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

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Core

October is almost halfway and hopefully I can now come up for some air.   I've been extremely busy with teaching and other quilting related commitments and in the process, the blog gets put on the "don't have time now"...

The past week we had our annual Spring Show at the Dias Quilters' Guild in Port Elizabeth and as always, the Committee did a sterling job with setting up a lovely display.   Lots of people came to see the lovely quilts etc made by our members and there was a lovey buzz of excitement.

My friend Yolande Bowman of the Pied Piper Quilt Shop in Port Elizabeth and myself had a wonderful idea in 2011 to spice up our annual Shows by challenging quilters to be more creative.   We formulate an invitational creative challenge and these pieces are then displayed as a satellite exhibition at the annual Spring Show of our Guild.   It is amazing to see the progress, creative energy and flair of these exhibitions.

This year we had the third challenge, Shape It!   The concept was to choose a shape as primary design element e.g. square, rectangle, circle, triangle, hexagon, diamond, trapezium, octagon etc.   Other shapes could be incorporated as secondary design elements but the overall impression had to reflect the primary shape.   There was also size restrictions and the format would be of a skinny quilt.

I plan to make a scrap quilt of Willem's old ties as he retires from work at the end of the year and as I was unpicking these, I was fascinated by the different textures of the inners.  I decided not to discard it as I could use it at some stage...    When I planned my Shape It piece, I decided to use these inners to prepare a foundation for the shapes.   I chose a ring as my primary design element and chose a rust and purple palette.    As I started cutting rings in various sizes, I realized that one of my favourite pieces of Bali prints also had a strong tinge of magenta in it and decided that it really was the zinger the piece needed.

I roughly stitched the inners to the base fabric to keep it in position, but it was rather puffy and I had to make a plan.   I started free motion stitching to get the feel of the piece and loved it from the first stitch.   In the process, I found recycled silk strips in the same natural hues as the tie inners in my cupboards...  Some pieces had little bits of black designs printed on it and I stitched these down onto the inners - the silk was very delicate and perfect for the effect I wanted.   The next step was to fuse the rings down onto the background - the various sizes and colours were scattered randomly to ensure that balance was created and was then stitched using free motion stitching.    As I have a punching tool for my Bernina sewing machine, I filled the insides (cores) of the rings by needlepunching all sorts of wools, yarns and commercial felt into the insides of the rings.   It created beautiful texture.    As the background for the rings were all natural shades, it looked rather light and needed a border to contain it.   As I have various pieces of fabric which I previously discharged, I used some of it for the side borders as the colours were perfect for the project. The recycled silk strips also had pieces of rust, magenta and black and I prepared a strippy top and bottom section using these.   I also added snippets of these to hide joins in the side sections.    

The Core 2014 - detail of the rings, stitching on the tie inners and border sections.

As I used the pointed sections of the tie inners, the bottom section of the foundation section was irregular which provided an interesting line.   I made loose rings which I hung from the bottom section, resting on the lower silk panel like beads.   That way I used the design shape throughout the piece and filled the otherwise unused space on the bottom section which provided the necessary balance.

Bottom section of The Core


The Core 2014
It is amazing how easy some pieces fall into place, with others one have to do major battle...   With The Core, everything just worked and I loved the process... The more I look at it, the more I like it...

Artist Statement for The Core:
Exteriors can be deceiving as it does not show what is inside...    These unseen inner elements give us shape, structure, foundation and stability.  It defines and contains us - gives us shape and direction, the core of our existence as it defines all aspects of our lives..!