Isn’t this amazing!

pea pod with all the peas rmoved by a parrots beak

Not surface design, but pretty cool! We have a large crop of peas in the veggie patch, and my husband watched a king parrot meticulously pick its way around the outline of each pea, remove and eat it, leaving this lovely scalloped opening in the pod.  Clever little bugger.

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Digital fabric printing

vintage postcard printed onto fabric

A little while back I showed some vintage postcards from a friend’s collection.  I have scanned all of these at high resolution and recently printed one onto fabric.  This cushion is 35cm x 45cm.  This idea has lots of potential for preserving and sharing old documents – imagine great-grandma’s birth or marriage certificate.

Digital fabric printing produces photo quality images onto fabric and opens up all sorts of possibilities.

A  number of quilt artists use digital printing onto fabric in their work, including Wen Redmond, and Sandra Meech.  At the recent tACTtile exhibition in Canberra I saw a couple of pieces by Beth Miller where she had embroidered/machine quilted on digitally printed fabric images which were close-up of tree bark – very effective.

Do you know of any other quilt/embroidery artists who work with digital fabric printing?

My new venture!

collage of digitally printed photo cushions
I am very excited to announce that I recently launched a new venture – Hilary Metcalf Designs – custom made cushions featuring digitally printed images and text.

I have a range of designs, and am always available to do custom orders – and I have lots of other ideas bubbling away.  At the urging of my daughter I have finally succumbed and launched a  Facebook page.  Initially found this a bit challenging – couldn’t figure out ‘Likes’ from ‘Friends’ at first, but starting to get it now!

So please check out my new webpage and if you are into FB, pop over and ‘Like’ me
(I know, that sounds so needy, but apparently that is what I am supposed to say!)

SAQA Blog Hop

SAQA-auction-2013

Today is my turn to host the SAQA Oceania blog hop.

First, I am sorry that the photo doesn’t look quite square – not sure what happened there – it is 12 inch square, I promise!

I made this, and a number of others on the theme of Narooma boat sheds prior to the call for the auction and the announcement of the blog hop, so don’t have step by step photos. However, I have put together a step by step using similar fabric.

selection of purple and chartruese

Not sure how I came to use the chartreuse and purple combo – not really my colours at all, but they certainly pack a punch! I think I had the fabrics left over from a long ago dyeing session and thought this was a good opportunity to use them up.

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I chose a piece of hand dyed chartreuse for the focal point – the boat shed.  I had experimented with different ways of presenting the boat shed, including paper piecing, and I used them in other pieces in the series.  But for this one, I cut a simple one piece shape and then used a thermofax screen to add the “Keep Out” sign.

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I then fused this to some hand dyed purple.  I don’t do much fusing, I think I was channelling a Melody Johnson quilt from a while back that quite took my fancy.

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After pulling a combo of hand dyed and commercial fabrics I improvisationally cut and pieced a few sections and on this one used the scraps from the fused fabric to repeat the hipped roof shape.

Free form machine quilting isn’t my forte so I did some straight line quilting using my walking foot, and a little free machine quilting echoing the swirls in some of the fabrics, and which put me in mind of the huge swirling eddies of water that I see when I look down from the bridge into the inlet at the turn of the tide.  And I learnt my lesson last year to only look, not get caught up in it, when I nearly got swept up in a huge swirling mass of water in my kayak when paddling near the bridge – it goes from calm and serene to whirling maelstrom in the space of just a few paddle strokes – I felt like a little planet being dragged into the orbit of a monster death star  – quite scary!

During my research I found that the volume of water moving past a fixed cross section during each flood tide or ebb tide (i.e. slack water to slack water), is referred to as the tidal prism of an estuary – isn’t that interesting? It sounds rather poetic.

Since I first moved to the Narooma area three years ago, I have loved the little boat sheds that dot the inlet.
photograph of old boatshed in Narooma
This is one of my favourites – it seems to be abandoned. It was vandalised after I took this photo. They replaced the door, but alas, it is a horrible colour.
photograph of old boatshed in narooma
boatshed2boatshed4
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I also enjoyed photographing the various signs around the inlet
Photos of progress
This and that
More mark making
More mark making
Photos of progress
I have turned several of these into thermofax screens and used the image along with the boat shed shape in a series of small pieces.
photo of small quilt featuring boatshed and oyster sign

small quilt featuring boatshed

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This last one has just been juried into an upcoming exhibition “Local Structures” at the Spiral Gallery in Bega.

photo of small quilt showing Narooma boat shed with oyster sign

So, that is me – coming up next is Buffy Beggs who will be sharing her process on the SAQA Oceania Blog.

And remember, if you would like to include thermofax imagery in your work, check out my thermofax screen service.

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BTW, a cautionary tale – you mustn’t let acrylic paint dry on your screen or it will be ruined.  So I keep a kitty litter tray filled with water beside me as I work and drop the screens in there.  When I am finished printing for the day I take the lot to the sink in the garage where I do my paint clean up and wash then dry them.  One time I got called away after I put them in the sink and forgot about them.  It was several days before I discovered them and found that the water had seeped in between the two layers of mesh, causing it to separate. Those screens are now useless.  So, don’t let the paint dry on them, but don’t leave them soaking indefinitely either!