Adventure West! 2015

3 10 2014

I will be bringing two terrific International tutors to Western Australia between 27th February and 8th March 2015.  If there is demand and support for the workshops, we will be running 8 classes across three different locations:  Perth, Margaret River and Albany.  The tutors are Patt Blair from the US ( and Alysn Midgelow Marsden from UK/NZ (

To book your place, go to this link: or—27-february-to-8-march-2015.html


Here are the details of the Patt’s classes:

Painting with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth on 27th Feb and Albany on 7th March.

Patt tigers_eyes

Description:  You will be amazed at what you can create using these flexible and easy-to-use pigment inks made by Tsukineko of Japan. These permanent inks are used to enhance commercial fabrics or to create an original art piece painted on clean white fabric.

Special fiber stick applicators make painting much simpler than traditional brushing techniques. Students are delightfully amazed and proud of their creations.

Paint a landscape, still life, or animal using TSUKINEKO Fabric Inks and special stick applicators. Bring your own artwork or choose from Patt’s drawings. You’ll love these inks.. They are surprisingly easy to use… It’s like crayons for grown ups.!


Media Mixer (being run in Perth 28th Mar and Albany 8 Mar).

media mixer

Description:  Can you believe this little quilt top is created using fabric, napkin and kleenex tissues, stamps ,stencils, marking pens and pencils. You will design your own whimsical version of what you chose to adhere to fabric. All will be beautiful. I will bring several types of napkins, tissues, and stamps for you to play with but I encourage you bring something you love too. You’ll chose items, lay them around on your fabric piece ’til you are ‘happy’, then adhere them to your art quilt top with my instruction.


Fun Faces with Tsukineko Inks (being run in Perth 1st Mar)

Patt faces

Description:  I’ll bring to class an assortment of face and torso shapes/eye/nose/mouth/hair shapes. You can mix and match into a collaged drawing to be used as a basis for a painted with ink caricature of yourself or a friend. Your result can be finished as part of a quilt, wall hanging, placemat,etc. You will have a ball!


Fusing to be Free (Margaret River 3rd Mar)


Can’t fuse because the quilt top becomes stiff or the edges lift? No worries! This clever fabric fusing method avoids both problems and will have you fusing and designing original work almost without effort. Its fun and freeing… kinda like grown up play time! You’ll be proud of your newly enhanced quilt top. No machine required, really!


Painting a Portrait Quilt (Margaret River 4th Mar)


This class is for anyone who wishes to learn the basic elements of portraits on fabric, and as importantly, capture an image of family or friend (2 or 4-legged ) in an engaging art medium using textiles and ink. Come to class with a tracing /drawing of your family or friend ( as outlined in pictures via, and you’ll leave with a portrait of which you’ll be proud.


Rubbings and Beyond (Margaret River 5th Mar)

bumble bee

Start by rubbing a textural pattern onto your fabric, use a range of paints, markers and more and then embellish layers to create a fabulous art piece.


Now here are Alysn’s classes:

Crown Jewels Gone Mad (being run in Perth 27th Feb and Albany 8th Mar)

AMM Crown Jewels Gone Mad

Description:  Exploit the textured surfaces which can be developed by fusing and melting the Angelina fabric.
Really go for it with bright, lustrous, over the top combinations of Angelina fibre, wires, beads, soldering, burning, hand and machine stitch to develop a wild embroidery by layering and stitching.


Golden Romance (being run in Perth 28th Feb)


Create a sampler collage which introduces the different forms of gilding we can use to apply onto textile backgrounds and stitch over, it throws in a little goldwork, then updates and twists the techniques to produce a sensual, subtle wall panel. The traditional is mixed with a couple of my favourite surfaces to stitch into which are waxed papers and felt from silk cocoon strippings. The stitchery is worked in delicate machine embroidery using viscose embroidery threads for their soft, silky sheen. If you are a hand stitcher, go back to traditional long and short stitch with floss silks, you will achieve wonders! (And it doesn’t have to be gold or traditional!)
Handmade Books – Make a Book without the Bind.  (being run in Perth 1st Mar and Albany 7th Mar)
Description:  Have fun with a contemporary approach to bookbinding. Make your own special book which is also a work of art using the piano hinge style book binding giving a modern, flexible format.  Expandable, interchangeable pages are held in place with a clever technique using kebab sticks. The spine creates room for creating exciting sketch books and sample storage, or to use as a special occasion memory book with photos, writing, and memorabilia.  Best of all, there is (almost) no measuring!
Elemental Layers (being run in Margaret River 3rd Mar)

AMM Elemental Layers

Description:  Use silk, linen and flax fibres to create a textured surface, further developed using felt and stitch (hand and/or machine) which will then be treated with layers of paint, patina, verdigris and gilding to create a surface reminiscent of ancient bas relief carving or natural weathered and gnarled features.
Richly Stitched (being held in Margaret River 4th Mar)
AMM Richly Stitched
Description:  Velvet and metal are such perfect partners! In this workshop you will use machine stitching to create a rich, luscious, embroidered panel on velvet using metal and metal fabrics enhanced with a smattering of beads.
Mixed Media Layers (being run in Margaret River 5th Mar)
Description:  Use an exciting mixture of different paints, resists, glazes, and stamps. Embellish with embossing powders to create densely layered and textured background fabrics for stitching and beading later. Expect to get messy and finish the workshop with plenty of experimental surfaces and a piece underway.

July News from Unique Stitching

3 07 2013


well it is a cold, foggy, damp week in Canberra but there is a lot coming up that I want to share with you. We continue to have a range of new products every week, I usually forget to tell you about them and some never make it onto the website, so you can keep up with me on Facebook or see what is new at a Craft Show near you. The facebook page is

The first half of this year has gone by in a flash. We have done more shows this year than in many, many years and it has been great to see so many people all around Australia. Amidst constant negativity from our Government and the media about the perilous state of the world economy, it is lovely to see people face to face and talk to them about what they are doing, what they need and what they are buying. Retail is hard at the moment, but I continue to strive to provide fresh, interesting, entertaining workshops and classes to excite, engage and tempt you. So far this approach is working. So far this year, I have brought two International teachers to Australia – Judy Coates Perez and Jane Davila. This has been a heap of fun and I know those of you that have engaged with these two lovely ladies have had a ball. There is more on the cards and I am in negotiations with several amazing people for the remainder of this year and the beginning of next.

One set of new products I have created and launched at the Darling Harbour Show was the hand dyed wool felts. Oh my goodness, did these go OFF. I have now loaded these onto the website, but here is a sneak peak to tempt you. There are 30 colour ways in this range.

There are a number of reasons for Canberra people to be reaching for their calendars and for those of you interstate to plan a trip to your national capital (truely!). In chronological order:
Saturday 6 July 2013, 10.00 to 4.00 Unique Stitching Open Day / Garage Sale. Come by and browse. This is a rare occurrence when both the stock and I are at home. I don’t have everything, but I have most of it and I will have a heap of specials and demonstrations running all day.
August 3rd and September 20 to 22 2013. I have booked space in the Belconnen Art Centre to run some classes. On the September dates, I will have at least one International Guest teaching here. Keep an eye on this newsletter or Facebook for details as I confirm them.
May 2nd to 4th 2014. The Creative Fibre Festival. This is the old Textiles Show that was run in Brisbane and cancelled. It is back with a vengence and should be a fantastic, fabulous event. Again, I am currently negotiating with some awesome international teachers for this and AQC, but this will be an event not to be missed. It will also see me returning to doing a local Canberra Show, I still won’t be returning to the August Quilt and Craft Shows.
I hope that I see some of you on Saturday. If the event is a success, I will try to schedule two to four open days each calendar year.
On the issue of shows, I have a few coming up this quarter: Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair – July 25th to 29th at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Southbank. My Pop Up class schedule is now available to book on the website here: For more information on the show itself and others attending please go to:
After that, I have the Newcastle Stitches and Craft Show August 15th to 18th and the Hamilton New Zealand Craft and Quilt Fair September 5th to 8th. We will finish the year with the Townsville Stitches and Craft Show (3-6 October); Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show (16-20 October) and a return to the Adelaid Craft and Quilt Show (7-10 November). I hope to see you at one of these shows, near you.
In 2014, the calendar is a mess and I want to just highlight a few bigger changes.
AQC in Melbourne will be early next year, pushed to the 10th to 13th April but a very late Easter; The new Textiles Show will be in Canberra from 2nd to 4th May; International Events such as G8s or G20s or something are messing with the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Show, resulting in it being VERY early from 26th to 29th of June. YES JUNE! And what about Darling Harbour then?? Well, as all Sydney siders will now, the Exhibition Centre will be a demolished building site by then and the show will be at the new Glebe Island event from 9th to 13th of July. YES, JULY!
Confused? me too, but together we will work through it. 2015 apparently returns to something closer to what we have had for the past 15 or so years.
That will probably do from me for now. If you have someone you would like me to bring out to Australia for an event or classes, let me know. I will see some of you on Saturday and most of the rest, I hope at the shows or my classes over the next six months.
Bye for now
PS OOH, I nearly forgot! My first attempt to import on a ridiculous scale – pallets of Gelli Plates – has almost come to fruition. The Gelli Plates are clearing Customs right now. This includes a huge number of the new big 12 by 14 inch ones. I hope to have them for the weekend, but it might be early next week. HOORAY!

Santa Please Bring Me

8 11 2012


I have been very absent on this Blog for a while.  I will endeavour to do better from here on.

Anyway, it is that time of the year again and I have prepared my usual, very popular Santa, please bring me… specials sheet.  Designed for you to drop hints to those you love, you can make copies, pin it to notice boards, fore heads or doors.  Don’t forget to make notes or highlight the bits.  There are gifts here for every price range and I hope there is something to tempt you.

Xmas 2012 Santa Wish list

Later today I will move all of these into a special Santa category on the website – – so that it is easy to find for everyone.



Making Metal Embellishments.

30 06 2012

Today I have been playing with some of my new toys and new products.  It has been FUN.  I have a project I am working on that is a bit funky, mixing fabric, encaustic wax, TAP, metal and some textural bits.  I decided I wanted to have contrast in my metals, so pulled out my embossing tools and metal paints.  The ones I am showing you today won’t make it into the project but a second set I did at the same time will.  Intriqued? Good!

So here is how you can make stunning metal shim embellishments, or at least one version.  I started with plain aluminium shim.  It has a silver look. 


I cut six smaller pieces – 2 by 2.5 inches square as these fit my Sizzix Embossing Folder. 


I then ran them through the embossing machiney thing (my favourite new toy – for today at least).  I used a ‘steam punk’ design of keys and gears.  This is how they turned out.


Cool, huh?

Then I pulled out the Vintaj Patina inks.  These are designed to adhere and seal metals.  I used three greens:


These come as a set – Weathered Copper. You don’t need much to colour your metals.  I worked on some baking paper to protect my bench top, though some would argue if I got enough paint on it, it would motivate me to take out the 1970s orange.


I used about double of what I originally put out, but you can see you don’t need much, just a few drops to get you started.  I then painted each of the pieces of shim with different amounts of the three colours.


These paints are very quick drying and have a lovely surface coverage. I really enjoyed this process as it was so quick.  Once they were dry, I took to them with a couple of emery boards.  I knew I had these for a reason, and it clearly is not to maintain my nails.  With the roughest side of the emery boards, I rubbed the paint off the raised surface of the embossing.  That let the silver back through.  SOOOO Cool.


These metal pieces can be shaped, rolled and most importantly stitched through.

If you want to have a go at this, some of the products I used are currently on my new website –  The remainder will be added when the stock gets through customs.

What do you think??

our AQC competition and challenge

3 01 2012

I have had a number of people asking about the deadlines for this challenge.  In the paperwork it says to register by 23 December.  This was a guide and not essential.  I just need to know rough numbers of interested people so I can determine how much space I need if I am going to exhibit etc.  So if you are interested, don’t worry about the dates.  I will need photos by 24 Feb 2012 though so that they can be judged and bookings made. etc.

Here are the details if you want to have a look.

Collage Challenge Registration Form 2012

Challenge Information and Instructions

My Memory Quilt

31 12 2011

I posted a photo of this quilt on Facebook and got some questions about the pattern. There is not a pattern as I designed it myself, but I will describe what I did with loose measurements for you here.

The first step is preparing the photos.  I selected 20 and scanned them into my computer.  I then resized them so that they were all six inches square.  With hind sight, I should have made them six and a half inches square so that the seam allowance was not white.  This would have given me a bit of slippage for dodgy seams.

When they were resized, I converted them to grey scale and saturated the colour a little, increasing the contrast a small amount to make the images a bit crisper.  The better the quality of your photo at the beginning, the better your transfer will be.

I then opened a word document, set the page layout to Letter as the photo transfer paper I have is US sizes, not A4.  I inserted the photos, one per page, creating page breaks as I went.  Once I had all twenty saved in the document I printed them onto the photo transfer fabric watching my ink carefully so I did not run low.

Once printed, I left them to cure a bit (not necessary) and then cut them to 6 and a half inch squares.

I then started cutting my fabrics.  The design calls for 240 3 and a half inch squares.

Stitch all 240 into 120 pairs, ensuring that no two fabrics are the same in a pair.

 Set aside 22 pairs.

Take 20 pairs and stitch them into ten sets of one long line

Then, take the remaining 78 pairs and stitch them into 39 4 patches.

Press all the seams as you go.

Use the guide below for you layout.  The light grey four patch are you photos.  The dark grey four patches are your pieced four patches. The pink strips are, obviously your four squares sewn into a strip and the white pairs are you left over pairs.  Construct your 20 blocks.

To make the sashing you need 12 2.5 inch squares and 31 2.5 by 6.5 inch strips.  Construct the centre.

I then added 6.5 inch borders, quilted and bound the quilt.

Here is some detail

I had three photos that were longer than they were high, so I printed them at 6.5 by 9.5 inches and left off one of the pairs in each block.

Twelve Days of Christmas Project 1 – Wine Glass Charms

6 12 2011

These twelve projects are designed to be quick and easy – perfect for last minute gifts or stocking stuffers.  Ideally you won’t have to spend a lot of money either as they can be made from scraps and left over bits you will have in the cupboard and drawers.

The first of these are unique little wine glass identifiers or wine glass charms.  I have a sister in law (well, one of the six) who is very fastidious around glasses when we all get together for the family Christmas and other gatherings – you know who you are Gail – if you leave your glass unattended for a fraction of a second, it can disappear.  Also, when there are lots of us around, it can be difficult to remember exactly which glass is yours and there is nothing worse than thinking you are drinking a nice crisp Sav Blanc and to take a mouthful of something unmentionably sweet by accident.  So wine glass charms are popular.  As long as each one you make is distinct, all your wine related problems are solved.

This first project is so easy you might find your self making a dozen each for everyone you know.  Here is how.

You need:

either some thin metallic elastic or some fine loop jewellry findings; fine jewellery wire;some beads, charms, buttons or embellishments; scissors.

I am going to show you two options.  There are plenty of other ways you can achieve the same thing.

Version 1 – the easiest ever.

Cut about 15cms of your metallic elastic.  Tie the two ends together in a knot to form a loop.

then take a charm, button or embellishment (I am using Tim Holtz “Baubles” in this example).  Thread the looped end of your elastic through the clasp or button holes

Then feed the knot through the loop.  Pull down so that the loop secures itself against the charm.

Viola, you are done.  Now just make more varying the charms on the end.


Version 2 – add five minutes to the process!

Cut a length of fine jewellry wire between 15 and 20 cms.  Select a range of beads and string them onto the wire.  You can be semmetrical or not.  Like the last example, you can use buttons, embellishments, charms etc as well, but the beads are nice.

Leave two or three centimeters of wire out each end (unlike the photo above).  Fold both ends together and twist to form a loop and secure the beads.

Take your jewellry finding loops (the ones shown are cheap loop ear rings but you will find others).  Thread the two ends of the beaded wire through the loop on the findings.  Fold the wire over onto itself, pulling the beading to the top.  Twist two or three times to secure.  Cut off excess wire and twist tucking the ends into one of the beads.

Make each one different with different combinations of beads and buttons and you are good to go.


Presenting the gift:

you can buy some nice card from the newsagents and get some glue dots to secure each charm. Or you could get a little box and put some folded fabric or scrunched tissue paper in the bottom and place the charms neatly in there.  Alternatively you could place them in a small lace, organza or mesh bags and tie it around a bottle of bubbly.  What ever you do, I am sure they are a gift that will get used.

Please feel free to share these gift ideas with your friends.


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