Round and round and round it goes…

April 16th, 2009
Ring o rosy

Ring o rosy

Posted Stitches has been on the go for almost a year now. A year of sending parcels back and forth. Dreaming up themes and making up quilts. Missing deadlines and hanging out on Skype (we introduced our dogs to each other, and I just love it when the girls want to show me their latest craft treasure!)

We’ve had a hiatus of an autumn (your spring), while I dealt with post-bushfire shock and wore myself out with crafty charity. You’ve had ups and downs in the turbulent economical climate of newspaper journalism. We’ve had illnesses and family events to take our attention and time away from the creative arts that capture our dreams.

But, do you know what? It’s always been there. Sitting in the background as a promise that creativity would be and is still a part of who we are.

‘Way back when we started Posted Stitches, we didn’t know each other. I was picking up my backpack and quietly shutting my front door behind me as we headed off around the world to see what we could see. Scraps of fabric and needles and thread: my entire stash in one zip-lock sandwich bag in my pack. You were working on your craft column, new then, and the idea of teaching and TV, well, they weren’t materialised (ha ha) yet.

Now, we’ve got almost a year of stitching and thinking under our belts. We both talk about our art quilts with a confidence that is so far from the tentative and under-confident first forays. ‘Can I even MAKE an art quilt?’ we both asked ourselves — first, privately, then openly. Now, it just seems a fact of life. We make art quilts. Little art quilts. Little reflections of a life lived, a friendship formed, and themes to explore.

There’s a whole world out there: it’s in our heads and our hands and in the minds of all crafters as we make up something new.swallow_tiny

What craft worlds have you built for yourself and, if you haven’t made an art quilt before, will you join us?

There’s a little list of the themes that we are considering next. I’m going to put a selection of them (plus a few surprises just for fun!) into the Random Number Generator to let it choose what we make next. The interwebby-thing can decide. After all, it’s where we met!


Bug fixes

April 16th, 2009


Whew! It looks like Jennifer’s clever husband has fixed the bugs we’ve been struggling with over here at Posted Stitches headquarters. Some wizardry involving software and the server. Thank you!

Now I can post pictures again, and do you know what?

- That makes me happy.

Protest stitches

April 12th, 2009

Hi there,

Now that I’ve explained my sudden prolonged absence, I can get down to the fun of showing what was made for the Protest theme. I really like your quilt, Jennifer, and next to it, mine feels serious. Though not entirely.


I made this quilt out of protest at the people who choose to pull the world apart. Through wars, greed or environmental destruction. Our globe is such a beautiful place, but it is so easily crumbled and torn to pieces by those few whose actions ruin it for everyone. Not all damage is reversible. I protest against the short-sighted, the greedy, the apathetic, and above all, against those who go to war needlessly. 

The font of the quilt is a globe, made up of bands of fabric. Flowers for beauty, camouflage print for militarism, and rich colours for the complicated mass of humanity. The globe is crumbling at the edge. The resulting shape is a little reminscent of a skull. Dangling pieces for the broken bits of lives and beauty smashed by war. 

On the back of the quilt, love can bloom in the midst of violence and warmongering. Love can be a spiky thing. It’s not all hearts and roses. The heart an image of blood, passion and unreason — strong emotions, sometimes god, sometimes destructive. There is a violent part inside humanity but we learn to live with it. To civilise ourselves. Be god to our neighbours. Walk lightly on the earth. 

I stitched this quilt in a 24-hour heat of inspiration provoked by thoughts of the injustice of war and the waste of environmental destruction. 

Serious? Yes, but that’s a part of life, too! 

Maybe the next one will have some sense of fun and humour in it again. We’ll see what shows up!



PS: I am still unable to load any new images, in whatever browser or machine I try. Bear with me. I think this is a Mac thing. 

Neither here nor there

April 10th, 2009

It seems that WordPress has caught me in limbo. I can post, but I can’t post pictures. How strange!

Tomorrow I’ll be playing about with a new and different browser, and let’s hope that works.


Back in the swing of things

March 20th, 2009

Quilt swing

I’ve been out of the loop for far too long, and I wanted to post a quick note to let people know what’s been happening, and why I’ve been away.

Last month, we had the worst natural disaster that Australia has ever seen in recorded history – bushfires that destroyed whole towns, killed over 210 people and made 7,500 homeless. The fires burnt over 1,700 sq. miles (450,000 hectares; 1.1 million acres) and came with a ferocity and a speed no-one here has EVER seen before. 

If you are in the US, or overseas from Australia, you may have seen it on the news for a day, perhaps a couple of times over a week, but for us here it’s been weeks of living with the horror, shock, grief and more complicated emotions as the days unrolled. I don’t want to write a lot about it: much, much has been said on my own blogs, friends’ blogs and the sites of the relief efforts.

For the craft community in Australia, which is tight-knit (pun intended) and strong, we were and are still aware of the friends whose towns were obliterated, who mourn good friends and family, and who live in camps, trailers or temporary accommodation, surrounded by ash. For so many, nothing will be the same again. We have an overwhelming desire to give, to do something to help. We can also burn ourselves out with the extended emotion over weeks. Crafting for anything — other than another quilt to place around a kid and their single Mom whose house is gone — well, it just doesn’t happen. 

Jennifer, you’ve been wonderfully supportive of our efforts through initiatives such as Handmade Helps, the bushfire fundraising cookbook I am co-editing with a handful of crafty ladies, and the sewing bees run by wonderful crafters. Thank you for understanding when I disappeared from Posted Stitches. 

There are still quilts being made, packs of fabric and sewing notions packed in my front room, ready to be delivered to crafters who lost everything, the cookbook to be edited, friends to keep an eye out for, and above all, money to be raised for the long term, for the rehabilitation and those extras beyond the basic needs for shelter and food. Winter is coming here in Australia, but now there are many hands to help and the load is slowly getting lighter. 

We’ll be back to Posted Stitches soon, with the previous quilt, a new one to show you — and perhaps a mid-year challenge to pitch the Aussies against the Americans in a good old-fashioned art quilt challenge bout. (Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! -Oi Oi Oi.)

Oh, hang on, I’m Canadian. What do we shout, eh?  (It’s probably something like – ‘Excuse me, pardon me, but if you don’t mind, that’s my quilt, eh?’) 




Oh! My goodness

March 14th, 2009

What a lovely quilt.

Jennifer, that quilt is so worth waiting for. I’m really, truly impressed. I know that life has thrown you some bumpy bits and way too much work recently, but this is lovely, and inspiring, and direct and honest and true. Your art is really growing somewhere, you know?Even the colours — although I chose them for you — they became yours somehow and I forgot that they weren’t exactly the fabrics you would choose for yourself.

A big standing ovation for you for this one! I love them all, but each new quilt is a delight to meet.


Okay, now I’m done with my quilt. Really.

March 12th, 2009

Hi Bev,

Yesterday I thought this quilt was “finished” and I posted the “final” photo. But the quilt was missing something and it bugged me all day. It needed some free-motion quilting, so I bought some invisible thread today at the fabric store and headed home to finish the job.

When I got done, the girls and I chased the setting sun to a patch of sidewalk across the street for a quick photo in fading natural light.

So, now, I think I’m finally finished. Really.



My ‘Posted Stitches’ Protest Quilt Is Finally Done

March 11th, 2009

Hi Bev.

It’s been too long since my last art quilt and it feels really good to finally finish this one. At first I struggled to decide what to protest. There are so many injustices and and conflicts in the world that it was difficult to choose one. In the end, I went with one of my biggest concerns: war.

Obviously, I decided to protest with a sense of humor, substituting “aprons” for “love” in the old “Make love, not war” protest.

Intellectually, I understand the reasons why wars are waged and support the Americans fighting overseas right now even thought I don’t agree with the circumstances under which the war started. I just don’t believe war is the best, most logical way to settle disputes. So, I decided to suggest one protest alternative that I haven’t heard before.

I know wars won’t end with peaceful craft sessions anytime soon, but wouldn’t it be great?

To make this quilt, I sketched out the design, then made my applique using a paper piecing method. To give the quilt some dimension, I decided to stuff the bust of the the woman’s T-shirt and make her apron hang off the quilt like a real apron.

I scrapped the first shirt I started embroidering because I changed my mind on the text. Before I settled on the war protest theme, I started stitching “Save the aprons” on the shirt. When I changed my mind, I had to cut a new shirt and start over. I’m glad I did.

So there you have it. Now it’s time to move on to our next project.



The Making of a Protest

January 31st, 2009

Hi Bev.

I’m behind, so this protest quilt has to come together quick. Thankfully, I’m the sort of woman who gets worked up about injustice on a daily basis. I think we can all agree that there are plenty of things to protest in this world from wars and bungled laws like the  Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to unreasonable bosses and parking spot stealers. From the serious atrocities to minor annoyances, it will be fun to stitch out some of my issues. Come to think of it, I think the world would be a much better place if all world leaders stitched. President Obama, I’m available if you need an International Ambassador of Craft.



A long lost stitcher returns… Well, sort of.

January 31st, 2009

Hi Bev.

Your Green Man turned out amazing and your protest quilt looks fantastic. Unfortunately, my protest quilt is still an idea in my head. In an almost ridiculous turn of events I’ve been dealing with the whiplash worries that are becoming quite common for print journalists here in the United States.

Fearing that I would be downsized after Christmas, I took on extra work including a couple unpaid craft-related opportunities to promote CraftSanity and then a paid commission request to make another fart quilt. (Seriously, this is not a joke.) Then, only when I found myself completely overloaded with work, I came to realize that my job will be around longer than I anticipated. Of course, right?!

So, now I’m too busy to craft as much as I want to and feeling a tad cranky about it. Some days, when I’m forced to walk past my stash of embroidery floss, it’s difficult not to growl. I just want to stitch. That’s all.

The good news is that I’m in the perfect frame of mind to work on my protest quilt once I get the binding on that fart quilt. Can you believe my first commissioned quilt would be flatulence-related? Life sure is entertaining and truth is so much more entertaining than fiction.

Things will settle down soon. I refuse to live a life that doesn’t  involve appropriate amounts of time spent stitching with my daughters. I need that creative time with them.

My apologies to your and our readers for lagging behind. I will catch up as soon as I can.