Framed textile art: Bird of Paradise

I had a request on my Facebook page recently to make some Bird of Paradise and other tropical flowers. So today was the day to start. I thought I’d try a slightly different way of doing them. I normally just use small bits of fabric to make of my design, this time I thought I’d try making the body of the design with raw edge fused applique.

I started with a simple line drawing, based on a painting that I did many years ago when I was a painter.. You can see the original painting in the top image. The original is long gone so all I have left are printouts of photos. I traced  sections of the flowers from the line drawing and fused then to the correct colour fabric with vliesofix.

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

I really like the background of that painting, the way the blues and greens blend together, and wanted to achieve a similar affect with the art quilt. I decided to use a gorgeous printed sheer fabric (I scored a lovely huge piece of this brand new from the local Op Shop!). It has a fabulous texture and sheen to it. I used the wrong side as my front though, to tone down the sheen and the bright colours a little. I layered it over a soft pale blue cotton, so that it would gain an extra blue tinge. I used a little quilters spray glue to hold it together as the sheer fabric is very slippery!.

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

I then fused my cut flower pieces to my background. Of course my flower turned out the reverse of the painting as I forgot to reverse the image before tracing!.

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

 And then started to stitch.. then stitched some more

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

Then stitched some more until it was all finished

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

It then went into a black box frame and came out like this

Textile art quilt, bird of paradise

A vintage hexie quilt

I have been busily stitching this last few weeks. My first new creation was a hexie quilt made with vintage fabrics for a special order.. I quite love it and would like one for me.. not sure if I want to do all that stitching again however!.Vintage Hexagon Flowers Quilt


Vintage Hexagon Flowers Quilt

I have also been busy making a bunch of new small framed pieces. I have a shop to stock and a small show at the Gallery and not enough pieces!

Here are a few of the new ones.

Framed textile "silhouette"





I also have a couple of exciting things coming up….. (all shh secret squirrel at the moment)    🙂

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





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!


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….

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……

A journal addiction..

I am starting to really enjoy making these journals so here are a few more newly finished. I love that it combines my love of textiles and my stationary fetish!..yes, I am addicted to stationary, sad I know! These are now listed in my Madeit and Etsy stores.

flowers-1A5 Journal cover with vintage fabric flowers appliqued and free motion quilted onto a new denim base. There is also a segment of hand embroidered vintage doily and button features. I have also done some extra hand embroidery to add highlights.



A5 Journal cover. Embroidered owl with vintage fabric flower appliques, and button features. Free motion Quilted onto a new denim base with cotton lining.paisleya4-1

A4 Journal cover made from a patchwork of upcycled denim jeans. This one also has an upcycled crochet belt “pocket” at the top to hold pencils etc.


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











“Looking Out” Textile Art Quilt

What a week!. I have finally,finally finished “Looking Out”. This is the quilt that just didn’t want to be made. My machine refused to stitch it..skipped stitches, broken thread, snapped needles! I had another piece on the go at the same time and it worked perfectly on that one!. I also cut into the top,..not badly but still it had to be fixed. Then at the end I melted some of the tulle with the iron!!…it is now an inch narrower than when it started. It all came together in the end though and if I hadn’t told you you’d never know. I’m just glad it’s all over.




It is made from a range of new and upcycled fabric scraps, including, wool felt, tulle, cotton, upholstery fabrics and more. It is free motion quilted onto cotton batting with a cotton back. “Looking Out measures 48.5 x 64 cm (19 x 25.25in) and is based on a photo I took at Peregian Beach, QLD>


Spring has sprung!

Spring has well and truly arrived in my little part of the world. Glorious warm, sunny days and birds and plants doing what birds and plants do. It’s quite fortunate that on the second day of spring I received a parcel of very Springy fabrics..woohoo!

This is my first random Art Quilt made with my happy Spring fabrics. This was completely made up as I went along..have I said that I’m no good with planning!

It is made from mainly Kaffe Fasset fabrics, with a couple of others thrown in. It measures 53 x 58 cm (21 x 23 in)


A new dress for an old doll

This lovely little china doll was one of my special friends when I was a child. I saved her to pass down to my own daughter, but that isn’t going to happen (mum of 3 boys and NO more babies!). I have decided to pass her on to my gorgeous little niece who is about to have a birthday.

Thirty five years or so of playing and storage have wreaked havoc with her dress however so I decided to make her a new one..and a new bonnet. In the true spirit of vintage , I made it from a pretty vintage embroidered cotton hand towel. I had to hand stitch a fair bit of it so unfortunately it is not removable ..that just got a bit too fiddly to do.



I even made a little nappy to go under. Her body and socks are still age stained but I think that adds to the character.


I hope my niece will love her as much as I did.I have to say it is a little sad now to say goodbye to her, she looks so pretty in her new dress.