Contemporary textile artist Tilleke Schwarz:

Tilleke Schwarz is a Dutch contemporary embroiderer who knows the rules of traditional embroidery and breaks them. Beware of Embroidery is an overview of some her textile work exhibited in a solo-exhibition in 2001. Tilleke Schwarz employs traditional imagery, icons and symbols twisting them to speak of contemporary life. Politics, technology, and communication are themes in her work. Pieces are hand embroidered on linen yet they do not display the tight control over process that you often find in many hand embroidery. Her stitchery is used as if stitchery is a graphic mark – something that you do not see often and is difficult to do. In Rites Tilleke Schwarz has made use of fragments of text from what appears to be a journal, computer screen shot contrasting these with traditional sampler motifs. All her pieces capture aspects of contemporary visual culture.

I wish more of her work was online and while I am wishing I may as well add some really good close ups would be great too.

Annual US-OZ Swap

For the past 4 years I have been the co-hostess for an International swap between members of the southerncross crazies and members of the much larger Crazy Quilt list. We have in the past exchanged up to 370 what we call in OZ baggies and what the Americans call squishies. These squishies or baggies are zip locked bags of materials and items suitable for use in crazy quilting embelishment. It’s a huge swap and has proved to be so popular that Willa (who is our Amerian hostess) and I have decided to run it twice a year and limit the swap to 200 baggies a time. So its on again.

So this is a post for those members of the southerncross crazies that are participating this time around.

US/OZ Swap Guidelines:

The fifth US/OZ swap note all Baggies due to me by the 21st of May.

How it works:
You make up your baggies (5-20) then post them to the ‘in country’ hostess as you would a normal swap. The thing that is different about this swap is that when everyone has sent the ‘in country’ hostess their swaps the hostess will then parcel the lot up and post them on to the her partner hostess. The other international hostess on the other side does the same thing. To put in another way I send the Australian baggies to Willa in America and Willa posts the American baggies to me. The swaps then get split by the hostess and forwarded on to everyone within the country. In other words I sort out the baggies from the American swappers, divide them up and post them on to you. So if you send me 10 baggies you get 10 baggies back. The reason this swap was started was to reduce postage costs – doing it all in one hit means postage costs all around are much cheaper.

Willa and I are looking to run this twice a year. We have done it once a year for the past 4 years, but it got to large ie last time it was a swap of 370 baggies. I live in terror a parcel so large will get lost in the mail – and the margin for error gets bigger with the more baggies you handle. So we decided that since the swap is so popular we would limit the swap to 200 and do it twice a year. If anyone misses out in one round they are first on the list for the next.

Everyone needs to include return postage for their baggies within their country plus a contribution towards the international postage that the hostess pays.

US/OZ Swap Guidelines: Important please read.
This swap will be an international baggie swap: Baggies due to me by the 21st of May.

When you sign up: Please email me your snail mail address and phone number – so that I can keep a record. MOST important is to inform me of any change of address or email.

This is also important:
We need to know firstly who is interested and how many baggies you want to swap. Obviously if the Americans are sending in the region of 200 baggies I need to know that the grand total from Australia is the same – also what happens is I make up any short fall also if we are to far short I put a call out to ‘old hands’. Most important too is if you change your mind as to number to let me know too!

Postage:
Sending correct postage is really important – when we first started to do this both Willa and myself were out of pocket a fair amount – I don’t mind topping up $20.00 or so but $50 is a bit rough – so over the years we have both got a little more strict about it and hope everyone understands.

Send with your swap return postage in Australia on a self addressed post pack or express post bag also include $7.00 in international postage stamps for every 10 baggies (or part there of) exchanged.

So if you elect to swap 10 baggies you send $7.00 if you send 20 you include $14.00 this means that weight for weight the postage costs are divided in a fair manner. International postage stamps are available from the post office – please send them as they are different from our usual internal stamps – they are GST free. Of course these are all used on the main parcel to go overseas.

Also include a self addressed plastic parcel post bag for your return baggies. This is used by me to post to you your return baggies. Please make sure it is large enough for your return baggies 10 baggies fit well in a smaller one and if you have swapped 20 baggies I either need two plastic post bags or the larger 3K size. Some people opt for the Next day delivery express post ones as they are impatient for their stuff! Also please address them.

Please too keep in mind that we are posting overseas so do not include heavy ‘extra’ items such as sweets etc. Remember our quarintine regulations too – no plant or vegetable matter is allowed such as seeds, leaves pressed flowers etc Since security is tight since Sept 11 parcels are likely to be inspected by customs. Do feel free however to include light weight Australian items – last year I included a tea bag. Post cards, are acceptable too use your imagination but keep it light and let’s have fun.

Label your baggies:
Please remember to mark every baggie with your name and address. This was the saving grace one year as the one of the American boxes was split open and those that had done this got their baggie back. Also remember to include your email address so that who ever receives your swap can write to you as it is normal practice to thank swappers for their bags. Its a great way to make contact with CQ’ers around the globe and great fun. I have made some very good friends on-line by following this practice.

Please place all tiny bits such as beads, buttons and charms in one of those small plastic bags – this means if for some reason your baggie splits the contents are not scattered everywhere – this happened last your with one of the American baggies and seed beads and other small escaped items were floating around the base of the parcel.

Put all your baggies inside another larger baggie for return. Label that
baggie with your name.. this means that it is a dream for sorting..

Hostess gifts are not expected but if you do include one please mark any hostess gifts clearly – this emables me to put them all in a bag and forward Willas gifts to her easily which prevents muddles. When we handle a swap of this size ie 200 baggies life can get muddled – so we ask that they are clearly marked.

Turn around time: usually the turn around time is between 3-6 weeks of the close off date. This is dependent on the postage authorities. To turn around a swap it takes time for the overseas post , the turn around swapping out the baggies (and triple checking the numbers) and then internal postage. There has been delays in the past when parcels were held up at customs, or it simply takes that amount of time to get from one country to the other.

Your Australian Hostess is Sharon Boggon(ijerry@iprimus.com.au)
and your American Hostess is Willa Fuller(wfullerrn@aol.com). One of the tasks of a hostess to act as guide so feel free to email me off list with any questions.

Those new this feel free to join in – it is fun and the American swappers are GOOD swappers. Their baggies are always generous. And everyone I know has enjoyed the swap in the past. My tone at the moment I know sound stern but that is simply because this swap is a big one (we are swapping in the region of 200 baggies between the two countries and between 50 -60 people take part ) and in juggling so many people both Willa and myself have to be organized and stick to the rules. Just remember only swap what you are happy to receive. This is the golden rule of swapping.

Contents of each baggie: Please read!
Each bag to contain:

2 pieces of special fabric (can be clean recycled ) equal to a 12″ square.
For instance Four 6″ X 6″ would be good. In other words make up fabric of
equal area. For Australians 12 inches is 30 cm and 6 inches 15cm. The fabric
should be special in some way and applicable to crazy. In other words silks,
brocades, metalics, interesting textures, including fancy cottons, but no “ordinary quilters cottons”, or “plain” fabric. Recycled fabric is fine. All fabric is to be clean and washed and no fabric with seams.

Include in your bag THREE of the FOLLOWING:

Buttons:
Nice buttons that are interesting in some way – that can act as a feature in CQ, vintage or MOP (mother of Pearl) etc No plastic shirt buttons please.
1 large, 2 – 3 medium, 5 or more if small.

Beads:
Unusual glass or good quality beads, 1 if large, 2 if medium, 3 – 5 if small or a teaspoon or so of seed beads.

Lace and fine braids:
1 piece at 6 inches or 15cm
No nylon cheap laces please. Cotton, rayon and laces are appreciated. Hand dyed lace is beautiful to receive. Braid which are not too large for use in Crazy quilting are also interesting to receive.

Threads:
5 specialty threads (minimum length 1 yard or 1 meter )
Specialty threads are anything that is not DMC or Anchor stranded cotton.
Threads such as hand dyed cottons, silks, cottons and the like. Metalics or interesting threads such as chenille and some of the specialty fibers are also interesting to include.
Australian firms produce some wonderful speciality threads and the Americans get the Inspirations magazine but often find it difficult to locate our threads the projects recommend so they love our thread.

Charms:
1 charm

Motifs:
1 small lace, tatting or crochet motif or applique
Those who can tat or crochet have often included little motifs which are appreciated.

IMPORTANT:
Pop in a brief note telling the person who receives the baggie who you are and where you are from and remember your email address.

Bonnet Stitch

It has been awhile since I managed to find a block of time to add another stitch to the Stitch Collection

Tonight Bonnet stitch was added.

Some stitches you look at the directions and they look distinctly uninspiring. Bonnet stitch is such a case. It looks like a double buttonhole with its knickers in twist. I guess that is what it is for it is a form of buttonhole that you loop the thread under as you work. It looks best in a thread with firm twist – which the sample is not. The sample was worked in silk because that is what I had to hand. Most thread types are suitable and you can be quite creative with this stitch. It is interesting if you work it at different angles or use it to couch heavy threads to the fabric. For traditional embroiderers this stitch looks great worked row upon row I have even used it as a canvas stich filling doing this. Try it out I think it will surprise you.