Madeit Designer in the Spotlight

I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the Madeit.com.au Designer in The Spotlight spot this week. Go here to see the interview if you want to have a read. I always find it is always such a tricky thing answering questions like that about my self and my work, and even trickier putting photos out there!.

Stitched Postcard Swap 2014 Create a Better world

I decided a month or so ago to join in the Great Big Postcard Swap . It is kind of what has got me started into making all these cards!. I made three postcards and have just decided which one to send to my stitched postcard swap partner in the US.

It is made from a piece of cotton that I printed in a spiral design on my home made Gelli plate. I then free motion stitched parts with a gorgeous metallic bronze thread to highlight the spirals even more. I added the red upholstery fabric strips as an afterthought to brighten it a little. These are just zig zagged over the top of the background. I stitched a lovely quote from the Dalai lama around one of the spirals. It is a quote I have always loved but sometimes find hard to practice!. “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”.

I believe this is how we can Create a better world, from us as individuals right up to the top Governments. Show a bit of kindness.

The back is a piece of white card with hand stamped writing with the words “Live Laugh Create”, drawn lines and a piece of hand printed tape down the centre for a bit of colour. I glued the fabric part to the card then stitched around the edges to hold it all together.

This was loads of fun to make so I think postcards are going to be a big part of my future!

 

 

 

 

I just published a post

I just published a post over on my new blog,

http://bekahdu.com.au/2014/02/09/handmade-gelli-printing/

It’s all about our fun with a handmade Gelli plate today. Pop on over if you want to see it. I will have to shut this blog down soon, so be sure to pop on over and follow me over there 🙂

Handmade Gelli Plate Printing

I have wanted a Gelli plate since the day I first heard about them. Gelli plate printing just looks like so much fun! I’ve read various blogs about making your own, so today I finally tried it. I used the recipe by The Frugal Crafter as I wanted one that didn’t have to be kept in the fridge.

The ingredients. Of course I bought too much of everything as I am hopeless at estimating amounts!

Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I gained a litle helper pretty quickly, as you tend to get in this house. He helped mix everything together.. “What does it smell like Cam?”… I think you can guess!!. It does have quite a strong alcohol smell.

Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard that it  is better to line the tray with plastic wrap as it makes it easier to get out. I popped it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then got impatient so took it out to start playing!. It did get fairly damaged towards the end so I think I should have left it longer.

Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All finished and ready to play.

Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started with just some basic colours and shapes, just to get the hang of it.. it all soon got a bit carried away.

Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We soon picked up another helper and it was ON!

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I only had acrylic paints, so that’s what we used, over and over again.

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We did get some quite pretty patterns in the end.

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Handmade Gelli plate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We did encounter a few problems along the way. I discovered pretty quickly that the edges of the plate stick very badly to the paper unless you pad paints all the way up to and down the sides of the block. I’m not sure if this was just because I pulled it out of the fridge early or if it would do this anyway. We did actually completely destroy the plate by the end of the afternoon. The boys weren’t particularly gentle with it so it was full of holes. The great thing about this recipe is that when this happens you can simply melt it down and re set it. It is currently sitting back in the fridge. This time it will be over night, so we’ll see if that makes a difference to it’s durability. To melt it down, I just broke it up into a saucepan and put on the cooktop on low. It only took about 5 mins. You can also do it for a minute or so in the microwave.

I’m going to try with some fabric paints onto fabric.. new fabrics for my journals I’m thinking 🙂

 

 

 

 

Shows and Quilts

It has been decidedly quiet on the blog front lately, but I have been very busy in the background.

One of the first things that happens when your school finds out that you have a sewing machine is that you get organised into sewing for school!.. In my case, coordinating the costumes for the School musical for 200 odd kids!. Our school musical has every child in the school participating!. That has pretty much been the story of my life for the last month.

I did manage to enter a few competitions while all that was going on and was lucky enough to win First and second at the Noosa Show for “Noosa River Gazing” and “spotty Gum Leaf”

noosa-show awards

I also managed to achieve third in the Berry Patchwork show “The power of Red” for my Red sunset.

the power of red

Included in the general busyness were a few quilt orders.. I have now officially finished my largest quilt to date, a King Single with a British theme for a customer. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to go any bigger on my little Janome!. I know it can be done, maybe .. one day…

british quilt

british quilt

British themed quilt

Cushions of colour

My part of the world has been awash with rain. The sky has been grey and heavy for weeks. So to brighten it all up, I have been making rainbows. These have an added bonus of freeing me from part of my all encompassing mound of scraps

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More experiments with randomness

I’ve been playing with some new techniques again today. I love the randomness of randomness so I have been randomly stitching strips of fabrics together then randomly stitching and cutting  those strips. I wanted to try to get the hang of curves in the fabric as well as inserts so my randomness included both of these.

I have used just about every blue fabric in my stash, from vintage sheets to bits of upcycled clothing to canvas and quilting cotton. The red strips are satin that has been folded and inserted, so that it stands out from the cloth. It’s a great way to use up some of my vast stash of fabrics.

At the moment it is nothing more than a piece of fabric, I wanted to sample these techniques for an idea I had for the next competition that I want to enter..I have a few lined up this year!

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Excuse the stray threads, I haven’t really finished with it yet. This is just a small section, I got a bit carried away so it is quite a large piece. I may well quilt it up and see what happens….

My new Finished Journal

Well, it’s finished!. This is the journal made from all the bits of fabric that I have been playing with, as well as some of my aged shibori. This one has been hand and free motion machine quilted onto cotton batting with a vintage fabric lining. The flaps to hold the book in are navy cotton as is the binding. I also added some strips of 100% wool variegated slub yarn.

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I decided that It needed the cord and button tie to suit the aged look of the fabric. Unfortunately the buttons aren’t real bone, but we can’t have everything!

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….

work

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..

ready-for-sewing

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

finished-sewing

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.

fabric-journal

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.

rusting

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.

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Finished..love the pretty flower

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Now to cut it up and sew it….