Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rottnest Island

Arrived back today after a short but relaxing break at Rottnest, a popular holiday island about 35 minutes away from Fremantle by ferry.
It's popular because there are no cars, everything is very casual, much of the accommodation is fairly basic (no TV or phones) and there are lots of beautiful bays for swimming fishing etc. The last time DH was at Rotto, as we call it in here in WA, was about 40 years ago and 15 years ago for me so we were happy to get the opportunity to go again.
The little animal (top left) is a quokka. They're like a small wallaby and are only found on Rottnest where they are numerous. Rottnest was named after them because the early Dutch explorers thought they were rats.
During World War 2, Rottnest was used in the defence of the port of Fremantle, hence the barracks and guns although it was never necessary to fire the guns at the enemy.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009


I've been doing some Napthol dyeing this week.
Above: a selection of silks and below: some cottons.
The fabric will be used in pieces for the WA Fibre Textile Association members exhibition in August. The works have to be 3.5 metres long by 50 cms wide and in muted earthy colours. They will all be hung from the rafters in a big old warehouse/gallery in Fremantle. I think it's a good idea for an exhibition with many different artists and it should look great. I'm going to do one on my own and also one with the Designing Women group.

Above: a piece of tin printing I did ages ago which I overdyed while I had the Napthols mixed up, looks much better now I think.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

New print blocks

Last week I made some new blocks (above) - some lino and some stick-on fun foam. I usually glue them onto a wood base, sometimes cut to shape, then glue a print from the block, done on paper, to the back. I then varnish them. I find this really helps with the printing process and obviously makes them last longer. I still use blocks I made 10 years ago.

Below: some of the test prints I did with my new blocks.

I've chosen a name for my A4 quilt: 'Construction Zone' from Judy Alexander. Thanks to all who made suggestions. I liked the geometric ones and also WA Dreaming from Doreen (because the colours are the same as the Aboriginal flag) but when I saw the name Construction zone I just felt it fitted and a quilt is a kind of construction too. An ATC will soon be on it's way.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

New A4 Quilt

Just finished this - as it is a dull, wet day, I decided to scan it instead of photographing. I'm going to send it to the UK Quilter's Guild for their Little Gems Tombola. If you go to the link you can see lots of the other quilts, some really good ones too.

Can you help? I need some ideas for a name for the quilt. If someone comes up with a good name by the end of this week, I'll send them one of my ATCs!

It's made from mostly commercial fabrics, polyesters, some silks and cottons. The colours came from a reel of variegated thread which I've used for some of the embroidery and I've added some more shades of yellow/gold and burgandy. I made this as a smaller piece a few years ago but wasn't quite happy with it so when I was looking for an idea for another A4 quilt, decided I'd cut it up, re-arrange and add some more work to it. The other 2 I've done for the Tombola were not as bright or high contrast as this and I like the way it's turned out.
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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Batched and washed out

This is my layer on Donna's fabric from the Complex Cloth group round robin (detail below). I haven't managed to get the colours quite right in the photo but you can see what I've done. Susan screenprinted the smaller square design on with fabric paint, so I decided to keep with her theme and took the centre part of her design, enlarged it and cut a stencil on drafting film.
I used the stencil over a photographic screen I had made from a photo of lawn and screenprinted with 3 different Procion blues thickened with manutex. It now goes back to the USA for Judi's layer 4.

One thing I've learned from the last couple of days of printing is that PFD fabrics do make a difference. The above fabric printed beautifully with out much colour loss after washing, unlike some of the other fabrics I did. Some unbleached calicos seem to be the worst.
I also printed some silk organza with some dye I'd had in the fridge for a few months, not expecting much, but it turned out great.

Below: the same stencil printed over & over on calico. I did get some loss of colour but I still like the result - totally different than above.
I'll add another layer to this, probably with textile paint.

Below: Lino block print, again on calico, with disappointing colour loss but I think with another layer of print it will be OK.
I have a few more to come for the next post. I love printing fabric!

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Augusta, Margaret River

Last holiday pics - I promise!
Above from top left: Lunch at the Berry Farm, Margaret River.
We had the tasting plate which was delicious.
Top right: Karri trees in Boranup Forrest, these are regrowth trees after logging.
Bottom left: trunk of a paperbark tree.
Bottom right: Gold lichen on the jetty at Augusta.

Above pics are all at Augusta, the top 2 are at Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westerly point of Australia. The last 2: the Blackwood River inlet.

The last 2 days I've been doing lots of fabric printing with Procions including the round robin fabric from an earlier post. They are batching at the moment, will post pics after I've washed them out.
Saw a fantastic exhibition at a local cafe of ethical fashion by Charlene O'Brien. Gorgeous clothes made from natural fabrics, plant dyes and some recycled remnants - unfortunately a bit out of my price range but lovely to look at. Also went to the Minnawarra art awards exhibition which was worth seeing too.
I sold one of my framed flower pieces at the local school fair exhibition which wasn't bad.
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