Friday, 29 September 2017

Surprising find!

I was driving along the street, glanced towards the op shop, and was surprised, most surprised.

On the verandah were a wooden desk and a wooden stool. Hmm. Better stop for a look.
Quick as a flash, I pulled into a handy parking spot.
Yes, there they stood. Dusty. Unwanted. Lovely. Solid teak.

Of course, I bought them both.
 I paid a low but fair price. New, they would have been double what the op shop wanted. And the money goes to a good cause. Win, win.

A little cleaning and attention with teak oil and now I have these charming additions to our already overcrowded flat.

Both pieces of furniture are made of recycled timber from fishing boats. How do I know this? I have a cupboard that bears similar signs of re-use. They are great. Solid timber, no chipboard or plywood. Handmade, with occasional rough bits. Well made. The stool has been repaired but it is still functional.
Perhaps they came from a divorce settlement. Perhaps someone was moving to a new house and changing their lifestyle. Now they have a new life with us.
And my husband has a special spot for doing his Indonesian studies.

I am so lucky. It was a most surprising find.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Quilt Exhibition

I went to the Territory Quilts 2017 exhibition. Many quilts were entered in the competitions but some were for display only. Some quilts were suitable for use and some were artworks.
I had never before been to one of these exhibitions and this was more accessible for me than those of previous years.

I was very impressed by the quality of some of the quilting. That was definitely inspiring. With perseverance, I can get closer to that level of skill. Perseverance. Lots of perseverance.

Some of the patchwork was excellent too. I always enjoy Bargello in all its forms and there were some patchwork examples of that too.My photo of a bargello quilt does not show that quilt at its best.

Quite a few of the quilts were the end products of a workshop that the local club had run. Hmm. Eight quilts almost the same is not inspiring. Some were not exhibition ready either. While that does show the public how quilts are made, the quilts in question were very large and that display did not appeal to me.

Some quilts were straight from a book. Several were made from a block-of-the-month scheme. I think that is fine for domestic use, but not really for public exhibition and competition. Perhaps if the people had used some different colours it may have given a different impression; but paint-by-numbers is not creative, only a display of a few technical skills.
Maybe I am just too old-fashioned in this regard, but I would have thought that originality and art should play a huge role in selecting entries for a competition with some generous and high profile sponsors. I wonder what other people think.

Some quilts were made of recycled fabrics. I like that idea and have plans for a quilt like that myself. Maybe one day I could enter that section. Maybe, no promises.

One quilt really grabbed my attention because of its colours. It was made completely from indigenous prints. Possibly it was a group project, but I do not really know. Unfortunately, the layout was a little crooked and that detracted slightly from its points, but the artist has obvious artistic talents. Just a technical glitch.

Most of the applique was that type that is glued to the top and then machine stitched in place. I admit I can rarely do that well. Some quilts had felt appliques and hand stitching.

I thought it was odd that some quilts were made by two people. One had done the patchwork and the other had done the quilting. I wonder if this is a common practice for competitions.

Would I go again? Yes.

Would I suggest other people go to a quilt exhibition? That depends on how much you know about the techniques. A quilt is a big project, even a small quilt. I go to galleries and look at paintings and sculptures but I definitely have specific likes and dislikes. I like fabrics and fibre art in general. An enthusiast would get more than their money's worth from such a show, but a newbie might find it dull. My suggestion is to be prepared to work up to a good appreciation of the works and be prepared to grow intellectually from seeing the exhibits.

Sunday, 3 September 2017


Today is Fathers Day. I am remembering my father.

He was born in 1905 in Brisbane. Dad did not have the opportunities many of us take for granted today in Australia. He had only four years of school, but that did not ever stop him. He had a wide knowledge of Australian Colonial poetry and one of my best memories is of him reciting works by Paterson and Gordon. Dad had a gift for languages and when he was a POW  he taught French to the other Australians in Changi. He also spoke Arabic, Indonesian and some dialects of Chinese.

I am also thinking about all the fathers whose children have died. Broken hearts never mend completely and such a scar is horrible to live with.

I know I was not a very good daughter, but I am trying to make up for it now. Age helps us understand other people.

This evening we will go to our daughter's home for a meal to celebrate this special day. Luckily, she inherited the cooking gene from my father.