Archive for September, 2009

Glorious Ribbon Roses

What an absolute pleasure it was today to sit and stitch with Catherine Howell and the other lovely ladies in our Geelong Fibre Forum Class. Handstitching must be the most therapeutic activity I know and when it is with a tutor as lovely as Catherine it is bliss. A big thank you goes to TAFTA for the bursary to attend.

I am making Catherine’s Venetian bag and my box of goodies is just delicious: beautiful hand dyed fabrics, silk ribbons and threads to work with.

Here is stage 1 of the ribbon roses (looking like Madonna’s pointy bra!)

roses 1Then the completed roses sewn with the beautifully coloured silk ribbons:

roses 2And the roses attached to the silk velvet front of the bag:

roses 3Originally I was supposed to be doing Catherine’s Fruitful Abundance bag but I felt I would have more use out of the Venetian bag, and it would also look great displayed on a mannequin with my Grandmother’s wedding dress from the late 1920’s.

Gan's Dress 1

Also this bag may not take as long to make so I’m hoping to make one of Catherine’s Fritillaries, gorgeous embroidered and beaded flower tassels.

Off for some more stitching tomorrow.


September 28, 2009 at 10:58 pm 3 comments

We are Geelong

The Greatest team of all………………..

60315Geelong Cats EmblemWell done boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 26, 2009 at 8:22 pm 1 comment

Stitching, Reading and Op Shopping

The stitching is on-going as I add little extras to the sea angels; here are a couple of snippets (I have been powering through the romeo for all the metallic lace):

dress top

star 1

star 2I am into buttons at the moment (after the workshop making some) and I’m currently reading this really interesting and informative book on the history of buttons:


And this one on making all sorts of interesting buttons (some of which may find their way onto the rose sea angel):e

Now for some bargains picked up from the local Op Shop, handily opposite the furniture warehouse where I was checking out beds for youngest son. This would have to be my favourite op shop for picking up great stitching supplies. For $14 I scored over a metre of good quality wool gaberdine, 2 metres of a silky polyester (feels very similar to the fabric in my favourite Basque dress and would look sensational printed with a gold motif), a fat quarter of a toning batik cotton (also good quality) – I can see a bag happening here, 4 new zips, 2 silk ties, a chiffon scarf, large piece of red synthetic felt, assorted buttons, a reel of a very nice variegated pink cotton, a spare bobbin case for my Janome (I can now use this for fiddling with the tension), a thin strip of velcro and over a metre of hand crocheted cotton edging.

9What a haul!!

Yet again we have missed out on tickets in the Geelong Footy Club ballot so we will be watching from home; at least we won’t get wet!



September 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm 2 comments

Fabulous fun with fabric

Or Dyeing with Dijanne.

Today I was in Leopold for a dyeing workshop with Dijanne Cevaal, textile artist from Gellibrand in the Otways (organised by Geelong Sewing Centre). Dijanne specializes in the most beautifully designed and executed machine and hand embroidery over her own printed and/or dyed fabrics. We were able to view and touch her beautiful artworks up close as she brought a huge selection of finished large and smaller pieces to show.  It was a small group of seven which meant plenty of personal attention, lots of room to spread out and much sharing of information. Dijanne was very generous in sharing her tips and techniques and all participants had a wonderful selection of dyed fabrics by the end of the day.

One of the techniques demonstrated was that used by Dijanne to produce her wonderful forest piece. Here is my version, 146 cm long x 77 cm deep.

forest dyed

This one is a smaller piece which I pleated diagonally and scrunched a little before dyeing:diagonal tree dyed

Some moody blues:

blue dyedAnd a variety of red/pink/orange:

various dyedFinally this is the wool I dyed a couple of weeks ago as the hair for the sea angels. I was very relieved when the colours came out perfectly toned for the rest of the bits I have done.

green dyed hair

red dyed hairCheers

September 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm 3 comments

I love my teflon foot

Just a P.S. from the last post, I have discovered how much easier it is to sew on the romeo with my teflon foot, just magic!

teflon footCheers

September 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm 2 comments

Birthday Giveaway

Sewjourn is having a birthday giveaway, be quick it ends at 5pm tonight.

I have just downloaded my September copy of WOW, great inspiration there and well worth the miserly subscription. I am about to incorporate Julie Smith’s wonderful article on making a mermaid’s purse (or cuff actually) into my sea angels. I have just about finished all the machine stitching and will spend the next two weeks with the hand stitching.

Here is another taster.

 The first is the twin needle stitching on the neck of one dupion silk gown:gown pintucksThis is the other gown painted with a mixture of acrylic, opulence ink and dyn na flow then sprinkled with salt:

pink gown:saltI painted some pearl cotton with the leftovers but they are a bit stiff, even after being in the dryer. They might be okay in a twisted cord or couched on. This is in the wet stage, it actually dried much lighter and will be toned down with overlays.

The last photo is another of the wing pieces. On the corners I have stitched using the Maggie’s technique from the Perth workshop. I’m hoping these will look like fragments of fishing net once dissolved.

wingsSorry about the flash off the glass cooktop.


September 6, 2009 at 11:35 am 1 comment


September 2009

Notebook Project