Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ailsa Craig Quilt and Fibre festival

In mid May a group of New Zealand quilt tutors will set out for Canada to teach at the Ailsa Craig Quilt and Fibre Festival.  An exhibition of quilts made by the tutors were sent off a few months ago to take part in a road show to promote the festival, then the 100 quilts from around the country were sent off last week in a huge parcel along with challenge quilts with the them "New Zealand through Our Eyes".

I'm starting to think about which quilts to take with me. It's a choice between having enough clothes for the festival and for 3 weeks travel in Canada afterwards, and having a good selection of quilts for people to see in class. Maybe I don't need clothes!

I'm teaching my Spiky Trees class . Here are some of the quilts I've made in the past. Past students have made quilt tops of plants such as Aloe (South Africa), grass trees and palms (Australia), agapanthus and cacti (in the UK). Its always interesting to see which pictures people bring with them to use as inspiration for their quilt top.

The New Zealand Cabbage Tree (Cordyline Australis)

Cordyline Australis

New Zealand Lancewood

New Zealand flax bush (Phormium Tenax)

Spinnifex on a New Zealand beach (our sand is grey )

Another class I'm teaching is based on utility quilts. In Australia these are called 'wagga quilts' this is probably because the quilts were often backed with flour sacks from the Wagga Wagga flour mills.
Wagga were made from discarded clothing often covered with a final layer of cretonne curtain fabric. When the top layer of fabric is removed, the layers of clothing can be seen. A childs jersey, a mans overcoat, a wool skirt - anything to keep warm. They are like a history of a family in discarded clothing.

I've used this layering of clothing to signify 'layers of lives'. Sometimes I embroider genetic symbols on top of the clothing, sometimes I have screen printed on the fabrics. I often use this method of laying out fabrics or clothing as a background and then add something else on the surface.

3 layers of lives quilts displayed as 'genetic history' cloaks

Granny Smith (using doilies and household linens as the background)

Layers of lives (inspired by the book 'the seven daughters of Eve'

Wagga quilt over printed with genetic information

layers of kimonos (after the Tsunami in Japan)

crossover wagga/japanese boro

Layers of Lives - white office shirts (and DNA image on the surface)

The final classes I'm teaching are to create simple kono (baskets).In New Zealand we would weave with harakeke (NZ flax). This is not available in Canada so we will be using willow bark. I'm going to try and take a bit of harakeke with me so people can see what it is like.

The way we cut the harakeke leaving the three central leaves

two kono (square baskets)

a selection of 4 and 2 corner kono
I understand that the two weaving class are full but there are still spaces in the wagga and spiky trees classes. If you are interested in my classes but need more information, please don't hesitate to ask questions and I'll try and explain anything that doesn't make sense. 

I look forward to Ailsa Craig Festival and hope to see some of your there.
Nga Mihi (regards)