Wednesday, 19 August 2020

August 2020

As we in Sydney continued on a second wave of hot spots from Covid 19, our group decided that once again we would meet via Zoom. Two meetings were scheduled, with a small break in between for drinks and snacks. Seven of us attended, some for a short time, some for the whole time. It was good to catch up with show and tell.

Jenny was finishing of samples that she had done for a major piece, and was turning them into pin cushions. The first one featured a square of reticella, and was finished off with a needle lace edge.

Jenny had also finished off this work bag that was started over nine years ago. Born out of a Counted Thread Round Robin that went around the world, The piece had come back home with holes and broken threads in the fabric. Jenny mended the fabric, fixed up holes, completed the stitching, and turned the piece into a work bag. The piece had travelled to USA, Canada, England, and parts of Australia, and features many forms of counted thread techniques such as Hardanger, cross stitch, blackwork, Wessex Stitchery and Drawn Thread.

Suganthi had finished one stork and had one still in progress. 

They have been worked in stranded cotton, long and short stitch on pale green silk and 

will eventually be cushions for her sister.

Following the completion of her quilt, Sheila used the leftover fabrics and wadding to create three shopping bags.  The cut lengths were joined together somewhat randomly and then she used a quilt-as-you-go method to make the bag sides.  Two of the bags used the leftover fabric for the gussets and a furnishing fabric was used to complete the third bag.  The fabrics are from the 'Thimbleberries' line that Sheila won in 2002.

The above  is Jo's sample using ‘Shosenshi’, a  translucent paper yarn, made with linen. Jo also, added a single strand of silver metallic thread with the yarn to do the stitching.

Jenny had used scrap yarns from her stash to finish this blanket. Her son has christened it 'The Homeless Blanket', though has claimed it for himself.

Sheila's daily practice for August is to stitch on paper.  Years ago, she had marked a large heavy weight paper with india ink.  It was torn it into double page spreads and each day of the month, a simple stitched design is added to one side of the spread.  The pages will be made into a book at the completion of the project.  Sheila's further explorations can be found at:

We as a nation are still waiting and watching as this second wave of Covid 19 keeps raising it's ugly head. In the mean time we still keep stitching at home, and are planning our upcoming exhibit. 


Thursday, 23 July 2020

As the world continued with a pandemic of COVID 19, Australia was beginning to come out of lock down, and our group was looking forward to meeting in reality once again. However, a second wave of the virus spread from a southern state back to Sydney, and we were all on notice again. We decided it was better to forgo our reality meeting, and to continue via Zoom for the time being. Six of us attended, with much show and tell. 

Jo had been playing with machine stitching on silk and tulle to produce this 7cm x 7cm sculptural object which looks remarkably like a flower.

Jenny had pulled out another UFO of Ukranian Whitework to finish. The piece is being worked on denim coloured linen in a variety of coloured threads.

Suganthi's work in progress is sampling for the metal threads module of the Contemporary Stitch and Design course that she is doing with Sharyn Hutchens at the Embroiderers Guild NSW.

The last two months has seen Sheila working on a queen sized bed quilt.  The design is a variation of the Wild Goose Chase block which came from 'Enduring Grace, Quilts from the Shelburne Museum Collection'.  Sheila converted the pattern into a foundation pieced block.  She used fabrics from the Thimbleberry range which she won in 2002.

Sheila's on-going covid19 project is growing larger.  Every day, she marks each death on the graph printed in the daily newspaper.  The paper is trapped between the base fabric and the organza and then the french knots are stitched.  The blocks are sewn together into weeks and then joined with the previous weeks.  She started this project as a way to make sense of the growing numbers by comparing one day to the next or one week to the next.  Sadly, the numbers continue to rise.

Sheila's daily practice for July has been to continue creating an Index Card A Day, ICAD. Her structured card designs have used limitations on concepts and mark making but yet have allowed for a wide variety of creations.  It has been a challenging yet fun process.  Sheila's further work can be found at:

Lesley's 15+ year old jacket that has been deconstructed and re-knitted. The Jacket had been washed in a washing machine after a camping trip, instead of being washed by hand. It shrunk, and the wool looked very matted. Lesley was about to donate it to the charity shop, but decided to pull it apart and re-knit it, using the same pattern, and is very happy with the outcome. The wool has regained its texture and elasticity and looks smart enough to wear around town.

Rhonda has been knitting for family and friends using Bendigo Woollen Mill yarn

Jenny has also been knitting squares form her scrap yarn. At present there are 64 squares of varying yarn. Some wool, some acrylic, some textured, some plain. When joined together it should make an interesting knee rug. 

As Australia watches and waits to see how this pandemic will play out, our group continues to create at home. Please come back for another visit next moth to see what we have been up to. 

Thursday, 25 June 2020

June 2020

Our group met via Zoom again this month because of low numbers and the COVID virus . Our normal meeting space was open with restrictions, though quite a few of us had other plans for the day, and with only four of us attending, we made the call to continue with Zoom. We held two Zoom meetings with a small break between, which let us do show and tell really well.

Jenny had finished her pulled back stitch eyelet exercise from February and turned it into a needle case. The spaces between the eyelets had been filled with a variegated thread using an uneven 4 sided stitch. Cassalguidi inspired work was stitched over the background formed by the eyelets to add more interest, and a four sided pulled work hem with added tassel finished it off.

Jo was having a love affair with French knots. They are being stitched  with DMC Etoile and a rayon variegated thread. 

Susan had in worked a butterfly in a 10cm hoop. It has all been worked in DMC stranded cotton from her collection.  The butterfly in satin stitch, the background in long and short stitch, outlines in whipped back stitch. The words are:  joie de vivre, joie de faire - joy of living, joy of making.  It was made for her friend's 70th birthday, and she is a maker of all sorts of things, so she appreciated the gift.

Suganthi's work in progress - What she thinks of housework! Inspired by the Laterals Yellow Envelope Challenge - use a tangram; and Anne Kelly's six-week challenge for Textile,  use found material in your home during this time of COVID-19 to create some folk art.
Suganthi used  used old tea towels. The family has hidden the rest of the tea towels!

Annette had found, in a cupboard, an almost complete  flap for a bag started with Jennifer Kime in 2008. Everything needed was in the bag ready to start.  It was a joy to find it and Annette  will now complete it.

Jenny had called her blanket finished after seven years. There was enough yarn to add a border, then a second border of more granny squares, then a third border similar to the first. The blanket is big enough to sit on top of a queen sized bed.  Yarn is still left over, and Jenny is yet to decide what to do with it.

Sheila is currently stitching a continuing work based on covid19 graphs published daily in the newspaper.  She is marking each death from the virus with a french knot. The individual blocks are stitched into weeks then joined to the preceding weeks. The work is growing longer and the plan is to continue while the graphs are in the paper.

Sheila is also participating in the annual Index Card A Day, ICAD, for her daily practice over the next 2 months. She is exploring simple mark making using markers and watercolour. Her cards can be found at : @thingstitcher.  The work of other participants can be found at: @dyicad.

Annette had  knitted a cardigan  for herself using Bendigo Classic 8ply wool.  Early in the COVID 19 isolation she decided to not go out to shops to find buttons but make 9 Dorset buttons. The  rings were found in her stash along with  a thread that would match. Finally buttons are ready to stitch on and the cardigan can be worn.

Annette also found in boxes and cupboards many framed pieces. The photo shows the majority on the wall in her work room. Some date from the early 1990s, and it is lovely to see them out on show.

Rhonda had made a three quarter length coat with  fabric from her Mother's stash. It is unclear how old the fabric is. The beautiful antique buttons and lining is also from the last century.

The Covid crisis is still on-going, though restrictions are slowly being lifted. Next month we may be back in our normal meeting space. Until then, creativity is going strong at home. 

Friday, 22 May 2020

May 2020

 Our group met again last Saturday, via Zoom again as our meeting space is still closed due to the Covid 19 virus. We actually held two meetings with a coffee break in between, which gave us more show and tell time. Seven of us attended the first meeting, and six of us attended the second one. We are getting good at this Zoom thing!

Show and tell is an integral part of our day, so without further ado, we present our show and tell, all with the help of the internet, e-mails, and Zoom.

New member Jo finished this piece a week before the lock-down. An example of an idea that she had, which was a third the size, free forming into this..... it was a marathon! Consisting of bullion knots, back stitch and satin stitch, worked in  wool thread on wool background. It’s the largest piece of hand stitch Jo has  ever done. It felt like quite an achievement!

Sheila has completed two shopping bags using partially completed projects from classes.  The machine embroidered figure was begun in a Forum class with Barbara Jackson.  It was quilted last year and finally assembled.  The abstract work was begun in a class with Helen Parsons ( last year.  It is collaged fabric and machine quilted.

Jenny was re-visiting our Pulled Back Stitch eyelet filler exercise from February, and is hoping to turn the piece into something practical.

These 2 are 'works in progress' views of Susan's "Butterflies" embroidery for our exhibition. The text is in whipped backstitch and the butterflies are in stem stitch outline. Susan is going to do more butterfly outlines in a different colour.


Robyn has been playing with Rust dying on a hankie using bottle tops and discarded Street cleaner road spikes.

Sheila joined the Carla Sonheim ( class, 10 Years of Online teaching.  The mixed media lions were great fun to create.

Jenny had pulled out a UFO blanket consisting of different sized Granny Squares from approximately 7 years ago. The yarn is a cheap nasty acrylic from a $2 shop which is warm across her legs as she works. The blanket will continue as far as the yarn will allow, as the shop from which it was purchased has now closed. 

Jenny had also finished her cardigan in Bendigo Woollen Mills 'Bloom- Blackberry Bliss'. The cardigan still needs buttons, and is being worn without them. A trip to a button shop is on the plans when Covid 19 restrictions are lifted.

Wendy has been collecting neutral coloured threads and fibres of various thicknesses for many years. She has stitched with many, but just loves touching and playing with them. These neutral threads were intended for weavers and are difficult to stitch with. 
This is what happened when…“I did something…and then I did something to that……” With apologies to Paul Klee.

Sheila also continues her daily practice and for the month of May, she is creating dot faces every day.  This exercise was inspired by Carla Sonheim.  One dot of fluid acrylic is dropped onto the paper and spread with a piece of heavy card.  The number of drops needed can vary until the work is complete, or not.  Sheila's daily practice work can be found at:

Susan supplied us with a choice of  digital exercises for the month. The first was using the digital images proved on-line by The NGA in Canberra . We were encouraged to look and note what inspired us, and maybe stitch, paint, draw, or collage.

The second was inspired by Robert Genn 2010. We were encouraged to take a walk where we could, taking photos or drawing along the way with no particular focus. The idea was to get inspiration and ideas. 

 Robyn worked on choosing colours from two Digital works. The first photo was taken at the Sydney Zoo, while the second was a  Naomi Hodson painting found on the NGA link

Susan also  chose the same Naomi Hobson's "Yinyalma" image from the NGA link to study. Susan was attracted by the colours and the organic shapes. First she played with some of those shapes and the colours in a design, and then  used the colours to inspire her next quote embroidery, on 'inspiration'. Susan  now has her fabric in the hoop and is ready to stitch.

Jenny played with her camera while walking, trying to learn just some of  the features it provided. Above are just four of the photos taken on her walk. More can be found on her Instagram page at 
There is so much line and texture to be found just in our own back yard if we look .

The Covid 19 virus may have stopped us meeting in person, however, we are all creating in some way, shape or form while self isolating at home. We all hope to meet again in person soon as restrictions lift. So please come back next moth to see what we have been creating.