Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Tip

I read about this tip recently and when I tried it out and discovered how well it really worked, I just had to pass it along to everyone.
I use a lot of fusible web for pattern design and my own creative work. I also have a very good Rowenta iron........sometime the two do not play well together. So run to your cleaning cupboard or local shop and buy a package of Magic Erasers:

Then watch this YouTube video from Sharon Schamber, where she shows just how to clean your iron with the eraser. I like to have a folded towel under the eraser to soak up any water.

Have fun enjoying your very clean iron!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Tip

I wanted a star design for a quilting stencil and didnt want to make a plastic stencil. So using an idea from my friend Daphne  I traced my design onto a piece of freezer paper and then ironed another three pieces underneath to fuse them together. I used my art knife to cut out the star design.

The freezer paper template is heavy enough with the extra layers to stand up to a lot of use and it was inexpensive and quick to make! Gotta love the "quick and cheap"!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sketchbook Challenge

I'm always open for a challenge and ways to overfill my plate with commitments! But, hey, its almost the end of the year and time to make plans for 2011.
I found the challenge on the Quiltart list and it sounded like a fun idea. I keep a sketchbook, actually a couple of books ongoing, but find it difficult to maintain a consistent schedule of getting work into them. So I thought it would be fun to take this on as a challenge to myself. so check out the link and consider doing this yourself! I'll post my work from time to time, how about you?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Caught in the Web-working with painted fusibles!

Last month I taught a class about using painted fusible web as a design element in small art pieces. My students began by painting different types of fusible web with thinned acrylic paints and laying them out to dry. When the web dries it will often crackle and buckle, creating interesting texture patterns in the web. Those patterns can be used for added texture.

 Painted fusible laid out to dry.

Small bits of the fusible torn and placed as a collage.

Combine the fusible with layers of sheer organza and thread to create a landscape.

Students use the fusible web in a variety of ways and always surprise me with ideas and designs that are exciting and new. When the fusible is used with coloured threads or fabric bits, the web can grab hold of them during the ironing stage. Then additional stitch on top will help to secure them in place.
For a tip sheet on how to make and use the painted fusible click here:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Design Notes Newsletter

Good morning,

The latest installment of my newsletter is available here:

Have a good read.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Give and Take Applique Workshop

Here's a little bit more of my "catching up" with pictures from a recent design class that I taught in Newmarket, Ontario. In a one day class the students work through exercises in the morning using black and white paper, glue sticks and scissors....back to art class in school but more fun! In the afternoon the students are using their designs to create blocks in fabric. Its exciting to see the designs emerge when blocks are multiplied and rotated!

 These designs will have great diagonal pattern when completed.

Flowers work very well as a Give And Take design.

Bright colours make a huge impact in tthis table runner!

Off centre designs provide movement in these blocks.

Thanks ladies for a great class!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Word Wednesday

Winter Colours

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching Up!

Oh boy, I really do have a lot of catching up to do......
Just got a new camera and took a walk today to capture a few shots. I think I might be in love with this camera!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Books on Sunday

I'm a trifle distracted these days with too many deadlines, but I did want to tell you about a package that the postman brought earlier this week. The Customs Declaration said knitting book and DH suggested that I already had too many knitting books (preposterous, I'd say!). But honestly I didn't remember ordering the Art Quilt Collection book that was in the package.

 I spent some time looking through the book, lovely, yummy pictures and discovered this little gem on page 130! I had long forgotten having sent this in when I received a call for entry in Dec. 2009. So it was a wonderful surprise to not only get a book in the mail but discover that it had a quilt of mine too!


There are many other illustrious artist in the book including my friend Daphne Greig (page 78), Elizabeth Barton (pages 38, 79), Marianne Burr (page 110), Lisa Call (page 41) and many more.

The back blurb states: Using the well-established methods and styles of the centuries-old handicraft, art quilts combine fabrics and other materials to create innovative, stunning, and contemporary results. Art Quilt Collection profiles several artists in the field-many of them award-winning-along with their creations, showing readers the step-by-step process by which scraps of fabric become vibrant works of art. Readers will be inspired to experiment with quilting techniques and create their own unique pieces.

This book would be a great addition to your art quilt collection.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Books on Sunday

Back again with another book....I figure I could post every Sunday for about 10 years and maybe get through my library. But, I have another friends who might still be working at it 20 years later......

I picked this book up on a whim, I loved the cover, stitch and paper and some yellow, rare in a book cover!

The Found Object in Textile Art by Cas Holmes

ISBN: 9781596683327

The back blurb says: Explore the elements and popular practice of using found objects in mixed-media and textile art with Cas Holmes. Cas, renowned for her use of "the found" and her many-layered, atmospheric pieces, presents a wealth of tips and ideas for this technique.

Inside you'll discover:
  • where to search for found objects and how to recycle previously used materials
  • techniques to conceive and build a piece around a found object
  • the range of found objects--from natural materials such as driftwood to manufactured pieces of machinery to even mundane objects like CD cases
  • how found objects can be used to create stunning pieces and lend deep meaning to a work
The Found Object in Textile Arts showcases how to combine mixed-media and fiber-arts techniques to create art with personal, narrative qualities.

What I like about the book:
     Lots of text and words, explanations, philosophy and concepts. Cas, the author, doesn't drive a car and so in walking has a different appreciation for her surroundings....interesting thought that we are insulated from our environment when we step into a vehicle.

My issue with this book and many others on the market is a lack of good foundations in design. A newcomer to mixed media might think that its all about putting "stuff" together. Art can never be just about that.

Would I recommend this book? Sure, borrow it from your library. If you want to buy it, then try:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Little Crazy Quilt - CD Release!

I'd like to introduce my special friend, Cathy Miller and tell you a bit about her. I first met Cathy about eight years ago when she and her husband, John Bunge, moved to Victoria. We crossed paths in the local quilt shops and became friends and kindred quilters. We've travelled together on several quilt cruises and meet once a week in our little satellite group. Cathy always has great stores about her adventures, travelling and singing for quilt guilds and shops around the world.
Now her latest CD (fifth in the "quilting" series) has been released and I've heard several songs. I think its absolutely dynamite! Here's a little bit of the promo "blurb" and a picture of the cover art that Cathy sent me:

This CD features an eclectic mix of songs in the folk/blues/rock and Celtic music realm. There are some history songs, some sentimental songs, and some hilarious songs – the winning mix that has made all of Cathy’s recordings so popular. Once again, she has recorded at The Millstream in Toronto, and the songs are enhanced by some of the best session musicians in that city, under the guidance of Paul Mills, producer.

Because this is Cathy’s 10th solo CD (there were 5 before she started writing about quilting), she has slipped into the mix a couple of “pre-quilting” favourites: one about a small cove near Halifax, Nova Scotia, and one that was sung at their wedding -- a love song written in Calgary. She’s also found two old songs: “The Sewing Machine” from the movie “Perils of Pauline” which Betty Hutton sang so lustily from her sweatshop; and the title track, “Little Crazy Quilt”, a gem from the Patti Page songbook. The rest are penned by Cathy herself.

If you'd like to learn more about Cathy and her music, check out her website: . If she travels to a guild near to you, don't miss a performance!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books on Sunday

I collect books a bit like I collect fabric....I admit to being a bit of a book junkie, not as much as some friends but my library is growing at a rather disturbing rate! So I thought I'd introduce you to some of my collection.
I'd like to tell you a bit about the book, where you can find it and whether I'd recommend it to my friends and perhaps this can turn into a regular series of posts.
So, the first book has sat beside my bed for a couple of weeks and I read a few of pages every night.

Contrasting Elements by Jae Maries
ISBN: 978-0-9555371-6-5

The back blurb says:
Well respected textile artist Jae Maries shows how to bring dynamism into your textile work with the use of contrast: contract in colour, contrast in materials and contrast in imagery.

The techniques explored are very simple and are described through step-by-step instructions which can become the basis for work in greater depth. Paper techniques translate to fabric and stitch and the book's concentration on contrast will electrify your work.
Discover contrasts, by painting, cutting, knotting, knitting, weaving, wrapping and stitching.

What I like about this book:
  • Like many books published in the UK, the photos are fabulous, lush and dynamic.
    The book layout is very good, its an easy book to leaf through with a cup of coffee.
  • The content is laid out as a series of lessons or exercises with Extension Exercises and Exploring Your Work with good explanation of design elements.
You might have issues with this book if you were expecting to work just on fabric, many of the exercises are with paper, bits and pieces and stuff.
You can find the book at Amazon, but its out of stock, try

Definitely read Jae's article in the Embroiderers Guild website:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Batik Workshop!

Surface Design Class

Resists, Rubbings
and Repetition
with Soy Wax

Susan Purney Mark

Learn three great techniques to apply colour to cloth with
thickened dyes and soy wax. Students will experiment with
painted batik, soy wax crayons and screen printing while
learning design principles, mark making and colour theory. Soy
wax is biodegradable and easy to remove with washing!

Students will make a variety of samples which can be used for
further exploration in quilting and stitch.

November 9-10, 2010
$130.00 (includes kit fee and snacks)

Studio G Art
7298 Somenos Road
Duncan, BC V9L 5Z9

Call 250-595-4374 to register

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Work

I have some pieces going into an Exhibition next week and I've just finished the mounting. A long slog, it took me most of the afternoon in the midst of making a couple batches of Salsa. That'll teach me for planting 25 tomato plants!
These two pieces are a departure for me, as they were worked over a couple of months, they were portable fabric collage work that I took with me on road trips, planes, waiting rooms and such. I used a variety of fabrics from vintage damask, linen, silk and dyed cottons. I dyed all the fabrics, screen printed and stamped and then hand stitched everything. It became a meditative exercise and entirely enjoyable!
I was inspired by Jude Hill at I greatly admire her work and the philosophy she uses in her work. Check it out.....

12" x 22"

close up

 a soma dos dias
19" x 19"

close up

Visit the Exhibition at the Loft Art Gallery
260-2720 Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay, BC
from Sept. 28- Oct. 28th

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Word Wednesday

Just Seedy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Word Wednesday

Summers End

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Textile Exhibition

The Victoria College Of Art - Textile Exhibition by Articulation

NARRATIVE ARTICULATIONS is a show of cross-Canada work by nine Canadian contemporary textile artists, all City and Guilds of London Institute trained. Each year the group, Articulation, goes to a special place in Canada to do a study together, then they return to their respective studios across Canada to produce a body of work based on the study. The next year they exhibit the work. Articulation has had two residencies at the Banff Center, Banff, Alberta. They are currently working on a body of work to be exhibited in the Whyte Museum, Banff, in September 2011.

Curated by Lesley Turner, the Victoria College of Art - Fine Art Textiles instructor, the free exhibition will fill the walls at the college with over 50 textile-based works. The artists will be in attendance during the opening reception, tours, demonstrations and workshops throughout the course of the show, which will run from August 27th to September 10th.

Opening reception will be held Friday, Aug 27th at 6:30 pm at the Victoria College of Art, at 1625 Bank Street.

On Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th August and Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th September there will be artist-led tours at 1 pm and 3 pm and demonstrations/workshops from 2 to 3 pm.

All events are free.

For more information, email or call the school at 250-598-5422.


Friday, August 27, 2010 at 6:30pm

1625 Bank Street, Victoria BC

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Exhibition Photos

Last night was the opeing reception for Current Threads, the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association's first show. 15 artists exhibited their work, including embroiderers, quilters, weavers, wearable artists and more. It was my first art exhibtion and I was thrilled to be there and see so many people admiring our work. Fortunately the weather had cooled off and the venue was quite comfortable.
Here I am with friends Alison Kobylnyk, a quilter (, and Linda Wallace (, a tapestry weaver.

A view of the the Gallery, check it out at:

and my smiling face with two of my pieces: 

An exciting day!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

One Word Wednesday


Monday, August 2, 2010

More Exhibition Work

Time ran away with me and I'm back at the computer to update the rest of my Exhibition work. One aspect of my course in Art and Design was to make an Artist Study. A couple of months again I asked friends on the QuiltArt list for their recommendations and had so many options! Thanks everyone!
The object of the study wasn't to copy their work but rather to examine the artist's use of imagery, their colour palette and style. The artist could be our own choice but Gail recommended choosing someone who wasn't heavily stylized, or limited in their palette. So Pollock wasn't an option or William Morris.
I had thought that Dale Chihuly and his glass work might be a good choice but really couldn't determine how I would interpret 3 dimensional work at 2-D art. I'd like to study his work some other time as I think it could be quite inspiring.
I finally decided that Freiderich Hundertwasser was a great choice. Lots of colour, strong lines, a wide range of work and a variety of imagery. I made a small thumbnails of parts of his art that spoke to me. I looked at the colours in his palette (nothing wimpy about his choices!) and created a sketch book.

From that book I worked on two larger pieces. The first one had a painted ground in softer colours and then collage of windows and doors in the blues. The green circles formed trees. If you look for his painting entitled Loewengasse-the Third Skin you might see how I was inspired.

The second piece was so much fun, I really enjoyed working on the entire process. Hundertwasser used spirals in much of his work, they were a very important image in so many of his painting and its common to see them scattered thoughout in many shapes and forms. The spiral was my inspiration for this piece of painted and collaged papers. I am simply itching to create it in fabric and masses of stitch! If you'd like to see more of Hundertwasser's work, check out this website:

So what did I learn from this artist study? much about looking and observation, taking elements of their work and determining their palette, making colour studies of a few paintings. Learning about their life, what inspired them to create, their impact on the art world and much more. I'll continue to do artist studies on my own, I think it helps my work and stretches me to work better. I've chosen Klimt as my next one....
Comments and thoughts?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Design Notes Newsletter

The latest issue of my newsletter is hot off the press! Check it out here:
Or email me and ask to be added to my distribution list.
Thanks for reading..................

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Graduation Exhibition

I'm home now and catching up on studio and quilt work, plus a bit of sleep. The Exhibition was a great success, lots of people visiting including family and friends. We began on Tuesday, the 13th ,to prepare our displays, finish all the little bits of painting and preparation....actually that took 4 days! I learned so much about how to display my work, how important it is to view work from a distance and what looks best when placed side by side.....
The Exhibition opened on Saturday and was part of the Whidbey Island Studio Tour, so we had people interested in all different art forms.
Here's my work space while I was finishing some bits and pieces, along with the very bare wall:

then, magically its transformed into a gallery!

My main design theme was paisley and I arranged some pages of my sketchbook to show different design ideas I had using stamped images. Here it is as a rough mock-up, feet included!

And here is the final piece on the wall.

I created a collage piece using lots of texture with acrylic gels, paper and stamps. I loved doing this type of work and found it was a meditative process of going back into the work again and again, building up layers and layers of colour.....

Another exercise in texture with four small pieces, again mediums, and layers and layers of colour....

I teach Shiva sticks a lot in my classes and use them extensively on fabric. Here is an exercise about blending colours on paper and working texture into the colour. I'm preferring the matte colours on paper now, rather than the iridescent. Did you know that there are recommended papers to use with Shiva?

This little piece is all about texture, paper rolls adhered onto the background and then lots of paint and mediums, so much fun! The light spot in the centre is a camera issue...

so that's a quick little tour of some of the work. Tomorrow I'll post some more.....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Art and Design Exhibition

Please consider joining me at my graduation exhibition on July 17th and 18th in Oak Harbour, WA. for further information you can email me at
I'll be posting picutres of some of my work over the next few days but there's nothing like seeing it in person!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Visit with Nine Patch Media

Today Daphne and I took a drive up to Comox, here on Vancouver Island to visit the studio of Nine Patch Media Nine Patch Media is a Canadian company specializing in instructional DVDs. Technical Director Chris Manuel, a former Disney producer, brings 20 years in media production. Five-time published author Sharon Pederson is an internationally renowned quilting instructor. Elizabeth Phillips brings 25 years in marketing, from consumer electronics to tourism.
Daphne and I have known Sharon and Elizabeth for a number of years and thought it was time to see what actaully happens behind the "scenes" in their beautifully bright and spacious studio.

Here Sharon and Elizabeth discuss some of the process for creating the DVDs.

Three smiling faces, Daphne is on the right.

I'll keep you posted!