When the woman you live with is an artist, every day is a surprise.

The title of this blog was written by Audrey Niffenegger.    The time traveler’s wife.

As individuals we all look at things a little differently. It’s Australia day today and I was at an event this morning that was held out on our local oval.


It’s not a football oval with stands for the audience, the only thing standing around our oval are huge groups of gum trees which are hosts to 100’s of parrots and wildlife.

I was with an acquaintance and we walked past a huge Ghost gum, it must have  been almost 80 ft high. It branched into three huge white trunks from the base and they were as smooth as a baby’s face, pure white painted randomly with lots of patterns. At the base were long strings of brown bark laying one on top on another forming a pattern.


I stopped mid stream and mid conversation to look, and feel the tree. The woman stared at me with a strange look in her eyes and said   “Gladys always said you were arty”   Gladys is my long departed Mother in Law. !!

I just smiled. There is a huge distance in the way we both think. However, observation like this is what enables me to create work that is meaningful to me. I didn’t take a photo, at that t the camera was with my husband and I’m now itching to go back and take some images.

I know, that I have those images in my mind until I do just that, go and capture what I saw so that I can look at it over and over again. That desire creates a motivation to know more and explore more.

Sometimes its hard to put those feelings into words. I use my photographic images to travel in my mind and I travel more than the average person. However, its the travel that takes place in my mind as well as across the ocean that stimulates the idea to create.

Those of you who follow my blog are aware that I use the time traveling to design, write, think and create connections between my journal at my destination and my studio at home. I record everything I see, collect things and it’s mainly textile based. Beautiful cloth that has been touched by others hands. Stories and history in textiles and interesting things like old buttons and beautifully polished cotton collars.

Of course I have no idea what I’m going to do with them when I first buy them but now here they are in a quilt.

Antique French buttons
An old cotton tablecloth used for the background of the quilt.

My most treasured bag is  over a thousand  1″ half square triangles. I bought the bag for a dollar many years ago and I just loved the contents. One day I will appliqué them all onto a piece of linen so I can share the beauty.



Collecting, drawing and recording my daily observations is just a habit now, and many of those involve textiles. In the past month I have been re-purposing some of the gorgeousness I’ve collected in my travels.  There is a strong relationship between my drawing and my stitching. This combination of needle, thread, fabric and  drawing creates its own vocabulary.

My quilts.

The antique French buttons.
The starched cotton cuff made in NY in the 1800’s

P1120489And the collars.


I’m still working on the next two quilts… both are in this re-purposed genre and yet both are so different. The diversity is exciting.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. bbquiltmaker says:

    That bag of HST is the best thing I’ve ever seen! I would sort, pet, and play with them for hours!!

  2. Shirley Nash says:

    Feel sorry for Those who don’t understand the joy of an old button,Doiley,apron,scrap of fabric from bygone days etc.

  3. Prue Wheal says:

    I have a dear friend,but she will not accept that quilts can be “art”. We have extended arguments about this and as yet have not agreed to disagree, the argument continues.
    How sad my friend misses out on so much joy.e

  4. Elizabeth Kauffman says:

    I love art quilts and my sewing room is full of bits and pieces to use one day some buttons from one place and have some that look like little mice, I just cannot help myself, the button ship in Adelaide is a wonderous shop.

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