Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Million Stitches

Such joy, a million tiny stitches. Beautiful vintage kantha quilts from Rajhastan. No two alike, loads to choose from. Various sizes and weights.
I will have these available for sale this weekend at the Brunswick Town Hall on Saturday the 28th and Camberwell Market on Sunday the 29th.
You will need to be quick, when I had these 3 weeks ago they sold out in an hour.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Animal Lacing Cards

While talking to a friend the other day about her new desire to embroider freehand with bright wools into card and paper, I remembered these. Did you have these as a kid too? Did it start you down a stitchy journey like me? With the blunt plastic large eyed needles and bright primary coloured wools. I love the graphics on these, my favourite is the Donkey.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Patches of Noro...the end is in sight

Last year while participating at an event I stumbled upon a stall selling lace weight Noro. (This is the lady who sells it). They were long days and I had a lot of time to kill and I had always wanted to learn how to crochet. The next day I fronted up with a how to crochet book and a hook, (size 1...!!!!) bought myself 2 balls of this lovely stuff and had a crack!
I started my first hexagon and realised I was putting the yarn around the hook the wrong way all these years when I had tried to teach myself before. I'm left handed so books can sometimes be confusing for me when i'm working things out. Never had much luck with right handers teaching me either, so I always thought crochet was hard and fiddly. After that realisation things got easier and I got on a roll.
So, now after about 10 months I have over 200 of these hexagons that are about 6cm in diameter and I am slowly sewing them all up into a grandmothers flower garden style scarf. Trust me to pick something laborious for my first attempt into crochet, but hey its coming together, maybe by the time I reach the 12 month mark it will finally be finished!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Geelong Quilters Guest Speaker this Saturday

I am the guest speaker this Saturday the 21st of April at the Geelong Patchwork and Quilters Guild.
Its at the Regent Street Masonic Hall in Belmont from 1pm.

I will be talking about my love affair with scrap quilts and finishing off old quilts, from finding old blocks and tops to sourcing fabrics and threads of the same eras. I will have a selection of fabrics from the United States from the 1930s to 1960s available on the day as well.

I will also be talking about my recent trip to India where I went to work with a Social Enterprise Stitching Group run by Textile Artist Fiona Wright. I will also have plenty of her Pukka Components available for sale on the day. These are packs of silks, hand looms and other interesting cloths and fibres and other goodies.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cover Girl

What a surprise to get up on Saturday morning to be greeted by my silly mug peering out of the front cover of the weekend lift out of the Geelong Advertiser. Yup, I made it to cover girl for an article on local art and design based businesses.  It was such a nice surprise to be asked to be in this article alongside 4 other inspiring small businesses in my local area. The photo shoot was absolutely hilarious and loads of fun.....never in a million years did I think it would be on the front page!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Old Glory Flags and Vintage Quilts

The Old Glory flags are here, also Panama, Netherlands, Iceland, Greece and loads of Ensigns and signal flags. Many of these flags are from de-commissioned freight ships that are being dismantled and the others are World War Two surplus from the USA.
More quilts and quilt tops are available too.

The New Eye Candy

I have finally gotten around to photographing some of the new finds from my recent trip. (As promised for you PJ) I will be bringing a selection of these items to the markets over the next few weeks. More Kantha quilts are arriving (fingers crossed) by the end of the month.

Below are the most amazing hand stitched scarves, throws and wraps from some truly talented women from Bengal. I only have a handful of these ones left. The stitches are about 1mm in length and they are sewn into hand dyed silks. Thousands of stitches and hundreds of hours go into each and every one of these pieces, they are truly astounding and each one is unique.

 These wonderful scarves are from the Social Enterprise I went to work with. They are all silk and stitched in colourful cottons. They are reversible too and come with or without fringes. Tonnes of colours and styles and more arriving soon.

 Hand stitched quilt blocks from recycled silks.

Vintage Hmong embroidery and hand dyed Indigo resist cottons, purchased directly from the village ladies up in the hills. My suitcase was chock full.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I finally got with the modern age....welcome to facebook

I finally caved and set up a facebook page. Hopefully this will be easier for some of you to keep a track of whats going on and whats up for sale each week at the markets.
You can find it here... if you want to 'like' me?
I hope its working, all this new fangledy stuff, really not my bag!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Going Direct in Vietnam

One of the things I have been really trying to do with my textile sourcing is to deal directly with the makers and the small businesses and individuals who work with textiles, or to get on a plane and go there and go find it. I only have 2 pages left in my passport and 23 countries later I am slowly ticking off my list of the textiles I want to have in my collection and to have available for sale. From French block prints from the Art Deco period to African wax fabrics. Admittedly I love American cotton prints and quilts and love travelling there finding them, but I have always had a soft spot for ethnic textiles too.

7 years ago after my first trip to Vietnam I fell in love with the textiles of Vietnams ethnic minority groups. The Hmong people. Black, Red and Flower H'mong especially. So when my partner had the opportunity to head to Hanoi to go work with the social enterprise KOTO - Know One, Teach One as a guest chef for a fundraising dinner, I jumped at the chance to spend time in Vietnam on my way to India.
We headed up into the hills near the Vietnam/China border with the hillsides covered in indigo plants and rice fields and with the help of a local guide headed to the villages to find weavers and dyers of these beautiful textiles. Hand woven hemp, Indigo resist dyed and hand embroidered. Even though I couldn't speak the language, we managed to muddle our way through me heading back home with a suitcase full.

Trying to work it all out
Working at the loom
The village is over there....
Canapes for the Fund Raising dinner

Things are good....

Back on deck for my first Camberwell market in a month. What a fantastic day! I forget how much fun doing a market can be.
All the vintage ensign and signal flags from the decommissioned freight ships are a hit and the Rajhastani quilts I carried back from India have sold out already. More are coming so if you are after one, mail me and I will add you to the waiting list.

India was such an amazing trip. So many things are now in place and ticking along. I am working with an amazing Social Enterprise to create and source a wonderful selection of textiles. This group works closely with the community to provide training and jobs with award wages and excellent working conditions. They source from the crafts people directly, from the people who spin the cotton to weaving the fabrics. Using local dyers, weavers, hand sewers, block printers and tailors. The smiles are large and warm and the possibilities are endless.

Recycled Saris on Bobbins
Fabric Selection at the Hand Weavers

Papu-ji with a sample