textiles Feed

Getting ready for 2022

I had to put my name of the roster for Patchwork meetings for 2022, Convenor and supper.  Where did this year go?  But it hasn't gone, there are still two months to go!!  I have lots to finish in that time.  Hope I can do it all.  Now that I am fully 'vaxed'  I have a number of social engagements coming up as well.  Then there is Christmas.  I'd almost forgotten about that with everything that has been going on with the virus this year,  but, life goes on.

I decided to buy my daughter a set of on-line lessons for her Xmas present.  They are called 'Garment Makers' Question Time' and are being presented by Philippa Naylor.   I really enjoyed 'Precision Piecing'  that I did with her last year and when I saw this class decided that it would be a great thing that my daughter and I could share.  (I bought a course for each of us.)  Laura is so involved in her academic work at the University we often don't have time to see each other and this is something that we can share, we both have a love of textiles.  (I would also like a set of these care labels from Phillipa's Instagram page.)

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.55.29 am

Before the course even begins I find that Phillipa has 16 posts about the basics for us to view.  Many tutors would not have thought of all these things and I know I will be referring my own students in "Machine Finishing Techniques" to look at these posts.

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.20.58 am

I have often found with teaching the more we progress our knowledge the harder it is, sometimes, to 'pull up' that basic knowledge.  It has passed into our 'long term memory' and become automatic, like driving a car.  But it is this 'basic stuff' that underpins competence.

The other thing I like about this course is that It is one project each month.  Enough time to focus in on the detail.  I swore that I would never make my own clothes again when I retired but here I go again.

One year when I was in Houston for the quilt festival Phillipa won the miniature quilt category with this quilt.  From looking at her web-site I think these are all dresses from her own wardrobe.  I wonder if her owns the shoes?

Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 11.24.09 am


From a simple beginning

When I left school I obtained a cadet-ship with a major department store.  I was only seventeen, a kid from the suburbs with no experience of life.  My mother had died the year before so I had no adult to give me advice, I just dived into this life.  I got 1/2 a day off each week to go to University, all other lectures where in my own time at night after work, and they paid my fees, if I passed my exams. (Oh to have all that energy now.)  I was going to be a business tycoon.  Life had other ideas.  But I had a talent for merchandising and I was lucky enough to end up in Fashion.  I could have ended up buying light bulbs!

One of the things I loved was working on the major fashion shows each season.  Back then, 1970's, these were major live events.  The models walked up and down the catwalk and the sales assistants got the cream of the shows pieces for their 'special' clients.  But it was a time of change.  Music was becoming electronic.  Huge computers that made music, think Dr Who theme.  'Hair' the musical was the rage in New York and our team decided we would employ a choreographer to teach the models how to put movement onto the catwalk, this was unheard of back then.

Move on to the present and the catwalk is now a stage.  Music, lights, action.

  A great video, very today, I wonder if it sells the product?

Screen Shot 2021-10-11 at 4.08.04 pmHere is a link to a documentary about Dries Van Noten.  It is about 20 mins and if you love textiles this is about a master who knows how to manipulate fabric.

Not a quick sewing job

I have finished my sewing apron.  It was not a quick job but I am really happy with the result.  I have used this pattern before but this time I customised the fit to suit me and it is super comfortable to wear.

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 4.51.45 pm

The fabric is a Japanese screen printed cotton, which was a pleasure to sew.  The swing, cross over back means that the shape adjusts to your figure.

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 4.52.02 pm

And there are no ties to come undone.  Because I used a cotton fabric which has a lot of body to it the piece holds it's shape.  Now I'm waiting for a sale on a nice linen which I think would drape better.  This is based on a free pattern from Tessuti fabrics.  ( You can just down load and sticky tape the pages together.)  They have very good step by step printed instruction to download as well.

I found 2 You tube tutorials for this apron.  The first from Asia, very clear instructions, not a lot of talking and even gives some tips on how to stick all those A4 sheets of paper together quickly.  The second from England and she is a bit chattier. 

The instructions say "one size fits all" but I made my straps  a little longer and increased the size of the pattern by about 1cm all over.  I am a size 16 and found this a good fit.  If you are larger just lengthen the straps which will give you the extra room in the garment.

Now I can keep all those loose threads under control.


Looks like I'm going to be in lock down for another 7 weeks until I can get my second vaccination.  My little student will be unable to come here  and my life is going to be very contained.  Still, that's life in a pandemic. 

I am working on my quilt and it is slowly coming together.  All the vertical pieces are now in place and I will start on the horizontal ones tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 7.17.51 pm

But all those little 2" squares shed so many threads.  I seem to be covered with them so I have stopped to make myself a sewing apron.  I lost my original pattern so I had to start from scratch.  I now have it all cut out ready to begin.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 7.21.36 pm

The kitchen island bench makes a great cutting table.  When I was teaching full time I always had access to drafting paper, not now.  I had a roll of paper I bought from IKEA for the grandchildren to paint on and I got creative with the sticky tape.  Does the job.  This time I am going to put the pattern where I can find it again.


Exhibition Part 2

These are the other pieces that caught my attention.I'm not sure if this was stitched by hand or zig zag on the machine.  It is a simple technique but effective.

Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.35.26 pm

There were a number of pieces that were woven, which is one of the techniques favoured by Polish artists. This one looks to be needle weaving.

Wiodsimierz Cygan

"To weave or not to weave" (linen tapestry)

Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.31.00 pm


And this one more pictorial.

Kith Mjoen

"I promise you a rose garden"

Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.31.56 pm


A combination of a machined background with inkle loom weaving.

Maria Antonia Zecchina Herbaria

Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.30.43 pm


I think this piece is woven it would also work well as an embroidery.

Dorota Taranek


Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.34.15 pm

Although the embroidery is a messy technique I find the piece quiet charmning.

Marta Sienicka



Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.31.39 pm


There are many versions of houses but the metal roofs made these ones stand out.

Teresa Rucinska


Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.34.36 pm

A simple idea of using different coloured pieces of tulle and then embroidereing a grid, worked on paper. I liked the finished effect.

Lene Heimer Nielson

"Tasty Embroidery"


Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.33.12 pm

There were other works with about a total of 40 pieces in all.  But it was nice to be able to walk into a gallery and enjoy these works.  Besides giving pleasure they also provide inspiration.  I will be so pleased when this pandemic is over and I can just enjoy things like this again.


I took the time on Saturday to have a look at a small exhibition that was on display at a Library fairly near by.  I had read on Sue Stone's ( U.K.) Facebook page that It was coming to my area and that she had a piece displayed in it.  The exhibition was called "Baltic Mini Textile Gdynia i"  and is quoted as being one of Europe's Leading reviews of textile Miniatures.  The works are all 20x20x20c, which makes it easy to transport and display.  The display was mounted by The Warwick Art Gallery (Qld Australia) in partnership with Gdynia City Museum Poland who curated the works displayed. ( I will take a few days to show the pieces that caught my eye.)

I found the piece by Sue Stone easily.  I had seen this piece before but didn't realise it's size.  When I looked into it I was able to see the intense detail in the background stitching.  (Her signature fish was in the picture.)

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.00.27 pm

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.12.53 pm

The gallery is housed in a space in the Capalaba Library and this is an out of the way location.  Good for me because I had the place to myself.  (I asked the attendant if I could take photos and she didn't have any information that I couldn't, so I did.)  I was able to really look at every piece on display. 

This piece was cross stitch on Aida cloth and showed a really good use of colour and direction.  Simple but complex.

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.13.25 pm

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.12.38 pm

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.13.46 pm

There were some work by Queensland artists, two of whom I know.  That was a bit of a surprise.

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.25.10 pm

The top one

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.25.38 pm

and the second.

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.25.46 pm

And I was taken by this free form crochet piece.

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.29.29 pm

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.30.06 pmScreen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.30.40 pm

I had to look at this one a couple of times before I saw the image.

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.34.34 pm

Screen Shot 2021-05-30 at 2.35.04 pm

To be continued....

Along with everything else...

As you have probably gathered I love knitting.  I also really enjoy Kate Davies blog.  At the moment she is looking at the "Blue Stocking" movement, if that is the right word for it.  She and others are working on a book about this and recreating some of the knitted "blue stockings".  This blog post is really interesting and in fact I may even embark on knitting some "Blue Stockings" myself. 

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 1.43.29 pmWe often use this term in a throw away manner.  "Oh she is a blue stocking".  It will be good to really investigate Elizabeth Montagu and just what made people call her a "Blue Stocking".

You can read more about this project here.

A bit early for Xmas but....

I know it is a but early for Xmas but yesterday I dropped into my local Patchwork shop to get some more sewing needles.  I don't know why but the eyes of the needles keep getting smaller!!!  Whilst there I saw this fabric which will make great little drawstring bags for Xmas.

Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 3.21.59 pm

Cuteness overload.  I thought about them for the children and then thought that I know lots of adults that would like them as well.  There was also a print fabric to match this, so that went into the bag as well.

Screen Shot 2021-04-28 at 3.21.39 pm

(Some of those designs in the background would work well in fly stitch.  I will have to have a go at that.)   And I did get the needles.


Not a good week

I think I will just give up on this week or was it last week as well?

I got to my Quaker exhibition only to find they had closed it early due to work being done to the library.  After all I had to do to get there it was very disappointing.  I have the 1.5 to 2 hour drive to town to start with then because I haven't traveled by public transport for the last year they had taken all my money off my card.  I tried to top it up on the bus but was told all that has changed.  I then had to find somewhere to put some money on the card.  (It is just too expensive to park in town.)  Then when I got there, no exhibition.

The next thing was I have had to have 2 teeth extracted.  I had two root canal treatments about 8 months ago and now my body just rejected them so out they had to come.  The Dentist could find nothing wrong with the teeth at all, still, I have to admit I feel a whole lot better once they came out.  Shame about the $3,000+ that I had spent on the treatments.

The good thing is that now that those teeth have gone my mind is working again.  (Don't ask me what the link was I just don't know.)  I am in the middle of preparing a new class and am really enjoying the process.  Because it will be for beginners from outside of the Embroiderers' Guild and I already teach a class for new members, I had to come up with something different.   It is about learning the basic stitches but I wanted a project that gave them something finished to take away.  My solution was to settle on a set of 4 designs that can be stitched  in the allotted time.  I have actually drawn more designs than the four needed so that there is a lot of choice.  I have put the designs into my drawing program and put different colours behind each design.  Although I am using white cotton/linen fabric I think these could look good on a variety of fabrics.  (I see there is one circle outline I didn't cut after I added the fill colour, oops.)

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 7.50.07 pm

I got a bit carried away with drawing botanical things and have another two pages of designs.  They are only small, in circles of about 2.5" or a bit less.  I found I could fit 4 designs on a 6"x6" square of fabric.  I backed this with a fine muslin and tacked the two pieces of fabric together, put this into a frame and stitched.

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 7.49.23 pm

Because they are small they are quick to stitch and I am really enjoying this stitching.  When the students have finished this they will choose their favourite and then mount it in a mini-frame to use as is, or as a piece of jewelry.

Screen Shot 2021-04-15 at 7.49.42 pm

I think that I might glue a piece of thin wadding onto the backing board before it is mounted as well and I also think I had better buy some more of these frames because I could just keep stitching.

New fabric, new designer.

I am having trouble setting up my new camera so a trip to the camera store was called for.  To get into the shop I have to drive across numerous busy traffic lanes, SO, I decided I would come into the street from the other direction and straight into the parking lot.  To do this I had drive a suburb away and that is where my patchwork fabric shop is.  (I know this is convoluted logic but it did get me to the fabric shop.)  Of course I had to go in.  I wanted a charm pack for the butterfly blocks and whilst there I found this lovely fabric.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 4.07.41 pm

This is an image from her website of the fabric made up as cushions.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 4.31.43 pm

The larger design is printed on a cotton/linen blend and I intend to embroider all the bees in those flowers.

The fabric was so unusual I decided to look up just who the designer was.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 4.11.56 pm

It turns out she is a young woman based on the south coast of New South Wales and her Instagram page has some lovely images.  Her web page gives some background on her work and on her blog I see she uses Procreate on her Ipad to do a lot of her designing.  I then visited "La La Land's"  shop and made a few purchases.  This is someone I will keep on eye out for in the future.