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Embellish - Issue 32 - December 2017

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Issue 32
9.95 AUD
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Featuring: Textile Artist Barbara Mullan
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With Inspiration from India
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15.00 NZ
projects | embroidery | mixed media | articles
9/10/2017 10:42 AM
Photos by Michael Mullan Photography
The Maharani’s Lotus Pond, detail.
Much of Barbara
Mullan’s work is
inspired by India
My Indian Temple
Mala Kolkata
EM32_IFC_BarbMullan.indd 2
- Turn to Barbara’s
artist pro�ile on page 3
for more!
8/10/2017 12:54 AM
6 Postcard from India - by Carole Douglas
50 South West TAFE Teacher Sue Ferrari - by Sue Ferrari
3 Artist Profile: Barbara Mullan - by Barbara Mullan
16 Resurrecting a Dyeing Form - by Gaayathri Periasami
18 Sustainable Couture - by Liz Wauchope
28 Reader Postcard Challenge - b
. y Lynda Worthington
36 The Reddy Arts Textile Group
38 The World at Their Fingertips - by Carole Douglas
44 Art and Sew Group - by Andrea Taylor
8 Elephant - by Penny Eamer
12 Capturing Memories - by Anne Mitchell
24 Slashing Denim - by Liz Wauchope
30 Contemporary Gilaf Envelope Style Purse - by Babara Mullan
33 India Textile Book - by Sue Dennis
42 Slow Stitch with Hitomezashi - by Lynda Worthington
46 Indian Spice Bag - by Barbara Mullan
Editor’s notes
23 Competition - Beautiful Bonded Surfaces
52 Book Reviews
54 Stitch Guide
55 Advertisers Index
56 Subscription Form
ON THE COVER Indian Spice Bag (p46)
by Barbara Mullan
IBC Competition - Card set
Measurements within this issue are as per the author of
the project or article. No attempt has been made to convert
between Metric and Imperial measurements due to the errors
that may creep in.
EMBELLISH is an independent Australian publication
One inch = 2.54 centimetres;
Ten centimetres = 3.94 inches.
Acknowledgements Thank you to all our wonderful
contributors in this issue, to our advertisers, and to our
readers and subscribers for supporting an Australian
independent publication.
Embellish32_Contents.indd 1 or find us on Facebook
ArtWear Publications P/L has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the copyright of each article or project resides
with the contributing author. We secure from each author a warranty stating such, or that the author has obtained all
necessary rights, licences and permissions such that publication will not infringe on any third party’s copyright.
ArtWear Publications P/L relies on these warranties when asserting that the copyright is owned by the authors.
Instructions for the published projects have been checked for accuracy and are published in good faith. We cannot
guarantee successful results and offer no warranty either expressed or implied. All companies and brands mentioned
are included for editorial purposes, and all copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged.
ArtWear Publications P/L takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content of any advertisements, advertorials or
paid promotions. Any claims and statements are not those of the publisher.
8/10/2017 7:49 PM
A good idea begins with a good fabric
Issue 32/December 2017
ArtWear Publications Pty Ltd
Lynda Worthington.
Art Director
Kylie Albanese.
Senior Graphic Designer
Michelle Davies
The “how to”, “Postcard” or “article”
photography are by the individual
contributors, unless otherwise noted.
Admin assistant
Dawn Bordin
Proof Reader
deLancey Worthington
Carole Douglas, Sue Dennis, Penny Eamer,
Sue Ferrari, Elsie Law, Anne Mitchell,
Barbara Mullan, Gaayathri Periasami, Emily
Regeant, Andrea Taylor, Liz Wauchope,
Lynda Worthington
Advertising sales & marketing:
Lynda Worthington 03 9888 1853
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Please address comments, letters, and inquiries to
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All contents © EMBELLISH Magazine 2017. The
purchaser of this magazine may make a single
copy of any pattern contained within for personal
use only. Please do not give copies to your friends.
Contact us to talk about reproductions, including
intended sale of items made from patterns within
this magazine. If you have any questions about
obtaining permissions or about this policy, please
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EMBELLISH Magazine ® is a registered trademark
of ArtWear Publications P/L, Ashwood, VIC.
ISSN 1837-6037.
EM32_P2_editorsLetter.indd 2
Issue No 32
editor's notes
In this issue, inspired by India, we have some incredible articles and projects
for you, including an artist profile on Barbara Mullan, well-known for her Indiainspired embroidery, and a couple of very Indian projects from her. Carole Douglas
brings us a travel postcard and an article on the movement of Indian artisans from
traditional traders to international entrepreneurs. Both Barbara and Carole, lovely
talented ladies, really immerse themselves in the culture of India, travelling there
often, and sharing it with others via guided tours to their favourite areas.
We’ve created 6 pages of a fabric book with Penny
Eamer to date. In this issue Penny makes the cover
(with an elephant on it) and puts the whole book
together. If you look on the inside back cover
(of this issue, not of Penny’s book), we have a
competition relating to the fabric book projects,
where someone will win a set of cards from
Penny, and all entrants will be published in a
future issue of Embellish. I for one am looking
forward to seeing what you have created.
But wait, there’s more! Thanks to d4daisy
Books, we have 3 copies of the latest Lynda
Monk book Beautiful Bonded Surfaces to give
away. Details are on page 23.
I could keep detailing all the wonderful things in this issue, but that would be
preventing you from turning the page and discovering them for yourself.
However, one last thing for you before I let you go—I have a new postcard swap
for you: “Scotland”. You may choose anything relating to Scotland. The completed
size must be postcard size (A6—a quarter of A4 size, 4”x 6” approximately) and
you may use any technique, or combination of techniques to create it, so long as
it includes textiles. On the back of the postcard, please write your name, address,
phone number and email address (if you have one). Completed postcards should be
posted to arrive no later than 1st March, to “Scotland” Postcard Swap, PO Box 469,
Ashburton VIC 3147, and include a stamped* self-addressed C5 or B5 envelope (so
that the swapped postcard can be posted to you—C6 size can be just that little bit
too small if there is a postcard that is on the thicker side...). Don‘t forget to add a
note with some information about your techniques and inspiration.
Some of the postcards will be displayed in Embellish #34 (June) which has the
theme of Scotland, and all will be displayed on our Facebook page: in a photo album early in June.
The postcard with the most “likes” on Facebook at midnight on 30/06/2018 will
win $100.00 to spend with one of our advertisers in the June issue.
Grab a cool drink, sit down and relax reading this inspirational issue of Embellish!
Yours in textile art
* International readers please email me and we can arrange a PayPal payment for your return postage.
8/10/2017 10:32 PM
Artist Profile
Amulet 2
Michael Mullan Photography
Indian Pincushion
Michael Mullan Photography
Barbara Mullan
Barbara Mullan in response to questions posed by Lynda Worthington.
A passion for textiles and their
embellishment has been with me
from a very early age. I was one of
those children who went into fabric
stores and ran the fabric through my
fingers. Imagine what the store keepers
were thinking behind clenched teeth!
This love has continued through my
secondary and tertiary years, marriage
and motherhood.
I have a teaching degree major in
Design and through a Technical and
Further Education College, a certificate
in Fashion Dressmaking. This was
where I was introduced to quilting. I
was hooked! I started creating quilts,
with very little technical knowledge
available in Australia at that time. I
used extensive running stitches to
hold the layers of pieced, appliqued
EM32_P3-5_BarbaraMullan.indd 3
and trapunto (stuffed) fabric together.
By the mid-90s I thought there must
be more than running stitches that
I could use to add to my quilts, so I
embarked on a Certificate Course at the
Embroiderers’ Guild of South Australia,
studying embroidery techniques.
A great interest in Ethnic Embroidery
developed during this course. My
husband and I travelled to many
ethnic regions, including India, Africa,
Central Asia, S.E. Asia, Uzbekistan,
Turkey and Egypt—partly through
his work and partly spurred on
because “I love deserts and tribal
textiles and Gujarat certainly ticked
both boxes” *. I was asked to take groups of people
to the tribal regions of Gujarat to see
Michael Mullan
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:52 AM
Top, from Left: The Maharani’s Flower Garden; Indian
Temple, detail; The Maharani’s Lotus Pond; Pearl Goddess.
Michael Mullan Photography
the textiles I was so interested in, to meet their creators
and spend time staying in the region. This has added
considerably to my knowledge. I became ‘the face of Indian
Textiles in Adelaide and the wider Australia’ *. I continue to
take groups to this region to visit my now Gujarati friends
who I have established over the years. My next trip to the
Gujarati region is in January 2018.
India afforded me the opportunity to study their
beautiful Kantha quilts. I gained a fellowship from the
Embroiderers’ Guild of South Australia with my thesis ‘The
Amazing Running Stitch on Layered Fabric’. India was the
perfect inspiration for my major piece, The Maharani’s
Lotus Pond.
Above: Barbara with tribal lady from Bhirendiara, Kutch,
India. Photographer Sharon Doig.
Below: Barbara embroidering at Bhirendiara
Issue No 32
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I have worked in an accredited textile museum for the past
17 years. By sharing this knowledge and experience so
wholeheartedly, I feel I am enriching my life and the lives of
my fellow travellers on our textile journeys.
During this time, I was also sharing my love of wearable art
by designing, making, exhibiting and teaching textile art
which included ‘Art to Wear’. I use many techniques such as
applique, felting, surface stitching and beading, and apply
the most appropriate technique to the job in hand. I always
use several layers of fabric which have been stitched
through to give a more substantial feel to my articles.
I research extensively the topic I am working on. Currently
it is Morocco. Having visited many years ago, I recently
took a reconnaissance trip to this amazing country. Its mix
of cultures, especially over the last 5 centuries, makes it
what it is today. My next trip to Morocco is in April 2018.
At present, I am creating hangings which depict the Berber
culture and all its influences.
8/10/2017 12:52 AM
I am fascinated with amulets, which are devices designed
to protect by magical, not physical means (see Barbara’s
article with project in Embellish Issue 27). I collect
interesting bits and pieces during my travels—see
Amulet 2 which is 3D in shape. This fascination was first
awakened in India, when I created my Indian Pincushion.
My ‘Art to Wear’ is always present—see Beretbag in
Embellish Issue 28. Other examples can be seen on my
What is my inspiration going forward? My collection of
fabrics, interesting bits and pieces including beads, and
threads (the latest is cactus silk from Morocco) provide
me with inspiration for future projects. My workroom
is overflowing and so are my ideas. I also derive great
pleasure from repurposing articles.
I can see 3D shapes gradually creeping into my work.
I am continually sketching ethnic people and their clothing
in readiness for creating wearable art, when the opportunity
presents itself. I find sketching helps me look more closely at
the detail involved and will often spark an idea.
I love the historic background that makes a country
what it is today and keep collecting this information. My
bookshelves are bowing with my collections. The more I
can gather, the more I can share.
Where to next? Kashmir (India) in a few weeks. Iran keeps
calling me, along with Outer Mongolia. Who knows, but
how exciting the prospects are!…
* Barbara Mullan: A Life with Gujarati Textiles
by Ansie van der Welt, 2016
link via
EM32_P3-5_BarbaraMullan.indd 5
DEPARTS: 22 APR 2018
Overflowing with traditional culture,
history and stunning architecture,
Morocco’s imperial cities provide
a rich fabric for adventure ...
HIGHLIGHTS: Hassan II Mosque – Casablanca
• Meknes • Fes, UNESCO-listed El-Bali medieval city
• Views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains
• Gardens, mosques, palaces and the souqs of
Marrakesh • Textile discovery • Gorgeous seaside
Essaouira • Trip escorted by Barbara Mullan
DATE: 22 APR – 4 MAY 2018 > $3990 EX-CASABLANCA
speak to our experts
1300 720 000
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:52 AM
rd fro
To: t h e g i
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ea rp u bli
PO Box
cat io n s. c
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A s h bu rt
Se n d e r:
Vict o ri a
Ca ro le D
ou gl a s
Jat home Chari Dhan
with Mohmedbhai
r bag
Dear textile lovers everywhere,
Jat girl
Chari Dhand
Our tour is half over—we are now out of town
travelling in remote areas of Kutch, where you find
wonderful textiles in the most surprising places. This
morning we left our base camp in Rudramata and
set off to meet Fakirani Jat camel herders. It was a
long, dusty drive into what seemed like the middle of
nowhere. On the way, we picked up our special guide
and naturalist Mohmedbhai. He lives in the protected
forest area, knows the seasonal movements of the
Jat families, and is also a mine of information about
the local flora and fauna. Fakirani Jats came to Kutch
nearly 1000 years ago from Baluchistan and still
follow the old traditions and way of life. The families
leave their villages and come here every year after the
rains, when the bush is green and the wetlands full,
and there is plenty of fodder and water for their herds.
It took a while to locate any camels, but Mohmed has
sharp eyes, and sure enough there on the horizon
he spotted the spindly legged, awkward gait of a few
animals. Jats are shy people, so we approached slowly
and, as we do not like to intrude, we try to meet up
with people I already know. We were lucky enough to
find Suleman and his family, and he invited us to walk
with him and his camels back to camp. On the way, the
men pointed out eagles and brilliantly coloured honey
eaters. We walked for about an hour, soon falling into
the easy rhythm of the herd of mothers, babies and a
couple of males, and had our first textile experience.
Some of the ‘cows’ were wearing udder bags skilfully
made by the men from camel and goat hair. In fact,
one of the men was spinning with his drop spindle
as he sauntered along. They also make knotted bags
and girths in the same way, as they have done for
EM32_P6-7_Postcards.indd 6
8/10/2017 12:51 AM
‘Home’ appeared suddenly in a clearing. Red-gowned
women were busy tethering goats and bleating kids,
while their own children hid shyly behind long skirts.
Home is a simple affair—a rectangle of dried reeds is
a woman’s demarcation; a small charpoy with handturned legs holds a pile of quilts and clothing stacked
under a cover; her kitchen is laid out separately with
stainless steel pans and plates and water pots near a
round hearth on the ground. In the shade, a woman
was stitching a yoke and we wandered across to
watch. It was astonishingly complex and beautiful—
such a contrast to the way of life. Jat embroidery is
densely-patterned couched work with geometric
designs symbolising items in her life—a butter churn,
a flower or a wheel, and uses a limited palette of
maroon, black, orange, blue and green, with occasional
white accents. Sometimes mirrors are embedded in
the work. Yet, within the limitations of colour and
motifs, women find their own means of expression
and no two bodices are the same.
Guide with Jats
Soon the sun began to set and the family made us
camel milk chai—surprisingly sweet, aromatic and
creamy, and we learned from Suleman that camel
milk is now part of the new economy for herders
whose animals are no longer needed for transport.
We thanked the family for their hospitality and left a
donation to help inoculate their herd. Walking back
in the dusk, we reflected on our special encounter
and the beauty and grace of an ancient way of life.
Tomorrow we head out to the Banni for our first
embroidery lesson—what excitement to follow….
Carole regularly guides small groups of people on
intimate tours with Desert Traditions:
EM32_P6-7_Postcards.indd 7
8/10/2017 12:51 AM
Project #7:
Flora and Fauna Book
(Cover and Binding the Book)
Congratulations, we have made all our
pages and now it is time to look at how
we can easily turn them into a beautiful
fabric book! Some knowledge of felting
(either wet or needle) is presumed.
Please read through all the instructions
prior to starting your cover. You will
want to create your cover larger than the
pages, so Diagram 1 from the previous
page projects has been included for you.
Issue No 32
EM32_P8-11_FaunaBook.indd 8
Elephant Drawing
TIP: There is wadding on the market that is like
a thick white felt. To date I have been unable
to find out what it is called—even from the
shops that sell it! I found this to be a very stable
base for many things—especially the covers
for this book. You can use thick felt or iron on
wadding—whichever you prefer. You can even
insert card into your covers if you want a very
stiff result. However, do not put card over the
fold back area!
9/10/2017 11:14 AM
Diagram 1
Make a piece of brightly coloured
graded felt as shown in photos 1 and
2. Take special care in the area that
will be your elephant and add silk if
you wish. Felt it to either half or full
felt stage. Make sure it fits well within
the decorative panel area (refer to
photo 16) and has interesting edges.
Transfer the elephant image onto
the felt and machine sew the outline
(photo 3). Free machine whorls in
EM32_P8-11_FaunaBook.indd 9
(photo 6). Tack the wadding into
position on the wrong side of the
fabric so that it cannot move.
yellow on the red felt around the
elephant outline, then orange in
between that and the yellow felt.
Sew whorls in red on the yellow felt
(photo 4).
Cut a piece of stiff wadding to the
exact cover size and then cut a piece
of fabric with ample allowance on all
sides, for the front cover. Make sure
the fabric is big enough to fold over
the edges of the stiffening wadding
Place your felt piece on top of the
front cover fabric, making sure it
sits in the correct position above the
stiffener wadding rectangle and tack
or pin (photo 5). Extend the stitching
out onto the fabric surround, in any
way you like, to blend the felt into the
background. Sew a line of Satin stitch
down the LH end of the decorative
panel (photo 5). Fold the edges of the
cover fabric under roughly to see size
of finished cover area, and make sure
you work within this area (photo 7).
Free machine any writing that you
want on your cover and add any
borders you think would look good
(photo 8).
Now fold over the fabric and pin
into position. Trim off excess foldover fabric (2cm is enough to leave
all around the edges). Fold and sew
down by hand (photo 9). This is just
to hold it in position so you do not
have to be too fussy here.
Issue No 32
9/10/2017 11:14 AM
Finally, check to ensure that your cover
is bigger than the pages (photo 10).
Next, make the cover lining. Cut a
piece of fabric slightly larger than
the folded down cover, and folding
the edges in, sew neatly by hand all
around the edge to line the cover.
The back cover is very simple to
make, merely cut a piece of stiff
wadding to the cover size and then
cut a piece of fabric twice the size
(add on for seam allowances here)
(photo 11).
Bag out the back cover, leaving an
opening at one short end and slip
the stiffener in—it should fit exactly!
Stitch the opening closed by hand
or machine and you have your back
cover (photo 12).
Sort and stack the pages neatly. Cut
seven 3.5 cm wide and approx. 19cm
long strips of commercial black felt
and lay one between each page and
the covers, under the stitching area.
Trim these to the ends of the pages at
top and bottom. Lay this stack on the
back cover and place the front cover
on top. Using the measurements
shown in the stitch diagram, pin
where every hole is, pushing the pins
down well (photo 13).
Check all stitch measurements well
and then, using thin cotton, sew as
per the order in sewing steps listed
at the end of this project, referring to
the stitch diagram. This is a tacking
task only and these will be removed
when you �inally sew the spine.
If you do not put felt strips in the
book, it will look thin at the spine end
(photo 14). With the strips, it looks
bulkier (photo 15). The decision to
use strips is yours, but I just prefer
the same thickness as the pages. The
added thickness will of course make
it slightly harder to sew.
Next, decide what thread you want
to use to bind your book. I used four
colours of # 8-crochet cotton all in
one strong, large eyed needle.
I had to use pliers to pull the needle
through, but you could sew them
one colour at a time if you do not
want to do the same. Pliers help save
your fingers, but take care to pull the
needle straight or you make bend or
break it.
Take care also to keep the needle
pointing well away from any body
parts, especially your face, when
pulling as you are using quite a lot of
force and it can ‘give’ suddenly.
My bound cover is finished with
a little buttonhole stitch on the
sewn areas as shown, a tassel and a
covered button (photo 16).
Make a loop from the back of the
book to close it (photo 17).
Issue No 32
EM32_P8-11_FaunaBook.indd 10
9/10/2017 11:14 AM
Stitch Diagram
(refer to Stitch Diagram above):
TIP: Do not pull the stitches too tight!
Go up through A from inside of front cover.
Go around top of the book and come up through
A again.
Go around the spine of book and come up through
A again.
Go A-B and down B to back of book.
Go around the spine of book to front and down B
Go from B to C and up C from back of book.
Go around the spine of book and up C again.
Go along the front of the book from C to D and go
down D.
Go around the spine of book and down D again.
Go along the back of the book and up E
Go around the bottom end of the book and up E
Go around the spine of book and up E again.
From E go down D.
From D go up C.
From C go down B.
From B go up A and sew off where it does not
EM32_P8-11_FaunaBook.indd 11
Issue No 32
9/10/2017 11:14 AM
Photography: Alan and Anne Mitchell
A clear photograph, greeting card,
or other image,
Access to a scanner, photocopier, or
Tracing paper—non-waxed
greaseproof paper or lunch wrap is
perfect, and economical,
Pencil and eraser,
A felt pen or marker with a thick
bullet tip,
A few sheets of copy paper,
Something with which to make the
stencil—I use stencil sheeting and a
stencil burner
Capturing Memories
Issue No 32
EM32_P12-15_AnneMitchell.indd 12
Ah reminiscing... the photo album is
open, and we start to think about all
those funny, exciting, poignant things
from the past, captured in print.
Maybe we’ve just returned from a
holiday and have wonderful photos to
remind us of that. Maybe a friend or
loved one has sent us a greeting that
has touched our heart. Maybe our
camera or phone, or tablet or iPad is
full of images too! How technology
has changed over time!
Let’s look at how we can capture
those memories to have them
nearby—on a cushion maybe, or in a
picture frame, or even as a quilt. Let’s
8/10/2017 12:48 AM
not lock them away in an album or in
electronic gadgetry.
Reminiscing a little, about me! As
a child. I was very good at creating
wavy lines and odd squiggly patterns
on paper, but to draw something
that looked like that thing was…
totally daunting! However, I loved to
play with colour. A book with black
outlines already prepared for me,
plus a set of colouring pencils, and I’d
be happy for hours, even days.
Fast forward many years and the
child has become a woman and
mother, still passionate about colour.
When other young mums were
creating hand-painted designs on
their children’s t-shirts and library
bags (and whatever else), I wanted to
do so too.
Tracing was ‘just the best thing’ for
my creativity—I didn’t have to draw.
Then I discovered the simplicity and
versatility of working with stencils, and
the ‘real creative me’ began to surface.
Not content with ready-made
designs, I started to look at photos
and greeting cards, shapes of leaves
and flowers in the garden, the lines
that are everywhere in buildings
and in nature, and figure out how I
could make stencils and line designs
from them… and the rest, as they say,
is history.
Now let’s look at how you can find a
favourite photo or greeting card—or
EM32_P12-15_AnneMitchell.indd 13
postcard—and use it as inspiration
to design something that can be part
of your life. A permanent memory
that’s not stowed away for an
occasional peek.
Fast forward my life once again, and
I confess I’m an avid gardener, along
with my other colourful pursuits in
fabric designing. Let’s use two photos
from my collection—one simple,
one a bit more complex—and show
you how to convert these into line
‘drawings’, and from those create a
stencil that will be uniquely yours.
Enlarge your image to the size
required for your project, and print
it onto ‘normal’ copy paper, not
photographic paper (photo 1).
Convert the image to grayscale and
print that too – you’ll see the lines of
the design more clearly if your eye is
not ‘confused’ by the colours (photo 2).
Using a thick felt pen, trace over the
main lines you plan to use in your
final design. Work with the colour
copy beside you (photo 3).
TIP: Put a piece of plain scrap paper
under your image as you work so the
black lines that penetrate the paper do
not stain your table surface!
Flip over the page, and you’ll see your
design as a simple outline. It will be
in reverse to the original image. From
this design, we will construct the
stencil (photo 4).
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:49 AM
preparing a line design only (that
is, not converting it to a stencil),
and you need your design to be
facing the same way as the original,
retrace the design onto greaseproof
paper. You will then be able to use
the design from whichever direction
you wish; or in both directions for
a symmetrical design. If you are
converting the line design to use as
a stencil, of course the stencil can be
used from either side so there’s no
need to retrace.
The key to making a good stencil is
to think about where to place the
‘bridges’—the lines within the design
that prevent the whole thing from
falling apart!
When learning to create your own
stencils, it is a good idea to prepare
the design on greaseproof paper first,
filling in the areas that will be cut
out as you think it through. This will
allow you to see if areas will ‘fall out’
or not. Let’s use the letter “O” as an
example. If this is cut out as a simple
letter, the whole centre will fall out.
Your “O” will be a circle. For the “O”
to be recognisable as that letter, a
second line needs to be traced inside
the letter, and one or two bridges
added to keep the centre intact.
In this exercise, I shall take one of
my journeys down memory lane
and capture it for all time! My Nan,
Elizabeth, was also a lover of gardening,
and her favourite rose? Queen Elizabeth.
So, Nan, this stencil is for you, along
with many happy memories for me.
Whenever I’ve moved home, there has
always been a Queen Elizabeth rose in
my garden, close to the front door, and
close to my heart.
Whatever the subject of the memories
you’re planning to capture as a stencil,
these steps will always be the same.
Identify the main lines of your design.
These will be the lines you see on the
back of the copy paper (see photo 4,
Issue No 32
EM32_P12-15_AnneMitchell.indd 14
left hand side). They are the lines that
determine the shape of the object,
whether it’s a flower, an animal, a
building… The main lines of the rose
are, of course. the outlines of the
petals. Because this design will have
many different shapes and sections
to it, I’ll first trace the design using
pencil onto non-waxed greaseproof
or other translucent paper (photo 5).
Start forming the bridges. Draw a
second pencil line behind the main
design line, following its shape
(photo 6). Shade in the areas you
form as you work so you can see your
stencil shapes developing. These
will be the areas that are cut away in
your final design. An eraser is a very
handy thing to have nearby to fix any
sections you’re not quite happy with!
NOTE: In my rose design, I have not
shaded in the outer petals (see photo
4, right hand side) as they are simple
to see. The internal petals were a
little more ‘tricky’ to define, so the
shading was essential to get these
areas correct.
When the design is complete, trace
it onto stencil sheeting, or whatever
surface you’re planning to use to make
the final stencil. Use a non-smudge
marker so it will not rub off while
you’re working over it! For a large
design, secure your stencil sheet to
the tracing with paper clips so it
stays in place while you work (photo 7).
Cut your stencil design, carefully
following the outline of the shapes
you have created. I am using an
electric stencil burner for accuracy
and simplicity (photo 8). You can use
a scalpel and self-healing cutting mat
if you prefer.
IMPORTANT: When using a stencil
burner, make sure you use stencil
8/10/2017 12:49 AM
“These are a few of my favourite things” – this photo (photo 10)
is one of hundreds I’ve taken in Queen’s Park Toowoomba during
Carnival of Flowers. These are truly a wonderful source of inspiration
for one (like me) who sadly lacks the skills and confidence to draw.
The tulip design was drawn as for the rose, then the shapes
rearranged a little to form the final ‘picture’. To create a multicoloured design, I have made the stencil in three parts, so each
section can be painted separately. Continuous lines show the areas
that will be cut out. Dotted lines allow the sections to be matched up
for the completed project. If you have any ‘oopses’ when tracing your
designs with the marking pens, use a cotton bud dipped in Isocol or
similar alcohol-based solvent to rub away the unwanted lines.
Tulip Time Design (photo 11), from my design book, Fantasies
and Favourites, was originally created for traditional silk painting,
but is now taking on a whole new life. These are simple lines, so
they have been traced directly onto the stencil sheets (photo 12)
sheeting that does not emit toxic fumes
when heated. A sheet of glass under your
work will prevent damaging your table
surface. I have bound the edge of my glass
with masking tape so it is easy to see on
the table. The white paper under my work
allows me to see my design lines better.
Photo 9 shows the completed stencil.
EM32_P12-15_AnneMitchell.indd 15
The design is cut, ready for painting (photo 13). Consider keeping
the cut-out shapes, as they are handy for tracing to form mosaic
designs, or to use in heliography (sun printing) techniques when
creating your own unique hand-coloured fabrics.
The dotted sections marked on the stencil sheets allow accurate
matching of the three parts to complete the design. The stencil to
be painted is still in place in photo 14, and the completed design in
detail is shown in photo 15.
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:49 AM
Resurrecting a
Dyeing Form
On a recent mission to source the softest
eco-friendly cotton fabrics for children, I was
intrigued when I realised how many people
were trying to connect back to a forgotten
past—an era of traditional art forms and
techniques—trying to find a common ground
between tradition and industrial modernity;
looking for ways to revive traditions to
design for new and emerging markets.
There could be a myriad of reasons why
these practices are being sought out, but it
appears that these endeavours are shaped
by perspectives that evolve from identity
and culture. So, when I discovered the art
of ‘Kalamkari’ or ‘qalamkari’ during my
quest, I was in awe when I learnt that the
fabrication process dated back to the 18th
century; a process that transported one to
the very basics of surviving—sustainability
and nature.
Based on one dominant principle, sustainability
is built on the premise that everything we
need to survive depends on our natural
environment. Sustainability is the creation of
conditions under which humans and nature
can co-exist in perfect harmony to support
current generations and those to come. What
is astounding is discovering that fabric creation
of ancient times can be a sustainable business
practice. Economic structures and policies
can dictate the context of sustainability, but
it is the individual business operation that
will determine the impact of amount and
materials for use and waste.
Issue No 32
Em32_P16-17_Resurrecting.indd 16
‘Kalamkari’ is a type of hand-painted or
block-printed cotton textile, most commonly
found in parts of India and Iran. The name
is derived from Persian origins and literally
means ‘pen (kalam) craftsmanship or
art’ (kari), or more simply, just ‘drawing
with a pen’. Although folklores tell us that
Kalamkari was part of Persian history, the
textile became a flourished item in the
commercial capital of the Golconda state,
Masulipatnam, Andra Pradesh (more often
known as Machillapatnam in present days),
where it is still a much-celebrated art form
practiced in commercial trade.
While sustainability is often a term
synonymously used with environmental
or eco-friendly factors, Kalamkari
textiles give equal importance to social
and economic dimensions as well. As
Kalamkari is an art form that has been
passed down generation after generation,
it is not a trade that can be mass produced
in sweat shops. Special skilled artisans
work in small commission-based studios
and often these textiles warrant fair
trade wages, given the intensity of the
fabrication process. Retail stores wanting
to carry these textiles pay a premium
price for these fabrics, which is usually
shared between the communities to assist
families with basic needs such as childcare,
education and food.
The art form is derived from two
distinctive styles—the Srikalahasti style
and the Machilipatnam style. The more
laborious and time consuming is the
Srikalahasti style, where the ‘kalam’ is
used for freehand drawing. The ‘kalam’ is
literally just a bamboo stick pointed at one
end for drawing and thick at the other. The
pointed end is dipped into natural dyes
and painted onto the fabric, depending on
the patterns and designs. The designs are
heavily inspired by religious undertones,
8/10/2017 12:45 AM
depicting mythological figures from folklores like the
Mahabaratha and Ramayanam.
The Machillapatman style utilises block printing where carved
wooden blocks are dipped in natural dyes and stamped onto
the fabric in a repetitive fashion. No matter the style, only
organic vegetable or natural dyes are used in Kalamkari and the
fabrication from start to finish involves 17 painstaking steps.
Interestingly, Kalamkari textiles were also used in barter trade
in exchange of spices during ancient times.
Kapur, Harita and Mittar, Suruchi, International Journal of
Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 10, October
2014, pg 1
Carter, Amber: A taste for sustainable fashion in India, 23 March
2013, accessed 29 June 2017, http://source.ethicalfashionforum.
The dyes for the fabric are extracted from various natural
sources such as leaves, mineral salts, tin, copper, iron and alum.
The colours are derived from cow dung, seeds, plants, and
crushed flowers. The fabric is stiffened and prepped by seeping
it in buffalo milk mixed with myrobalan. Myrobalan refers to the
dried plum-like fruits borne by the Phyllanthus species and is a
commonly used for dyeing, tanning and making ink. Benefits of
using myrobalan include removing the pungent smell of buffalo
milk, plus it acts as a mordant, easily fixing the dye onto the
fabric while treating it.
Vintage crafts are the second-largest source of employment
in India.1 The Crafts Council of India estimates approximately
200 million workers in the handicraft industry, making India
potentially one of the very few countries, if not the only one, to
be the hub of ethical fashion, with its preservation of traditional
dyeing, weaving and stitching.2
Modern trends, however, have paved the way for discriminatory
thoughts where it is often believed that if ideas and ways cannot
mimic the West, then these ‘ethnically local’ products are
somehow inferior in quality in comparison to mass-produced
products. This perception is slowly changing, with western
brands themselves starting to source for traditional, fair trade
and socially conscious products, and trying to revive the basis
of ethical fashion. It is my hope that the wonders of Kalamkari
will gain more international recognition. The textile is a true
reflection of sustainability, as the craft is solely dependent on
the usage of natural dyes—an ode to Mother Earth. A beautiful
art form that has been passed from generation to generation,
the style is an epitome of nature and purity.
Em32_P16-17_Resurrecting.indd 17
Vintage | Heirloom | Slow Fashion
8/10/2017 12:46 AM
Sustainable Couture, Alice Springs
If you are a textile and fibre fiend like I am, there’s no
better time to go to Alice Springs than in late June, in
time for the Sustainable Couture fashion parade…and
the Beanie Festival—one of the most weird and wild
events in Australia. Every year, for four frenetic days,
you can see literally thousands of examples of knitted,
felted and crocheted crazy headgear in exhibition and
on sale. On my last visit, I bought far too many, as usual,
some of which now adorn my daughter Aisha and her
family. But, the Beanie Festival is another story…
Sustainable Couture is a similarly iconic ‘Alice Springs
Paper jacket by Amee.
Photo: Ken Johnson
style’ event. It is quintessentially Alician: an original
idea based on local ingenuity, brought together on
a shoestring budget in a seemingly haphazard way,
by energetic volunteers, and with a quirky twist. We
all love “stylin’ up” and in true ‘Alice Springs style’
Sustainable Couture is eccentrically classy…and heaps
of fun! It even takes place in an unconventional venue,
the Central Australian Aviation Museum—not your
usual spot for a fashion parade, but that’s what adds
that different twist so redolent of Alice Springs!
And it is a Fashion parade, not a Wearable Art spectacle
(though Alice has one of those too, in November).
‘Couture’ is a carefully considered part of the title:
entrants are encouraged to refashion existing pieces
into garments that can be worn in everyday life—an
outfit, not a costume:
“By creating one-off, edgy fashion designs, accessories
and homewares, the designers focus community
attention on sustainability through the endless
possibilities of recycling and reducing textile waste.”
Of course, some of us do come close to being a bit
‘out there’. We can make things which are a tad
unexpected, out of surprising materials that come
together and look amazing! Paper clothing is a case in
point, made by Amee Porter using spinifex and other
grasses she finds on Curtin Springs, the million-acre
cattle station where she lives.
Franca (third from left) and models on runway. Photo: Reg Hatch
Issue No 32
EM32_P18-22_Sustainable Couture.indd 18
The Sustainable Couture event was started by two
women, and a blanket. In the Alice Springs Wearable
8/10/2017 12:44 AM
Cameron, Indi and Aisha wearing their new
beanies. Photo: Liz Wauchope
Philomena’s tunics
Photo: Ken Johnson
Carmel’s three outfits
Photo: Ken Johnson
Arts Awards in 2008, Franca Frederiksen created a stylish
outfit from an old grey blanket, which sold before the show.
From this serendipitous start, Franca and Philomena Hali
decided to develop a showcase for their growing interest in
upcycling unwanted materials and clothes into something
new and wearable. Franca became immersed in the creative
challenge of experimenting with woollen blankets and other
household items, and refashioning them into haute couture.
Phil, internationally famous for her outstanding shibori work,
began “performing fashion surgery” on discarded garments
and fabrics. Old hands at organising events, the two teamed
up to present the first Sustainable Couture, and it has been an
annual event ever since.
Over the years, designers have come and gone, as people tend
to do in Alice Springs, but Franca and Phil remain the vital
drivers behind the show. They have been joined by Margaret
Johnson and Carmel Ryan as movers and shakers. As well as
being gifted designers and makers, they have helped in the
hard work of getting the show together each year.
Three-time recipient of a NT Wearable Works of Art award,
Franca has also produced her own fashion label. She is
passionate about fashioning chic garments from recycled,
and sometimes quite unexpected fabrics and objects—
including tyre inner-tubes in the past. Her works are always
characterised by good taste and elegance, no matter what they
are made from.
A practising textile and fibre artist in the NT for the past
30 years, Phil’s work has been acquired by museums and
galleries, and is held in private collections across Australia
and overseas. She also delivers workshops to young people,
Indigenous communities, and to fibre and textile artists at
national forums throughout Australia. She believes every item
of clothing has the potential to be revamped and reused. This
year she has “actually taken a lot of clothes apart and re-jigged
them in lots of different pieces to make tunics”.
EM32_P18-22_Sustainable Couture.indd 19
Marg (second from left) with her models. Photo: Ken Johnson
Margaret’s passion for the hand-made came from many childhood
hours spent with her talented mother and grandmother, as they
sewed, crocheted, embroidered, introducing her to repairing
fabrics to give them a new life. Drawing on this influence, and the
magic of op shop finds, she continues this family crafting tradition,
transforming textiles into one-off, sustainable and fun garments,
headwear and accessories. Marg’s work this year reflects a 1960s
feel: I particularly like the Mary Quant reference, having dressed
myself in similar style way back then.
Carmel Ryan is another Alice Springs designer / textile artist with
many years practice in fashion design, dressmaking and creating
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:44 AM
Boro inspired denim, modelled at Vatu Sanctuary. Photo: Liz Wauchope
costumes for stage and theatre. She
is a regular participant in Sustainable
Couture, and a multi-award winner of
the Alice Springs Wearable Art Awards.
She is committed to recycling and to the
event, which she sees as “a wonderful
vehicle to create new one-off avantgarde creations from old finds”. Carmel’s
preferred materials include vintage cloth,
laces & needlework that already have a
story of their own. She turns them into
extravagant and eye-catching dress ups.
Brigida and Amanda, and their students,
have also taken part in fashion shows all
around Australia. This year they were my
students in one of the seven workshops
I taught at Central Craft (yes, seven: I am
mad!) and you can see some of the devoré
work they learned, in the sleeve of the
blue dress in the photo.
Since then, the duo has been multiple
winners of the NT Wearable Art Awards
and in the top 10 in the Emirates
Melbourne Cup Fashions in the Field.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join
Sustainable Couture last year, through my
long-term friend Julie Millerick, a local
stalwart of the parade for many years. In
The fashion partnership of Brigida
Stewart and Amanda McMillan was born
in 2012 in the creation of a collection
to celebrate the opening of the new
Batchelor Institute Art Studio at the
Desert Peoples’ Centre in Alice Springs,
where they teach fabric design to mainly
Indigenous students.
Family photo: Maggie, Tari and Renata.
Photo: Ken Johnson
Issue No 32
EM32_P18-22_Sustainable Couture.indd 20
Always dabbling in various art forms,
Amee Porter has only recently found her
calling as a paper maker and jewellery
maker, after coming home to Central
Australia and the country that offers
endless inspiration. She is loving creating
pieces of jewellery out of her native
grasses paper, and other materials and
objects found lying around the cattle
station. Since joining Sustainable Couture,
she has extended her art into distinctive
paper clothing.
8/10/2017 12:44 AM
Franca’s models are wearing Harriet’s
necklaces. Photo: Ken Johnson
Maryanne’s flowing tops.
Photo: Ken Johnson
Amee (third from left) with her models,
including her daughter. Photo: Ken Johnson
Kate (middle) with two of her models, on the runway.
Photo: Reg Hatch
2016, I had a great time with my friend and sewing partner, Naina
Devi, making a range of outfits and accessories from old neckties.
Naina studied fashion design and construction in India, where
she lived until coming to Australia several years ago. She brings
the technical and fashion design expertise and imagination to
our collaborations. I screen printed my own designs over the top
of polyester ties, the silk ones we took apart and overdyed with
indigo, and Naina worked her magic transforming them into a new
This year, Naina and I were inspired by Boro, the Japanese art of
VISIBLE mending, which makes a virtue of the damage of holes,
the patches used to fill them and the stitches used to bind them
back together. In honour of the indigo cotton used in the Japanese
versions, we used old denim, mainly jeans, but also jackets, skirts
and other clothes. Some was discharge printed with my screen
prints. I even got a needle and thread in hand for about the first time
in my life, and embellished with red sashiko stitching. The project in
this issue shows you how to do my favourite: a slashed jacket.
2017 saw the advent of other designers who don’t live in the
Centre. Kate Fletcher, from Tasmania, came up to Alice to be part
of the event, which may become a requirement for interstate
designers in future. For Kate, slow clothing is about finding
EM32_P18-22_Sustainable Couture.indd 21
Brigida and Amanda’s work. Photo: Ken Johnson
styles you love and reinventing them. “My mum grew up in
the Depression and she always made everything when we
were children. Things were reused, shirt collars were turned.
Recycling and up-cycling were not trendy; they were just what
you did.” Kate’s work featured old sheets, tablecloths and other
manchester items, and were very popular with customers.
Sally Hare, of Happy Hare, uses natural fibres such as
cotton, linen, silk, and wool to make one-off items that are
designed to bring brightness and colour into women’s lives.
She incorporates a multitude of techniques in her clothing,
including nuno felting.
Maryanne Munteanu’s label ‘Gathered Pieces’ has become
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:44 AM
Sally Hare’s colourful clothing.
Photo: Ken Johnson
a contemporary design studio where
the creative process begins by draping
recycled natural fibre fabrics, combined
with machine knitted samples. The
resultant pieces have a lovely flow to them.
By day, Harriet Jakins blends right in with
the heels and pearls ‘ladies who lunch’
in Brisbane’s western suburbs, but at
night you’re more likely to find her at the
rear of the local bicycle and motorbike
repair shops, fossicking through their
dumpsters for discarded rubber for her
range of fashion accessories.
Each year, the parade is followed by
a marketplace outside the Aviation
Museum on the night. Then there is a
ten day ‘pop up’ shop selling the outfits
that were paraded, together with a raft of
other pieces made by the designers. This
year it was in The Residency, a beautiful
heritage building in old Alice style that
perfectly suited the theme of “Refashion
with Our Mama’s Passion.”
I wonder what the theme will be next year.
Naina and I are already exploring ideas of
what to make…One thing is for sure, we
will get the gorgeous young Sophie, and my
three generations of family friends Maggie,
her daughter, and her granddaughter to
model for me again. They did a splendid job
this year of showing off what I think is our
best work yet.
Above: Naina
silk tie dress,
indigo dyed
and screen
Photo: Liz
Many of the garments and matching
accessories will be for sale in T’Arts
Collective in Adelaide from October, so go
check them out...
Photo: Alli
Check out our new blog at for more great photos!
Issue No 32
EM32_P18-22_Sustainable Couture.indd 22
8/10/2017 12:44 AM
willbenoti iedby
Do you have a product or an exhibition our
readers would love to know about?
Advрtise Hрe
Embellish32_ADS.indd 23
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 10:20 PM
Slashing Denim
Naina Devi and I spent three months
preparing work for the Sustainable
Couture parade in Alice Springs
this year. We made a lot of quite
spectacular outfits and accessories,
even if I do say so myself. But, our
favourites are the denim jackets
where we have taken the scissors to
them, gashed them unmercifully, and
let colourful silk scraps spill out. To
make matters even more interesting,
Issue No 32
EM32_P24-26_SlashingDenim.indd 24
I have then sewn open the wounds
to expose the vivid silk layers, and
embellished with a rough and ready
red sashiko stitching.
Iron all your scraps so they are
nice and flat and ready to sandwich
between layers (photo 1). On the
denim jacket, measure the areas
where you want to slash (photo 2).
We did the main back panel, and
two front areas. Cut the lining fabric
to cover the areas measured, plus a
seam allowance (photo 3).
I found it more pleasing, and easier
to slash, having a baseline of a
recognisable painted silk fabric (or
whatever scraps you are using) to cut
back to, rather than having the black
lining as the bottom-most layer. You
can just go straight to attaching all
the scraps haphazardly to the black
8/10/2017 12:41 AM
Denim Jacket;
Fabric scraps (we used leftover
pieces of painted silks);
Backing fabric (we used black
cotton lawn);
Fusible webbing;
Sewing machine and strong
Sashiko thread (or stranded
embroidery thread);
Sashiko needle (or other long
embroidery needle);
Fabric cutting scissors;
Small sharp scissors
(embroidery scissors are
best—must have a sharp point)
lining if you are happy to have black
as the base layer. But, if you want to
create a colourful base line, the next
three steps are the way to go.
Cut one large scrap the same size as
the lining material (photo 4).
Cut a piece of fusible webbing the
size of the two fabrics you have just
cut (lining and scrap) (photo 5).
Iron the lining and the same size
piece of scrap material together using
the fusible webbing (photo 6).
Now, stack lots of different sized and
different coloured scraps directly
onto the inside of the denim jacket,
where you have measured and plan
to slash (photo 7).
EM32_P24-26_SlashingDenim.indd 25
Sandwich at least four, and as many
as six, layers of scraps (photo 8).
Next, lay out the fused piece of scrap
and lining, on top of the layered
scraps, black lining uppermost
(photo 9). Pin the sandwich of fabrics
together to roughly hold them in
place while you sew (photo 10).
8/10/2017 12:41 AM
We used a red thread on the sewing
machine in order to make the stitching
clearly visible once you turn the
jacket over to slash. Fold the seam
allowance over as you sew the lining
over the sandwiched scraps, attaching
the edges to the back of the denim
jacket (photo 11). The attached fabric
sandwich remains pinned in place
once sewn (photo 12).
Sew diagonal lines to hold all the
layers in place (photo 13 inside,
photo 14 outside). Turn the jacket
right side out, and using very sharp,
pointed embroidery scissors, slash
though the denim and layers of
scraps, being careful not to cut
through the base layer (photo 15).
Have fun using sashiko or
embroidery thread to sew the slashes
open in a random way (photo 16).
You can then embellish further, using
the Sashiko or embroidery threads
to stitch designs into the areas of the
jacket that have not been slashed
(photo 17—a child’s jacket).
Issue No 32
EM32_P24-26_SlashingDenim.indd 26
8/10/2017 12:41 AM
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therefore, you can tear away
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can be purchased on their own, or in a pack with five A4
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No matter what you call it, it’s great for
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Issue No 32
8/10/2017 10:21 PM
Postcard Swap
The subject of India was quite an inspiration
for our participants, as you can see from this
sample. All the postcards received are up on
our Facebook page from early December in
an album for you to view and vote for your
favourite. The postcard with the most “likes”
at midnight on 31/12/17 will win $100.00 to
spend with one of our advertisers in this issue
of Embellish—so please vote for your favourite!
In the next issue of Embellish we will showcase
the Leaves Postcard Swap. If you are interested
in contributing to the swaps, please refer to my
Editor’s Notes for more information, or drop me
an email at
Beth Annett (VIC)
India’s Gift: The artists of
India took polished stones,
wrapped fibres in metallic
material and used plain metal
discs to create something
wonderful. The western
world looked to the Indian
subcontinent as a source
of inspiration and supply.
Embroiderers use this
diversity today to celebrate
the joy of stitching unique
pieces that capture sunlight
and bring colour into our lives.
The shapes found in Indian
needlework lend themselves
easily to freeform expression.
And the sense of bling...!
EM32_P28-29_Poscard Swap.indd 28
Ellen Tyler (New Zealand)
My piece was made on a piece of white fabric. I took my
inspiration from a book I bought a few years ago with Zen
tangle images and wanted to make a large elephant, but have
not as yet done that. I decided to do this piece as “India” was
a good title and elephants are part of Indian culture—thus an
elephant. I cut the elephant and leaves out of hand dyed muslin
and stitched these on. I also covered the elephant with glitter
tulle to trap leaves and embellished it with stitching, felt leaves,
beads, sequins. I enjoyed the process and like the results.
Beverly Freeman
8/10/2017 11:14 AM
Anne Pike (QLD)
Inspired by the lotus flower and
intricate Mehendi line work.
Quilted, machine stitched, hand
embroidered and watercolours.
Heather Frizzell (VIC)
I love the bright colours of India, so
wanted to use this with my postcard.
I have used needle felting and hand
embroidery on the elephant. Free
motion machine embroidery was used
to create a fun, textured background
for my elephant to roam through.
Joy McPadden (VIC)
I took this theme as an invitation to
create a peacock. It is silk painted
and free motion machine stitched.
Costume rhinestones, microbeads,
pieces of sequin and superfine
glitter have been glued on. Machine
appliquéd hand cut lettering and
glitter ribbon complete the design.
EM32_P28-29_Poscard Swap.indd 29
8/10/2017 11:14 AM
Central Star Motif
Contemporary Gilaf
Envelope Style Purse
EM32_P30-32_Gilaf.indd 30
8/10/2017 3:47 PM
30x30cm ecru nuno-woollen felt, woollen felt or woven woollen
fabric (needs to be firm but not too thick);
30x30cm fine cotton or silk for lining;
Two colour groups of thread i.e. orange and pink. This can include
light to dark within a particular colour range. Variegated thread
works well. You may wish to dye your own! Thread can be stranded,
perle cotton, silk, rayon, light wool. Check colours found in Indian
Ecru thread. See types above;
4 shisha mirrors. If these are not available, a coin works well;
3 beads or groups of beads threaded through a tassel;
Darning needle;
Usual sewing tools including tacking thread
Diagram 2
Trace the central star motif onto
tracing paper. Cut and fold each
section of the star (solid lines only),
enabling you to tack the outline of
the star onto your fabric, placing the
centre of the star onto the centre of
your fabric.
Using the dotted lines as your
guide (these show the centre of
each diamond), begin at one side of
each diamond and running stitch
to the other side with one of your
colourways, using 7 or 8
running stitches showing on your
fabric. Let the stitches vary in length.
Continue your running stitch back
and forth across the first half of the
diamond using the first colourway.
Your stitches will follow the stitch in
the row before it, until they come to
the edge of the diamond. Each row of
stitches getting shorter (Diagram 1).
Using the second colourway, begin at
the centre of the diamond as you did
before, and work the other side of
the diamond. Let the running stitches
at the edge of each diamond join the
stitches from the diamond next to it.
Alternate your groups of colourways
and continue working the central
motif in this way.
Tack a 1cm border around the central
EM32_P30-32_Gilaf.indd 31
motif. Work 3 rows of even running
stitches in a ‘staggered’ pattern
(Diagram 2A) leaving the corner free
of stitching. Weave ecru thread or
coloured if desired, through these
running stitches working left (L) to
right (R.) (Diagram 2B) then R to L to
form a diamond (Diagram 2C)
Diagram 4
Diagram 3
Trees: Each tree begins with 3
running stitches and measures
approximately 2cm with 0.5cm
between trees. Decide how many
trees you will work on each side.
Place the required number of
running stitches along each side
of the border. Begin working the
‘trees’. Change your thread between
the two colourways as desired. Let
your stitches bend and sway. After
approximately 1cm of stitches, join
3 stitches into 2 and continue for
approximately 1cm, then join these 2
stitches into 1 stitch.
Introduce another stitch between
the ‘trees’. Let the introduced stitch
increase in size, this will become a
‘hut’ between the ‘trees’. Your ‘tree’
border will measure approximately
3cm (Diagram3).
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 3:47 PM
On the corners between the ‘trees’,
a shisha mirror is sewn onto each
corner. Using a grid of thread to
hold the shisha in place, follow the
sequence of stitching in alphabetical
order (Diagrams 4A & 4B). The grid
is embroidered with a buttonhole
stitch, making sure that the
buttonhole stitch catches each thread
of the grid in front of it as you are
working around the shisha (Diagram
4C) and catching the fabric outside
the edge of the shisha.
sure the seam of the lining is just in
from the edge of the Gilaf. Slip stitch
together. Fold 3 corners of the square,
right side showing, to the centre of
the envelope (Diagram 5) and use a
buttonhole insertion stitch (Diagram
5A) to join the lower corners of
the ‘envelope’ together. Buttonhole
stitch around the 4th corner of the
envelope and attach a cord to the
top of the ‘envelope’. Add 3 beaded
tassels (see photo of the back)—one
to the centre of the ‘envelope’ and
one to each bottom corner.
Turn, pin and tack the seams of the
purse and the lining together, making
Shrikant, Usha.
Ethnic Embroidery of India.
Reprinted 2000, Honesty Publishers,
Mumbai, India.
Mark a square 1.5cm from the outer
edge of your embroidery using pins
followed by a tacking thread. Add
6mm seams on each side of the
square. Trim the purse’s square and
trace this shape for your lining.
Diagram 5
Zaman, Niaz.
The Art of Kantha Embroidery.
Reprinted 2004, University Press Ltd.
Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Surface Design
Innovation in Fiber, Art, & Design
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EM32_P30-32_Gilaf.indd 32
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 3:48 PM
(Photographs by Sue Dennis & Bob Dennis)
India Textile Book
EM32_P33-35_IndiaBook.indd 33
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:36 AM
These requirements are general in nature as
supplies available will vary from person to
Fabric (cotton or silk)—it may be blockprinted in the country, or you may have
added your own fabric rubbings, sketches or
Plain backing fabric (acts as stabiliser for
Scissors, pins, tape measure;
Hand sewing supplies;
Stranded embroidery thread or perle thread;
Beaded motifs, beads, braids, sari ribbon,
clothing labels—whatever tells the story;
5cm [2”] alphabet stencil;
Pigma Micron archival ink pen 08 or pencil;
Fabric paint, small paint brush;
Sewing machine;
Threads for machine stitching;
Iron and ironing board;
Craft apron (optional)
EM32_P33-35_IndiaBook.indd 34
Exotic India, a land of colourful silk
saris, Bollywood glitter and centuries
of tradition and history. It is an
intoxicating mix, and as a textile
lover, I collected alluring fabrics,
beaded motifs, braids and tribal
embroidery off-cuts.
When I returned from my holiday
I had a good collection of items,
but what should I do with them?
Instead of putting them into a box
and forgetting about them, the idea
of a fold-out textile book seemed
like a good way of preserving and
displaying my holiday collection.
Dimensions of finished project:
91cm wide x 26cm long
(35.5in x 10in) approximately
8/10/2017 12:37 AM
The measurement I have used for
my pages is 26cm long x 13cm wide
(5” x 10”). You may like to vary this
size to suit your own requirements.
Pin a fabric page to a piece of
backing fabric for stability while
embroidering (photo 2).
HINT - the designs you see on my
pages are made using the frottage
technique. First place the fabric on
a textured surface then rub over the
fabric with an oil paint stick. You will
have a record of the textured surface.
Press according to manufacturer’s
instructions to set the oil sticks.
Position your trims, labels or beaded
motifs on your page and stitch to secure,
leaving enough space on the edges for
later machine stitching (photo 3).
I mainly used 2 or 3 strands of
embroidery thread for stitching. The
stitches I used were running stitch,
chain, feather and back stitch. I made
eight embroidered pages and have
four plain printed-fabric pages. These
add a nice contrast to the highly
embellished ones.
On my title page, I used the black
Pigma Micron pen to outline the letters
from a commercial stencil (photos
4 & 5). I painted using fabric paint,
outlining with straight stitch (photo 6).
Cut the braid into two strips, each
50cm (20in) long (photo 7). Using
your sewing machine, stitch the
selected braid, back-to-back. For
variety, I made two sets of hinges
with different braids (photo 8). Cut
ten 7cm (2.5in) lengths.
Once my pages were finished,
I assembled them in a pleasing
sequence with a 4cm (1.5in) gap
between (photo 9). Pin the hinge
between the front and back pages,
leaving a 5cm (2in) margin at the
top and bottom (photo 10). Machine
stitch around the entire page.
Use a narrow width and short stitch
length zigzag to secure the hinge in
EM32_P33-35_IndiaBook.indd 35
place and complete the page front
and back. You may like to hand stitch
round the edge later or leave the
edges raw (photos 11 & 12).
The book can easily be concertina
folded or opened out and displayed
either side (Page 33). Photo 13 shows
the cover, while photo 14 is the last
Sue may be contacted via:
See more of her quilts at:
8/10/2017 12:37 AM
Portugese Cockeral challenge - Sue Duffy
The Reddy Arts Textile Group
Reddy Arts Textile Group (RATG)
has been operating since 2005
and consists of 13 women, 11 of
whom meet monthly at the Redcliffe
Cultural Centre, with 2 members
residing interstate and overseas.
Formed originally by Helen Forrest
and a few like-minded friends
who started exploring textile art
techniques, the group evolved over
the years. In 2010, they held their first
joint exhibition and have exhibited as
a group several times since then. Their
eclectic mix of creative textile art in
both 2D and 3D formats have made
for fun and interesting exhibitions.
Some of the local members are regular
award winners, with several members
exhibiting works overseas. The whole
group celebrates each individual
Because of their common interest in
their love of textiles, each member
brings her own personal style and
preferred medium, which vary from
felting, shibori, eco dyeing, fabric
Issue No 32
EM32_P36-37_ReddyArts.indd 36
printing, beading, cord making,
pictorial and abstract quilting,
mixed media textile art, and 3D
artefacts. The group’s motto is to
share ideas and resources, and they
encourage and assist one other in the
ongoing development of skills and
interpretation of new techniques.
To push the boundaries, members
hold yearly group challenges
which can take 12–18 months to
complete. This may be collaborative,
or not, with the most recent group
challenge requiring each participant
to develop a piece of textile art from
a 60cm square white bedsheet, in
which the use of commercial fabrics
was forbidden. Apart from that
restriction, any media and techniques
may be used.
This challenge hopes to push
the members to develop diverse
techniques and will feature in
the RATG March 2018 exhibition
From Raw Beginnings at the
Redcliffe Cultural Centre. The 2016
group challenge was the Brisbane
Cityscape—a 2.5m wide by 1m high
collaborative collection of 10 quirky
shapes fitting together. These shapes
were randomly selected by number
by each member who then chose a
feature of Brisbane city to translate
into textile art. Another challenge,
Dynamic Directions, began with
an A2 size piece of commercial
fabric, and was completed over 6
months. Each month, a technique was
randomly selected from a collection
of suggestions, and applied to the
commercial fabric.
RATG is an actively exhibiting group,
recently showing their latest work
Talking Points, at the Pine Rivers Art
Contributing artists:
Kim Boland, Helen Forrest, Jill
Burgess, Kay Haerland, Alison
Charlton, Jan Hutchison, Donna
Davis, Ryllis Robertson, Sue Duffy,
Alex Stogdale, Diane Flint, Kate
Watson, Brenda Wood.
8/10/2017 12:35 AM
Brisbane Cityscape Group Challenge
Dynamic Directions (detail) - Diane Flint
Bed Sheet challenge (detail) - Jan Hutchison
Brisbane Cityscape (detail) - Helen Forrest
Machinations of the City - Donna Davis
EM32_P36-37_ReddyArts.indd 37
8/10/2017 12:35 AM
The World at their
From traditional traders to
It is a long way from the dust and
quiet of small villages and back roads
of Kutch to the buzzing flamboyance
of the 2017 International Folk Art
Market in Santa Fe, but the artisans
who represented their district took it
all in their stride.
We are proud of them all—Namanen
Bijal and Punit Soni representing the
embroiderers of QASAB; brothers
Sufiyan and Juned Ismail Khatri with
Ajrakh (fabric printing), Abdullah and
Jabbar Khatri and Aziz Khatri with
Bandhani (tie-dyed textiles); Dahyalal
Issue No 32
EM32_P38-40_Carole Douglas.indd 38
Kudecha with weaving and Ala Deva
Harijan, leatherwork. A bonus was
the presence of the multi- talented
Asif Shaikh from Ahmedabad, who
spends much of his time in Kutch
collaborating with traditional
artisans. It is also a long span of
time from the humble beginnings
of these artisans who, from an early
age, began learning their crafts at the
hands of their mothers or fathers,
to their current positions in the
international market place.
Sufiyan and Juned Khatris’ ancestors
migrated from Sindh (now Pakistan)
to Kutch almost five hundred years
ago at the behest of the king, to
supply printed and tie-dyed cloth to
the royal court. They also supplied
local communities such as Jat camel
Historically, their cloth was sold to
the court and traded with the herders
using a system of honour. Sometimes
animals were given in exchange and
in times of hardship the debts were
held over for long periods of time.
“They were always honoured,” their
father recalls, “but later the cash
economy changed all of that.”
8/10/2017 12:33 AM
Jabbar and Abdullah
Traditional Rabari shawl
and turban
international entrepreneurs
With changes in trading systems,
technology and market forces, the
favoured Ajrakh slowly lost favour
over the generations. Replaced
by cheaper machine-printed
and synthetically dyed replicas,
these days it is barely worn in
Kutch. However, these new, tenth
generation, practitioners are at
the leading edge of change and it
is Sufiyan’s dream to supply the
new generation of herders with
contemporary Ajrakh shawls.
Taught by their father, Dr Ismail
Mohmed Khatri, in the traditional
EM32_P38-40_Carole Douglas.indd 39
method of resist printing using
pastes made up of clay, lime and
various mordants depending on
the colour required, the brothers
focus their efforts on maintaining
their grandfather Siddique Mohmed
Khatri’s revival of natural dyes.
In the 1960s these were mainly
madder, indigo and iron black. Later,
pomegranate and turmeric extended
the palette, yielding yellows and
making green possible by overdyeing
Sufiyan and Juned now work at the
frontier of sustainable production,
actively promoting the use of organic,
hand-woven fibres, natural dyes
and upholding high environmental
ideals. The wastewater from their
workshops is treated in a state-ofthe-art biofiltration system that
makes the water suitable for reuse or
Bandhani, fine tie and dye, also
arrived in Kutch from Sindh about
five hundred years ago, and again
with the Khatris—the community of
dyers. It is claimed by artisans that
it is Bandhani that decorates the
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:33 AM
Four generations
clothing depicted on the walls of the
Ajanta Caves. This may mean that this
is a 2000-year-old technique.
Kutch master artisan, Ali Mohmed
Isha, tells a simple folk tale explaining
the origins of Bandhani. According to
his source, a simple farmer, who also
dyed cloth, gave succour to a passing
pilgrim. He gave him food and shelter
for the night and the next day when
the traveller thanked him he said he
had left a gift. When the farmer began
his daily dyeing task he was annoyed
to find a knot tied in the corner of
one of the dyed pieces. He quickly
untied it and lo and behold there
was a perfect white circle left in its
place. Thus Bandhani—based on the
Sanskrit word for tying—was gifted
in gratitude for generosity.
Today, the work of Abdullah and
Jabbar Khatri of Bhuj, and Aziz Khatri
from the outlying village of Bhadli, is
an exquisite extension of the coarser
traditional Bandhani worn by various
communities throughout Kutch.
These contemporary artisans have
taken the technique and utilised
it on the finest silk, woollen and
cotton cloth. They create designs that
incorporate thousands of minute
Issue No 32
EM32_P38-40_Carole Douglas.indd 40
Ajanta Caves above and left
knots and their expertise with both
natural and acid dyes allows them
unlimited colour combinations.
The artisans have also combined
clamp-resist dyeing techniques
with traditional Bandhani to create
dramatic designs. There is no
seeming end to their experimentation
and search for knowledge.
The woven cloth of Dahyalal
Atmaram Kudecha of Bhujodi is
rooted in relationships that date
back several hundred years. Rabari
shepherds, who lived in a separate
quarter of Bhujodi, gave the weavers
wool to be woven into shawls and
blankets. In return, the Rabari gave
them surplus wool. This system of
exchange influenced the current
weaving style of Kutch and Dahyalal’s
contemporised textile patterns have
symbolic meaning rooted in his
Although it is men who traditionally
carry out this style of weaving,
Dahyalal taught his wife and with
their son, they now weave together as
a family. He is also, along with Juned
and Aziz, a graduate of Kala Raksha
Clamp dyeing
Vidhyalaya, the unique design school
for traditional artisans.
There is no doubt that exposure to
art and design and the Internet have
quickly thrust Kutch textiles into
the 21st century and, as the world
expands for artisans through travel
and digital technology, so too do
the possibilities. Innovation drives
the new generation and with their
work on fashion catwalks, on the
stands of the Santa Fe International
Folk Art Market and on display at
numerous international workshops
and seminars, these artisans
showcase work that merges the new
with the old, while honouring the
heritage from which they spring—
for a knot tied into cloth today only
varies in size from the knot of the
pilgrim; the mark made on cloth by
the block printer is still guided by
his ancestor’s hand and the warp
and weft of woven cloth still runs
vertically and horizontally to the
loom as it did in the beginning!
Footnote: Leatherwork and
embroidery will be followed up in a
later article.
8/10/2017 12:33 AM
Desert Traditions
where journeys into art, life and culture begin
Beyond Santa Fe - July 8th - July 29th 2018
a journey of the senses, enoy…
Santa Fe International Folk Art Market & Opera, La Guelaguetza, Casa Azul, Studio Visits, Ancient Sites
Itinerary: Taos, Santa Fe, Oaxaca, Mexico City
Timeless Traditions - Oct 21st - Nov 11th, 2018
ancient trading routes and enduring traditions
Calico Museum, Indus Valley, workshops with artisans, village vists, Diwali festival
Itinerary: Ahmedabad, Lothal, Khambat, Dasada, Kutch (all points NSEW)
Tour Details:
PO Box 152, Manly, NSW 2095ONS
Mob: + 61 438 772 795
facebook Desert Traditions
Tour Bookings:
Rob Lovell, ALUMNI TRAVEL, 2TA003088
PO Box Q597, QVB, NSW 1230
Phone: 62 2 9290 3856 or 1300 799 887
Slow Stitch
create your own patterns
with this embroidery
pattern creator
A very simple program to use, with an
almost infinite number of designs possible.
Available as a download from
Please read the system requirements to ensure it is
compatible with your computer system.
Issue No 32
Embellish32_ADS.indd 41
9/10/2017 6:36 PM
Slow Stitch with Hitomezashi
Photo 1
Did you find yourself inspired by Andrea Taylor’s
article last issue on the Slow Stitch Movement? Sitting
down with a little easy stitching certainly does slow
down your racing brain and relax you—and ending up
with a finished piece of embroidery is a bonus.
I sat down with a blank piece of beige 11 count Aida
and started stitching, using a variegated thread to
see what would happen. The stitching is Hitomezashi
(see Embellish issue 20). Essentially, it is patterns
of simple running stitch (no deep concentration
required there!) intersecting to create a pattern. I
decided to do a bit of a fade out in two directions
with the stitches and you can see the result in photo
1. There are some intentional gaps in the stitching,
with the beige component of the variegated thread
giving the illusion of further gaps where it blends in
with the background fabric.
After finishing the embroidery, I charted it out
for you to have a go at the pattern—I was not
working from a chart when I was doing the actual
embroidery. Embarrassingly, in charting it up I found
an error in the placement of two of the stitches in my
original embroidery (perhaps you will find them).
Chart 1 shows the pattern of stitching I began with,
starting my stitching from the right hand upper
Issue No 32
EM32_P42-43_Stitches.indd 42
corner so that it was easy to keep track of the
pattern of starting a line with a stitch or with
a space. Chart 2 shows the pattern of stitching
done at right angles to the first, again starting in
the right hand upper corner to keep track of the
pattern. Chart 3 shows the two together.
Playing with the variegated thread had me
wondering what it would look like changing a
thread colour part way into a design. Photo 2
shows the result—using white 11 count Aida. I
changed from dark pink to a lighter pink to a pale
pink. Within this embroidered piece, you may
notice that I also changed my pattern part way
through and then back to the original. It was an
interesting effect.
For my black Hitomezashi on white 11 count Aida
(photo 3) the patterns of running stitches going in
both directions were a repeat of a group of 7 rows/
columns. In chart 4 you can see the different patterns
which are repeated. I have only shown the intersection
of one repeat—from which you can see that the full
pattern which appears on the embroidery is not
created with a single repeat intersecting, but relies on
several repeats intersecting.
I really do find this stitch intriguing, watching the
often-complex patterns unfold as I stitch a simple
running stitch.
8/10/2017 3:49 PM
EM32_P42-43_Stitches.indd 43
Chart 2
Photo 3
Chart 4
Chart 3
Chart 1
Photo 2
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 3:49 PM
Art and Sew Group
The Patchworkers and Quilters Guild
of Victoria, one of the oldest guilds
in Victoria, will celebrate their 40th
year in 2018. Ever developing to
meet the needs of its members, in
recent times they have established
a dedicated core group of members
who volunteer and meet monthly on
a Sunday to guide other members in
the textile arts side of Patchwork and
Quilting. Called Art and Sew, this is
a chance to explore and awaken our
“arty side”.
Issue No 32
EM32_P44-45_ArtSewGroup.indd 44
For some, this has opened new
horizons of creativity they
never knew existed. In a relaxed
atmosphere they paint, draw, stitch,
burn, dye, felt—you name it, we
give it a go. In 2016, the results of
some of our efforts were exhibited
at Showcase Victorian Quilters Quilt
Show in a group quilts category.
Four large wall hangings were
exhibited with our members’ work
in postcard format representing the
four elements Earth, Fire, Water, Air.
We had an amazing response from
our members, with many techniques
from their Art and Sew days used in
their displayed work.
Colours of the Outback quilt: This
quilt was the first display quilt that
the Art and Sew Group completed.
Primarily, the small pieces were
completed by members who attended
Sunday get togethers, learning
different techniques each month
and then bringing them together to
complete this very colourful piece.
A very successful and enjoyable
experience for all involved.
8/10/2017 12:31 AM
EM32_P44-45_ArtSewGroup.indd 45
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:31 AM
Indian Spice Bag
Photography of finished bag:
Michael Mullan Photography
Diagram 3
EM32_P46-48_SpiceBag.indd 46
8/10/2017 12:30 AM
One each 50cm x 50cm (fat quarter)
top and lining fabric in 100% cotton;
Diagram 1 (Not to Scale)
50cm x 50cm paper for pattern;
2.5m 12mm wide bias binding;
Stranded cotton embroidery thread
(colours to tone with your top fabric);
Needle—small darning with large eye
or small chenille;
Fabric-marking pen
A decorative, creative bag for
hanging spice jars in the kitchen.
To decorate the four pockets of
the bag, many embroidery stitches
have been explored, including
chain, herringbone, blanket,
cretan, fly and running stitches in
their various forms, to decorate the
four pockets of the bag. Tassels
and cord complete the bag. This
would make a lovely present.
Diagram 2
Using Diagram 1, create a paper pattern for
the ‘cross’ and pockets.
Place the top fabric and lining with right sides together. Pin the
‘cross’ and pockets patterns to the fabric, allowing 6mm seams
around each pattern piece (photo 1). Mark your stitching line
around each pattern piece with a marking pencil, making sure you
have allowed 6mm beyond the edge of the pattern piece for your
cutting lines. Cut top fabric and lining together.
Photo 1
Machine stitch along the seam lines of the ‘cross’ and four pockets,
leaving one edge open on each shape for turning. Clip corners
(inner and outer) as shown in Diagram 2, and turn the shapes
right side out to reveal the top fabric. Press and slip stitch the
unstitched side on each shape.
Embellishment: The four squares are to be embroidered with
Tribal stitches used in Gujarat, India and will become the
pockets for your spice bag. Referring to Diagram 3 (A, B, C, D)
and my finished bag, mark the designs on your pockets with a
fabric-marking pencil, and embroider with stranded cotton in
the colours of your choice. Refer to the Stitch Guide on page 54
for instructions on the embroidery stitches.
Bind the edges of the pockets with bias binding, tacking it in
position. Oversew the top edge only of the pocket (this edge
will face the centre of the ‘cross’), using large stitches over the
EM32_P46-48_SpiceBag.indd 47
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:30 AM
binding. I chose a colour of stranded
thread which was close to the top
fabric colour. Using a different
coloured stranded thread, create a
cross-stitch by oversewing the first
stitching and bias in the opposite
direction (as seen in photo 2).
Place each pocket on the base ‘cross’,
embroidery side facing up, with their
stitched top edge to the centre, and
oversew the other three sides of each
pocket, through all layers, making
sure they are firmly attached with the
crossed stitches (photo 2).
To make the wheel in the centre
of the ‘cross’, using your marking
pencil, draw two centred concentric
Issue No 32
EM32_P46-48_SpiceBag.indd 48
circles, 7cm and 5.5cm. Buttonhole
stitch from the larger circle to the
smaller one. Create a second row
of small buttonhole stitches in the
opposite direction to the first row
in a contrasting thread. This smaller
buttonhole stitch can be threaded
through to create a circle.
Spokes can be worked from the
created circle to near the centre of
the wheel, leaving enough space for
a cord to be taken through the centre
of the bag, enabling it to be hung.
Tassels are added to each corner of
the bag.
Hang your bag in the kitchen and you
will have an attractive decoration
with your spices readily at hand.
Photo 2
More of Barbara’s work may be
seen at
8/10/2017 12:30 AM
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Showcase your publications with
eye-catching design and layout
Mishy Dee
Creative Designs
Publication design
and layout specialist
Lynda Worthington
Textile Artist
+612 66851461
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Issue No 32
8/10/2017 10:22 PM
Belonging to Sue
In each issue of Embellish
magazine we have been
featuring the work of a
selected South West Tafe
Textile student. This issue we
meet their teacher, Sue Ferrari.
For the past eight years I have been
teaching at South West TAFE in
Warrnambool. A graduate of the very
institute in which I now have the
privilege of teaching, I am trained in
a variety of visual art disciplines. I
have a Diploma of Studio Textiles and
Design and an Advanced Diploma of
Fine Art.
I am passionate about providing
students in regional, more isolated
areas, the opportunity to undertake
further study and reach their full
creative potential. I find the sharing
of skills and knowledge teaching
brings very satisfying and rewarding
in so many ways.
Currently, I specialise in teaching
textile elective units at Certificate III,
IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma
levels. Students are given the
opportunity to learn many different
Issue No 32
EM32_P50-51_SueFerrari.indd 50
Caught in the Reflection
South West TAFE Teacher:
Sue Ferrari
textile techniques during their studies,
including commercial and natural
dying, Shibori, hand and machine
stitching, felting, 3D construction
techniques and many more.
The students are guided through
their studies starting with sampling
and experimentation. They then
move on to developing bodies of
work that show each student’s
unique creative voice. Activities are
designed to encourage students to
be experimental in their approach,
developing the confidence to take
risks with their ideas and nurture
their own artistic voice, while also
engaging in collaboration and shared
In 2014, I was given the opportunity
through South West TAFE to develop
a unique visual arts course with
a strong focus on textiles in the
beautiful Otway Ranges, with the
support of the Lavers Hill Community
House and Lavers Hill P-12 College.
Now every Wednesday, like-minded
students with a strong interest in
all things textiles come together
to undertake their studies in the
classrooms of the Lavers Hill P-12
College, situated in a somewhat
isolated regional area. The school has
the wonderful vision to support 0 to
100 learning.
A number of students travel from the
wider region to attend the course.
Initially, a Certificate III in Visual
Arts (Textiles) was offered, and
now several students have chosen
to move on to study at Diploma and
Advanced Diploma levels. This is not
something I had envisioned when the
course started, but it has been such a
rewarding experience in so many ways.
Outside of my teaching commitments,
I am a professional practicing artist.
Cloth and stitch are at the centre of
my arts practice and my work spans
8/10/2017 12:28 AM
Every Drop Counts
projects in textiles, sculpture and
installation, community art projects
and collaborations.
My interest lies in examining
inherited textile traditions and
recognising the value in the rich
history of domestic crafts. Through my
work, I attempt to show the intimate
and significant role that fabric and
thread play in our lives and our
history. I endeavour to produce work
that has multiple layered meanings
drawing on both cultural and
traditional techniques and using them
EM32_P50-51_SueFerrari.indd 51
in a more contemporary context.
I am inspired by the fragility
and strength of life in its many
forms, personal experience, the
environment and the importance of
preservation, all of which I attempt to
encapsulate in my stitched, sewn and
assembled works.
In more recent work, I have been
drawing inspiration from the
picturesque fragile environment of
the south-west coast where I live. I
have been exploring the continuous
processes of change that occur from
the interaction of the wind, water
and light. They are forever shifting,
producing layers of unceasing and
infinitesimal change. In this work,
I have been exploring both the
visible and invisible forces and the
transformations they engender on
the landscape and the objects in it.
I have been experimenting with
materials that relate to the coastal
environment, such as salt and
seawater, to change the natural
qualities and colours of my chosen
Inspiration is all around us and it can
be found in so many places.
More of Sue’s work can be viewed
Instagram: sueferrariart;
Facebook page: Sue Ferrari
For more information about courses
Issue No 32
8/10/2017 12:28 AM
Beautiful Bonded Surfaces: heat treatment
techniques for textile artists
Lynda Monk
(d4daisy Books Ltd)
ISBN: 9780957441347
RRP: £14.00
In Beautiful Bonded Surfaces, the
new book by mixed media textile
artist Lynda Monk, we are treated
to lots of playing and experimenting with simple basic
materials to create a large number of different effects.
Lynda uses Tyvek in conjunction with various other
fabrics and materials, with fascinating results.
After meticulously explaining the basic technique
underlying the experiments to follow, Lynda opens the
door on a whole heap of fun. You are given permission to
try, and then see what happens as a result.
Lynda then shows a multitude of ways through which
to create a base fabric, and demonstrates how you may
add to the surface with various items such as organza,
stitching and beads, as well as creating shapes from the
base fabric for use elsewhere.
In the �inal section of the book, Lynda examines the use of
Thermofax screens and stencils in applying Xpandaprint
or puff additive, or embossing powders and foils to create
more de�initive images on your surfaces.
As with many books from d4daisy Books, there will be
extra online classes with Lynda, showing further exciting
explorations to those who have purchased this book.
The artistic style shown in this book is more freeform
than will suit some textile artists—but can be adapted
by all textile artists to suit their own style and creativity,
utilising the techniques Lynda has shown.
This book is full of inspiration—there are many photos
of resulting surfaces, as well as many photos showing
different items and artworks made with the created
surfaces. It is not a book full of projects to create. It is
a brilliant book for textile artists looking to learn more
about Tyvek and its versatility in creating textile art.
Lynda has given us the means to experiment and further
explore the medium of Tyvek.
- Lynda Worthington
Check out page 23 for information on how you can win a
copy of this wonderful book.
Fashion India
Phyllida Jay
(Thames & Hudson)
ISBN: 9780500292015
RRP: $40.00
India is set to join the world’s fashion hubs. Its unique
creative inheritance stretches back thousands of years
and has in�luenced its current fashions, as has Western
fashions. A key shift in global opinion of Indian fashion
occurred when Rahul Mishra won the International
Woolmark Prize in 2014. Many international fashion
editors found themselves caught off-guard by the diversity
of Indian fashion that Mishra’s designs pointed towards.
In this book, Phyllida Jay has brought together a broad
selection of Indian designers, and “what emerges is the
way that Indian fashion both expresses and proposes
ways of being Indian through a diverse array of design
Issue No 32
EM32_P52-53_BookReviews.indd 52
The designers are grouped together in different chapters:
1. Bollywood: luxury bridal and formal wear
2. Crafting and weaving Indian fashion
3. the whole siz yards: continuity and transformations in
the Indian sari
4. The art of Indian fahion
5. Designing the boundaries of Indian fashion
6. Generation next
9/10/2017 11:46 AM
Each of the chapters starts with a general introduction,
before showcasing a number of Indian designers. As you
read across the different chapters, you will be struck by
the great diversity shown. Phyllida Jay has included many
beautiful photographs of the textiles and garments—
also delving into what lies behind the fashions and the
This book will appeal to many different readers, including
students of fashion and design (who will �ind this an
excellent book for research), and others who just love
fashion (who will �ind this an excellent book to sit back
and enjoy).
- Elsie Law
(Editor’s Note: This book reviewed has appeared in Textile
Fibre Forum previously, but given our theme this issue, I
thought you would be interested.)
On Collecting: Documents on
Contemporary Crafts No. 4
André Gali (ed)
(Norwegian Crafts / Arnoldsche
Art Publishers)
ISBN: 9783897904934
RRP: €15.00
This is the fourth volume in the
series Documents on Contemporary
Crafts. In it, the various authors look
at collecting from public, private
and personal perspectives, with the aim to determine
how some artworks, and indeed crafts pieces, become
‘collectible’. Many of you reading this review will be
collectors of something. It may be as diverse as vintage tea
cups, cars or art posters.
Arts, discusses collectors, with particular interest in the
intermediary relations between objects and a person.
Trude Schjelderup Iversen, a curator, art theorist and
critic, looks at the becoming of a private collection.
Nanna Melland, who has over 15 years of experience as a
professional artist, discusses a motivation and model for
Peter Snare, an avid art collector with a collection
comprising more than 250 pieces of art, in an essay titled
“Turn Your Gaze: About Collecting on the Periphery”,
looks at how you may �ind your own collection when the
goalposts keep moving.
Anthony Shaw, who has been collecting art for over 40
years and who designs and makes clothes for men and
women, talks about his collection and the passion for a
collection. Paul Derrez, the driving force behind Galerie Ra
in Amsterdam, shares some thoughts on collecting.
Glenn Adamson, currently Senior Scholar at the Yale
Centre for British Art, is a curator and theorist who
works across the �ields of design, craft, and contemporary
art. His essay is the �inal one in the book. “Off the
Shelf” discusses collecting in today’s markets, and
what a collection may say about its collector, private or
- Emily Regeant
A selection of collectors, curators, artists, designers and
others has come together in this book with a series of
essays. It is not a book for the casual reader, as it is quite
heavy going at times. It is aimed, in my opinion, at the
more academic reader.
Gunnar B. Kvaran, a curator who has a PhD in the history
of art, looks at the art of collecting. Margaret Wasz, a
consultant Psychological Therapist, discusses why we
collect. Liesbeth den Besten, an independent art historian,
has a case study on “The Life of Jewellery Collections in
Museums: the Netherlands”.
Knut Ljgodt (PhD), an art historian, examines collecting
strategies, collecting for the nation, via public acquisitions
and private donations.
Yuka Oyama, an artistic research fellow at the Art and
Crafts Department at the Oslo National Academy of the
EM32_P52-53_BookReviews.indd 53
Issue No 32
9/10/2017 11:46 AM
- Stitch Guide -
3 2 7 6
needleupthroughthefabricatA. ThentaketheneedlebackthroughthefabricatBandbringitoutagainatCwiththethread
Issue No 32
EM32_P54_Stitch Guide.indd 54
8/10/2017 10:29 PM
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THANKS to the generosity of Penny Eamer we
have a set of 24 laser-printed cards to give
away (examples shown left). They are Penny’s
original designs and an eclectic mix, with images
taken from a wide range of photos, textile art,
artwork, and one or two “cute” birthday cards.
They are hand-folded and cut, and are of slightly
different sizes. All have envelopes.
To be in the running to win this set of cards, we’d
love to see photos of your own book pages, and if
you are making them into a book, the book.
Please email your photos to lynda@ with “Book
Pages” in the subject line by close of business
15th May 2018. This will give you a nice
amount of time to finish them.
Photos need to be clear, jpeg, and as large a
file size as you have them - we would like to
publish all the photos sent to us in a future
issue of Embellish!
Here are all six pages of the Flora and Fauna Book
EM32_IBC_BookCover.indd 57
8/10/2017 12:55 AM
An iconic textile art magazine!
Textile Fibre Forum takes
an in depth look at
artists, exhibitions, and
new techniques and
innovations relating to
textiles, fibres, plant
matter (including paper),
and manufactured
materials, with articles
from specialist
contributors in each
It showcases talent and
individuality, while
promoting ongong
education, galleries,
events, best practices and resources. It is not a projectdriven magazine.
Textile Fibre Forum is published each March, June,
September and December.
Subscribe via
Knit, crochet, spin, weave, felt...
Yarn began via a group of knitters at
a pub in Adelaide, SA. As Barbara
Coddington, the original editor said,
“As knitters and crafters we like to have
a yarn as much as we like to play with
the stuff, so making a magazine that is
smart and fun to read and explore
throughout – not just in the patterns
section – was essential. We
e think of it as
‘craft journalism’, rather than simply
pretty things to make (although that is
important too).”
Yarn is filled with many different
techniques of playing with yarns and fibres, as well as instructional,
inspirational and just plain fun articles.
You will find knitting, crochet, felting, spinning, weaving, travel, and
so much more in this magazine. Having begun in Adelaide, Yarn is
still an Australian magazine, created here in Australia, and read
Yarn is published in March, June, September and December each year.
Subscribe via
Vin age Made
Immerse yourself in all things
Nostalgia, iconic fashion,
exhibition reviews, recipes,
crafts, great articles and more –
all giving you that vintage
In issue 10:
Rockabilly & Rock ‘n Roll,
sewing tips from Tara Moss,
high fashion from Dior, cars
and guitars, recipes and more!
We are proud to bring you a
special full-size lift-out pattern
with detailed instructions in each
issue – this issue we have a
Rockabilly Halter Strap Dress!
Be inspired by all things Felt!
Each issue has inspiring
artist profiles, technical
articles, a gallery of
creations by different felt
artists, and great projects
and techniques for you to
Techniques include wet
felting, dry felting
(including needle felting –
by machine or hand), and
further embellishment with
embroidery, beading...
The magazine is now divided into sections to help you find exactly
what you are after more efficiently. The sections are: People and
Fashion; Lifestyle and Entertainment; Craft; Food; Technology;
Issue 18 features felt
inspired by home and
Vintage Made is published in June and December each year.
Felt is published in June and December each year.
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Subscribe via or call (03) 9888 1853
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