The dictionary definition is:
uto·pia, n., Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia
(1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place
an imaginary and indefinitely remote place;
often capitalized a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions;
an impractical scheme for social improvement
Imagine a place where quilters would have unlimited supplies of fabric, thread, sewing machines, ideas, coffee, food and no-one to say,
Are you ever going to come to bed, ( to make dinner), (to talk to us)?
That's what I started when I opened my retreat centre at East Maitland, New South Wales, in 2000. It's gone now, but the philosophy is present here on the website.
And the butterfly?
For centuries, the butterfly has been the symbol for new life, and that's the reason for my using it as the icon for my new life after my husband was killed in 1999, and the theme of my new world in cyberspace — this website.
WHAT'S ON THE SITE?
You can find my art, my quilts and bits and pieces of my life. I am eager to have you visit and stay awhile.
What was I doing for the last 30+ years?
I was happily making quilts from the early 1980s until 2011, winning many awards for my quilts — which number more than 200, from 1½″ wide to 12′6" square.
Making quilts using big bits and fast inspired me to develop a fast-piecing patchwork system called Listen With Your Eyes, a system that has been adopted by quilters across the globe.
I have written four books on making quilts and written countless Internet articles on patchwork.
I was asked to be a guest writer for a series on computers and quilting in Patchwork Tshushin which has over 6 000 000 (!) readership.
My column (written for almost all of the first 160 issues) in Down Under Quilts magazine — Computer Quilts — had lots of readers.
I have had four solo exhibitions, The first was at the launch of my first book, then
As well, I have entered quilts in solo and group quilt exhibitions around Australia. One of my books was launched in the USA. My quilts from that book went too, but not me.
Teaching (make that enthusing) people about quiltmaking, traditional and not so traditional for more than thirty years, was my life.
I travelled Australia teaching and made plenty of friends.
Because I taught many, many quilters how to use Electric Quilt software, they called me the EQ Guru.
You can find me in heaven (Utopia)
when I'm creating art!
The next 30 years
After spending 30+ years quiltmaking, what's the next thirty years (or whatever I'm allocated) going to hold?
So far some travelling in a caravan, and art, art, art!
I take my art supplies in a tool box and then when it's raining I get out the paper and brushes or pencils, and I'm in heaven!
My husband, Bob, and I are now retired in a beautiful little country village in the Midwest region of New South Wales. There is no patchwork and quilting, as we have downsized and taken a tree change.
I do have a studio in a spare room in the house we rent in town, so …
Remember my replacement acrylic painting of the lotus made for my friend? She insisted that I put it into Rylstone Agricultural Show.
Prize winning acrylic painting
Lotus Blossom which I entered into the acrylic painting section, was hung in a really prominent position. On Saturday it won a first prize. Very chuffed.
The judge was impressed by the way the background created reflections in the water.
Also entered was a watercolour of Lake Windamere. Used Art Spectrum watercolours on Arches cold pressed A2 paper. No prize, but may be sold.
Layers of my life
Since I was two and a half years old, my life has been fill of loss and sadness. The black areas of the work symbolise this darkness.
But there have been many bright times, happy and joyful. Colour fills my days, as in the painting.
Threaded through all this has been my strong faith, which helped me cope with the really bad times, and rejoice in the great times — thus the cross.
I asked friends to give me a word to describe me. Some said they needed more than one! These are the words in the painting — me through their eyes.
Lastly, the eye is others seeing me and my life in colourful detail.
Mixed media on canvas
Art Show Entries
Kandos NSW celebrates its centenary this year and I entered Cementa Art Show[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="14" gal_title="Kandos Centenary Art Exhibition"]
Every month we have a challenge, one of which was fantasy. Since I’m not into fairies and ghosts, I painted an angel in mixed media on mount board.
Believe In Angels
Kandos Painters group had an exhibition over the centenary of Kandos weekend in October. I sold a painting on opening night. My first real attempt at abstract art which is my current fascination. Entitled “Desert Skins”, it has several different textural media in the background, which reminded me of snake skins, sand, bark, etcetera. One of the members who also sold a painting on opening night, said later, “Now we are real artists!” Other paintings I entered in the show were these: I am back painting again after a stressful time with my mother’s and my health issues. Feels good!