Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blog Hop for Creative Journeys

Starting tomorrow - 8th December (Australian time) we will be running a blog hop about my ebook

If you have been wondering about the ebook, then reading about some of the processes by some of my favourite creative people will hopefully inspire you to get your own copy.

What a great present for your family to get you for Christmas - especially kids on limited budgets

8th December - Sarah Ann Smith - 
9th December - Lyric Kinard -
10th December - Erica Spinks - 
11th December - Susan Brubaker Knapp - 
12th December - Brenda Gael Smith - 
13th December - Judy Coates Perez - 
14th December - Shelley Stokes -

Of course if you want to just get your copy now to beat the rush here is the link to the Amazon page. There are some nice reviews on the Amazon page as well.

Thanks to all of you have supported me so far and please spread the word on your networks. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Indigo Dyeing

I needed a few more pieces for a new project so today I mixed up a small Indigo Vat and thought I would share it with you.

First I added the indigo powder (I use synthetic indigo which works much better than the natural and more stable with identical effect) to a soda ash solution.

 Once dissolved in the vat I added the Hydros powder which is used to remove the oxygen from the indigo solution so it can adhere to the fabric

 Stirred gently and the solution turns green with a blueish layer on top
 The centre bubbles are called the bloom and you avoid that when immersing in the vat or you get ugly smears.
 I tied and folded and knotted a small selection of 10" squares/
 They were soaked in water before immersing in the Indigo Vat - I learnt that trick in Japan as it gives a more even coverage.
 Squeezed dry and then gently immersed into the vat and left for 10 mins. You can see the green underneath the top skin
 Here is the marbled piece taken out after 10 mins. They come out green but as soon as the air hits it - they turn blue.
 Pieces taken out of the vat.
And here are my pieces washed and iron and ready to be cut up and stitched.

I will be running this workshop at Berry Patchwork on February 20th 2015 so if you are interested in joining sign up soon as numbers are limited. If that date does not suit then watch my website to see when I will be running it in my home studio in the new year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mottainai Quilt in Embellish Magazine

My quilt Mottainai is featured in the latest issue of Embellish Magazine

Mottainai is an untranslatable Japanese word that sort of relates to Waste not Want Not or Too good to waste. It was so good to see it featured at the Amuse Textile Museum in Tokyo where the BORO Exhibition really exemplifies the concept.

For this project I used the a second hand kimono which I picked apart to get metres and metres of useable fabric. 
I created thremofax screens for japanese words for Mottainai and recycle/reuse and printed the fabric.

 I also created a stamp using a Japanese tile design and embossed velvet

 I also used the cherry blossom stencil to embellish the completed quilt.

I am very pleased with the final result and will probably do more like this in the future

Monday, December 1, 2014

Compressed Sponge Video

I have just done another video using one of my favourite surface design products - Compressed sponge. It has been hard to get a regular supply but now I have found a great source so will be able to supply it easily now.

Here is the link to the video - it was a lot of fun to make and although not brilliantly technically perfect it's fun to watch.

I used our Australian made Dual Gem paints for the stamping and Sun Dyes for the painted wash.

Here are some closeups of the samples made in the video

Don't forget that stamping is just one of the techniques shown in my ebook along with lots of other great ideas for surface design. It would make a great gift for one of your creative friends
Here is the AMAZON Link

Monday, November 24, 2014

Japanese Adventures - Yokohama Quilt Week

The main reason and the timing for our Japan tour is the Yokohama Quilt Week.

There is always an enormous quilt on display at the entrance which is breathtaking.
Lots of different booths are selling a wide variety of fabrics and notions. The Japanese are very into handbags so it's great to have such a selection of handles and clasps and bits and pieces.

Lovely to see the ladies in kimonos shopping for patchwork fabrics

Some of the clothes available for sale are magnificent. This is my favourite booth where all the fabrics is brown persimmon dyed linen (I think). The fabric appeared to originally come in small sacks stitched and quite stiff so I don't know how it is treated to make the clothes so soft. Unfortunately they are very very expensive - a jacket is about $1000. Lovely but well out of my price range. 

We actually saw the sacks later in the tour when we visited the traditional Sake brewery and they seemed to be the sacks the rice came in. They had some lovely small pieces made out of them there too but still quite expensive.

There are lots of stores selling recycled kimono fabric including my favourite indigo dyed pieces as well as some magnificent boro (recycled) fabrics. These are stitched together with a sashimi style stitching in a patchwork manner. They feel lush and rich and full of history.

Of course there are lots of quilts on display but unfortunately most of the exhibits won't allow photography - you have to buy a Show book. This year Modern Quilt guru Weeks Ringle and Kaffe Fassett had exhibitions and I believe Kaffe's fabric sold out the first day. I was very pleased to meet up with Weeks as we have been Facebook friends for ages.

They even have much more interesting food than other quilt shows. I succumbed to this iced grape drink which was delicious as well as mochi (rice paste) balls on sticks and delicious fried chicken.

Very popular was the frozen chopped fruit salad complete with condensed milk topping. The guys even came around a little later to top up your condensed milk - yum!
As an added bonus this year - in the hall next door was the Antiques fair which captivated me. I spent hours wandering around looking for interesting fabrics and was really really lucky to find a stall selling vintage yuzen stencil screens. I bought quite a few and must admit that I went back the next day and bought even more and can't wait to try them out.
Here are a few

I really wanted to buy this chest of drawers with a different shape mold in each drawer but when I went back the next day I had misread the price by an extra 0 which made it a little out of reach but it was really lovely.

You could really find anything in the antique market from Samurai suits to dolls to pottery.

I even saw some hexagons for sale.

 I was very luck to have a play on the new Bernina Sit down mid arm which was very exciting
 So I guess you can see I had a great time at the Show - I know my tour group did too as their bags were bulging on the trip home.

Yokohama Quilt Week is around 12/13 November next year so if you want to come with us, just contact Asia Discovery Tour for more details.