Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yellow Polka Dot ............!

Café Curtains!

Yellow Polka Dot Curtains
I’ve just made the cutest café curtains for the smallest of my studio windows; the one that overlooks the enclosed studio veranda. I am so in love with these I want to make more! I made them double sided so I can enjoy them when I sit in the veranda as well! All the fabric is 100% cotton and I used vintage buttons! I need to make a valance for the top as well and am thinking about making it triangular (like bunting) but I'm not sure which of the fabrics to make it from! Maybe both?

Lino Cut

Feather Lino Cut
Last week I puddled with a lino cut. About 10 years ago I made Christmas cards with a lino printed Christmas tree. I still have the remnant lino (Not bad considering about 10 changes of address and a change of country in between! Who said hoarding was a bad thing?!) I cut a feather design (Had to make my brain work in reverse – whatever was cut away would stay white)

After a few failed attempts because my ink wasn’t thick enough I eventually used acrylic paint with some gel medium – perfect consistency! I didn’t know what paper to use so ended up using the smoother side of some lovely watercolour paper I have here. There are a couple of not too bad prints (the others will be relegated to the collage pile!)

Afterwards, I attempted to print on fabric. I added textile medium to acrylic paint and was very pleased with the results.

I’m not 100% taken with the design but for a trial I was happy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Playing with Dye!

Discharge Dyeing

My most recent studio play over the last week or so has involved bleach discharge dyeing of plain black homespun. I have played with this before but I tried a few different methods this time.

Discharge shibori!

The tiger stripe piece was concertina folded and bent back on itself before being wrapped with string and discharged with bleach. It reminds me of an x-ray! Mmmm…I would love to try shibori!

This piece was created by printing on the bleach with styrofoam pieces! (Previously I have used small wooden blocks, jar lids and cotton reels) I was really impressed with the results and have started a quilt utilising my most current pieces and some of the older ones buried in my stash! I love how they glow!


Flour Paste Resist

Flour Paste Resist/ Discharge Dyeing

This square bordered piece was created with a flour paste resist and then discharge dyed. I pressed some small and large circles into the paste as it was drying and when it was completely dry I scrunched up the fabric to create cracks in the paste which formed this gorgeous all over crazing effect. The patterning is not as defined as I imagined but it’s growing on me. After reading some blogs about others’ experiences with this I resisted the temptation to do the dying the same day as I added the paste! (Messy to say the least!!) I waited until the next morning and until the paste was completely dry! Would like to try this as a dyeing process- not discharge.

Onion Skins

Today I have onion skins in the dye pot! ; something I have not tried before. I have a couple of small pieces of white silk; one is trussed up with rubber bands, a small piece of cream silk, a piece of cotton organdy and a few tiny pieces of felted wool.

The wool has taken the dye beautifully and is such a gorgeous ginger colour! The silk less so (and I disliked the trussed silk so I have rescrunched and trussed again to add more colour. I think it was the contrast with the white I didn’t like!) So, it’s back in the pot with a larger silk piece that I am over dyeing – being one of the gum leaf dyed pieces from last week! How blessed am I to have a stove in my studio?

I’ve reboiled the kettle about 3 times now and still haven’t made myself a cup of tea! So, that’s what I’m off to do now. Promise! I won’t get sidetracked again!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knit and Knatter!

I spent a recent Saturday morning at out local gallery - knitting! The event was a 'Knit and Knatter'. Here is a link to a most worthy cause if you'd like to help out: Wrap with Love Inc

I enjoyed the morning and am nearly finished my second 10” x 10” square! The squares are joined to make throws which are then distributed worldwide to those in need. Instructions are at the website if you are a knitter (even beginner knitters can help out as the pattern calls for garter stitch – knit each row – no purl!) It is an ongoing project and many people knit or crochet whole blankets to donate.

Nanna’s Tree of Life.

This piece uses a repurposed doily and fabric squares cut from a vintage café curtain; ribbon and lace from my stash, a tulle fruit and vege bag, lots of surface embroidery, beads and a silk covered button from my very first formal dress! It is quite unlike anything I have done before and I’m not really sure about the finished item but it was certainly a lot of fun to make!

Textile Artist
I was so inspired by an article on the work of Glenys Mann in the latest Down Under Quilts magazine (Issue 134) that I emailed her. Glenys is a textile artist, curator and judge as well as a coordinator of fibre conferences. She lives quite close to me and I was lucky enough to be invited for coffee! She is a bubbly, generous lady who happily shared her knowledge and a few of her books!

Here are links to her websites: and

Did I mention how lovely she is?

I dabbled with gum leaf dyeing of silk and wool after meeting with her and am quite happy with the pieces (Don't know where I'll use them yet though!) I do so love trying new techniques!


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