After The Party

The journal of the making of the quilt!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It was VERY exciting!

Well done Helen! There was quite a flurry of media attention after the announcement and Helen gave interviews with great strength, coolness and aplomb. I"m very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the making of this quilt and to have Helen as a friend.

This photo, taken at the opening before the results had been announced, was published in our local newspaper, Janice on the left, Helen on the right:

There were 20 quilts entered in the challenge and I think ours won an award because it had the most immediate impact. Some of the others had strong design, some had strong stories and some had great emotional impact once you had time and strength to study them. But I think the aim of such a quilt must be to immediately engage a disinterested viewer because not many people *want* to think about family violence. Most of the other entries needed some time to study them to 'get the message'. I also think our quilt was much stronger from being drawn from personal experience. Thanks Helen, for your courage in telling your story.

The Best Postscript

Janice and I are thrilled that this quilt was winner of one of the two inaugural Human Rights Commission Challenge awards. All our hard work has been worthwhile. The waiting game got to high tension point last Friday. We had been invited to a special afternoon opening of this section of the Symposium Exhibition. I (naively as it turned out) thought they would announce the winners at the opening. No, we had to wait until the evening opening ceremony of the whole exhibition. It was announced towards the end. By that time I could hardly sit still!

I am deeply grateful to Janice for working with me on this project. I learned heaps and thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative experience. The quilt is much better than I would have produced on my own. Once again, thank you Janice.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I love Deadlines

They have a way of concentrating the mind. I have been meaning to make a box for the quilt journal for ages. With one day to go before I have to pack up the quilt and send it off I finally got around to covering a box. I chose fabric with really bright colours to go with the colours in the quilt and on the front of the journal cover.

Mmmm is it too bright? Does the journal get 'lost' in the box? Do I have time to do anything about it? No? No, definitely no. I still have to make a calico bag to put the whole caboodle in and get it all packaged up ready for the courier on Monday morning. And its 2.20am! (I've been blogging on my other site late at night because my son has been using the computer ALL DAY!)

I was going to use 10mm dowel to put in the little narrow sleeves on the back of the quilt to make it hang straight. But after getting the dowel, cutting in up, going back into town to get a new pencil sharpener with a big hole ( to sharpen the ends so the dowel is easier to slide in - I knew you were going to ask that question), cutting the dowel up, sharpening it and putting it in the slots to check it was working, I decided the dowel was showing on the front. I could see the indentations. So its back to the hardware shop tomorrow morning to get some half-round beading to cut up. The flat edge will sit better against the quilt. ( I have checked it, I've got some but not enough)

Here's a picture of what the quilt hangs like without any support:

And here's what it looks like with the dowel in it, it does the job:

I know you can't see the indentations of the dowel in this picture but I can when I look at the quilt in the flesh.

Its nearly time to say goodbye to the quilt. We'll let you know whether it wins or not.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


While I was checking that the last post appeared the phone rang. It was Rianne who is a junior member of our club. Very excited because her entry has also been selected for further judging. I'm really excited for her. She is only 12 and hand dyed all the fabric for her quilt. When talking to her mum I realised that we haven't got a label for our quilt, so thats another job to do!

Now for the hanging....(sleeve)

Yipee, we got notification today that the quilt has been accepted as an entry. It doesn't mean it will definitely be in the exhibition, but we do get to send it away for a final selection process. Now I have to make a hanging sleeve and figure out how to make it hang straight. This is a technical challenge which I am going to rise up and meet just as soon as I can get my brain cells to work together in harmony! Thank goodness it is the weekend tomorrow.

The challenge asked us to keep a journal of the making of the quilt (which is why we started this blog in the first place) and Janice printed out our blog and made it into an album. Below is the front cover. Isn't it fantastic? The pieces you can see sticking out above and below are the pages of the blog. Janice wasn't sure whether to trim them or not. I think they look great as they are. It is as if each time we turn a page of our lives we never settle exactly back into the same position we were.

This is a picture of the first page. Janice used a very cool font whick looks as if it is breaking up and has disappeared in places. Very aprropriate to the theme.

Janice has torn paper and woven strips for the front cover and has scattered pieces throughout the album. I wish you could see the care and attention she has put into it. I feel very special and honoured because of the detail and creativity she has displayed. Wow Janice, thanks for being my friend.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More distressing

Janice came around this afternoon to help do some more edge treatments. We got my spare car tyre and painted the tread with some brown paint. I rolled the tyre onto the edge of the quilt and I love the resulting tyre mark. It represents the time that my ex tried to run me down with the car - my car- not even his own car! With the recent deaths of 2 people who were run down by a car it seems now, all this time later, he was just trying to scare me (or else I was incredibly lucky).

I then started cutting the left hand edge by the word 'please'. Janice said I was too restrained, to even, not angry enough, so she completed the cutting with much more meaning than I had been giving it.

We then tried to scorch an iron mark into the quilt but my iron wouldn't get hot enough to actually burn the fabric. Maybe the painted background was 'protecting' the fabric. So Janice decided to paint the image on. To get the steam holes she used a hole punch and cut tiny circles of freezer paper to use as a mask for the paint. Brilliant idea! I would never have thought of it. I have learned so much working with Janice. These circles were arranged as in the pattern on the soleplate of the iron. She pressed these to the quilt surface (with an iron, ironic huh!) and then painted the iron shape sparingly with a brush. I think it looks fantastic. This image is on the quilt because I was discussing the quilt with some ladies from my Friday night group. One of the ladies told me of her experiences, so the iron is her part of the story.

I now have to char the edges of the quilt more and stitch the cross on, then we are ready to photograph it for entry. Wow!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I like the charring - was it a pain to do? I think it would look great if all the edges were charred... if that's not on then that edge definitely needs more charring so its more visible. What did you use to do it?

I dont like the idea of the jagged edge to the left of please, it would be too regular with it exactly opposite the green jagged edge, how about jaggeding on either side of the corner between flirting and with?

yes, slashing the remaining edges sounds good (to the right of wasn't and the left of please). I don't think you need to trim the edge to the left of please first as it will hang down after slashing.

It needs more than one tire mark, it possibly needs an iron mark as well (I, know, I said not everything but I'm allowed to change my mind). I think what it needs is more darkening on the edges to take away the large expanses of regular colour, they need to be broken up and dirtied up and tire marks and iron marks will do that. Or just regular dirtying? smudging? Do you want me to come over to help with that? At the moment the treatment looks a bit timid, tentative - I think it needs to be wilder, angrier....

Edge treatments

I finally got around to working on the edge tonight. Not finished yet. I straightened the top edge above the word 'hitting' so it will hang with the cross on the correct vertical. The top right hand edge has been charred. I'm not sure if it shows up enough or whether I need to make the charring more visible on the front of the quilt. The right hand side edge has been cut with a jagged edge. I am intending to slash the blue edge to the right of the word 'wasn't and then make the bottom left blue edge jagged (the same as the green part) as well. The top left edge above the word 'stop will have a tyre track mark made on it. The edge to the left of the word 'please' is bothering me (apart from the fact that I have a tape measure and an electric plug hanging in front of it in the photo!). I think I need to trim the edge closer to the word 'please'. Or pehaps make it jagged like the green edge ( and slash the blue edge to the left of the word 'with') But it is getting late now and I need to go to bed!! The centre of the quilt looks much better now Janice has darkened it.

This is a close-up of the charred edge.

Progress is being made and the end is in sight. I think I am on track to get it finished to be photographed at Janice's on Sunday afternoon. I will finish the edges and attach the belt for the cross on Saturday. The belt will have the final word of the "story" written on the horizontal piece, 'please', written very small as a final plea to 'please stop hitting me'.

We should make the entry deadline - yeah!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Centre

Helen brought the quilt to me on Friday afternoon. We discussed the quilting, cutting the edges ragged and further distressing the quilt. We put some black paint on the belt that will be sewn over the cross as the pale fawn colour was too light. We didn't want the cross to be too obvious, more a hidden element that the viewer would find on further study.

I felt that Helen had done an excellent job of the quilting. It seems to me to reflect what is going on in the mind of a victim of violence - some dark threads, some brighter and multicoloured, the threads are changing colour, some are going off at a tangent but overall they are spiralling deeper into the dark heart of the quilt. And that is what I felt needed a bit more work, the heart of the quilt wasn't dark enough. I kept the quilt and added a couple of careful layers of black paint to the centre. This is what it looks like now. I'm waiting for Helen to come over again to see if she likes the result. I'd like to get it even darker but risk it getting too stiff if there is too heavy a layer of paint. We also are running out of time as we need to get it photographed for submission next weekend - that being the time my husband, Terry, is able to do it. So it needs to be substantially finished on the front at least, by then! Here is a photo of the centre as it is after two coats of black paint have been applied.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

How much is enough?

The quilting doesn't show up very well in this photo, which I took late last night with lamps to light it up (might be better photographed in the day time in more natural light). I have 'scribble' quilted around and around with different colour varigated threads, the colours don't show up at all, and there is no puckering - yeah! But now how much quilting is enough? I will have to wait until Janice can see it in the 'flesh' before deciding when to stop. Then it is trimming the edges, putting on the belt for the cross and deciding what 'distressing' treatment we are going to do to the edges.