Sunday, February 28, 2016


Inspired by dandelion flowers, this is a new Shisha design I have just finished.    Use with 25mm mirrors or sequins or the centre can be completed by applique.    Designs are available in two sizes - either as single designs for the 4x4inch (100 x 100mm) hoop and stitch the stems with your sewing machine or if you have a jumbo hoop, you get the single designs and also a file for the 14x14inch (360x360mm) hoop or two files - split design for the 14x8 inch (200x360mm) hoop.  

Available in my Etsy Shop for $3.00 Australian!  Click on the side bar for more info.

Sue xxx

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ascending Hawk

The hawk is from Urban Threads.   It is stitched in three parts and is about 60cm in width.   Quite the challenge to get it all together.    I removed their registration marks as my machine didnt want to recognise them.   I added my own cross marks for lining up.     I have made up a set of Shisha Mirror designs that will go in to the shop later.    The fabric is all painted.   The hawk was stitched, and then painted gold with a couple of other colours added to try and 'age' him a little.    There are a few layers of batting within the hawk to make him stand out.   I do like a bit of trapunto.    

Close ups - I quilted the fabric which was painted purple - my 'go to' colour - and then lightly sponged some gold on - it really brings out the design.

In the painting department, I have also been messing about with the good ole Jo Sonya and other acrylic paints in my hording cupboard.   The fabric has coloured up nicely and is still quite soft after washing.     

 Not in love with this colour way, but I can always throw more paint on it!

This one was simply twisted into a roll and then wound up and pain was thrown about.   It has a really nice subtle design.   It looks like rushing water.  

This piece was the clean up piece.   I used it to wipe out all the excess paint from the plastic cups being used.   It almost looks marbled.   I did a quick gold stencil over it.  

Bought some cheap shaving foam from the stupid market, so will see how that goes for marbling this afternoon!

Sue xxx

Thursday, February 11, 2016


This weeks efforts include having a go at a 'splatter' technique of flinging fabric paint all about.   This piece of previously white homespun was treated with watered down fabric paint and some isoprophyl alcohol - find it in Bunnings in the paint clean up section - also known as rubbing alcohol.   A few drops of watery black paint was then added.    The birds are from Urban Threads - with 50,000 + stitches in each one.   The quilting took quite a  few hours (over 9).   As a lot of it is double and treble  times over I would guess at least 300,000 stitches.     Just need to decide what to do with it now.    I also have a piece with Ravens in the same style waiting for quilty inspiration.   If you haven't heard of Graffiti Quilting, look up Karlee Porters work.    She is my quilting idol at the minute!    

I haven't put a backing on this - it may be a cushion or a bag panel - sometimes when you are trying new styles of quilting I recommend doing this - you concentrate on the front then and don't worry about what is happening on the back.   This one wasn't too bad.

The birds have been given an extra layer of batting to make them puff out - trapunto style.    I do mine like this.

Cut pieces of wadding/batting the just a little larger than the area you want to make look "fuller".

I use this glue for everything.   I get it from Embroidery Source in Melbourne.     I dont was time with quilt basting spray which I find is often ineffective.     Before you start stitching, make sure it is dry and then your needle wont get gummed up.

 Stitch from the front - follow the outline closely.

 The front  - I stitched as close as I could.   Any odd bits will be covered by the stitching.   You may also prefer to use invisible thread like Mono Poly or Madeira Poly.

Now the fun part (and yes that is with sarcasm) is to carefully cut around the outline.   Dont get to stressed on the hard to reach places.  Quilting will take care of these bits.
 You may also wish to use a dissolving thread in the bobbin, if you want to keep your outlines clean.

Now place a full piece of batting/wadding over the back of your work and start stitching!

Sue xxx

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Just finished taking this lot for a run on the machine.    I am surrounded by them.   These are now available for the 8x12 hoop (200 x 300mm) and the 6x10 hoop (160x260mm) over in the Etsy shop.

I am thinking an applique and another little idea hit me so stay tuned.
Sue xxx

Friday, January 15, 2016


 So, what is happening in the sweat shop this week......Your very own Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit.  We all know one, or are one!    This size is for the 5x7inch (130 x 180mm) machine embroidery hoop.  They are quick and small enough to use up those scraps of polar fleece, velour, minke, felt, or any fabric really.   There are six cats and two tail variations - a change of fabric will give even more looks from the size kitty bases.   You will find them in my Etsy shop for $5 AU for the complete set.  Instructions with photos are included in the zipped file.  

 The tail is an optional extra - either with stripes or plain.  
 The heart and oval versions would lend themselves to a monogram to personalize.

 You could also use a bit of marabou for the tail.

Aside from your crazy friend, these will also make a great gift for any child with a wish for a cat who may be just a bit young.   Just make sure you choose a suitable tail for small children.

I am putting together sets in 6x10 and 8x12 in the next couple of days.  

Sue xxx

Monday, January 11, 2016


Back from holidays and straight in to it!    Before I left I had painted some fabric with blue and green for some sort of scene.   Yesterday I decided on toadstools.     I am messing around making a needle book.   The design is a mixture of machine embroidered fill stitches and machine applique.   The toadstool caps are some scraps of acrylic felt and finished in the raw edge style.   The designs are now available in my Etsy shop in sizes for the 5x7 inch (130 x 180 mm) and the 8x8inch (200 x 200 mm)  hoops.   The 5x7 larger design is a split design but will go together very easily.  So if you haven't done a split design, this might be a nice easy one to try.

Front of the needle book.

Back of the needle book.

Still need to trim the inside - the book has four felt pages and is a good size - 1.  so you can put lots of pins and needles on each page and 2. if it is big, there is less chance I will loose it!

We had some crummy beach weather, but here are a few good shots I took of the mutt and clouds and storms and stuff!

Found a grown up beverage that I don't mind and is very refreshing on a hot summers evening - Pimm's with lemonade, mint, cucumber and strawberries - over some crushed ice.

Wednesday night we had dinner over at Bar Beach and the sky looked like this........

Then we headed back to the unit and the clouds out at sea behind Long Point were amazing.  There was a rainbow - you may be able to see it just to the right of Munn's Tower  (red roof).

Every couple of minutes the sky changed - it was sunset behind us so the clouds looked very yellow and pink at the front.   You can see the rain falling in the background.

As the clouds moved, the rainbow shifted position.

Rain or shine, everything is better at the beach!

Sue xxx