28 April 2013

Eastwood Patchwork Quilters Biennial Exhibition

Here's another quilt show I look forward to. The Eastwood show is held every two years and there are always quilts that appeal, no matter what style of design you like.

Held at historic Brush Farm House, the show also includes displays of fabric postcards, 12x12 display, craft stall and a café, as well as vendors selling truly tempting items.

Sales of tickets for the two raffle quilts (shown here) will aid fundraising for The Special Olympics, a worldwide movement that inspires children and adults with an intellectual disability to reach their personal best through regular sport and competition.

The raffle quilts both feature Canyon Star blocks. Each member was asked to make at least five blocks and were given blue fabric for the stars and a mix of green  fabrics for the centre triangles. Each quilter then added three different fabrics to complete each block. Aren't they stunning?

Show details:
Eastwood Patchwork Quilters Biennial Exhibition
3 - 5 May at Brush Farm House, Lawson St, Eastwood NSW
Free entry (but  donations are welcome)
Enquiries: phone 0412 314 754

Photographs used with permission.

27 April 2013

Linky fun

Ooh! I do like discovering great new blogs.

Check out the links in this 'Off the wall Friday' post on Nina-Marie's blog. There are some wonderful links here and mine's one of them!

Thanks Nina-Marie!

25 April 2013

ANZAC Day 2013

So many people killed and so many other lives shattered.
We remember you all.

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…

You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…

You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

 Mustafa Kemel Ataturk - 1934 
ANZAC  Memorial  at Gallipoli, Turkey

24 April 2013

Fresh basil

The best thing about harvesting basil from my garden? The scent from the leaves that lingers on my fingers.

23 April 2013

Painted fusible webbing

 Have you wanted to try using painting fusible webbing in your textile work but didn't know how? Let me show you how easy it is!
Sorry, 21cm x 30cm

I made this small quilt in response to the Australian Prime Minister’s apology to the Stolen Generation. It has multiple layers – hand-dyed yellow and red fabric, painted fusible webbing, a layer of chiffon and is patterned with gold paint and stamping. I have hand-stitched it. The binding is black fabric, sponge-stamped with gold paint.

Here is a detail photo.
Can you see how the painted fusible webbing adds extra texture and shimmer?

So here's how to make painted webbing for your own work.

You will need: 
  • Plastic table covering
  • Fabric paint or acrylic paint
  • Paper-backed fusible webbing (I used Vliesofix)
  • Scissors to cut fusible webbing
  • Paintbrush or foam roller
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Iron
  • Cotton background fabric


1. Cover the table with the plastic table covering. This will protect the table from moisture.

2. Cut the fusible webbing to the desired size. This will depend on how you plan to use the painted piece. For the samples shown below, I have cut A4-sized pieces of Vliesofix. Different types of fusible webbing will give different results, so have fun experimenting. Be aware that fusible webbing does have a ‘grain’, so you can employ the direction of the ‘grain’ to suit your purpose.

3. Place the fusible webbing, paper side down, on the plastic. Paint the webbing carefully, making sure that the brush hairs do not get caught. Alternatively, you can use a small foam roller. The paint can be applied thickly so that the webbing is fully covered, or it can be diluted with water to create a thinner layer of colour. Try combining different colours, as well.

4. Allow the paint and paper to dry. The painted fusible webbing is now ready to be used.

5. Place the painted webbing, face down, on a piece of fabric. Ensure that the paper backing is in place. Place a piece of non-stick baking paper on top. This will protect the iron from any excess paint.

6. Using an iron, fuse the webbing to the fabric in the usual way. Wait for it to cool and then carefully remove the baking paper and the paper backing. The painted surface is now ready for stitching. Alternatively, you could fuse a piece of sheer fabric such as organza or chiffon to the top if another layer of colour is required.

7. If other elements such as coloured pigments or fine metallic flakes are required, carefully add them to the wet paint at this stage so that they adhere to the paint.


This sample was coloured with Lumiere Pearlescent acrylic paint, straight from the bottle and applied with a brush. I used two colours – 573 Magenta and 569 Violet.

This sample was coloured with Lumiere Pearlescent acrylic paint, diluted with water and applied with a brush. I used two colours – 571 Turquoise and 569 Violet.

This sample  was coloured with Reeves acrylic paint, diluted with water and applied with a brush. I used two colours – Lemon Yellow and Yellow Ochre. I then rubbed Pearl Ex 665 Sunset Gold pigment in places while the paint was wet.

In this sample, I fused painted webbing to a background fabric. I tore pieces to add a distressed look and then patterned the fabric with with gold paint rubbings. Note that the painted webbing has been folded before fusing. This adds extra pattern and texture.

So now it's your turn to have fun. I'd love to see how you use this technique, so please share your photos!

20 April 2013

Pyramids from the stash

One-patch quilts are always fun to make. With only a single shape to use, you can focus on finding many different fabrics to add to the design. I made Pyramids from the Stash in an attempt to use up blue fabrics from my collection. A quilt was the result, but the pile of blue fabrics was no smaller!

You can have fun arranging the colours to form colourwash patterns or use random placement of the pieces. I chose mostly blue fabrics and arranged the light and dark ones alternately.

I had planned to post pattern instructions for my quilt here, but came across a wonderful blog post by Marina & Daryl Lynn on their Quilt Inspiration blog, with links to 12 free Thousand Pyramid patterns.

So, if you're inspired to make a one-patch quilt with triangles, look at the Quilt Inspiration post here.

19 April 2013

Footy season

For six months of the year, my mood is often influenced by how well my footy team performs. I want to show you, in visual form, what I mean.

I made this small quilt a couple of years ago to illustrate a year in my life. The blue strips indicate the portion of the year when there is no football, while the red and white strips represent the footy season.

My team, the Sydney Swans, have performed quite well in recent years, but during each game emotions soar and slump as we go along on this roller coaster ride as supporters. The zigzag quilting represents these feelings.

As I prepare my warm clothes for tonight's game, which is meant to be played in gale-force winds with rain, I've been thinking about these peaks and troughs. They reflect life so well. 

We all experience highs and lows, don't we? By keeping a broad perspective, instead of dwelling on the extremes, we become resilient. As does my team.   

16 April 2013


I rarely machine piece my quilts, simply because I prefer to stitch by hand. So, when I do use my sewing machine, it always amazes me how quickly the pieces come together.

Yesterday I finished piecing a small quilt top. I wanted to baste it today, so on Sunday I went shopping for backing fabric and batting. Purchased and ready to go!

Backing prepared and quilt sandwiched. Now I'm about to start pin-basting.

I'm so looking forward to hand quilting this over the next couple of weeks. Perfect for handwork at night!

13 April 2013

Textile Tidings this week

Keeping my eyes open this week, here are some interesting links I featured on Textile Tidings.

Gorgeous work by Rita Summers.

Indigo - do you know anything about it? Here's an interesting post with some history and further references. 

Free printmaking e-book from Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. 

Free textile images from the collection of the Textile Museum of Canada to download to your desktop. 

Stunning quilts by Maryline Collioud-Robert. Lots to admire here!

Fascinating! History of the paisley shawl. 

Lace Exhibition at Carisbrook House Museum, Lane Cove, NSW - 13-21 April. 

Tutors announced for Fibre Arts at Ballarat 9-15 April 2014. Be quick to enrol!

Want to try screen printing? Here's a great tutorial by Gunnel Hag to get you started.

If you like these, there are plenty more at Textile Tidings. See you over there? 

12 April 2013

Springwood Community Quilt Show

There will be 190 fabulous quilts at the Springwood Community Quilt show this year, including this fabulous raffle quilt. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5, with all proceeds going to the Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service.

The guest quilter this year is Nerida Richmond Benson. I've had the pleasure of knowing Nerida for many years as she contributed many of her quilts as projects in Down Under Quilts magazine. Many of her quilts reflect her love of Japanese fabrics and her skill in sashiko stitching are evident in many of her quilts

More recently, Nerida has been exploring more abstract designs. She has created several quilts with pockets that contain small souvenirs from bushwalks in the local area. Her quilts are stunning!

The show is on from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April, 10am to 4pm each day at Springwood High School. You'll find more information on their blog.

Photos from Springwood Community Quilt Show used with permission.

11 April 2013

Check it out

Check out my last column for Down Under Quilts magazine!

  Issue 157 out now.

07 April 2013

A sense of place

I respond most strongly to novels with a definite sense of place. As a person who has always lived in a city and loves the idea of the country but has no desire to live there, I am most fascinated by stories that portray the bleak beauty of high latitude wild country.

I've just finished reading Ann Cleeves' Dead Water, which is the fifth in her Shetland series. Cleeves always takes me to her Shetlands in this series so easily that I feel familiarity with I place I've never visited. That's a sign of an author who can evoke a realistic sense of place.

I couldn't imagine how the series could continue after book 4's shattering finish but Cleeves has taken me along on another journey. It's simply wonderful, but you must read the books in sequence to be truly caught in the landscape. Raven Black (1), White Nights (2), Red Bones (3), Blue Lightning (4) and Dead Water (5).

I've just discovered that the BBC is currently showing Shetland, based on Red Bones. I wonder how long we'll have to wait to view it here?

Edit: I've just discovered a wonderful leaflet that includes a map of the Shetlands, and a commentary from Cleeves about the real and fictitious locations in her books. It's a pdf and can be found here. Wonderful!

05 April 2013

Today's quote

Resonating with me today is this quote from Rhonda Hetzel's book, Down to earth: a guide to simple living.

"Stop living according to the expectations of others and focus on building a life that is unique to you. It's okay to say 'no' to others and 'yes' to yourself. Be mindful, make your own decisions, work out what will work for you and don't feel guilty or undecided if your family or friends aren't doing or don't understand what you do. Imagine your own life, and how you want it to be, then work to make that vision a reality."