I am part of the Fibre Art Connection – and a blog hop!

8 03 2016

Hello again.  Two days in a row.  I will blog more, I will blog more, I will blog more.  I promise.

Yesterday’s post was all about the past.  Today’s is about the immediate future.

Today is my turn to be part of the Fiber Art Connection Blog Hop.  Hooray.  I am so honoured to be part of this group.  It is proof that opportunity opens up more opportunity.  I would not be part of this group if I did not meet Desiree when filming QATV.  I would not have filmed QATV if I did not meet and get to know Susan Brubaker Knapp (and take her to the zoo to see Platypus).  I would not have meet Susan if I did not bring Judy Coates Perez to Australia and so it goes.  Life is full of opportunities and you must seize them.

So I really hope that you will want to be part of the Fiber Art Connection.  Who knows where it will take you….

Fiber-Art-Connection logo


Desiree’s vision is that this forum is a completely new type of online class, it’s taught by a group of amazing (if I do say so myself!) fibre artists and we want to build a community.  There are 10 weeks in the session, each week a different teacher runs a different class, with material presented across the week. Format for each class is determined by the teacher and will vary.  There’s a great FAQ here: that explains how it works. Your access to all the content never expires, but our intention is to provide 3 months of artist synergy and inspiration to the members of the class, so jump in and get started.

Registration CLOSES on March 15, you must be registered by then in order to be a student in Session 1!  Don’t miss out.

So, I am about half way through the blog hop.  If you have not looked at what the others are doing, it is not too late.  Just follow the links below and learn more about some amazing women artists.  How cool is it that I can share amazing women on International Women’s day!  I tell you.  My life is charmed.

Blog Hop Schedule:

The Blog Hop is about more than just meeting new artists.  We want you to find out about our course and if you can, join. We also would like your help in sharing the information and excitement.  So, we have put together an phenomenal bundle of goodies.  Each of us have put in a big pile of textile art materials which will support all the classes or any project.  This bundle is amazing and you will want to win it.  You can enter to win in a number of ways:

  1. Join the online community, registering for the classes – MUST be before 15th March or you will miss out;
  2. Leave a comment at the end of this blog post;
  3. Share this post or course details on your own social media and tell us (here works) that you have done it

You can comment or share up until midnight US time 14th March 2016.  To make it easier for you, I have added a comment question at the bottom of this post.  Here is a picture of the bundle. Don’t you want it?  I know I do.



If you want more information on what we are doing, go to the website: http://www.fiberartconnection.com

So, now a bit about me.

1) What draws you to the fibre arts? Why do you work the way you do?

I LOVE the freedom and creativity of fibre art.  I love to use paint and dye to create a unique surface or background.  I love to draw inspiration from nature and reflect the world as I see it.  I love that I can use fabric and fibre to tell a story, make a statement, express myself.  I also love traditional and modern quilting.  I like the maths and precision in that, but I love the FREEDOM of textile art.  I started hand dyeing wool and silk fibre and fabrics such as silks and velvets (and felt and wool and anything else that does not move fast enough) because I wanted my colours, my way.  I wanted texture and I wanted it all at my finger tips NOW.  Creating layers and texture, that gets my blood flowing!

2) Tell us about your studio! Where in the world is it? Is it clean or messy? Is it hidden away or out in the open?

Firstly, I live in Canberra, Australia.  Most of you in the US will not have heard of it and I do intend to make you feel shame (in the nicest possible way) by pointing out that Canberra is our nation’s capital. Look it up.  It is a fabulous place to live.  By car, we are about 3 hours south west of Sydney and 8 hours north east of Melbourne. (Remember that Australia is an equivalent size to continental USA.)  See the A on the map below.  We are at the gateway to the Australian snow fields (truly, we do get some snow) and about two hours to glorious beaches.  Canberra is a great place to live and has been voted the most liveable city in the world by the OECD.  We actually don’t want people to know that as we like things here just the way they are.


My studio is my great disgrace.  We moved house 15 or so months ago and my studio space looked like this.

?????????? ?????????? ??????????

It still does!  So I pretty much work everywhere in the house.  There are two rooms dedicated to my younger son which are out of bounds to me and our bedroom is seldomly used.  I have been known to rinse metreage of hessian/burlap in the bathroom, but mainly I keep that clear, but all other space and surfaces are fair game.

As I am running numerous online classes using dyes and paints, I have set up an outside work area to film these and keep the place clean.  I like it out there as I am surrounded by my roses and sunflowers.

3) What’s your favourite colour and why?

Oh my.  That is an impossible question to answer.  I love all the colours.  I dye my fabrics and fibres in over 40 colourways because I keep coming up with one I can’t live without.  I do like red for myself.  I wear a lot of reds; from pale pink to burgundy.  Some days I am very drawn to cool blue/green/violet colourways and am increasingly finding myself drawn to autumn tones and neutrals, but seriously there is no colour I can’t find a role for.

4) Tell us about the class you’re teaching in The Fiber Art Connection. What do you hope your students will learn from this?

I am teaching Riverbed.  I mentioned earlier that I draw a lot of inspiration from nature.  I love to capture life in art and I mean life in all of its non animal glory.  I grew up in far north Queensland, near the Northern Territory border.  (Mount Isa, Qld for those of you who want to Google it.)  This is very much our ‘bush’ or ‘outback’.  Not ‘country’ or farming, there is not enough water to grow much other than beef.  This is mining country – copper, lead, zinc and silver to be exact.  So, from the my earliest memories, a sense of country has shaped my identity.

So, Riverbed is a class on capturing your environment.  You can change the colours to suit your environment.  The sample, below, shows the colours I photographed in the Snowy Mountains whilst on holiday one time.


You can’t always get fabric the way you want it, so I show you how to make your own from silk and wool fibre.  I also show you how to make depth and three dimension with a range of embellishments.  I want you to experiment with things you may never have used and start to imagine the potential.  Step outside the comfort zone and you will be amazed at what you can do.

5) Where else can we find you on the internet?

I am all over the internet, lol.  Here are some:

  1. Website:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au
  2. Blog:  you are here.
  3. Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/uniquestitching
  4. or : http://www.facebook.com/mixedmediamayhem

I am also running these online classes – details can be found on my website:

  • Almost Alchemy – Dyeing with Procion Dyes
  • Stunning Surfaces – A surface design masterclass and
  • Tremendous Textile Arts Techniques – an art quilt journey.

I am on Twitter and Instagram too, but not very good on either so join me on Facebook or this Blog.

Please leave a comment.  If you would like to, I would love to know what sort of environment you would like to capture in textile art.



26 responses

8 03 2016
Helen O'Hara

I would like to capture a tree like environment, close up with bark, dead leaves and moss and lots of critters embedded in the cracks and crannies.

9 03 2016

Helen. I love the detail you can get on trees too.

9 03 2016

I like the sky

9 03 2016

ooh, yes. You could do a whole series of just one sky line in all its moods.

9 03 2016
Judy Glanville

Lots of potential for developing this technique in many different subjects.

9 03 2016

yes, Judy there is. that is why I like teaching these types of techniques as the potential is unlimited.

9 03 2016
Laura Schmidhammer

I’ve been fascinated with succulents all my life and now I’m making my niece’s table arrangements for her wedding this summer and she wants succulents as the flower of choice. So I think it might be fun to create them in fabric.

9 03 2016

Ooh yes you could do a lot of dimensional work with the succulents

9 03 2016
Kathy Moore

Flowers and leaves.

9 03 2016

Lovely. I do lots of leaves using these techniques. They are very effective

9 03 2016

I would love to capture birds and bugs in textile art. I particularly like dragonflies. Thanks for the great blog hop! I’ve made a lot of discoveries!

9 03 2016

I particularly like dragonflies too. I do a lot of butterflies and some birds. If you understand the basic techniques, there is no limit to what you can create.

10 03 2016
Elizabeth bennett

I like to draw from nature as well. Right now our yard is filled with spiny sweet gum balls and it is making me think about doing fiber in three dimensions.

10 03 2016
Laura Schmidhammer

I have posted FAC on Facebook.

10 03 2016

thank you Laura. I saw that.

10 03 2016

I enjoy capturing landscapes in fabric.

11 03 2016

I would like to capture textures in nature. Stones, tree bark, leaf veins, grass and week angles.

11 03 2016
Blog Hop | Fiber Art Connection Online Class | Candied Fabrics

[…] 3/8: Cecile Whatman […]

11 03 2016
Linda J

I enjoy tree bark and textures in mountain streams, similiar to your picture.

18 03 2016

Linda. You are the lucky winner of the bundle of goodies. Can you please email me at cecile@uniquestitching.com.au so we can get delivery organised for you. Cecile

12 03 2016

I recently vacationed near the ocean, and took closeup pictures of the sandy beach and piles of broken sea shells. I love water, the ocean, lakes, shorelines. I also photographed orchids at Selby Gardens–knowing I might use some for inspiration for your lessons. I took some closeups of leaves that interested me, too. Mangroves, spanish moss, root systems of the banyan trees–all inspiring!

12 03 2016

oh yes, that will all be lovely.

13 03 2016
Kathleen Chrisman

I would love to capture a forest full of trees in fiber art. I have always been drawn to trees. I love the texture of the bark.

13 03 2016

I also have always been drawn to trees

13 03 2016

The desert landscape comes to mind- the red rocks, and soft brown hues. It’s a harsh but beautiful environment.

13 03 2016

oh, yes. deserts would be fabulous

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