Friday, December 30, 2011


I made these cushions for Emma for Christmas. She enjoys playing with them and keeps them on her bed.

They have plain purple backs, as you can see in the E and M in this photo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Everybody's wearing blue jeans

So sang the Skyhooks . . . but I'm more interested in what happens to the jeans when they wear out or no longer fit. I like the way denim fades as it ages and I've been collecting old jeans for several years. And I've finally got around to recycling some of them.

First I made a notebook cover for my son (I tried rotating this photo but it looked odd).

And then I made two cushions. I tried machine-stitching rows of stitching parallel to each seamline on this one but the squares kept distorting, so then I did the stitching by hand, with a button thread for emphasis. I found it difficult to stitch through the thickness of denim, plus some wadding underneath, and it took ages.

I machine-stitch rows diagonally across this one and I really like the finished texture.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Retro cushion

I found this piece of fabric in my stash. Although I have a reasonably sized stash, I know where most of the fabrics came from but not this one. It must have been given to me in a bundle of other things. I don't know how old it is but, based on a burn test, it seems to be a poly-cotton. The pattern looks as if it could date from the 1970s or 1980s.

I particularly like its textured weave.

There was just enough fabric to make a small, pretty cushion.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The last page . . . and a new beginning

In February last year, I embarked on Sharon Boggan's Studio Journal Course with great hopes, of course, for the wonderful work that I was going to produce. And, naturally, things didn't go to plan - my workload increased dramatically and I was too tired in the evenings or on weekends to tackle anything creative. However, I've returned to my journal and course notes from time to time and today I finally finished the book I started more than a year and a half ago.

This is the last page, trying out stamps I purchased relatively recently from Hot Potatoes.

I then found a book for the next instalment.

When I opened it, I found that I'd already made some entries in it, with one page dated 2005. Obviously, I've been trying to get a studio journal going for some time. The first entry related to a crazy patchwork quilt, which I made as a housewarming present for a friend, and which has been hanging in her lounge room for several years now.

I wonder how long it will take me to finish this book.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pretty in pink

I was given some yarns recently, including a football-sized ball of pink acrylic. The band around the yarn had a pattern for this pretty jumper. Emma likes pink as well as purple and I was looking for another knitting project, so I made it up for her. She was happy to model it but, now that we are enjoying pleasant spring weather, I don't think she will use it much until next winter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Purple & white

Emma moved into another bedroom on her birthday and was allowed to choose the colour scheme. And, of course, my job was to make the quilt. Each block in this quilt consists of 17 separate pieces of fabric and there are 54 blocks - 918 separate pieces of fabric.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Party time

Emma celebrated her third birthday recently and she loved the dress I made for her. Her favourite colour is purple and the party had a circle theme.

Here's a back view.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Wanda

A very dear friend celebrated her birthday last week and I made a gold lame pyramid as gift-wrapping.

When the cord was untied the sides fell open to reveal a dark blue velvet lining and a cloisonne grand piano. The piano is light blue but didn't photograph well because of all the gold and sparkles on it.

And inside the piano, was a pendant. I can't remember the translation for the Chinese character on the pendant (which I might have photographed back to front) but I think it is supposed to say happiness or longevity or prosperity.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Candy quilt

I made this quilt for another recent arrival. Astrid arrived a week late a month ago but I only finished the quilt last week. I'm really happy with the bright, fresh pinks and greens, although this photo doesn't show them very well.

This detail provides a better view of the fabrics, which are from Moda's Me and My Sister Designs.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Saga of the Cat Cushion

I became interested in blackwork many years ago but had difficulty tracking down patterns that I liked, so I turned to the Internet and found this delightful pattern. The site didn't have provision for buying online (this was a long time ago), so I sent an email and the lovely person I dealt with suggested that she could send me the pattern in exchange for some Minnamurra threads, which I did - my first experience of online shopping turned into old-fashioned bartering.

The pattern then languished in my 'things I'm going to do one day' pile for many years but finally bubbled to the surface and is now a cushion adorning my couch.

Sadly, I can't find the site where I got it from. I remember that there was a similar sized owl design, which would make a suitable companion cushion. Oh well, it might turn up sometime.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I like collage and have long been interested in knowing where to start but I recently saw a video about it over on Pintangle. So last Sunday morning, when I had assignments to mark and the house needed tidying up before the family arrived for lunch, I started work on a collage. It hasn't photographed well - and, of course, there's a lot of room for improvement - but I enjoyed the process of tearing and gluing. I didn't do these things when I was young - I had a deprived childhood. One of the things I learned from the video on Pintangle was to turn off my inner critic and just enjoy the process, which I did. And because I did it in my journal, I didn't have to worry about it being a display piece. I enjoyed the process so much, I'm eager to have another go at it - but I have another busy week at work ahead - but I will be finishing up at one of my jobs, so there's hope things might quieten down soon.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Maeve's quilt

Last weekend I met my youngest great-niece, Maeve, just 6-weeks-old today. She's a very cute and cuddly baby. This is the quilt I made for her and, although she's a bit young to appreciate it, her parents liked it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Words, words, words

The Save the Words website aims to preserve words that are in danger of falling into disuse. While some words should perhaps be allowed to sink without trace, others are well worth preserving. In any event, the website was the inspiration for these cushions.

My friend, Chris, who alerted me to the existence of the Save the Words site, recently did some major renovations to her house and I decided to combine her love of words, my new 5D software and my Husqvarna Diamond Designer machine to make a house-warming gift with a difference. I was still toying with the idea when she rang and invited us to dinner tonight, so the project catapulted up my priority list. I'm still learning how to use both the software and the machine - and to get them to talk to each other - but, despite a few teething problems, I managed to produce these cushions.

The first cushion includes such delights of the English language as dodrantal, redamancy, flosculation, affictitious, trajectitious and vacivity.

The second features keleusmatically, tantuple, rhodologist, drollic, frutescent and secability, as well as other equally arcane words. I recommend a visit to Save the Word for meanings and further endangered words.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poppy journal

Last year, I decided to make a handbag featuring a poppy motif. After doing a sample piece and a couple of attempts at the bag, I abandoned the project. (Along the way, I learned that some tear-away stabilisers can leave lots of small fibres behind.)

However, when I made my journal cover for the ACT Textile Arts group holiday challenge, I decided to revise my earlier idea and made a journal cover for my friend Margaret instead. I like journal covers that fully enclose the journal so that loose things don't fall out but I didn't want the closure to have any impact on the poppy, so I opted for a zipper closure - which was as difficult as I thought it would be. Fortunately, Margaret loved it and didn't notice the bits that were a bit wonky.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Knitted scarf

I've been very busy with work for the past few months but I made this scarf for my daughter-in-law. I use a yarn called Entice from Lincraft - it was nylon but very soft and I liked the soft colours. I knitted it up in a K1P1 rib.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's my birthday (tomorrow)

It's my birthday tomorrow and I'll be on my way to Hong Kong, so my daughter-in-law (the World's Best Daughter-In-Law) made this delicious cake for me today. I know it only looks like a small cupcake but it's actually sitting on a dinner plate. And the top chocolate is chocolate-coated licorice from the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory - the most delicious choc-coated licorice I've ever tasted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Another quilt for Emma

Emma moved from a cot into a single bed last year and I happily agreed to make a new quilt and matching pillowslip. However, it's taken 6 months to finish, probably because I kept being distracted by other things.

Emma obviously likes it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Start with a piece of calico

I decided to participate in this year's holiday challenge for ACT Textile Arts. The only requirements were to make a journal cover, starting with a piece of calico (the calico didn't have to be visible at the end). I used calico, brown paper, copper metallic paint, machine embroidery thread - and beeswax.

And here's my completed journal cover. I'm quite pleased with it, although I've learned a lot about the construction process.

I painted the paper, scrunched it up (lots of fun and very good for relieving stress) and fused it to the calico. I then embroidered words onto it, using a font built into my sewing machine, and finally rubbed beeswax all over it. There is a magnetic catch to hold it closed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's summer and . . .

I've just finished this jumper for John. He was reluctant to pose in it - the current temperature is 26C - and is wearing shorts with it. However, I'm sure he'll appreciate it when the mercury plummets below zero.

I started making the jumper mid-winter but I'm either slow at knitting or don't watch enough television - I only knit while watching television. I don't do a lot of knitting and I don't see it as a particularly creative activity but I really missed it when I couldn't do it for a few years. I think, for me, knitting is chewing gum for the hands.