Angelina Fibre Butterflies

14 01 2014

??????????I have added a little video to Youtube showing you how to make these super cool Butterflies.


I hope you like it, please share.


Mixed Media Canvas

11 01 2014

I am building a range of mixed media canvases, pages and more for the Scrapbooking and Papercraft Shows.  I am not a papercrafter and I don’t really get the ‘scrapbooking’ thing, but I do like working on canvases.  Here is one I have just completed.


I have used a very eclectic mix of objects in here, but it is still a structured and formal layout.

There are two Tim Holtz products:  A pre printed Hessian canvas from the District Market range (Clockmaker) and my all time favourite Clock faces – Timepieces from the Ideology ranges.  The photo is one I have licenced from


the quote is transfered using Transfer Artist Paper on to Kraft Tex.  I really liked the effect of this and to finish it of a bit, I have stitched around the edge with my maching.


The knives and the upholstery fabric behind them came from one of the local charity op shops.  I liked the texture on the knife handles.  I applied two coats of gesso and then painted two coats of Jacquard Textile Colour in Raw Sienna.  Once it was dry, I heated some embossing powder over the surface to ‘tarnish’ it a bit.  I don’t know the brand or colour of the embossing powder as it is very, very old and I can’t read the jar.  The knives are no longer relevant as cutlery, they are there for their horizontal lineal look.

What do you think?

Darling Harbour Pop Up Classes

9 05 2013

Jane Davila will be attending the Darling Harbour Craft and Quilt Fair as my guest artist.  She will have a lovely little Guest Artist space at the front near the entry and will be running some classes.  I will also have Jocelyne Leath and me running classes.

The Darling Harbour Craft Fair Friend is not up yet, but I can share the most important bit – my pages!

Click on the link below to download the details of what we are all teaching and please join me.  It will be fun!  You can book now at

Darling Harbour Pop Up Classes Unique Stitching


A Quilting Arts Gift Challenge – Make a Tag

27 04 2013

Quilting Arts Gift are running a challenge.  You need to make a gift tag.

Here is the link:

Or you can download a pdf of all the details here:  QAGifts_GiftTagChallenge2013


Unique Fabric Art in Perth

22 04 2012

The Perth Quilt and Craft Fair is only about four weeks away.  Running from 23 to 27 May in the Perth Convention Centre.  We will be there with the usual array of dyes, paints, fibres, felts, fabrics, magazines, books, silks and more.  This year I will have my new fabrics – hand dyed cotton Sateens and the some of the gorgeous 50%cotton, 50% silk Radiance as well as lengths of silk georgette and cotton scrim.

As part of my stand, I will have the Unique Stitching Studio.  The studio will have five textile art classes running each day of the show:  2 dyeing – one with Procion dyes and one with Indigo dye; 2 mixed media – one using Angelina and Lutradur, the other using TAP, Angelina, Lutradur and Kunin felt (shown); and one doing mono-printing with the fabulous new Gelli Plates.

You can pre book the classes on my website now at or you can book on the day.

For the fuller descriptions go to the website or you can find them here: Perth Studio Classes

If you join me, we will have a lot of fun and probably learn a heap too.

My Turtle Playground.

26 02 2012

It may come as no surprise that I work a lot with textural fabrics.  I love using silks, velvets and other interesting fabrics to create depth and texture in a piece.  I am putting together some samples of how people can use non traditional fabrics in a traditional sense.  For example applique.  The elements of this piece are all from a Helen Godden pattern – Dolphin’s Playground.

I started with two off cuts of the Radiance, sewn together to create both a big enough piece, but a focal point.

I basted it on to some wading and stitch ric rac onto the surface.

Next I appliques some coral with pink/salmon/peach velvet.

Next I made a turtle.  The turtle is cotton sateen (head, tail, legs), Velvet shell, and a commercial cotton I had in a draw.

Next I made some star fish out of some velvets and silk jacquards.

I stitched all the pieces as I went so that the appliqueing did not get complicated.   I do what is effectively free motion applique – drop the feed dogs and go like the clappers around the edges of each shape.

I had some black and white and red fish, but decided that I was happy with out the red which would have dominated.

So here it is.  New sample number one.  What do you think?

This is not the best picture but I was running out of light.  You get the drift though don’t you?

“Unique Textile Art” Classes at Rosehill Craft and Sewing Show.

26 01 2012

Following on from my previous post, I have now locked down the timing for my classes in a studio as part of my stand in Rosehill.  The Rosehill Craft and Sewing Show runs from 10.00 to 4.30 each day from 8th to 11th of March 2012.  It is at the Rosehill Race Course.  It is NOT the Stitches and Craft Show, which no longer exists.  The website for the show is here:  All the workshops and events will be published there in the next few weeks.

So, three classes: one using Procion Dyes and two exploring some of the newer mediums such as TAP, Lutradur, Angelina, Foils, Bonding Powder, Inktense Pencils and other surface colouring products.  All three classes cross over a range of experience, from absolute beginners to people who have started playing with these media but are not sure where to go next.  There will be plenty of ideas and information shared but most importantly you will get hands on and try things for yourself and I guarantee you will have fun.  Each class will run for about an hour, with a bit of slippage.  Numbers will be strictly limited.

You can book at the stand on the day or prebook on  I will hold places in each class every day for bookings on the stand but if you know you and/or your friends definitely want to do the class it would pay to prebook.

The first class starts at 11.00 each day and will be focused on the Angelina and Lutradur.  You can make Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), fabric postcards, or bookmarks.  Here are a couple of examples

The second class will be a dying class using Procion Dyes on cotton Fat eighths. It will run from13.15 each day.  You can choose three colours to blend to make 6 different colours.  Traditional colourways will be blue, red, yellow like this:

or a less traditional combination such as red, orange, purple like this:

other alternatives will be three blues or three greens, or three purple/pinks.

The third class is brand new, so much so that I only finished the sample in time to send the photo for inclusion.  It will run from 14.30 each afternoon.  This one explores Transfer Artist Paper (TAP), foils and a couple of colour products, predominantly the inktense blocks.  You will create a piece of embellished fabric that you can use as a small wall hanging, a cushion centre, a feature fabric or pretty much anything.  Here is my sample.  You can add more colours or more depth of colour with a couple of different products.

this sample is a bit crocked.  You will be given rulers so you don’t rush it like I did.  I am calling this Adelaide River because some of the images came from there and it is a place that has impacted on me.  I have tried to capture the poignancy of the location in the piece, but we will talk about using colour to add emotion to a project.

In the middle of all of this, somewhere between 12.00 and 13.00 I will do a traditional workshop in the workshop rooms on using different fabrics in your patchwork and quilting projects.

I hope that there is something here to tempt all of you living in the Sydney/NSW area and that you will join me.  Of course we will also have our full range of colour, fibre, fabric products; magazines and books; and so much more.

I will run similar classes (though not necessarily the same) in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane also this year.  See you there.

12 Days of Christmas Project Five – Journal Covers

10 12 2011

Okay, I have a cup of tea so I am ready to post these instructions.  I have used the most basic of fabrics and embellishments for this project for three reasons: to show that projects don’t need to be complex to be effective; to focus on the construction not the ‘tizzy’ bits; and to keep this to a very quick project.

You can make these in any size, so I am going to tell you how to calculate your measurements rather than give you a set of measurements you must use.  You can make these with any fabrics; you can piece the back ground; you can use paints, inks, bleaching etc and surface design the fabric that you use as your feature;  you can make multiple layers, more than I did; or use luxury fabrics like velvets, silk, silk paper and more; you can do more embroidery either by hand or machine; you can bead, add lace, buttons or other embellishments.  In other words, one you master the very basic construction, the sky is the limit on how you decorate your covers.

Gather your materials.  You need some Light weight fusible Pellon (or similar soft wadding), fabric for the inside and outside, fabric for your feature and some embellishments (optional) .  In addition you need a rotary cutter, quilters ruler and cutting mat and your sewing machine with thread that matches your fabric.  I also used an offcut of Vliesofix (Wonder Under or whatever double sided web you like) plus some bonding powder.

The most important part is the book you are covering.  It needs to have a firmish cover, but does not need to be solid as the journal cover will add structure to the whole piece.  Initially I was going to cut some velvet circles for this project, but in the end, I choose not to use these.  Next time.

Measure your book.  To do that, open it out and measure from one side to the other, allowing for the binding method.  Wire like this book need a bit more than a flat spine.  Measure the height also.

To calculate what you need in materials, take the width of the opened book and multiply it by 1.75.  This gives you enough fabric to make the folds which hold the book in without going right to the inside of the spine.  So my book was 14 inches wide.  When I multiplied it and rounded it down, I cut my wadding and both fabrics to 24.5 inches.

For the height, you just use the height of the book plus half an inch which allows you two lots of a quarter inch seam.  My book was 9 inches tall, so everything was cut 24.5 by 9.5 inches.

Go to your iron and, with baking paper underneath to protect your ironing board, iron your fabric to both sides of the Pellon.  Right side out for both.  One will be inside your book, so it does not need to be beautiful, use scraps if you can.  If your Pellon does not have adhesive on either or both sides, cut some vliesofix to match, iron it to one side, remove the paper and iron your fabric down.  Repeat for the other side.  Either way, you want fabric adhered to Pellon or wadding on both sides.

Fold you pellon sandwich in half and measure or use your book as a guide, to place pins at the point away from the fold where the book ends, in other words, mark where you will be folding the flaps.  For a book that is 14 inches wide, my two pins will both be 7 inches from the centre fold.  This will allow define the space you have available to decorate and embellish.

Decorate your front (and back if you want to).  Experiment a bit to work out how many layers, what colours, and how you will apply these layers.  As I said before, I have kept this to the most basic.  I ironed some vliesofix to the back of the green fabric and cut out a 3 by 9.5 inch strip.  I also had the one inch rust coloured satin ribbon which I wanted to use.  I discarded my velvet at this stage.

My ribbon was a bit slippery and I did not want to cut it to straighten the sides, so I did not iron vliesofix to this, though I still wanted it to be fusible, so I used the bonding powder.  Bonding powder is like glue in a salt shaker, it is fantastic for items that are small, slippery, sheer or just mischievious in any way.  I dampened the ribbon with tap water  and lay it out flat.  Then I shook a small amount of bonding powder onto the damp ribbon.  The moisture lets the bonding powder grab and you can shake off the excess.  Reuse the excess by pouring it back into the shaker.

Iron the ribbon onto the fabric strip.  If you want your pieces to be straight, you need to spend a bit of time making sure that everything is squared up.  Use a ruler before you iron to make sure everything is straight.

Take the paper off the Vliesofix on the back of the fabric and iron it to your journal cover, carefully placing it and ensuring that everything is straight and square.

Stitch the fabric through all of the layers.  You might choose to do some decorative stitching here if you like.

Working on the wrong side, fold the short edges in about half an inch and stitch it down.  Don’t worry about exposed wadding, this is going to be the seam inside the inside flap.

Flip the cover over so that you have the outside up.  Fold the ends over to where your pins are marking the folds.  This should be right sides together on both ends.  Pin these in place and pop your book between or on the cover to check that it is going to be a firm, snug fit but not too snug.

Stitch these down at the top and bottom.  I started at one corner and stitched a quarter inch seam all the way across the whole piece to the other corner, then did the same on the bottom.  This secured my flaps but also gave me a fold line for the cover that is not going to be faced by the flaps.

Fold the flaps over, pushing out the corners.  Give the whole piece a good press, rolling the quarter inch seam into the inside.

Stitch the quarter inch seam down, close to the edge.  Now all your raw edges should be either faced or inside the cover.

Slip the covers of the book into the flaps, check that everything fits before you do any more embellishing.

Now that you are happy you can stop here or add some further embellishment.  Beading, buttons, lace, hand embroidery, you name it and you can add it.  I just used four of the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Embellishments  – the Muse Tokens.  I used the bronze ones as they went best with my colour scheme.  I will use the gold and silver on another project.  They really lift the whole piece, giving it a focal point.  I glued these down, but you can stitch them too (lazy and in a hurry – glue is good).

So, now you know how easy these are, you can make heaps in an evening and experiment with different fabrics and finishes.  I would love to see photos if you make some.


12 Days of Christmas Project 4 – Mixed Media Bookmarks

9 12 2011

This project uses one of my favourite techniques to make an amazing laminated fabric out of Lutradur and Angelina fibres.  Once you know how to make this fabric, the uses are unlimited.  For those of you who made ATCs in Brisbane with me, you will recognise this straight away.

Materials required to make a 10 by 15 inch sheet for 6 2.5 by 10 inch bookmarks are: about 12 by 18 inches of two different colours of light weight Lutradur;  the equivalent of about 2 five gram bags of Hot fix Angelina fibre (a mixture of colours is good);  baking paper or applique mat; craft heat gun or stencil burner; backing fabric, Timtex or other firm middle, two sheets of vliesofix/Wonder Under/double sided web – all cut to 10 by 15 inches; cotton thread, metallic decorative thread (optional) and sewing machine; 1.2 metres of fine ribbon and/or cords,  rotary cutter, quilters ruler and cutting mat or sharp scissors.

Coloured lutradur has two very different sides, but there is no right or wrong.  Just choose the side you want to have foremost and work on it.

Lay your Lutradur, right side up on an ironing board and sprinkle about 1/3 of the Angelina over the surface.  Spread a thin layer of the Angelina.  It does not need to be even.

Place you baking paper or applique mat over the top and iron with a hot iron melting the Angelina to the Lutradur.  The two will bond together.

Take this outside with your heat gun and zap the living daylights out of it.  Distress the fabric with the heat, moving back and forward.  I also tend to heat both sides as you will have different bits bubble, warp and melt away.  Where the Angelina is thickest, it will act as a greater resist to the heat than were it is lighter, even though the Angelina is very responsive to heat too.  There will be an odour off the heated lutradur, so make sure you do this outside or somewhere with good ventilation.  Don’t burn yourself either.  In classes, I provide aluminum backing tins and bamboo skewers.  The tin to place the fabric on and the skewer to keep your fingers out from under the hot air of the heat gun.

When you are happy with the level of distressing, set it aside and prepare the second layer of Lutradur.  the photo above shows about half way through my process.  I stopped, had a look to see how transparent it was, and went back to heat it a lot more but the photo I took at that stage was blurry so I am not sharing it.

Lay your second sheet of Lutradur on the ironing table, side you like best up.  Scatter the remaining Angelina over the surface.  You want this to be thicker than the first as it is going to be both decorative and the glue in our laminate.

Lightly iron to stop it from moving around

Leave this on the ironing board, right side up and place the distressed fabric over the top, also right sides up.  You should be able to see the colour of the bottom layer coming through the gaps and spaces or the top layer.  At this stage, you might decide to head back to the heat gun and zap a bit further.  My experience is everyone is a bit timid at first and this is the point where you decide to heat distress more.

Place the baking paper on top and iron with a hot iron until the two layers are firmly stuck together.  This process will also darken and matt down some of the Angelina creating new colours and light reflection.  The scrunched surface of the distressed fabric will become fixed too.

Iron the vliesofix or double sided web to both sides of your Timtex.  Remove the paper on one side and iron the backing fabric, wrong side to the vliesofix, in place.

Iron the second piece of vliesofix to the other side of the Timtex and remove the paper.  Place your layered lutradur, face up and with baking paper over the top, iron it to bond.  You now have the equivalent of the three layers of a quilt – top, batting, backing.  Trim the edges to make the piece 10 by 15 inches.

If you want to add some decorative thread, wind it onto your bobbin.

Flip your work upside down and work from the back

Drop your feed dogs and use either an embroider or a free motion foot.  Set the stitch to an embroidery stitch, zig zag or just a straight stitch and meander all over the place.  Don’t be controlled or planned, just wander.  Don’t worry about stitch size, even-ness or balance.  You are creating texture, not structure.

here is what happened on the front while you weren’t watching

Add a couple of different threads if you like, though you can just as easily skip this step if you prefer.

Cut your sheet of fabrics into six 2.5 by 10 pieces and stitch around the edges using a tight zig zap (on my machine I set it to 4 wide and 0.5 short).

Take a hole punch or very sharp scissors and punch a circle through all of the layers at one end.  Centre the hole as best you can.  Cut your ribbons/cord into six 20 to 25 cm lengths.  Take one set and fold it in half.  Hold the cut ends together forming a loop.  Push the loop through the hole in your book mark.

Hold the loop with one hand and feed the cut ends through the loop.  Pull the cut ends through to knot.

Repeat with the other book marks and you are done.

Pop one inside a new book or use for stocking stuffers for your friends and family that love to read.

An alternative use is to make two sets of the lutradur fabric and iron onto both sides of the Timtex.  Cut stars, hearts, diamonds etc and use as decorations for your tree.  You could add beads and more decorative stitching if you like.

You can also personalise the bookmarks by using a plain fabric on the back and writing a message, poem or embroider the receivers name.  Options are endless.

As always, please share this link with your friends if you like.  See you tomorrow.

Exploring Lutradur and Evolon – what are they?

7 11 2011

I love melting and heating stuff. Heat distressing fabrics create fabulous, textural surfaces that you can then include in your projects.  All man made fabrics can be distressed and texturised with heat.  A heat gun and soldering iron are the best tools to use to do this.

Before I go any further, I need to remind you of some basic safety when heating meltables.  First always do this in a well ventilated space.  Man made fabrics create fumes when they are heated so be careful and stop if the smell is causing distress.  Secondly when you are heating man made fabrics, they may scald, smolder and eventually burn.  Ideally don’t get to this point, but if the charred look is part of what you are after (and it often is) then be prepared with some water nearby.  I bowl or bucket is fine.  When heating or distressing the fabrics, I place them on an old baking tray and use a bamboo skewer to hold them in place so I don’t burn my fingers.

Scared you off??  I hope not.

Lutradur and Evolon….  These are some of my favourite fabrics and I am currently incorporating them into lots of different projects. So what are they and how do you use them?

Lutradur is spunbound polyester fibres.  The fabric is not woven or knitted – it is spun like fairy floss.  It comes in a number of different weights, colours and even textures.  I have taken a photo of each of the different weights in white on a cutting mat so that you can see the difference.  Here they are:




the light weight lutradur also comes in “Crash”.  Personally I think this is some sort of translation error and it should be called “Crush” as it is the light weight lutradur with a scrunched up textured surface.  I really like using this because it keeps the texture, even after it has been ironed a few times.  These next two images are Crash.

one layer of crash

four layers of crash

Evolon is similar in some ways, but very different in others.  Evolon is a mix of polyester and polyamide polymers.  It is also spun.  I carry the Evolon Soft, which has been washed making it soft, drapable and suede like finish.
Evolon can be dyed with Acid dyes.  This photo shows some dyed:

dyed evolon - you can see the texture better when coloured.

 So what can you do with it????  Well anything you would use a fabric for.
Both Lutradur and Evolon melt at high heat (200+ celsius for Lutradur and 230 + celsius for Evolon).  This means that the heat of an iron is not hot enough to melt it allowing you to use double sided webs, iron on hot fix angelina and of course, foils with double sided web.
Both fabrics can be coloured with paints, inks, spritzers, shiva stiks, transfer dyes and printing through your printer.  So you can add colour or many layers of colour.
Then, with a heat gun or a soldering iron, you can heat distress, solder, sculpt and create cut outs or lace work.
I have blogged a number of different processes with Lutradur, so if you go to the category cloud on my blog home page and click on Lutradur, it will pull up 12 entries.  If you want to have a big play with these fabrics, there are two books I recommend (both on my website of course)

Lutradur and the New Fibers by Wendy Cotterill

Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur by Lesley Riley

I will load pictures of some of the projects I have used the Lutradur in later.  I have only just brought in the Evolon, so you can expect to see more done with this from here on.


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