Just for fun

Today I went back to persevering – for a couple of hours – with the watercolour experience! It’s all pretty horrible. Haha I don’t know, if I get hooked on it, I might improve…. giving it a bash with some free online lessons from Www.ArtTutor.com which I tell myself will help me in my art practice – and even if it doesn’t, I don’t suppose it’ll do any harm!

The main textile work I am currently busy with is a group challenge which was set by the members of our Textile Group (Reddy Arts). I have to run with it, and the criteria are: 60cm square, start with a white fabric, (e.g. a bed sheet) and all commercially purchased prints and hand dyes are forbidden. I am not convinced that challenges are a good thing.

For this I have opted to  use a very old painted and stencilled piece made several years ago and which has been languishing in the cupboard ever since… It started way back in the days of experimentation with new techniques… there were so many possibilities, so many to try, and thus we gave ourselves permission to play which resulted in giving everything a go! Until eventually we ran the risk of becoming technique junkies without a clue where to go from there… that is a trap, BEWARE! (I still get sucked in….. viz: the watercolour painting) So this piece of original painted and stencilled (with various texture media – eg glass beads and structure gel – mixed in with acrylic paints) now altered with cutting and reinvented with stitching, both hand and machine, is planned to feature a couple of birds… (Surprise!)  but is so far from my usual style of work, I believe it will not be recognisable as mine at all…..  but isn’t that what challenges are all about? Exploring new directions?

So onward, I need to go get stitching, painting and whatever!


2016 wrapped – Happy New Year


The last few months have passed in a blur. After doing about 3/4 of the 100 day challenge, which for me isn’t too bad an effort, and completing three lap quilts in about as many months, the art quilting has taken a bit of a back seat lately. Maybe it’s the time of year, after all, it is now the final week of 2016… Christmas celebrations take up a fair bit of time, much as we love getting together, exchanging gifts and eating well!  It seems to me though that time is of the essence when there are deadlines to meet. Creativity works best for me when it is spontaneous, but I do like to have a plan as well…………. sometimes the plan doesn’t always work, and outside pressures tend to inhibit spontaneity….. maybe it’s time for a little R&R, some physical workouts  (read cycling, swimming and canoeing, long walks on the beach, playing with the dogs, even gardening). We are officially on holiday, not a sewing machine in sight. I do have my cameras with me though.

I did manage to make a few little Christmas gifts – (secretly, I have been wanting to make mug rugs for ages! Hahaha! (Binding by machine practise….) Then I saw these great  little fabric stars, which I couldn’t resist making.


My last wee completed piece for the year is this wee seahorse which I had much fun making!

Wishing you all a wonderful, creative, prosperous, healthy and happy 2017!




Tetraspinner instructions…

ARE COMING!!! Meanwhile, today, I have made another one, to check the latest fabrics – I now have panels in not only the original colourway (as seen in the video!)  but 3 others plus black and white outlines for the colourists in our midst. This tetraspinner  below  is a finished size of 8.5″ across (as are all the fabric panels). I have decided not to include individual triangles for printing in the pattern as the fabric prints make life so much easier, much of the construction work is already done, and the time needed to make one up is halved- the more you make of course, the faster you will become. Suffice to say, it’s far easier than having to print and cut out many individual triangles and then sew them all together….. This has been an enormously educational journey for me, learning how to make a large tetraspinner initially was challenging and fun, working it out as I went along. My original large one consisted of all individually traced, painted, embellished and quilted triangles, and was weeks in the making…. My first pattern and instructions were all written, drawn up, and photographed with numerous steps, and pages and pages of printed matter! The patterns all in two sizes… large and smaller…. Once I thought about designing and printing the triangles on to fabric yardage, to save time, it became increasingly more logical to do this whole thing as a panel, sticking with the smaller size only, which keeps the costs down for one thing and to make handling the finished item much easier – making life so much simpler for purchaser.

Hop across to flickr to see a few more photos of the new fabrics I have designed   – four different colourways and a black and white version for those of you who would like to colour it in your favourite colour schemes…. here is a taster or two: how one of the new panels will look made up!

The fabric and instructions with photos and diagrams will soon be available from 2SewTextiles  in our Etsy shop,  just some final tweaking to be done,  the listing to sort out, and a bit of streamlining for purchase of the fabric panels.  Definitely before the end of September. Deadlines are good.


Out of Control and How to Reclaim Your Studio

Just emerged from a three day flurry of activity, and wonder now how I did it, amidst the utter chaos that was my work space. It had been building steadily since my last major tidy up ( three, maybe four? weeks ago), but this weekend it reached explosion levels.  I could barely move, cutting on a 10″ sq space and ironing on an even smaller one! stepping over dogs and boxes and bags of fabric to get through the door….(because the dogs insist on keeping me company – it’s rather nice of them, surely they don’t seriously expect me to have food in my studio – they must be there for love… ?) No time to tidy, I just had to get to the sewing!!! It was a fairly horrendous sewing experience. Really. You might know how it is -Moving stuff from A to B,  in order to work at A, then shifting that stuff and a bit more from B to C, so you can work at B, and then re-locating all that from C back to A,  so you can work at C… and so on. Then you move to the next room, because there’s a bit more space there and you can actually breathe again…for a while. Meanwhile all the stuff that gets shifted becomes a tangled conglomerate pile full of unknown things….

How completely uncivilised to expect myself to work in such conditions! No wonder I seemed to be wildly out of control and feeling slightly hysterical… but ah! I did sew, so I stayed relatively sane. I think.

I tidied up today. (It took all day).

So now, there is hope:  It’s called The New Order: This is how it is going to work.  Tidy up as I go. Put away after myself. Thus, I can expect not to lose my best scissors buried under the avalanche, (they were gone for two whole weeks), and I will be able to find that particular yellow fabric just where it ought to be…. Time used tidying as I go will be much more congenially spent than time wasted searching fruitlessly for something buried deeply beneath layers of crumpled fabrics, wadding, tearaway and offcuts and which in all probability isn’t even in the same room as me!

And oh yes – I was making some more alphabet squares…….. here is a sampling!  have a few more to go. There are some more in previous blog posts… https://ratherbequilting.wordpress.com/2013/04/alphabet – and wow! it seems to be another whole year since I last made any. NO wonder then, the mad flurry…! these kids will be grown before I finish at this rate… eep!