Things got busy around here in winter, but some new fabric panels have just been listed in the shop. I've been wanting to work with bigger and bolder shapes lately, and do some more two-colour screen printing, and these are the first batch of prints. Hope you love them as much as I do. Plus happy spring if you live in the Southern Hemisphere...finally!
I held a little art class yesterday, based on an idea I had a little while back - paint your favourite animal (or fruit or whatever you want) onto some fabric, and then we'll turn it into a cushion. It was soRead More
OK, now you know too much about me, even down to my moisturiser of choice (Aesop Mandarin Facial Cream, so good!) and my favourite nail polish (Kester Black is the biz), because I drew them all and then turned that drawing into an art print. Is that weird? It feels a tiny bit weird. Oh well. The packaging of these objects are burnt into my brain, cos I use them all the time. And some of these things are sentimental, like the Mason Pearson hairbrush my mum got me for my birthday when I was a kid (thanks mum!) and the comb my friend gave me for my most recent birthday (thanks Em!) Oh, and my tip for nail clippers? Go to Muji.
And a little heads up that all art prints are now available in A4 and *new* A3 size. They're all archival quality giclee prints, using the highest quality pigment inks, printed on fade resistant canvas paper (I just love that texture!) Hope you like.
I had a lot of fun organising and coordinating which fabric colours/patterns to put together for July's fabric scrap packs. And as an added bonusRead More
A little while back, in the school holidays, I held some art classes for kids. We worked from my tiny studio and covered the basics of working with clay, did some painting and stamping on fabric and also…Read More
It's already OVER halfway through May, so probably about time to mention the May fabric packs! There's a 3-fat quarter panel pack and a scrap pack, both in bright colours (in an attempt to counter the dull weather here in Melbourne). And fabric packs now come in cute little fabric pouches, because I love cute little fabric pouches.
Stocks of the packs are limited and there are only a handful of each left, in case you've been thinking about getting one. Happy sewing :)
This weekend, for the first time in ages, I didn't have much on, which meant I finally had time to finish the quilt I started last month. I'd forgotten how fun they are to design and make, and how the little details, like making your own binding, can be so rewarding.
For this quilt I had a few aims - I wanted to make it small and lap-sized (perfect for the cooling weather here in Melbourne), to test out a simple pattern I had in mind, and also show the size of a quilt made using five panels of my fabric (which are around the size of a fat quarter).
I'd already cut and started sewing up the pieces for the front, and finishing this off didn't take too much time. Then I dug deep into my stash to find some fabric for the binding and the backing - pieces that fit in with the overall colour palette but also provide a bit of contrast.
For the binding I chose some fabric I printed in my old studio in Kensington in around 2009 (which is horrifyingly nearly 10 years ago!) It's a small brown dot on a beige cotton linen and mixed in well with the other basecloth fabrics. For the backing I chose some of my yardage fabric from around the same time - Akzidenz alphabet printed on a sturdy organic cotton, in a mushroom grey ink. I recently found a small bolt of this hidden under a bunch of other fabric, which was a nice surprise discovery!
For the actual quilting part I simply sewed across the front in long lines - kind of boring but I'm not into facing quilting stitch patterns. This part is quite meditative, and makes me appreciate how good it is having the right tools, like a proper walking foot (a bit of an investment but totally worth it!).
The pattern for the quilt is super simple - squares and rectangles made by cutting up five different panels of Spin Spin fabric (including one plain unprinted panel, the charcoal coloured pieces), then arranging them into a grid. I used a super generous 1cm seam allowance, which I'd probably reduce a bit next time - this would also mean the quilt would be a bit bigger, as there are so many pieces! For the homemade binding I made strips of fabric 2.5" wide but next time I think I'll make the strips a bit wider, so you can see more of it. It would also make sewing it on a bit easier, as there's more room to move. The overall size of this finished quilt is just what I wanted - around 90cm x 100cm (35" x 39.5").
I'd love to know what you think of the look of this quilt and also if you'd be interested in a pattern - please comment if you do/don't like it or if you've got any suggestions. If you'd prefer to send me a message that'd be great too.
Below are some images to give you more of a look and if you keep an eye on my shop, in the next day or so you'll find the April fabric special, a pack of five pieces :) And did I mention that next time I want to make an 8- or 10-panel quilt? I might need a bit more time to sew that one up, hmm.
The other day I was doing something and then I had to stop, drop what I was doing and just start making a quilt, as you do. And a quilt with a pattern, no less. A quilt pattern is something I've been working on for a while but it just wasn't, well, working. But suddenly it all made sense - I'd be trying to map it all out on the computer and the process was confusing and annoying. Then I realised all I need to do is just measure actual fabric, cut, arrange and sew. So I just did that.
I started by cutting up four of the fat quarter panels from the March Special Fabric, and arranged them in a way that kind of 'worked', to my eye anyway (see above).
On a whim I added one plain fabric panel, of a lovely charcoal hemp/organic cotton. This is a thing I always seem to do when sewing quilts made from my own fabric - break up the crazy pattern/colour by adding some plain textured/coloured fabric to even things out. Suddenly the quilt-in-the-making was looking kinda how I wanted, plus it was a bit bigger, which was a bonus (laid out and unsewn, it was around 100cm wide x 120 high - around 39" x 47").
The sewing together bit is pretty straightforward - I just take each row and sew the bits together, then sew the rows together. That's what I'm in the middle of doing now, so watch this space to see the finished product! Next week... In the meantime, happy weekend.
Heat bags (or wheat bags?!) are the best and I use them all the time - on sore shoulders, a weary back or just to keep me warm in winter. I've got a few long-shaped ones but none that are square, which seems like a massive oversight! So today, when I got some sewing mojo after making up some fabric scrap packs for the shop, I decided to make a big square patchwork heat bag and add a handle, so I can hang it up when it's not in use.
It was such a fun project and didn't take long at all - around 1-1.5 hours. I just grabbed a bunch of fabric scraps (some tiny!) that when laid out made a square around 32cm x 32cm. I then arranged the fabric in a way that looked good (sometimes cutting the bits to make them look/fit bitter), sewed 4-5 horizontal lengths into strips about 26-28cm long, sewed the strips together until they were about 24-26cm high, added some batting and did some very basic quilting stitches to hold it in place, made a handle (you don't have to patchwork this if it's easier to use a length of plain fabric, but add a bit of interfacing to give it body/strength), then sewed it up and filled it with wheat.
The bag's finished size is 24cm x 22cm (9.5" x 8.5") and the handle's 13cm x 4cm (5" x 1 1.5"), so if you want to make one a similar size add 1cm to each side for a seam allowance :)
Click through to see some in progress shots
OK, so I *may* have an addiction to drawing houses. Often pastel coloured, wonky houses. Some are houses I go past all the time and some are houses I used to live near but the latest fits neither of those categories - not only have I never seen this house, I can't see it because it doesn't exist anymore*. In fact, the town it's from doesn't exist anymore either.
So what is this place and why did I draw it? It's from a town called Yallourn, which was built by Victoria's State Electricity Commission to house the workers of Victoria's open-cut brown coal mines in East Gippsland. It's also the town that my dad grew up in and it looked to be a wonderland of green spaces with a vibrant, engaged community. But it's a town I never got to see because it was all but gone by the early 1980s. You see as the mine expanded, it swallowed up the whole area, and all of Yallourn. You can read a bit more about it here on the new house print's shop listing page here.
So that's the story with the latest house drawing. And even without knowing the background story, I still think it's just a very cute little house and I do hope you like it.
* When I say the house doesn't exist anymore that may not actually be the case. A lot of the houses from Yallourn were simple constructions - a timber frame with weatherboard cladding - and were removed and relocated to towns nearby and also far away. So if you're ever in the Latrobe Valley region keep a look out and you might just see this house, or one like it. How cool is that?
Yep, it's most definitely 2018 now but it took a while for the year to kick in here, due to a bit of an unexpected and crap end to last year. My advice: don't get food poisoning on Christmas Day, then faint with a glass of water in your hand and end up in hospital, needing plastic surgery on Boxing Day. Yes, that really happened to me. But there's nothing like being incapacitated to reevaluate your life and the point of your existence (and what you'll do with yourself if you can't take photos/draw/paint/use a mouse etc etc.)
I'm glad to say that my hands are nearly all better, which I am sooo grateful for, and now I cannot wait to see what cool stuff awaits in 2018. At the moment I'm dedicating a bit of time each day to drawing (mainly because I'm so happy that I can draw) and have just listed a brand new drawing called North Carlton Houses, I've just sent off my first textile design to be digitally printed as fabric yardage (I really want to make myself some outfits from my own textile designs), I have a new batch of earrings waiting to be fired in the kiln and I am trying to finalise the design of a new multi-coloured screen print. Oh, and I can not stop taking photos and more photos. Hope your 2018 is going great.
I do not do many markets these days, but am super excited to announce that Spin Spin will be making one festive season appearance - at Melbourne Museum on Sunday 17 December for the fab MakeIt Collective's Christmas Market.
AND WHAT'S THIS I SAY ABOUT FREE SHIPPING?
As a bonus for local peeps, I've got a special market + free shipping deal. If you want to buy something online now and can get to the market on 17/12 to pick the goodies up, use the code MARKETPICKUP and you'll get free shipping. This is a super good deal for anyone wanting to buy ceramics and other bulky items and save on shipping. Note that the offer is open until Friday 15/12 and obviously you need to be able to get to the market on Sunday 17/12*! The market is on from 10:00-4:30 in Nicholson Street Carlton. More details here and the Facebook event details are here.
You're welcome :)
* If you buy something using the code and then don't pick up the items at the market on 17/12, I'll invoice you for shipping and send the parcel via Australia Post once payment's cleared.
I'm doing a bunch of screenprinting today, to ward off Monday-itis and get some orders sorted out. The ink colours I'm using are very pastel and I just realised it's kind of summer here in Melbourne, though it feels like we got no spring. Oh well, at least that means endless salads, like the beetroot and cabbage slaw I had for lunch (and yes, I get to keep the reject plates - this one's got a hairline crack in it, what a shame!)
I'm thinking of using the paper I rest my squeegee on between prints (bottom photo) to wrap some orders - I usually throw that paper out but today the mess of ink and patterns looked pretty cool. Watch this space.
I'm posting shop updates each day this week. Mainly because there are so many new things and dealing with them all at once would do my head in! Here's a sample of what's gone up so far - lots of ceramics...