Monday, October 20, 2014

Teaching at the AQC 2015

Those of you in Australia know that the Australasian Quilt Convention is the premier Quilt Show in Australia.
Held at the amazingly beautiful  Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, it is an absolute joy to be part of the excitement.

Dyed & Gone to Heaven have had a stand at every AQC since the beginning and it is by far our favourite show to meet and catch up with dedicated quilters from all over the world.

I am so honoured to be invited to teach at the 2015 AQC and have the best of both worlds as we will still have our stand but I can be part of the classes as well.

I am teaching my one day Fantastic Fusion class which is a lot of fun. We don't do any actual sewing in the workshop - just lots of cutting and fusing and creating really original and exciting patterns. This is one of my samples which I am quilting at the moment so hopefully a secondary design will start to appear soon.

I hope you will consider booking into this class which is on Friday 17th and join me in a really fun day.

Bookings open on the 28th October and I know they sell out fast so be quick

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When Life Gives you Lemons...

A while ago I finished my second book. I was pretty pleased with the result of a year's work but for whatever reason my publisher decided not to publish it. I took a while to lick my wounds and then put it down to experience and tucked it all away where I couldn't see it or think about it (too much).

Many friends and people who I really respected, suggested I self publish but knowing nothing about it, I wasn't prepared to take that leap (yet). After about 6 months, fate stepped in and I met an ebook publisher and we started to talk.

I realised that there was a lot of good work just sitting there doing nothing so decided to give it a try. What's the worse thing that could happen I thought - another rejection? 

We decided that actually it would make a great series of eBooks so I started to work on Book #1 in my Creative Journeys Series. I realised that I could do much more than the original as I had more control so added more sections and lots more images and ideas.

So it is with great excitement and trepidation I announce the publication of 

It is full of ideas for Fabric Painting, 

Sun Printing,


 Thermofax Printing, 

and even some Felting.

It's perfect for anyone wanting to try simple and fun ways to create beautiful original fabrics and textures using inspiration found around you.

As this is a completely self published project I would be so grateful if you could help spread the word on your networks. 

So hopefully I have made Lemonade out of Lemons and you will enjoy it.

Click here to buy it on Amazon for US$8.95
I have priced it very reasonably to hopefully make your decision to purchase easier. 

Book 2 is already in the pipeline and it won't be long until it's launch.
Guess what it is about?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekend of Workshops

It's Monday today and I am resting a little as I ran two workshops here at my home studio in Sydney over the weekend. I love doing these as I don't have to travel and I know where everything is and at the end of the day I can collapse in a heap.

Saturday was my Dye Day and we did a 12 step rainbow, a 6 step value gradation, a 6 step colour run from one colour to another and some multicoloured pieces together with skeins of perle cotton.
First we had to rip up the fabric into fat quarters.
Careful measuring underway
Pretty soon there were little bags of colour scattered all over the garden.
The weather was perfect, if not a little too warm which was unexpected but it was a great day.

We always supply a nice lunch too and Peter is in charge of that and he never lets us down.  
I even made some chocolate brownies for morning tea but we didn't have enough for the next day as someone (who shall be nameless) scoffed the lot.

On Sunday we did my Print & Paint day which is a compressed version of my 2-3 day Permission to Play workshop.

Again the weather was perfect especially as there was no wind and lots of direct sun which made the sun prints and salt effects work perfectly.
We carved stamps and also made our own Thermofax screens from original artwork and had great fun learning the differences between different types of fabric paints.
This was Anne's stamp - simple leaf shape but so effective
 Tamara's stamp was a simple geometric design but looks great when repeated
Amanda's Japanese fan design was burned onto a Thermofax screen and looked great over her sun printed fabric

 Anne's thermofax screen was from some copyright free clip art and looked really great when overlapped.
Both days were very successful and I think everyone went home with a new found freedom and confidence to just give it a try.

My last home workshop for the year before I start travelling again is my popular Shibori and Indigo workshop next Saturday and there are still some places if you want to join in the fun. Click here for more details.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Beneath the Surface

This week I taught my Beneath the Surface project to Eastwood Quilters. What a lovely bunch of ladies.
This was Rhonda's top after the first of the two days and it continued to develop beautifully on the second day - see below

This quilt is quite a few years old now and I hadn't taught it in a while either so it was fun to revisit and see what variations we could come up with. I never expect my students to slavishly copy my projects - I encourage them to play.

I often supply kits for this project and have started adding in more interesting fabrics like multicoloured ones and shibori ones for added zing rather than just plain hand dyed solids.

 Sarah decided to do something different with her curved pieced top and cut it up into 6" & 3" squares and rectangles to be pieced randomly together.

 This one is going to a tree with embellished leaves etc falling.
 Beautiful lines and textures in this one

Jill used our Shibori and multicoloured fabrics including the feature fabric which she didn't want to cut up too much and I really like the finished top.
 Lenette's colours really sing don't they? Also our hand dyes.
 Here are some of the ladies at the end of the workshop.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Beyond Rubbing

A few years ago in Scotland I made a couple of rubbings in St Andrews. They have been sitting waiting patiently for me to do something with them. 

Finally inspiration has come and with a few free days and a need to create, the moment has come.

This was made with a gold Shiva Stick and was from a small gravestone of a child I think.
I laid the rubbing on another piece of the same poplin fabric so any excess paint would soak through and could be used for the back.

I probably should have used thicker paint so it wouldn't bleed but I liked the effect.

The back piece was a bit mottled so I gave it an extra wash  of paint to tie it all together.

 I quilted around the main leaves with a 12wt Aurifil Thread (ignoring the bleeding paint)
 For the internal fill quilting I used a finer thread and an ivy leaf design

 The outside fill design was a little trio of seeds

 As is usual for me - when the quilting was finished I wanted to do more so I filled a sponge roller with a russet paint and rolled it lightly over the outside fill design.

I will trim it to 12" square so it may appear in next year's SAQA Auction unless it sells before. 
A fun couple of days playing and great free motion quilting practice as a bonus.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Screen printing gum leaves

I had to make up some more Thermofax screens today for an order - the most popular ones are the Gum Leaves which were an image taken from my tree and then manipulated in Photoshop.
I do 4 at a time of the small A5 size and then cut them apart.
You run the image and the mesh through the thermofax machine and then either tape the edges with gaffer tape or tape it directly to a plastic frame. I prefer frames as it makes them more stable

I use our gorgeous Gems Fabric paint to do most of my screen printing. I love the opaque metallic hand of the paint without the plastic feel of other paints. I also find it the colours a bit more subtle.

Squeeze a little bit of paint onto the top of the screen. I am doing this onto one of my many class painted samples but I could do it onto white fabric too.
 The paint is scraped through the screen in one or two passes.
 You can mix paints straight on the screen too for added interest
Because I never know when to stop - I also overprinted my Australian Place names screen. Looks great doesn't it and only took a few minutes.
And just because I can - I made up a few more of my personalised quilt labels onto a scrap of painted fabric. These 4 will probably do me through to the end of 2014 so I better make a 2015 label soon. This time I will leave more room for the name of the quilt which I hand write in.
Maybe you would like me to make you a personalised quilt label or a screen from one of your own images. Or you can just buy one of my designs which are available on the Website.