Fabric swap

I can now post my latest fabric alteration results as I have heard they have been arriving at their destinations overseas. For March the designated technique was discharge.

I already had some discharge paste so I tried that first but found the results very disappointing. I then purchased some decolourant plus and found the effects just as poor, if not worse!

Back to bleach. I bought a new bottle of strong gel bleach, I don’t usually have it in the house being a natural cleaner type of person (i.e. vinegar is the strongest I go).

Excellent results straight off and very quick to activate on the navy broadcloth.

I rinsed in vinegar and water to de-activate the bleach and then washed in a little synthrapol.

Bleach discharge

Bleach discharge

April was a ‘choose your own adventure’ and I had an indigo kit I had purchased so decided to try that out. Unfortunately I think the dye powder or chemicals were too old (I did buy on sale) so there was no reaction when mixed. I will try again with fresh materials at a later date. As I had already tied, banded, clamped etc the fabrics, I made up a dye bath of Procion dark navy and used that for the dyeing instead. It is great fun unwrapping the parcels to see what effects you have. Strangely the colour on the silks was more purplish.

Swap fabrics

Swap fabrics

Silk clamped with washer and metal door handle

Silk clamped with washer and metal door handle

Silk rubber banded with plastic capping

Silk rubber banded with plastic capping

On the weekend was Mother’s day so here is the delicious ‘smoothie bowl’ my darling daughter made to follow the cooked eggs, bacon, spinach, tomato and mushrooms on sourdough.

smoothie bowlAnd the winter weather has hit, and it is still autumn. This was the effect of hailstorms overnight Tuesday:

The outdoor table

The outdoor table

The garden

The garden

 

 

May 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm 3 comments

Pink High Tea for Cancer

Yesterday our footy/netball club held a pink high tea fundraiser for cancer. Despite the dreadful, wet and cold weather we had a sell out crowd and hopefully raised lots of money through auctions, raffles and donations.

To celebrate the event one of our netball players arranged for sponsorship through her husbands plumbing company. This paid for the A grade girls to wear pink netball dresses for their game and a beautiful glass trophy for the winner (which luckily was us!).

The rooms and courts were decorated in pink bras and I was commissioned to construct a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ trophy using a decorated pink bra. My husband did a great job of putting together an old trophy and attaching a pink netball onto which was latched the bra.

I visited a couple of op shops and managed to find a lovely, new, pink, lace bra for $2 as well as lots of glitzy fabrics and ribbons.

Op Shop haul

Op Shop haul

This was a fun sewing project as it needed to be as garish and ‘out there’ as posssible. No good taste involved whatsoever! I started by making lots of suffolk puffs to edge the bra and then added bows, beads, sequins, buttons and some simple embroidery. It was very well received, the male president in pink shirt and beanie was quite happy to be photographed with it.

The 'cup Cup'

The ‘cup Cup’

Close up

Close up

Detail

Detail

May 10, 2015 at 11:58 am 1 comment

New work, no photos

Hmmm, I seem to always forget to take photos before I send off finished work. I have decided I must get into the habit, as out of sight, out of mind and I forget totally about them!

On Friday I posted off my flag to India Flint’s ‘solace’ project, I used the sleeve of an Op shop linen shirt to cut out the flag shape and embroidered my words in silk/wool thread from Beautiful silks. The button and buttonhole were very handy for attaching the ties. There is still time to participate, here.

I have also sent off my finished dragon for Dijanne Cevaal’s Medieval Project. This is currently on display in  Nantes, France and will also be on display in Australia.

I do, however have some photos from other exploits and stitching.

Over the Easter holiday break, Claudia and I headed off for a few days to the Dandenongs and Melbourne. I have not been to the Dandenongs for at least 25 years. We stayed at a great BnB in Olinda:

View from our BnB bedroom window

View from our BnB bedroom window

We stopped in Sassafrass on the way for lunch and a browse and also enjoyed the quirky shops in Olinda. There were a couple of great pubs in Mt Dandenong for evening meals, Claudia was in heaven in the vintage shop there as well. Within very close proximity to our accommodation we visited many gardens including Cloudehill– $10 entry and not very friendly or helpful but lovely gardens, RJ Hamer Arboretum, which was a wonderfully quiet walk among the trees, William Ricketts Sanctuary with all his magnificent sculptured carvings, the National Rhododendron Garden which was glorius in autumn colours and by far our favourite, Alfred Nicholas Gardens in Sherbrooke which were a wonderful walk along terraced paths but unfortunately the famous ponds were drained for maintenance works and the Karwarra Australian plant garden which was quite small but had a good range of native plants for sale.

The Dandenong gardens

We could easily return for another few days to visit all the gardens we missed out on seeing. I highly recommend a trip in autumn, a beautiful, mild weather time for travelling and viewing all the beautiful gardens.

Autumn colour Olinda

Autumn colour Olinda

We stopped in Melbourne on the way back to see a few exhibits including the excellent ‘Exquisite Threads English Embroidery 1600’s – 1900’s’ at the NGV.

I loved the embroidery with Australian native flowers on this gown.

NGV

NGV

Last weekend our branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild held a little exhibition at Wintergarden for the Heritage Festival. We were asked to contribute a postcard on the ANZAC theme of ‘care and compassion’, this is mine here:

Anzac P:card

Uncle Victor's atlas

I used offcuts from the aforementioned Dragon embroidery fused to pelmet vilene to form the cross, symbolising the amazing work done by the nurses during the war (there is also a great exhibition at the National Wool museum detailing many of the contributions of women during WW1 which I visited last weekend). This was covered with organza printed with a map of Flanders in France taken from my Great Uncle’s Atlas published in 1920. I added the FME of a mixing bowl and spoon, some silk, organza and beaded poppies and some hand dyed wool knitted on the little chopstick knitting needles with painted air dry clay on the ends.

Now I am heading out to the ‘studio’ to finish off:

1. ATC’s for swap with Guild

2. Indigo dyeing for fabric swap

3. Pink trophy for Cancer fundraiser netball game

4. Notebook cover (below) for the stall at our bi-annual exhibition in October

Embellishment to be added, patterned Japanese fabric will be the lining

Embellishment to be added, patterned Japanese fabric will be the lining

 

April 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm 1 comment

Pink Day for Cancer

Our local netball will be holding a pink High Tea day for cancer on Mother’s Day weekend.

I have the welcome task of creating the inaugural perpetual trophy for the A Grade game.

A local Op Shop yielded a fantastic supply of ‘bibs and bobs’ for this trophy: a brand new pink lacy bra, lots of glitzy dance fabric, some cute bias binding and some pink perle cottons. Added to my existing supplies of beads, sequins and notions, they will enable me to create what I hope will be a spectacular and memorable trophy.

The beginnings of a trophy for Pink Day

The beginnings of a trophy for Pink Day

Stay tuned.

 

April 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

A day at the AQC 2015

I had a very enjoyable day wandering around the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne yesterday.

I tend to attend once every few years, but there were a couple of incentives this time. A friend had entered her quilt in the AQC Challenge, which had the interesting theme of ‘True blue’ and I needed to stock up on some threads. I didn’t get  pictures of many quilts, it was quite crowded, but you can see them all here. The other quilt exhibits were also very interesting. There are a couple of highlights below.

Gallipoli

Gallipoli

Best of the best Queensland

Best of the best
Queensland

It is also good to go every few years to see what is new in gadgets and to try a few techniques to see if I am interested in adding them to my repertoire. My first step is to check out the brochure (which I’m registered to receive in the post each year) and work out which workshops or talks I am interested in trying.

First up I decided to have a try at traditional English paper piecing (which I have not done before) on a pincushion. The tutor was very good and I have now learnt how to make a ‘fisherman’s knickers knot’ and also found out I probably wouldn’t progress to making a quilt! Another tip, which the purists won’t like, was to use the polyester bobbin thread for the stitching. It will last much longer than cotton and if you are putting this much effort into the piece you want it to last!

This was followed immediately by a free workshop run by Toyota sewing machines on FME. Although I would say I am fairly proficient at FME it was great to have a go on their dedicated FME machine. If you are looking for a low cost entry to a machine specifically designed for FME (the workshop participant cost for these was A$599) it would be a good machine to buy as it made the process very easy. As I have just purchased the Janome 6600P I have a few extra ideas on how I can use my new machine in the same way to make FME much quicker and easier. Once again the tutor was very helpful and had lots of her interesting works on display.

Wendy Hicks

Wendy Hicks

We practiced straight stitch first, then the zigzag which automatically adjusted size according to the foot pressure. Finally we started working on some simple bookmarks like the ones above.

Straight & zigzag practice

Straight & zigzag practice

By doing a bit of price checking between stalls I managed to stock up on some good quality machine sewing threads and the show specials enabled me to get some sample packs of a few threads I’ve been wanting to try.

Threads

Threads

I also picked up a handy roll of bag stiffening material and my buy of the day was this great rotating cutting mat. We used these to cut the templates for our pieced pincushions and it was a very handy piece of equipment. Show price was A$49.95 so a pretty good buy.

All in all a fun day out.

 

April 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm 1 comment

The Bridesmaids

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.41.18 AMOn the way to the wedding.

March 9, 2015 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

What a wonderful wedding!

Just a quick post, only a few photos edited by photographer Patrick Britt as yet. Here is a great one of the gorgeous, wedded couple.

C&JwithHR

After numerous fittings the dress was perfect, the silk draped beautifully and the Paris bought lace looked amazing. Bernie’s highly polished classic car was also perfect, Carly travelled around in this car as a baby!

And this lovely shot of Carly and her best friend and cousin Elle shows the back of her dress.

Carly&Elle

 

 

What an honour to sew your own daughter’s wedding dress, I loved every moment.

March 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm 1 comment

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