Colourful Beach Boxes

The brightly coloured beach boxes on denim that I did for the Photo to Fibre exhibition in 2016 were a favourite of mine.  So I thought I would have another go at doing them for the Made on Monday Challenge Lyn and I are doing this year.

The 5 inch pieces are a bit more limiting than the beach bags and fabric buckets I did for the exhibition so I created new templates in a smaller scale.


Cutting up small pieces of coloured fabric and fusing it onto denim is very therapeutic – but by the end of the fourth piece, I started to wonder why I felt I had to make four of them?


The initial reason was to experiment with quilting techniques, but as you can see, in my haste to finish them and not really wanting to compromise with the design too much, they ended up looking very similar.


However, piece number 5 is my favourite.



Now to the next challenge piece…..

Made on Monday – joining the challenge

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook by Kate Bridger showing some 5 inch square pieces that she and others had done as part of a “Made on Monday” Challenge.  What a great idea to keep the creative juices flowing – the pieces were small enough to make the challenge achievable.  Lyn and I agreed and we decided we would participate.

I have included the link below for anyone who may be interested

Lyn created a spreadsheet – we both love a good list and the challenge began with the first piece finished on the 26th of April.

Whilst the challenge is “Made on Monday”, ours are actually made on Wednesday as Lyn and I follow our creative pursuits on most Wednesdays

We work shopped some ideas and noted down themes and techniques in order to have as many options as possible to kick start the pieces.

The first theme we both agreed to do was flowers

My first piece has a spray painted background which I did last year and now have an excuse to use and some minimal applique.


I have used freestyle machine stitching to create the flower petals and stems using rayon threads


The next 3 pieces will use the rest of the spray painted fabric, but more about them next time…… Cora

Sewing tool mishap

Well laid plans will often get delayed.   Lyns last post showed our great progress on Wednesday doing our current challenge. I am a bit behind so have spent some of the morning trying to catch up, in between doing loads of laundry.

I got so close to finishing when disaster struck. Not only did I break the needle, I also managed to break the foot.


So much for plastic parts, lucky I have a spare free motion foot, even though it is a little different and provides less visibility, it will suffice until I can go buy another.

Time for a cuppa, until next time


Another Wednesday

Wednesday is always a great day for me, because I reserve it for being creative.  I am lucky enough not to have to work on Wednesdays so even if I have something else on, I try to find at least a small amount of time to do something sewing related, or artistic.

Yesterday, May 17th, Cora and I got together at my home to work on our latest venture.  You may know that we had a large exhibition towards the end of 2016 where we each had around 15 pieces on display.  That took us over a year to get ready for. So we decided to try to keep our momentum going to do another challenge this year.  Although we had decided to challenge ourselves with various themes, Cora came across Made on Monday which is a challenge where artists create a piece 5 inches square every week for a year! That sounded really interesting so we have each been working on that for about 4 weeks now and once we have 12 pieces we send them in and they will be displayed in an online gallery.

So yesterday we were working on piece 4. We spent a lovely day chatting and sewing (and eating!) and have now finished 4 pieces. These pictures show some of the action that went on……

Cora working on her piece with programmable stitches
Cora’s workspace
Me using free motion embroidery
My piece in progress

And here is my sewing friend – he actually woke up for the photo!


I think this challenge is a great way to try out different ideas and techniques and it will be very interesting to see how the pieces unfold and the direction that we each travel in.  The pieces are small enough not to be too cumbersome, and having to do a piece a week keeps us inspired and working.  How do you get inspired?  Do you have any tips or techniques that you use to stimulate creativity? Would love to hear your comments.

Until next time, Lyn

The little things (or scraps!)

Late last year Cora and I had an exhibition with our friend Michelle, which was made up of textile pieces inspired in some ways by Michelle’s photographs.  I thought I would share with you the process of making 2 of those pieces.

The inspiration photograph was of floor tiles taken on Michelle’s travels. As soon as I saw it I loved the photo, probably because it was blue (my favourite colour) but I immediately thought of somehow making tiles with textiles.

Michelle Hill bluetiles

I really don’t know how these ideas come to me, except that sometimes I just wake up with them.  So I decided to try creating the background of the tiles with tiny weeny scraps of blue fabric (because of course I have heaps of blue fabric).  Unfortunately I don’t think I took a photo of all the scraps cut up, but here is the leftover mess.  You get the idea, I grabbed bits of fabric and ran over them with the rotary cutter until they were so tiny they were annoying.

Then careful not to sneeze….. I placed them on a piece of soluble stabiliser in a random fashion within the boundaries of a marked square.  For my samples I made the square 10 cm (4 inches).  The larger tiles ended up being 30cm (12 inches)

I placed another piece of soluble fabric over the top and then started stitching grid lines using free motion embroidery and a variegated thread.3 1st pass

Then I washed the stabiliser out. Using one of the pieces as a stitching sample, when it was dry I placed it on soluble stabiliser again and tested various threads to see what would show up well for the main pattern design.

After the success of the blue sample I decided that to be fair to the other colours of the rainbow I really should try stepping away from the blue and use some other colours.  So I made 3 more and followed the same process finally stitching the design on the surface of the tiles using some soluble stabiliser underneath.

Washed out the soluble and left it to dry….


And these are the finished pieces.

8 finished

These are the coloured tiles framed (when I asked my teenage daughter for help on a name she suggested Ninja Turtles…..)

9 framed

Larger piece framed10 larger piece

Hung in the gallery with the inspiration picture.

11 in gallery


It’s now been a while since I made these, and I am thinking about what I can try next using these techniques.  Will keep you posted!

Until next time,