Posts filed under ‘Design’

Scraps and more

I am calling this one finished. Thank you Anne Lawson for the suggestions. I am very happy with this and need to stop before it becomes overworked. Knowing when to stop can be the most difficult decision!

Phases of time 1

I am calling this Phases of time 1 as I might revisit this concept to complete some more stitcheries of different shapes and sizes. Mostly completed from the stash except for a couple of sashiko threads in blues ordered online Wafu Works. This will be sent off to Rita of Gone Rustic in Tasmania for her ‘Marking Time’ exhibition.

Two more projects on the go at the moment:

Finishing a receptacle for my partner’s treasure in the ATASDA Challenge and

Continuing to work on an artwork for the 2020 Biblio Art Prize.

Design finalised for the piece inspired by The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey, just auditioning some metal threads.

September 12, 2020 at 4:58 pm 3 comments

Ballarat Fibrearts 2018

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Fibrearts week at Ballarat, based at Ballarat Grammar. The weather was sublime-amazingly and I enjoyed many early morning walks around Lake Wendouree. A week long retreat is a great way to become immersed in a technique or theme with the bonus of lots of different classes to visit and chat to during the week.

The class I attended was Claire Benn‘s text on textiles. We had a very small class of 5 with very different art backgrounds which was great for bouncing ideas around. Claire was a very professional tutor and we had lots of notes and techniques to further explore at home.

What a great crew!

We experimented with lots of techniques including writing text with multiple instruments on multiple substrates, paper and fabric.

My favourite technique was the breakdown printing, which I hope to experiment lots with to get multiple layered backgrounds. Using the mx dyes was great as the fabric, once washed out, has a beautiful soft hand. I would like to try this technique with some natural dyes. Kerrie dd a blog post for GeeTAG here about the breakdown printing I demo’ed at a meeting.

The last day was the exhibition of all the groups’ work, here is just a small selection of some fantastic pieces with Kerrie’s memory piece bottom left and my breakdown printing on the right:

Ballarat 2018

On the last day Claire did a lucky dip for leftover materials, I was lucky enough to score the book below as well as some dyes and Manutex. Here is Claire in front of our group display.

Ballarat 2018

I would highly recommend the Ballarat fibrearts week as a great way to do some intensive textile art work as well as having great fun with like minded people.




May 7, 2018 at 10:42 am Leave a comment

Leaf-May ATCs

I’m assuming these ATCs have been received so I will show a little of the process I used to make them. I decided to go with a macro version of a leaf for this ATC so I started by doing an image search on the web for inspiration. I also had a couple of photos taken in our garden for inspiration as well, then sketched up a design.

To make the base I layered coloured strips of fabric and vliesofixed to a base calico fabric.

ATC sheet 1

This was covered with chiffon and I added some extra colour with watercolour sticks and auditioned some threads for free machining.

adding colour

Auditioning threads

and then FME’d using some cording to make the veining stand out.


and a close up with some beads hand stitched for dewdrops.


Atc 4

A couple of the beautiful ATCs received for this month’s theme:

leafAnd my walk this week on the beach- still winter chilly but some welcome sun and blue skies.

Winter beach

I almost have my May/June fabric swaps, June ATCs and a wall quilt for SWTAFE finished. All were held up by three days in bed with a winter virus but I’m hoping to get them all posted before we head off north for a welcome holiday in warmer climes this week.

June 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm 1 comment

Crewel work finished

I have had my crewel work returned from assessment (yet to receive the written summary but received positive feedback so all good). I really enjoyed crewel work, the texture of the wool, the quickness of the stitch up and the relaxation of hand stitchery. The intermediate course was a perfect winter activity!

Here are my finished pieces below, I haven’t photographed the samplers, maybe next time. All coursework will be on display at our upcoming biannual exhibition and should be mind blowing, there have been some wonderful portfolios of work produced over the last two years by some creative and accomplished stitchers. Well done everyone including the tutors.

The first piece is a bag made from a Nicole Mallalieu design. The embroidery includes free machine embroidery as well as the crewelwork and is on a pocket at the front of the bag. The design for this began with the vintage fabric I bought on a trip to A piece of Cloth. (I thought I had blogged about this visit but cannot find it, will do later) It includes left over light grey woollen fabric from a long ago project, dark grey woollen fabric from a pair of Op Shop trousers, heavy black fabric from a discount shop and some lovely red linen as lining. I have a magnetic catch on the pocket and a zipped gusset on the bag. Nicole’s pattern was a dream to sew with very explicit directions, however it is an advanced pattern so I wouldn’t attempt alone without a good background of sewing skills. It is very roomy and will be perfect for carrying lots of gear to GeeTAG group and workshops (and shopping trips!)


This cushion was designed from the roman blinds in our family room where this chair sits. It was great fun to stitch as we had to use 15-18 stitches so I could be very creative in applying the stitches even though it is a quite traditional design.

poppy cushion 1

This paperweight is one of the minor pieces made from one of the samplers. I chose a nice flat river stone from the garden and felted the wool over first. The embroidery was cut out and then needle turn appliqued into place. I had originally designed a lotus flower to embroider for this but ran out of time. Might do a matching one at some stage.

felted stone

Another minor piece: we had to do crewel embroidery over  a patterned piece of fabric. Most people embroidered over tapestry but I decided to make Claudia a cushion when I found the red patterned fabric. I cut out a motif and ironed onto a heavier fabric with vliesofix to make a sturdier base for the wool embroidery.

Claudia's Cushion 2

Claudia's Cushion 3


August 16, 2013 at 9:21 am 2 comments

Catching up

Firstly need to document a lovely ATC swap with Anne from France. Anne sent these beautiful ATCs with her wonderful minute cross stitch designs. They are truly works of art:

gingerbread man


xmas bear

These are the ATCs sent in exchange, Claudia decided she wanted to do a triangular ATC:

atc clauds

And mine:

It is a photo of the rock pools at the beach nearby printed on silk, hand stitched and beaded. The bits of fibre are angelina.


And some more design exercises from the GeeTAG Glue Book:

For this page the prompts were Teal (as in duck) and Lines. I decided to concentrate on lines in nature and divided the page in thirds with lines of colour in teal. Looking at it now I think it would have been better balanced if the word ‘Garden’ had been placed on the opposite side.


The next page is for the colour lemon yellow and the design prompt is ‘Less is more’. I decided to take this literally, using a tea bag to colour the page, and most of the pictures are from the Green Pages Directory magazine.

Lemon Yellow:less is more

And now I am up to date:-Sunday’s prompt was black & white, contrast and focal point. I had the black holey tissue paper so repeated that motif with some black paint stencilled through a kitchen utensil. It is interesting how there are different tones of white (as in the dalmatians). The two black silhouettes were cut from magazines and painted black.


Now I really need to get onto some crewel embroidery for my intermediate work.

April 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm 1 comment

Colour by Design

During a recent browse of local Op Shops I came across some old dress patterns. I wasn’t sure how old one was until I found the pattern pieces inside which had been traced onto and cut out of a 1945 newspaper!!

In the Footy page it reports the Cats footy team as being lucky to avoid bottom of the ladder position!! Obviously not one of their best years. Some recognisable names mentioned however, like Nankervis.

pattern 1945

One of our ongoing projects at the GeeTAG (Geelong Textile Art Group) for 2013 is a design exercise book with a weekly prompt.

The pictures are not in correct order of completion, however first up is the page using some of the 1945 newspaper as a background. When I think of ‘Ochre’ I think of aged so I felt this was an appropriate start to the design. Our other prompts were design oriented: triangular, and the dog’s head is a very striking triangle with the contrasting textures and colours



The next page was based on the prompts ‘Purple’ and ‘In the Mood’. I love the rich purple of aubergine and to create a restful mood I added the green lushness.


The prompt for the next page was envy. Though I didn’t go green with envy I quite liked the quote from Jon Foreman that “envy is a nudge towards another sale”. How true of the consumerism of today’s western society.

envy is a nudge towards another sale

The prompt for the Blue page was ‘with emotion’. One of my favourite sayings is that you cannot control what other people do but you can control your reaction to it. This has been my mantra over the last 12 months as I dealt with a very stressful work situation and ‘Seek and you shall find” is my aim for 2013, hopefully a year which will lead to some positive changes. 

Glue Book 2

I am now almost up to date before the next prompt is emailed on Sunday. Hopefully will document the next two pages shortly.


March 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm 1 comment

Information Overload

Last night I returned from the International Drama Education Research Institute’s (IDIERI) triennial conference in Sydney (hmmm, the next one is in Limerick!!). The conference took place over the full week, but I flew up early Thursday morning for the last few days,which were just sensational. So many inspirational people from all over the world and Australia.

The Friday was a networking day, but with information overload, I decided to take a cultural break (shopping and exhibitions).

Firstly I went to the Powerhouse Museum.

On the walk from Glebe I walked along an archetypical Sydney street full of terrace houses:

Terrace housesAnd came across this wonderful street grate:

Fish grateWoops, upside down!

Unfortunately I was a bit early for the 13th International Design festival beginning on August 1st, but there was still plenty to enjoy. I firstly spent an hour and a half in the ‘Inspired Design Across Time’ exhibition where I took loads of photos. The exhibition covers all types of design from the early 1700’s to the present, and includes ceramics, wood, metal jewellery, fashion, furniture etc. There is a good representation of textiles, especially fashion, through the years, though not a great deal of embroidery. There was a good selection of various types of teapots and a retrospective of Florence Broadhurst designs. Also featured was an outfit made from the new release of her designs on fabric.

Florence Broadhurst displaySome glass teapot/goblets by Richard Marquis (1994)

Glass teapotsZandra Rhodes evening dress(1982). You can tell it’s 80’s by all the puff!

Zandra Rhodes dressThis ‘Oz Frock’ (EastonPearson, 2005) Newsprint dresswas interesting, commissioned by the Weekend Australian Magazine. It is fabric printed with actual copies of the newspaper overlaid with sprigs of wattle and embelliahed with swarvski crystals. Stunning!

I loved the quirkiness of this Peter Chang (2004) plastic bracelet:

Plastic fantasticI also loved this Tiwi Designs (Bathhurst Island Northern Territory, 1996) screenprinted cloth and ‘Forest Settle’ (Michael Gill, Christine Payne, 1980’s) with it’s design based on the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

Tiwi screenprint and bench

(Good examples of holes and circles here Holey Moley’s.)

While at the powerhouse I also had a look at the Contemporary Japanese Fashion Exhibition.

I loved the origami bags:

origami bagAnd the display of intricately carved Chinese toggles.

This ivory toggle represents a slice of a lotus root:
Chinese toggle

Toggle 2This one represents the ‘three friends of winter’, the bamboo, pine and prunus branches being courage, perseverence, longevity and integrity. (More holey Moleys)

I also called into the Lace Study group Centre and spoke with the very helpful guide about caring for my Grandmother’s lace wedding dress. She said they are in the process of setting up a register of important historical lace items, one of which could be this dress. This centre is situated in a quite small room, but provides a wonderful resource for those interested in all types of lace and their historical backgrounds.

Lace Study Centre


I have so many more photos, showing all the design phases throughout history. If you can get to Sydney do go and see this exhibition.

To be continued……

July 20, 2009 at 11:33 am 1 comment


March 2023

Notebook Project