Thursday, May 13, 2021 Stitch Club

 Week 28  - Joetta Maue

"Stitching from a Photograph"
Joetta said "In this workshop, you will learn to use basic stitches to create a detailed embroidered drawing from an original photograph. 
You will learn how to transcribe the image onto fabric through a simple drawing transfer technique and be guided how to choose the best line density and stitch types. This will turn your photo into an embroidered drawing".

I went through my box of photos from my childhood and chose one that appealed to me. It is of my brother Peter and I dressed for a day in the city in Sydney and then on our way to my grandparents who lived in Manly. Memories of catching the "Manly" ferry to visit them.
I was 4 years old and Peter was 8. My coat and hat were red and apparently I never went out without my little plastic handbag.

The transfer was made with a light box tracing on paper.
I chose a handkerchief of my mother's and used a grey thread. 
I decided not to trace and stitch the whole image as I wanted the focal point to be on my coat and hat. Peter was dressed in his school jumper and tie.
Simple, not detailed and I decided not to stitch our faces, (I am not very good at doing eyes and lips).

Further Development.
Unfortunately due to a very sore right shoulder, I didn't do the next week's exercise as I couldn't hold the hoop for very long without getting pain shooting down my arm.

The past couples of weeks have been taken up with paper and book making.
These sheets were made using a small bag of white shredded office paperwork and then adding shredded brown paper that came with a package delivery. I also added some shredded orange paper.
I have been walking every day and pick up seed pods for mark making. I dip the pod into ink and randomly mark the paper.
On the marked pages I machine stitched pieces of my eco prints 
I attend a monthly Papermakers group and we were shown how to make 3" x 4" tied books
I used my hand made paper and eco printed card
This little Tied book used the mark making pages.
10x10cm books for Fibre Arts Winter School in June where I will be attending a 5 day class on Book Binding. My contribution to be sold to raise funds for a charity.
Another small book using a piece of eco printed card for the cover with a stab stitch binding.
Pages using my hand made paper. Some sheets were not long enough, added another piece by stitching.

Thursday, April 15, 2021


 Week 27 -  Emily Notman U.K.

"Textured Landscape Vessel Wrap"

Emily said "In this workshop you'll make a beautiful textile wrap to sit around a jar or vase.
Explore how to build up texture with chunky hand stitch and intricate applique. Embellish in neutral colours before applying paint. The painting process will bring your piece to life and you can explore this step with any paints you have on hand. Add decorative embroidery to add further texture and colour before constructing the wrap"

The majority of our fellow group member's wraps were very pretty and Spring like. This is not me as I love the autumn tones and therefore I made something different to wrap around.
I often put eucalyptus foliage in this 6 inch high jar instead of a vase but felt the shape did not warrant a wrap.
From a previous textile workshop with Caoline Nixon, I had a piece of eco dyed wool, which I was very happy with. I added a strip of eco printed fabric to the sides and decided to use it for a wrap.
My alternative idea for the workshop was to make a wrap for a 2nd notebook for journaling the workshop classes.

As was suggested to paint the wrap, I decided after free motion stitching the gum leaves to leave then unpainted. Seed stitched some areas instead of heavy textured stitching of flowers etc. 
I completely diverted away from what was instructed and pleased I did. The wool did not warrant or need to be covered with heavy textural pieces.

Further Development Week 2 was to paint another wrap which I decide not to participate in.
My week was spent making more paper. 
I had a small amount of jeans pulp left over, the grey blue, when not much fibre was left in the water I added green pulp from another papermaker. When this thinned out she passed me some of her red pulp which then became the brown.
I attended a workshop to make paper using 100% cotton jeans and T-shirts. 
After cutting the fabric into tiny pieces it was processed in an industrial blender to seperate the fibres.
The seams of the jeans were not used due to their thickness. I cut around the pocket to make a pouch and as the hems were frayed, stitched a strip onto it.

I purchased the jeans at our local op shop and the look on the sales lady as she glanced at me thinking, these won't fit you, was priceless. I told her I wasn't wearing them, I was cutting them up to make paper. She looked at me and said to the lady next in line..."next customer please".
The pages before binding to make a small book with added paper and stitching. The dark blue of the jeans became lighter when I gradually added the while pulp from a T-shirt. We also made paper with a pocket on it where I slipped a small piece in.

Thursday, April 1, 2021


 Week 26 - Jette Clover - Denmark/Netherlands

Intimate Landscape: A Study in White.

Jette said "Using the image on a postage stamp as inspiration, you will explore a winter landscape. It might be a view of the city or the countryside, the sea or the mountains, the forest or the garden.
You will use tiny fabric scraps to create a small atmospheric fabric collage, taking into consideration the season and the time of the day. 
Exploring ideas for composition, you will focus on the colour white and how to use lines, shapes and textures".

Enquiring at the post office, they didn't have any "winter" or "white" stamps so I brought out my childhood stamp albums. I loved collecting stamps. My mother for 40+ years, collected First Day Covers and I couldn't bring my self to tearing a stamp off them. I found 2 stamps in my battered old album.

Unless it is in the vicinity of the snow mountains or some inland regional areas, never experienced snow where I live. I have flown over the Swiss Alps, trudged through very deep snow at Lake Louise, Canada, and spent many happy visits to Lake Mountain, Victoria with family and friends. In my 20's on my flight to London, the Captain said "Everest in the distance out the left window". I was sitting by the window and saw it. These days it is restricted air space.

No 1 - 8 inches square.
Stamp "Winter in Barbados".
Dull and dreary day at home, rain cloud using a scrap of eco dyed fabric.
Eventually looking though the drapes out of the window there is a little sun poking through the clouds in some blue sky.
Jette's method of stitching is not to be too precise, large and small tacking. Organic comes to mind.
I googled winter in Barbados, it says that many tourists escape the harsh snow winters and head to Barbados for the sun and summer-like weather.

No 2 - 7 inches square.
Stamp "Summer in Antarctica"
Various white fabrics. 
Green snow algae are some of Antarctica's smallest living organisms. When they grow together in clumps they are visible from space - a rich lime green stain on the surface of the snow. In summer from October to February, the sun is almost always in the crisp blue sky.
I have loved this stamp in my album, may be due to it being a circle in black.

Week 2 - Further Development
A series of small stitcheries depicting the seasons or night and day.
 3 x 4 inch square pieces using paper only. I didn't have stamps worth using, used photos that I had.
I don't particularly like them, with all that I have on at the moment haven't finished them and probably won't.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


 Week 25 - Kate Tume U.K.

"Exploring Narrative Potential with Embellishment".

Kate says "I love to explore the use of embellishment to describe an idea or express a texture and I believe in the power of beads, sequins and other materials to aid the communication of complex narrative themes.
In this workshop you will unlock the potential of embellishment in your textile art and begin to consider how it might enhance, strengthen and deepen your visual narrative".

Week 1 - instructed to stitch a piece and embellish making unique textures by layering and manipulating sequins and  stacking beads together. The theme was to be a Rock, but my pieces were decided on what I found in my stash.
No 1 - 3.5 inches depicts a blossom tree losing it's petals.
I have very few beads, found 2 tubes of mixed, apricot and rose colour tubes and beads in among my Artist Trading Card box from many years ago. The garden is made using a piece of brown woven cotton tubing with small pieces of green fleece.
No 2 - 3.5 inches depicts a log on the forest floor with gold fungi growing on the log.
The tiny orange buttons were found in my stash from a Christmas quilt years ago.
The log is the end of the brown tube from No 1.
The gold fungi were made from snipping a coffee pod after emptying the coffee grounds into the compost heap.
Coffee pods.
As per usual, I am making do with what I have and nothing was purchased.

"Further Development" 
Week 2
This week were were asked to make up sequins etc. from found pieces. All I had were the coffee pods and no matter how many times I tried using various tools I couldn't pierce the metal for the needle to go through. Made do with fabrics, tiny buttons, beads on hand and a piece of shell I found on the beach.
The woven cotton used was the piece graduating from light brown - dark brown - dark blue.
3 inches square depicting underwater. 
(I know the window of paper is very crooked and not straight.)
I enjoyed these stitching these little samples. 


Sunday, February 28, 2021


 Week 24 - Jude Kingshott - U.K.

"One Stitch Leads to Another"

Jude says "In this workshop you will be creating a fabric book using a neutral fabric for the individual pages and cover. You will be working on the front of the pages so that the stitching, when viewed from the underside, offers an alternative and beautiful aspect for the viewer".

The requirement list suggested we use organdie, silk organza or recycled damask fabrics. As I didn't have any I made do with what I had. Linen for the cover and a fine cotton for the pages.
The size of the book was determined by how many pages. 

My small fabric book is 4.5" square.
I chose to use my hexagon quilting template with dark blue Japanese taupe fabrics.
Kept it simple with basic stitching.
I wasn't happy with the reverse side of the stitching showing. Not very neat, though I did like being able to see the hexagon on the underneath pages.

My pages.

"Further Development"

Our 2nd week challenged us to use paper with fabric to make a scroll. I am partial to the combinations of blue and brown colours.
The previous class, I eco dyed mirror image on paper. I couldn't bring my self to cut it up so didn't use this for the reverse side of my scroll.
Instead a piece of eco dyed print on fabric was used.
Organza was a requirement but as I didn't have any, a piece of pale blue Japanese Taupe made do. Therefore a chopstick found in my kitchen drawer was use to hold it together.
My scroll was made "scraps, simple and random". 
 To conform to the challenge, a piece of floral paper was added.
A t-bag was used .
A couple of pieces of eco dyed fabrics.

I enjoyed this workshop as I enjoy making scrolls. I usually use various sizes of wooden bobbins, from the shop Kyo, unfortunately closed due to now selling wholesale. The owner of the Japanese shop Tetsu, informed me that it will be open to the public over Easter for 12 days. I had better stock up on some!!.  

Friday, February 12, 2021

TextileArtist.orgStitch Club

 Week 23 - Caroline Nixon U.K.

"Eco Print with Stitch"

Caroline says, "In this workshop you will learn how to make eco prints or botanical contact prints. Eco printed fabrics make a wonderful background for hand stitch. In this technique heat, moisture and pressure are used to permanently transfer plant pigment to cloth. You will be printing with the leaf itself".

I have eco printed before but Caroline's instructions and technique were very simple and self explanatory. It is always great to learn a new method and tweak previous ways of doing things. 

A different method was to use cling wrap as a barrier against the leaves in readiness to be steamed. Instead of string to wrap, we used old t-shirt fabric, this enables the end to be held by my foot to stretch the fabric to wind tightly. So much easier on the hands.
This method worked well and did not leave the usual indented marks that string or cord does. 
Pale pink linen dipped in a diluted iron solution and covered with strawberry, Japanese maple, gum and sage leaves.

This next piece was covered in a small amount of eucalyptus leaves spread widely apart.
Unfortunately I was called away after steaming for 25 minutes instead of the recommended 90 minutes.
I decided to re-steam for the 90 minutes with added leaves on the reverse side.

Printed on fine 100% wool cloth.
We have a species of Eucalyptus that prints orange and there is a large tree within walking distance of my home. As I was running short of cling wrap, wanted to make do with what I had and save a trip to the supermarket, I used kitchen paper towel as the barrier. I have done this before and find it works well and I can cover my books with it.
The kitchen paper towel was used to make the covers for my folded stitched book.

I stitched simple leaf outlines, seed stitch, simple branches and French knots

Printing on cardboard was a challenge as the leaves stuck in various places as I tried to peel them off.
I sliced and diced them to adhere to a piece of my handmade paper for the inserts in my Winged Book.

"Further Development"
Our 2nd week of the workshop was to experiment printing fabric in a mirror image.

I enjoyed this process and would like do a smaller piece. This is 16" square and I may make a cushion cover using the piece. The Banksia leaves did not print clearly in the centre. A stretch bandage was used to wrap the bundle.
If I come away from a workshop having learnt one new idea, then it is a success.


Friday, January 29, 2021

TextileArtist.orgStitch Club

 Week 22 - Valerie Goodwin U.S.A.

"Stitch a Personal Map"
Valerie said "Be inspired by texture, layering, stitch and colour. In this workshop you will make a simple and stitched map showing a place that is special to you. it might be where you love, grew up, born....
Using the internet find a map to serve as the starting point. The textile map will use a few simple stitches combined with organza, opaque fabric and a bit of paint."

We were instructed to paint onto the organza. I decided to splash watercolour paint onto a sheet of plastic where I dabbed and mopped up the paint with the fabric. My map was of the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse area which is a favourite of ours.

I printed off the map which has very little detail on it.
Valerie showed how to make the trees and simply stitch them.
The blue painted organza was very pale, solved the problem by adding several layers on top of each other for the sea.
My simple map.

Due to a busy week working, I was unable to do the Further Development section of a more detailed map. Will do it another time as there is no hurry to finish the workshops. We are advised to go at our own pace.

I have a new "toy", a little photo printer. 
The size of the small photos are 2" x 2 3/4".
They can be printed off my phone and iPad. I spend a lot of time running backwards and forewords to the photo shop (15 minute drive) printing for my workshop journals. When I sat down and worked out time, cost of petrol and photo developing, this was very attractive.

"Winged Book"
I attended a book making workshop online.
Using my handmade papers made this small version using a piece of eco printed card from another workshop for the covers.
The pockets can have added pieces inserted.