Sample Book

I had to gather samples of beads, buttons, cords, braids and tassels for my Level 3 City and Guilds – I wasn’t looking forward to it, not being a big fan of the Dorset Button, or braid, but then I decided to gather the samples in book form and being able to reconnect with my love of book art, which has had to be on the back burner for a while, made the task fun.

I had some Gelli-plate printed fabric samples from a Level 2 study day and put them to use in making the covers.



The book is built onto pelmet weight Vilene layered with black Felt.  I wanted 10 display pages and two fly leaves, and cut lengths, (both Vilene and felt needed a join – masking taped the Vilene, over-sewed the Felt) which I could concertina into pages.  I added the beady-buttony content before I stitched pairs of pages back to back, simply machine zig-zagging in metallic thread.

BBCB 6My initial idea of binding was to use a heat tool to make holes for eyelets, and then simply use large book rings to hold everything together.  In the end, I liked the Gelli-plate prints so much, I used them for fly-leaf covers, front and back covers, and added a spine instead of the rings.



Every page has a sample of cord, beads, buttons, braid and a tassel at the end of the cord which hangs beneath the book.  I enjoyed making some buttons using layers of Felt or Vilene and bonding ribbons or threads to them.  The great thing about both Vilene and Acrylic felt is that you can simply melt the holes into the buttons using a heat tool.  The brightly colour square buttons on the left, use Colinette Giotto and are toughened up with a coating of Modpodge.  In the sample above, the fairly commonplace rolled fabric beads are livened up by dipping one end into UTEE and heating it to form a shiny glaze.

Posted in Book Art, City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting | 1 Comment

Bloomin’ Heck

A month since I last posted!  I am rubbish at this lark!  I am always running to catch up these days, but want to get things finished so that I have free time by June.  So I am back to doing several things at once instead of my desired state of one wonder at a time!  I am behind with my CQ monthly mini quilts, but will catch up – here is January’s, (I know I have already posted – but I am going to keep posting them together as the series builds) and February’s:JanuaryFebruary If you remember this…Stitch 2and this…sketch 2 they became this:Finished 5 It will soon be time for the Welsh Heritage Quilters biennial exhibition at The Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes and to help promote it, local businesses have agreed to have mini quilts in their windows.  I made one for a physiotherapist…Physio for an Osteo 2turns out he’s an osteopath… a bit like confusing an astrologer and an astronomer…. OsteoNot as happy with it as the Physio one – lost my mojo and forgot to add a Vilene layer to make it good and firm.  Hey Ho!

Posted in Quilting | 2 Comments

Forgive me if…

Writing this in a power cut, even though the weather is the least aggressive that it has been for several weeks.

I am not sure if I have already posted images of these two finishes before so forgive me if I have.

This is one I did when Minerva Textiles were looking at the theme of ‘Found objects’.  I had been clearing out my mother’s sewing things, prior to the sale of her house in order to pay care fees.  She had more elastic, in more variety, than one family could use in a lifetime – especially a lifetime that encompassed the dawn of Lycra.

Tea and Elastic

It is made of tea stained fabric with a teapot as the central motif.  My mum loves her tea – 3½ minutes brewed.  The elastic holds together, or divides, depending on your viewpoint, and speaks of worry and a need to control.  Bottom left is an embroidered Strelitzia.  My mother grew one in an enormous pot and patiently waited about five years for it to flower.  The images are of my mother and my father, as children and adults and the envelope is one used to write a Christmas card list – the last Mum wrote before dementia took all memory of such things from her.

I made this next piece in response to an exhibition theme of ‘Garden’.  I have posted WIP pics but not the finish.  It is a scene from my garden made from tiny scraps of hand dyed fabric, all stitched on individually, with additional detailed panels free-machined and coloured with Inktense pencil.


It wasn’t accepted for the exhibition and I got a parking ticket when I left it to be juried, plus I know that one entry that was accepted was made at a workshop with, and was completely in the very recognisable style of, a very well-known maker  – but I’m not bitter!!

Two last bits of show and tell – my January CQ quilt – 8” x 8” is such a cute and loveable size!  I am exploring time.  This is about the brightness of now, (as a concept not as a weather-map) and the mystery of the past, but how each feeds into the other.

1 January finished

Lastly some WIP sampling for a bag I will be completing for my C&G level 3.

sketch 2

Stitch 2

Posted in Art Quilting, Bags, City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting | 2 Comments

A few sampling trials

Tissue used to colour fabric

I have used tissue paper to colour fabric in the past, but never tested it in a systematic way.  Because I may want to wash the piece that I am going to colour, I thought I had better do a couple of trials.  Tried laying the tissue onto PFD cotton wet with plain water, and also with a solution of soda ash.

Tissue coloured fabric

The resulting colouration is very attractive, in both samples, soft and without much bleeding so there is potential for some detailed patterning if desired.  The soda ash strengthens the colour a tad.

Tissue coloured fabric after washing 2 Tissue coloured fabric after washing

Strangely, although I don’t know why I am surprised as I have no idea what sort of dye is used to colour tissue paper, (although as it is cellulose I would have guessed at a Procion type) the plain water sample seemed to hang on to the colour better after washing.  Pink holds on better than blue, and blue holds on better than green – which doesn’t really stay around at all!

I stitched a small sample onto a piece of the plain water soak and like the result.

Stitch trial

Posted in Art Quilting | 1 Comment

Happy New Year

Happy New Year dear readers.  I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a rather nice year. My resolution is to do instead of thinking about doing, in all realms of my life.

I had a busy end to 2013, making two cot quilts.  I love art quilts and I love bed quilts.  I make both – aren’t I lucky to be able to indulge myself!

Space boy’s quilt – Hand dyed base fabric – I flicked soy wax over the PFD white fabric randomly to create galaxies, then low-immersion dyed the fabric first in Cerulean Blue, then again in Electric Blue (Procion from Kemtex).  Some say you can’t use soy wax to immersion dye.  You can…… The Sun was also a hand-dye – Acid Yellow – and I cut it as a random New York Beauty block – you will see I had plenty of practise with the quilt I will show next, but made first.  The planets were printed onto white PFD cotton using a Gelli-Plate and Golden Open Acrylics mixed with fabric medium.  I free-motion quilted around each planet, and the commercial fabric stars, using metallic threads in the bobbin, and Madeira Cotona  on top. The rings of Saturn and the clouds of Earth are gold-flecked Lutradur.  I didn’t have a lot of time to plan or make this one and I am really pleased with the result! Front 2 Night skyThe Earth girl’s quilt is a celebration of the New York Beauty block, made from Oakshott cottons and hand-dyed cottons in pastel shades, strengthened and oomphed up with a few touches of deep purple.  Some of the fabrics have also been printed using thermofax screens to add interest and detail.  The NYB block demands a lot of foundation piecing and also curved piecing, but is great fun and I like the ‘busy’ outcome.  The centre is quilted to emphasise the star shapes, without following the piecing lines slavishly.  The borders are meander quilted, each square separately in its own colour,  because I love meander. Back 2Front

Posted in Quilting | 1 Comment

Merry Christmas


Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

Reverse Appliqué with Linda Paris

If you get the chance to take a workshop with Linda Paris, do act on it!  She is a lovely teacher – generous with her knowledge, inspiring, gentle, loaded with hints and tips, and with ways to take your work on and in different directions.

Today we were making small and exquisite reverse appliqué pieces by making a complex, but simply achieved base layer and then cutting shapes from a top layer before embellishing with stitch and beads.  That’s a brief overview – you would have to take the workshop to know exactly how!  This piece measure approximately 5″ square.  Not quite finished, it still has bling to be added!

Linda Paris Georgina Newson

Posted in Art Quilting | Leave a comment