Monday, 16 October 2017

Stitch sketching

Practising  some machine stitch sketching. I much prefer hand stitch , slow and mindful as the cloth is held in the hands. With the machine there is a bit of lost control , especially around corners and look at the fat fingers.! But then I should keep working at it and could possibly enjoy controlling my machine.  Maybe I will go over this in hand stitch as well it could give it an extra dimension. It is done on a piece of commercial quilting fabric that I altered with some diluted fabric paint. Not sure where if anywhere this is going. She is not telling me anything about herself , if she enjoys posing, what her name is what she likes and hopes for. This comes with hand work holding and feeling a part of the fabric and thread and so get drawn into the story. I shall call her my mystery, secret keeper, at least until she starts to share.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Stitching stitching stitching

Have gone back reinvigorated to continue and try to finish some pieces. So the Little Red story I have  started to appliqué down some hexagons and Grandmas house. Now to stitch down the raw edges of the linen outline. I will use some variegated thread. I have been contemplating the meaning behind my fascination with Little Red , complicated thoughts of the need to have my own cultural stories . Cultural story, family story , heritage story , childhood story which all meld together . These old European stories that are familiar to me, I can’t change that ,it just is or was. Blinky Bill, Gumnut Babies and Coogee Bear ( but that was a Rolf Harris story so has to be secretly stashed away)  add that special Australian focus to the fairy tales and nursery rhymes of forming a child’s memory. Used to teach , inform and give children that special connection to family and their childhood friends.

Monday, 9 October 2017


I am making a little book from some men’s handkerchiefs. This is the first one folded in half then will use the double layer to stitch and appliqué on. I am not sure where this water, sea , beach theme came from . Maybe it is the blueness of the hankie made me reflect on the ocean. Little lighthouse with a vintage linen covered button.

The birds are cut from an old pillow slip.

Thursday, 28 September 2017


It's amazing where in the world you can find an old Singer sewing machine. Valued for their beautiful iron bases and made into a table. This one I saw on the streets of Hanoi ,Vietnam outside a street coffee shop.

I have one that belonged to my Great Grandmother. It has a marble top on it.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Embroidery in Vietnam

If you find a comfy seat and a quiet moment it's time to embroider! Traditional embroidery of the Hmong people in Cat Cat village again in SaPa Vietnam.

Such fine detailed work. Time and patience . Made into beautiful clothes or textile pieces for the wall.
Seen behind glass in the Fine Arts of Vietnam museum in Hanoi. Finely stitched and embroiderers textiles and clothing. Panels for jackets. Indigo dye, hemp, silk and cotton.

Monday, 18 September 2017


Today in the hillside village of Sapa in northern Vietnam we went for a walk to the Hmong village of Cat Cat.
Here are images of women working on textile traditional work. Batik, Indigo dying, Hemp preparation by beating the fibres to soften, weaving the hemp, embroidery on hemp and cotton.

This elderly lady is applying bees wax in a pattern to a square of cotton. It will then be dipped in the indigo pot.
A young Hmong woman spends time embroidering the traditional stitches. Black cross stitch to outline , which is then filled in with colour

Pounding the hemp fibres to make them soft for weaving into cloth to be batiked , or stitched or for other purposes

Monday, 11 September 2017

Harbour Bridge

Another Margaret Olley inspired piece in the planning. On the floor amongst stuff that was lying there of course.

This is just laying in pieces to get an idea. Might be best up vertical on a design wall , but there's other stuff there so the floor it is. Everything is just randomly added but some thing is emerging. My Dads  family home in Sydney had views of the Harbour Bridge and this was where I spent my early years. So this image done in embroidery and a little fabric paint that I found in an op shop was special. With Margaret in mind as she also, as an art student would wander home from the harbour and look back at the bridge. Very much an image of Sydney which is where she spent her later years. In the Hat Factory. Vintage lace, doiley and bias binding tape. The background is a sample of deconstructed screen printing done years ago. Not sure if it fits here I wanted the bridge and the flowers to be the focus. The flowers in the vase are some flower bashing I did with Nasturtiums. Fun process