31 March 2010

New look

Time for a new blog look! Taking advantage of Blogger's new template designer, I've revamped the look of Creative Dabbling. I'm loving these colours at the moment - I'm stitching a quilt using them and my current knitting project seems to be in these shades. Is the universe telling me something?

So, what do you think? Do you like the new look?

Thanks to Brenda and Linda for the template tips.

30 March 2010

It's here

There's not much more exciting than the postman arriving with a parcel. Today it was this gem of a book - Quilts 1700-2010: hidden histories, untold stories.
I'm not going to try to describe it to you yet. It is a seriously important resource that deserves attentive reading and absorption of the stories and images within. Five years in the planning, the book complements the exhibition now on at the V&A Museum. I'm going to immerse myself in it.

29 March 2010


Not much interesting happening around here this week. We lost round one of the AFL on Saturday night (by we I mean the Sydney Swans) - a winnable game that we let slip away. The weather is still oppressive and my garden is parched. Let's hope the promised rain actually arrives this week.

I joined Facebook a couple of months ago and, now that I know how to suppress news feeds about online games that my friends play, I've decided to stay with it. There's a link on the right-hand side of this blog that will take you to my page. It would be great to add you as a friend! 

I won't be feeding this blog to Facebook because then you'd only be reading the same post twice and what's the point of that? I doubt that anything I say is worth reading in two different formats! Also, I won't be adding any photos to Facebook (though I think I should try to find an in-focus pic of myself instead of the one that's there) - they will be on my blog.

Anyway, I'm there and I'm here. Comments are welcome in both places - I'd love to hear from you!

25 March 2010

Show your quilt to the world

If you can't visit the V&A Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition (like me, sob!) you can add your quilt to their fantastic website and become part of a virtual exhibition instead. All the details are here.

This is a great example of how a website can add value to an exhibition and how it can create more interest, even throughout the world. An interesting and attractive website can add enormous value to a business. Imagine how many people will visit this and talk about it amongst their friends? Imagine how many people will make plans to visit London, just to see the museum?

The V&A Museum is one of my favourite places. Even though Deborah and I spent only a single afternoon there last year, it has made a lasting impression on me. Do you people who live in the Museum's vicinity know how lucky you are (and how jealous I am)? It is a true gem and an endless source of inspiration to lovers of design. Sigh.

24 March 2010

Embelish a bag challenge

Have you been thinking about entering the Down Under Textiles Embellish a Bag challenge? I'm going to enter this year (even though I won't be eligible to win a prize 'cause of my affiliations with the magazine) because I've never made a bag before.

I'm interested in the idea of creating a small embellished piece of textile art and turning it into something special, using the same style of handles as everyone else in the challenge. I'm imagining something a bit glitzy, a bit OTT - or maybe I'll just take the opportunity to try out a lot of hand stitching. Either way, it will be an interesting way to expand my skills.

Why don't you enter the challenge, too? You can win $500 and all the entries will be displayed at the Textile Arts Festival in Brisbane in June. Entries close 28 May, but you will need to obtain a set of handles first. All the details and an an entry form are here.

You may think that I am overly interested in handbags. You may even be right, but today I had a small diversion on the way home from the physiotherapist and this came home with me.

Lovely colour, great size, plenty of pockets and made from soft leather. Yum.

23 March 2010

Scrappy fun

Now that I've sewn the first block, I know where I am going. I'll be kept busy cutting plenty of small squares for hours!

22 March 2010

My new project

was going to feature black-and-white spots until I found these. Let the cutting begin...

20 March 2010


I'm easily pleased by simple things. A couple if irises, some salvia and a single aquilegia have made me happy on Saturday. Even more pleasing, these are all from my garden. 

16 March 2010


It's a lovely day - perfect for a little dabbling in the garden. I took myself to the local garden centre for a punnet of pansies and a punnet of lettuce. And a new climbing plant for the front fence. And a bag of potting mix.

And then I saw this, so had to have it, too.

I love baskets of all kinds. This is a soft basket in a gentle colour, perfect for storing some of my knitting projects. My day is made happier as I gaze at this beautiful thing.

15 March 2010

Not a stitch

I haven't sewn or knitted a stitch for a week. That's what working to pay the bills does to me! That and technology. I love all my equipment, but they are huge time-wasters. Getting the wireless connection on my netbook to work again took so many hours, but finally I have everything set up properly. After all, what's the point of having a netbook if it won't connect to wifi hotspots?

So, no stitching to show you, but I'll spend this afternoon sewing while I watch Desperate Romantics. Such a fun series about the artists who founded the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood - Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. It is wonderful viewing and the actors make it very easy on the eye!

09 March 2010


Look what came my way - a one-on-one tutorial with my hand piecing role model. Thanks Deborah!

08 March 2010

I visit ATASDA

Last Saturday, I finally, I made it to an ATASDA meeting.  

ATASDA is the Australian Textile Artists and Surface Design Association and several of my friends have tried over the years to persuade me to join. It wasn't that I didn't want to join, but I kept thinking whether I really needed to belong to another group. I'm not much of a group person - my natural inclination is to enjoy one-on-one get togethers with my friends or to luxuriate in creative time alone.

So I ventured along with Deborah, and found myself in a room filled with creative women, all a-buzz. The place totally rocked. There were generous welcomes from everyone I met there and glimpses of interesting projects in progress. There were products for sale (yes, I did purchase a few of them) and ideas a-plenty.

Brenda was the guest speaker. She gave a wonderful and insightful presentation about the Twelve by Twelve project she has been part of for the past couple of years. It was an illuminating description of her creative journey and the synergy of the group. If you missed this opportunity, Brenda will be making another presentation at the 22 May meeting of The Quilters' Guild of NSW Inc (details are here). I highly recommend you come along if you are in Sydney on the day.

I left the meeting, clutching a membership form in my hand. Perhaps I do need another group in my life?

07 March 2010

The quilt told me what to do

I dyed a piece of fabric last month and, as soon as I saw it dry, I knew what I wanted to do with it. A small wholecloth quilt, with hand stitches made with different threads. I sewed the perle thread stitches and finished the seed stitches with a lighter cotton thread. It all came together quickly, because my vision was so clear. I knew what this quilt needed next.

Well, the quilt obviously had different ideas. I stitched sections, unpicked them, and tried different threads - four times. Not working. I put the quilt aside for a couple of weeks until I could tune into its needs again.

Last week, as I was madly and obsessively weaving with my new sticks, an idea flashed into my mind. The quilt needed an added dimension. Not stick weaving - that would be too heavy - but something open and light. Knitting, obviously!

So here's the idea made reality. I used large needles and a variegated cotton yarn to knit net-like sections, casting stitches on and off at my whim. I'm so happy with it - the added texture is just what the quilt needs. Now I can finish it with satisfaction.

04 March 2010

Colour magnet

I'm back from a brief shopping interlude. These are the colours that attracted me today. None of the products are for the same project, but you can see the shades that said 'buy me'!

03 March 2010

Stick weaving

Fiona visited this afternoon and introduced me to a new addiction - stick weaving. I grabbed some yarn from my collection and got started straight away, weaving this small piece in about half an hour. It is quick and easy - we were able to chat continuously while our weaving got longer and longer. Perfect for doing while watching the tv, I think.

If you want to try stick weaving, too, you can buy a set of these special sticks (they have holes in the ends for the warp threads) from Fiona. Email her!