Kindness

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately and how it’s not often considered a particularly useful quality, especially in terms of business. It’s something I hold high on my list of life qualities and am aiming to be more so whenever possible. Perhaps it’s not considered cutthroat as an emotion and I know it can often lead to people taking advantage of it. Some people definitely mistake kindness for weakness, (that’s a direct quote from Al Capone) but I think in the right situation it can be an extremely powerful quality in business. Especially if your business involves people. Customers or employees.

If you’ve ever had someone show kindness at a moment when you really needed it, you surely know how powerful and indeed unforgettable it is. This week I’m aiming to think of 3 practical ways I can incorporate kindness into my workplace. I won’t mention how (don’t want to toot toot my own horn!) but I’ll let you know if I think it’s working! I’m guessing it’ll make me feel better than anyone, but hopefully it makes a difference or gets paid forward, even subliminally. Bon weekend : )

The Homemade Exchange

I’ve mentioned our little exhibition - the homemade exchange, before, but I wanted to share my final piece with you here. (Sorry if this is redundant for you!)

The exhibition is the result of a playful collaboration. Fifteen artists took a photograph of a domestic setting and then received one in exchange. Each has responded with an artwork, using various mediums, including drawing, textiles and film. The participants are located in Switzerland, Israel, Canada and Australia (including artists from Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Perth). Curated by Demelza Sherwood.

I was given this lovely image, by Emily O’brien,

and this is a little cushion I made in response, it’s called Sunday Sawtooth.

It’s inspired by the traditional quilts I love, especially the sawtooth pattern which has that nice jaggedy edge.  Emily’s image has so many beautiful vintage pieces in it, I also wanted the cushion to work well in the actual space if it ever flew over the world into her living room. I love the colours in the original photo so I ‘sawtooth pixelated’ it. Each little square is an inch and there are about 250 separate pieces in the whole thing!

The exhibition that’s part of Craft Victoria’s Craft Cubed runs until the end of the month, if you want to hear more about it, Demelza Sherwood gave a wonderful little interview here http://www.craft.org.au/news/craft-cubed-interview-the-homemade-exchange/.

Lovely Liberty

If you’re a fan of fabric like me, you’re likely also a fan of Liberty of London. It’s pretty hard to resist the gorgeous feel of Tana Lawn. If you’re on a budget though, you may just admire them from afar because these pretties are not low end.

Jacqueline Sava’s amazing Crossroads to Bachelor Hall quilt (that orange… I die)

I did cave in and decided to join Weswood Acres “Liberty club”. Once a month I get a little ‘present’ in the mail which is so much fun. Ten little fat 16ths (that’s about 13in x 9in). It’s been three months now and I have to say I already feel like I’ve got a pretty good stash built up. I’m thinking of making my parents an epic Libs Elliot quilt for their big 70ths coming up next year.

Recently Libs released one of her awesome patterns on the Liberty Lifestyle blog for free! Her quilt actually uses Liberty Lifestyle prints which are actually quilting weight cottons and a little more affordable too.  Libs Elliot is an awesome Toronto based textiles artist who uses a programming language of processing to generate quilt patterns. They’re really great and I got her Rebel quilt pattern a while ago wanting to make it asap. Too many projects too little time! My Dad did ask for something ‘chaotic’ as far as patterns go, so I think one of Libs’ quilts will be perfect!

Libs Elliot  - Rebel quilt

By the way – if you’ve wanted to try some Craftsy classes, but weren’t too sure about which courses to try, there’s a huge sale on classes right now, I highly recommend them. You can do the classes whenever you want forever!! They never expire so you can go back and retry all kinds of things. Really fun!

Quilty time

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the amounts of stuff on the internet. Thank goodness I can just shut my computer if need be. Phew! Lately I’ve been fairly brutally homesick and my blog-reading is out of control. As a result my inspirations have gone into overdrive and I feel frenzied just thinking about my potential next project. This is not a bad thing, too much inspiration can never be bad, but I’m changing projects constantly starting new things and ‘pinning’ like mad to try get everything going right now!  This is not an efficient way to finish tasks, but not much about me is actually efficient anyway (unless you count when I have to go buy dog food, then I’m amazing).

Here are a few things I’d love to try versions of next.

Just click on the images for their links! Happy weekend friends : )

July

So busy! I’ve been working on a really exciting project for the last few weeks. I’m going to be in an exhibition that starts beginning of August so I’ve been busily trying to finish my little piece! It’s called The Homemade Exchange, fifteen artists took a photo of a domestic setting and received a photo in exchange and each of us is making an artwork in response. It’s such a great idea for a show and really free as far as interpretation goes, but the works will all be around 30cm x 30cm which is a great smaller format. I’m really excited to see what comes up. At first I felt a little unsure about potentially exhibiting quilting, as it’s definitely not what I’m known for, but Demelza, my dear friend and the brains behind this exhibition knows what I make for now so I’m honoured she asked me.

I’ll be able to post pics when the show goes live in a couple weeks, but until then have a look at our website! Our exhibition is part of Craft Victoria’s Craft Cubed, which is an annual festival of experimental, skilled and ideas-based craft and design. Collaboration really is inspiring.

3 things

I like to read blogs, I read hundreds of them and I realised I always like it when I find out things about the writer. Is it true for you too? So today I’m going to tell you three things about me that you might not know.

1. I can never wear odd socks, but I am not ocd about anything else, in fact I’m quite messy generally.

(Paul Smith odd socks are pretty cute though!)

2. I was born completely ‘en caul’ which apparently means I’m a caulbearer (this always grossed me out as a kid). In the past, depending on the culture, that may have meant I was either elevated to the highest status in society or burnt at the stake. I still love sleep, warmth, silence and to be covered by beanies, hats and blankets. (Sorry if you had to google that!!)

3. Swimming is my favorite excersize.

Voila! I want to hear some from you : )

Lap quilt

I often seem to be making things for one of my sisters, Case! But I have another sister too! Ha, over Christmas I made Kel some simple cushions from fabric she chose while we were on holidays in California last year.  There was a bunch of fabric left over so I decided to make her a little lap quilt for the couch to go with the previously made cushions! She doesn’t know it’s on its way, but she has a rather special birthday coming up next week – 30. (Gah my baby sister is 30!) I hope she likes it.

It’s the first time I bought a quilt pattern, aside from the book for the Farmers Wife quilt. This one is by CluckCluckSew and I knew it was a good modern pattern perfect for Kel. Not sure the bigger chevron prints work so well cut this way, but I love the overall look.

This particular quilt was a lesson in making sure to pre-wash cheap cotton from the crappy fabric store. Usually I buy lovely fabric from amazing manufacturers, but I can’t afford it always, so I often stock up on cheaper cottons when I can. But… The navy binding fabric on this quilt ran allllll over the quilt, lovely blueish tie-dye effect everywhere. Ugh. And I washed and dried it before I noticed… Many many stain removers and washes later it seemed better and off it was sent.

Happy birthday Kel! You may well never read this (not a big blog reader!) But if  you do I hope you have the best time in your 30′s. I can’t believe you’re that old little Poots, although you always were way more together and driven than any of the rest of us. You’re a beautiful, funny and fun sister who I can’t imagine life without. Big hugs xo