Sunday, 10 December 2017

Creative Construction Quilt Symposium 2017: The Exhibitions Part 1

The New Zealand national quilt symposium held in Christchurch in October was a visual feast.  Unfortunately I didn't get to see all of the exhibitions just the exhibitions held at St Andrew's College and at the Arts Centre.  The main open exhibition was held in the Great Hall at the recently re-opened Christchurch Arts Centre.  Part 2 will contain my selection from the quilts displayed at St Andrew's College.

The environment of the Arts Centre was as inspiring as the quilts. It was so wonderful to see those parts of the Arts Centre that have been restored since the 2011 earthquake.

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 Exhibition at the Great Hall
The Great Hall at the Arts Centre
Creates Sew Slow: Christchurch Arts Centre
The Great Hall
Creates Sew Slow: Christchurch Arts Centre

Creates Sew Slow: Christchurch Arts Centre
The repaired and the work in progress

These quilts are all from the "Open" section - any quilt made since 1 February 2015.  Difficult to choose a single favourite from these - Ottoman Odyssey, Blossom Song and Breaking Waves are all contenders for different reasons.

Best in Show (Best Piecing Winner) - Fly by Donna Ward (147 x 147 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Fly by Donna Ward

Artist's statement - Inspiration for Fly was taken from some beautiful Alison Glass fabrics and my love for foundation paper piecing, the New York Beauty block and free motion quilting.  This quilt literally just grew wings and flew.

Aotearoa Quilts on Tour Merit - Metamorphosis by Donna Ward (75 x 78 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Metamorphosis by Donna Ward

Artist's statement - Metamorphosis is free motion machine quilted on silk fabric with designs inspired from the Pacific.

Judges Choice (Marianne Hargreaves) - The Sultan's Jacket by Anna Williams (68 x 80 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - The Sultan's Jacket by Anna Williams

Artist's statement - Inspired by the patterns used on old Turkish clothing during a visit to Istanbul.

Best Applique Winner - Ottoman Odyssey by Valda Sutton (96 x 206 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Ottoman Odyssey by Valda Sutton

Art Winner - Blossom Song by Ruth de Vos (155 x 151 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Blossom Song by Ruth de Vos

Landscape / Pictorial Merit - Breaking Waves by Dianne Southey (88 x 167 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Breaking Waves by Dianne Southey

Modern Winner - Year of the Cat by Tracy Carew (188 x 188 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Year of the Cat by Tracy Carew

Traditional Merit & Best Use of Quilting Merit - Red Radiant by Colleen Burr (200 x 202 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Red Radiant by Colleen Burr

You could definitely tell that this piece was inspired by Sharon Schamber with the coiled wire edges and lattice strips attaching the centre panel to the borders.

Traditional Winner - Ties that Bind by Jeanie O'Sullivan (229 x 229 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Ties that Bind by Jeanie O'Sullivan

Power of 2 Winner - Many Kisses by Sheryl Anicich and Debra DeLorenzo (124 x 186 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Many Kisses by Sheryl Anicich & Debra DeLorenzo

Artist's statement - This quilt was the result of a play day Debra and I had.

Memory by Janet Lambarth (90 x 60 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Memory by Janet Lambarth

Artist's statement - The stitching of this piece was very intuitive and reflective and I found myself thinking of the people gone before who had worn these items. The finished piece has taken on the character and shape imposed by the hand stitching.

Off World by Debra DeLorenzo (110 x 116 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Off World by Debra DeLorenzo

Artist's statement - Developing the strata series, by adding raw edge applique motifs on top, playing with horizontal lines, and shadows to create landscapes.

Off the Floor #2 by Gael O'Donnell

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Off the Floor #2 by Gael O'Donnell

Water's Edge by Anne Groufsky (100 x 105 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - Water's Edge by Anne Groufsky

Artist's statement - The shells at the local beach influenced my choice of colour and line.

I Have a Fabric Problem II by Anne Reid (118 x 118 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - I Have a Fabric Problem II by Anne Reid

Artist's statement - I cut a 2.5" square of every fabric I purchased during 2014.  Believe it or not this is me trying to limit my fabric shopping.

City Lights by Susanne Jensen (68 x 127 cm)

Creates Sew Slow: Creative Construction 2017 - City Lights by Susanne Jensen

Artist's statement - The inspiration for this quilt came after a dying class where one of my friends dyed a beautiful piece of red fabric.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

This pattern has a very special place in my heart.  I made it back in 1990 from a bright pink Liberty Tana Lawn with matching shorts and culottes and I still have all three garments in my wardrobe. I fancy making the culottes into a dress which could be worn with the matching jacket if it underwent surgery to remove the 1980's shoulders.

The reason for its special place in my heart is I wore the outfit on the second date with my partner back in 1991.  I lived some distance from work and used to stay with Cath at least one night a week to avoid the long drive.  The forecast when I left home was for good weather so I packed my matching Liberty ensemble for the date.  Two days later, on date night, the weather was truly rubbish - cold and wet as English summers do so well. To make matters worse we were going out in my beloved's open-top little sports car (a Caterham Lotus Seven which we still have today). So I went on my date wrapped up in Cath's quilted winter coat complete with hood which I needed to protect me from the rain.

Fast forward twenty odd years and I made it again in a charcoal grey merino wool which I had carefully felted and then American smocked. I wear this jacket a lot and felt a brown version would be a useful addition to my wardrobe.

The finished garment

So here is the fourth version of this jacket.  Should I mention that I actually bought the pattern for the waistcoat which I have never made.  Unlined and with lapped seams (as the wool won't fray) it makes a wonderful reversible garment.

Side one
Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown JacketCreates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

Side two
Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown JacketCreates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

The fabric

This is a lovely double faced wool from The Fabric Store.

Left: Side One                                              Right: Side Two

For the facings (on side one) I used a brown leather with a faux snake skin look also from The Fabric Store.

The sewing pattern

This is Vogue 2494 a Donna Karan pattern copyrighted 1990.  The jacket is described as loose fitting, lined, waist length jacket has extended shoulders, shoulder pads, shaped front hemline and long sleeves.

Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

The first time I made this jacket was for a work colleague.  Anne had a black tie event to go to but didn't want to buy a new dress. So we went fabric shopping at Owen Owen in our lunch hour and found an electric blue polyester taffeta and I made her the V2494 jacket and a matching large removable bow for her dress. Back in the early 1990's Owen Owen in Uxbridge had an excellent sewing department where many of my patterns, fabric and sewing supplies came from.  Now even Owen Owen don't exist.

The pattern alterations

Given this is a pattern from 1990 with those 1980's extended shoulders and 1" shoulder pads the major alterations were around the shoulders and armholes.

For both the front and back jacket pieces I measured down 1" at the armhole edge tapering to nothing at the neck edge.  This removes the 1" of height allowed for the shoulder pad.

On this pattern the back neckline is 1/2" below the back of the neck so I raised the back neckline by that 1/2".  Then measuring in from centre back I established how wide my shoulders should be and made a mark. At this mark I added 1/2" for my forward shoulder adjustment and drew the shoulder line tapering back to nothing at the neck edge.

Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

Once I had the new shoulder seam marked I used my woven fabric armhole template to draw in the armhole.
Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

For the front jacket piece I measured in from the armhole edge to remove the same amount from the shoulder seam as I did on the back jacket pattern piece.

Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

Creates Sew Slow: Donna Karan Vogue 2494

The other changes I made were:
  • lower the bust point by 7/8"
  • lengthen the body by 1.25"
I didn't use the sleeve that came with the pattern, instead because I had used my armhole templates I used my favourite woven sleeve which is already adjusted for my forward shoulder.

The sewing

Like all Vogue patterns it uses 5/8" seam allowances but I only sewed 3/8" seam allowances which meant that the circumference at the bust was 42.5" instead of 41.5" which gave me the right amount of ease for this simple little jacket.

The jacket was sewn with lapped seams. The seam allowance was removed from one side of the seam then lapped 3/8" over the other side of the seam.

The hems were turned up 1/2" then the leather band was edge stitched to the garment (covering the hem allowance).

A really simple garment to sew with no fastenings needed.

The outfit of the day

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

Here it is being worn with my teal velvet burnout Vogue 1250 dress and Mi Piaci Martha ankle boots.  It also looks good with my Vogue 8976 Tree top and brown leggings.

Plus here it is with my World trousers, Verge lace top (one of my last purchases from Quinns of Merivale) and once again my favourite Mi Piaci Martha ankle boots.

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 2494 Double Faced Little Brown Jacket

For anyone not native to Christchurch Quinns was a go-to fashion store that had everything from lingerie to the finest evening gown, which closed in 2016.  Quinns always had that special piece needed to fill a wardrobe gap and I miss the wide  range of designers they had available.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet Dress

Yes its another Donna Karan Vogue 1250 dress - number four.  In my defence I bought the fabric to be something else entirely but it really wanted to be this dress.  The drape of the fabric just so suited the cowl neck and overall look of V1250.  I do have a bit of the fabric left over so maybe it can become the top it was meant to be, albeit a slightly different incarnation paired with a black rayon knit.

The sad thing is that one of my colleagues has started to recognise this dress pattern, so perhaps four in my life is enough.  Or maybe I should think about altering the pattern for long sleeves or side seams and a more A-line skirt or.....  Definitely something to think about as I do really love V1250.

The finished garment

Fabulous, as expected. I made and wore this when the weather was cooler with my knee high boots but it works really well for the milder spring weather too. This dress looks pretty good photographed in front of the azalea bush on a lovely spring day.

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet DressCreates Sew Slow: Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet Dress

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet Dress

The fabric

This is a "soft stretchy burnout velvet in teal, 60% polyester, 30% nylon, 10% spandex. 60" wide, 4.4oz per square yard" from Stonemountain and Daughter which is still available on their website.  They also have it in a burgundy colour.

Creates Sew Slow: Teal stretchy burnout velvet

The fabric cut edge rolls quite a bit and being a polyester isn't that keen to maintain a sharp crease (or any kind of crease) which made hemming fun.  It also leaves tiny fibres behind when you cut it so you get sparkly jewels on your dining table (aka the cutting table). Other than that the fabric was a pleasure to sew.

The pattern

A very brief and to to point description - a close fitting dress which doesn't detract from its marvelousness.  Even if it is recognised as "that" dress I won't stop making it. If the right fabric comes along there will be more versions of V1250 in my wardrobe.

Creates Sew Slow: DKNY Vogue 1250Creates Sew Slow: DKNY Vogue 1250

The pattern alterations

This pattern is a true TNT for me.  The alterations are incorporated into my tracing of the pattern (forward shoulder, sway back, raised armhole, deeper cowl).  My original post for this dress contains more detail about how I altered the pattern.  I also altered my pattern this time to have 3/8 inch seam allowances as I prefer it to the more traditional 5/8 inch seam allowance, especially when using the overlocker.  I think this version sewed together the best of all due to these 3/8" seam allowances.

The sewing

Swiftly sewn up on the overlocker.  I do get a nicer hip dart if I mark my seam allowance using the French curve. I just find that I guide the overlocker in a more graceful curve and the end of the dart doesn't bubble.  The post for the third version of this dress shows how I do the armhole hem.

Outfit of the day

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet Dress

So here it is as worn in the cooler weather with my Sable and Minx 70% wool and 30% cashmere bright pink cardigan with Mi Piaci Jordan over the knee boots

Creates Sew Slow: Vogue 1250 DKNY Teal Burnout Velvet Dress

For the warmer spring weather it is paired with my self made Donna Karan V2494 waist length brown jacket and the often worn Mi Piaci Martha ankle boots.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Creative Construction Quilt Symposium 2017 Sheena Norquay Shining Circles Class

In early October it was the NZ national quilting symposium "Creative Construction" here in Christchurch. So as I can make the effort to travel to the Houston International Quilt Festival every two years I felt I needed to make the effort to attend the event in my own back yard.

These days I am interested in classes that teach me techniques that can be translated into other creative adventures rather than a straight forward patchwork and quilting class.

For Creative Construction I chose a class with Scottish tutor Sheena Norquay.  This was an excellent class with a wonderful giving tutor. Sheena made sure that we all received as much attention as we needed and that we had enough information to finish our piece at home.  For me the intention was to play in the moment. I have no intention of finishing this piece although I may play around with some more free machine quilting on the painted circles so my samples demonstrate the techniques a bit more thoroughly.


The tutor

According to Sheena's profile on The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles members page she became interested in patchwork in the 1970's and started to quilt by hand and machine in the early 1980's. After being a Primary School teacher for 30 years I gave it up in 2006 and am now a freelance quilting teacher. I also make work for exhibitions and have won numerous awards since the mid 1980's.  My work is varied in subject, style and technique ranging from decorative, symmetrical pieces to landscapes and seascapes. I am inspired mainly by nature and love playing with pattern and free motion quilting.

Creates Sew Slow: Pearls are not always White Sheena Norquay 2009
Pearls are not always White 2009
62 x 103 cm
© Sheena Norquay
Creates Sew Slow: Out of the Blue Sheena Norquay 2008
Out of the Blue 2008
62 x 103 cm
© Sheena Norquay

The class

Shining Circles is a one-day surface design class for intermediate to advanced quilters. This workshop is described as exploring stencilling circles and printing with circles and rings using one or more colours of metallic fabric paint and then free machine quilting using metallic threads.  Different layouts of designs will be shown and discussed.  Students can decide to do a square cushion cover / side of a bag or a long, skinny wall hanging.  Circles, rings and sticky backed Fablon will be provided for printing and stencilling, but you can bring anything circular if you wish.  Free machine stitch techniques taught will include embroidered trapunto, outlined trapunto, incised rings and circles using straight stitched and satin stitching.

My samples

I chose to paint on a black background using two Jacquard Lumiere paints metallic silver and super sparkle, which on the fabric I find difficult to tell apart.


Creates Sew Slow: Shining Circles
I also took some circular rubber stamps and a metallic silver Fabrico stamp pad.

The stamp pads made much less of an impression on the black fabric than the Lumiere. The photos had to be lightened considerably to show the stamp within the Lumiere circle.  On the whole sample piece at the bottom of this post you can hardly see the stamps.
Creates Sew Slow: Shining Circles
Creates Sew Slow: Shining Circles
Cutting circles of assorted sizes out of fablon (sticky backed plastic) then sticking the positive or negative onto your fabric to paint is an inspired idea.  The fablon was much easier to use than freezer paper.
Creates Sew Slow: Shining CirclesThe outer circle for this one was made using a wine bottle cap which had a pretty embossed pattern.  Unfortunately I didn't get my shapes positioned properly to touch edge to edge so I stamped some more to get overlapping wine bottle caps, which ended up just looking messy. Or maybe it is just the imbalance in intensity between the outer bottle tops and the inner rubber stamp.
Creates Sew Slow: Shining CirclesThis is the only one of my shapes that I free machine quilted with pebble quilting in the circle and a haphazard feather around the outer edge.





The masterpiece in its entirety.  Luckily I only went to play not to produce a work of art.

And in the best use of play we learnt a lot including some useful tips and tricks. For example, did you know you get better control of fabric paint for a delicate line by applying it with a tooth pick rather than a paint brush.

It also gave me lots of ideas and you might see fabric painting on a garment soon.

If I sort my pictures out from the exhibitions I might do another post of my favourites some time soon.