Sunday, January 27, 2019

Journal Cover on Vintage Handwoven Linen

This journal cover was SO nice to stitch on as the fabric is a dream to needle.  The raggedy bits of eco print fabric have been layered and stitched with hand dyed and commercial threads.  The big wood button is a piece of a birch branch and is made by my friend Don Chambers.

The notebooks that I am using for these journals are beautifully made in Canada and available at Costco, so can be replaced quite easily when they are full.

This is now available in my Etsy shop

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Neddle Books for Sewists

Even the tiniest of pieces of eco print fabric can be used in the creating of these little needle books ... the perfect place for sewing needles to stay safely hidden.

The base fabric of these books is wool fabric that was dyed with red onion skins, iron and cutch to create  a warm caramel brown. The inside pages are the same wool but it has been eco printed with leaves from my garden. On the outer surface, other pieces of eco printed cotton fabric are layered with a piece of vintage lace that was also dyed in the cutch dye bath. Hand dyed and commercial threads have been used to sew the pieces together and create a splendid texture on the surface.


French knots and vintage lace
You will find an occasional bead or button on the surface and bits of thread that pull away from the cotton material to create a soft edge.

Approximately 4" x 6" in size, these are the perfect size to slip into your sewing box or leave out on your favourite side table while you are hand stitching.

The colours in these pieces range from warm caramel through gold and cream with some charcoal and a touch of green from some of the plants used.

The use of little scraps of eco print fabric was inspired this week by Rita Summers of Australia, who has been working with similar bits and pieces. You can find her at Gone Rustic Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania.

French knots and tiny copper beads

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Christmas Cards

It's time to start thinking about Christmas cards and I have created these cards for the Shuswap Artisan Market in Sorrento, BC.

The cards have been made with fabric that I "made" by layering bits of glitz and glitter under green silk organza and then free motion quilting it.  The trees were cut out and then stitched to hand-dyed watercolour paper ... with the addition of a big silver star on top and a few clear beads on the tree.

 The blank cards come with a matching deckle-edge envelope in a clear poly sleeve.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


This week we will mark the end of the First World War 100 years ago. Poppies have long been a symbol of the armistice and I have created this small art quilt in remembrance of my father, who lied about his age in order to enlist in the Great War at the age of sixteen. Two of his brothers didn't return from that war, uncles I never had the chance to meet.

Needle felted wool stitched to a background of black linen and wrapped onto a thick painters canvas. Hand embroidery has embellished some of the poppies and the field and have spilled some poppies onto the black background.

A smaller version of this piece has been mounted in a white shadowbox frame.  Both pieces are available at the Shuswap Artisan Market in Sorrento, BC this week.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Comfrey for natural dyeing

Comfrey is a plant that I have tried to eradicate from one of my garden areas but it came back this year . . . it must have been "meant to be" because a few days ago I found myself looking for a plant that would give me green dye and, behold, comfrey seemed to fit the bill.

I used Jenny Dean's Botanical Colours as my reference and proceeded to cut up the leaves before pouring boiling water over them. After leaving the leaves overnight and then simmering the dye pot the next morning I removed the leaves (and later put them on my garden as green mulch) and put shibori raw silk into the pot.  The dye became a dark olive green very quickly but I decided to let it sit for eight hours before removing it and rinsing as I knew it would lighten up considerably.

I am delighted with the result after washing, which is a beautiful yellow-green ... just what I was hoping for!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Eco print, Indigo and Rust

What a combination of natural processes have gone into this new art quilt.  The cotton fabric was eco printed with leaves from my garden ... then the long edges of the fabric were dipped into the indigo vat to give just a hint of pale blue ... then I rusted it on an old iron trellis found in my yard.

I wanted to have a take-long piece to work on when travelling.  I find that hand stitching passes the time when flying (and eases my anxiety as well!) so I chose a piece that will have LOTS of handwork on it.  I sandwiched this piece of fabric with cotton batting and backing and then machine free-motion quilted around the rusty elements and down the indigo-dipped edges before applying an invisible binding. The result is pretty wonderful already, but I have lots of hand stitching to do on this piece as well as some applique, so check back to see how it progresses . . . and to see a full view.
The finished size is approximately 14" x 52"

Friday, March 16, 2018

It's Finished - Hoodoos!

I just couldn't stop!  This art quilt consumed me so much that I just HAD to keep going on it and it is now finished.

All hand dyed and hand painted fabrics. The sky fabric is shibori indigo dyed and has been written on in block and script lettering "hoodoos".

Size 13" x 23"

 The sky is quilted on the diagonal with the word "hoodoos" in variegated blue thread.

Hand stitching accentuates the texture of the hills.

There are more photos in the listing of this piece in my Etsy shop (

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hiking in the Hoodoos

My hairdresser's hike in the hoodoos, just west of Kamloops last weekend inspired this art quilt that is just in its infancy.  All hand dyed or hand painted fabrics with the sky fabric also being formed from a patchwork of fabrics on which I wrote the word HOODOOS in block and script styles.

Thanks to Rebecca for permission to use her awesome photograph as a starting point for this piece.

I will post more about it as it continues . . .

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A look at autumn "where the hills uplift"

This is the second in the series and features some beautiful copper-orange hand dyed fabric and coordinating perle cotton thread.  The patchwork background was, once again, written on with India ink and markers with the words "where the hills uplift".

Friday, March 2, 2018

Where the Hills Uplift

Wow ... long time, no blog post.  Sorry 'bout that!

Today I have a new art quilt to show you that has been an absolute delight to work on.  The background patchwork was made in the fall during a workshop where I assisted Catherine Nicholls at Sorrento Centre.  I had enough time between my duties to do quite a bit of work myself and writing the words on fabric was such fun.  The pieces of fabric were then all cut up and pieced back together into this lovely background.

The green fabric is from my current winter project of hand dyeing fabric with Procion MX dyes to achieve a textured effect.  The threads were dyed in the same batch so work wonderfully with the fabric.

The brown wool of the tree trunks was a gift from my friend and fellow fibre artist, Anne Long. She hand spun the wool and dyed it with walnut for the rich brown colour.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Raw Silk Scarves and Table Runners

These are some new items that I eco printed yesterday . . . raw silk was previously dyed with either cochineal (pink) or weld (yellow) (or a combination of the two).  I used an iron blanket to shift the colours towards olive green and purple. The prints are very clear and defined and the colours totally beautiful.

There are six pieces of fabric, most of them are approximately 72" x 13" (the perfect size for a long tablerunner or a scarf) and a couple of them are about 54" x 13" (great size for a smaller tablerunner).

How about this gorgeous maple leaf print?!

And here is one of the prints on cochineal ... you can even see the bug bites on the leaves

Monday, September 4, 2017


This week I have been doing some dyeing with cochineal and making eco print scarves . . . yummy!

Here are a few pictures of the finished scarves:
The scarves on the left and right in the above photo are habotai silk that was eco printed with leaves from my garden and the colour was shifted to a purple-pink by using iron in the process.  The scarf in the centre is silk-wool and it printed a much darker colour to start with, almost a cherry red, and after the eco printing it has settled to a raspberry shade with the leaves showing up as more red ... a beautiful effect that will make a gorgeous winter scarf. Detail photo of the silk-wool scarf below.

Below is a detail photo of the leaves on one of the habotai silk scarves.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Felting an eclipse

The finished piece!
Tomorrow (August 21, 2017) is the much anticipated total eclipse of the sun.  In my neck of the woods about 80% of the eclipse should be visible.  Today I decided that I would create a felted art quilt to commemorate this day . . .

I first selected some of the many beautiful pieces of wool roving that I have in my stash to create a background of dark blue with highlights of paler blue along with some gorgeous turquoise and orange.  This has been needle felted to a backing of cotton quilt batting.  I have just lightly covered the backing so that tomorrow...during the eclipse...I can spend the time adding the specialty fibres to represent the actual solar eclipse.
Selecting fibres

Initial layout of the background
The background has been lightly felted

I will be working at the Shuswap Artisan Market in Sorrento tomorrow (10am-4:30pm) and you can drop by and watch me add the details to create this piece.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eco Printing and Natural Dyeing

Eco printing on wool gives such satisfying results ... these leaves were windfalls that I dried last fall just before the snow flew and they have given beautiful prints. 

 The strip of brown is wool melton that has been naturally dyed with red onion skins, cutch and a couple of iron spikes in the dye pot.
The small squares are cotton fabric that was previously used as an iron blanket when I was dyeing scarves.

 This will become a 20" pillow that has some hand stitching added to the machine stitched details. The asymmetrical design really appeals to me :)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dyeing for Inspiration - a Summertime Workshop in Sorrento BC

It is time to start thinking about a fun workshop for this summer ... Here is information about one that I will be co-teaching with Thomas Roach at Sorrento Centre (on the shores of Shuswap Lake in the Interior of British Columbia). . . Class days are July 10-14, 2017

with Thomas Roach & Kathy Kinsella
 Fibre Artists Thomas Roach and Kathy Kinsella have teamed up to offer an inspirational course you'll be “dyeing” to take this summer!

Come and experience eco printing, indigo dyeing and rust printing on fabric and paper.
We will collect leaves from the gardens and use them to transfer the colours and shapes of nature to paper and fabric. We will encourage rusty metals to make marks for us and we will dip into an indigo vat that produces magical blues.

Woven into our week together will be the simple pleasure of some hand stitching inspired by the intriguing and inspirational results of our dyeing and printing. We hope that this will provide inspiration for future explorations. No experience necessary – come explore and play with us!
- See more at:…

Sorrento Centre offers great accommodation (camping, RVs, cabins or lodge rooms with amenities) and wonderful meals or, if you live locally and would like to come as a day student, you are welcome to do so.  Workshop times are 9:45-12:45 Monday to Friday with the possibility of an afternoon or two of open studio time. The afternoons are free for you to enjoy the beach, hike and explore the area.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Eco Print on Paper

This weekend I experimented a bit more with eco printed papers and this is something I will be exploring further!  I started off with an 11" x 14" piece of watercolour paper and folded it into a shape that would work for a small journal.  I used primarily maple, oak and smoke bush leaves and clamped them together before simmering them in a pot of water with onion skins and huckleberry tea added to it.

The dried papers were then waxed and some additional waxed leaves and blossoms were added to the central section.  A bit of eco printed silk was tied through some holes that were punched in the paper and a couple of small wooden buttons add more texture.
I think that this would be a beautiful statement piece in home or office.  A battery-operated tea light could be placed in the central section which would accentuate the images on the semi-translucent base to look beautiful at night.  As it stands, it's footprint is approximately 12" x 5". 

This piece will make its way to my Etsy shop in the next while.