Thursday, April 2, 2015

Japanese Stencils Part 2

After yesterday's realisation that stencilling wouldn't work I created a thermofax screen of the stencil (the one on the right) thinking it would be more interesting than than the reverse.
 But it didn't really work - I just got solid patterned sections which were a bit block like I thought
 So back to Photoshop of the scanned image and I inverted the image and created another screen.
I was much happier with the prints then. To get a refresher on printing with Thermofax Screens click HERE.
 These have all been done on my hand dyed fabrics with opaque thickened fabric paint - I have a quite a lot both metallic and matte. My favourite is of course our GEM Paints
 Love this black and grey one

So I did the same with the next stencil
 I like these ones too

So what's next - I have about another 6 stencils which will be suitable so you will have to wait until I get more fabric printed. I will be having these available at the Australasian Quilt Convention  (AQC) in a couple of weeks along with lots more of our printed and painted and dyed fabrics. If you want to do it yourself we have everything you will need on the DYED & GONE TO HEAVEN WEBSITE. These thermofax screens will be added to our range as soon as possible.

All these techniques are fully explained in my ebook Fun & Easy Textile Surface Design Techniques available on Amazon

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Japanese Stencils

I bought some vintage stencils last year in Japan with a plan to stencil the designs on my hand dyed fabrics
This one seemed to have a great design so it was my first attempt

However - the action of stencilling with a small brush - my usual techniques took quite a while, used a fair bit of paint.
 I also felt like the circular motion I used had the potential to damage some of the edges of the stencil.
 While I liked the design, I feel it was probably more effort than it was worth so I decided to rethink

My decision was to scan the stencils and convert them to thermofax screens. This way I will be able to screen print the designs much more easily without damaging the vintage screens.
I'll post my results when they are done.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I recently introduced a new workshop called Cityscapes and had a wonderful weekend teaching it in Berry so thought I would share it with you.

We start off with white fabric which is folded in half so the paint bleeds through and creates a coordinated backing piece
Students can paint any colours they like but most decided to stay with colours similar to my original.
While waiting for the fabric to dry we carved our window stamps and had a little play with them for practice as well as some stencils too.
Once the fabric is dry is it stitched into a tube and cut into strips which are then laid & then stitched together creating a city type layout
Window stamps are added then it is ready for more paint
Using my stencilled tree shape we then spray with more paint to soften the bottom of the quilt while creating a park like effect.

Everyone in the class got their quilt top finished and basted and some even started quilting in the workshop. 

Here are some others done in Dorrigo last year.

As you can see it is a fun and easy workshop and the end results are amazing.
I am teaching this in a couple of weeks at Stitched N Framed in Port Macquarie and there are still some places left if you want to join in the fun.

Friday, January 30, 2015


I needed to do a postcard (6" x 4" piece of textile art) yesterday and must admit I like working in this size as you can experiment with unknown techniques if you like and it really doesn't matter if you muck it up.

When I was playing with my Textile Journal last year I kept all the bits and pieces in a bag - how astute of myself.

I particularly liked the little squares of fused collage which I made using layered fabrics and a soldering iron. I had cut them up but didn't know what to do with them once I had so a double bonus.

Also in the bag were pieces of painted fusible (vliosofix /Bondaweb/WonderUnder) which also glowed.

I had already ironed some of the painted fusible onto a piece of red acrylic felt so that became the base.

Then I placed the squares on and stitched around the edges of the squares to make sure they were secure.

Then I used my favourite thread - 12wt Aurifil Cotton Mako in the perfect shade of purple - and  hand stitched with a running stitch. I love the way it sinks into the felted surface. I also use this weight of thread for machine quilting a lot when I want the stitches to show.
I fused the top and back fabric to a small piece of stiff interfacing with some Mistyfuse.

A quick run around the edge with a small zig zag stitch and a label on the back and it was done.

I have printed off a handful of my own labels with a custom thermofax screen (I can do one for you too) .

Here is the finished postcard. I really like it and now have more ideas using these simple techniques to create something larger. That's why I really like postcard sized projects and using stuff that is already on hand. I could actually make art for years without buying anything new but where would be the fun in that?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shibori, Indigo & Beyond

I am making some samples for my new Shibori, Indigo and Beyond workshop.

I used a selection of indigo dyed fabrics and made a small quilt with 1 1/2" and 3" Quarter Square Triangles.

Colour changes are due to the internal and external lights

Using a Compressed Sponge stamp which magically (I love it when this happens) was a suitable size to match the larger of the blocks. The lines of removed stitching was from my first idea for quilting it. Horrible so I unpicked it. Note to self - only use quality thread. Trying to use up old cheap threads will always show.

Stamping with opaque metallic paint - I used a roller to roll the fabric on but the foam absorbed too much paint so next time I will use a hard brayer.

Then it was quilted in a free motion angular design with 12wt Aurifil cotton. I like to use a thicker thread when I want the quilting to be a feature.

It was OK at this stage but I still thought it needed more. Something with a bit of a shine but not over the top.

So I painted some fusible webbing with the same paint as the stamp and also some indigo and some bronze and left it overnight to dry.

Next day I cut my preferred red piece (the other was indigo blue and gold but didn't quite work) into squares the size of the smaller blocks and then into quarters.

These were placed (painted size down) and then ironed into place (paper still on top).

Once secured the paper was peeled off.

The facing is now on and I am happy.