Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Monday, 30 April 2012

A Fun Project

In 2005 our Guild launched a fundraising project for CANSA and the project was co-ordinated by Brenda Dickeos.   The members were challenged to make a embellished bra which would be auctioned off at a gala dinner to raise funds for cancer research....    Natal Quilters' Guild heard about our project and asked to join in the fun and eventually lovely entries were received from their Guild.    Some people chose to make their own bras, but I took a shortcut and bought an underwired bra ....    This project had the makings of great fun.  
As the deadline approached, I was getting rather anxious as I had no idea how to embellish my bra entry....     One day as I was pottering around, the idea for a protea bra started stewing in my mind....    The shape of a protea would lend itself to some sculpture moulding around a breast, ideal for a bra!   From there onwards it was rather easy.   The flowers had to be made using 3D machine applique techniques and the centres had to be hand embroidered with silk ribbon to recreate the lustre and texture of the inner flower.       I made each protea in 3 segments, the back (top) section with pointed petals which rested on the breasts which I stitched to the top of the bra, then the hand embroidered sections were inserted and moulded around the breast.    The bottom section of the bra was added last - the flowers fitted perfectly around the bra cup!     I made lots of separate leaves to cover the side and back sections of the bra with beaded ruffled strips to cover the straps.

On 8 October 2005 the bras were modelled and auctioned at a gala dinner at St Georges Cricket Stadium.    Great fun was had by all and entertainment included a bellydancer going through her paces....     As always, I battled to name my project!    As I was working, a title came to me...     In Afrikaans, the old people used to call Proteas suikerkanne and growing up, the youngsters would often call breasts in a crude way, kanne....!    So, my bra entry had a name - SUIKERKANNE!     The MC for the evening, Selwyn Morris from Radio Algoa was in hysterics everytime he had to refer to my bra and the crowd just loved the joke!    Suikerkanne was one of the winners of the evening and was bought by Keith Swan.   The bras were also displayed at the local quilt shop, Pied Piper.

Suikerkanne modelled at the Gala Dinner for CANSA 8 October 2005
This project really caused quite a stir and was repeated by some designers in Port Elizabeth after our Guild effort.   It really was a priviledge and great fun to be part of this project.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

New inspiration....

I'm back.....     I am sorry for the long silence, but last time I did mention that I had internet problems which resulted in picking up a foul virus with the result that I could not access this blog...   Well, at least that problem is now solved, but I wish life's obstacles were so relatively easy to get rid of....    I was also very involved in organizing our 40th school reunion which was so very special.

At the moment I am working on various projects which I have to complete and I am also preparing for a long holiday in Namibia with my Willem....   I promised you that I would show & tell my studio, BUT it is such a mess at the moment that I just cannot take photographs to show on this forum.....    I have lots of cupboards and drawers in the studio for storage, but when I am really engrossed in a project, all this stuff seems to land on my worktable, the floor, the couch, ironing board, strewn across the computer station etc....     All the cottons jump out of the containers and clutter the area between the sewing machines...    I somehow don't feel the need to put things away, bobbins, thread, presser feet, unpickers, a variety of scissors, machine needles, pins....   Working in a frenzy.....  And the mystery of it all is that somehow I know exactly where everything is within this chaos...    Yes, I am amazed that some quilt artists have this uncanny ability to work in such perfect tidy conditions.    Not me, the greater the mess, the more inspired I get and the better I perform.     So, I would love to show you my studio, but I don't think today is a good idea....   But I promise, very soon....

I ended the previous blog in 2004 in Durban.    As the 2006 National Quilt Festival was held in Port Elizabeth and presented by my home Guild, I decided that I could not stand for another term of office as SAQG President.     I felt that my loyalties had to be at home as our Guild is relatively small and all help and skills were needed to present a wonderful Festival.    Organizing such an event is very hard work, but such a wonderful opportunity for many reasons....   It builds so  much spirit in the hosting Guild and one always learns so many new skills and meet the most amazing people.      The Festival Chairlady unexpectedly left town and I had to step into her shoes, but with the support of a wonderful Committee, we pulled it off and hosted a wonderful event.     But due to all the Committee obligations, I had no time to finish my quilt entry of historical buildings of Port Elizabeth.   I rolled it up for one day when I wasn't tired anymore...   I did however prepare a new workshop, Sunset over Africa  for the Festival which I taught.  
Sunset over Africa Teaching Sample 2006
After the Festival, I was dog tired and decided that I really needed to do some hand sewing, just to relax...   As I really like hand stitching, I decided to make an embellished cushion which I took to the Guild meetings to keep my hands busy and I just played with threads, beads, shisha mirrors and sequins....    I used variations of chain stitch for the embroidery and as I was stitching at Guild meetings, I had many peeping toms looking at what I was doing and requesting a workshop....    So, I turned this cushion into a workshop and eventually into kits.   Unfortunately this cushion got lost in transit from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth in 2008.  

                                                     Fun with Chain Stitch Cushion 2006
                                    made primarily of brush rags hand painted fat quarters.

I actually regard this cushion as the start of an exciting new era in my quilting.    I stitched it for the pure joy of stitching and creating some texture with threads and beads...