Wednesday, September 14, 2016


My contribution for the 2016 SAQA Benefit Auction started out as one of a collection of photos of tea sets I took on my last trip to Japan. I love the elegance and simplicity of the shapes.

Here is my original photo which I converted to black and white as I knew I wanted to make a thermofax screen from it.

I then played around in Photoshop and a few drawing programs to convert the image to a better line drawing
Here are some of the versions. The final one is in the bottom right hand corner. For a thermofax screen you need a sharp positive image
Here is my screen
I selected a suitable piece of my own shibori indigo dyed fabric. I have quite a bit as I teach it a lot and always add my own fabric to the vat when I can too.
I outline quilted the shapes and some of the texture marks

I was a bit stumped for a background quilting design until I found some quilting stencils in my studio which I've had forever and there were some Japanese design ones. I knew they would come in handy one day.
I pinned them with a chalk pouncer and then quilted over the chalk marks

So there you are - my 2016 SAQA Benefit Auction quilt Tea Set #1 as I know there are going to be more as I still have quite a few other designs to play with.

If you missed  Carolynn Collins quilt  on the 12th September just click on her name or see all of them again on the SAQA OCEANIA BLOG

As I am the last in the SAQA Oceania Blog Hop this year I want to thank you for your support and hope you get the quilt you want in the Auction.

The Auction kicks off in two days - 16th September and it's gong to be amazing

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mottainai - to good to waste

There is a Japanese term - Mottainai which sort of means - Too good to waste, reuse, recycle or conveying a sense of regret concerning waste. I am very conscious of it and determined to embrace it when I can.
 I have some Thai silk Jackets which have sat in my wardrobe for far too many years. Every time I went to wear them I changed my mind - the boxy shape, shoulders out to there, not this time.
But the fabric was beautiful - patchwork silk - I just couldn't throw them away. With my newfound interest in dressmaking and consciousness of reuse and recycle I decided to do something about it.

 I actually have four jackets but decided to attack the blue ones first. 
So out came the unpicker and they were actually quite easy to unpick.

However the problem was that the seams were all raw and very easily frayed. So I did put the project away for a while.
But I persevered and once everything was broken down into component parts I had some lovely sections of fabric but I decided the two sets of fabric didn't really go together so just decided to use one. 
I didn't really leave enough in large enough pieces for the pattern requirements so I did a bit more patchwork 
The pockets were fine so I unpicked them carefully
Once I had large enough pieces I fused them to Wisperweft interfacing. It is sort of knitted and quite soft and fusible and I just happened to have a bolt of it (for the last too many years) and it was perfect.
I used the Tessuti Ola Tunic pattern which I have used twice before but was very brave and decided to do a facing neckline rather than the patterns bound one. So brave aren't I?
I also had a bolt of black cotton which I bought recently for $2 per metre which was a perfect weight for the contrasting pieces.

So here is the finished tunic. I am very proud of myself (in case you hadn't noticed). You can't really see them but I also wearing the black pants made from the same $2 fabric.

So for the price of $4 worth of fabric, a jacket I never wore and a pleasant few hours, I now have what I think is a very smart tunic top.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Stencils Set - Sacred Geometry 2

I love it when I get a new set of stencils.
This is the latest release from Artist Cellar and they are fabulous.They are the second in the Sacred Geometry series
Of course they are already on our website.
Seed of Life
Quattro Flower

Metatrons Cube

Golden Mean

The thing I like most about these is the ability to take either the whole image or just a section of them.
I started to have a play with some opaque metallic paints. Sometimes if you put too much paint on the stencil brush it gets a bit blobby

 Using little sections of the stencils create interesting designs too
 Realised there were great little hexagons. I am thinking of how I can do more with these.
Here is my finished sample. I can see I will be doing lots more with this series.
There is also a blog hop organised by Artist Cellar

February 29th - Lisa Cousineau/Artistcellar
March 1st - Stephanie Gagos 
March 2nd - Lisa Chin
 March 3rd - Linda Edkins Wyatt
March 4th - Sarah Trumpp
March 5th - Effy Wild
March 6th - Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal

Thursday, February 25, 2016


WHERE DID THE TIME GO? is the name of my quilt selected for A Matter of Time exhibition. I had been thinking about what time meant for me and one of the repeating thoughts was a series of photos of my children growing up. I took the same photo every year and have them framed together and see it everyday. 
I wasn't too good at the growth chart thing and they have been painted over but a couple of marks remain by the kitchen door.
As you can see they are right at the top as my son is now over 6 foot.
 My children are grown up and married now and would kill me if I had used their names in this work so I used fictitious names.

 But I did like the thought of creating a growth chart and used growth charts of boys and girls to get approximate measurements.

Here is the section of the door I used and I played about in Photoshop to get an idea of shapes, lines and shadows

 First I thought I would piece the narrow sections and so dyed a collection of fabrics

 But it didn't really work and so I just pieced a white and mustard fabric together and painted the rest of the the background with DUAL fabric paints. I used Blockposters to enlarge my altered image to full size and drew in the lines of the shadows. I practised for a while as my painting skills are not brilliant.

Once the basic shapes were done I used Fabric pens to write in the names and measurements for my pretend children.

I traced a silhouette shape of a child onto the quilt top and then stitched a piece of hand dyed silk organza around the shape and then cut it away.

Then I quilted the whole quilt but the names were not clear so I needed to quilt over them too.
I am very happy with the completed quilt as I don't usually do things to a theme but this time I think it worked.

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