29 January 2012

Across and down

Exciting! The instructions for my Across and Down quilt are published in the current issue (151) of Down Under Quilts magazine.

I like working with simple blocks that, when stitched together, make secondary patterns. In this quilt, I combined a variety of black-and-white printed fabrics with solids to create a pattern reminiscent of the squares in crossword puzzles. I hope you enjoy making your version of Across and Down.

26 January 2012

On Australia Day

My sense of country is embedded in me. I feel it deeply, this love of my place. Quietly, intensely - it is an intrinsic part of who I am and how I live.

So, on Australia Day 2012, let's celebrate what's good and strong about our country. I am grateful for every day I live in this place. I am Australian. 

25 January 2012

Add paint

Remember I printed these a couple of days ago? This morning I tinted them with Setacolor transparent fabric paints.

The black printing is weak in some parts of the prints - that's an operator problem! - but it won't matter because I plan to cut these up and can easily work around those sections. I'm happy with the added dimension the colour provides.

23 January 2012

Goccoing along

I created five Gocco screens today and played around with some prints from them.

The circles are from my drawing,

as are the lozenges.

The three plant images are from a copyright-free collection of medieval plant drawings. These will probably be cut and added to my current project.

All printed on my hand-dyed fabric with black Derivan screen ink.
I can't begin to describe how much fun this was!

22 January 2012

Start with stitch

and we'll see where it takes me.

My hand-dyed cotton scrim, layered with hand-dyed flannel and backed with hand-dyed cotton fabric. Layers of softness and colour.

21 January 2012

Aquilegia play

I adore aquilegias. Their delicate shapes and curly petals fascinate me. These ones are from my garden.

I've been wondering how to use the shapes in my designs, so I've played with the photo to produce this image.

Perhaps, if I simplify the lines, a useable pattern for a screen print may evolve. Or maybe a monoprint. Hmm...

16 January 2012

Second Skin

I have waited for months to get my hands on a copy of this book, Second skin: choosing and caring for textiles and clothing by India Flint. It is such a substantial publication; hefty in size and weight but also in content.
I haven't made my own clothes for years. Instead, I have succumbed to the ease of buying new pieces off the rack and I have many perfectly good clothes that I rarely wear. I suspect I am not alone in this.

From the frontispiece of Second Skin:

"Almost from the moment of our birth, clothing acts as our second skin - yet we rarely consider where our clothes have come from and the effects they might have on the environment and ourselves. This heartfelt, practical and topical book is about easily achievable ways in which we can care for our planet by living simpler lives and using fewer of the Earth's non-renewable resources, specifically those to do with cloth and clothing."

As well as having fascinating and important content, the book is gorgeous. India's cloth is stunning and the photography and design of the book create the perfect complement to the text. I found it thoughtful and thought-provoking. One to treasure. 

11 January 2012

Bedford Mystery Quilt 2012

The mystery is back! In 2010, I purchased a Bedford Mystery Quilt Challenge kit to help raise funds for people with disability or disadvantage across South Australia (as well as having a bit of mystery sewing fun along the way!). I've just been advised that the 2012 kits will be available late February, so you may like to get involved.

What is the mystery quilt challenge?
In 2008, two quilters, Lessa Siegele and Faye Packham, decided to make a difference to the lives of people with disability or disadvantage. The inaugural Mystery Quilt Challenge saw over 300 people from all over Australia attend workshops or buy DIY kits where they followed instructions to produce a beautiful quilt with no idea what it would look like until the last stitch was sewn.

The event was a huge success raising over $16,000 and was held again in 2010 with numbers doubling to over 600 people participating in the challenge. To date, over $56,000 has been raised to change the lives of people with disability or disadvantage.

If you'd like to order a kit, the order form is here. Kits will be posted out by the organisers (who also have a blog) late February. I wonder what the quilt design will be this time?

08 January 2012

National year of reading

Reading is like breathing to me. I can't live without it. This is why I'd like to invite you to celebrate 2012 as the National Year of Reading. There are fabulous resources here to help you spread the word.

Of course, there wouldn't be any readers in the world if there weren't any writers. Ryde Library has launched an ambitious project - the 366 day short story challenge - to encourage the love of reading and writing. 

You can submit a short story and see it published on the challenge's blog and, while you are there, read the stories by other writers. I even have a story there!

So, read to yourself, read to a child, read out loud - just read in 2012! 

04 January 2012


The joy of creating colour. Six skeins of perle thread,
hand-dyed to create unique combinations of subtlety.

03 January 2012


When I dyed several metres of fabric a few days ago, I suddenly realised that I have been exploring grids in my work. It started with this and moved on to this. The base fabric for my (as yet, unstarted) current project has a grid. Even all the work I have done with fabric weaving is based on a grid.

So here are two of this week's pieces that I like best. I am sure that whatever I make with them, it will involve hand stitching.

01 January 2012

Happy new year

Welcome to a sparkly new year. If you weren't in Sydney last night, this is what you missed. (Stay right to the end!)