Life Amongst the Lilies – textile workshop with Sue Duffy

What a great 3 days. What a great bunch of women! Fantastic workers, having fun creating with their sewing machines. We had a fabulous time, and it was full on. No time to tarry!

The morning teas were exceptional, wow! If you ever have the good fortune to have Brenda Wood as your convenor, you are in for an absolute treat! With her at the organisational helm, this workshop was a breeze and needs met. I believe everyone learned something new, including the tutor!

There was the first day, learning how to lay down a background and getting in some free motion practise, which was needful for some of the beginners in the group who did a fantastic job. Day two was focused on learning how to paint the wee birds and waterlily flowers with inktense or watercolour pencils, and then some thread sketching using stabiliser and embroidery hoops to build and enhance. A bit of applique thrown in, more thread sketching and then this was followed on day three with trapunto by machine, how to make little snowflake flowers and stitch the lilypads, and finally sorting out the layout and composition of the piece.

It was an absolute pleasure to teach such friendly and generous women, who readily shared bits of fabrics and threads when needed, who paid attention and then took what they saw in the demos back to their machines and got on with their stitching. A great group indeed.

Here are a few photos from the three days, with the almost completed work…. lots of happy faces!  it will be great to see some finished projects down the track.

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Colour can be fickle

After a brief sojourn up at the Downlands Art Exhibition in Toowoomba recently, I have at last re-hung my Threads of Survival Tetratych: so happy to have it back on the wall. But, Beware!

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Originally, I painted the sky background with a dye paint product developed for fabrics, which I would have expected to be stable. It was perfect for getting the right shade of blue and for graduating the sky intensity…. SADLY, it has proven not to be colourfast, and has faded badly in the three years since I made it, and it no longer reflects the intensity of the Australian summer skies. Very disappointing, and  if this fades further which I expect it will do, I am now faced with the dilemma of whether I can save it….. given that I have a lot of areas between the tree branches and leaves to recolour….  Something for the back burner, perhaps.

It is a lesson learned….  I won’t be using that particular product on anything I want to last….

To see how it was in November 2015 click here

Latest work

My one excuse for not blogging lately, is that I have been SUPER busy… I recently completed a commission, and the idea was that would free my time up somewhat. Here is the completed work, made for the reception area of Kedwell and Co, Accountants in Sandgate, Queensland.

I have been working on some workshop samples for my “Creative Landscapes” Workshop “Life Amongst the Lilies” to be held in October in Redcliffe. Today is the day those were finished, all bar the labels and hanging sleeves. In this 3 day class you will learn to lay down basic backgrounds,  and how to pull together a pleasing composition using a variety of techniques to achieve this. Two designs offered with interchangeable elements. To participate, please contact Brenda at 2Sew Textiles.

In the midst of all this, I made a small quilt (below) to enter into “One Red Thread 2018 – “WeatheRed”, at Berry Quilting Retreat which was fun to make and features our local red cliffs and a solitary tree clinging to life as the cliff is weathered away….

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Summer Storm – A Ghost Gum clings precariously to the vibrant weathered cliffs on the coast of the Redcliffe Peninsula. Entered in One Red Thread – WeatheRed competition 2018.

My next effort will be a couple of small unicorns, but first I need to make a wedding dress for my younger daughter – that will be fun! If a little daunting, it is some time since I did any dressmaking……

In the meantime, my 100 days project fell by the wayside around Day 60, but I did  #62 last night…. I need to try and do some portraits now…. this one done in Procreate on my iPad 9.7 with Apple pencil. I love being able to use the pencil brush and change the colour, size etc. Great practice, although erasing is too easy…..

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Watching the Footy

That’s it for now, have a great month!

Who knew?

That excellent satisfaction when a piece of art is almost complete, and all the stitching is done… suddenly there is time and reason to collect all the bits and tidy up, put things away, clear the tables and counters, and breathe! The last few weeks have seen me immersed in an exciting new commission, taking me in a new direction, the art itself directing where it wants to go… we think we’re done, now, though. Just the blocking and stretching to do.

So happy am I to have reached this milestone, I did tidy up, and then gave myself permission to have a wee play with my little Bernina Jubilae 125, which was given to me 50 years ago by my grandmother. Who knew it would be the catalyst for my lifelong love of sewing… and that I am still able to use it all these long years later…  and I can do most things I want to with it…