Posted by: maureenc | September 10, 2015


After not participating in the recently completed Round 22 Swaps of Postmark’dArt  the withdrawal symptoms were “too much” to ignore, and I signed for  completing three themes:




I first joined Postmark’dArt in 2006, and over the years , and swap rounds since then, I have been fortunate to have been encouraged in my endeavours by some remarkable women:  Franki Kohler, the founding leader of the group has had a book published on the “how to’s” of making Fabric Postcards. But since it was published in 2006 we have pushed the borders from simple patched and pieced blocks to playing with all sorts of combinations



I have just completed my series of six cards featuring HATS for Round 23.

I have used the same principle for all six: a  face outline stitched in black on plain calico, and the same model of hat.(And six hats later, I realise that I didn’t make a black hat!

The main body of each hat was constructed of felt, and the lower “lining” is of a toning cotton fabric. I had originally thought to use some raffia and panama   straw hat type .

It didn’t work!



Hat #3

Hat #3



Hat # 5

Hat # 5

Hat # 6

Hat # 6

Evie Harris from New Zealand has been a wonderful “partner in crime”

I met her via an Australian Quilting and Patchwork web site…way back in 2005 (I think) She introduced me to ATCs (Artist Trading cards) and air drying “paper clay” to make moon faces.

Today I gave a talk: “show and tell” to my Ladies Probus Club about POST MARK’D ART  (Fabric post cards made for swapping) and Evie’s “moon lady” featured in my ATCs (Artists Trading Cards).

Evie, they were “rapt” to hear how we met online; how you showed me new techniques, and how we finally met in 2013 when I was on a cruise around NZ.

Franki! They loved seeing your book………….easy for “non quilters” to grasp the concept. I hope you are updating to include all the fun things we have tried in recent years!

I am so thankful to the Internet, for the opportunity to meet so many wonderfully creative women…..far too many for me to acknowledge.

My next “challenge ” for PMA is” WHIMSY“” The ideas are bubbling round in my brain, but I just need PLAN the cards to obtain a result.

(Watch this space, but DON’T hold your breath!)

Posted by: maureenc | August 26, 2015

The Mists of Time

As this  year is the tenth  anniversary of the Australian_NZArt quilters Group, a Challenge was issued  to its members to make a ten inch square quilt to commemorate the occasion.

The theme was (loosely interpreted)  TEN/ growth, and at the time I had no inspiration at all regarding “ten” or “growth”, so I went off on a tangent of my own choosing.

I have enjoyed making landscape quilts for some time, and thoroughly enjoyed a workshop with Cynthia Morgan (from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast) who first showed me that it was “alright” to use various raw edged scraps of fabric to portray the Australian bush.

Then there are books by Karen Eckmeier “ACCIDENTAL LANDSCAPES”   and  “HAPPY VILLAGES” which have also helped my journey.

Recently someone was talking about Strata quilts and after googling   them I found a few that gave me inspiration for my challenge quilt. (You were beginning to wonder WHAT I was rambling on about weren’t you!)

In a local quilt shop I had seen a quilt which had been fabricated using a tile effect in a landscape, and I wanted to play with the idea in this quilt.1-DSC03106 and represent the growth of Australia.

IF you look closely at the TOP of my “Mists of Time” you will see that I started with a tessellated strata for the sky.

But I didn’t like it, for several reasons:  1. I had forgotten to stabilise the fabric pieces with a heat fusible stabiliser

and the tiles were fraying.

2. Stitching the narrow pieces was fiddly ,to say the least!


1-DSC03109Rather than attempting to remove  the tessellated pieces that was the sky, I switched to Karen Eckmeier’s  “accidental landscape method” using strips of fabric to portray the sea.

Some strips were stitched with raw edges, and others had rolled edge top-stitched into position. I used a creamy fabric to separate the sea from the land and used wider pieces of fabric to layer the brown earth of the Outback , blending into the green pastures of farms and then the settlers’ cottages.

On the left hand side of the quilt is appliqued a pelican represented in an indigenous art style.

Behind the bird have been placed sailing ships representing the FIRST FLEET of eleven ships which sailed to Australia in 1788.


Above the ships, the Sydney Opera House has been applique’d behind white organza,

and on a level with the pelican, I added Uluru , which used to be known as  Ayers Rock.

It doesn’t show at all clearly in the photograph, but strips of various shades of blue bridal tulle fall down over the scene from the top binding. My idea of adding these was to add a “misty” look to the piece, and by leaving the strips longer

than the quilt itself, they might sway in any air movement and impart another dimension to the quilt.

And there you have it, my attempt at creating the Mists of Time.




Posted by: maureenc | August 6, 2015

To intersect or to converge?

Several weeks back over on Being Creatively (a private FB group) Myfanwy suggested that we “play” with intersecting stripes as a preparatory step to making a fabric postcard. I have been interested for some time in Ricky Timms method of “convergence”, and wondered if it would work with a regular striped fabric rather than batik type of irregular striping. So……..I pulled  two striped fabrics from my stash, cut several different widths  of the fabrics and proceeded.



Although I achieved a pleasing (to me anyway) pattern, the results were not what I hoped for: You really need the fluid lines  of a batik print cut into varying widths, plus another pattern :maybe a bright floral to counterbalance the muted shades of the batik……….I do know that my choice didn’t work.  :-(



But I will  try  to “converge” again with different fabrics, another time. However, not being happy with either of the preceding  cards, I decided to relax with a spot of silk ribbon embroidery: Silk ribbon flowers I used  iron-on black   tape for the stained glass effect “frame” and a black crochet thread in Cretan stitch to frame the lavender fabric. Silk ribbon embroidered flowers spiced with seed bead centres and sequin leaves were added to complete the card.

It is so long since I did much handwork that I am finding my fingers joints are not as supple as they should be. It’s just as well  that I am trying to keep up with the TAST challenge this year. Now that my card are ready to mail out, I hope to catch up on LAST week’s  TAST exercise, which was FEATHER stitch. My usual story………I wanted to work several variations of the stitch, and so far I have only worked the basic stitch. It’s just as well that Sharon isn’t a severe task master!

Posted by: maureenc | July 28, 2015

Remember me?

Hummingbird House Postcards

I really am not brave enough to check how long it is since I last blogged, but as I have excused myself “several” times before the urge to stitch and create has abandoned me for nearly a year.

Late in June I heard of a Craft and Gift Fair being arranged by Quota International of Redcliffe Inc to assist in raising funds for Hummingbird House, the first Hospice in Queensland to be purpose designed for children

“Hummingbird House is a joint initiative of Queensland Kids and Wesley Mission Brisbane with the vision of creating an innovative and sustainable respite and hospice facility addressing a significant gap in Queensland’s paediatric landscape. Establishing Hummingbird House will deliver a supportive home away from home for families impacted by a child’s life-limiting illness.”

And because the Probus group I belong to recently had Paul Quilliam (CEO of Hummingbird House) as a guest speaker, I was keen to help, so I decided to sell my fabric postcards and donate all proceeds to the fund.As luck would have it, I “found “some hummingbird fabrics available on the internet and purchased some ten FQs to use for cards.

Hummingbird House Postcards

Hummingbird House Postcards


Anyway, after a week of burning the midnight oil and making my loyal Janome work overtime. I had about 25 Hummingbird themed cards for sale, as well as 75 “general” themed postcards.

I hasten to add that most of the general themed cards were from a stash that built up over the year as I made cards for various on-line swaps. I learned yesterday that over 500 people visited the show on July 4. Unfortunately, I didn’t sell as many cards as I hoped, but I was still able to donate $150 as result of sales.


Posted by: maureenc | July 28, 2015

TAST 2015

After many failed attempts over the years, I have once again put my hand up to participate in a 2015 re-run of Sharon B’s very popular “Take A Stitch Tuesday”/TAST.

Once again I had the feeling that those gremlins were going to mess up my attempts, but I am pleased and relieved to say that I completed the two stitches a day ahead of schedule .

To be honest, the buttonhole stitch was done to schedule, but the fly stitch lagged into the second week.

It feels so good to be returning to hand work again, but I am realising just how much my hands have stiffened through doing mainly machine work. Remember the old saying of “use it or lose it”: I can appreciate that now.

I have chosen to combine the dedicated stitches into a scene rather than a true sampler.

I have used the FLY stitch for the palm tree branches/fronds, and the birds flying through, and BUTTONHOLE for the land.

Now to remember “how” to link this post to Pintangle to show the boss that I have actually managed to stitch.

Fly & Buttonholestitches

Fly & Buttonhole stitches

Posted by: maureenc | June 9, 2015

In A Vase on Monday – Peonies


Eliza! I’m reblogging your post so that others may enjoy!

Originally posted on Eliza Waters:

IMG_5497Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, hosts a weekly meme to showcase what is blooming in our gardens by creating arrangements to enjoy inside our homes. Wander over to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.

IMG_5495I used a favorite cobalt blue vase to arrange white and pink peonies (which started opening only yesterday), tall stems of baptisia, oxeye daisies, tightly budded chartreuse lady’s mantle, purple Siberian iris and reddish-pink weigela, which picked up the brush of the same hue on the inner petals of the white peony.

IMG_5496It always cheers me up to create a arrangement and I thank Cathy at Words and Herbs and WG at Forest Garden, who have inspired me from past posts to join in the fun. If you feel inspired, join in too!


View original

Posted by: maureenc | June 3, 2015

Today’s Quote


Today’s quote complements yesterday’s!

Originally posted on Soul Gatherings:


A flower cannot blossom without sunshine,
and man cannot live without love.

~ Max Muller ~

View original

Posted by: maureenc | June 1, 2015



Striking composition of both photo and words

Originally posted on leaf and twig:

the story
twice told
self and shadow

View original

Posted by: maureenc | May 26, 2015




How many quilters and crafters are like me: they see “something” that they can’t live without!

They purchase the “something”, and then, NEVER USE IT!

Mea culpa!

Sometime in the last five or six years, I purchased a pack of MAGIC  STAMP(TM)   I purchased mine  from The Thread Studio in Perth.

What is Magic Stamp? It’s a thermoplastic foam which has some interesting properties:

*it can be cut with scissors or a craft knife.

*It can be sewn into by hand or machine , although I haven’t tried that yet

* heat doesn’t pass through it so it can be handled without danger of burns. My problem came from the heat gun I was using whilst holding the block in my hand!


Magic Stamps are approx. 3″ x 4″ and can be heated and molded to create your very own one of a kind stamp. 

Here’s how: 
1.  To begin, select something to mold and place it in front of you.  This could be a pile of rubber bands, a rubber stamp, a clay molds, the bottom of your shoe or anything else that has a nice deep texture or design.  I chose to use an assortment of buttons , a  Christmas decoration that was like a string of silver beads, and a few sprays of Cordyline flower stems.

Molds from buttons

Molds from buttons



smaller buttons

smaller buttons

2.  Set the Magic Stamp down and with a Heat Tool** heat the surface for approx. 1 minute – 1-1/2 minutes.  It is important to keep the tool raised at least 1″ from the Magic Stamp and that you keep the tool moving to heat the surface evenly.  Heating in one place for too long and too close may cause the block to scorch. 
3.  Stop heating and quickly lift and press the heated side of the block down onto what you are molding.  Press firmly and lift after 15 seconds. 
4.  Check your design.  If it looks like a nice impression you are ready to stamp.  If it doesn’t look like much happened you can reheat and remold the Magic Stamp. 

I actually used both sides of the foam block to make the molds.

Then I used an ink pad to load the stamp and, hey presto my stamped backgrounds were born!Later, I  decided that I would have had better results using acrylic paints and a small roller. I haven’t had time to try that as yet.

And here are the completed post cards that are winging their way to new homes:


 Red Buttons

Cordyline sprigs

Cordyline sprigs

Blue buttons

Blue buttons

Dragonflies & beads


Posted by: maureenc | May 11, 2015

Still in catch-up mode!



I’m slowly catching up on projects that were delayed by a recent bout of bronchitis, and after I mail these Gelli plate based post cards I will make a start on a “stamped” theme, but more of that later. I have had the basic prints for some time, but I had no idea WHAT to add to them to complete the postcard. Finally I decided that the first one could be used to represent a caged bird  (something which I HATE with a vengeance, as I think all birds should fly free), so the chicken wire of the cage is BEHIND the warbler. I used a honey comb shaped stencil to represent the chicken wire of the aviary.



The second print was made by “splodging” a purple paint as well as a bright yellow and blending both down with white. I then used a wooden skewer to “draw”  simplistic flowers over the fabric. To tone in with the yellow paint I chose to fussy cut a yellow breasted bird and appliqué  it as a focal point.



Card number three, is a combination of two Gelli prints: The background is a combination of blue and  pink paints over which I have scribbled with that skewer again. I then fussy cut a  lavender butterfly from another gelli print to applique as a central feature.



Finally, the fourth postcard! The back ground fabric was a blue which was overlaid over a white paint that had been left to dry. I over painted the white layer with the blue paint  then dragged a plastic spatula over the wet paint to gain an abstract noughts and crosses impression. Once again a strip of floral fabric was  fussy-cut to emphasize the shapes of the crocus flowers and then some tulle was overlaid to add depth to the floral fabric. Maybe I should have attempted to incorporate more effects through successive layers of Gelli prints, but I felt uncomfortable with more than mono printing, and I turned to embellishment to complete the effect. I hope my swap partners enjoy my attempts.

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