Bali 2013: Other observations

20 09 2013

Here are some other observations about my trip to Bali. Nearly all relate to Perth International Airport and the flights on Garuda Indonesia.

Perth International Airport (PIA)

  • The upgrade to this tired airport can’t come soon enough. On leaving, we had to climb several flights of stairs to get to the jetway, and on our return, we got dumped on the tarmac several hundred metres from the terminal, had to come down an ancient set of roll-up stairs and walk through the rain to the terminal, then up more stairs to immigration etc. I don’t know how those who were in wheelchairs or using walking sticks got on, or those with very young children. An INTERNATIONAL airport? I don’t think so…
  • What is up with people???? If you are coughing, spluttering, and are obviously sick, for heavens sake put your hand over your mouth/nose at the very least!!! And use a tissue. SOOO many people were coughing and spluttering in the waiting area right next to the Qantas Lounge at PIA that I left and moved down towards the snack bars.
  • TAKE A SHOWER before you come to the airport and get on a plane! Cramped conditions and long flights (EVERY flight from PIA is a long flight — some much longer than others) mean that your body odour is sickening to your nearby passengers. To the young girl who plopped herself down two seats away from me at the waiting area for Malaysian Airlines, thank goodness I wasn’t on your flight and sitting next to you. I would have been physically ill had I not been able to change seats — your BO was that strong and obnoxious.
  • To the Velluto food people — PLEASE use some Tandoor ANYTHING in your Tandoori Chicken wraps. They had absolutely NO flavour and were like eating soggy cardboard. If the chicken had come anywhere near a Tandoor oven, I’d be very surprised. And I’d be surprised too if it had even been marinaded in a Tandoor sauce. Bland is too good a description for that waste of $9.50!
  • If you set a gate, then stick to it. Getting people to switch gates some 20 minutes before the flight isn’t convenient. Fortunately PIA only has five gates, and the area is small.
  • Be clear in your announcements. Garuda Flight 725 (to Jakarta) sounded very much like Garuda Flight 729 (to Denpasar), and quite a number of people ended up changing gates several times before realising that they were two different flights for the same airline leaving at approximately the same time.
  • If you sit near the Qantas Lounge, you can hook up to their free WiFi ๐Ÿ˜‰

Outbound flight

  • I quite like Garuda — their staff are delightful, and the food’s pretty good. But there’s no excuse for not having ANY English language immigration entry cards on one of the their twice-daily flights from Perth to Denpasar. I can only think someone forgot to pack the correct bundle. Fortunately, I’d noticed an English version in the back of the airline magazine, so was able to complete the immigration and customs declaration without needing to try to figure out what the Bahasa Indonesian version said.
  • The flight left 45 minutes late, so was nearly an hour late into Denpasar. That was a long time for my 80+ year old parents and the driver to wait. Mum waited in an area full of mostly men in the middle of the night — while she was safe, it wouldn’t be something she would have enjoyed.
  • Farts on a plane. I think Qantas seats must have activated charcoal impregnated cushions as I rarely smell farts on a plane even on the long haul from Australia to the US. But on this flight, phew! There were some ripe ones… And it wasn’t one person either, as the smells varied. I’ll say no more.
  • The meal I had was a satay beef, which was nice, but needed some salt and/or pepper. None was provided in the cutlery pack, but the crew did bring them when asked.
  • No water was provided at all, unless asked for.
  • Flight was about half full, so the seat between me and the window seat passenger was empty. Bonus!

Denpasar airport (departure)

  • You go through at least three security and name/boarding pass checks at this airport (it may have been five or more). And when you’re finally in the passenger-only duty free area after having gone through immigration etc. you think you can do what you can do at every other international airport I’ve been to in the past decade or so, and that’s buy a bottle of water as you emptied your previous bottle before going through the security checks. And then you find that there’s ANOTHER security check just before you get on the plane and you have to toss that water bottle in a bin.
  • In this age of computers, why are people checking boarding passes BY HAND? I can’t recall that from last year, so maybe their computer checking systems were down. At least three of the checks were done by hand and marked off a printed list with pen.
  • There are nowhere near enough seats at this airport to deal with the passengers on a single flight, let alone many flights. Hopefully the new airport (due to open in a week or two) will have far better waiting facilities. If they want us at the airport at least 2 hours before the flight, then we need somewhere to sit.

Inbound flight

  • As for the outbound flight, this one was about half full. I was seated in a row with two adults and three kids under six. The mother suggested I ask to be seated two rows further back in an empty row — I was happy to oblige! I even got to spread out and lay down. However, there were another two young children behind me in the new row, one of whom (at least) had an awful cold/cough and did NOT cover his/her mouth/nose each time they coughed/sneezed/spluttered. I won’t be happy if I catch something…
  • Meal on the way home was a chicken curry, with a really HOT sambal in a packet (ABC brand, ‘Asli’?), which was excellent.
  • No water provided.

Bali

  • For an island dealing with rapid expansion of tourism and all the infrastructure changes and stresses that entails, I was surprised to see very few dual flush toilets. I didn’t expect them in older places, but I did expect them in the new resort I stayed at (the block I was in is less than two years’ old). I would have thought that water on Bali was a very precious commodity, and that installing dual flush toilets would be mandatory.
  • Bali is one of the ‘spice islands’, so why did I only see ground white pepper? Not a crushed black peppercorn was sighted in any restaurant I visited.




2013 Challenge: The finished product

20 09 2013

I tried out a couple of arrangements of the four pieces on the black background. I think I like the side-by-side arrangement best, with some black showing through.

When we have the retreat, I’ll try to take some better photos on a solid wall ๐Ÿ˜‰ These ones were taken in my sewing room and I was making do with what I had to display them, so everything is at a bit of an angle and I was using my phone’s camera, not a proper camera.

Meantime, I sent these photos to a quilting friend in Oklahoma, and her first reaction was ‘Citrus Explosion’ — I loved the name so that’s what this series is now called.

Update May 2014: I’ve had this quilt valued, and the certificate of valuation is below. However, the valuation only takes account the materials and techniques used and the quality of both — it takes no account of the time to learn the techniques nor the time taken to make the piece, which can be hundreds of hours.

Update September 2014: This piece featured in Down Under Quilts magazine (Issue 166, 2014), on both the editorial page and p62 in the feature on QuiltWest. Scans on those pages are below the valuation certificate.

IMAG1078

IMAG1079

IMAG1080

IMAG1081

IMAG1082

IMAG1083

_Valuation 2014_Citrus_explosion

Featured in Down Under Quilts magazine (Issue 166, September 2014):

down_under_quilts_iss166_editorial

down_under_quilts_iss166_p62

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2013 Challenge: The process

20 09 2013

I wanted the finished citrus piece to be quite large so I printed it across four pages on my printer, then cut the white off the edges and taped all pages together.

Next, I taped it to my sliding glass door so I had a ‘light box’ for tracing.

01_trace_design

I traced the pattern onto tracing fabric, but realised that I didn’t need this at all, so that was a waste of time!

02_trace_design

I then traced the pattern again, but this time directly on to the top fabric of the two pieces of fabric.

03_trace_design

Next step was to layer the top fabric (with the traced outlines) onto the background fabric (right side up), batting, and backing fabric (right side down), and pinning it all together to create a quilt sandwich.

04_layout_fabric_layers

Stitching on the traced lines through all layers was next.

04a_stitch_all_layers

Then came the very delicate cutting process — delicate because I had to be careful to cut the correct pieces out otherwise it would look odd! I use applique scissors and really sharp-tipped embroidery scissors to cut close to the stitched lines.

05_orange

I really liked the result of the first one, so I decided to do three more! I was thinking along the lines of Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ series…

Each one represents a different fruit — orange, lemon, lime, and pink grapefruit.

06_lemon

07_lime

07_grapefruit

However, I’m not happy with the pink grapefruit one as I think the colourway is too different from the others. So I think the one I had designated as lemon will become an ordinary grapefruit, and I’ll do another one with yellower fabric for the lemon.

So that’s where I’m at as at mid-April 2013.

Of course, my brain is now contemplating how I’m going to display these four — perhaps five — pieces. Should I mount them on black — if so, in linear or offset formations? Should I add hanging tabs and slip a dowel through them to make them single items in a line united with a common theme? Should I cut them up and join them back together in different combinations? Or something else? Should I bind them or face them? So many more decisions….

They already have batting and backing, so I may be limited in how much I can do with them.

And of course, I still have to stitch down the raw edge applique so it doesn’t pull apart and quilt each piece more densely. And perhaps add fabric paint/markers too… Decisions, decisions…

No matter what I do, already more than 80 hours has gone into these pieces to get to where they are now, of which about 20 hours was the making to this point.

Update late April: I’ve now found fabric for the lemon piece and done that one. I’ve also scribble stitched the centres of all four pieces (I’m now using the pink one as my tester). That scribble stitching took HOURS and some 35,000 stitches EACH — just for the centres. But I do like the effect.

lemon

scribble_stitch

Update mid-May 2013: The next step was to quilt the segments. My initial attempts were too tight and small, so I opted for a larger, free-flowing wavy stitch in the same colour as the fruit. I quite liked the effect.

globules

The next big decision is how to mount/display these quilts, and whether to use all five or just four of them in the final piece. That decision will affect how I bind them, or whether I do a curved piece for one edge, whether I do a faced binding, or a piped binding or something else. I’m going to wait a while on that decision — the Craft Fair in Perth in a couple of weeks time has a short workshop/demo I hope to attend on alternatives for finishing quilts, and maybe I’ll get inspiration from that, or from the quilts I see on display at the QuiltWest exhibition.

Update June 2013: I wanted to emphasise the segments a bit more — give them some depth using shadows, so I got out my Copic markers (I bought 20 more at the Craft Fair!) and tested various colours on scraps of the various fabrics I’d used for the citrus pieces. Then I spent a whole afternoon adding shadows. I didn’t want to go too dark initially, as the marker ink seemed to want to have an edge even though I used the brush tip and a feather stroke from the stitching line into the segment. I might add a tad more dark, perhaps with the Inktense watercolour pencils I have.

I also decided to finish the pieces by making a full facing, a la a pillowslip, but sewing down the opening. And I wanted to add some body, so I cut large pieces of Floriani Stitch and Shape (single sided fusible) about half and inch smaller all round than the outer stitching line, then fused it to the back of the piece.

Then I cut pieces of plain green and orange fabric for my backing fabric, making sure they were about one inch wider all round than the Stitch and Shape. Before stitching the backing pieces to the main sandwiches, I stitched on four Velcro hook pieces onto the right side of each piece of backing fabric so that I had the option to ‘hang’ these pieces onto a carpet/fabric display board, or similar.

I placed the backing fabric right side up, then placed the quilt sandwich (with the Stitch and Shape fused to it) right side down, checking that each side had sufficient backing fabric overlap, then pinned the layers together, leaving about 6″ on the ‘cleanest’ side for the opening.

Next I stitched about 1/8″ out from the edge of the Stitch and Shape all around, leaving the opening unstitched of course. That Stitch and Shape wasn’t going to hold its fuse, so after using its position for getting nice squared-off stitching, I ripped it off, but didn’t throw it away as I used it a few minutes later.

I trimmed the excess fabric about 1/2 inch away from the final stitching line, making sure I didn’t trim the opening. For that section I trimmed 1/” up to near the end of the stitching line, then used the rotary cutter freehand to swerve back out, leaving a decent amount of fabric to tuck in. Then I cut the excess fabric off the corners at a 45 degree angle just outside the stitching line, ready for turning out.

I turned the whole piece out to the front, pulling it through the opening. I used the end of an artist’s paintbrush to push out the corners, then finger pressed and ironed the edges (including the opening) so that no backing fabric showed on the front and the edges were nice and sharp.

Now came the fun part… putting the fusible back inside the ‘pocket’. I rolled it lengthways, then put it in the opening. Once it was mostly inside, I put my arm in and unrolled it, making sure that the fusible side was facing the front of the piece,ย  that all the corners went into the corners, and that all the turned-in seams sat underneath the fusible (i.e. facing the backing fabric). Then I tucked the opening over the fusible, again making sure that the fusible sat in front of the seam that was to come. I pinned the opening closed, then stitched it closed with invisible thread, running that stitching all around the outer edge of the piece (as for top-stitching).

The final stitching was done on the Sweet 16, again using invisible thread. I stitched around all main pieces of the citrus, the holes, and the two lines indicating the rind. Then I stitched the name of the fruit in the bottom right corner near the rind.

And it was done! Just a few more touch ups with the Copic markers over the next couple of weeks, and then to see how the series looked on a black background (black batting draped over my design wall board). The photos of the completed series are here: https://rhondabracey.com/2013/09/20/2013-challenge-the-finished-product/

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2013 Challenge: The decision

20 09 2013

After tossing around a lot of thoughts in my brain for several months, I finally decided on citrus. I kept coming back to it — it was one of my first thoughts, and it kept popping into my head, so I figured that’s what it had to be. One of the things that attracted me to citrus was that various citrus fruits covered at least three of the five tastes — sweet (oranges, mandarins), sour (limes, lemons, and/or grapefruit) and bitter (limes, lemons, and/or grapefruit).

But what to do? I started manipulating some of the citrus images I had and eventually decided on this one:

Citrus_Sinensis

I loaded it into www.dumpr.net to get a sketch of it:

orange_sketch

But I didn’t think I could do much with that, so I played with the contours in PaintShop Pro and came up with this line drawing, which I coloured to show the various light and dark parts:

orange_contours

That was looking promising. Then I changed the colours:

orange_contour3

Mmmmm… more promising… So I changed the colours again:

orange_contours02

And I had it!

I could use the two-fabric ‘reverse applique’ technique I learned when I was making the ‘Herd of Turtles‘ quilts a month or so ago, and with some bright batik fabrics, I could get quite a bit of ‘texture’ happening. Eureka!

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2013 Challenge: Coming to a decision

20 09 2013

My initial thoughts revolved around tongues, taste buds, and food. Then to the main taste sensations — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami (savoury). Abstract was still my biggest issue.

Here are the scanned pages of my notes jotted down over several months.

notes01

Because my handwriting is crap these days, here’s the deciphered version of the page above:

  • Rolling Stones album with tongue
  • Food
  • Sweet and sour
  • Taste buds – cellular level
  • Sour – lemon, lime, orange
  • Lemon meringue pie — sweet and sour
  • Blissful taste — yellow, orange, red bursts (no, I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that one down either!)
  • Sour taste — blue/green
  • Bitter/salt — black, purple, white, grey
  • Associate experience with something known, such as facial expressions in response to taste

notes02

Double page spread translation:

  • Square quilt (from Strativarious [book]) in yellow, orange, green with stitched words/shapes for lemons, limes, oranges
  • Blindfold examples as precursor to the reveal in September 2013 — lemon, lime, orange, licorice?
  • Sour, sweet, bitter, umami (savoury)
  • Words
  • plate with bowl, chopsticks, food etc. in 3D?? See Quilting Arts magazine, Feb/March 2013 p68 for ideas
  • Chilli/chocolate
  • Texas – chocolate [brown] whole cloth quilt (idea from Rayna Gillman)
  • No taste — flu, colds
  • Wasabi, chilli
  • Symbols, images, colours

And no, I don’t know what the Venn diagram means either ๐Ÿ˜‰

notes03

Final page translation:

Cell structure [of]:

  • orange, lemon, lime
  • taste buds
  • milk fat
  • sugar crystals
  • chocolate

After making these notes over some months, it became obvious to me that either something cellular or to do with chocolate or citrus was likely going to be the end result.

I hunted through my photos of fruits etc. and scoured the internet for interesting images of cells and free photos of food etc., all the while looking for inspiration.

I narrowed the images down to a few, then played with manipulating them in PaintShop Pro, as well as trying to envisage how I would create a quilted piece from those digitisations. Some immediately eliminated themselves as just too hard, while others were still possibilities.

Here are some of the images I studied closely and some of the digital creations I made from them and from words (using www.wordle.net). For each of the fruits, I’ve shown the original photo first, then the digital creations from it (I went through MANY iterations of each before saving a result I thought would work). Note: The final decision is not on this page — it’s just to show some of the processes and ideas I had while coming to a decision (in late March/early April).

Apples

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kiwi Fruit

file0001515054549._kiwi_morguefile

enamel

kiwifruit_tiles

Strawberries

k9188-1_strawberryย  strawberry02

strawberry03

strawberry04

Peaches

k6084-1_peach

peach02

Words

wordle01 wordle02 wordle03

wordle04wordle05wordle06wordle07wordle08wordle09wordle10

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2013 Challenge: The challenge

20 09 2013

Michelle set the 2013 Challenge at our annual retreat last October. And what a challenge it was!

We had to choose a number from a bucket, then each number related to a goodies bag. Inside each goodies bag was a set of related items, and some instructions.

Here’s my bag:

challenge01

Which contained these things:

challenge02

And these instructions:

challenge03

The bottom line is that my challenge is to create something related to the sense of TASTE and to make it abstract and to keep a journal of my thought processes.

Easy, huh? Not so much…. I can do realism; it’s the abstract I have difficulty with… And so it was to be for this challenge…

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