You Are Invited!

I have a piece in tis exhibition – if you are going to be near Bega anytime from 20th Sept to 16th October, hope you will drop by.


Surface design workshop

I had a great day hosting a group from EFTAG – the Eurobodalla Fibre and Textile Art Group. We did gelatine plate printing, sun printing and thermofax screen printing. Everyone had a blast and went home with bundles of treasures ready for further embellishment.




SAQA Blog Hop


Today is my turn to host the SAQA Oceania blog hop.

First, I am sorry that the photo doesn’t look quite square – not sure what happened there – it is 12 inch square, I promise!

I made this, and a number of others on the theme of Narooma boat sheds prior to the call for the auction and the announcement of the blog hop, so don’t have step by step photos. However, I have put together a step by step using similar fabric.

selection of purple and chartruese

Not sure how I came to use the chartreuse and purple combo – not really my colours at all, but they certainly pack a punch! I think I had the fabrics left over from a long ago dyeing session and thought this was a good opportunity to use them up.


I chose a piece of hand dyed chartreuse for the focal point – the boat shed.  I had experimented with different ways of presenting the boat shed, including paper piecing, and I used them in other pieces in the series.  But for this one, I cut a simple one piece shape and then used a thermofax screen to add the “Keep Out” sign.


I then fused this to some hand dyed purple.  I don’t do much fusing, I think I was channelling a Melody Johnson quilt from a while back that quite took my fancy.


After pulling a combo of hand dyed and commercial fabrics I improvisationally cut and pieced a few sections and on this one used the scraps from the fused fabric to repeat the hipped roof shape.

Free form machine quilting isn’t my forte so I did some straight line quilting using my walking foot, and a little free machine quilting echoing the swirls in some of the fabrics, and which put me in mind of the huge swirling eddies of water that I see when I look down from the bridge into the inlet at the turn of the tide.  And I learnt my lesson last year to only look, not get caught up in it, when I nearly got swept up in a huge swirling mass of water in my kayak when paddling near the bridge – it goes from calm and serene to whirling maelstrom in the space of just a few paddle strokes – I felt like a little planet being dragged into the orbit of a monster death star  – quite scary!

During my research I found that the volume of water moving past a fixed cross section during each flood tide or ebb tide (i.e. slack water to slack water), is referred to as the tidal prism of an estuary – isn’t that interesting? It sounds rather poetic.

Since I first moved to the Narooma area three years ago, I have loved the little boat sheds that dot the inlet.
photograph of old boatshed in Narooma
This is one of my favourites – it seems to be abandoned. It was vandalised after I took this photo. They replaced the door, but alas, it is a horrible colour.
photograph of old boatshed in narooma
I also enjoyed photographing the various signs around the inlet
Photos of progress
This and that
More mark making
More mark making
Photos of progress
I have turned several of these into thermofax screens and used the image along with the boat shed shape in a series of small pieces.
photo of small quilt featuring boatshed and oyster sign

small quilt featuring boatshed


This last one has just been juried into an upcoming exhibition “Local Structures” at the Spiral Gallery in Bega.

photo of small quilt showing Narooma boat shed with oyster sign

So, that is me – coming up next is Buffy Beggs who will be sharing her process on the SAQA Oceania Blog.

And remember, if you would like to include thermofax imagery in your work, check out my thermofax screen service.


BTW, a cautionary tale – you mustn’t let acrylic paint dry on your screen or it will be ruined.  So I keep a kitty litter tray filled with water beside me as I work and drop the screens in there.  When I am finished printing for the day I take the lot to the sink in the garage where I do my paint clean up and wash then dry them.  One time I got called away after I put them in the sink and forgot about them.  It was several days before I discovered them and found that the water had seeped in between the two layers of mesh, causing it to separate. Those screens are now useless.  So, don’t let the paint dry on them, but don’t leave them soaking indefinitely either!

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.


tACTile exhibition – 100 quilts celebrating Canberra’s centenary

Just got back from a flying trip to Canberra to catch the last day of the Celebrating Canberra exhibition. I couldn’t take photos, but pop over to Jenny Bowker’s blog where she has posted lots of photos and published the artists’ statements.

Great exhibition – lots of different perspectives on Canberra.  I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting with Dianne Firth, who shared some interesting insights into her work.  Nearly all the pieces are for sale, so if you see something you like, contact the artist.

I went to Canberra via Goulburn and called in on Claire Ayling and checked out her beautiful Bali Batiks – she says she is having a sale next weekend, so if you are near Goulburn, drop in.


If only they were always this angelic!
If only they were always this angelic!

Not much sewing happening at the moment as I am away visiting the new grandbaby and his family. Melbourne’s weather is rather depressing – cold, wet, windy. Took myself off yesterday for a small expedition while baby howled non-stop.  Happened upon the charming town of Gisborne, just off the Calder Hwy – it has a lovely patchwork shop – had a very calm, serene feel to it.

Also discovered that Gisborne has no fewer than 5 Op Shops so collected a few treasures.


And speaking of treasures, I just happened to be chatting to a friend of my daughters and somehow the subject of paper ephemera came up (as it does), and he mentioned that he has quite a collection.  He was kind enough to lend me an album full of WW1 era postcards to a young woman called Gwen who lived in Fairfield Victoria.  Most of them were sent to her from her brother and a friend who were serving in France.

I have scanned all these at high resolution and will be printing them onto fabric when I get home.

SAQA Oceania collection and blog hop

my quilt "Private Property"
my quilt “Private Property”

One of my resolutions when I retired and had more time to do the things I wanted was to join SAQA.  Every ear they have a fund raiser involving small (12 inch square) quilts made by members.  I am paticipating for the first time this year with my little quilt “Private Property”.

All 425 donations can be viewed here.

The Oceania collection can be viewed here.

During July, August and September SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Oceania members will be sharing the creativity behind their Benefit Auction quilts.  Follow the Oceania Collection Blog Hop to get a peek into the work of each artist.  The blog hop kicks off on 16 July with Sue Dennis.

Come back and visit me on 2 September to read about the inspiration for this little quilt and the techniques used in making it.

Normal service is resumed

Hmm – it would seem there has been an unscheduled (and largely inexplicable) interruption to this blogging service.  Oh well, I’m back now.

My first year of retirement has just passed, and on the one hand, I don’t know where the time has gone – but OTOH, it has been a big adjustment.  As much as I planned, prepared for, anticipated and welcome retirement there is no escaping that it  is a major life change and it takes a while to adjust.  My biggest adjustment is having to manage my own time without the discipline of external influences to make me get things done in a certain timeframe.  I thrive on deadlines – the shorter the better – so when I don’t have any my time management skills are shot – in short – if I have all day to do something, that is how long it will take me!

Hmm, have some work to do to figure out how to manage that.

In the meantime, another major life event has occurred – the safe arrival of grandson #3.

Baby Max aged 6 days
Max Dowling Campbell aged 6 days

Here he is contemplating life on the quilt I made for his Mum when she was little.  Said Mum is clever photographer, Clare Metcalf.

Isn’t he deliciously cuddly looking?  Can’t wait for my first kisses and cuddles when we go to Melbourne in  couple of days.

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.

Rediscovering treasures

I haven’t posted for a while, but that doesn’t mean I have been lounging around (although now that I am retired, I figure I can lounge to my heart’s content!).

No, actually I have been finalising my entries to the Canberra Quilters Exhibition which is on in August.  They will go off in the mail by the end of this week.  In addition to those two entries, I have been busily making things to sell in their Sales room.  Canberra Quilters is unique (I think), of the State and Territory quilt guilds which put their annual exhibition on in conjunction with Expertise Events, which runs the big annual craft shows, in that they have kept their own sales room.  We aren’t allowed to sell anything that competes with the vendors who pay (I understand) big bucks to have a stall at the show.  Nevertheless, the sales room turns over rather a large amount of money over four days selling very high quality hand crafted items.

I haven’t entered in years, but now that my time is my own, decided to revisit what used to be an annual event for me.  In the process I have rediscovered all my embroidery bits and pieces.  I was an embroiderer before I took up quilting, and taught smocking in Sydney in the early 1980s.  It has all been put aside for sometime and I have quite delighted in opening boxes and finding silk and ribbons and lace and bits and bobs.  There is something very calming about sitting with a nice cup of tea in the winter sun, enjoying the gentle rythym of stitching.

My re-awakened interest in embroidery led me to seek out a local embroidery guild, and I found a lovely group right on my door step, the Bodalla Embroiderers.  We meet fortnightly in a very old and extremely draughty hall in the main street – looking forward to summer when hopefully it will be a bit warmer!

On my first visit I took along a couple of my favourite embroidery books, one of which is Barbara Woolcock’s Embroidered Houses.  Severl of the ladies were very taken with it so I decided to see if I could find a copy for the library.

A bit of googling confirmed that, as I had thought, it was out of print, but a bit more googling took me to a wonderful website I hadn’t heard about before – Better World Books.

Not only did I find a copy of the book – in excellent condition – for only $10, but postage is free.  It arrived the other day and I am delighted.  And even better, the proceeds go towards literacy programs and other good works – so a win win!

I just checked their catalogue and even found a copy of Penny McMorris “Crazy Quilts” – a book much lusted after by crazy quilters which has been out of print for a long time, and which has been known to sell for hundreds of dollars on Ebay! and for just $14.98!

I’ll definitely be bookmarking this site.  Now back to tagging and cataloguing all my goodies for the sales room.