Fabric artist delights in material world
Big Arts Day Out featured fabric artist tells
that ‘love what you do and do what you love’ is her motto . . .
“Sewing has always been a part of my life. My mother sewed our clothes and often embellished them with her needlework. At age 10 a lady came to our small school to give sewing lessons. We all had to start
with hand-stitching and I still have a tablecloth hand stitched and embroidered that I made my grandmother.
“At college we had a term to construct a blouse, mine was done in a day and I got to spend the rest of the term doing bookwork! Half my school cert art folder comprised of fabric projects.”
Ngaire says for many years, fabric was used for practical things in her household, such as clothing her children and for curtains.
“My scraps were put to use making children’s dress-ups. I was playcentre’s ‘dinosaur lady’ at the time. Then I dabbled in wearable arts for a few years.”
In 2003 a friend gave Ngaire a quilt and she says she was hooked — literally.
“Finally I realised a use for all the bits of fabric I had accumulated over the years.”
Ngaire belongs to the Whiritoa patchwork group, a talented bunch of ladies who focus on the true fundamentals of quilting — a group gathering to share skills, ideas, materials and friendship.
“We don’t have to explain why we have fabric everywhere and still not the right shade for what we are making.”
She says everyone who belongs to the arts collective understands what drives them to do what they do and what makes each piece and discipline unique.
“Most of us work solitarily, so to be able to come together and merge our talents at BADO (the Big Arts Day Out) is exciting and challenging.”
A selection of fabric artist Ngaire Leighton’s work.