Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lace For a Friend

Well, it's been a while since I have posted any new work here, so I thought I would show you all what I have been working on the last few months.

I have been obsessed lately with teneriffe lace, and as well have a friend with an "0" birthday. I wanted to make her something special, & thought of a few different things, and settled on this. At first I just stared making the motifs in a thread that I had been using, as I had plenty of it & I didn't know how much I would need. I was also using the same sized wheel as before, but soon scrapped both the thread size & wheel size as the whole project was going to take me way too long and be way too big. So back to the drawing board I went.

I knew roughly what design I wanted, & approximate size, but had to work out the individual circle size. I also wanted the circles to touch, but how to physically work out a pattern? I knew it was a geometry thing but it took me a while to get my head around it and even then I needed some help.

Once the maths was worked out, I knew my circle size & could try another thread, which in the end was better as one motif only took me two days to do. So with six motifs complete, I then had to think about how I was going to join them. I did some reading, & drew on my needle-lace experience to join them together & create the filling in the center.

I am not sure if there is a right or wrong way of doing this, but it was my very first attempt and for the next one it may happen differently. Just for the record my friend has had her birthday & this piece of lace is now in her possession.

Friday, December 03, 2010

In Loving Memory

Over time, people come into our lives & touch our hearts. Quite often it is too late before we realise just how much they mean to us. The little pouch above has been made by one such person, an exquisite stitcher, who gave her knowledge freely to anyone who would listen. May you rest in peace, knowing that your stitching legacy is alive & well.

In Loving Memory
Heather Daphne MATTHEWS

Missed dearly, loved always, never forgotten

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Experimental Fun

A few years back I salvaged this piece of disgustingly (to me) coloured fabric. I thought it might be good to play with some experimental drawn thread work on it. It sat in the cupboard for a long time, then about a month ago I needed something to take to my creative stitching group, so out it came, along with some coloured threads that I thought would go. On the day, I just threaded a needle & started stitching, letting the needle go where it wanted. I soon discovered that the fabric would pull to a certain extent, so a piece of experimental pulled work it became. The most fun I had was with the eyelets.

I'm not sure what I will do with it yet, it might somehow get turned into a little notebook cover. Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Photo Play

Another one of my textile inspired groups is Stitchin Fingers. This group is such a wealth of information with it's member list of over 2,000, & has specialized groups covering all kinds of textile inspired topics. A while ago, I joined another one of these groups called "Digital Designers", who chat about & play with graphics programs. This morning, with thanks to this group, I have been playing with Photoshop and all it can do. I have used Photoshop before, but mainly for cropping & resizing photos, & sometimes rotating & straightening them. Once, I had to change some pics to black & white for a particular purpose & found that very easy to do.

Some of the book pages I made a few years ago used images I had manipulated in another photo editing program, but it's been a while. Back then I learnt about layers, and this morning I have learnt to take the layers to a different direction, and about things to change within each layer itself.

My play this morning has taken this pic of one of my begonias,

to this...................

My mind is boggling, and all I need now is time to play more. Many thanks girls for all the inspiration.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

An Exhibition

Those people who know me well know that I belong to a few different textile inspired groups, one of which is called "Stitcher's Plus". We are a group of creative minded stitchers, and have been meeting & stitching together for over ten years now. Recently, we put together a collection of our works into an exhibition. Below are the pieces that I had in this exhibition.

First up is a book cover. This was the piece of Reticella that I worked for our tenth anniversary calendar. The piece has been sitting for quite some time waiting to be made up into a finished piece. I needed a book cover, so a book cover it has become, & how fitting that it should be a cover for my lace journal.
Next is a piece of Teneriffe Lace that I inserted into a handkerchief. Inspired by pictures of teneriffe lace that I have seen on the internet, I have been playing with different designs using the technique. This was one design that I found, & had to work out the method by myself as there were no instructions. Not my design, but definately my stitching, and was great fun using the brain to work it all out. It was relativley easy once I thought about for a few minutes.

Piece three is my first piece of Reticella which I showed you all here. This piece has been in two other exhibitions, and will probably go in at least another one or two. I am extremely proud of this piece.

Piece four,"A Summer Sanctuary", has also been exhibited twice before. The challenge proceses involved can be read here.
Next is a bag that I made from a challenge we were handed invoving faces. The face has been created using applique & FME, then pieced into the front of the bag.

The back of the bag has been pieced using the Flying Geese pattern & the whole bag has been machine quilted. This face has become my internet face & anyone who knows me personally will tell you I look nothing like this. A bag I use a lot.

Then there was my scarf. Made with a daisy wheel using a fancy knitting yarn, then crocheted together. Very slinky & warm.

Finally, my "Bugs In Boxes". These were another challenge & both consist of a painted canvas backgrounds which have been threaded with various yarns . Both also consist of couched yarns for the tree branches & leaves made from hand dyed fabric that has been FME'd with a metalic thread. The caterpillars in the top one are stuffed rouleau tubes featuring surface stitching, while the butterfly on the second one has been digitized & stitched onto water soluble fabric.

The exhibition is now closed, but for some more pics please visit our Stitchers Plus pages.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wild & Free"

This page was created for the book called "Wild Side". I felt it was a bit dark but wasn't sure how to lighten it up without starting all over again. I created a spiral design with the words "wild & free" & various sized paw prints in my drawing program, & imported it into my digitizing program. The design was stitched onto gold fbaric which was layered over a background created by joining strips of black & green fabric & digitized leaves. Once stitched, the excess gold fabric was cut away to reveal the background. All the layers were then added to another background of brown felt with added brown fabric leaves.

This is the last page in this book series. On reflection, it was great to go back through them all & see just how much I learnt. My main aim when entering this Book Page Round Robin was to learn about my digitizing program, but I learnt heaps about my drawing program & the power of photo editing programs, about layers & effects & merging two or more images together. I learnt not to be scared of computer programs, but to experiment & see what they could do. I also learnt not to be scared of FME, it was not as hard as I had always thought.

The pages have long since gone to their new owners, I hope they have as much fun looking at them as I had creating them.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Regenerate & Recycle

A different shaped page this time, this one for a book called "Regenerate & Recycle".

I started with a pile of plastic rings, the kind that come from milk containers & soft drink bottles once the seals have been broken. I dumped the rings on my scanner to create a pic, which was then manipulated a few times in my photo editing program. The final image ( which looked nothing like the plastic rings any more) was printed onto white polycotton & then layered with net & organza & FME'd.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Pansy Passion

My "Pansy Passion" page was for a book called "Purle". I had thought of using the iris flower for inspiration but settled on a pansy instead. Once again I played with a lot of photo manipulation. The pansy pic went through a number of effects including distortions, rotations, stretching & adding twirls. The final image was printed onto textile transfer paper, ironed onto white cotton, then embellished with layers of shot organza, net, chiffon, FME & a button. All was appliqued onto yellow felt.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Money Tree

"Money Tree" was the page I created for the book called "Nonsense". How much nonsense was this? We would all want one, but we all know that such things are complete nonsense.

I started with a hand painted background which I layered with brown satin & brown lace. A tree picture was digitized in outline only, then stitched through all layers. The brown layers were then cut back to reveal the background. $ symbols were also digitized & added to the tree, along with some leaf patterns & FME.

Not one of my better efforts but it filled the criteria.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Fuchia Page

Fuchias were my inspiration for the book "Nature Enfolding". This page was more about playing with photo manipulation than anything else. I used one photo, then cut two different sections from it to make two different images. Both images were resized to make them the same size, one was manipulated using the effects - texture - polished stone menu, while the other had the background removed just to leave the flower by itself. The two images were then combined, printed onto white cotton, then FME'd.

Monday, August 30, 2010


"Hexamorphis" is the page I made for the book called "Metamorphose".

Beginning with drawing a hexagon in my drawing program, I changed it's shape just by playing with the nodes on the corners. The hexagon morphed into a star shape, and all kinds of other weird & wonderful 6 sided shapes. So these shapes became the basis of my design. Cut from hand dyed fabric, appliqued onto purple cotton, added machine stitching & all appliqued onto yellow felt.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rainbow Lollipop

"Rainbow Lollipop" is the page that I made for the book called "Just For Fun".

"Just For Fun" is the catch cry for Luna Park, the fun park here in Sydney located just at the base of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, so this became my starting point. I thought of ferris wheels, lollipops & fairy floss, bright colours & noise.

The basic petal shape was drawn in my drawing program, then imported into my digitizing program to be played with again. Seperate files were made then combined into one before the final design was stitched onto a FME'd background.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fragile Fragments

"Lace - A Frragile Textile" was my page that I created for the book "Fragile Fragments". Lace is my other passion, and though it appears fragile, if it is made correctly it is quite strong, and will outlast most fabrics that it is attached to.

For this page I chose a lace doily from my collection that I bought at an op shop. (The aim was to reproduce it one day) . I then scanned it, cropped it, added 3D effects, embossing effects & printed the final image onto seeded homespun. Digitized flowers, lines of stitching to reflect the shapes in the doiley, & stretched lettering were stitched into tulle which was then overlayed over the doiley image.

Friday, August 27, 2010


My "Sea Shell Whispers" page for the "Earthsong" book was once again inspired by water. I love water, & eveything it holds. Many holidays at the beach have resulted in a collection of shells, & if we hold them close to our ears we can hear the waves of the ocean.

For this page, my own digitized design of a shell was stitched onto tulle. It was then placed on a background of layered hand dyed fabric & organza which had been stitched with lettering & FME.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


"Fly Ladybug Fly" was the page I made for the book called "Flight". My drawing of a ladybug was digitized and stitched to a background which I made by stamping painted leaves onto fabric.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Creatures

This page, "The Pelican - My Forster Friend" was created for a book titled "All Creatures". I love pelicans, & photograph them quite often, especially along the Mid north Coast of NSW. This page was inspired by one of those photographs. The background was created using layers of blue polycotton & organza, using FME to hold them together. Some sections of the organza was cut away to give a different texture. The pelican itself was sketched, digitized, & stitched onto the background.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When I received the title of this book to create a page for, I was in a dilemma. I had not even heard this name so had to do lots of research. In the process I learnt about the artist Hundertwasser, his life & his works. Not really my cup of tea, but the challenge was real & I still had to make a book page.

I started by cutting small pieces of fabric & ironing them onto vylene. Machine stitching was added, followed by strips of the same fabric also machine stitched in place.

The spiral shape was drawn in my computer drawing program, imported into my digitzing program, digitized & finally stitched onto the created background. The angled shapes were also computer drawn & digitized, but stitched onto another pieced background, which in turn was appliqued onto the main page. The final page was finished with a twisted cord made from fancy knitting yarns.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This is the page that I made for a book titled "Interplay".

I'd been having fun playing with a photo program & all the effects that could be created, so believe it or not, this started as a photo of a nodding violet. I used two different effects, one after the other to get the base image, which was then printed onto textile transfer paper and subsequently ironed onto fabric.

The image was then used as a background in my digitizing program to design swirls of stitching. These were stitched onto net, which was then appliqued over my base fabric image.

Certainly something different for me, but I was having fun with photo editing programs.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Colour & Shade

This was the page that I created for a book called "Colour & Shade". Corrugated cardboard pages were provided for us to use, & I seem to remember there were various colours to choose from.

I used a frangipanni shape, overlapped, traced the outline, then mirror imaged. The lines were then digitized. Purple satin was overlayed with hand dyed cotton, the lines stitched, fabric cut away, then more layering with net, more stitching & more cutting away. The final touch were the buttons stitched on with beads, all over yellow felt.

I know I had trouble with this page, everything was always dull. I think I was trying to keep the "shade " part going with the use of shades of purple & it wasn't quite working. Hence the introduction of yellow. Much better.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Another Time Another Place

Now for the pages that I created for this book RR.

This one was for a book titled "Another Time Another Place, " and my inspiration was water & the coastline. I love the coast, & hope to retire there some time in the future. So the coast was my "other place" & retirement my "other time".

I started with a postcard of the Great Barrier Reef, scanned, cropped, manipulated, then printed onto textile transfer paper & ironed onto white cotton fabric. The flowers were made by trapping threads in between two layers of sheer fabric, then machine stitching in the flower shape to trap the threads. The "Sun, Surf & Sand" has been digitized.

I was proud of this page & it was like nothing I had ever done before. It was my first attempt at using the transfer paper & I learnt lots about editing needle points in my digitizing software.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Loopy Lace Page 13

Made by Dale Rollerson, a background has been created using black felt gilded with gold foil. The letters were digitized, then stitched onto black felt, burnt out, then applied to the background. Other small digitized lace motifs were stitched & applied, then all were covered with a layer of "lace". This lace layer was made by using a fancy machine stitch on Water Soluble Fabric.

This was the last page that I received for my "Loopy Lace " book. It's been nice to go back over them all again after so long. Now stay tuned to see the pages that I made during this Round Robin. There were 16 in all, counting this first page of my own book.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loopy Lace Pg 12

A "Loopy Lace Angel" by Robyn Eccleston. A spider web image was manipulated on the computer, then printed & stitched as free machine lace onto a painted nappy liner applied to black felt.

Painted nappy liners are not something I have played with, at least not in a creative sense. Mmm............ maybe one day, but there are too many things at the moment that are higher on my prioity list.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Exhibition

Loopy Lace Page 11

Page 11 is by Anita Jenkins. Digitizing software was used to create the gold patterns which were then stitched on to felt & later burnt with a heat gun to produce the lace effect. The border was created using FME over threads sandwiched between two layes of water soluble fabric

Friday, June 18, 2010

Loopy lace Pg 10

This page is not signed and also has no notes, so am not sure who has made it. The background is hand painted card with a fancy machine pattern stitched in straight rows of orange. Another fancy stitch has been used in curves in a thicker thread which means it is probably bobbin work. An overlay of orange tissue paper covers the painted card, with just a small window to view the stitching.

I am not sure where the computer has come in, possibly in the curved rows of stitching. They could have been digitized. Still, it is a page that some nice person made for my book.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Loopy Lace - Page 9

Page 9 is by Kirry Toose. A graphic face stitched onto tulle then appliqued onto wool fabric. A digitized spiral motif, repeated along the sides, was stitched onto felt which was then burnt to give the lace effect.

Burning of felt with a heat gun is not something I have tried. I would imagine it would smell & I am not sure my sinuses would approve.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Loopy Lace Pg 8 "Betwixt The Two A Century Has Past"

Page 8 is by Gloria Allport, and contains beautiful antique lace as well as more modern digitized lace. Both laces have a sparkle, the digitized one being stitched in a bronzed metallic thread on water soluble fabric. All has ben stitched onto black felt.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Loopy Lace Page 7

Page 7 was made by Margaret Roberts of Digital Gran fame. There are no notes with this page, and nothing in my file so I will take a guess at what was done. Margaret, if you get to read this, please correct me if I am wrong.

It looks like Margaret had some fun with with her digitizing program as I can see some shapes that have been repeated. They are different sizes & different colours & look like they may have been produced with a kaleidoscope tool. All have been stitched over some free standing lace made on water soluble fabric, with ribbons & fancy knitting yarns included for texture. There are other small digitized shapes repeated over the base fabric to give background repetition & continuity. All have been stitched onto a background of organza layered over felt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Loopy Lace Page 6

Page 6 came from Leonie Bryant, who created an image with a paintbrush tool using a few different colours. This was then printed onto hand made paper. The fish were created from fabric, then FME lace was created around them using water soluble fabric. The fish & lace were hand stitched to the paper, then everything was stitched to felt.

Using a paper background is not something I have tried, though I have used small pieces of paper in my work, like this bookmark. Paper tends to blunt everything, including scissors & sewing machine needles. I do have special scissors just for paper, & I could mark a packet of needles just for paper, but the reality is I love fabric better.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Loopy lage - Page 5

This page came from Toni Valentine who used Photoshop to blend layers of a photograph. The image was then transferred to pelmet vilene using image transfer paper. Pieces of digitized free standing lace were added.

By the time this page was produced, I had already played with the same type of image transfer
paper on a page that I had produced for someone else. I have pics of those pages too, so I'll post them at some stage too.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Loopy Lace Pg 4 - Reflective Alliteration

Pg 4 was made by Sue Martin, who also used digitizing software to play with letting, circles & pre-programed lace fill stitches. Stitched onto fabric backed with something farlly stiff, like heavy vilene & backed with more fabric.

Loopy lace Pg 3 -

Page 3 was made by "Vonraj", who used an image as a source of inspiration in her digitizing software. The image was digitized a number of different ways including fill stitches, lined stitches & patterned lines. All the pieces were then pieced together into a crazy patchworked effect of a mini quilt.

Loopy Lace Page 2

Pg 2 of my book was made by Marj Long. Clip art icons were played with in a drawing program so they overlapped. The image was then digitized & stitched onto tulle, which was then applied to black felt. The background was scrunched paper that had been printed with a scanned lace image. Other lace motifs were stitched onto felt & cut out with a soldering iron, then placed around the edge of the background.

Scanned images printed onto coloured paper as well as playing with a soldering iron are two textile encounters I have yet to try.

Loopy Lace Page 1

Page one of my book "Loopy Lace" was my first attempt at creating a piece of digitized lace. I'd wanted to create a hexagon background but everything I tried ended up with massive amounts of jump stitches that were too small & tedious to remove. Then there was the problem of the lace actually holding together once the water soluble fabric was dissolved. I ended up with just rectangles that were copied, pasted, & rotated. Not what I wanted but it worked.

The coloured sections were me having fun in my drawing program again, playing with circles & what I could do with them, elongating, rotating etc. Once the basic "petal" shape was achieved, it was imported into my digitizing program where I used a kaleidoscope tool to create the 7 petals. The fun part was making the machine stop stitching so I could change the colours. This had to be done in my program or I would end up with a single coloured piece of lace. Something else I had to work out.

The lace itself is mounted into a piece of painted card (not seen here) so that it could be added as a page to my book.

I might also add here that I am closer now to achieving my digitized hexagon background. What wonderful help the internet can be.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A Fabric Book Cover

Over the last few days I have been having a discussion with one of my on-line stitching friends in England. Mandy is making book pages & I promised I would show her the pages I received in a past RR. When I went looking, I realized that this RR happened way back in 2005, before I even started blogging, so I thought I could reminisce a little & show you all the lovely book pages I received .

OK, the back story is I was encouraged to join my first on-line group by a real life stitching aquaintance. This group ( sadly no more) was about using computers to create textile work & sounded interesting. I had dabbled a little & could definately learn more. I had also just recently begun to play with my digitizing program, so I was hoping to use this to the max & learn as much as I could about it. When I joined the group, they were just about to start the book RR. We were to decide on a title of our book, the layout, page sizes etc, then make the cover & the first page. This was then sent to the next person on the list who would make & add in a page to suit the book, then send it on to the next person. So the process would go on until my book arrived home.

The pic above is the cover I made for my book. I used a drawing program that was compatible with my digitizing program, drew up the basic loopy lines & added lettering. I remember this was a learning curve about how to get the lettering to follow the curve of the line. Once drawn, it was then digitised & stitched onto fabric. The little dots of colour were just glued on, but the FME lace at the sides was sticthed onto water soluble fabric, dissolved & layered over another base fabric. It was one of my first attempts at FME.

Looking back, I would definatly do a better job now, but at the time I was very proud of what I had done & had learnt more about my drawing program.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Aquisition

Check out this new aquisition to my library. I have borrowed this book many times from the library, then last weekend a very special friend gave me my own copy. Although it's been pre-loved, the book is in excellent condition, and will now take pride & place on my own library shelf. Thank you, thank you thank you Miss R.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Fishy Tale

My little bobbin lace fish is finally finished. He is worked in cloth stitch, with a giant spider in the center. I have used three different threads including a variegated, a plain & a metallic. He is double sided & padded with pellon & felt, covered with crystal organza. I gave him a bead for an eye so he could see when he goes travelling to Japan for exhibition later this year. If anyone is interested he can be seen unpadded here. I think he looks much more dashing with his yellow undergarments.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Drawn Thread Challenge

Ive been playing with some more drawn thread work. This is just a snippet of a current piece. It started as a personal holiday challenge and is growing slowly. As I was packing to go away last December, I found the bag with this piece of hand dyed linen & threads inside so threw it into my sewing tin as well. The challenge to myself was to see what I could create with no reference books. So it is another work in progress, and now that I am back home with access to my own library, as well as others, it will be interesting to see how this piece grows. It has already taken on a life of it's own.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crochet Flowers

I've been crocheting flowers for my local lace group, for "goodie" bags somewhere in the future. These are only a few of what I have done, all out of donated crochet thread, so all they have cost is my time. It's been a long time since I have done any crochet work & they were enjoyable to do, as they are so simple to make. I could manage two in a sitting, & if my hands cramped up I could change to some stitching & still feel like I had accomplished something.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seafood Anyone?

My local lace group are busy making fish, ready for a display somewhere. (Japan I think) This is part of my effort, as there is another side to this fish yet to happen, then he is to be padded. This little fish was certainly something different for me. I had tight curves to deal with, sharp corners with sewings, adding in pairs, & brushing up on how to work a spider ( yes , it has been a while!) The thread was also a bit of a challenge. I used a variagated green crochet thread combined with a green metallic for the passives, and as always, the metallic did not want to play nice. I persevered though & this little fellow is the result.

Monday, February 01, 2010

An Award

Mandy over at Crazy Daisy has given me an award which has been a humbling experience. It is the Sunshine Award for "for bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogging world." There are rules of course, as with all these blog games, & I am supposed to pass it on to 12 other bloggers & leave a comment on their blog. How can I name 12? All the bloggers who inspire me are listed on my side bar under "places to visit" & there are way more than 12 over there. So, if you are reading this, & your blog is listed over on the side here, then consider yourself awarded the "Sunshine Award"