Tuesday, December 30, 2008


When my sister, Veronica, was staying with me a couple of months ago, she admired the Seeing Red piece I was working on at the time ... but said she didn't want hers in red. :) So I've made this one for her in greens and blues. The fabric went in unexpected ways and I just let it go where it wanted to, so I was very interested to find a large V in it at the end. Obviously meant for Veronica. I hope she likes it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stash enhancement

Although I'm trying to tidy up and sort out my studio, I couldn't resist the opportunities offered by the post-Christmas sales to further enhance my stash. There's only about a dozen pieces of fabric, two dozen balls of yarn and a few ribbons! Lots to get started on my next project - once I finish tidying my studio!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

An arty-crafty Christmas

I may not have received a Christmas stocking but I did get some delightful presents - embellishment books and fibres, a couple of interesting tools, plus paints, paint pad and brushes for the art course I'm doing in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas stockings

Christmas is over for another year. Yet again, I wasn't very organised for it but I managed to make Christmas stockings for the first time ever. I made one each for John, Keith, Natalie and Emma but I didn't think to make one for myself. I didn't make one for Dan either. He had said he wasn't coming home for Christmas this year, so I got a huge surprise when I opened the door on Christmas Eve, expecting Keith, Natalie and Emma, and found Dan there as well. It was a wonderful Christmas surprise.

Natalie's stocking

Keith's stocking

Emma's stocking

John's stocking

Friday, December 12, 2008

Desperately seeking tambour patterns

I want to do some tambour embroidery. I have the necessary hoop on a stand, tambour hook, fabric and lots and lots of threads ... but I can't find a pattern. I just want something simple and easy to do that looks reasonably good but extensive Googling has failed me. I've found a few pictures of tambour work but nothing that I could just copy and start on. I've also contacted some embroidery shops but without success.

I've learned a lot about tambour embroidery and it seems that Limerick lace uses the same technique. However, it just doesn't seem to be the 'flavour of the month' at present, although Inspirations seemingly included a design a few months ago (no longer in the shops).

I'll go back to embellishing and machine embroidery and hope that something turns up eventually.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seeing red

I made this piece using lots of different fabrics and threads embellished together to get as much texture as possible. I had fun making it and am pleased with the finished product.

It was a present for my friend, Jordan, and is now hanging on her office wall. Jordan is a wonderful, creative woman who inspires and encourages me to believe in myself as a textile artist. I value highly her friendship and support.

Thank you, Jordan.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Boomerang Gift

A couple of years ago, just after I'd started making quilts, my niece gave me a quilt kit for Christmas. The theme for the kit was Peanuts Baseball and I immediately recognised the present as a boomerang - to be returned to the giver - because my niece and her daughter love Peanuts and baseball (they once spent a year in America). 

I finished it off along with a couple of others, expecting to have hand surgery at the end of November. The surgery has now been postponed until February but my niece was very pleased to receive the quilt as a house-warming gift.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ATCs - incoming - part 2

And here are the other four ATCs, as beautiful and fascinating as the others. (They're only in a separate batch because my computer wouldn't let me load them all at once).

Thanks to all the makers of these wonderful gems. I loved receiving them and look forward to taking part in more swaps.





ATCs - incoming - part 1

The best part of the ATC swap was receiving interesting mail. I opened each with great anticipation and excitement and was rewarded every time with a beautiful and fascinating gift. And they were all so different.

Here are the first four:





Saturday, December 6, 2008


A couple of months ago, I joined in an ATC swap with other participants in the Embellish, Stitch and Enrich course

I found a bag of fancy yarn scraps at Lincraft. My first thought was that they weren't colours I'd normally put together. My second thought was that they weren't colours I'd normally use. So I bought the bag and decided to use the yarns as the basis for my ATCs. 

I was very busy at the time and hadn't finished the lessons (I'll get back to them one day - really, I will!), so I wanted to do something reasonably quick and simple. I was fairly pleased with the result. I like the way the yarns all went together. Here are my ATCs:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Op Shop Treasure Trove

While in Wagga Wagga for my mother's funeral, I called into an op shop with my uncle, who was looking for reading matter to sustain him on his somewhat erratic homeward journey (he's returning to Brisbane via Melbourne and Sydney).

I found these threads on a table out the front of the op shop. Some of them are very grubby and I don't know how useful they'll be but I couldn't resist buying all of them. I must go and start playing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Textile arts have taken second place in my life in recent weeks with the illness and death of my mother.

My mother introduced me to the wonderful world of textiles. She was always sewing, knitting and crocheting. I remember playing with her treadle sewing machine at a very early age and I soon moved onto sewing and many other textile arts.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More quilts

I've managed to complete a couple more quilts recently. The blue and white one is a surprise for a friend in Brisbane.

This one is another one for my granddaughter Emma. Her mother chose the fabrics and asked me to put it together. She seems to like the finished product.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Quilt time

When I heard that a grandchild was on the way, I was very eager to make a quilt. I bought lots of fabric and eventually put one together with the help of my son. I cut the fabric and he sewed it together, although I managed the border and binding on my own. I was able to do some pinning, probably because I haven't been using my hands too much this year and especially not spending hours every day using a keyboard at work.

I don't think that it mattered too much that I didn't finish it before my beautiful granddaughter Emma Rose arrived. It is now on her cot and I have started on another one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Embellisher magic

I recently bought a Janome embellisher and signed up for a course with Dale Rollerson through the Thread Studio. I haven't had as much time to work on the course as I would have liked but I've finally finished Lessons 1 & 2.

This is my challenge piece for Lesson 1:

And this is my Lesson 2 challenge piece. It is a representation of scribbly bark. I would like to hand or machine embroider the 'scribbles' onto it but that will have to wait.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Where do you store your threads?

I bought these beautiful peacock-coloured threads from The Thread Studio many years ago but was frustrated whenever I tried to use them as the thread would break constantly. I would thread the machine, start sewing, the thread would break, I'd thread the machine, start sewing the thread would break ... over and over until I got bored with the whole thing and abandoned my attempts at machine embroidery.

Recently, Doreen suggested that I put them in the fridge for a few hours before using them. Of course, I put them in the fridge and then forgot about them until John was putting groceries away that evening.

'Why', he asked in a voice suggesting that I was well on the way down the dementia path, 'are there threads in the fridge'.
'Oh yes', I replied, much to his bewilderment, 'they should be ready now'.

John was very relieved to find that I hadn't put the milk in the craft room and I was delighted with my results when I had another go at machine embroidery with the threads:
Thank you, Doreen, for the tip.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Printing on fabric

My friend, Wanda, is making a fabric book as a wedding present for friends of hers and wanted to know how to print onto fabric. So I dragged out my bottle of Bubble Jet Set and package of freezer paper, both of which I've had for years without ever opening.

We soaked fabric in the Bubble Jet Set and ironed it onto the freezer paper but it didn't go through the printer smoothly and got a bit scrunched up. I will have to do some more experimenting but I might not have fed it into the bypass tray properly.

Finally, I opened up a packet of fabric sheets for the printer (which I've also had for years without ever using) and that worked really well. The fabric didn't get scrunched up by the printer at all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Moving forward

I've been away for the last week, on a trip to Wagga Wagga and Melbourne. I have returned with lots of photos and inspiration but very little energy. I'm moving very slowly.

Before I left, I tried some more figurative free machine embroidery. It is meant to be a deciduous tree in winter. I definitely need a lot more practice but it's a start.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Getting started

Well, I managed to 'scribble' on the fabric without breaking the thread. That's a good start.

Now for something a bit more complicated - satin stitch. That worked okay, although it's going to take a lot of practice before I get it really smooth and consistent. And the fabric puckered in the centre.

This time I remembered to back the fabric with stabiliser and it is smoother, even though it doesn't look like it in this photo. I prefer the colours in this sample.

Let's try going around in circles. Well, a spiral to be more accurate. That's not too bad.

Monday, July 14, 2008


The title of this blog reflects the many limitations on my textile art. After many years of knitting, crocheting, embroidery and, to a lesser extent, silk painting and quilting, I now have lots of time to spend on enjoying these activities and developing my skills. However, due to a wrist problem, I am currently unable to do any hand embroidery, knitting or crocheting, and I'm very limited in what I can do. 

So, I've decided to embrace my limitations and see what I can achieve while 'keeping to the limits'.

I've dabbled in machine embroidery previously, so now I can explore it in greater depth but within the limits of a 9-inch hoop. I can't hold and move the fabric without a hoop and 9 inches is the largest size that I can use on my trusty old Husqvarna 6370.