Three A3's

Three A3's was a year long project with ZigZag. In 2004 we each agreed to make one A3 size quilt every week for fifty two weeks.

This plan tested all 3 members’ creativity, time and determination. Susan Mathews, Yvonne Voss and myself had enjoyed a challenge in 2003 of doing a drawing each day. After some considerable discussions we set ourselves a new challenge for the year ahead. We were all very enthusiastic about the 52 pieces we promised to make. 156 quilts in all.

We planned to make an A3 sized quilt each week for a year. The quilts would alternate each week between a ‘landscape’ aspect and a ‘portrait’ aspect. Each quilt was to carry a label with its name on it and the date on which it was made. There was much excitement and planning about this new program. It was great to have an ongoing reason for creativity. A different theme for each week was chosen. We commenced with ‘Machine quilting’ then ‘Hand quilting’. These were followed by 50 other themes, ‘Writing on fabric’, ‘Patterns’, ‘Wool’, ‘Painting on fabric’, Paper’, ‘Lace’, ‘Silk screen printing’, ‘Machine embroidery’, ‘Trapunto’, ‘Holes’, ‘Weaving’, ‘Sun printing’, ‘Glitter’ and ‘Embedding’ and so it continued. The whole project required considerable concentration! It was so easy to become over enthusiastic and carefully stitch a portrait style art piece only to find that a ‘landscape’ piece was needed! Some weeks I really loved the theme and others became quite arduous. ’Black and White’ and ‘Foil’ were just a few that fell into that category for me. It gave us the opportunity to use a great variety of techniques and ideas. It was a challenge to try new edge ideas for doing that finishing touch. There was not time for a lot of deliberation so ‘on with the show’ so to speak. Sometimes a ‘good’ idea simply would not come and next month’s theme was in the brain waiting to be executed! Sometimes there was a dearth of ideas and other times there were too myudoany ideas to stitch at the same time!

At the end of May our quilts were formed into an exhibition which hung in Brown Brothers Cellar Door during the Wangaratta Textile Festival. These 66 small quilts were enjoyed by those people who viewed them.

We still continued with our stitching until December 31st. The year drew to a close and all our A3 Quilts had been completed. We whole heartedly encourage any small ‘art quilting’ group to set themselves a similar challenge as it is very valuable for increasing both creativity and productivity. The Journals we have prepared about our ‘A3s’ have been much appreciated and stand as a valuable record for us. 2 small suitcase Exhibitions of A3s were shown in many venues within Australia.

All quilts measure approximately 30cm X 42cm in size

'Daisies in the Dark'

January 4th 2004

Main Focus: Machine Quilting

Techniques: Machine quilting, fabric painting Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, tulle, cotton fish net, metallic thread

‘Story’The vast areas of pink and white daisies we saw while travelling in Western Australia were a sight to be remembered. They seemed to sparkle in the sunlight, but do they sparkle in the moonlight.

'Too Dark to Darn'

January 11th 2004

Main Focus: Hand Quilting

Techniques: Hand quilting incorporating darning and looped stitches

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, pre-loved Japanese cotton noren, variegated cotton embroidery thread

‘Story’I do not have the patience to carefully darn as my grandmother did. However, I have always admired her frugal attitude. For this quilt I was inspired by sashiko quilting and have tried to extend the ‘Art of Darning’.

‘Peppermint Ribbons’

anuary 18th 2004

Main Focus: Couching

Techniques: Mono printing, machine quilting, hand embroidery, couching

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, pre-loved Japanese cotton noren, acrylic yarns, cotton embroidery thread,rayon thread

Story: Inspired by the Narrow Leafed Peppermint Gums and the Ribbon Gums which grow along the Buffalo River. They grow tall and straight towards the sunlight.

‘Pressure Waves’

January 25th 2004

Main Focus: Rubbings

Technique: Rock patterns made by rubbing oil crayon onto fabric while stretched over cracked plaster, machine quilting with heavy thread Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, hand made braid, rayon and cotton threads

Story: As we walked down into the Kurrijini Gorge in the Hamersley Ranges I was instantly impressed by the spectacular rock formations. The variety of colour, the textures and formations were printed in my mind for future quilts.


February 1st 200 4

Main Focus:Discharge techniques

Techniques: Discharging, stamping, machine quilting

Fabrics used: Commercial black fabric discharged to tan, hand made braid, rayon and metallic threads

‘Story’The idea for this quilt came from the appearance of the discharge patterns which reminded me of tall eucalypt trees after wildfire. I added the green and red leaves to represent the new growth.

‘The Interior’


February 8th 2004

Main Focus: Torn Edges

Techniques: Machine quilting, torn fabric

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, commercial cotton fabric, rayon and cotton threads

‘Story’The colours of the interior areas of Australia vary through a broad spectrum of shades. I have tried to interpret these in a simplistic manner.

‘Misty Memories’

February 15th 2004

Main Focus: Felt

Techniques: Hand felting, embroidery

Fabrics used: Hand dyed wool, Polworth fleece, hand made felt from Kyrgyzstan

Story: Ancient symbols continue to fascinate me. Many of them are similar. I was inspired to represent two of these symbols in felted wool. The grey Polworth fleece gives the impression of a misty memory through the years.


February 22nd 2004

Main Focus: Shibori style dyeing

Techniques: Machine quilting, crochet

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, cotton and rayon threads

Story: Shibori style dyeing is fun to do with some fascinating results. The main fabric was tied with rubber bands which resulted in clear rings resisting the dye. The binding fabric was wound around a pipe and pushed tightly to one end prior to dyeing. The rings were crocheted and added to give some definition to the work, hence the name.

‘Evergreen Autumn’

February 29th 2004

Main Focus: Sun Printing

Techniques: Sun printing, hand embroidery and plaiting

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric and thread, commercial threads and wool

Story: Eucalypt trees are classed as evergreen trees but they do lose a lot of leaves during the warmer months. I have interpreted this by printing the background leaves green then embroidering over these with autumn coloured leaves

‘Dragonflies over Water’

March 7th 2004

Main Focus: Stamping

Techniques: Machine quilting, stamping and appliqué

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric stamped with fabric paint and bleach, wool and cording in plaited edging

Story: I am fascinated by dragonflies, their shape, colour and movement. They are often seen ‘flitting’ around water. I have tried to give a 3D affect as they hover over a waterway.

‘Beads for Fun’

March 14th 2004

Main Focus: Beads

Techniques: Shibori dyeing method, bead making, appliqué

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, hand made beads, rayon cording, foil.

Story: The Shibori dyed fabric seemed perfect for using as a background for a ‘bead’ pattern. It was great FUN making the unusual fabric beads by rolling thin strips of torn fabric around short lengths of drinking straws.

‘Bows with Butterflies’

March 21st 2004

Main Focus: Buttons

Techniques: Shibori dyeing method, Sun printing, couching, appliqué

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, buttons, rayon thread and cording

Story: Again the Shibori dyed fabric seemed perfect for using as a background. I was very pleased to be able to use some of my button collection to make this fun quilt.

‘Ladder to the Moon’

March 28th 2004

Main Focus: Cut back appliqué

Techniques: Cutting out outlined shapes, painting, machine quilting

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and painted cotton fabric, metallic thread

Story: We were lucky enough to see the ‘stairway to the moon’ at Hearson’s Cove in Western Australia. This natural phenomenon occurs as a full moon rises over mud flats. The spectacle is a delight for artists and photographers.

‘Wandering and Weaving’

April 4th 2004

Main Focus: Weaving

Techniques: Tearing of fabric, hand dyeing and printing, embroidery and weaving

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and discharged cotton fabric, commercial cotton and rayon fabric, rayon and cotton embroidery threads.

Story: Inspiration for this quilt came from our regular holidays through inland Australia. ‘Colour, Colour’. It weaves itself through every landscape and is a joy to be amongst.

‘A Bit of Rust’

April 11th 2004

Main Focus: Rusting

Techniques: Chemical and natural rusting processes, embroidery, machine quilting

Fabrics used: Rusted muslin and hand dyed cotton fabric, cotton threads

Story: The interesting rust marks were the total inspiration for this quilt. The background fabric was rusted by using three separate dipping solutions and the other fabrics were rusted by leaving them in contact with rusty metal items.

‘Forest Floor on Fire’

April 18th 2004

Main Focus: Burning

Techniques: Crayon rubbing, fabric dyeing, burning fabric, appliqué, fabric painting

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, vanishing muslin,

Story: The burnt edges on the strips of dyed fabric reminded me of tree trunks that had suffered the flames of bush fire so I was inspired to stitch another fire quilt. This time the fire has been symbolized with painted vanishing muslin which ‘vanishes’ with heat and gives a rough edge.

'Too Big To ‘Darn’

April 25th 2004

Main Focus: Batik Dyeing

Techniques: Batik style dyeing, machine quilting, hand embroidery

Fabrics used: Batik style commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric, rayon and cotton threads.

Story: Recently I saw some old silk which had been mended by whipping the fragile splits together. Obviously the tears were ‘too big to darn’!

‘Silken Rocks’

May 2nd 2004

Main Focus: Silk Paper

Techniques: Hand made silk paper, free machine embroidery, stamping

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, silk paper, rayon thread, gold paint

Story: The piece of silk paper I had made was small but colourful, in fact the colours of the rock faces of the Hamersley Ranges. I cut the silk fabric into squares to enable me to us it as the focus for a simplistic impression of the inland rocks.

‘Frog and Feather’

May 9th 2004

Main Focus: ‘Found Object’

Techniques: Machine quilting, weaving, hand embroidery, stamped lino cut

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, organza, cotton thread, found objects

Story: My main dilemma was how to attach my very special ‘found objects’. A dear little frog that had become dehydrated on my carpet and a single yellow feather from the crest of a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

‘On the Ridge’

May 16th 2004

Main Focus: Pictures on Fabric

Techniques: Pastel and pen drawing, computer print-out, nappy liner applied pastel, machine quilting, embroidery

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric, organza, synthetic cording

Story: Inspired by the site of Cope Hut on the Bogong High Plains. This mountain ‘shelter’ was built in 1929, the first hut built for ski touring in Victoria.


May 23rd 2004

Main Focus: Writing on Fabric

Techniques: Fabric rusting, computer image transfer, free machine writing.

Fabrics used: Felt, rusted cotton fabric, commercial cotton fabric, rayon thread

Story: ‘If we love nature as we love ourselves, the earth will become beautiful and all good things in our human lives will come to be part of the earth’. This is a Chinese proverb, part of which is represented by the old Chinese symbols which were instrumental in inspiring me to create this quilt.

‘Darn the Hessian’

May 30th 2004

Main Focus: Hessian

Techniques: Darning, appliqué, couching

Fabrics used: Hessian, wool and synthetic yarns

Story: The thought of hessian immediately sent a message to me that I must darn a pattern into it. The appliqué of coloured hessian scraps and the couching of hessian threads was a design element added later.


June 6th 2004

Main Focus: Netting

Techniques: Running stitch

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, commercial net, yarn

Story: Where do I start!! I loved this brightly coloured net and it looked great over the orange fabric I had dyed. Next I thought I will Darn-the-net!

‘Money in Space’

June 13th 2004

Main Focus: Embedding

Techniques: Machine quilting, embedding of shavings of Shiva stick and coins

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric, tulle and copper coins.

Story: I began with the idea of ‘pennies from heaven’ and my finished quilt appears like outer space with bright lights and coins.

‘Two Emus’

June 20th 2004

Main Focus: Mono print

Techniques: Relief print and a mono print.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric

Story: The print of the two emus was taken from a drawing I did myself. It was photo copied and transferred with metholated spirits onto the fabric. The background ‘gibba’ plain image was drawn with fabric paint onto glass and a single print was made onto fabric. I used a pen to highlight the emus

‘Old Dibbins’

June 27th 2004

Main Focus: Pictures on fabric

Techniques: Computer print of photo image, Relief Print onto tissue paper, nappy liner colour transfer, crayon drawings.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and commercial cotton fabric, rayon thread

Story: Inspired by my photos of the old Dibbins Hut on the Victorian High Plains. This hut has sadly been replaced by a new log cabin.

‘Rin Tin Tin’

July 4th 2004

Main Focus: Pressed Metal

Techniques: Sun sensitive fabric painting, Shiva stick highlights, machine embroidery, appliqué

Fabrics used: Hand painted cotton fabric, synthetic tulle and organza, decorative yarn

Story: The inspiration for this quilt came from the old decorative wall panelling.

‘Painted Daisies’

July 11th 2004

Main Focus: Painting

Techniques: Painted image onto painted fabric, machine quilting and appliqué, edge whipping

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and painted cotton, synthetic tulle, rayon thread.

Story: I have not painted an image on fabric before so I chose a simple design and appliquéd and quilted over it. The tulle was added for an accent

‘Boab Tree’

July 18th 2004

Main Focus: Black and white fabric

Techniques: Relief print onto muslin using a fresh photo copy of the image which was applied with PVA Glue

Fabrics used: Black homespun, white muslin and rayon thread.

Story: What a challenge this was. I do not like ‘black and white’ as a total combination. The idea of a print gave me the creativity I needed and I am pleased with the simplicity of the result.

‘Coleure Naturale'

July 25th 2004

Main Focus: Greys / Naturals

Techniques: Hand dyeing with rusting chemicals and natural forest dyes. Hand stitching, embedding.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and commercial cotton fabrics, tea bags, Cassia pods, cotton threads

Story: The natural’ colours ‘blended with ‘greys’ inspired a vision of soft forest impressions of rotting leaves and debris. I wanted the vision to be rather as if the debris had just fallen naturally and so I placed the varying elements haphazardly.

‘Billy Tea’

August 1st 2004

Main Focus: Tea or Coffee

Techniques: Computer printing, fabric burning, machine embroidery and appliqué

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric, tea dyed cotton fabric, synthetic organza, decorative yarn

Story: Lighting a campfire and boiling a billy to make tea, is a great delight in the Australian outback. It was my first thought when I had to focus on ‘tea’.

‘Len’s Truck’

August 8th 2004

Main Focus: Condies Crystals

Techniques: Cotton fabric dyed with Condies Crystals, computer printing, machine embroidery and appliqué.

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric, rusted cotton muslin, rayon thread.

Story: The fabric dyed with Condies Crystals lent itself to a desert theme. Len Beadell was a 20th Century explorer and road builder in the Australian outback. His Commer supply truck was burnt out and abandoned on the Gary Junction Road during the 1960s.

'Black Daisy’

August 15th 2004

Main Focus: Foil

Techniques: Frottage, stamping, computer printing, fabric burning, machine embroidery, and appliqué.

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed fabric, commercial felt, foil, hand made embedded paper and synthetic yarn and braid.

Story: I was required to do a ‘mixed media’ piece of art work for TAFE. I was able to use quite a wide range of techniques and fabrics in this design.

‘Ellendale Morning’

August 22nd 2004

Main Focus: Glitter

Techniques: Relief print onto cotton muslin fabric and machine embroidery.

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric, cotton and metallic thread, glitter craft glue.

Story: We camped near Ellendale Pool in Western Australia. The sun shining through the morning dew was a sight to remember.

‘Desert Drawings’

August 2th 2004

Main Focus: Trapunto

Techniques: Overlay with machine embroidery, Trapunto, appliqué

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric, organza, rayon threads, wool

Story: Inspiration came from a wonderful painting of the desert done by John Olsen. I have tried to reproduce the feeling of marks, lines and general litter to be found in the natural desert areas.

‘Louisa Mynette’

September 5th 2004

Main Focus: Lace

Techniques: Cyanotype printing, computer printing and appliqué.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed commercial and cotton, cyanotype printed lace, shellac painted lace.

Story: After Auntie Ivy died I was left with many of her treasures, one of which was a lace pillow sham which I used for cyanotype/sun sensitive printing and then painted to form part of this design. Auntie Ivy’s real name was ‘Isa Louisa Mynette’. (She was a beautiful baby)


September 12th 2004

Main Focus: Screen printing

Techniques: Screen printing and appliqué.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric and rayon thread.

Story: I have used this screen print design effectively in several quilts. This time I have cut up 2 prints and appliquéd them together to make the forest appear thicker.

‘Red Rock’

September 19th 2004

Main Focus: Transfer Paints

Techniques: Fabric printing using transfer paints, quilting, hand embroidery and appliqué.

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric, satin and cotton thread.

Story: I love the beautiful red rock hills of outback Australia so I painted a simple picture on paper, transferred it to fabric and gave the image dimension with pearl thread and sashiko cotton.

‘Paper Leaves’

September 26th 2004

Main Focus: Paper

Techniques: Stencilling, lino cut printing, appliqué.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton fabric, hand made paper

Story: The challenge to use paper and fabric together was simplified by the leaf design on both the background fabric and the feature print on paper.

‘Leaves That Litter’

October 3rd 2004

Main Focus: Appliqué

Techniques: Appliqué

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton fabric, synthetic felt.

Story: I love the leaf debris on the forest floor and this was a great way to depict the continual layering of leaves of all colours.

‘Warming Up’

October 10th 2004

Main Focus: Use of Nappy Liners

Techniques: Transfer of colour via a nappy liner, appliqué, lino cut print, machine embroidery and quilting.

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton and hand dyed cotton.

Story: I am fascinated by the way lizards lie out in the sun to warm their cold blood after the winter. I have even seen one perched stiffly on the end of a branch trying to ‘Warm Up’

‘Bowl of Apples’

October 17th 2004

Main Focus: Still Life

Techniques: Appliqué, hand embroidery, machine quilting and fabric painting.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and commercial cotton, synthetic ribbon

Story: This was a real challenge as I don’t normally focus on ‘still life’. The initial inspiration came from a drawing of ‘half an apple’ by Jean Ray Laurie. I often eat half an apple myself and leave the rest until later!


October 24th 2004

Main Focus: Machine Embroidery

Techniques: Couching, machine embroidery, Lino cut printing.

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton, synthetic threads, braids and ribbon.

Story: Inspiration came from the debris and water marks that are left in the inland river beds after flooding


October 31st 2004

Main Focus: Lino Prints

Techniques: Lino cut print, machine quilting and fabric burning

Fabrics used: Commercial and hand dyed cotton

Story: I wanted to used this lino print to advantage and the bright backing fabric reminded me of a rift in the earth which could have been caused by a volcano or earth quake.

Rough and Tumble

November 7th 2004

Main Focus: Texture

Techniques: Crinkling, crochet, beading and hand embroidery

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric, cotton threads, synthetic cording and beads

Story: Inspired by the layers that make up a rock face. They are rugged, rough and colourful. The name came from a nasty thought of how rough it would be if you had the misfortune to tumble down such a rock face.

‘Two Rivers Make A Creek’

November 14th 2004

Main Focus: Line

Techniques: Screen printing and quilting

Fabrics used: Hand dyed cotton and Pearl thread

Story: The many streams of the Barcoo and Thompson Rivers merge together to make Cooper Creek. They form a wonderful pattern from an aerial view or on a map.

‘Turning Left’

November 21st 2004

Main Focus: Shape

Techniques: Machine quilting appliqué and embroidery

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric and synthetic organza fabric

Story: 10 years ago I purchased the background fabric in Denver, USA and have never found a suitable way to use it. The shape of ‘a hand’ is both distinctive and attractive.

‘Snow Queen’

November 28th 2004

Main Focus: Pre-loved

Techniques: Hand dyeing and discharging, altered photograph, machine and hand quilting, machine and hand embroidery.

Fabrics used: Pre-loved flour bags and cotton thread, photograph.

Story: I have collected old flour bags for many years. The history and ‘pre-loved’ look has much appeal. I dyed a large flour bag with Condies Crystals and discharged it with lemon juice. The smaller flour bag is tea-dyed and came from one of the 3 mills which operated in Wangaratta. The ‘pre-loved’ mill pictured, is still standing on the Snow Road at Oxley.


December 5th 2004

Main Focus: 3D

Techniques: Discharging of fabric colour, paper moulding and hand quilting

Fabrics used: Commercial cotton fabric and black felt, hand dyed muslin, paper, cotton thread and wooden beads

Story: The accumulation of miscellaneous debris which is left after a flood lends itself to a 3D arrangement. It is often an unrecognizable pile of branches, leaves and stones all washed together where the flood of water has left it.

‘Window of Opportunity’

December 12th 2004

Main Focus: Holes

Techniques: Screen printing, machine embroidery, fabric painting and burning.

Fabrics used: Hand dyed and commercial cotton fabric.

Story: I wanted to create a view of looking through some trees. I screen printed the tree trunks and strengthened them with a double row of zigzag then cut away the base fabric so the view beyond the trees could be seen through the ‘holes’

‘Traditional Flax’

December 19th 2004

Main Focus: Patterns

Techniques: Sashiko quilting

Fabrics used: Pre-loved Japanese cotton, Japanese silk, hand dyed cotton thread

Story: A friend gave me this piece of silk with a traditional ‘Flax’ design on it. I was able to see this design through the open weave of the green cotton so I decided to have some fun with sashiko quilting!


December 26th 2004

Main Focus: Wool

Techniques: Knitting, hand embroidery and fabric burning

Fabrics used: Hand dyed wool, natural dyed hand made felt from Kyrgyzstan, silk thread

Story: The two elements, hand dyed wool and felt directed the design for this quilt. It is purely a fun piece which evolved as it progressed!