Sunday, 7 July 2019

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

14" x 15"
This work began with a photograph I took of siblings who were part of a blacksmith family of the Datoga tribe in Tanzania. We had a fascinatingly wonderful visit with this warm and welcoming family.  The patriarch had 3 wives; one had just given birth, and another was pregnant during our visit.  He was a very jolly man, laughing and joking with all his children while he worked over the fire, bending found metal into little arrows for the local bushmen, and bracelets for visitors.  He held the metal pieces with both his toes and his fingers with equal skill.   He supervised his son whom I had asked to create a bracelet for me, and I wear it still.

a detail of the portraits

background detail which began with multiple surface dying techniques. 
The tree was an embellishment with free motion stitchery.

another detail highlighting colour and free motion stitches.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Thoughts of Summer

Thoughts of Summer

This work began with a portrait of my son, created with free motion stitchery on water soluble fabric.
When I studied this image, I felt that he was in a peaceful place, and with his shades and cap, he was set for 
the fun and adventure of our time together in the cottage in the woods.
I created the scenery through the layering of translucent silk fabrics that I dyed, printed and painted.

The water lilies were elements of photos that were printed on water soluble fabric, added as another layer, then painted, and then free motion stitchery helped to connect all the elements.

the tip top of one of the trees, notes the painting as well as the layered silk organza.

a detail of some of the free motion stitching.

Professional photos for Connected

So happy to have had professional photos taken of this work.  The details really pop!

fun focus

Machine free motion stitchery detail

Friday, 4 January 2019


This is my latest finished work.  It is 28.5 inches wide and 39.5 inches high.  I have been playing with different titles and currently considering; "Connected with Colour". Also under consideration is "Connection creates Colour". I would love some input. 

This began with a hand-dyed cotton clothe.  Many layers of dye applied all over and then layered with brush.

The figures had been hand-embroidery on another piece of hand-dyed cotton.  When they were completed, the background no longer seemed to work so I cut them out and added them to this piece.  Then I  worked in a bit more colour on the background with paint.  The suggestion of the apple to the right, and created a bit of darkness in the ground.  Eventually I cut off most of the light blue at the top.  It seemed a bit distracting.

 Once the figures were sewn on, everything was layered up, the free motion began.  One of my favorite parts of most projects, I love flying through the cotton with my Bernina on super drive.

Looking at the figures from the angle, you can see that there is a bit of three dimensional effect because of the extra layers behind them.  I did a bit of hand quilting to direct the bump out.  The bums are especially 'juicy'.

The 'end' result

Friday, 9 November 2018



This is the work that was juried into the OCADU Alumni show, 2018.  Although I have posted it on this blog before, I just thought I would re-post since many have asked which work of mine will be in this show.  It is especially exciting to be juried into this show since it will be a mixed media show.  Any graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design University was eligible to apply.  It was juried by professors from the University as well as a Juror from Waddingtons.
Show runs from November 29th till December 3, 2018.
work measures 24" x 27"

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Fibre Photo

Honouring a memory in cloth

Transferring  a special photo to cotton provides lots of opportunity to be creative and elevate the photo to "Art".  In this case, I extended the photo on three sides matching my hand dyed fabrics to the tones in the photo.  Then I layered it up with batting and backing and free motion stitched the three layers together mimicking the ocean waves, sky and sand.  And Voila! a sweet little piece created as a gift for a special friend, to remember our time together at the beach. 
Thanks to the woman on the beach who agreed to take our photo and suggested we look out onto the water together!
Its small, around 14" x 10", but I still created a little rod pocket on the back for easy hanging.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Ceremonial Fabric Covering for Bread . AKA . Challah Cover

completed project

Challah Cover

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 I was asked to create a cloth cover for the ceremonial bread that typically graces the Friday night table in a Jewish home.
There were lots of details to the request.  The homeowners had just purchased a new home and were very excited about their new modern, sleek, aesthetic. 
We worked together to stylize the three Hebrew letters to make them look modern.  Creating letters in an alphabet that you don't know is always challenging because it is never clear how far the shapes can be "pushed".  The final shapes were determined to still be 'readable' but modern and quirky.
I was also given the paint chip samples used to create the design envelope of their new home.
My Kona cotton solid collection came in handy.

After creating the letter shapes, I made pattern pieces out of card stock.  My challenge to myself
 was that every piece of fabric was to be pieced.  No applique allowed.

to make it more interesting I decided that the piecing needed to be done in wonky angles.
  Of course this added to the challenge too.

After backing the design with silk, I sewed through the layers
with red thread in straight, angled lines.

details of the sewing.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to create something with new rules and parameters.  The challenge was fun!