30 July 2013

Textiles Tuesday

This week's links for browsing:

* A tour in 2014 to examine the Moorish Delights of Andalusia and Morocco with Creative Arts Safaris.

* Have you seen Game of Thrones? Michele Carragher designed the embroidery for the costumes in this series. On her webpage, she explains her process.

* World of Threads Blog interview with fibre artist Anna Torma

* Explore the work of Inga Hunter, textile artist from the Blue Mountains of NSW.

* Make a cuppa and take your time to peruse this fabulous online collection of art quilts from Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. 

* 20 July-10 August: Memory Cloth exhibition, Yinnar VIC.

* Wondering what to do with Flying Geese quilt blocks? Pat Sloan has gathered some ideas.

* American Quilters Society brings you the 2013 Modern Quilt Challenge

Have you found any interesting textile-related links recently? Please share them by leaving a comment.

29 July 2013

Adding pattern

Sometimes, pieces of fabric that I've coloured just stay in a pile until they are ready to have more pattern added. I don't know when that might be; the fabric just cries out when its turn has come.

Today, my friend Lisa gave me one of her Seed Pods Thermofax screens. I loved it so much I had to use it immediately!

I had already hand dyed the cotton fabric and fused a piece of painted fusible webbing to it. You can see some of the horizontal lines of the webbing colour. I used gold fabric paint to print a leaf pattern with the screen. Isn't it gorgeous?

Hop over to Lisa's webpage to see the different patterns she has created on Thermofax screens. You might find one that calls your name and is perfect for patterning your fabric, too.

23 July 2013

Textiles Tuesday

This week, I'll share a couple of interesting textiles books from my bookshelves. They aren't new, but you may find them useful, as I have.

The Painted Quilt (2007) has great credentials - it's written by Linda and Laura Kemshall. It brings together myriad techniques that can be used to add colour to quilts above and beyond the fabric colour.

All the usual methods are included: paints, pens, pastels, dyes, image transfer etc. These were known to me, but what impressed were the glorious examples of how the authors have used the techniques in their work. The photographs are wonderful and the how-to instructions are clear. If you want to learn more from the Kemshalls, treat yourself to a subscription to their Design Matters TV

Ooh, this book is scrumptious! Silk paper for textile artists (2008) by the late Sarah Lawrence is a very useful addition to my library. I've already incorporated my handmade silk paper in ATCs and a few journal quilts, but this book has opened my eyes to new ways to embellish it.
There is a very informative chapter about working with silk, where the different types of raw silk are explained and instructions are given for dyeing the fibre. Then there are four chapters on methods - the iron method, the medium method, the stitched method and weaving and overdyeing rods.
The book includes lots to absorb and interesting ideas for future playing. In the meantime, if you want to start making your own silk paper, I invite you to read my tutorial.

20 July 2013


Have you seen the current issue of Down Under Textiles magazine (issue 11)? No? Well, it's on sale now and I have contributed a how-to article on how to use a glue gun to make stencils for use on fabric.

I had a fun time playing with shapes and you can, too. It's so easy.

Here's the cover, so you know what you are looking for in the newsagent's. If you can't find it, you can order a copy here. Enjoy!

17 July 2013

Liberty lovin'

I'm still quietly stitching this quilt and loving those Liberty fabrics.

Just a little more applique and then I can attach the borders so I can start quilting. Oh, this is going to be so enjoyable!

16 July 2013

Textiles Tuesday

Some links for you to explore this week:
* See the glorious works of Australian textile artist Michelle Mischkulnig. Make sure you click on the Gallery tab to see a variety of her works.

* Have you included teabags in your textile art? This page shows great examples of how they could be used.

* Do you know about the 5000 POPPIES project? It gives all craftspeople an opportunity to contribute to a field of poppies to be publicly displayed in Melbourne on ANZAC Day 2015.

* Twenty four SAQA Oceania members are ready to share a 'behind the scenes' glimpse into how they create. Over six weeks you'll have the chance to visit each artist listed below and see the inspiration behind the piece they made for the Oceania Collection, quilts donated to the SAQA Benefit Auction 2013. Starts 16 July.

    * Expertise Events has announced a new show in Canberra for 2014. The Creative Textile Show will be held 2 - 4 May 2014. No detailed program yet.

    * Unique Stitching has announced three days of workshops, 20 - 22 September 2013, featuring Judy Coates Perez, Sue Dennis and Cecile Whatman as tutors. Take classes on one day or all three.

    * Amy Butler has a new online magazine, Blossom. Issue 1 is here and it's free to read.

    *Do you want to learn to crochet? Online Crochet Camp starts on 15 July, so get your hooks and yarn ready.

    13 July 2013

    Comments and names

    Thank you for all your lovely comments on recent posts. It's so wonderful to know that my posts aren't falling into a big black hole somewhere. Hello also to new followers who have found this blog. Welcome!

    It's also great to meet people in real life, so if you ever see me wandering around please say hi. I have to confess, though, that I'm not wonderful at remembering names and faces. (Sorry Salley for looking so vague the other night.) Maybe we should all wear permanent name badges to assist people like me!

    That will be my next project- a name badge. How about it, everyone? Let's all make a fabric name badge so that next time we run into each other we can use names in conversation. Or maybe you already have made one? 

    I'll make mine during the next week (the one in the pic is just a computer mock-up) and post a photo here. You can send me a photo of yours if you would like, too, and I can show them all together. Does that sound like fun? Email me if you're interested!

    12 July 2013

    My life as a groupie - day 3

    Last night was my last Gwen excursion, as I travelled to North Sydney to see and hear Gwen present her lecture Abstract Quilts in Colour. I took the most appalling photos, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it was a fab night.

    The talk was based on this book and we were privileged to see many of the quilts in real life. I went home, dreaming of how I could use the drawer full of solid fabrics in my sewing room.

    So ends my up-close-and-personal groupie experience. Now, I'll revert to long-distance admiration of Gwen's work that I have had for several decades.

    Bringing Gwen to Australia has been along time coming. Back in 2011, I noticed on Gwen's website that she would be visiting New Zealand in 2013 for the Taupo Symposium. My first thought was to tell my friend and fellow Gwen admirer Sarah Fielke that we would have to fly to NZ for the event. We started talking about it and then the idea came up: why not ask if she would visit Australia on the way to NZ?

    So Sarah put pen to paper and sent Gwen a letter. Some weeks later, I had a short message from Sarah: Gwen says YES!

    Since then, Sarah worked very hard to organise Gwen's visit. She liaised with the Symposium organisers, Gwen, and shops in three states to firm-up workshops and talks. Finally, after much to-ing and fro-ing it happened.

    So thank you to Sarah for all your hard work. You made one of my dreams - to meet and learn from Gwen Marston - come true.

    09 July 2013

    My life as a groupie - day 2

    Yesterday, I continued my education with Gwen's Liberated Medallions workshop, based on this book. So much fun.

    It's a fab book that I've had since it came out last year. Great photos and lots of tips for making liberated units. Recognise this quilt? Yep, it's the cover quilt in real life, along with its maker!

    The book contains plenty of examples of medallion quilts, which are quilts with a centre area of interest (pieced, appliqued, wholecloth or even embroidered) surrounded by a series of borders. We were treated to plenty of Gwen's quilts so we could see the variety of styles but I'll keep those photos to myself!

    It was great to have a few friends as classmates. Here you can see Rachael, Chris Jurd and Stephanie Knudsen with Gwen and me. (That quilt in the background is by Sarah Fielke. It's a beauty from her current book.)

    This is what I made in class. I don't know if it is finished yet - I have to listen to it for a while longer to see if it wants more borders. We shall see...

    Textiles Tuesday

    Today, I'm interested in linen. You know, that fabric with fabulous texture, which is made from plants and totally holds all those creases. Ever wondered where the term 'rumpled' came from? I'm sure it must relate to a softly creased linen suit after a day's wear!

    I've only made one quilt using linen. That's my On the Edge quilt that you can see here. I used cotton selvedges and a cotton fabric for the border, and sand-coloured linen for the background. It was wonderful to hand stitch through the linen background so I can understand why it's so popular for cross-stitch and embroidery.

    Here are a few basic facts about linen:
    • it is made from the stems of flax plants (botanical name: linum usitatissimum)
    • fragments of flax strings have been found in middle Europe in remains dated about 8000 years BC
    • woven linen has been in use since Ancient Egyptian times for clothing, sail cloth and furnishings
    • linen absorbs moisture, launders well and is comfortable to wear.

    There is plenty of information about the history of linen on the web, but here are a few interesting links:
    What have you made with linen? Let us know in the comments - you are welcome to leave a link if you have a picture on your own blog.

    07 July 2013

    My life as a groupie - day 1

    Finally, I met Gwen. Isn't she lovely? I don't look overly besotted, do I?

    Today's workshop was based on her book 37 Sketches, which contains photos of 37 small quilts that demonstrate how she plays with colour and line. They are practice pieces, with which she works through her ideas.

    Gwen has now made many more of these small quilts. She showed us each of them and explained what she experimented with and how she achieved different shapes. She also has a book of stitched sample units. It was great to be able to examine these closely (front and back) to see how they were constructed.

    Then Gwen domonstrated how to cut and construct each type of unit. What a lovely Featherweight machine! (Not Gwen's, but she said she uses one just like it in her studio.)

    So we cut and sewed all day, except when we stopped for delicious cake for morning tea and homemade soup for lunch. Thanks to Jan and Chris at Cottage Quiltworks for their fabulous hospitality. It was quite special.

    So, this is what I made today - my original design. It's only a quilt top at this stage and I am looking forward to some fun hand quilting later.

    Tomorrow, I will return for another workshop with Gwen. This time: liberated medallion quilts. Too exciting!

    05 July 2013

    Coming up

    I'm absurdly excited about the two - yes, two! - workshops I am taking with Gwen Marston on Sunday and Monday. Perhaps I've mentioned it before? Oh alright, once or twice!

    I've been sorting materials to take with me. Thankfully, I am travelling by car so packing is no problem. The critical question is:

    We'll see!

    02 July 2013

    Textiles Tuesday

    You lovely regular readers will know that I have a Facebook page called Textile Tidings, where I post links to interesting textile-related events, tutorials and works by fibre artists.

    I've decided that every Tuesday on this blog will now be dedicated to textiles. I may share some of the links from Textile Tidings, or I may highlight some fascinating tidbit I've discovered in the past week. Either way, there will be something of interest to textile lovers on Textiles Tuesday, so please join me.

    This week, I'll share some links with you. Please go and explore!

    *   Plenty of great textile activities at CrossXpollinatioN in Colac VIC starting 6 July.
    *   Ideas for using gorgeous sari ribbon by Dale Rollerson.

    *   Stunning textile work by Susan Lenz

    6 July-6 August: Decadence exhibition by Red Shoe Tourists at Sackville & Lane, 35 Reid Street, Wangaratta VIC.

    *   You may never have seen macrame like this before. By Ester Chacon Avila.

    * From the V&A Museum in London: this fascinating article about X-radiography as a tool to examine the making and remaking of historic quilts by Joanne Hackett. Recommended reading!