Looking over shoulders 12

Hello everyone

It’s time for another blog post.  I’ve been slow to get up to speed, but that doesn’t mean that our Guild members haven’t been as busy and creative as ever.

Creative Stitches by Edith John


Judy Barton Browne was inspired by this book (available from the Guild library), to have a play with stitches, and create this sampler.

How many different “basic” stitches can you spot?  Look closely, and you can see where she has varied a stitch to give a different effect.




Stitch sampler by Judy Barton-Brown, detail1Stitch sampler by Judy Barton-Brown, detail2









Stitch sampler by Judy Barton-Brown, detail3Stitch sampler by Judy Barton-Brown, detail3


So go on, start playing with stitches!








Shona Phillips has created this happy little doll, and the brooches surrounding it are just some of the 90 brooches she was creating to give to all the female residents of a local aged care facility.  Shona didn’t want anyone to miss out on Mother’s Day, so she was powering along.  What a lovely thought!


Doll and brooches1 by Shona PhillipsDoll and brooches2 by Shona Phillips









Margaret Lamond was doing some experimentation, inspired by this book (also available in the Guild library), to create some stunning metal machine embroideries.  There was a bit of impromptu consultation around the table at a Monday meeting regarding colours to be used next.


The Art of Stitching on Metal by Ann ParrStitching on metal1 by Margaret LamondStitching on metal2 by Margaret Lamond









Sandra Pollard‘s work in progress is a Semco linen vintage cloth, in which the areas have been coloured in using Hobbytex.  Sandra has decided to use Minnamurra threads in a different, and softer, colour palette, and her plans include having some cut out sections in the finished cloth.

Vintage Semco linen cloth by Sandra Pollard

Vintage Semco linen cloth detail by Sandra PollardVintage Semco linen cloth threads by Sandra Pollard







Quilted panel by Andrea Moore

Quilted panel by Andrea Moore



Andrea Moore‘s quilted panel is from a Helen Godden workshop, and incorporates fabric paint, appliqué, and free motion machine quilting.






Gloria Loughman‘s quilted panel comes from a workshop she attended in Fiji, and incorporates hand painting, Visofix and free motion machine quilting.  Don’t you think that the little village is lovely?  Gloria intends to add more embellishment.

Quilted panel by Gloria LoughmanQuilted panel detail by Gloria Loughman







That’s all for now, happy stitching!


Sashiko Sampler Quilt

Hi everyone

This post is specially for those of you who love Sashiko.

I’m sharing a Sashiko Sampler Quilt designed and stitched by Jennifer Zanetti. It’s a large quilt that would easily fit a Queen size bed and is an absolute tour de force. Here it is hanging to give you an idea of the size:

Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

It’s full of detail and in real life the visual effect is that the Sashiko Samplers seem to ‘float’ on the surface of the quilt.


The word Sashiko means little stabs or little stitches.It is a traditional form of Japanese needlework that evolved in the Edo period (1603-1867).  In this period there were sumptuary laws that delineated class lines by defining what people could wear. Only the nobility could wear silk, bright colours and large patterns. Commoners (merchant and peasant classes) could only wear homespun fabrics dyed with indigo.

Cotton was imported and beyond the means of ordinary people. So they spun cloth from hemp, wisteria and paper mulberry. It’s thought that the original fabrics had a loose weave and the warp and the weft provided linear patterns for the running stitch. At this time cloth was a precious commodity because it was time-consuming to produce so it was imperative to find ways to conserve scraps of old clothes and re-purpose them.

So the origins of Sashiko are utilitarian and developed out of necessity. It was used to strengthen cloth, quilt layers together to create warmth and to mend and recycle worn out clothes. The indigo dye was durable and thought to repel insects and snakes.

The Sashiko patterns also had a spiritual significance e.g. where the threads of stitches cross over is called the me which in Japanese means ‘the eye’. These ‘eyes’ protected the wearer and in the museum examples of the garments worn by fishermen and farmers you can see that they are densely stitched with Sashiko patterns and hundreds of ‘eyes’.

If you want to read more about the history of Sashiko there’s an interesting essay here by Michele Walker who has worked with the last generation of women to practise Sashiko in Japan.

You’ll find a really useful set of tips on Sashiko plus a great listing of other resources here.

Sashiko Samplers

Now for a closer look at those  Sashiko Samplers and some awesome eye candy. Here’s a striking combination that deploys the Asa no ha pattern between two fans:

Detail 1 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

and closer

Detail 2 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

This next one is a variant of the Schippo tsunagi pattern

Detail 3 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

While the next block is a more complex variation of the same pattern:

Detail 4 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

and this is for all of you who love to look at the stitching in detail:

Detail 5 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

The last in the indigo series of Sashiko blocks is this Maru-Bisha-Mon:

Detail 11 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

The variation in the blue is due to the light sources in the room. On the quilt block it’s a uniform colour.

The indigo blocks are balanced in the quilt by a series of Sashiko Samplers in white with an added decorative theme. Jennifer has added a stitched bird to all of these white blocks.

We’re starting with  the  Hana-bishi pattern:

Detail 6 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

and then on to the Nowaki pattern:

Detail 7 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

and then the Hana zashi pattern

Detail 9 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

and this pattern which I haven’t been able to identify:

Detail 10 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

The final white block has the Seikai-ha pattern with a quilted panel as contrast:

Detail 12 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer ZanettiThere are also Sashiko quilting elements in the design which create a visual and textural effect:

Detail 14 from Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 15 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti

I really haven’t done this quilt justice as the overall design is incredibly intricate and complex. Jennifer’s choice of fabrics complements and in some cases echoes the Sashiko samplers. The geometry and spatial configuration of the blocks alone deserve a blog post.

But I have picked out one of the many decorative blocks in the quilt to share with you as the end note for this post:

Detail 13 of Sashiko Sampler Quilt by Jennifer Zanetti



News Update

Hi everyone

Just a quick heads up that I’ve updated the following Members Galleries:


Crewel & Surface Stitchery 

Cross Stitch 

Fabric Postcards

Fibre & Yarn


Quilts & Wallhangings

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching


Here are some tasters of the photos uploaded:

Stumpwork embroidery

Squirrel Needlebook stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Trapunto Tree with birds by Pat Bootland


Detail 1 of Bag with Crewel Embroidery designed by Marjorie Gilby

Now sharing some quick notes on embroidery that has caught my eye recently:

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

This is a tapestry in the tradition of the Bayeux Tapestry – an epic account of Scottish history, wonderful design by artist Andrew Crummy and just awesome stitching.

Kate Davies has done a series of blog posts on this tapestry with great photos of the stitching here

Contemporary Australian Textile Artist – Meredith Woolnough

Meredith’s work is technically and aesthetically breathtaking – she combines embroidery, resin and other materials to create multi-layered and sculptural textile works. She’s having an exhibition from 5-31 July in the Pop Up Gallery at the Milk Factory, 33 Station St (rear), Bowral.

You can see examples of her work on her blog here

Bye for now