A Summer Garden
I made this little garden picture with sheer fabrics and stitch. When I made mine the drawing of the flowers and plants was with the sewing machine so I had to go back and make some drawings because I decided to make it into a tutorial for you all to have to create....I hope you enjoy it!
I have also included a requirement sheet PDF and Instruction sheet with step by step photo PDF and drawings included in the PDF links below.
Little Fabric Kit
I have a limited number of little fabric kits for this workshop that I set aside while making the project.
So if anyone is interested in using what I did to make my picture the little fabric kit is $38 posted in AUSTRALIA only
Please email for your kit and the details.
(apologies to my international clients its just too hard and expensive to send internationally ATM)
Please sign up for the Newsletter and any future News at
Caroline's Online Workshop...
Waterlily Magic Online Workshop
In this workshop you will make new fabrics surfaces, thread paint the designs, paint fabric, make 3D lacework and raw edge applique.
5 Units 17 lessons and 20 videos
The workshop is hosted in a closed Facebook page called Waterlily Magic Workshop by Caroline Sharkey.
The Units and Lessons here are all numbered and listed as a step by step way to do the project with plenty of videos and images to share the process.
I will also be watching and available for messages during your project to chat and encourage you all the way.
I hope you will join the group and enjoy your first experience with me here creating something beautiful and having fun...
Featured in Issue 6 of The Digital Cloth Emagazine
PROTECTIVE ART - MASKS!
This is a non-competitive Art Mask challenge called Protective Art - Masks!
The idea is for the artist and creators to put their spin on the ideas around the protective mask…. which could be a functional looking mask or a creative styled mask.
Lots of people are making masks in all shapes and sizes, colours and styles around the world so here was the chance to have some fun and put artistic creative spin on making a mask for this collection.
We have included a beautiful letter from Tracie Stewart, Tracie created a mask and told her meanings behind that creation as well as her account of these past months working on the front line during a Pandemic…. We thank you Tracie and all the amazing people out there working to keep us all safe and the country going as much as possible.
The Masks are now making their way across the country and world to assemble for an exhibition tour of Australia…. So we are hoping many of you may get to see this fabulous collection for real!
Thank you to all for the artists that supported this collection and we look forward to seeing them travel next year on Exhibition.
Sewing the Past and Present into the Mask
by Tracie Stewart
I jumped at the opportunity when asked by Caroline to create an Art-mask. I knew pretty quickly what I wanted to do and very little has changed from my original idea to finished piece.
I am a nurse and have been working as one for over 30 years. I have seen, and cared for a number of new diseases/viruses (HIV/Aids, SARS, legionella, VRE) and some very old diseases/viruses (Gastro, polio, measles, even cared for someone with Diptheria when I was a student nurse). The disease or illness may change but the way people react often is unchanged. Fear is what I see. Fear of the unknown, fear of catching the disease, fear of spreading the disease, fear of the consequences, stigmatism, fear of the unknown. [One powerful example is to read “April Fools Day” by Bryce Courtney. Its written about his son’s, and families, experiences of getting HIV from a blood transfusion], but I digress.
Once again, as a nurse I have witnessed first hand a new virus come to show us fear, this time on a much grander, terrifying and global scale. Affecting all the world and having enormous consequences for everyone. I doubt that there is anyone on the planet that hasn’t been affected by COVID19, Coronavirus. The proper name of the strain of the virus is SARS Co2, and the disease process, or respiratory illness, it causes is COVID19. It is from the subset of viruses called Coronavirus (and this also includes SARS, MERS, and the Common Cold).
We all watched from the beginning as the story broke in China just before the new year, and how the virus was spreading rapidly and how China responded, with total Lock-down to try and stem the spread, creating new hospitals in days. On reflection that in itself was a clue as to how big it would be.
I was at Urunga with Caroline doing a workshop with the wonderful Sandra Mollon, as the virus started the change the world as we know it, no toilet paper, changes to flight and holiday plans- and then total Lock-down. FEAR is what I saw when I returned to work.
Many had their lives turned totally upside down overnight, no work, no holidays, no jobs, no cars on the road, no people in the street, and lots and lots of fear.
For myself, on the Front-line, there were massive changes at the hospital I work at. All non-essential operations, procedures stopped overnight, staff were asked to redeploy, wards in the hospital were moved around, even off site in a matter of days. There was a massive recruitment drive, for Wardies, kitchen staff, cleaners, doctors, security, and nurses, ex ICU nurses were asked to retrain/up skill, and recently retired nurses were asked to return. And then we waited, it was like the hospital had drawn breath and paused waiting for the onslaught (I have personally experienced this many times as a nurse waiting for a trauma to arrive in ED, for that super sick patient to deteriorate or arrest, or waiting for a patient to pass over). But this was so much bigger!
I was deployed to the front of the hospital, at the front door stopping and challenging everyone who came through those doors. Did they have a cough, sore throat, fever, had they had any recent travel overseas, on a cruise ship, interstate, any contact with anyone who had? Initially we were also screening people who could and couldn’t get to the fever clinic, these rules changed daily, and were challenging to implement. Most people were compliant and going with the flow with wherever the ever-evolving changes took them, a few didn’t and allowed their fear to show with rudeness, and anger. This was from everywhere, staff and patients. Masks were not handed out unless you met the criteria to go to the fever Clinic and staff only wore them if required to go into a room with a patient who was on droplet or airborne precautions.
I had some very challenging days, and one particular bad day where I was accused of failing in doing my job, and was reported by one very angry nurse, it continued in various forms from different people from the same department throughout the day. My Boss was amazing and totally supportive as I cried in her office as I questioned myself what I had done wrong. The answer- was nothing, on reflection it was the nurse yelling at me who was frightened and wanting to deflect that onto someone else, and included others as well. I turned up the next day, to the same role and did the same job again.
While everyone adjusted to life in lock-down, starting new sewing projects, organizing their sewing rooms, getting their UFO’s finished, cleaning their houses I went to work and did the shopping. The way that the hospital cared for patients changed with many outpatients switching to a phone call from their doctor instead of paying for parking, sitting for hours in the waiting room, all for a 5-minute consult. But still there was fear from many. Many a person who rocked up to the front door were wearing protection, masks and gloves, but clearly were unfamiliar with how to wear a mask. They wore them upside down, not pinched at the nose, not pulled open correctly, wearing a scarf, wearing 2 masks, a hanky even an eye patch over their mouth! Fear was everywhere: - the way people responded to anyone who coughed, or wasn’t social distancing correctly, people using their elbow, knuckle or pen to push buttons, staff wearing plain clothes so they wouldn’t be targeted for being a hospital worker coming to work and be abused or spat on. It was palpable everywhere, when I went shopping, at work, and the media was saturated in it. I haven’t been a fan of watching the news but I really totally switched off as I found it too distressing to watch.
Lock-down eased and life started to return to a new normal. Many things have changed. The virus still remains and has made a resurgence, but the fear response has been a little better managed this time, the hospital and the wider community have had time to adapt, and put in COVID safe plans for their workplace.
With the new restrictions which were recently returned to South east Queensland, I got to see fear on a much more intimate and heartbreaking way. I moved on from the front door and returned to floating, as a casual nurse, around the hospital. This time everyone had to wear a mask, all staff, every patient who left their room to go for a test, or go for a walk around the ward, even patients sharing rooms. I spent a few days on the heart ward, where patients who have heart attacks, bypass surgeries and everything in between go. I watched as the restrictions banned all visitors from entering the hospital. This struck me so profoundly! Every day I went to work and watched patients who had had big heart attacks, cardiac arrests (their hearts stopping) having bypass surgery and have NO visitors, they had to deal with their fear alone with only the nurses and doctors for company. One woman was very ill one day and I heard the conversation she had with her husband on the phone, crying because she felt so ill and all she wanted was to hold her husband’s hand. One poor fellow I cared for had been in for a month and had to go back for yet more open heart surgery because of complications, I chatted to him about this and he was quite philosophical and understanding of why, but he said that having a nurse to chat to just wasn’t the same as having your family to chat to.
Father’s Day is normally a very busy visitors’ day on any ward I’ve ever worked on, but not this year. Because of those and other experiences I’d been having I made some slice and gave it to every patient on the ward on Father’s Day, a small gesture but it was something I could do to bring a tiny smile to people’s faces.
And so, we come to now, where the virus is still present. Some people are returning to their places of work and things are relatively normal. Fear is slowly fading as we move towards the future. What that will hold none of us know for sure. I hope that some of the new ways of managing patients and communicating with them, like phone consults, remains.
Having lock-down has allowed so many people who have previously been “time poor” to stop and have some time to sit with themselves, with their families and loved ones and reflect on their life and direction and what is really important in life. What other possibilities and changes have come about because of COVID19? Only time will tell. Personally, I hope that people have found a deeper respect and love for each other, for each life that is so precious, because I know I have.
And so, to my mask and what it means. From the left side looking at it, it is a complete and closed loop for the ear, as the past is closed and cannot be changed. I chose to use some of my Great Grandmas’ recycled button’s, including an old shoe button of hers to hold the loops to the mask, to reflect that we are again experiencing and walking the path of a pandemic like our forebears. Her name was Mary Agnes nee Betts and she was born in 1892. I have the privilege of having her buttons, and I knew her when I was young as she lived until she was 97. She had told me a couple of stories about being a midwife back when she was a young nurse. She lived through WW1 and the Spanish flu, which I have represented by the gravestones, and poppies in front. I have used muted colours to reflect the past.
I have cut holes into the mask and have them representing the viruses of then and indeed now and how it is punched holes in our lives, it also touches on the notion of the effectiveness of the mask and the stories that have surface around that, on social media and the wider community at large with protests and the Karen stigma about mask wearing.
There is a path leading to a sign post at the crossroads, which I think is where we are presently. The sign post shows the words past (smudged to represent how faded the past is) and the future, with a beautiful vine winding around and around the present. I have used it to represent where we are now still caught in the present in something restrictive but potentially beautiful with many unforeseen opportunities and possibilities present to take forward with us.
Next is a couple of dandelion weeds which as a child we used blow and make wishes on, they have been caught with the winds of change as we move towards the future.
There is a rainbow highlighting on the future sign where the sun is shining, as it parts from the clouds with the silver lining representing the unknown blessing from the changes we are experiencing. I’ve left the bottom of the future side largely blank for the unknown of the future, with a love heart to help guide us forward. Finally, the loop for the ear is broken reflecting the hope that the time of wearing masks will end soon.
WE THANK YOU...
Free is a quick project that is a fun tutorial.
There are step by step photos and
short descriptions as well as some drawings
and suggestions... I hope you enjoy!
Free by Caroline Sharkey
The Sky 30x30cm pink cotton background fabric
30 x 30cm heavy iron on stabilizer
30x30cm water soluble Vilene or wash away product
Assorted sunset coloured organza or soft style fabrics
Teaspoon of sequins in your choice of colour
Optional Silver Angelina Fibres
The Birds 20x 20cm black cotton fabric
20x20cm heavy iron on stabilizer
20x 20cm fusible web Visoflix product
1. Chop the fabrics up into confetti size snips.
Iron the iron-on stabilizer onto the wrong side of your background fabric.
2. Lay the chopped fabrics onto the prepared fabric background add more colours and lay them in a circular swirling style design onto the sky background fabric…add plastic sequins as desired and Angelina Fibres onto the surface.
3. Cover the snippets with the water-soluble fabric over the entire background and pin completely to hold it flat and secure ready for stitching.
Machine set up
attach the Darning foot or Free motion foot to your machine and lower the feed dogs
You are now set up for free motion stitching this piece.
4. Stitch the whole surface with pink thread so it will blend into the surface. Keeping the stitches, a close distance apart as this will determine that the snippets stay on the background fabric.
5. Once the surface is completely covered with stitching, wash in warm water to dissolve the water-soluble fabric away then set this sunset sky fabric out to dry.
Prepare the birds shapes
Iron the stabilizer to the wrong side of the black fabric ready for the bird shapes.
Trace the bird shapes on the paper side of the fusible web product
6. Iron the bird shapes sticky side down onto the stabilized side of the black fabric.
7. Now cut out the shapes of the birds on the traced lines.
Peel off the paper side of the bird shapes and position them onto the dry sunset fabric sky.
Cover with a piece of baking paper to protect the iron and the soft fabrics in the sky fabric.
Press with a hot iron to secure the birds into position.
8. Stitch the surface in a swirling direction over the birds and the background with the pink thread to give the surface movement and also secure the birds down
You can now finish the piece as you wish.
You can either quilt through the sandwich of wadding and backing fabrics or just the project in circles to stitch the across the birds to create circular flight lines.
Also opportunities to mix up the chopped fabric colours to change up the sky colours...play with ideas and add extra colours you may prefer.
Also added extra option design of butterflies.
Copyright Caroline Sharkey 2019
Coastal Threads Art Prize 2020
The Coastal Threads Art Prize runs every year and accepts entries for this 30cm x 30cm art quilt representing any use of fibre, threads & textiles and encourages the artist to explore traditional twists and non-traditional textile art practices.
This is the 5th year that the Coastal Threads Art Prize has been curated by Caroline Sharkey, each year has a different coastal theme and is open to all creators…
‘Coastal Views’ 2020 theme
Let your imagination run wild with ideas of that coastal view where you live, you see or a place you imagine….
Coastal areas are commonly defined as the areas between land and sea. Coastal Views are diverse in function and form the view could be a working port, marina, a coastal township, something you see while out exploring or a private uninhabited place.
Coastal Threads Textile Art Prizes were awarded to
* 1st Prize $500 Bernadette Skinner for Penguin Parade
* 2nd Prize $250 Dianna Molina for Echidna on Tour
* 3rd prize $150 Rachael Richards for Seal at Red Rock NZ
Tracie Stewart, Gill Gordon, Julie Ann Evans
Sponsors Special Prize Rae Strahan
As you can see the quilts are gorgeous each one has its own interpretation of the theme 'Coastal Views' and each artist has created a stunning part of this collection.
The little animals and bird life, fauna, installations on the seashore and stunning aerial view of the shorelines. Each quilt has such interesting details from free motion embellishments, quilting and drawings to beads, yarn, painting and collage applique. I hope you get to see them close up somewhere in their travels when it is possible to show them.
I expect the first outing to be in Berry NSW with Berry Quilting Retreat in Dec and then into 2021 they will be on show in Urunga NSW.
Congratulations everyone that has a piece in this collection and I hope you too will have an entry into a future Coastal Threads Art Prize challenge...
Desert Threads Art Prize 2021
Caroline also curates a Desert Threads Art Prize collection every 2nd year to coincide with her Sewing Up a Storm in the Desert Retreat at Uluru and as this retreat was postponed until August 2021 this Art Prize has been extended as well so entry is also still available into this quilt challenge and exhibition at Ayers Rock Resort next year.
Entry Forms are at
2020 started off with a bang I started my year in January with a 4 day workshop Sewing Connection in Pakenham VIC like I have for the past 13 years and then onto Kate Hansen in Melbourne for another 3 days of workshops and it was great to be out and sharing in class again after a break away late last year.
March saw Sandra Mollon come from the California to teach her amazing Elephants and were we in for a treat....Sandra was an absolute delight to host and the class was truly inspiring!
We will get her back one day I hope when the world starts again...
Sandra's in Urunga was held in the venue in town and the dinner was a special Paint and Dine event with artist Marci Arnold facilitating the Sister painting experience....it was a beautiful night together at the local award winning restaurant Anchors Wharf on the Kalang river.
Some images of the March Workshop Event.
And Now its time to Isolate.....
It took me awhile to get settle into this time of isolation, I think the shock of how massive this was globally that certainly took me back a few steps....I felt each day the sadness of what I was seeing happen to families all over and then hearing the economic stresses on people was hard to take in as well.....
Unheard of times and its Happening....Now!
Of course the calendar fell apart pretty quickly as did everyone's I suspect, but dates, events, flights and work will come back..it will look different I imagine...
Not saying that is a bad thing either.
As Long as we are all okay! is the New Moto....
Keeping motivated and creative through the emotional roller-coaster was the best medicine, and turning off the news worked well too....just checking in occasionally to try and keep up.
I found my shed sanctuary and a new found boost to start...and I have accomplished a few things, pushed my comfort levels and shared moments that I am proud of.
I know that having to step off the fast forward I was on has given me time to stop and think more about whats to come and how to approach it with a grateful heart.
Understanding we are truly All in this Together!
Free Tutorial videos
I made some tutorial videos to share how I make textured surfaces using confetti fabrics. The Videos are in 3 parts...learning as I go in Isolation!
The Sharkey Shed
While I have been home in Isolation, I have had time to spend in my Shed Studio!
'The Sharkey Shed' has been getting a work out with some projects, some videos and making some stock. I have been sorting out boxes of fabrics and rearranging shelving and supplies.
So I did this short quick look around where I create...
This is my Shed!
New Print Range available Now
Well now looking into The New Year I have been thinking about the year that it was....
I can honestly say for me that this year I was a great year spending more time with family and friends, and being at home cuddling my grand babes. I had some time moving into my new studio shed and hope to finally get back into some serious sewing in there soon.
This year ticking some long term planned goals and of course the awesome work related opportunities that happened again this year.
As I say in my classes I am a visual learner and mostly visual teacher as well....so here is a snap shot mixed view of some of my year and events...
The Digital Cloth Emagazine...
I am happy to say that Mel and I enjoyed bringing this new venture to life and I could not do it without her awesome creative input, each article has Mel's design stamp on them and I couldn't be more proud how it is all looking.
The idea of an Emag featuring Art Textiles/Creators and also sharing other art mediums has been on my mind for awhile, as I wrote in my intro letter in the first Emag the idea behind it... Everyday I am inspired by what is around me, every time I walk into a classroom to teach or an event I am inspired by those around me, watching people champion their own styles and art practices is so exciting and if we can help facilitate and share some of their stories through this magazine to pay forward all the opportunities this industry has given me.
Helping the textile, fabric, quilting, art, creators, creative lifestyle, sewing and teaching industries to do well is our aim, So creating this Emagazine is my way of being able to share and champion this industry as best I can.
The Digital Cloth was launched in June this year and we now have 3 Issues in the website shop filled with stories about wonderful creative artists, there is free textile art workshops to download with your purchase and much much more...
The Holiday Issue is now out as a free gift to everyone. We are working on the next issue of The Digital Cloth out in January 2020. Filled with awesome stories and images about textile artists, quilters and mixed media artisans and their creations.
Check out the website shop page for these issues...and don't forget about the free Holiday Issue yours as a gift free to download today and share as well!
Houston Quilt Festival
I was so happy to finally tick this off my bucket list and attend the 2019 quilt Festival in Houston it was the 45th Festival year and it was great fun....everyone told me it was huge! well I agree it was a massive quilt show on steroids covering football field size venues...a sight to be seen for sure. I went with friends Mandy Gowers, Susan de Vanny and Susan Auden Wood and we had a ball, setting up house for 10 days in a great Air bnb close to the town centre, the Houston Festival was held in the George Brown Centre Conference Centre....I actually went to do some interviews for the Digital Cloth Emagazine but lost my voice on the second day! a combo of travel and laughter hanging out with these crazy girls....never mind I had a few quiet days and gathered information, then had some meetings for future articles to come.
I also caught up with the awesome talent Sandra Mollon about her trip to Australia in March and then Andrea Brokenshire and Lorraine Turner as these wonderful ladies will be teaching at the 2020 Uluru Retreat they are very excited to be traveling to Australia for the first time. Andrea will also be in Perth with Michelle Pearson at Handcrafters House and Lorraine will also be in Mildura with Mandy at Lesley Mays Quilt Shop. It is so great to have these 2 awesome artists/teachers coming here next year...There are still spots left in their workshops so be quick...https://www.textileretreats.com.au/retreats.html
Mandy and I also had exciting talks with Paula Nadelstern and Claudia Pfeil to come in 2021 to teach workshops for us both in Mildura and Urunga so stay tuned get on the data base for information when its ready to go.
While at Houston Festival we did a fun 1 day workshop with Judy Coates Perez and it was a great day...Judy will be in Australia next year teaching, If you can catch up with her for a workshop Judy is a wonderful tutor...and I hope to bring her to Urunga in the future as well.
Connecting with Aussie Textile Artist Denise Burkitt in Houston and seeing her new designer fabric range with the "Free Spirit" fabric company was a highlights and I have booked Denise to teach in May 2021at The Urunga Coastal Retreat with Susan de Vanny....now that's exciting news!
Uluru Retreat 2020
The Uluru Sewing Up a Storm in the Desert is shaping up to be another awesome experience...with 3 days of classes in the main event and 2 extra days workshops as a special ending to the week.....its going to be fabulous and you can see all the images and information on tutors and the program we have planned on the Retreat page of the website...
My 2020 Workshops
My teaching schedule is now updated and will be the place to find out whats happening with me this year....Thank you for everyone that supports my workshops I love teaching and appreciate all the hosts that invite me to come teach in their shops or events....It is very exciting to be able to come to class with so many of you and connect annually also meeting new people to create with...how truly blessed I feel!
The Urunga Retreat is over for another year and It was another huge success!
Michelle Mischkulnig, Anne Kelly and myself Caroline Sharkey had a great time with delegates from all over as well as the New Zealand ladies attending this years event.
Michelle's classroom was filled with a feast for the eyes of silk, velvet and delicious threads as the delegates created stunning scarves and handbags in this exciting fun
'Glorious Wearable Art' workshop.
Anne Kelly's workshop tables were filled with beautiful mementos and delicate pieces all being recreated into the most perfect new heirlooms for future adornment, The ladies cut, stamped and stitched their way through piles of laces, ribbons, doileys and the treasures they had brought for this very special occasion to work with the master.
Caroline takes a small group for this Retreat as being organizer and tutor is challenging but rewarding (lucky Deb Rose is on hand to event manage while Caroline teaches).
The Coastal Creations workshop allowed the delegates the freedom to design and create their own projects (another benefit of a smaller class) Seascapes, wetlands and coral reefs were made with beautiful fabrics, fibres and threads chopped to recreate the new surfaces, so that 3D techniques could enhance the desired finish...
And I am sure you will agree the results are amazing with all the projects made!
Thank you to Anne and Michelle for coming to teach this year...
Both wonderful ladies and extremely talented artists and tutors.
We are very fortunate in Urunga to have a supportive network of people that are willing to help promote our town and Rob Canning a Gumbayniirr man came and did the Welcome to Country for our event, It was a very special way to start the 3 wonderful days....thank you Rob. Also Thank you to Jules Clyde for dropping in over the 3 days to take shots of progress and then finished the projects plus group photos Jules you are a champion and we are so blessed to have you helping us.
Everyone that attended this event knows the amount of gratitude to Deb Rose who goes above and beyond managing everything from set up to decorations and catering to all the delegates needs throughout the event....Thank you Bestie! Jenny and Jeannette and my family all chipped in as well....we are blessed in so many ways.
The 2019 Coastal Threads Art Prize winners were announced at the Urunga Retreat and they were all on display. Congratulations to all entries they are stunning and special congratulations to the winners below and all enteries.
We are now getting ready for Kathryn Harmer Fox 23-25August and Elizabeth Dubbelde24-25 August both teaching in Urunga that is going to be another awesome weekend here and we cannot wait
Sophie Standing well known Textile Artist from Kenya came in March and taught this fantastic Kookaburra Textile collage workshop to ladies in Urunga NSW...
This is the second time Sophie has visited to teach her wonderful workshops here for me in Urunga NSW as part of a co-hosting with Michelle Pearson in Perth at Handcrafters House WA and Tracy Zinn at Heights Sewing Centre in Werribee VIC. The results of this workshop are so stunning each time we saw the next days results the room buzzed with excitement, everyone worked so hard and stitched away each day on each part of the bird in a structured fashion that created a flow of ease that was awesome to watch. Congratulations everyone that attended this years class and huge congrats to Sophie and my team Deb and Jenny that made this event run smoothly and fun to be at....even as the organizer I enjoyed it all!
We have invited Sophie back to Urunga for another workshop visit in 2021 and she has agreed thus far so keep fingers crossed and an eye out for details about that coming out over the next 12 months. www.textileretreats.com.au
Sophie takes these wonderful progress photos each day and sends them to the delegates so they can see their progress....here are the fabulous results!
Thank you to Sophie, Deb and Jenny for another wonderful event....and Ruby part of our cheer squad!
And bookings are now open for May and August
We will soon welcome Anne Kelly and Michelle Mischkulnig for the annual
Sewing Up a Coastal Storm Retreat this year 10-11-12th May
Kathryn Harmer Fox in Urunga August 23-24-25 and Elizabeth Dubbelde will teach in
Urunga August 24-25
Hi Everyone hope this finds you well...
This year I decided that I would have a go at entering the AQC Challenge at the Australian Quilt Convention in April in Melbourne and hoped I would be lucky enough to have it selected.
I decided also that it was time to finally make the Angel Wings quilt I had wanted to make for along time...
The inspiration came from all the walls I have seen over the years with huge Angel Wings painted on them to stand in front for photo opportunities, I just think this is a fabulous idea and wanted to make a quilt to share that same experience at a show somewhere. I have been planning to make the quilt for years and the theme Magic a 90cm x 90cm quilt could be the right fit with my 'Magical Angel' quilt well I think so anyway!
I have to say I am not very good at entering competitions as there seems to always be something more important getting in the way like writing and designing workshops, packing kits, traveling to teach workshops and hosting events as well as my number one reason
That is cuddling and minding grand babies.
So 2019 is the year and I did make the Angel Wing quilt starting in late 2018...and here are some images to show how it happen...
I collected lots of white fabrics including bits of tulle, lace, organza, and satin fabrics, I chopped them all up and mixed them together. I then stabilized the wrong side of a 100cm x 100cm piece of white fabric with a white stiff iron-on Vilene Stabilizer.
Once I had made enough of the chopped fabric mix I then started to sprinkle it over the right side of the white background fabric till I had mostly covered the surface and then sprinkled some gold and silver sequins onto the surface.
I pinned a water soluble Vilene over the sandwich of background and chopped fabric mix and pinned it all together with lots of pins to hold it while I stitched the surface. I then stipple stitched the whole surface and when it was completely covered I washed the piece out in warm water to dissolve the water soluble fabric surface away, I set it out to dry ready to use this new white fluffy fabric.
I sketched up some wing patterns and set about tracing the pattern shapes onto the back of the wing fabric so I could cut all the 3 layered shapes out for each wing, being careful to keep them an opposite pair or a mirror image of each other. Once I had all the wing shapes cut out I did trim some back to reshape them a little and pinned them onto some coloured fabric to audition the shape and size and I couldn't wait to see what they looked like standing in front of them I then pinned the shapes all individually onto 2 layers of heavy white craft tulle to allow me to do all the stitching on the edges of each wing section
I also cut an extra wing for each side in the craft tulle to give another layer effect on the textured surfaces of the wing.
I added some basis lines for feather sections on all layers then I was brave enough to stitch the feathers onto the wings with white thread first, I cut the tulle away from the edges then gradually using darker threads when I realized it needed to be more defined, I also slightly touched up the stitching at the end with a black fine Artline texter, each wing layer was starting to take shape and I was finally starting to appreciate that this might actually look like a set of wings.
I continued to stitch and stitch between trips away to teach and also prepared the background with the three layers sandwiched together and quilted, I have not done a lot of decorative quilting and I tell the ladies in class all the time that I don't consider myself a quilter because my landscapes and textured surfaces really doesn't highlight decorative quilting its usually just about holding the quilt together and having it hang flat.
Anyway this time I did some and its not too bad....I used a similar thread and tried to keep the momentum up and similar design throughout the quilting on the top. I then did facings and finished the edges, made the Velcro hanging sleeve with the instructions that accompanied the entry form (which was as hard for me as making the quilt itself lol).
I then stitched the three layers of the wings together making sure they were as close a pair as I could, I stitched through the wing layers on the stitched thread lines and then positioned the wings on the quilted background and finally stitched the wings onto the quilt! Phew!
Okay now I am thinking that it needs something in between the wings to connect them.
I made the heart with a stabilized piece of dyed pink fabric and traced off some words I printed on the computer using a decorative funky script, I traced the reverse of the words onto the paper side of the fusible web and ironed them to the wrong side of the purple fabric and cut the letters out then I removed the paper backing off all the letters to reveal the sticky backing ready to iron into place. I arranged the words onto the centre front of the heart and pressed them into place with the iron, I covered the heart with a sheer clear organza to trap the letters underneath and stitched around the heart edge to add it to the quilt adding some decorative free motion stitching around the edges as well.
I filled out the entry form online and Yahoo Done I am DONE!
Now you would think I was finished as did I...
Well think again!
Finally relieved to be finished I added a photo to my Facebook page and went to bed by morning I was told that I had spelt Magical wrong....
"Where I asked because I could not find it in any of the text...
ON THE QUILT I was told!
Yep I DID!!!!!!!!!
OMGoodness! How silly can you be....and all I could do was laugh at myself I have learnt to do that over the years it saves me a lot of stressing lol!
So the next day I got up and fixed it and Now I am finished well all except the label so I will work on that soon.
Thank you for all the lovely comments and I hope you get to one day have a photo in front of these Magical Wings and the photo makes you feel SPECIAL!
Happy Stitching and Creating!
Happy New Year Everyone,
I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable time over the season, The year is already flying by I have been cuddling grandchildren as much as possible while home over Christmas and planning my trips away around family events for the year is always challenging, I am getting better at the schedule and time management...but time will tell how that continues!
All I need to do is try and schedule more time at the machine to create more on my BERNINA Q20, I have so many things going round in my head and lots of work in progress I need to get back to, I am sure you can relate to this as well, it seems part of the creatives mind!
Its nearly time to hit the road again with my first workshop trip coming up, I will be teaching at Kate Sewing Centre with host Kate Hansen in Melbourne near Bundoora 22-23 Jan and then at The Sewing Connection in Pakenham with Sue and Sandy 26-29 Jan, it's lovely to connect each year with these girls and I think this is my 11 year teaching for them down south.
For more information on these workshops check out my workshop schedule. Some of the images below are what will be themes for these classes...I love all of them so I cannot wait to get started back to inspire and be inspired as I watch ladies enjoy the process of creating and style their individual projects!
I am looking forward to connecting and getting Creative with everyone that comes to classes this year, We will have lots of fun chopping up fabrics and stitching new surfaces.
There is lots of exciting plans for 2019 and into 2020 and I have started with this new website and my first Blog its exciting and scary learning new ways to do things...and I am on a steep learning curve atm which is getting me enthusiastic about whats to come.
We have had a major project going for awhile now & I will hopefully move into my new studio space soon, a place where I can develop new ideas with classes, connecting with everyone more from this new space and getting creative with so many ideas... I have been learning to be very patience these past few months with it all being so close to completion, Its nearly there! so watch out for the celebrations when I get in!
Caroline There is so much more to come this year and I hope to share as much of it with you as possible:
*Hosting International Tutors in Urunga Sophie Standing from Kenya, Anne Kelly from the UK and Kathryn Harmer Fox from South Africa as well as Michelle Mischkulnig from Victoria and myself teaching at the Coastal Storm Retreat in May.
*Curate and host the 2019 Coastal Threads Art Prize 'Coastal Wetlands' this year,the Registration Form is available so check it out and start planning.
*Traveling to teach in Auckland at 2019Symposium and The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK as well as many lovely Australian destinations.
*More online workshops and live video!
*Planning already started for the 2020 Uluru Retreat next year so later in the year I will launch that so delegates can get planning ahead to August 2020.
Thank you for dropping in and ..........WATCH THIS SPACE!....For MORE SOON!
I'm Caroline, and I use fabric and thread to tell my story.