Monday, 31 August 2015


   I thought I was on to a winner when this colour was announced, as one of the fabric paints (red ochre)  that I have been using seemed to be a good match and I wanted to use some of the imagery that I have been playing with. I made some stencils of the negative shapes of the Gavrinis prints that I had done and played around with them, but it wasn't very successful as the paint wicked into the fabric and made a bit of a mess. I overprinted with copper paint and managed to salvage enough, with the addition of some black fabric. However the black stripes are too wide and it just doesn't look right. I might try using some markal to fill in the quilted shapes on the black to make it a bit more cohesive, but on the whole I'm not very pleased with it and if I'd had the time I would have started all over again!

Dot maker tool

These are the little dot makers.  The trade name is 'Dot Easy' by W & M but that doesn't bring up anything on google.


Marsala accents

Fields of Gold Series #4
This colour was quite challenging and I did produce a few pieces using it as a dominant colour but was never really happy with the result not having any lighter variations in my stash of silk. Therefore I will choose one that benefitted from this colour using a predominant opposite. Cheating I know! I look forward to seeing how those of you who do gradation dyeing found this much easier to resolve.
Materials include silk and cotton and technique is needlefelting. 

Story Line

After all the fun Phillida and I had creating cloth which we both thought was remotely close to the inspiration source she had chosen, I have finished up almost obliterating the fabric/colour!  I love the colour and have two more pieces which I hope to use in the future.

But of the three ideas that came late into my head this one was shouting the loudest.  Many years ago I took a class at Birmingham with a lovely tutor, Sarah Fincken, about creating a story quilt.  It was called Track Mapping.  I enjoyed the class and have a design worked out for a large quilt.  I guess this has always been in the back of my mind and the colour rekindled the idea.

Well, the quilt was started on Saturday afternoon and finished just before lunch today - talk about taking it to the wire!  There is raw edge machine appliqué, hand and machine stitching and a lot of paint.  Phil, I haven't a clue who the kind lady at Kearsney was who gave me the dot-making tool, but she saw it for sale on the Guild stand and thought of me.  It is magic!

There are painted women dancing around a camp fire with smoke, dreaming tracks, kangaroo tracks, clouds with rain falling on a waterhole and the sun.

What fun.  I am also aware that there is a school of thought that thinks using aboriginal icons by non-natives is bordering on the offensive.  I hope I haven't offended anyone or trodden on any toes.  



I had "Merlot" in my head instead of Marsala, but here it is. I have to say I struggled with this colour, it did not ring my bell the way pure red does. Can't say much more about this!


I certainly had trouble coming up with the colour.  But it was a fun exercise and I have a few pieces that are a bit smaller than our A4 size that I will quilt up.

This piece is actually smaller that the one above.  It wasn't quite the right colour but it called out to be quilted.

These are some of the pieces of fabric produced by dyeing, dye painting, painting and stamping with textile paints.


After playing around so much with the dyeing and thinking we had it as good as it could get the  moment you start joining it all together they start changing as they bounce off each other. Needless to say the pot and the right background were the two Hilary & I thought were as near as dammit.

On pondering what my piece was going to be I suddenly realised how much of the colour or  similar hues I have around my garden and they all have the lime green as well. I went with one of my terracotta / Marsala ?? pots I have around the garden.  The intention was to have the leaves hanging off the border but in my rush I quilted them down hence they have been chopped off.  I think I will go back and add possibly 3 'loose' leaves that will sort that out. I also realised afterwards I had cut the green shibori fabric on the left binding the wrong way. That is staying.

Here are a couple of the other 'things' I have around me in the garden along with, can you believe it, a ball of wool, almost in the correct colour, that was in my goodie bag from our Festival.


Marsala: Water Tower #9

Water Tower #9

My response to the challenge has 9 or 10 other colours in it apart from the Marsala wine-red, which I had on hand from a long-ago dyeing session. If I were to do it again, I would use a more mottled fabric for the sky to add interest.

The image is based on a photo taken by a friend who visited New York and, knowing of my fixation on water towers, shared the photo below. 

original photo, taken by a friend


I have titled this Sea Urchin as the idea popped into my head that I could use this colour after drawing up a piece, which I may add this was done in the first couple of weeks (the drawing that is), but only started the piece last week!  I had my computer on with the colour on the screen and went through my stash and eventually decided to use a selection of fabric that all seemed to be the right colour, so used most of them.  After completing the piece I realised I could have quilted it differently but it was too late, so here it is.

The background colour on the piece does not reflect what it actually is very well  - it is a lovely aqua which sets off the marsala.

Planted Feathers

I was grasping for a direction so started by using the 3 in 1 colour tool by Joen Wolfrom. I collected all the fabric, buttons, trims and threads in my stash of the suggested colours on the 'marsala' colour card and started playing. After a friend asked me if it would be possible to make fabric feathers I pursued the 'planted' idea.

Marsala, or three pieces in a series of one!

Having disappointed myself with the last challenge, I wanted to do better this time.  As I was labouring under the mistaken belief that the pieces had to be done by the end of July I was ready early for once.

I wanted to use some of my experiences in New Zealand as a basis for the piece, and Maori carvings in a rich red, marsala, colour seemed to offer the best way forward.
 Here's my first attempt.  I wasn't too happy with the finished piece, so I tried again!
 This was much better, but I still wasn't sure about it.  Then I spent a happy two days working with Gloria Loughman, and decided to try an idea from that session.  I've used the same marsala coloured fabric, and still have New Zealand as the theme.
I was much happier with this.  The hills are meant to look like parched grass, with sheep tracks going round the hills, but they do seem to have ended up more like sand dunes (we saw those too).  Trying three times was a valuable lesson, and I find now I like both the latter two pieces.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


I am sorry but I have been 'flying below the radar' for the last month or so while I recharge and catch up after our National Festival.  I am now back in the world of creativity and happiness as I am now committee free and my life is my own again.

......... the next person for the colour play challenge is ....