Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Quilt As You Go - Part 2

A long long time ago I started a "quilt as you go" quilt for my nephew for this 21st. Birthday
Yes I started it after his birthday in July. Looking back over the blog dates it was in August last year that this journey began. I had started a tutorial which you can find here and promised to continue it when  I'd finished piecing all the squares. I think originally I was going to do 64 squares but this has since grown to 90 to make a queen size bed quilt.
So finally....I have made all 90 squares. 
My colour scheme has also changed, originally I wanted to make a sour green and grey quilt but now have incorporated bright green and inky grey/ blacks 

So here we are nine strips of ten squares all joined together waiting for the final big sew (tomorrow or Friday)

To make the strips place the squares back to back with the right sides facing outwards and join with a 1/4 inch seam. the join will show on the top of your quilt. I alternated green then grey squares

To cover the seam use a strip of material 2 1/2 inches wide. fold in half length wise. With the opening facing the seam of the quilt place a 1/4 of an inch from the seam , pin in place. Sew a quarter of inch in on the strip - so you sewing line is 1/2  from the quilt top seam. Remove pins and flip the stripping over the seams, pin in place and sew.

Sew in place
Continue until all the pieces are joined in rows ..... Then do  the big join between rows the same way and add binding and you are finished. Only takes time and patience...

Almost but not quite finished. On with the show..
This quilt would work for framing pictures for eye spy quilts and allows for the underside of the quilt to also be patterned... I will show the back when the quilt is finished.
Hope you can understand my instructions - but a picture paints a thousand words...
Click the link to find part one of tutorial here and the completed quilt here

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Emailing Pictures to Your Post

Chooky blue tells how to bypass the need to use space and money on Picassa web to upload photos ...Really useful when you have run out of options on picassa web and dont want to delete photos. Here is the link to Chookyblue

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Happy Australia Day!!

I thought I would share a few photos of the the things that make Australia great for me.  A place which is warm in my heart, full of beauty and wonder, brilliant colour, and opportunity to live life to its fullest.

Australia shines as a place to live. There is opportunity to be free, move in space and a place of adventure and room to roam. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to have a good time... the beach is not far or a camping hiking adventure just around the corner. My heart is probably closest to the beach, so the following photos share my love of sun surf and sand..

Have a wonderful day and bask in the sunshine

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Cross Quilt

My naturally dyed fabrics have been cut and sewn at cross purposes!
I've been hankering to use some of my recent fabric dyed materials and used four of the five colours I've produced   The light and dark pink are the same berry picked weeks apart . The grey is eucalypti and the green / yellow is fennel. I must say that I used the fennel heads, instead of the green leaf this time and the material stank as it was fermenting and when it came out of the bucket. I stupidly didn't wear gloves and even after washing my hands they still reeked of fennel. Phew wee!!!! 

The top of the quilt (above)

(The bottom of the quilt) No patttern , just piecing larger than the top so there is plenty of room for movement when placing the layers together.

(My quick plan for the quilt, so that I wouldnt get lost on the way. You can see I added two extra lines later, I decided the quilt wasnt big enough.

The materials before use.

Organizing rows to be sewn  

Working on my next quilt design. I'm calling it industry. The stacks of triangle kind of remind me of warehouse buildings. I'm going to swap the large square blocks with the block of smaller triangles below and see what that looks like.
The black and white print below is my next attempt at silk screening (maybe) I'll at least make a stamp of it.

A this is a line drawing that I thought I would sew as a cushion. I picked up the lovely paper in an op shop yesterday

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Printing, Dyeing and Op Shopping

Well I've attempted my first silk screen printing.

It's definitely not a success but its not the total dismal failure I originally thought it was. The image I made was a double image of the black design below. 
Initially after exposing my screen and attempting my first print I got nothing at all. So slightly dejected feeling I went to wash off my screen and gave it a bit of a scrub with hot water. As I scrubbed away I noticed that the screen was being exposed a little more and the water was passing  through the screen easier. I couldn't entirely get all the blocking agent to be removed but at least I did obtain some of my pattern. 
Things I learnt from this attempt. 1. Make sure I protect the floor before placing my screen under the bed because now I have to clean up under the bed. 2. Find a photo exposure bulb so I can expose my screen correctly. I exposed my screen in the sunlight and I wasn't sure how long to leave it out there. 3. Make sure I use a slightly thicker image / design, unless I want to go to a printer to expose my screen for me. Fine lines are harder to obtain but I was unsure what the manufacturer meant by fine lines.

 Dye pots

I was out in the back yard and my sisters dog whom was visiting for a few days pulled out  the dried branches of the butterfly plant that my neighbour gave to me at Christmas for decoration. It has lovely green seed heads and attract butterflies to its scent. The seed heads had dried and as they layed on the lawn I wondered if I could extract some colour from them. The appear to have given off a yellow dye and have since thrown them and some material into a bucket to ferment for a while.

 These are cottons I have dyed in the last week.

Yellow from pomegranate
Pink / purple from ivy berries
pale orange from berries
Grey from eucalyptus

Co incidentally yesterday I received my copy of ecocolour by India Flint  and have been devouring its pages... her blog can be found here.
Inspired I took the dog for a walk over the back hill to collect some new colour. I picked fennel heads and know that I 'd get yellow - green dye from it.
The wind blowing through the grasses was quite therapeutic sounding

I picked this weed seed heads (below) and cooked up  a pot that is russet in colour

I had to photograph the thistle heads even though I didnt pick them (no room in my bag), because they are so beautiful.

 Also did a couple of hours of op shopping with a girl friend and found some blue and white crockery for my sister. A Johnston brothers and 3 Alfred Meakin cup and saucers sets. And some lovely pianola rolls (bargain at $3 each)  I'm thinking Ill use the paper to draw on and wrap presents and the reel will be used to wrap yarns around

 And a lovely green vase to sit with my other green glasses, all thrifted items, all under $5 each.

Take care I'm off to read my fab book. I'll show you sometime during the week. Its inspiring and makes me drool with possibility...

Friday, 18 January 2013

Free Downloadable Calender

I've been visiting Jezze prints here and saw her reference to valentina Ramos and her free downloadable calender which I love. Jezze has photographed it more thoughtfully, but its 5 in the morning I don't really care too much at the moment about my photography. The boys have gone off to early morning swimming squad and every body has to wake up with them at 4.30 am, so here I am with some time to spare and not a lot of inclination.
The photos of the calender!

I'd accidentally printed off 2 copies of  December sand decided a quick watercolour to compare the difference. My personal preference is for black and white, but that might just be my colour choices

Still working on my silk screen but need a photo-bulb to flood expose my screento light. I will purchase the bulb today and then maybe I can print some stuff...Stay tuned

A little bit of wall and ceiling love for you. My girlfriend and I were in Handorf, a small town in the hills of Adelaide, settled by German setllers and rich with grape growing and an artist community.
I fell in love with the tin walls and ceilings in some of the original cottages which thankfully havent been destroyed for new and modern.

These patterns inspire, they'd make a lovely design repeated on material dont you think?

And i couldn't walk past this set of loveliness. A set of 6 dinner plates, bread and butter plate and cake plate for $20. Love it!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Start Up

Sometimes I keep things to myself because i need to think a process through before I blab all about it. For a long long time,.... really long,... I have wanted to learn silk screen printing.
I think that the internet is a very liberating place that enables you to be inspired and to delve into processes that you might otherwise feel you can't tackle. Lets face it your average library may have one or two books that are specific to  your theme or topic of interest and maybe get the creative juices flowing.. enough to salivate but nothing to really sink your teeth into.

Linking to others with like interests has enabled to find some of the information that  I've been looking for. I've been following blogs such as Yardage design or Maze & Vale and trying to glean the process that they have gone through to produce such lovely yards of sumptuous material.
I have plenty of ideas and regularly draw in my sketch pads to document my ideas (because knowing me the next day its gone), But translating that idea has been a little harder.

I think if you are keen on printing and design then utilizing methods such as rubber stamping and lino printing is a good and in expensive way to produce some really lovely results on fabric and paper. To convert over to silk screening has been more of a trial for me. Making the decision to actually try it was perhaps the most major decision and then finding the cash to fund that decision. Lets face it , it's not cheap and when you have a family I find that justifying that kind of money spend can be really hard.

Anyway, this Christmas past, I bought myself the most basic screen printing gear: frame ink squeegie and speedball. I've drawn my pattern and have finally sourced overhead transparency sheets to photocopy my pattern on to. So  today, maybe I can actually produce an image on my silkscreen ready for printing.
I really am a chicken shit  I have been procrastinating about this part of the process, maybe because the children are home from school or maybe I just think I dont want to waste my money because it might not work out..blah blah blah...What's that you say just get on with.

So I need to clear some space, find a dark spot for my screen to mature in ( that will most likely mean cleaning under my bed to get a flat space to rest the screen whilst the speedball sets before exposing it to light) and then a place that I can print in peace. You think it will happen...?? Maybe part of the process. I might manage getting the screen ready..
Wish me luck!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Eye Candy

Sometimes you just cant help yourself. Its like I've got a disease! The mosaic rash is spreading through my veins  it keeps on compelling me to play. I'll have to go to to seek treatment or should I just play until I'm bored with it.Its fun trying to match colours and riffle through old photos, any way bear with me. I'm still off doing plenty of other things and today hope to do some work on a long awaited quilt for my nephew (whose birthday was half a year ago) so I better get a move on.
Anyway a purple and yellow mosaic  for your visual pleasure!

1.calypso-beads-necklace 2.hyrangea from my garden 3.crochet in progress 5. berries for natural dyeing 6.Royal Adelaide Show 7.WIP passionflower quilt 8.designing passionflower quilt  9 driftwood boat

1 beachplay painting 2.lino printing blue emperor dragonfly 3. gelati fabric flowers 4.leafy sea dragon          5. pomegranates beginnings and  acrylic painting  6.watercolor seaurchin 7 caterpillar in my garden 8. vintage style gift tags 9. naturally dyed scarfs

Friday, 11 January 2013


Today I have been at my mother in laws recovering her 8 dining chairs. She recently saw on Better Homes and Gardens show the recovering of chairs utilizing a painters drop sheet. The drop sheet is a cream coloured canvas and retails for a fraction of the price that upholstery material retails for.
Armed with my fathers staple gun and a sharp pair of scissors I have managed to recover the said chairs in 3 1/2 hours (that includes 2 ten minute breaks for lunch and a coffee). So all in all not too stressful a time. Once I got into the swing of stapling and not squashing my finger, I progressed quite quickly.

So we went from this tartan green  country style

To something a little more fresh and cooler in appearance (colour and style),
All I did was lay the chair pad over the drop sheet and cut around so as to ensure enough over fold to the back of the chair, about 7 cm.
Then armed with staple gun work from the middle of each side to stretch the fabric evenly over the chair and staple moving outwards progressively on all sides. The corners I cut away slightly V shaped to make it easier to fold and staple the material to the chair. To tidy underneath I then made a template of the chair base 2 cm less than the base size and folded it 1 cm  on the edge to give a clean finish and staple to chair base. Reassemble chair after scotch guarding chair pad

It cost $69 for the drop sheet (and there is enough left over to do my chairs or stamp and make bags)
$6 for the staples
And a can of fabric scotch guard

All under $100.00 and I dont charge for my labour (not to anybody by all appearances)

Languish in the Creem

 You remember Brylcreem don't you? I suspect most of you wouldn't  It was one of the first recognizable mens styling creams used to slick back the hair " ïn a natural style", the hair was often styled with a flick back ridge at the front or a comb back somewhat like Fonzie in Happy Days (I suspect another TV show that you won't remember). Anyway yesterday I was given a jar of Brylcreem.. except that it was filled with buttons! Joy! I do love to collect buttons and have them arrayed in Fowlers Preserving jars in a rainbow of colours. There were mainly white buttons  but one particular green button caught my eye. So I ripped out my green button jar and started arranging the buttons (as you do) into a heart shape. The green button I scored in the jar is the central one below the bow and above the shell.

A heart shape rock I picked up last week on the beach and proceeded to paint. This heart is now living on a drift wood boat - all hearts at sea!

This heart is all tied up in knots! Something I made years ago.

And doodling hearts and playing with names for my etsy shop, which I may or may not do, but am at least considering. I was thinking of calling it Languish - kind of encourages you to lounge for a while, bathe yourself in  the beauty of your surrounding, be comfortable...?? Apparently by definition means to become weak and to try to extract sympathy by becoming insipid .Or perhaps Moneclectic. An eclectic mix of me.  Thoughts anyone.


Languish in a summer dream
Drift upon a sultry breeze
Float on thoughts, 
a soothing balm
Retreat from shards of light and winters frost
Ice melts, tinkering rivulets drip, 
pooling eddies, swift
A mixture of thought twists with emotion
Bent, tired old tree
Rest a while and sit with me.

By me