Archive for the ‘Tapestry Crochet, Australia’ Category

Down Under Wonder

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Anne Churches and her husband live in Kyabram, a small dairy and fruit farming community around 124 miles /200 km north of Melbourne, Australia. They retired around five years ago to part of the property that used to be their orchard. Anne enjoys golf, weaving, seeing her eleven grandchildren, and of course, tapestry crochet.

Autumn and Fall, first made in 2009.

This talented artist has been designing and hand weaving stunning shaft shifting rugs on a large floor loom in her home for about ten years. While looking for something to do with the left over wool, she discovered tapestry crochet. As you can see, Anne’s unique sense of design and color have translated well. Over the past two years, she’s sold more than seventy tapestry crocheted bags at Wool Shows, Handweaver and Spinner Sharing Days, through her network of friends, and on her web site.

When asked what inspires her motifs, Anne said they develop as she explores the technique, adding that “I like free form shapes and also flowers. My most popular designs have been called ‘Organic’. A wonderful way to use up many colours.”

Green ZigZag and Felix, 2009.
Pink Waves and GreyNight, first made in 2010.

And how does she achieve the vibrant variegated colors? After purchasing New Zealand yarn from carpet manufacturers in Melbourne (similar to Jason Collingwood rug yarn), she dyes it with Lanaset dyes, 500 grams at a time in a 5 gallon / 19 liter stock pot on her kitchen stove. For the bags, she doubles the yarn and crochets them with a size G/ 7 / 4.5 mm hook with a wooden handle, specially made for her by a wood turner. Most of her bags are around 13″ 33 cm x 13″ / 33cm in size (not including the strap).

Some of Anne’s Tapestry Crochet and her hook.
Cool Kats and Caesar Tote, 2010.

If you’d like to tapestry crochet one of Anne’s bags, you’re in luck, because the pattern for her Summer Bag (below) is for sale on her website. The instructions are clear and the pattern includes several stitch diagrams photographs. Anne plans to add more patterns in the future.

Summer Bag and Organic Bag, 2010.

For hands-on workshops, Anne will be teaching how to tapestry crochet a bag in Kyabram and Wangaratta in October and November. Although students are not able to finish it during class, she shows samples of the base, the beginning of the sides, the strap, and the flap and tie and explains how to complete each step. So far, all of her students have finished their bags afterwards!

Anne, tapestry crocheting one of her wearable art bags, 2011.

Anne says it best, “I never tire of making bags. Also I am forever developing new designs. I have found an activity that can go with me anywhere. You can’t weave a rug in the car!”

Australia in April

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Are you looking for a tapestry crochet adventure down under? Then please consider joining me in Australia, where I’ll be teaching a couple of week-long tapestry crochet classes at FIBRES BALLARAT 2009 (April 13th – 17th), then at The April FORUM 2009 to be held at Kinross-Wolaroi School in Orange (April 19th – 25th). Ballarat is in the south, one and a half hours northwest of Melbourne, and Orange is three and a half hours west of Sydney.

Four small projects will be completed at the beginning of each week, then participants will design their own piece and either complete it in class or at home. Right and left handed crocheters will simultaneously learn about design, color and fiber art, as well as gain confidence in tapestry crochet design.

The loose stitches of the Felted Tapestry Crochet Basket below will introduce carrying and changing colors in a circular spiral format and felting.

Tapestry Crochet Baskets Before and After Felting
The Tapestry Crochet Basket project before and after felting.

The bead felted bag below will introduce beads and another format.

Bead Felted Tapestry Crochet Ribbon Bag
Bead Tapestry Crochet Cell Phone Bag project before and after felting.

The tubular bracelet project below will be tapestry crocheted with tight stitches.

Bead Tapestry Crochet Bracelet
Reversible Bead Tapestry Crochet Bracelet project.

Participants will be able to choose one of two methods to tapestry crochet the Flat Tapestry Crochet Deer project below. The size of the stitch determines the drape and size of the finished fabric.

Flat Tapestry Crochet Deer
Flat Tapestry Crochet Deer done with tight stitches on the left and loose stitches on the right.

Registration is now open for both venues. I’m so excited because I hear that it’s lots of fun (I was told to bring a funny green outfit) and it will be my first trip to Oz.

And guess what? I just realized that I will have taught tapestry crochet on 5 continents – only South America and Antarctica to go!