Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Corgis, an angel and a dress makeover.

This week  I searched my mending box and found this op shop dress, which I then embellished  with  a leaf braid, cut into individual leaves. It makes quite a difference to a boring dress.

The leaves were sewn on with the machine using embroidery thread.

A closeup of the suede-look leaves.

I do a lot of drawing for a textile artist but I think drawing is the basis for all visual art, and  I hope that it will sharpen my   art quilting and sewing machine drawing skills, and some of these drawings will become quilts.  This is our corgi "Scruffin"

This is another one of our corgis, Pixie.

this is the illustration for the on- line weekly challenge, Illustration Friday. The theme this week is "messenger" and angels are "winged messengers".    I wanted to draw a modern angel  with normal clothes rather than a white gown.

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers and on-line visitors, and may 2012 bring you much success in your creativity!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

illustration friday -"sink"

this is just my sink as I found it this morning... drawing takes priority over washing up!


My friend Dianne gave me a posy of beautiful gardenias, which start out a rich creamy white and go gradually to a deep golden yellow as they age.
My mission  for the week was to draw a series  of the same  flowers in different media  as they changed, one drawing per day.
This is number 1 - pen and ink, coloured pencil, Kids watercolour paintbox and a bit of pastel for the
white highlights.

 Number 2- pastel on black card. It is very hard to draw cream  flowers  on white paper, so I thought I'd try the black.
 Number 3 - kids watercolour paintbox and acrylics.  The gardenias are changing colour.
 Number 4 - prismacolour pencils.
By now my drawings are getting larger and looser.
Number 5 - my favourite. By now the gardenias are  a deep rich gold and starting to wilt.
Pen and ink with -prismacolour   pencils in 2 shades of yellow with some orange. I enjoyed varying the thickness of the pen line - see the closeup.
Number 5 close - up. Pen and ink and prismacolour pencils.

It was a very interesting exercise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

thread drawing and art journal

My work this week was an exciting and challenging interpretation of a face.
First, lay down some fabrics, I used silks. Then  use free motion stitching to outline the  features.
On this second picture you can see the features starting to emerge, outlined in brown thread on the sewing machine. I chose warm colours because the face in the photo I was working from looked rugged and weathered like an arid  landscape..
Then I added some light sheer fabric where there were highlights and some dark sheers for the shadows, plus some more stitching around the eyes.  A work in progress... needs a lot of refinement but I am happy with  the direction so far...

Also I am having a lot of fun in my daily textile art journal with pen and coloured pencil drawings of the view from the deck..( note the dog in the corner!)

Some "zentangle" type drawings of a flower

and the late Amy Winehouse.

I have never enjoyed drawing so much, and look forward to my early morning cuppa and drawing session.  There is no pressure or expectation so just pure fun and playing.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

calling Russian viewers

I note that some Russian viewers have been visiting my blog, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Textile Art Journal

One of my resolutions on returning  home from Houston Quilt Festival  was to keep a daily art journal. Each morning I head to the sewing room with a cup of tea and fill an A4 page with drawings, doodlings, fabric scraps, remnants of dreams, whatever comes into my head. It  is  easy to do and a lot of fun, and there is no pressure. Who knows, some of the images may become artworks. I have been experimenting with  various inks and watercolour pencils.

My other resolution is to clean up  my messy sewing room. Who needs to watch "Hoarders" when you can see it right here on my blog! Watch this space for the progress  photo  in a week or so.

The current UFO  being worked  on is a miniature quilt, foundation pieced pineapple log cabin. 9 blocks down, 3 to go.

Lastly is a photo of my little shrine in my sewing room - a buddha, my grandmother's Avon figurine, a wine bottle cover, and an antique implement which was used to darn socks on.

My messy room - see if you can find the sewing maching

This is where the art journal happens

a quilt design - trapunto fruit with  a couple behind

A technique of drawing without looking at the paper. Coffee mug, stiletto and pencil sharpener

The  blue paint was put down as blobs, paper folded in half and the rest of  the design was  then added.

Sketching with the sewing machine, feed dogs down, free motion stitching, using a photo from the newspaper as inspiration

sketch of our corgi Pixie

The miniature quilt in progress

My little shrine.
Apologies for the sideways photos.
If you visit my blog, would love to hear from you, Pleeease  leave your comments!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yo-Yo mat and Christmas decorations!

Since arriving back from Houston  quilt Festival, I have  been trying to finish some UFOs. This yo-yo mat has been going for some time now and is finally complete and on the bathroom floor. Just yo-yos hand sewn onto a pre-quilted background.
also some quick  little Christmas decorations, machine sewn, stuffed and embellished with beads.

My resolutions on arriving back from Houston-
1. Watch lessTV at night. It is amazing how little you miss shows like "Hoarders" and "Selling Houses" and how much you get done, like hand sewing, reading , thinking about garden design, decluttering,    patting the dogs, and talking to my husband.
2.  Do a daily entry in my art journal,  an A4 page of drawing/colouring/cutting and pasting  , anything basically. I make a cup of tea in the early morning and head to the sewing room where I have coloured pencils, glue, fabric scraps and just create something. It does not have to look any good.
a little heart.

Beaded Christmas tree

My yo-yo mat-  showing brown earth colours grading to green grass and then flowers then sky.

yo-yo close up

A souvenir from Houston. 
a beaded star.

two yo yos sewn together, stuffed and embellished with beads.
3. I hope to explore some rug making.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Houston -had a great time!

My friend Kathy, of Koolkat Quilting,  and I visited the Houston Quilt Festival.  What a wonderful event! The quilts were spectacular and the Texans are friendly and welcoming.
There were many aisles of quilts and hundreds of booths selling everything the quilter could desire. I felt the quilts  had a strong conservative trend with  the major winners all being  traditional in design and heavily, intricately machine quilted.  There was a lot of "bling" with  use of crystals attached to the quilt surface and use of metallic threads.
As for the booths,  the Americans are strongly into the country look with dark reds,  blacks, khaki greens and mustard, and plenty of booths selling wool fabric for applique. Compared to American quilting,  our Australian quilters tend to use brighter colours.  I had trouble finding any "cowboy" or Texas " fabric as a memento of my trip. Maybe American quilters find it a bit "kitschy" in the same way that we  feel about kangaroo and koala fabric in Australia.

  We attended the Quilt Market also, and I think the general feeling was that   sales were down in the wholesale  Market but   that the Festival retail market  was very strong. One booth holder told me that there may not have been so many quilters attending but they spent a lot of money!
There were quilting ladies  all over Houston, filling the hotels, riding in the elevators, beating a  path to the George Brown Convention Centre every day with their handmade tote bags  and their enthusiasm. There were  a  small number of men, most of whom took refuge in the Husbands Lounge with armchairs and sport on the TV.

I came back refreshed and full of new ideas for all sorts of projects.Every quilter should try to get to Houston at least once in a lifetime.
You can view Kathy's blog at

Friday, May 20, 2011

exciting new direction in patternmaking

I have recently completed a course in patternmaking for clothing designers.
We had an inspiring teacher and learnt to make basic blocks for a bodice ,skirt and sleeve. I am fascinated by how many different clothing designs can be made from these basic shapes. I can now  see a simple item of clothing and copy it, and I can take an op shop find  and alter it to my own design. I can even begin to design  unique items to wear.
this is great stuff!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A vintage 1930s quilt top comes to life

I have recently been buying vintage   quilt tops on Ebay and this is a beauty from the USA, dating from the 1930's. It is a hand pieced pinwheel design with  a lot of the bubblegum pink which was popular then. I had to replace a few patches as there was a very fragile blue print  where the dye had eaten the fabric away, and another blue print with stains on it. the stains had been there prior to piecing and  some of the brown stain had eaten the fabric away. The piecing stitches were tiny and I had trouble replicating them. I chose some vintage fabric from my stash to replace the damaged pieces.
The background cream fabric was a very fine muslin which was  translucent. The whole quilt top was so fragile  I couldn't stretch it on my home quilting frame so had to  stitch in the ditch after  layering with batting and backing, then once stabilised  it wasthen possible to stretch it on my frame and machine quilt  it.  An all over stippling pattern looked the best.
I managed to find an exact match of plain pink homespun to bind the quilt.
Altogether a fascinating process.  I could almost feel the hand of the original quilter.  The finished   quilt  has  a happiness  and charm about it with the bright summery colours.

Monday, February 14, 2011

geranium artwork

this fibre art work is geranium flowers, background created with layers  of green and brown fabric, petals stiffened with stabiliser and needle-turn applique, and   then embellished with machine embroidery, hand embroidery and beading.   Tulle was layered over the picture and it was then hand quilted onto a hand-dyed background fabric.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

duck embroidery

 Here is my work in progress,  a scene from our property with nesting duck.
Hopefully it will be completed soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

having trouble inserting an image.

a work in progress- embroidered duck

This week I am showing an unfinished embroidery. This was begun in a class at the Macgregor summer school in Toowoomba a couple of years ago and unfortunately remains a U.F.O.
I hope to finish this at some stage. I am happy with the duck but unsure where to go with the rest of the picture. It's easy enough in the class with the teacher but on your own, you wonder -where do I go from here?
The dam is on our property and there are ducks like that nesting there. I find the scene quite imspiring in real life and hope to convey some of this beauty in this work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

vintage quilt rescue

I have recently completed a vintage quilt. I bought the unfinished quilt top, probably from the 1940s, and quilted and bound it. The top was not well made with squares not meeting up, and many squares made of several strips, but the final effect was gorgeous . The old fabrics were wonderful and there was even some Davy Crockett fabric!. I have really enjoyed bringing it to life.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Etsy shop

I have recently  set up  a shop on Etsy
Here is the link

Starting the new year with a Blog

Hi, My name is Shauna and I am a fibre artist.  My home is    in rural Australia on a farm where I enjoy looking after my many animals. I also  love working with fabric in many different ways. I make  quilts on commission,  I  make artworks(landscapes and portraits) using fabric and thread and  I  hunt for vintage materials to construct patchwork items and upcycled clothing.  Recently I have been sourcing vintage quilt tops from the 1930's 1940s and 1950s which I bring to life   by completing them with backing , batting and quilting..