Sunday, 23 June 2019

June 2019

Eight  members attended our June meeting, including Susan, who traveled down from the Central Tablelands to join us in person. Marina dropped  in during her lunch break from the class she was attending, Suganthi joined us after lunch, and Wendy waved hello from a distance as she performed President's duties.

This month's activity was provided by Susan, a canvas work stitch, a 'rice stitch' variation. Normally, rice stitch is done in two colours, but there are six  stitches within the finished rice stitch, and for this variation  up to six different colours and shades/tones can be used to complete each stitch.  The stitch can be worked on canvas, open-weave linen, or Aida cloth, and needs to be a fairly large stitch to cover the fabric and avoid   the colours  blending into each other. This rice stitch variation is a great way to experiment with colour and pattern - the more colours and tones/shades the better.

  Sheila completed the rice stitch using a variety of her hand dyed threads.  She wants to do more sampling using heavier threads to completely cover the canvas or may change the stitch count.  This stitch is now on Sheila's 'to do' list.  

Robyn's rice stitch

Annette's Rice Stitch

Jenny's Rice Stitch

Susan's Rice stitch

Show and tell happened as we continued to experiment with rice stitch.

Sheila did a class with Carolyn Sullivan at Quilt NSW.  Carolyn supplied all the materials and taught the class her stitching techniques.  Sheila enjoyed the class and has plans for further work using the techniques learned.  More of Carolyn's work can be found at:

Annette had attended a mini workshop with Annette Meldrum at the last Lace Guild meeting. Above is her sample of Embroidered lace net. Another addictive form of embroidery to add to her list to experiment with.

Susan has found canvas work to be  so much fun, and has started on a bigger piece of canvas, using up yet more yarns as she  explores texture. A mix of stitches have been used which she found in an old book  "Needlepoint: An Illustrated Pocket Guide to over 80 Beautiful Patterns" (published in 1980). The piece should keep her busy for a while.

Jenny had finally finished a crocheted scarf that she began back in November last year. The motif pattern is from her Mum's collection, cut from an Australian Home Journal, dated January 1947. It was meant to be done in No 40 Crochet cotton to form a tray cloth, but Jenny worked it in 4 ply cotton.

Annette has been working on  baby shawl no 2 for 2019. Almost finished, it is being worked in 3ply  Bendigo wool. Knitted on 5mm needles -a square knitted in the round with  increases at the corners. Pattern is Shetland Old Shale. Note for the future do not buy knitting patterns off the internet they are not necessarily correct and you may need to do much thinking and reverse knitting to get the design to work.

Jenny was also knitting a baby shawl in 3ply Bendigo wool, and also found patterns off the internet quite often include mistakes. The pattern is 'Hush little Baby Please Don't Cry'. With this exercise, Jenny had learnt a new knitting trick called a 'Lifeline', where another thread can be knitted in across the row to hold stitches.  If a mistake is made further along, the work can be un-pulled, and the lifeline will hold the stitches, prevent them from 'running', and make them easier to pick up. Two lifelines can be seen in the photo above, and will be easily pulled out when not needed.

Sheila continued her daily activity of paper cutting during the month of May.  She made use of some of her painted and gelli printed papers.  Now that Sheila has briefly dabbled in paper cutting, she knows she has lots more to learn and looks forward to more cutting

Needing a daily project that might involve less time each day, Sheila has been participating in ICAD, Index Card A Day.  For the backgrounds, Sheila is using gelli prints and brayer cleanups.  The collaged papers are of-cuts from the paper cutting.  Sheila is documenting her work at:

I wonder what we will all get up to next month? Come back for another visit to find out.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

May 2019

Our May meeting brought six members in attendance plus a visitor from Tasmania who joined us in the morning and for lunch.

Our exercise for the day was organized by Wendy. Using the current exhibition at Guild HQ 'Collective Stitches', we had to choose three of the pieces and write about what we liked or didn't like about a  piece, concentrating on line, colour and stitch.

Discussions followed as to what pieces were chosen and why, with some surprising results being given.

Show and tell is always interesting.

Jenny had added some stitching to her extended square pieces from April last year. The pieces had sat on her sewing table for over twelve months waiting for something to give them a spark. All thread auditions had seemed too dull until Jenny delved into her sewing cupboard and pulled out a bag containing this blue Perle 5 thread. The thread had been earmarked for something else long forgotten. Combined with an orange Perle 8 thread, and a few other shiny, variegated, silk, and stranded threads, the piece has now emerged into life. Watch this space to see what these pieces now turn into.

This insertion sampler is one that Jenny started a few years back. Inspired by the work of Effie Mitrofanis, Jenny is now adding some other stitching to the pannels.

Sheila's daily practice for this month is paper cutting,which is inspired by Rachel Ashe:

Using her painted and gelli printed papers, Sheila has created her own paper cuttings.  This exercise has developed new skills and thought processes which have been challenging.  The paper cuttings are being mounted into a handmade book with the most difficult aspect being the application of glue and transferring the cutting to the backing.

Sheila continues to stitch intensively on her work for the Margaret Oppen competition at The Embroiderers' Guild of NSW.  This work will be revealed in September.

Jenny had also finished her cardigan. Using a basic cardigan pattern from  the Paton's 'Classic Knits for Women - Book 1245', and a lace pattern from 'The Harmony Guide To knitting Stitches' , Jenny has created a border pattern to decorate her new cardigan. It is has been  worked in 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills . The cardigan was to be ready for Autumn, but will now have to wait for spring weather as winter is knocking on the door.

Although there were only a few of us, and some of us left early for family commitments, an enjoyable day was had by all .

Monday, 29 April 2019

April 2019

It was Easter Saturday, and we had nine attendees to  our group meeting, a great turnout for an Easter weekend. We also welcomed another possible new member in Lisa. 

Show and tell brought out a range of skills from our members.

 Jenny had appliqued her embroidered doily to a pieced background and turned it onto a tote bag. The doily had been given to her un-worked some years ago, the stitching done about ten years ago, and the crochet edge earlier this year. Jenny had raided her stash of fabrics to find the perfect colours, pieced strips together and added the doily. Shadow machine quilting holds the doily in place, and ditch stitching between the background strips holds it all to a backing fabric.

Gerri's landscape has been completed with fabric, fussy cutting and glue. It is her first attempt using the sewing machine to create. Seagulls have yet to be added.

Above is a  cot panel Annette is hand quilting for an expected baby in June. Her mother purchased cot panels for her grandchildren, and her intention was to hand quilt each one when expected great grand-children were coming. Some were completed and given before she died. Annette's  sister completed two after their mother passed, and Annette is  now completing one for her son and daughter in law.

 Sheila recently traveled with her quilt group to the small community of Picton to visit the local patchwork shop.  Lunch followed at the pub where Sheila collected a number of black paper coasters.  She has had fun doodling designs on them.  She might turn them over and doodle on the white side with a back pen next.

Jenny has been using up tiny scraps of even weave linen making small squares of Hardanger. Most of the filling stitches were new to Jenny, and after working quite a few in white, she thought, why not some colour? Jenny is still thinking what to do with them.

Leslie is continuing with the  "Counted Thread" - part of the Introduction to Embroidery Course - Year 2 she is undertaking. This sample above is a Hardanger design, which she  might make into something one day.

The above black-work sample is also part of Leslie's course. The stitching of the tree at the bottom is identical on the front and back of the fabric 

More completed canvas work embroidery for a second cushion by Susan. Last month's for a grey fabric chair, and this one for a burnt orange chair. Again, it was using up various Appleton's wools, in variations of rice stitch using up to six different colours for each completed stitch. There are about 16 different colours and shades used. The stitch is not a complicated one, covers canvas quite quickly, and many different patterns can be created depending on the colours chosen, and how they are used. Susan still has lots more yarn to use up, so is thinking of what next to do in canvas work. It's such fun!

Sheila's daily practice for the month of April is stitch collage, and she has decided to work an alphabet.  Using her hand dyed scraps of lace, ribbon, braids, trim and threads as well as scraps of commercial silk, she has created a letter of the alphabet each day of the month.  Sheila is undecided if the letters will be joined into a quilt or if they will be turned into a book of some sort.

More samples of Leslie's from her course . the one above is pattern darning.

Leslie's samples of cross stitch and Assisi from her course, and she has charted her own designs.

Baby knitting by Annette. A Kimono crossover baby jacket still needing buttons. 
Knitted with 3 ply Bendigo washable wool. This has been a favourite new born baby jacket with her own family's new mums.

Jenny has been progressing with her knitting. She has completed the back, one front, and started the second front of her new cardigan. Using a basic cardigan pattern from  the Paton's 'Classic Knits for Women - Book 1245', and a lace pattern from 'The Harmony Guide To knitting Stitches' , Jenny has created a border pattern to decorate her new cardigan. It is being worked in 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills .

Susan had finished her  crochet scarf. The scarf is crocheted in Heirloom brand 8 ply  cotton. The pattern is her own, parts culled from several different books. The body of the scarf, in bright green, is a diagonal shell stitch, used 'extended' DC. This was then bordered in a light green  with DC stitches. The long sides were finished with a picot edging, and the short sides with a fringe-like edging created from chains and SCs, from Edie Eckman's 'Crochet Borders Around the Corner'.  It was supposed to be using up yarn, but Susan had to get extra for the borders, as she didn't have enough of the bright green. Now She will have to think of something to do with the less than 1 ball of cotton left.

Suganthi had been attending Lyall Willis's inktense classes on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Embroiderers Guild. She had been wondering how she might embroider/work on a butterfly, Lyall's class was the inspiration. Suganthi took this image   from the internet, which said the image can be used for free for personal use.

The image was then  copied  and coloured  using inktense pencils, then painted over with fabric medium - notice how very bright/intense  the painted colours are!

Suganti then  used split back-stitch in gold thread to outline.

Our activity on for the day  included "mock herringbone" stitch and also mixing threads in the needle. Both of these techniques are used by UK Textile Artist - Sue Stone - to create pattern and texture in her artworks. Above are our stitching results after a short period of time.

A great day was had by all as our little group grows with new creative members. The day went way too fast, as we all tried to catch up with what everyone had been doing.

Saturday, 30 March 2019

March 2019

Our March meeting brought seven members attending with Susan joining us via Zoom. Show and tell as usual is always a treat.

Annette had finally finished  her CWA handicraft day group project.  Individuals worked on their version of a Sue Spargo sewing roll featured in an Inspirations magazine. Annette decided to use up  some of her stash and changed how it was made. Of the 12 started there are 7 completed after 12 months.

Above is a canvas work cushion cover by Susan. The cover has all been worked  in a rice stitch variation, using up to 6 different threads for each part of the stitch. Susan played around with pattern by varying the colours  used each time, using up various Appletons wools she has leftover from many other, earlier projects. So easy and quick to do,  another has been started.

Sheila has been working on a major embroidery destined to be shown in the Bainz Gallery during the Stitched Up Festival.  The festival is held every two years in the city of Wangaratta Victoria.  For information about the festival visit:

Sheila's work is now completed and mounted onto a stretched canvas.  The work has been stitched solidly covering an area of 50 cm by 50 cm.  Raised chain stitch has been used throughout the work.  The work is not for public viewing until the opening of the exhibition but Sheila can show the back of the work which can be seen above.

New member Merina is undertaking the Creative Correspondence Course and has completed a design for her first project . The theme was leaves and the stitch was running stitch. 

Marina had also used stitcheries that she had completed to make a bag to carry her projects .

This Mountmellick bag is by Annette and features a typical floral design. Stitches include stem, cable chain, mountmellick stitch, coral knot and bullions. The stitches have been worked with various thicknesses of broder cotton, and the bag  has a traditional knitted fringe worked with no 4 knitting cotton.

Above is Donna's 'An Unkindness at Uranquinty'.   A group of ravens can be  either an unkindness or a conspiracy.    Donna stitched on a furnishing fabric sample with  a lovely weave that reminded her of clouds. The piece is  mounted on a black felt covered canvas. The scene is loosely based on views from the car when driving.  Uranquinty is a small town/area on the way to Wagga Wagga from Albury.

'Process' is Donna's  word for the year.  Her personal challenge is to explore what process means to her, and her practice.  A small painted canvas with small scraps of fabric, painted paper and tyvec stitched onto it, a face which she cast in polymer clay, bibs and bobs and the definition of process cut from an old dictionary.

Above  is a small cross-stitch project by Lesley - one piece of homework for the Counted Thread Module of the Introduction to Embroidery Course she is doing. Her  inspiration for this piece is Van Gogh's Fishing Boats on the Beach at Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Robyn's  train doodle, including painting, collageing and Zentangling. This piece has been created  on the train as she travels  to and from work.

Sheila maintains a daily art practice outside of her stitching activities. The activity for the practice is changed monthly and may be used to extend and enhance her textile works.  The activity for February was paper collage placed onto pages in a pictorial diary.

Sheila's practice for March is to work in a mixed media journal. Anything goes in this journal.

Annette's  shawl is finished and blocked ready to be given to the expectant Mum and Dad. Washed and blocked it measures 105 x 105 cms. The outer edge is finished with a crochet-off edge. 2 knitting stitches from the left needle were placed on the crochet hook and the supply yarn pulled through. 5 chain stitches were worked and 2 more stitches were taken from the knitting needle and caught with a single crochet stitch. Not as quick as it sounds but a very pretty edge.

Jenny had started herself another cardigan while away on holiday. Using a basic cardigan pattern from  the Paton's 'Classic Knits for Women - Book 1245', and a lace pattern from 'The Harmony Guide To knitting Stitches' , Jenny has created a border pattern to decorate her new cardigan. It is being worked in 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills .

Gerri had finished this quilted banner with hidden running stitch around the flowers.

This cushion cover is also by Gerri.

Above are just two of the Twelve Apostles's that Gerri is sketching, tracing, and embroidering to her own design. She is using single strand DMC thread over laid chain stitch for the raised areas, and completed with long and short stitch.

The above are some placemats that Gerri has put together using prairie points for the first time. The hexagonal ones are an experiment using a triangle template.

 A basket that  Lesley has 
crocheted, made from window sash cord and some leftover charcoal grey knitting wool. It is very soft and quite organic in shape.  It will be used to store magazines, cards, and other resource material that Lesley will use "one day" for collage work.

Annette conducted our monthly activity giving us a stitch to learn.  Known as zigzag chain or Spanish knotted feather, the stitch required a bit of practice to develop a rhythm.  Some stitchers required lots of help while other stitchers were able to quickly work a satisfying rhythm.  We were then given the opportunity to attempt cable plait or braid stitch which is used in Mountmellick work.  Annette gave us a challenging stitch and bravely used her teaching skills to keep some of us stitching.

As you can all see, our little group is growing, and we all continue to play with  needle, thread, fiber, and anything else that takes our fancy. As our monthly activities are continuing to spur us along, so please come back next month to see what we get up to, Until then, happy stitching.