Archive for December, 2008

Green man for a southern summer

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Hi Jennifer,

Whew! The whirl of Christmas is over, and the new year is here (in Australia it is… I can’t remember if you’ve crossed the dateline yet in North America… hazy memory tells me that you must be just about on midnight as I type this, late in the afternoon of New Year’s Day).

wisteria

They say you should start the year as you mean to go on. If that’s the case, this will be a good year! I started with a burst of energy, and a brisk one-hour walk all the way to the top of the Big Hill (say that bit in a deep voice), with a big bag of library books to be returned.

The main street is quiet after the New Year revels. Some bottles here and there, yuck. Unusually quiet: all the shops are shut.

We live in an area that was populated mainly by Italian and Greek immigrants in the mid-20th century, and although it has changed a lot, become a mix of the older Europeans and the younger students and couples, it’s still a street of one-family-owned small businesses. Italian wedding boutiques. Mediterranean gardens. Tiny houses. Cafes, cafes and cafes. A Greek market: big cans of olive oil stacked high in the front window. Dress shops, alterations and sewing classes, mmm, sewing classes…. More cafes. Only the Internet Cafe and the IGA were open this morning: one with a solo backpacker inside, and the other attracting the usual half-dozen wrinkled old Greek men to the benches outside. Kalimera. Good morning!

The other good things about today, as I mean to go on in 2009 are:

  • Reading a good book – I finished my fifth book in five days – bring on the holidays, I say.
  • Cooking up a storm: I’ve made Tuscan flatbread (schiacciata Toscana) with sea salt and rosemary, and olive oil drizzled into the knobbles; a fragrant stew, and some slow-cooked bolognaise sauce
  • Sewing my latest Posted Stitches quilt!

I was cheerfully zipping away on the next quilt, when I realised that the Green Man quilt had not been fully explained and shown in photos. He’s been sitting quietly on the side while the wild rumpus of Christmas flowed through the house. And here he is.

Green Man quilt

I have been wanting to do a Green Man quilt for quite a long time. This one was first drawn on paper, then I went over the pencil lines of my drawing in thick black pen. I could see these pen lines through the white cotton, so I traced the lines onto my cotton, and painted swirls of green, brown and yellow textile paint into the fabric until it was saturated wet with colour.

A night on the line, and it was dry: I ironed my fabric to set painted fabricthe colours, and started some stencils for the next step. These were simple leaf shapes cut out of freezer paper, which I ironed to the fabric (use a low setting). Once they were stuck to the fabric, out came those brushes, a sponge and the textile paints, and I painted or blotched in the leaves.

I also painted some extra fabric, which I cut, free-hand, into leaf shapes and swirls. Then, weeks and weeks of slow embroidery and random stitches. That was the part I found hard to leave behind!

He’s all done, and ready to join the rest of my PS quilts in their special plastic case. What are we going to do with them all when we have achieved our year’s worth of quilts?

cheers

Bev

So the secret is out!

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Jennifer,

You crack me up! And so does your husband. Only you would beautifully stitch quilting lines that suggest the – er – richness of odour. Only you would relate the conversation about the quilt!

It’s such a cute car, and a fun story… my old man (no, I am not referring to my husband!) looks somewhat of a different creature in contrast. My myths quilt is much more on the traditional legendary line! So I had to leave him for a day or two to let the air clear – so to say (can I use all of my bad puns in this post — please?)

I seem unable to insert images today, so I’ll post this, and be back later with pictures and the full story of the Green Man of Melbourne.

Bev

The Myth of the Man Who Didn’t Fart

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

I’m sorry if this quilt challenges your sensibilities, but I created it with the support and encouragement of my husband, the man farting in the quilt above.

I was driving him nuts obsessing about what kind of quilt I would make for the “Myths & Legends” theme. I was wavering between depicting “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and stitching Athena, the goddess of craft. But neither of these ideas really excited me.

Then we had this ridiculous conversation that went something like this:

Jeff: What don’t you do a quilt about my gas?

Me: (laughing) What?! That’s ridiculous.

Jeff: You believed I didn’t have a gas issue. That’s a myth.

Me: Yeah, that’s for sure. Are you okay with me making a quilt about that?

Jeff: Sure.

Me: Then consider it done.

Immediately, I knew what I had to do.

More than 12 years ago I fell in love with Jeff and proceeded to date him for two years before making the toxic discovery that he farts.

I know, I know, we all do. But not like this.

Soon after our summer 1998 wedding, my wonderful husband let his guard down and I started gettingĀ  gased out by noxious fumes. One day, after the air cleared I asked, “What the heck, dude? What’s going on? Did you just develop a post-nuptial condition? Where is all this gas coming from? You never did this before. Seriously, this is unbelievable.”

Jeff confessed to hiding his gas problem from me and explained that he took advantage of every opportunity to fart without me noticing while we were dating. The most common scenario is the one depicted above. While we were dating Jeff would open the car door for me and, once my door was closed, fart all the way around to the driver’s side of the car. This method worked great. He got to relieve pressure and I was left with the stench-free impression that he was a gentleman. Nothing like a marriage to shake out the truth.

I never imagined I would ever stitch a fart quilt, but I guess that’s part of life’s grand adventure – you never know what’s going to happen next.

And just because I’m feeling a bit vulnerable unveiling a quilt about farts, I want to share a short interview I recorded yesterday with Ryan Greaves, a young artist who is making fart art, too. Apparently this is a trend, people. Check it out…

Return to PS

Friday, December 5th, 2008

We’re here! You would be forgiven for thinking that the project has been abandoned as everything went quiet over here at Posted Stitches central. Rest assured, there’s been a lot of quiet stitching going on off-line, and plenty of activity.

Piles of work

After a hiatus of several months, and my round-the-world trip, I’ve started a new job. Not just one, but three, not being one to do things by halves. Thank heavens they’re all part-time! However, I’m discovering that it’s true: part-timers put in extra hours, and work harder in the days they are at the desk. I’ve been feeling the crush a bit, and the sewing time got squeezed. There was a bit of late-night sketching and a few crazy early-morning sessions, but fun time got cut down a lot.

I’m getting back on top of it now: perhaps I need to learn from Jennifer, who juggles more than I thought it was humanly possible for one two-handed crafter who needs to sleep sometimes.

But now we’ve both finished our Myths and Legends quilts, and we got together yesterday for the usual very long Skype chatter-fest with guest spot appearances by dogs and husbands, including disembodied voices off-stage (Jennifer’s husband) and 3-minute stand-up pontifications from the Professor (my husband). It’s a whole lotta fun – and the quilts look great.

So, sit tight: the reveal is happening. We’re back!

Bev