Aurifil Artisans – August Challenge.

I teach Textile Art, but like most artists, my inspiration comes from the environment and situations I find myself in.
This year has disrupted everyone’s lives. I know I’m preaching to the converted when I say that it has had an immense effect on our family and the way my year was expected to roll out.

I began my year with a trip to the Dominican Republic and Mexico teaching Textile Art and guiding craft tours.

I flew home for a week and packed for a trip to India, Morroco, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. Thirteen hours before I was due to leave, with bags packed, classes and tours prepared, the sky fell in and everything as cancelled.
For the first month, I was numb, and I couldn’t imagine that the pandemic would last more than a few months, but the realisation hit us all and to be honest, I guess we can’t see an end in sight right now, so I just need to get on with it.

I decided to create a quilt that would remain as a visual diary of the way life changed for us. 2020 will be an apostrophe in our life for the eternal future.

The fabric I chose is a linen panel. It’s not the most comfortable fabric to create a heavily stitched quilt on, but I liked the colour, and I love the soothing texture of linen.

I cut the panel 6 foot long. I didn’t know how long it would be in the making; maybe I would have to add a little to the end?

We live in the Adelaide Hills, and birds and interesting visitors surround us, so I began at the top. No plans, just put a line of birds on the top of the fabric and work from there. I always work my pain out by creating whimsy. This project certainly helped.
These little guys are free motion appliqued with 80 weight Aurifil thread.

One morning, very early on I woke to a possum peering at me from the top of my wardrobe and we began a few days of possum evacuation. It was cute, but I don’t share my space, especially the bedroom with a possum.
I love birds; we have a resident husband and wife crow family that have been part of our lives for five years, so a few strange looking crows found their way into the top part of the quilt.

Then there was a wild cat who decided to take up residence as well, much to the crows’ displeasure.
A new member of the house is shared, a puppy, but at the stage of creating the quilt I didn’t know what he would look like, so there are a few dogs just hanging around.

Goodness me, the situations I highlighted seemed frivolous, but I was trying to put a positive spin on the challenging place I was in.

The next layer roughly portrays the places I would have been visiting.

I was creating a ‘crow’ quilt, and the little pieces of black and white in the corner were from that quilt. I don’t know about you, but there are always triggers in our lives, and they signify what I was creating at that time.

The centre of the quilt is our house, and there are two other houses, one on either side. One is the house of our children in the USA, and the other is where I stay in Alamogordo, NM. Each is stitched differently, depicting their situated areas—one in the mountains and one in the desert.

The centre of the quilt is our house, and there are two other houses, one on either side. One is the house of our children in the USA, and the other is where I stay in Alamogordo, NM. Each is stitched differently, depicting their situated areas—one in the mountains and one in the desert.

I love slow stitching, and you can combine both hand and machine stitch. I used 50 and 80 weight Aurifil black for the illustrative stitch.

A Hand-stitched 12 weight couched thread ties the three houses together.

We live in a small village, and it’s depicted on the lower layer sitting under a row of couched clouds. I wanted to use the different genres included in the art I create so this scene is drawn on the cream fabric with pen and coloured with pencils then outlined with 50 weight Aurifil mako cotton.

A small envelope holds notes and drawings that will remain there as a memory that may be of interest to the Grandies in the future.

Finally, agapanthus blooming is the sign that summer is just around the corner. New things to think about and the warmth of the sun will bring me so much joy.

I worked my pain and grief through stitching the quilt. It made my time away from my travel just a little more bearable.
Now it’s done. I’ve worked a journey.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Susie Q says:

    You quilt is a masterpiece. Such needle and thread design!!!!!!

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Oh, Susie, thanks… it was great to do.

  2. Sharon Lee says:

    Another spectacular creation. I’d love to spend a couple of days inside of you head so that maybe i could absorb even a tiny amount of your creativity and talent.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Sharon, just a vivid imagination really.

  3. Jean Ramsay says:

    Pam, Oh you are such an inspiration. I viewed this early in the morning (6am) and it was such a delightful email to open up. Thank you for your quirkiness, I simply find it inspiring, if only I had the ability to use the machine as a writing implement, but I fear not. Keep well & Safe and I hope that we all in the world will one day have the chance to travel & meet again. Auckland awaits the Level 2 stage on Monday 31st August after a second round of Level 3.
    Jean Ramsay

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Jean, thank you. It was disappointing that you had glitz with Covid again. It can happen anywhere, we have to be vigilant. But it will end and I hope it is sooner than later. Be safe.

  4. Quilt looks great. Your creativity is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you, you’re welcome

  5. Lexie Peters says:

    I’m in awe of your work. I receive such enjoyment from your stories, photographs, colourful details and all your works.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you, Lexie.

  6. Nola says:

    Thanks for sharing your emotional journey for this year via fabric and thread. For you it has meant a major upheaval, for others like myself it hasn’t meant many changes. We are so fortunate that Covid 19 hasn’t invaded our State of South Australia so far. Hugs

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Nola, yes, we have been lucky. I’m thankful for that. Stay safe dear friend.

  7. Oh oh oh. What a work! Thank you for showing it to us and also for sharing the story behind it.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      You’re welcome Mariss

  8. Phyllis says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely, lovely quilts! Your color choices EXCITE!! Is it PC to ask for names of the Aurifil color(our)s are you showing?

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Yes, I could add them, I didn’t think of that because there are a lot in the quilts… but I will do so on the next one.

  9. Danuta says:

    Your stories Pam, are so enjoyable to read. Thank you for sharing your experiences and creativity

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you, Danuta.

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