Monday, February 28, 2011

Costume Construction Course

Hi everyone
Last week went by in a whirl. The whole week was filled with orientation activities, done in mixed groups of acting students, entertainment technology (backstage) students and theatre design students as well as us costume makers. One of the days we had to run around wellington on the Amazing Race. My team insisted on running and I felt bad that I was holding them up. Here is a photo of the whole of yellow team stuffed into a red phone box.

Above is our 'artsy' photo of the team silhouetted against the architecture in the tallest building in Wellington.

Unfortunately the week was marred by the Christchurch Earthquake. Many of the students had only just arrived in Wellington from Christchurch and were very worried about their families.

Thank goodness this week is normal classes and we can stop running around or putting on group 'plays' (script by committee, aaargghh) and get on with the business of making 'double piping pockets with a flap' - this tailoring class is HARD!

Here are some links to some non-quilting textile events/workshops.  Hat-making classes with Jill Taylor

Blog for Leimomi Oakes who is a textile historian and also reproduces historical garments and is a great speaker too

Handmade 2011
This is a weekend of craft classes being held in Wellington at Queens Birthday weekend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ghost House

I haven't done much of anything quilty since I got back from Japan as my sewing room is very hard to get into (all the tidying up from Christmas is in my sewing room).

So here is something that caught my eye over the holidays. My son and some of his friends went cycling in the Wairarapa and I was 'support person' for a day. Near Stonehenge Aotearoa (a replica Stonehenge in concrete) is this house which locals call the Ghosthouse. Apparently a local farmer bought the house and transported it to his property in 4 bits. Unfortunately he didn't have the money to get it completely sorted and it has been slowly decomposing ever since the 1980s.

It also reminds me of the Andrew Wyath painting 'Christina's World'. Which seems to be a woman having a picnic in a field until you find out that she is paralysed and has to crawl to the house.

I have two public classes coming up
Machine Quilting - 20th March 9-4pm
Fabric Dyeing- 20th february 9-4pm

Both are at Tawa College, Wellington, NZ on Sundays. For information and to enrol please go to

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tokyo Quilt Show Flickr slideshow

I hope this works. Click on Tokyo Quilt show photostream at right side of blog.

Classes I teach

 One day classes 

Crossing the line - machine quilting

This machine quilting class will offer an alternative to stipple quilting!
Give yourself permission to cross your quilting line and try free machine
quilting spirals, suns, amoebae, animals, lettering, the 'Hokey-Cokey' and
splatter quilting. This class is designed for those who are ready to drop their feed

Materials fee approx NZ$5

Sashiko by hand or machine
Learn how to mark out fabric and hand or machine stitch, Japanese Sashiko patterns. Instructions will be given to complete a bag, place mats or coasters. Students can choose to stitch by hand or machine.

Materials fee $2 (for photocopied notes)

Cabbage Trees and Lancewoods
This is a shortened version of the class ‘Spiky Trees and Plants’. It is a one day class in which students can make a Cabbage tree quilt or lancewood Quilt using fusible  webbing.

Materials fee approx NZ$5

A Modern Wagga  
Making a quilt was historically about recycling. In this class , make  a ‘wagga’ or ‘utility’ quilt. Clothes your kids have grown out of? Things that used to belong to your granny , old doilies, aprons, teatowels?
Use recycled clothing or linens to make a quilt for the home, the bach or as a wall hanging.

No Materials fee

Fabric Painting and Printing

Paint and monoprint on fabric using water based inks and resists (similar to batik).

This technique class will also cover printing with found objects such as fruit and leaves as well as making print-blocks from carved erasers and lino blocks.

Materials fee approx $20 (covers inks, resist, lino blocks)

Fabric Dyeing
Learn how to dye fabric using Procion dyes. Methods include scrunch dyeing , basic shibori and tie dye, multicoloured dyeing and  dyeing in plastic bags. Students should end up with approx 6 metres of dyed fabric.

Materials fee approx $25 (covers dyes )

Make a photo album or project book (Half day class )
Learn how to make a photo album or project book suitable for documenting your quilts, embroidery projects, or craft projects. 

Materials fee approximately $20 (covers card, paper , glue and brass hinges)

Handsewn Books
Learn how to make basic hand sewn books. These can be used as note or sketch books, photo albums, quilt record books or diaries.


Materials fee NZ$20

Fabulous Fusibles
Use a design provided by the tutor to make a fused quilt top. Suitable for beginners.
Choose from guitar, cat, or letterbox design.

Materials fee $10 (photocopy of design)

 Two day classes

Putting it into PERSPECTIVE
Learn how to draw in perspective, how to show the sides of buildings and how to make things come forward or recede into the picture. Everything from landscapes with buildings, beach huts, country cottages, letterboxes  or sky scrapers.

Materials fee $5 (photocopying notes)

Spiky Trees and Plants quilt.
Learn how to fuse and sew a quilt depicting one of New Zealand’s (or your own country’s) unique, spiky trees ie. The Nikau Palm, Cabbage tree, flax or toetoe, palm trees, grasses, or cactii or thorn trees. Some fast workers even manage to quilt their picture on the second day.

Materials charge approx NZ$10 (covers inks if students choose to paint a sky fabric for their background)

The Next Step
Are you ready to take the step from traditional quilting into something unique but don’t know where to start?  Are you scared of the word ‘Design’ or feel you can’t draw? Learn how to make an art quilt using an art-school design trick. No two quilts the same!  Use fusible webbing to put it together and quilt it on the second day. 

NB The class samples are not what you will make in class, they just reflect the technique of putting the quilt together. Your quilt will be your original design.

Materials fee - $5 (OHP sheets )

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tokyo Quilt Show 2012 tour

Here are more details and photos about the Tokyo Quilt Show. If enough people are interested I am going to lead a tour to the 2012 Tokyo show. This would be for people who are nervous about going there on their own but who are fairly independent with a minimum number of 6 and maximum of 8.
The itinerary would be something like this...

Fly into Kyoto
5 days Kyoto with day trips to Kurashiki and Nara
Visit Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji and Kiyomizu temples.
Various textile venues including shibori workshops

2-3 days Nagano or Matsumoto
Visit Matsumoto castle, buy fabric in Matsumoto, visit the snow monkeys near Nagano

6 days Tokyo
2 day visits to Tokyo Quilt show
Visit Asakusa temple, Amuse gallery
Visit an antique dealer who deals in antique fabrics.
Fabric shopping and antique kimono exhibitions (depends what is on)

If you are interested let me know and I can send details. Costs would depend on the number of people.

Here are some more photos of quilts from the quilt show to inspire people. They are all from the framed quilt section. Probably they would be in the miniature quilt section in NZ.

Other things of interest in Tokyo in January are the displays of dolls and temari balls. They are leading up to Girl's Day or  Hina-matsuri on the 3rd of March.

The picture below is from an exhibition in Ginza at Matsuya department store (7th floor) . The maker is Aiko Sakai who is 87 years old and has published several books of her designs. We talked to her daughter who was minding the exhibition, her name is Makiko Tada and she has been to Nelson teaching Kumihimo braiding.
There are also displays of Emperor and Empress dolls in many of the department stores.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tokyo Quilt Show

I managed to miss a week or so, with no access to the internet or limited access via Ipod touch. So this is a catch up. My kids and I flew back to Tokyo where my elder son went missing for three days while he attended 3 Jazz gigs and went to 7 Jazz bars (despite being under age in Japan). His brother tells me that he came home at midnight and was still in bed when I got up.

I caught up with  Chris Kenna from Wellington and the 'Toerags' from Lower Hutt and we went to Tokyo Quilt Show. I first tried to go on the Saturday but after seeing the  queues to get in, went off with my son to the Hakone area (near Mt Fuji) for the day. I finally got to the quilt show on Monday and it was amazing. Although the Japanese quilters are not so hot in the non-traditional 'art quilt' area and some of the machine quilting was pretty bad, the hand applique and hand quilting sections would blow us out of the water. Here are just a few that caught my eye. I'm doing a talk for Cotton On quilters in Wanganui on saturday so will add more photos as I get myself organised.

Here is a picture of the inside of Tokyo Dome with the booths in the middle and the crowds of people. The main people to watch for are the little older ladies. They are a head shorter than me so about 4ft nothing and their elbows are at kidney height. They have no qualms about bulldozing their way through.

Here is the winning quilt - Twelve Days of Christmas' by Osami Gonohe. Most of the day, you couldn't get closer than 4 metres because of the crowds but I stayed till closing time one night so I could get a shot of it without the crowds.
Above is what it normally looked like.

Above is 2nd place winner which was even more amazing in my opinion. Unbelievable points!It is by Emiko Yoshino

But what about this quilt in the Tradtional quilt category which didn't get a prize? The pieces are smaller than my fingernail (don't worry, I'm not touching it, my finger is about a cm away). I'm sorry, the catalogue name is in Japanese.
I think this is based on Ainu decorative work. The Ainu are a tribe from Hokkaido.

This is made using a lot of antique indigo cottons
I think I like the detail even more

This looked like a prizewinner till you see the one that actually won!

 This quilt is incredible - it is - Scherenschnitte (Chris Kenna told me) - like a papercut.  It didn't win a prize!

Centre of the Scherenschnitte quilt. 

There were also a large number of amazing quilts from famous Japanese quilt makers who were invited to show their prizewinning quilts. The one below is called 'Nostalgia' and is by Tsuneko Shimura.