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

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Willa - A Tribute

The past two months have been incredibly busy and I had no extra time to write this blog....   I sometimes think that I'm getting slower or my work schedule is more intense...    Normally I make one quilt for the biennial National Quilt Festival, but this year I decided to make two quilts.   O dear, working in tandem on both quilts was very stressful and not recommended.    It was as if these two quilts consumed every aspect of my life and I lived like a hermit, not going anywhere...   Again the intense concentration and working like a robot, no pleasure actually....    Just the race against the clock, utterly exhausting...

My focus for the exhibition was on a piece which I started cutting in September 2011, but only started stitching in January this year...   But I want to tell you about the other quilt today.

I made my first protea quilt in 1994, another in 2002 and decided to make my final protea quilt this year.   The idea for this quilt came to me one day and I just had to make it...   As it is always difficult for me to title my work, I decided to dedicate this quilt to my mom-in-law who tragically died 10 years ago.   She loved proteas and indigenous plants and taught me to be appreciative of our abundant wild flowers.   I put the last stitch into the quilt 10 years to the day that she was taken from us - a rather emotional experience...

I started playing with little squares about 18 months ago and thought it could be an interesting background for a still life styled quilt.    As ideas for quilts evolves, I decided to combine squares and triangles for the background.    The triangle section would be in lighter shades of neutrals than the square section which would form the border section.   I used commercially printed cottons and combined it with silk fabric.   I prepared patterns for the proteas from my own photographs and started cutting the flowers and leaves and painted some shading onto it with fabric paint.   I also cut a copper pot and polished it with a copper Markal oil paint stick - it gives such wonderful results.    I wanted to add some 3-D flowers to the arrangement and decided to do Protea Cynaroides (Giant) as it lends itself to 3-D work.   I used silk ribbon to embroider the inner flowers and the rest of the flowers and leaves were stitched using the raw edge applique technique with certain sections machine embroidered to add extra colour and definition.   Every triangle and square on the background section was individually stitched using the free motion method - a variety of motifs as the inspiration came each day...   The result was this lovely textured background section (which I continuously wanted to stroke....)    Any way, the real challenge was the border section...  There was an immense amount of cutting and painting on the leaves, not to mention the amount of stitching...    I used variegated threads to stitch detail onto the squares and triangles which was a perfect choice.

Corner Section 

Protea Cynaroides with detail of copper pot
Willa - A Tribute
Won 2nd Prize Freestyle Masters Category at 2013 National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein.
For now I'm done with proteas and it is time to let the subject go...    I've had this passion for realistically themed quilts for such a long time, but somehow the urge to make them is fading....    The world of freestyle/art quilts are so enticing and exciting, so next time I'll tell you of that other quilt that I made for NQF 2013......!