Wednesday, January 24, 2018


We planted some sunflower seeds in late October - 6 seeds, of which 4 grew.
They have been fascinating to watch.
The rainbow lorikeets have been interested too!! They have pretty much eaten all the seeds now.

Luckily, we weren't planning anything special for the seeds. But they are eyeing-off the nectarines now, and have had a wonderful time with the plums. So we may have to pick the nectarines just before they are ripe, in the hopes of being able to eat some ourselves. We did manage to get some plums that way.

I have been working on a series of Inspired by ... for one of my online groups. So far, I have done two Inspired by Van Gogh. Seeing I have soo many pictures of the sunflowers, and seeing Van Gogh did some gorgeous paintings of sunflowers, I have been inspired to have a go.
I am not trying to emulate his images, just his topic.

I loved the patterns on the flowers before they opened.

I have chosen an image of a flower that is still opening so that I could get the interesting patterns. Not sure I am getting it how I wanted but it is developing and I will try to improve the image further. That is the advantage of this method, you can overlay fabric and put more sewing onto it to disguise any areas you don't like.

Still lots of work to do but it is coming along.

I have so many gorgeous photos that I may have to do another later on.

Friday, January 19, 2018


It was hot today and yesterday, and overnight, which seems to be worse as you don't sleep as well, making it harder to cope with the heat.

It was forecast to be very hot today so I got out all the old fabric that I did in my textile course. It has very ordinary (as in ugly) printing on it. I also found that my fitted sheet has a hole in it, so that got used too. I took all the fabric out and put it on the two camellias that we have had for years. They tend to burn in the very hot sun (scroll down for the poor, burnt camellias from the past).

I am not sure what the forecast is, so will probably take them off again tomorrow. I do know that it was forecast to drop 10°C , which means it might go from 42° to 32°, which won't be all that cool.
(I have just looked up how to get the degrees symbol on the keyboard - Mac: option, shift 8).

It being too hot to do much, I decided to do another small image for the Unfinished Business ... Finished exhibition.
I found an old photo of the backbeach at Rye,

printed it out A4 and did a rough estimation of the areas of colour onto some adhesive interfacing. I cut some small pieces of the donated blue fabric as my base.

Then I got out some tulle, some of the DMC threads that had been donated by a different person, and some old bits of novelty knitting yarn.
In the course of things, I came across some old dyed silk rods which. I discovered, pull apart quite easily and give nice texture.

I had a picture frame that I had rescued just two weeks ago from the scrap-heap and have cut the embroidery to fit.
All in all, not a bad day, despite the heat. You might as well be doing something, rather than sitting around feeling hot.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


There was a working bee for the people involved in Unfinished Business ... Finished (I discovered that is the actual title, at the working bee!).

Some of the people involved have made some amazing works, some are just starting, some are doing things I would never have conceived of doing. It should be a great exhibition.

I was trying to finish off the second vessel, having made a new back.
I sewed on the silk roving and it didn't get caught up in the edge - hooray.

I sewed the binding on and then sewed the pieces together. It is much better. Thank goodness.

There were several packs of donated pieces that hadn't been picked up. Lots of blue fabric in one of them. So, of course, I took some.
Fortunately, someone else was looking carefully at the blue fabrics so I just tore off a few pieces to do a small raw edge appliqué.
I got the photo from 123RF, not being able to find any of my own beach scenes.

There were also some more threads for a counted stitch embroidery and they seemed to evoke the sea for me. So home they came too.
Actually, they remind me of a tree trunk too. I'll have to see if there is time to come up with a new piece before hand-in date - which isn't far away.

I haven't used many of the threads in the image but did manage to put in a few.
Now I have another piece made, quiet different from my previous vessels.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Not happy Jan

Today I decided that I just couldn't stand the fact that my second vessel is skewiff. The back is ever so slightly bigger than the front and it just will not stand straight.
I have redone the binding along the top but it still isn't right.

I unpicked the vessel and have started making a new back piece.
I was also unhappy with the back because one of the flowers had been caught up in the binding. That had annoyed me too, not enough to unpick it but enough to make me unpick it when put with the other problem.

I decided to make a totally different image on the back - partly because I used up a piece of fabric I had dyed years ago and don't have any more.

I made my drawing a bit smaller (the wonders of modern technology and what printers can do for you) and traced it onto some dissolvable fabric.
I wanted to try using some silk roving to see what it would look like. Then I remembered that I have some sticky dissolvable fabric and laid it out on there. I put the dissolvable fabric that I had traced the image onto on top.

I put it in a hoop and sewed along the lines. I wanted it to stay in one piece, so I have done a bit of random sewing, hoping to catch it all together.

It is currently drying on a towel.

I now have to cut out the back piece of felt, making sure that it is the correct shape, then sew on the backing and then attach the silk roving.

There will be several hours needed to sew it all together. But I was not happy with it as it was, so I can only hope this iteration works.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The date being 8/1/18, I had better post today.

I have spent the last couple of weeks working on the second vessel for the Unfinished Business exhibition.
The second vessel is based on a canvas embroidery, only partly done, of pansies. I made the front and back and then the sides.
They all have slightly different techniques on them but I hope they gel together well.

However, I think I need to think of a better way to sew it all together. It sits slightly on an angle and I am pretty sure that is due to the sewing rather than the cutting.
I have also noticed that you can see the inside edge of the top very clearly and that the top is also not straight. That will have to come off and be redone!

I had hoped it was finished but not so. More to do.

I have tried to keep the original work recognisable in case the donor comes to see how her work was used. It was sad to read that she had to stop doing it because of falling eyesight. I hope I have done it justice and that she enjoys knowing that it has been incorporated into another work.

I think I have learnt more about making vessels and hope to do some more in the not too distant future.
After all, I know the saying very well - practise makes perfect.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


I was invited to join a group of people who planted sunflower seeds last November. They were supposed to be planted on Melbourne Cup day, the first Tuesday in November. I think we anticipated the date by a few days.
We planted 6 seeds but only 4 seem to be growing.
They are definitely growing! They are quite tall - and they are starting to flower.

I am also in a group that does small art quilts and our current challenge is to be inspired by an artist. I have done two inspired by Van Gogh, as well as Kathryn Harmer Fox, using the technique she taught early in 2017 (last year now!). Both of these artists have done gorgeous sunflower pieces.

Now the challenge is to use my photos to come up with something. I am not bothering to try to emulate both artists, I can just be inspired by the fact that they have used sunflowers as their inspiration.

I am loving seeing the flowers slowly open. The patterns are gorgeous. Not sure how I will develop this work but am looking forward to it.

It is strange that the Unfinished Business piece I have been working on also has a sunflower theme. I am currently trying to finish another vessel that is inspired by a pansy needlework pattern. I have come to a temporary (I hope it is temporary!) standstill with it. I am hoping to get going again soon - but the forecast for rather hot weather is not auspicious for doing much work.

Still, there is lots happening in my mind. Here's hoping it translates to actual work soon.