Friday, 30 December 2016


Thinking of the orange yellow pink piece from yesterday I took a photo of my orange display at my bedroom door. The piece on the left is the side panel over the door of a Toran I made in a group of six with each of the members making a part of it. This side panel was the bit I did to start so the group could see my colour and design preference for the finished piece. The macrame hanging on the right ,or bell pull, is one of two I made years ago and gave to my Aunt. When she passed away I reclaimed it. The little orange stick figure is a little totem I made. It is holding, keeping,  items or tokens to represent things I find as treasure. I love the shadows created.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Just Considering

Looking at some dyed fabrics for my Olley piece. Orangey yellow background for the colours of her walls , even though here it looks more pink, blue indigo dyed doiley as a still life table top item, faded old handkerchief, the cat is a Jude Hill inspired piece and I just put it here to add some colour and a focal point . Will not use it in the final piece.

The other large square is a botanical dyed piece of silk.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

With a Little help

Pablo came to help me take a photo as soon as I laid this unfinished piece down. Considering the next  part, finishing, will I add more hand stitch and then machine quilt some areas. It is inspired by the work of Jude Hill and is called 'Come Away with Me' a little poetic licence with The Owl and the Pussycat. I really enjoyed working slowly on it with no direction it just came together.

Is it too folk art looking? There is machine piecing, appliqué, embroidery both slip stitch and raw edge. At the moment it needs an iron! Considering ............I think it is in the really ugly stage that is between inspiration, creative motivation and enthusiasm and just wanting it finished. 

Friday, 23 December 2016

Journal Cover

Yesterday I worked on making a new cover for my 100 day challenge journal. It is blue silk with a cotton lining with an inside of part of on of my Dad's old stripy flannelette sheets, very soft. I will stitch on one of the doiley's from the challenge onto the front cover. I cut out pieces for a second cover which is only part filled but I will continue cataloging my vintage linens, embroideries and doilies.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Drawing inspiration

These little sketches are for my thinking of how to proceed for my 'Margaret Olley at the Tweed Gallery' inspired pieces. My art group Broadstrokes has put in a submission for an exhibition at the Warwick Art Gallery to show this work so I am working towards this. I have been reading a biography on Margaret Olley and it is fascinating, she certainly led a very full life. In one phrase she mentions being in her home studio at an old hat factory like being cocooned in a burrow when life's sadnesses were mounting up for her. So my mind went with the image of being cocooned with a burrowing creature.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Missed posts

I have been having trouble with being able to post on this blog, but all clear again now.
That fold through the face is worrying me I will try to iron it out today. More work on my shrine. Fairy/bird figures on the centre area. Finishing off the bottom area. There is to be some opening doors on the front but I am liking it as it is now.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Shrine to the Bird King

I have been working on another felting project that Sara Lechner from Fabric of meditation runs online as a work along project. This one is a shrine. I am doing one to the bird king using the vintage brooch with the kookaburra as a central motif in the top piece. There is more to doas it will be full of little details and doors on the front.

Thursday, 24 November 2016


This is my first page of an embroiderers ledger that I am working on following Karen Ruane of Contempory Embroidery. The photo is of Margaret Olleys studio home that is installed in the Tweed Gallery. A first colour matching exercise.

Monday, 7 November 2016

30 days in April

I have finished appliquing my faces for the 30 days in April challenge set for the art Quilters group I am in, Broadstrokes. Faces were drawn in aquarelle pencil from a photo of a person I encountered that day. Again like the stitching of June it is on a soft green damask table napkin. I have to finish stitching down the pebbles of September. Now I am working on my 30 days on November, words

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Stitched Leaves

These leaves are from the Liquid Amber tree outside my kitchen window. A tree that tells of the seasons, the bees in early spring. The lush green growth of summer, the browns and golds when the leaves fall in autumn. I collected and stitched theses leaves when they were fresh. Windfall. I had been reading Alice Fox' s book and she stitches on a lot of leaves.

Monday, 31 October 2016

Rose leaves

Here is some echo dye on silk. Just playing and getting ideas for apiece I am doing inspired by Margaret Olley.
Pale as there was not much in the dye bath I wanted the leaves to print. I am happy with its soft paleness.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Super Lazy

I have added more to this piece. The cape is in the process of being appliqués on. It is a piece of Libert fabric with an Australian theme of wild flowers. I am now in the process of looking at size and placement for the words. I have changed the wording slightly. It now says ' I am having a Super Lazy day. It's just like any lazy day....except I am wearing a cape"
I have done this on a found vintage white cloth. Love the edge detail. There is more scope here for some stitch as I attach it to the cloth underneath. It is labeled  Semco and has a green border of 4 leaf clovers.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

30 days in June

I have just finished stitching down the silk squares on to the vintage damask table napkin. It is from my Aunt Joan Larkin's linen cupboard. Love the soft green colour and the stains or marks of living, evidence of a time long past, evidence of family gatherings of my ancestors. The little 2 1/2 squares have just random embroidery for what I was thinking or feeling at the point of time they were worked, no pre planning, just going with it, thoughts, memories, happenings. Little cross on the day my beautiful dad passed away.

Friday, 7 October 2016

September pebbles

my 30 pebbles stitched for each day in September onto the small silk square. Now ready to stitch down onto the damask table napkin. Now just November's 30 days to go! Have to think of a new daily challenge. Greys from my stash and friends in the quilt world.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Frogs and Pizza

I made this years ago in answer to a challenge by Qld Quilters. We were given the small pizza box and had to put in a fabric pizza. A lot of fun to work on.


Couldn't resist making the sign for the cover. It was done by writing with a bleach pen onto black fabric so to discharge the back ,leaving only the underlying original colour of the fabric.
The pizza is an image of a pizza printed directly onto fabric cut out, turned, stuffed lightly and then tiny pieces of fabric to represent capsicum ,olives and cheese were stitched on with a few beads for added texture.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

100 day project

I have been participating in a 100 day project with its founder from New Zealand , but participants from all over the world. My project is to ' unpack' the embroideries, doiley' s and stitcheries I have from my Grandmother, mother and Aunties as well as the many I can't resist purchasing from charity shops. A few given to me by friends. So I write a bit about the embroidery, think of how I could interpret it to include into my textile art . Cut up, embroider more, appliqué, sketch, join all together to make a background for further work.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Paper Angel

I made this angel out of half a Yen magazine. At Queensland Quilters meeting on Tuesday night. Pat gave a demonstration on how to make them. So I made one and gave to my artist friend Annamaria Mays when we went on an op shop hop yesterday.

All I had to buy was a styrofoam ball for the head. So when op shopping yesterday I found a bag of ten balls ,the right size. So is this a sign I need to make more!! Not sure as I don't like the repetition of making the same article. But I bought them and have a stack of magazines mainly old Frankie's.

Monday, 12 September 2016


On my sewing room floor at the moment. All recycled woollen fabrics cut from old coats from op shops. Starts with the Graham clan tartan and comes down under following the birds from Scotland, Ireland and England to Aeoteora and Australia. To the centre the red square as in a traditional log cabin , the centre ,the heart .

Saturday, 10 September 2016

30 days has September

This is the third month of my 30 day challenge. Again it will be on the pale green damask table napkin as the other two. So for September I am stitching stones, pebbles on to the white silk squares as the other two. Appliqué , needle turned. I have to speak to my quilt buddies to get enough greys. I want the pebbles in grey as that will echo the sketch colour of the 30 days in April and the black running stitch of June.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Floral 9 patch

For the display for ATASDA Qld I needed to make another A4 size piece. The wool background was given to work on. I will do a running stitch around the patches and then couch down the black and white magic thread. Inspiration from Jude Hill. I enjoyed working on this one , just went with the idea, found the scraps of floral cottons and placed them in the grid . The 'sashing' was even but looks better with a bit of random slants. I have another piece of this deep rose pink wool suiting in the dye pot hoping to get some eucalyptus leaf prints on it and to alter the colour of the pink.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


This little piece is waiting for me to catch up with what is going on with it . To add, to hang, to finish.
It is relating to generations in my family. I am the seed at the bottom, the growths on the stem are my three daughters and the stitched moon is my Mum. Gentlework just going along and making, thinking, stitching.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Seeds workshop

Results of enjoying a workshop yesterday with Sophie Munns. Scrumbling with three colours to make a background to the white ink seed pod drawings.

Made into a concertina book

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Super Lazy

This is a work still to be completed. I am going to stitch in a few words. I have used this image on my  profile page for the 100 days project/ challenge I am doing. My project is to 'unpack' 100 of the collected embroideries, used or unfinished that I have been collecting or gifted from the cupboards of several relatives, my mother , grandmother ,great grandmother and aunt. Others found in vintage , second hand shops, flea markets in Brisbane, Paris, Los Angeles. I will, measure, describe detail the provenance and some idea of what I may do with it. I will also add something obscure to the written detail that may link, something factual. This technique I learnt with Ruth Hadlow in a workshop in 2015. The idea is to keep doing something everyday ,to lead somewhere or just keep the mind focused. To play , to practise to repeat and repeat over and over.
I have hand embroidered on a small white doiley which I found in a second hand shop . She is wearing a cape. The doiley is a bright clear white and the thread used is a light brown from a heap of DMC embroidery threads purchased in a Lifeline store. I used up two strands that the prior owner/ embroiderer had wound back around the thread to use later or to save. I wonder what was made with the other 4 strands from that thread?

Friday, 19 August 2016

Beads ,charms and sequins.

Ready to start the next part of the online crazy quilt class with Kathy Shawl
The little metal cat is from my mothers momentos. Vintage . The damask table napkin is also vintage happened to be on hand ,it is being planned for another project. Love that hole , some darning is in order.

Thursday, 18 August 2016


This has been waiting to get finished. The inspiration came from the little 12th day cake token I found when travelling in France. I named her Manon and then of course Manon needed a home. So her cottage and farm were collaged in. The background is a piece of indigo dyed cotton, yet to be cut to size. It is in a small vintage frame that was at my family home, only the metal frame though.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Crazy Block

fabrics ready to start an online class with Kathy Shawl.

Tea Bags

Saving tea bags to work another piece of fabric for a dress. My dress from August last year received second prize in the Funky Art section of the Fine Arts exhibition at the Brisbane RNA ( Ekka) and is on display there until 14 August.

But looking these tea bags at them I wanted to try this with wee collages. Just scraps at hand.
Relaxing at night. Just something to keep the doing happening.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Little Moon

Even though now we are experiencing a new moon, here is my new moon, a full moon. Inspired by Cindy at Handstories and of course Jude Hill of Spiritcloth. I have been following their gentle blogs for years. If I knew how to link to them I would ,and I will when I find out how!!
The moon is on a piece of indigo dyed soft fine cotton that I dyed with Ali George in her blooming indigo vat. I have a quote from Galileo Gallilei (1610) to go on as well ." It is a beautiful and delightful sight to behold the body of the moon".

Friday, 29 July 2016

Kareem's Edge

This is the very early start to a piece for Queensland Quilters night group. We were all given the name and jockey colours of a race horse. I have Kareem's Edge and the colours are pink and white. We have until November ( Melbourne Cup day )as the monthly meeting is that night. We have to be inspired by the name or the colours. When I looked up Kareem I was drawn to Kareem Abdul Jabar. He was a US basketball player, some say the best ever! So the cross in my piece refers to the crossroads in Kareem's life that he faced along the way. I have drawn a sketch of his arm in the process of slam dunking a ball through the hoop ,which he was renowned for doing ,and unstoppable. I will stitch it somewhere on the piece with a large round ball. Not sure what else yet, he writes and has some interesting ideas ,so maybe a quote as well.

The background is a piece of white linen and the pink an old Indian sari given to me by Ali George. I love the laddering that is running through the pink silk. 

Friday, 15 July 2016


This is a very small piece 3x5 cms.

A needle weaving. Landscape in a tiny white ceramic frame I was given as a gift from a friend.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Morocco Map

Getting back to finishing my mixed media piece based on a trip to Morocco in 2013.
Papers from a vintage book purchased in a market souk in Fez. Drawings from my sketch book of images along the way. Tree/ river system/ road trip up mountainous area in the west was formed with a piece of unravelling wool found in the Sahara Desert in a desert camp. Stitch and dyed cotton gauze as well as an oil stick rubbing on paper of a decorative grill in Marrakech .

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Looking back to purge. This piece was made during a masterclass workshop with Carole Wilkes. Members who completed their pieces then hung them in an exhibition entitled 'Pallets'. All pieces were constructed using a visual image from photos of old pallets.
My piece was attached to grey organza which was then wrapped around the outer edge of a pallet.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


There must be something about Beetroot that draws me to it as today I have been working on a small piece for ATASDA Qld. Given the teal and deep pink wool fabric  we have been challenged to create something. So this is what I came up with , stitch and raw edge appliqué with the wools, vintage lace and wool and cotton 'threads'.
Then I recalled the other piece done in 2010. On orange wool blanket. I was eco dying the calico in beetroot leaves and onion skins and left it on the stove forgetting to turn of course it burnt and I salvaged this piece. The burn holes have been highlighted with reverse appliqué to the orange backing.

Thursday, 30 June 2016


Found this in the back of my fridge and just loved the pattern that it made. Translucent swirls, lines and grids. Pattern is everywhere around ,only needs eyes to see and hands to interpret into cloth and stitch. But with everything I am working on, finishing starting I think I will leave this as something beautiful. What is it?? An egg white that was left to dry up! The egg yolk must have been used and the white kept for.... Meringues maybe.

Monday, 27 June 2016


Had a wonderful day yesterday felting with Annamaria, Merody and Sharon in North Ipswich. We ate  cake, warming bowls of chicken noodle soup, lots of tea . Perfect for a cold winters day . I made a pre felt in off white and then added pieces to add to my story before finishing the felting to secure them into the picture. More fabric and stitch to be added. Sore back and arms today but happy with working body and mind in this ancient of crafts. Time to meditate during the process in the repetitive rolling motion in the felting technique.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Rusted with tea

Here is the stitched piece with some colour. I sprayed it with tea and left in the sun to dry . I love the black stain from the tannin interacting with the rusty things layered in the fabric. Not sure if I like the 'front' or the 'back' best.

Linen side up as the original front.                             Back side with cotton fabric . More rust colour

Monday, 13 June 2016

Slow stitching

I have been working on this stitched piece after reading  a new book by Alice Fox , Natural Processes in Textile Art. It is linen with a cotton back then sandwiched in between are some small rusty items; washers, nails, a buckle. I am slowly stitching the two layers with random seed stitch and straight stitches. I am using some old ecru crochet cotton.When the stitching is finished I will spray with tea. The tannins in the tea should react with the rust and stain the fabric and stitches. Then see what happens!
I am enjoying the meditative in and out of the stitches, I reflect on the lovely needle I am using as it glides easily thru the fabric.I run my fingers down each newly threaded length of cotton in the needle, smoothing , asking it for  strong , fine  stitches without any tangling or knots, to merge with the fabric as if there is no other place for it to be.

    Meditative stitches
Working hands

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Rhapsody in blue

This piece has finally come back from an exhibition for ATASDA in NSW as well as one in Brisbane. Lots of layers trapped under blue organza and hand stitched for the dress, with an added canvas face lightly stuffed, and sari silk hair.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

30 days in June

I really gained a lot from doing the 30 day small daily challenge in April so here I am working on a similar concept in June. The slow rhythms of stitch this time. I am meeting a goal to stitch every day , the slow working on stitch, one small piece at a time to maybe come together to a whole to express the daily focus. To be mindful in the moment , to allow myself that small moment  in the day, rather than lamenting the lack of time to work on my art.

Stitch in black on silk squares that I have tacked. Laid out on a similar pale green damask table napkin as my 30 days in April faces.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Washed and drying

So here they are freshly washed and drying in the breeze. I am really pleased with how the handkerchief turned out. The grid is well defined and may lead to a good story. In the corner you may see a small embroidered flower and other tiny details that was already on it.The calico scrap has two little people shapes cut out of it, so maybe I will place a piece of fabric under and reverse appliqué the shapes.

Sunday, 29 May 2016


I have made a little rust bundle of an indigo dyed handkerchief. Didn't look too good so now over dyed with rust. I wrapped the hankie and a piece of calico around a rusty grid I have saved for this purpose. Soaked in a vinegar and tea water. Left over night and now for the reveal

Now I will wash and rinse really well in bi-carb soda to neutralise the rusting process and stop it from further rusting. I want to try with only tea in the water as it gives blacker colour as the tannin in the tea reacts with the iron, and have no vinegar- next time.

Monday, 23 May 2016

30 days

30 days has April - it even included 5 days in Taiwan where I had to photograph and sketch my fellow travellers. Great practise at really looking. Mouths were difficult and I found only about 2 faces that really look like the person. Some of the others have familiar look to them but the rest don't really reflect any thing about the person.I am looking forward to doing more work on them to stitch down. 30 days has June.....maybe? And yes there is one cat in there as well as The Queen of Hearts from an early playing card on display in a Medieval exhibition at the Queensland Museum.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Story book

A new page in my story book being worked at in a follow along video inspiring 'classes' with Karen Ruane from Contempory Embroidery.