and their toys....

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The gallery was great; the Pop Art exhibition was really interesting, it's probably never going to be my favourite genre but there were some really good pieces. They wouldn't let me take photos :(

And tonight we got to see Wicked! It was amazing, absolutely fantastic, even James got right into it. Plus we had green Ozmapolition Daiquiris.

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Next!

I've just started the next project! Some of you will recognise this beautiful face, she's the founder and driving force behind a very large quilting charity. Jan-Maree will be part of the Women in Defence project, but she'll also be my entry for the AQC Challenge for 2015. She was an Air Traffic Controller at Richmond, the same as I was, just a few years before me ;)

I've decided on a design and done the first round of outlines, next is blowing the image up to full size (the big template in this photo is 40cm square) and the final quilt will be 90cm. Cos things tend to shrink a bit when I'm quilting I'll blow it up to about 95cm and trim back if I need to.

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Isn't she fantastic?

I'll have to put it on pause until we get back from Sydney but I'm excited about this one :)

Uni presentation, another book, and Houston.

Last Day of uni! Actually, it doesn't feel as exciting as the last day of school used to feel. But it was great to see everyone's artworks, we've all been talking about them for the last few months but not really seeing anything anyone else was doing, so this morning we all got to check out the other pieces. Here's my piece (the Jaimee Quilt) hanging in the Lux Gallery. It's actually more of a corridor but you have to work with what you've got :)

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I was actually pleasantly surprised by the sheer volume of mixed media work - including textiles. One student created three wearable evening gowns, very bold and dramatic - she employed three models as well to wear the gowns. Marianne has created a gown from leaves she found near her home (she lives surrounded by rainforest) - while you couldn't wear it, the detail and shape of the gown is just beautiful.

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Articles From a Dryad Wedding Rehearsal, Marianne Coady 2014

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Articles From a Dryad Wedding Rehearsal, Marianne Coady 2014 This is the back of the gown, it has a real 'bustle' shape to it.

Another student made a birds nest from discarded electrical cables - she wove the cables as you would in normal basket weaving, but there's something a bit special about the plugs and sockets hanging out the sides.

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Bird Nest for a Modern World, Ronda Sharpe 2014

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Bird Nest for a Modern World, Ronda Sharpe 2014

In other news, I've also been approached by some people who are putting together an exhibition of military quilts next year as they want to use the image of the Soldier On quilt on the inside front cover of their accompanying book. I'm not sure yet if the quilt will be part of the actual exhibition - I'll let you know if it is :)

Last piece of news for today - SAQA's Redirecting the Ordinary Exhibit has just debuted at the International Quilt Festival - Houston. My quilt, Work Ready, is part of the exhibition - I won't get to see it in person and would love to see any photos of the exhibition if anyone has any???

More info here: http://www.saqa.com/memberArt.php?cat=8&ec=3&ex=46

Show Schedule

International Quilt Festival - Houston, Texas, October 30 - November 2, 2014 International Quilt Festival - Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2015 International Quilt Festival - Chicago, Illinois, June 2015 Additional venues may be added, through December 2017

Carroll_Work_Ready

Last day of uni, Sydney (plus Maggie!), and One Step Further.

It's the last day of uni for the year tomorrow! I've been really surprised at how much I've learnt and changed because of uni this year, our lecturer held a trivia quiz last week in class and I actually knew most of the answers, not surprisingly I got the pop art question wrong! Fortunately, James and I are heading to Sydney next week and the Art Gallery of NSW's Pop to Popism exhibition starts next week so I can pick up the bits I've missed and check out some of the pieces we've been discussing in class first hand. http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/pop-to-popism/ The last time we went away without the kids was for a friends wedding in Tassie at the start of 2011. I found out I was pregnant with Linc about a week before we left, and the combination of (a) morning sickness and (b) a trip to Tassies best wine and soft cheese country, meant that I spent a lot of the trip feeling quite sorry for myself. We're not in Sydney for long, and I'll have a hard time prying myself away from my new little niece so I'm not sure how much else we'll get to do/see, but I'm looking forward to lots of uninterrupted time with James before he heads away again!

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I've also found out this week that Yellow Box, the big moth/bark quilt, has been accepted into One Step Further this year. It's a great exhibition, I'm devastated that once again I will get into town a few days after it's closed, but I know I'll get there one day! Soldier On was Runner Up (large Quilts) last year, so here's hoping I can do one better this year ;)

More info here: http://www.victorianquilters.org/?page_id=49 http://www.boxhilltownhall.com.au/Artspace-Detail.html?ItemID=18#