A fabulous discovery and Stitching texture

I had a thought the other day, so went to seek out my grandmothers old suitcase, buried deep in the back of the garage. In it, as I had thought, I discovered most of the samples I had made during my time studying textiles in 1989-90. These included lots of hand weaving and a mound of hand sewn and dyed Shibori samples. Some of these are now beautifully aged having spent 20 years in an old 50’s suitcase! I had dragged that suitcase around with me from house to house and literally forgot what was inside..until my brilliant thought….


This shows the mound but not the gorgeousness of this find! So much fabulous fabric to work with..

I recently borrowed a book called ” Stitch, Cloth, Paper and Paint” by Angie Hughes from my local library. I am a huge book borrower, especially art and textiles books….always a bookworm at heart. I still can’t help but get upset when my sun uses Google for homework and doesn’t look it up at the library lol.. Anyway, this book has some great techniques in it, so I decided to use some of my new sun printed fabric to try one.

It’s very simple really and I’m sure plenty of you out there already do it, but I have always been nervous about doing too much with the tension dial on my machine. This technique involves turning the tension really high then stitching circles or spirals.. The high tension distorts the fabric beautifully without misforming the stitches, so it adds a lovely texture to the spirals.

Here is my pebble printed fabric before..


And after stitching.. normal tension in the bottom corner so it’s flat.. then the highest towards the top.


I have stitched it with some of my new rusted fabric and some of my gorgeous old shibori.. Not finished yet, but you get the idea.


The next stage.. rust

Following on from my sun printing episode, I decided to torture my samples a bit more and add some rust. I have quite an extensive rusty objects collection from the days when I studied Sculpture. I used to create works from found objects and I loved rust!

The leaves sample from my sun print experiment wasn’t very exciting so I thought I’d add some of my rusty friends to it to add some zing.


More waiting,…waiting.

I put it in a bed of plastic so that it would slow down the drying a bit. I also sprinkled it with a little salt to enhance the rusting.


Finished..love the pretty flower


Now to cut it up and sew it….

New experiments..

I have been having a load of fun this week, playing around with staining and printing fabrics, fiddling with thread tension and so much more!

I’ll start with my first bit of fun. I decided that I would finally have a go at sun printing. I had heard that you can do it with straight acrylic paints, and don’t need the flash proper paint, so as we are a little cash strapped at the moment I thought I’d give it a go. I started by painting all over my sample fabrics with basic acrylic paints. In some parts I used quite thick paint and others very watered down. I also sprayed some parts with water so that it would create a nice effect of it’s own.

All the bits ready to go. I just used what I had to hand just to see what would work


Painted and drying. The first I have layered with grass and a piece of lace fabric. The paint also soaked nicely into the lace 🙂

drying2 drying1

The bottom ones I covered with leaves and pebbles. Then left to dry in the hot, hot sun..

waiting…. waiting…..




Leaves ..not great but still interesting


Lace..a bit hard to see in the photo but the pattern is really quite pretty, parts are very subtle and others quite strong.


Grass, very subtle but pretty


The large finished piece..unintentional but  looks like a landscape to me..


The back of the leaves piece. I painted them on the pebblecrete out the back..they now have a lovely impression of the pebbles on the fabric…and paint on the pebblecrete!! ooops

So. all in all I think it was a success. whether or not the results would have been better with the real paint I don’t know, but I did get some marking with acrylics. The best sections were where the paint was quite thick, not watered down too much so I’ll work on that in the future. I (and my kids) also had fun waiting for the paint to dry….

I have done more to most of these pieces now but that will have to wait for another day……

Holidays and cushions

I’ve been on holidays..yippeee

We did a bit of thisDSCN1330

A bit of this


A bit of this


Saw some of these..as well as some other lovely creatures..turtles, stingrays…


Climbed lots of these


And looked out at lots of this


Then we came home and I made these




New Journals are appearing

Ah how the silly season saps your internet energy!. I have been incredibly neglectful of all my  pages. I haven’t had much sewing time either, with little boys always around. I have managed to make a couple of new journals however. One was a Chrissy gift for my niece, the other just a throw together. If you are interested they are available here.




Closeup of details











#amonthof Boys on the Beach and Ben in a Bubble

I have joined in a great idea from JustB on Facebook. More details here. The theme is A month of A-Z and as we are at day 2, today’s letter is B.


Here are my Boys on the Beach..I’m going to do an Art Quilt based on this one day.

I’m also going to add Ben in a Bubble because it looks like so much fun and he loved it!




Busy, busy…

Oh, I’ve been busy!. I haven’t been paying attention to blogs because I have made:

One of these

Several of these

A couple of these

Some of these

A a few pairs of these

As well as a variety of other bits and pieces. All while we’ve had school holidays and bought a new cat (like having a toddler again I swear!!)

So I’m sorry for being neglectful, I’ve been busy! 🙂 I’ll be back in the swing again soon When I finish more of the above that are waiting to be done.


Always Swim between the Flags: Art Quilt




“Always swim between the flags ” is based on a photo I took at our local beach. I always love the way the red and yellow of the flags contrasts with the blue of the sea. The black and white ones are new (ish) around here. We used to have plain blue ones for the surfers area…maybe they were hard to see? Who knows, now they are black and white checks. It makes me think there’s a race going one!

It is made from scraps of many, many different fabrics free motion quilted onto bamboo batting. It measures 67 x 53 cm (26.5 x 21 in)