Ready, set go..

I am all packed for Fibre Arts at Sale.  I have probably packed too much stuff, but you never know what you are going to need.  Here are some collage and printed cards I have made to sell at the traders market.


New thermofax screen – Sashiko stitching

I am currently enamoured with all things Japanese. I am re-learning the language, forty years after I first did an intensive 12 month course, and I have a trip planned for later this year. So I wasn’t surprised to notice that a number of the new screens I have made recently have a distinctly Japanese theme to them.

Sashiko stitching is a traditional style of running stitch usually done in white on an indigo background. I must confess that traditional sashiko just doesn’t appeal to me much – the traditional designs are very precise and orderly. While many people find repetition and symmetry pleasing in designs, I am afraid I am not one of them. To me, same, orderly = predictable = boring, no matter how artfully executed. I like eccentricity and asymmetry – it takes far too much effort to be perfect!



thermofax screen sashiko stitching
zippered pouch with ‘sashiko’ stitching

So I took a traditional sashiko clamshell design and in Adobe Illustrator, drew free-hand clamshells then used a seed stitch brush to simulate the stitches. I turned this into a thermofax screen, and voila – instant, quirky sashiko ‘stitching’. I made a zippered pouch of the fabric, and backed it with some complementary Japanese patchwork fabric.sashiko-zippered-pouch-back
thermofax 'sashiko' stitching

I played with the idea a bit and made a few more designs, including a traditional hexagon, some random, wavy stitching lines and then interspersed straight lines with circles. These remind of of the sand/gravel gardens at at temple in places like Kyoto.

I have printed these onto some indigo fabric that I dyed using 60% reduced indigo from KraftKolour in Melbourne. A very quick and easy way to get into indigo dyeing if you would like to give it a go. These pieces only had one dip in the vat, so aren’t very dark, but I like this shade of blue.

I’m baaaack!

Dear me, I am not quite sure why I go missing in action from time to time.  This has been a particularly long absence, but yes, I am still alive.  I have had a steady flow of thermofax screen orders recently, so people are obviously finding the site, despite my inactivity.  If you are wondering, yes I still provide a custom screen service.


My first screen of the year, as always was for the 2016 label for Aussie Hero Quilts.  I have sent off about 30 of these already. Of course not everyone uses my labels, many people make their own, but there are obviously some people who appreciate having someone else take care of that little detail, so I am happy to help, especially as it is such a good cause.

I made 11 AHQ quilts in 2015 and quilted six made by others.  So far this year I have one nearly finished and two waiting to be quilted.  I will gradually update the AHQ quilt gallery with the photos.

Where I live


One of the (many) pleasures of living here is watching the moon rise over the water. There is something magical about seeing the light glimmering on the surface of the sea. I took these photos last week.

Photo of the perigee moon seen from NSW south coast May 6 2012
Just over a year ago I captured the rise of the perigee moon which inspired this fabric postcard.  Thermofax printed tree, stencilled moon on hand dyed fabric.  I think I will have to make more of these.


Aussie Hero Quilts

I have been a bit quiet since just before the Canberra Quilters show, but that doesn’t mean I have been idle.  I keep hoping for the weather to warm up so I can get out my dyes and messy stuff, but it is still too cold.  At least the days are getting noticeably longer.

I am the newsletter editor for Canberra Quilters, and one of the articles I was asked to include for the September edition was about the Aussie Hero Quilt project.  I hadn’t heard of this before then.  Once I had finished putting the newsletter to bed, I looked into this and decided it was something I really wanted to do.

I am a former member of the ADF, as is my husband, who is also a Vietnam Veteran.  When he read the emails I had got from Jan-Maree, AHQ founder, and saw that I was going to make quilts for the project, he commented that he thought it was a really good thing to do.  Exactly.

So here are my first five quilts (click for larger image)

Aqua strippy

aqua strippy quiltSouthern cross on field of graduated blues

Scrappy strips

And my favourite – big strippy plaids

I also made half a dozen laundry bags, including four from recycled curtain fabric I picked up at St Vinnies.  This is one of the four.

And a couple more from different fabrics.

And finally, all the quilts need to have a label on them  using the particular wording that Jan Maree requests be used.  Apparently some people print these labels onto fabric direct from their printer.  As I have a thermofax, I decided to make a screen and screen print them

They are about A4 size.  One thing I learned from hand sewing five labels on, is in future, I will machine stitch the label to the backing before quilting – that way it gets quilted right into the quilt.

If anyone wants to make a quilt/quilts for this wonderful project, and would like one of these screen printed labels, just send me a stamped self addressed envelope and I will mail you one (or however many quilts you need them for).

My address is 30 Coastal Court DALMENY NSW 2546

This is a wonderful project and I am glad I found it – I hope everyone will get behind it.  If you aren’t in a position to make a quilt, consider a laundry bag, or even just one block.  Jan Maree runs a block of the month and you can contribute that way – go check out the blog.

Getting ready for the exhibition

Next week is Canberra quilters annual exhibition.  For the first time in years I have had the time to enter something and make stuff to sell. The theme for the challenge this year is “Red plus 1” – as in one other colour.  As soon as I saw this I thought of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters.  So I made my own take on this.  I also used the theme to make some needlecases to sell, and I just remember I did a bunch of postcards, which I had better unearth from the piles of stuff in my studio and package up ready as well.

My Tiny Treasure entry was done on my embellisher.  I first distressed some synthetic organza stuff then arranged various yarns and stuff on a piece of really thin batting, then laid the distressed organza over that and ontop arranged some more yarns – then gave the whole thing another run under the embellisher to mesh it all together.  Then I did some hand and machine embroidery and sewed on some beads, shells and doodads.  I finished it with a facing.  It is 12 inches square.  Click on the image for a close up view.

There is always a section for handmade Christmas ornaments, so I made some little selvedge edge Christmas trees.  I don’t claim that this was an original idea, I Googled selvedge edge ideas and saw several similar, so decided to have a go.  Surprisingly, it took me about four goes to get an end product I was happy with in terms of finish and construction technique, but I got there in the end.

I still had some selvedges left so I made some needlecases too. I found I had lots of bits of selvedge with nothing printed on, so decided to print some of my own!  The tape measure strip on the foreground needlecase is a piece of plain selvedge I printed up using my tape measure thermofax screen.  I also used selvedge printed that way to make the tab closures – again, click for large image.

This pretty much used up my meagre store of selvedges, so I put out a call on my online quilt group to see if anyone had any they wanted to offload and several people kindly sent me some, so I can do some more playing.  I think a journal cover will be next, and I will definitely explore the idea of printing up some of my own.

The other thing that has kept me occupied is setting up a blog for the local quilting group  – Dalmeny Quilters.

Once the Canberra Exhibition is behind me I can clear the decks and start doing some of the other things on my to do list.  I am also waiting for warmer weather so that I can get out the dyes and wet stuff – its too darn cold for that at the moment.