Fab­ric artist de­lights in ma­te­rial world

Coastal News - - News - News Coastal

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

Ngaire Leighton

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.

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