Monday, August 31, 2020


 Week 12 - Ailish Henderson U.K.

"Stitched Collage Portraits".
Ailish says "My most successful work always comes from the heart. I'm a sentimental person and I keep lots of memorabilia around me and this influences my artistic outcomes! A while ago, I began a project about self-reflection and how I view myself. Using photographs at pivotal times in my life as inspiration, I began to draw and paint.
This is a great technique, as there is no right or wrong. You can tailor it to your own unique personality and style and you can try it using hand or machine stitch. For each work you create, no two results will  be the same, so there is a sense of anticipation and excitement each time".

Our challenge was to take a selfie and stitch a minimalist portrait of our self or someone dear to us. 
Due to lock down and my hairdresser being closed, I am approx 5 weeks overdue for a hair trim.... I  decided not to do my own portrait.

Harvey became the subject.
We were asked to sketch in our journals and then find suitable fabrics etc for our portraits.
I have a collection of English Breakfast and Raspberry tea bag papers, matching his colouring very well. A small piece of white gauze and a tiny scrap of a paper serviette for his one white ear.
I used a sheet of my handmade paper for the background contrast of his white coat.
Free motioned stitch and coloured his nose and black areas with an Intense pencil. He has 3 grey spots on is white ear. Emma commented, "he doesn't have his usual grumpy look" and she loved what I had done of him. I am thrilled with the final piece.

Saturday, August 29, 2020


 Week 11- Anne Kelly U.K.

"Mapping Your Journey - Textile Travels"

Anne says " I am sitting on a train, looking out the window and thinking about the landscapes, towns and hamlets we are passing by. How do I begin to convey this in cloth and tell the stories and histories of the people and places see."

This week's challenge, working from a collection of photos, postcards, old receipts, tickets etc we are to create a small folding book or collaged piece. The result will be a personal response to a special place, journey or event.

On my travels I collect bits and pieces, papers, tickets etc. A couple of weeks ago I decided to have a throw out of these as they had been sitting in a box for several years....ughhh!!!
I wish I had known what this was to be. I don't have collections of photos as they are stored on memory sticks as I make a photo book after each adventure. I looked through these books and decided doors were what I usually photograph. Armed with several large books, John kindly took them to work and photocopied.

I enjoy photographing doors, gates and entrances, I wonder what they lead to and what is behind them. My favourite childhood book is The Secret Garden and this led me to imagine their secrets.
The method for this challenge was to use tissue paper.
Select fabric (I chose muslin), paint over with a watered down solution of PVA glue, place images on using a dab of glue stick, re paint and then lay a sheet of tissue paper over the images with another layer of glue solution.. 
I used a foam craft roller to smooth out the tissue as my sample piece tore using a large paint brush. Let dry then stitch. The tissue was to soften the look of the image. Several ,members did not have tissue and used fine tulle. 

The image of the Flamenco dancer's head did not show up clearly.
Finished little book.
Front cover door, Japan.

I don't think this method is one that I would do again, but as the word "challenge" is used, how do you know if you don't give it a go. Due to lock down of stores, it is surprising what you make do with and that is also part of the lesson.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

TextileArtist.orgStitch Club

 Week 10 - Julie Booth USA

"Exploring the Buttonhole/Blanket Stitch Play Game"

Julie says " Buttonhole/blanket stitch is a utilitarian stitch, used to reinforce the edges of blankets and buttonholes, this very practical looped stitch has great potential from an art and design perspective. By dissecting the stitch, we can explore the possibilities for manipulating it. 
The "legs" of the stitch can be long or short, straight, angled, crossed or knotted., it can appear geometric and angular, flowing or organic."

This week's challenge was to choose randomly 1 Format and 3 Adjectives. This was done by the lucky dip process of numbering and drawing them out. 

In our journals we were asked to sketch some ideas relating to our numbers. Our stitching was to be on  black or white fabric and threads. Unfortunately I didn't have enough black thread in my box and being more than the 5km lockdown home limit from Spotlight, I could not call in to buy some more. 
(online purchase of $1.65 for one skein plus $8.95 postage!!!) Used terracotta thread instead.
Format -  #13 Square/Grid (4 or 9 squares)
Adjectives -  #13 Jagged #20 Squiggly #26 Narrow.

Format -  #2 Waves
Adjectives - #4 Short #12 Meandering #30 Parallel 

I found this workshop extremely relaxing and will do a long piece for another wooden bobbin scroll.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


Is anyone else having trouble with the new blogging?
I tried to post photos and they took up the whole page, I reverted back to the old format. 
I have until September before permanently using the new version.
The way things are I may not be able to continue....

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Week 9 - Cas Holmes UK

Momigami Landscapes
Cas says" In Japan momigami means "momi - kneaded and gami - paper". Cloth is made out of long fibred paper that has been coated, rubbed, wrinkled and strengthened. A vegetable starch or tannin, either the root of the konnyaku plant (devil's tongue) or the unripe juice of shibu (persimmon) is used to coat the paper and it is worked until the fibre will absorb no more.
The paper is then fashioned into capes, half jackets, outdoor wear and bed linen".

Our challenge was to make a landscape from our prepared paper, stitching several layers using fabric as well. To prepare we were to experiment with used found paper with baby or cooking oil to keep our hands moist after kneading it into a cloth like flexible form by scrunching and rolling the paper.
The long blue piece in the middle is of a family wearing shirts in shades of blue.
After kneading, the paper has blended and softened the colour in the picture.
My first piece was made with paper only. Originally it was to represent a storm at sea looking from the rocky foreshore. Standing at a distance it took on the image of a mountain range by a lake!!!
The pale lemon paper with brown fibre is a piece of "joomchi" paper I made in a workshop.

2nd piece using both paper and fabrics. A piece of plain white paper to represent snow or frozen water, adding a small amount of stitching.
I enjoyed this workshop and would like to continue with it.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Saturday, August 1, 2020


Week 8 - Haf Weighton -Wales, UK

Textile Typography
Haf says "The world as we know it has changed significantly within the last few months. Whether we have had the virus or not we have all been impacted by it. The idea of serious illness and how it can affect us is something that some of us might have considered for the first time in our lives. I feel creativity can help us process this experience more positively".

For this workshop we are to create our own medals to be kept as a memento to document this intense period in our history or to be given as a gift to let someone know you are thinking of them.

I decided not to do a medal as such. We are still in lock down due to increasing numbers of our population here in Melbourne testing positive to covid. My walks along the Werribee River allowed me to walk, masked, without worrying as there were few other walkers.
Each walk took me past our beautiful flora growing along the banks and due to these I chose to acknowledge them.

 I used my challenge piece from the Gregory T Wilkins workshop last week, cut into 3 small sections to make a scroll.
The colours of the painted piece corresponds with my flora medal stitching and I am in the process of adding more stitching to the piece.

To all our health care workers, I am very grateful and proud of your tireless and dedicated work, I hope one day you will be able to walk among our flora without the worry of what faces you at work.