triangles, my favourite of all the shapes

15 01 2016

I do love triangles.  I particularly love them when they come together to form different shapes and patterns.  I could seriously put triangles into everything.  Here is one of my favourite old quilts built on triangles and appliqué.
cmykflameflower

 

These next three are also amongst my favourites of my more traditional quilts.

Aurora cmyk

windows cmyk

Oriental cmyk

It is all in the placement and the use of colour.  There are dozens of different rulers that allow you to cut and sew triangles, but I am a bit old school and like to use actual maths.  I have a handout that you can download to help with the calculations and sewing instructions which you are welcome to use if it will help.

Using Triangles

Patterns for these quilts plus more are available at http://www.uniquestitching.com.au





Out and About – Eumundi Markets

30 12 2015

If you are a regular follower of mine, you probably know that I am having some time off for the Christmas break.  We are on the Sunshine Coast, Qld and have been having a lovely time.

Today, we headed out to Eumundi for the Markets there. Now, many would have suggested that this is a complete act of insanity due to the crowds expected on probably one of the busiest market days of the year. And it probably was, but I thought it worth the time and effort.

The traffic, both foot and road was horrendous.

image

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The Eumundi markets began in 1979 and it would have only been a year or two after that I visited as a child. A lot has changed in that time, but a lot was as I remembered it. There is no doubt the size is different. When I was there last, probably in around 1985, the whole market was on the pavements of the Main Street. However the feel of the market and the general mix of stall holders felt the same today despite being enormously bigger than I last saw.

If you want to see the website for the “original” market, go here:  http://www.eumundimarkets.com.au

There now is both the Original Market and about four other market areas, all maintaining the theme of hand made or grown.  In some areas you can find mass produced goods, but these remain in the minority.  There is also a lot of wholistic health products, loads of massage and reflexology, more palm or tarot readings than I have ever seen in one place and a simply huge array of food; fresh home produce and cooked food from around the globe.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want that Paella pan!

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The Tibetan Momos were delicious.

My favourite traders were in one of the newer areas, the Eumundi Square.  Here are some photos of them.

image

imageimage.jpegimageimage

All in all, a nice trip despite the crowds.

 

 

 





12 Days of Christmas – Day 10 – Modern Clearance

15 12 2015

Today is less of a Christmas special and more of a Christmas clearance, but the end result is the same.  I have fabric and patterns that I just want to get rid of so I have priced these at around and below half price.  My standard pricing was below recommended retail to start with and now I have dramatically reduced these.  So please take them to your house.  Here are the three details:

Modern Plaids – reduced by 50%.

modern-plaids

These plaids are not the low quality that you expect.  They are the same fibre and thread count as all the normal patchwork fabric and are great for childrens clothes and toys, household items, rugs and of course gorgeous quilts.   Here is the link:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9056684/12-days-of-christmas—day—10-modern-quilt-studio—modern-plaid-collection.html

Modern Plaid Quilt Kit

plaid quilt

I have kitted up the free pattern that the manufacturer provided for these fabrics (plus a couple of others).  It is a very effective quilt and I use my version as a picnic rug.  Instead of putting on a traditional backing, I backed it with Multipurpose Cloth to give me a water proof background.

Here is the link to the free pattern:  http://www.andoverfabrics.com/Quilts/The%20Modern%20Plaid%20Collection.pdf

and here is the link to buy the kit:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9059566/12-days-of-christmas—day-10—modern-plaid-quilt-kit.html

The final part of this clearance is a deep discount on the Modern Quilt Studio patterns.  Again over 50% of RRP.  Go here to see the options:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4552122/1/modern-quilt-studio-.html





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 5 – Gelatos are not always Ice Cream

10 12 2015

Well, actually they are never “Ice cream” but we don’t need to split hairs here.  One of my most favourite mixed media products are the full range of Design Memory Craft brand:  Gelatos, Big Brush Pens, Wax Crayons and all the associated supporting products.  Faber Castell have developed the Design Memory Craft brand to seperate out their pure ‘artist’ products from the mixed media range.  The Design Memory Craft stable is fantastic and growing.  Keep an eye out for it.  For the next two days, I have 30% off the full range of products in stock.  Use 12Day5  as your discount code at the checkout.  Here is the link to all the products: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4536033/1/design-memory-craft-by-faber-castell.html.

When I first started seeing Gelatos used overseas, I knew I wanted to get my hands on some to have a play. This was about two and half, three years ago.  I rang around about 20 different art and craft stores and almost universally I got the response:  “you know we are not an ice cream store, right?”  Yes I knew that.  Anyway, I ordered my first set online and fell in love with them.  Now they are everywhere, but I still love them and most people are not demonstrating them very comprehensively so you don’t get to see the full potential of this collection of goodies.  I try to always have the full range available on my website under the Mixed Media category.

I use the gelatos as my principle love and all the others as the support network.  I use them on every surface I can lay my hands on from paper and card to leather and all things inbetween.  I really love them on canvas, fabric and other slightly absorbent surfaces.  Gelatos are a water soluble wax crayons.  So you can use them as a wax, as a water colour, added to anything water based to change the colour such as gel medium or gesso, and dilute with water directly or indirectly such as into a mister.  Once set, they don’t shift so you can paint or embellish over the top of the first layer.  If you are using Gelatos on fabric and think it will need to be washable, you need to use some Textile medium in the mix somewhere.

There are a huge number of video tutorials available for all of these products.  I will share a couple.

This one is super basic, but covers a lot of introductory techniques:

Faber Castell has a page of tutorial videos here:  http://www.fabercastell.com/design-memory-craft-us/video-gallery

I particularly like the ones done by Donna Downey, so check some of those out.  They are all short and sharp and full of content.  Here is one to get started with.

Briefly on the other products in the range, my second favourite are the Big Brush Pens.  They are India Ink and are permanent on pretty much anything.  They are great to stamp with or draw or colour and then use a gelato wash or spray over the top.  The wax crayons are really cool too.  I use them as an encaustic more than anything else.  You all know how much I like to melt things.  This wax is great for melting as an encaustic or a resist.  The mediums are okay too, but the Texture Luxe and Texture Gems are awesome.  Check them out.  I am sure you will enjoy using them all.

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 4 – Solid Quilts don’t have to be Solid

9 12 2015

When you spend a lot of time out at big Quilt and Craft events or even in a patchwork shop, you need lots of samples on the walls to attract people, demonstrate your products and sell.  Having samples can be a really mixed blessing though because although they draw people in once there is a sample on the wall, everyone wants to make it EXACTLY the same.  This can be very difficult for the patchwork shop owner as all fabrics have a use by date and in most cases in Australia, you get it once and have no chance of getting it again.

Think about it from the perspective of the patchwork shop.  Reps show a range of fabric and the shop owner orders it.  There are standard bolt sizes and a fairly common one is 13.7 metres (15 yards).  Amongst great excitement the fabric arrives and a pattern is conceived to demonstrate it.  The patchwork shop owner whips up a fabulous quilt using the new fabric taking, lets say for the purposes of this story, half a metre off each bolt.  Immediately the shop is down about 4% of the fabric; 4% of the potential profit, gone to what is effectively a marketing budget.  He or She will spend 6, 10, 20 hours making the quilt, all of which has an opportunity cost if not a direct cost and if the top is made into a quilt, there is the cost of backing, batting and thread.  Assuming again that the fabric can not be replaced and the quilt top evenly used half a metre off each bolt and no one bought any as meterage or fat quarters, the shop owner has the capacity to make a maximum of 26 kits for said quilt.  That is a lot of expense in time and money for 20 to 30 saleable items.  Madness really.

If the quilt is great and original the shop owner may develop their pattern and sell it seperately.  Creating patterns is far more economical as you can make one sample and sell thousands of patterns.  Often, a shop owner will design a pattern or buy in commercial ones and order fabric to support the pattern.  In any of these scenarios the shop owner is dependant on getting fabric that is identical to or close enough to those used in a pattern unless consumers can imagine the quilt in different fabrics.  Speaking for myself and all my colleagues in the industry I can say with absolute certainty, it does our head in.

So the purpose of that very long introductory tale was to show you some examples of achieving an effect without using an identical fabric.  For the purposes of this demonstration, I am using Jaybird Quilts’ Northern Lights pattern.

Originally constructed in Kona Solids, this quilt is a play on colour transition and can be done in so many different ways effectively.  This is the original pattern with the original sample.

NorthernLights-Pattern_Cover_Web

Jaybird Quilts patterns usually have instructions for up to five different sizes. This is the second smallest, the lap quilt size, and as such uses 8 different colours. The baby quilt size uses just 6 and the King size will use 16.  Obviously if you move into the bigger sizes you are going to have to use some imagination to work out what fabrics to use because only 8 are demonstrated in the sample.  And there really is not one answer to that.  It comes down to what you like.

So, using completely different fabrics, ones that read as solids, but are not solid I made this example:

northern lights final       northern lights 9 (same quilt,a bit more detail)

Now, I could have started with any one of these colours and built a run from there.  For example, the two greens could have sat next to the blues on the right.  I could equally have started with the red on the outer left and run through the rainbow in that more traditional order of the rainbow or I could have done a hundred other things with it.

So, working on a rainbow, starting with a baby quilt size and adding colours to the King, your fabrics could look like this:  Baby quilt – 6 fabrics; Lap quilt – 8 fabrics; Twin (single) – 10 fabrics; Queen – 14 fabrics; and King – 16 fabrics.

Baby - 6 fabrics   Lap - 8 fabrics    fabric 10 rainbow

fabric 14 rainbow   fabric 16 rainbow

Or, alternatively do this in something more muted like Neutrals.  Here are three examples one of 6 fabrics and 2 of 8.

fabric 6 neutrals     fabric 8a neutrals     fabric 8 neutrals

Imagine doing something like this in a monochromatic scheme, from light through to dark.

Hopefully this helps you reimagine patterns a bit more broadly.  Support your local patchwork shop.  They are the experts and will help you make something spectacular, tailored to your preferences.

For todays special.  I have kits of all these colourways shown if you would like to make the quilt.  The kits are priced at around $13 to $14 per metre for the fabric and include the pattern.

 Head here to purchase:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096759/12-days-of-christmas-2015—day-4—jaybird-quilts-northern-lights-kits.html

 

 





12 Days of Christmas 2015 – Day 1 – Gelli Printing

6 12 2015

I love Monoprinting. I really do. It is one of THE simplest and most effective ways to get paint onto a surface in an original, unique way. You can print onto any surface that is flat (ish) and will hold paint: from fabric to card and paper; leather, ceramics, cork, wood, canvas, glass, you name it.

I discovered the Gelli Plates when they were first released and have been bringing them into Australia since that time, over four years now. Although I have been monoprinting on home made gelatin beds, glass and acrylic for over twenty years, I think the Gelli plates are the best tool. Once you have one, you never need to replace it and as long as you store it flat and keep it moderately clean, it will last a life time. I have made countless fabrics, either as feature fabrics that I chop up or as backgrounds with the Gelli plate as well as hundreds of sheets of paper and card plus too many canvasses to count.

gelli prints sml

The technique is really three simple steps: apply paint to the plate and roll it out; create a texture in the painted surface; and press your printable item onto the paint.

Here is a video produced by Gelli Arts when the plates were first released. It still shows the process really well.

http://www.gelliarts.com have a great range of technique based videos that you can check out for ideas and projects.

Some time ago, circular Gelli Plates were introduced and I was not sure why we would need them. Then, I got one and of course then needed all three sizes. Here is a large canvas I made with the 6inch circle.
round Gelli canvas

and here is a video, again, by Gelli Arts:

and a video by Gelli Arts using Catalyst Tools:

For this first day of my 12 Days of Christmas, I have a package of two Gelli Plates and three Catalyst tools, reduced by 30%. Click this link to purchase: http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/9096299/12-days-gelli-plate-package.html

12 day Gelli

All 12 Days of Christmas specials will be available for approximately 48 hours then they will be gone.





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 (www.pattsart.com) and Alysn Midgelow Marsden from UK/NZ (www.alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.com.au).

To book your place, go to this link:  http://tinyurl.com/okrnxaz or

http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/4538764/1/adventure-west—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)

fusing

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)

portrait_quilts

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 http://pattsdrawingmethod.blogspot.com.au/), 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)

gilding-2

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)
Handmade-books-1
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)
Mixed-Media-Layers-1
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.







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