Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Screen printing gum leaves

I had to make up some more Thermofax screens today for an order - the most popular ones are the Gum Leaves which were an image taken from my tree and then manipulated in Photoshop.
I do 4 at a time of the small A5 size and then cut them apart.
You run the image and the mesh through the thermofax machine and then either tape the edges with gaffer tape or tape it directly to a plastic frame. I prefer frames as it makes them more stable

I use our gorgeous Gems Fabric paint to do most of my screen printing. I love the opaque metallic hand of the paint without the plastic feel of other paints. I also find it the colours a bit more subtle.

Squeeze a little bit of paint onto the top of the screen. I am doing this onto one of my many class painted samples but I could do it onto white fabric too.
 The paint is scraped through the screen in one or two passes.
 You can mix paints straight on the screen too for added interest
Because I never know when to stop - I also overprinted my Australian Place names screen. Looks great doesn't it and only took a few minutes.
And just because I can - I made up a few more of my personalised quilt labels onto a scrap of painted fabric. These 4 will probably do me through to the end of 2014 so I better make a 2015 label soon. This time I will leave more room for the name of the quilt which I hand write in.
Maybe you would like me to make you a personalised quilt label or a screen from one of your own images. Or you can just buy one of my designs which are available on the Website.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Week Three of the SAQA Auction opens today and my quilt STORM is in this batch of quilts. 

I thought I would show you how I made it.

First I painted a fat quarter of fabric with blues and earth colours using Sun Dye Fabric Paint.
Stitched the top to the bottom to create a tube and then cut it into strips.
The strips were moved up and down slightly to create a Bargello style piece.

 Then I placed a tree silhouette cutout on the quilt top
 and sprayed over it with a metallic green/gold paint creating an outline of the tree and softening the background

 I stitched around the tree shape with a 12 weight Aurifil cotton
and accentuated the sky shapes with a thinner weight cotton.
 I quilted the background in a spiral design which really pops with the painted surface
 It still needed some more and as I thought it looked like a windy storm I decided to add text with stamps which further highlighted with Gem Fabric Paint.

I hope you like it and of course fingers crossed that it sells to raise more money for SAQA.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Houston Workshop

Are you coming to the 2014 Fall International Quilt Festival in Houston this year?

I am teaching my Building Block Quilt Design workshop (Class #529) on Friday 31st October and this week is the last week to register online - 3rd October

In this (non sewing) class we will be learning how to design an original quilt from scratch based on the techniques in my book Beautiful Building Block Quilts.

This simple technique will have you confidently designing your own beautiful original quilts so easily.

The style of these quilts are bright and modern and the best part is that they will be your original designs that no one else will have.

You won't need to bring lots of requirements to the workshop which is always a bonus but you will go home with lots of inspiration and enthusiasm.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Shibori and Indigo Workshop

Today I ran my popular Shibori and Indigo Workshop in my home studio in Sydney - actually the garden as it was a beautiful day.

We spent the morning preparing the white fabrics. Some were folded and clamped, others were wrapped around poles and some were stitched. 
My favourite is always the ones that are wrapped and tied around marbles or stones. The quickest way to do these is to use rubber bands.

We always provide a delicious lunch and today was no exception

After lunch we made up our Vats. Each student makes up their own vat using synthetic indigo and hydros. Its a bit like going back to school measuring out the chemicals but quite zen once you have everything combined.

Then everything gets added to the vat and an anxious wait while the indigo did its job.

Of course once we started pulling out the fabrics and unfolding and unclamping the excitement levels rose as each new fabric appeared.

They come out green but as the oxygen hits the indigo it goes blue. There is always a little regret when the green disappears as it really does look spectacular.

Once rinsed the fabrics were laid out to dry over plants and on a line and garden filled up with over 20m of indigo dyed fabrics.

Some of my pieces were over dyed velvet and hand dyed fabrics which previously lacked life. 

There were really some beautiful fabrics created today and I am sure they will end up part of some lovely quilts or maybe even clothes.

I think everyone really enjoyed their day and if you are interested in coming along to the next workshop on 18th October you can BOOK HERE. This will probably be my last studio workshop for the year before I head of to Houston and Japan and then under the knife.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I've just taught a new workshop for the first time and was blown away with the results

It was a two day workshop at Dorrigo Misty Mountain Retreat and my students were awesome.

First we painted white fabric (folded over so the paint soaks through to the back). We did have to juggle the showers a little but got there in the end

We used the Australian Made Sun Dye and Gems Paints 

We also carved some stamps for the windows while we waited for the paint to dry.

The painted fabrics looked wonderful as did all the secondary backing pieces

Some of the students liked their backing pieces so much that they used something else for the backing and saved these for another project.

The fabric is then stitched into a tube and cut into strips which are them cut at different places and stitched back into one piece.

So by the end of the first day we had completed quilt tops basted and ready for the next stages

Then the scary part - spray painting over some tree stencils which I had specially made just for the purpose.

Using the stamps we stamped the windows in our 'buildings'

Then we were ready to quilt and using a variety of threads and designs everyone got well into the quilting which will be finished at home.

I was so impressed in the variety and beauty of the quilts and can't wait to see them finished.
This workshop is called CITYSCAPES and if you would like to book it for your group or store just contact me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Layers and Textures

I recently did a workshop with Ro Bruhn at the Berry Retreat where we started to make a mixed media book or journal. I love Ro's work and it was great just to be able to play with no pressure. That is me hiding up the back.

In my usual style I got a bit hooked and without any major deadlines pressing me I was able to spend a few days just playing at home.

I chose a limited colour palette as I have enough stuff already and I didn't want to have to pull everything out but it was great to work in these bright colours. I think I have been a bit earthy in my palette lately.

In the workshop we played with paper, fabric, ribbons, lace, buttons and generally anything we could find but again I limited myself to fabric, paper, some non woven products, felt and beads and threads. It was very scary that whatever I felt I needed - I had ample supplies.

I also tend to buy a lot of books which I read and then put aside - for another day. One such book was Magaret Beals latest Fusing Fabric book, so I pulled it out - along with all the bits and pieces I needed and played around with sheers and felt and layers too. They made a great textural addition to the book.

Anyway - I ended up making 12 pages which bound together into a fairly substantial 'book' and got me kick started on a whole lot more ideas for some textural work.

Here are some of the pages.

 And here is the finished book

Another book is already starting to bubble up in my creative thoughts.