Strathalbyn, SA – Rug Expo

Do you “up-cycle”? Learn how to turn your fabric stash into wearable art, decorator items and more using traditional and contemporary techniques.

Places are still available for the workshops next month (Oct. 11 & 12) in Strathalbyn, SA.

Fibre artists  who are all members of both the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers (TIGHR) and the Australian Rugmakers Guild (ARG) will meet in “Strath” to offer you an interesting weekend of workshops, discussions, and great company!

Don’t miss on your chance to learn this craft or expand   your current skills

Click the links for workshop descriptions.

STRATHALBYN RUG HOOKING EXPO

Saturday & Sunday, 11 & 12 October 2014

Town Hall, High St. Strathalbyn, South Australia

All welcome

Workshops available

  1. Waldoboro (3D)/ Sculptural hooking; Judi Tompkins Profile Workshop Description
  2. Hooking an A3 sized facial portrait from a photograph; Portrait Workshop Chris Noorbergen
  3. Fibre Sculptures; Maggie Whyte Artist Profile & class description
  4. Braiding Techniques; Kathleen Smith & Barbara Philllips Profile and Workshop Description
  5. Proddy;   Miriam Miller
  6. Punchneedle Hooking; Jacqui Thomson Profile & Workshop Description
  7. Dyeing Safely in the Kitchen;  Joy Marshall Class Description
  8. Traditional rug hooking; Jo Franco Profile & Workshop Description
  9. Toothbrush rug making;  Judith Stephens Profile & Workshop Description

 Beginners Welcome – tools/supplies provided.

For bookings, please email rugcraftersaustralia@yahoo.com.au or phone 08-8536-3451
You can also go to the Current Calendar tab of www.rughookingaustralia.com.au for workshop and instructor profiles.

More about “that” cutting machine

G’day!

I’ve had a range of emails and comments regarding the cutting machine mentioned in my last post and I thought I’d try to summarise what I’m hearing.

The few people who have purchased/used it have complained that the blades dull quickly (and so don’t cut) or that the cutter doesn’t cut a straight strip.

A few thoughts (and I have not used this machine or even seen it demonstrated although I may ask the next time I’m in Spotlight):

Whenever you buy any product that uses disposable parts, whether it is a battery, gasket, bulb or cutting wheel, it seems sensible to me to order several (or even a quantity) when you buy the product. This is particularly important when it might be a “hard to find” or unusual part. So….don’t expect a cutting blade to last “forever and ever”.

My understanding is that this cutter is for – and used by – people who are quilters and scrapbookers. With that it mind I can understand why it is so important to cut an accurate and straight piece of fabric/paper. However, for those cutting wool or other fabric for hooking, a slight variation doesn’t really matter…unless of course you are a hooker who demands a perfect cut…a cut that is still pretty difficult to achieve with a pair of scissors or a cutting mat. It’s up to you.

Finally, even with the expensive fabric cutting/wool splitting machines that we can buy from O/S the fabric used is always an issue and has an impact on the cutting consistency and how quickly the blades can dull.  With these expensive machines the general recommendation is that you only cut wool or fabric that is mostly wool since, wool doesn’t dull the blades as quickly  and the machines are not designed to cut lightweight synthetics or other fabrics. (Remember..I’m speaking in generalities here).

Things it would be interesting to know:

1. Can this machine cut wool? What weight?

2. Does cutting synthetic fabric dull the blades faster than wool?

3. Does another sewing machine company other than Singer make a machine like this?

OK….I don’t want to give up on this cutter too quickly if it has the potential to cut certain fabrics in narrow strips,

Judi

Alternative Cutting Machine?

After you have been hooking projects for a while, many of you are tired of using scissors or the cutting mat and rotary cutter, after all “I just want to hook – not cut!”

If you are faced with this frustration and tempted to buy a fabric cutter (also called a fabric/wool splitter) from one of the overseas, online shops you are confronted with the obvious drawbacks about the cost (international shipping alone is very expensive for an already expensive machine) and how to decide “which one” you want to buy (particularly since parts and maintenance must also come from overseas).

I have noticed – but hadn’t found anyone who used one until recently – that there is a fabric cutting machine made by Simplicity  for sewers/quilters and it is available in Australia from places like Spotlight, Lincraft and online.

According to the Simplicity information, the machine:

Cuts fabric, paper, canvas, and more by pressure
Adjustable guide for cutting strips from 3/8″ to 2 1/4″
Lightweight for easy portability
Blades will last longer than traditional rotary blades
Eases the strain on wrists, especially when you have 100’s of strips to cut (such as cutting strips for rug hooking
Ships with straight blade and pinking blade

Here is a YouTube video of what this machine looks like and how it works.

The promotion says that it will cut “canvas” but I don’t know what that means….I wouldn’t be surprised if it would cut lightweight wool but I don’t know about heavy blankets. It might be worth checking on if  you want a cutting machine for your projects.

As with anything that requires blades, I suggest you order a quanity of them when you buy your machine because these machines probably don’t have long-lived blades.

I hope this helps!

Judi

Finally…after a long break

G’day to all!

Sorry for the long break in writing my blog, and I thank you for your patience! I thought I would bring you up-to-date on a few of the projects I’ve managed to finish and I’ll update you on what the “Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters” have been doing.

This commission piece went to the USA and my second piece of bespoke "fibre taxidermy" ! The piece is 74cm (29in) x 54cm (21in) and is heavily sculpted (the dog is 3 1/2in thick or 9cm), The couch, blue ball (just edging into frame) and the piece of furniture in the background are all sculpted as well to varying depth. The piece was made with Alpaca, Sheep and Mohair rovings; recycled wool blankets; knitting yarns; beads and buttons. And Yes...that is a cockroach on the couch! The man who commissioned this for his wife is a real prankster (he's a pediatrician)and tends to make and leave fake bugs/spiders at friends' homes! So...I thought I would include his "signature" for his wife...neither he nor she knows I have done this! (A number of people have suggested that I "lose the roach" but I couldn't! Since this is a bespoke piece that has meaning only to the people it was created for....so.....the "bug" has meaning to them....doesn't matter what I think! I was however able to NOT include a rather hedious lemon yellow/bubble gum pink toy octopus that they sent a swatch of fabric from...I made a replica of the toy and put it (tentatively) on the piece to see if they wanted it (It looked horrible!) and within hours they said to leave it off (whew!)....but they DID want me to send the toy with the piece! So, there is no accounting for what makes folks happy!)
This commission piece went to the USA and my second piece of bespoke “fibre taxidermy” ! The piece is 74cm (29in) x 54cm (21in) and is heavily sculpted (the dog is 3 1/2in thick or 9cm), The couch, blue ball (just edging into frame) and the piece of furniture in the background are all sculpted as well to varying depth. The piece was made with Alpaca, Sheep and Mohair rovings; recycled wool blankets; knitting yarns; beads and buttons. And Yes…that is a cockroach on the couch! The man who commissioned this for his wife is a real prankster (he’s a pediatrician)and tends to make and leave fake bugs/spiders at friends’ homes! So…I thought I would include his “signature” for his wife…neither he nor she knows I have done this! (A number of people have suggested that I “lose the roach” but I couldn’t! Since this is a bespoke piece that has meaning only to the people it was created for….so…..the “bug” has meaning to them….doesn’t matter what I think! I was however able to NOT include a rather hedious lemon yellow/bubble gum pink toy octopus that they sent a swatch of fabric from…I made a replica of the toy and put it (tentatively) on the piece to see if they wanted it (It looked horrible!) and within hours they said to leave it off (whew!)….but they DID want me to send the toy with the piece! So, there is no accounting for what makes folks happy!)

 

Cotton, tab-top curtains dyed using Scribbly Gum Bark.
Cotton, tab-top curtains dyed using Scribbly Gum Bark.
This 12" x 15" piece was a two-day project made for a gallery show in South Australia..the theme was "Botanicals"....two trees are made with Scribbly-gum bark-dyed cotton and the "rocks and flowers" are slightly Waldobored with wools and panti-hose.
This 12″ x 15″ piece was a two-day project made for a gallery show in South Australia..the theme was “Botanicals”….two trees are made with Scribbly-gum bark-dyed cotton and the “rocks and flowers” are slightly Waldobored with wools and panti-hose.

 

I originally made this piece to enter in a competition that was to be a travelling exhibition ...theme was "living colour" and the pieces had to hang vertically, be of a specific dimension and had to have a hanging pouch in order to be hung (and I really hate hanging pieces this way!). I had the piece finished about the time my husband became ill (and subsequently died) so I just dropped the project. I never did like the "rules" that were imposed on the piece but I also don't like leaving projects undone...so this weekend I framed the piece. "Migration" is a beach seen as a small plane flies up the beach...so you see whales migrating up the coast and people who have migrated to the beach. The hooked piece is 16' x 38" (41cm x 96cm) - which is a cm larger than the "rules" said it could be...and you guessed it, when I put an exterior frame on it it's so big I could hardly find a place to hang it...nevermind get a good photo! The frame makes the overall size 34" x 48in (85cm x 124cm)! I deliberately didn't center the piece in the frame...and I've started to tie a few things on the seaward side that you might find in the deep ocean (abalone, coral...and I'm still adding things); shells,bones and driftwood are tied on the "washed up on the beach" side. Not sure I like it very much - particularly don't like the corners and would never have made corners if I were doing this again. The piece was made from knitting yarns; buttons for beach umbellas; seeds for driftwood; and the rocks are Waldoboro sculpted with "sand" in the cracks. The "people" and "surfboards and boats" are made with beads.
I originally made this piece to enter in a competition that was to be a travelling exhibition …theme was “living colour” and the pieces had to hang vertically, be of a specific dimension and had to have a hanging pouch in order to be hung (and I really hate hanging pieces this way!). I had the piece finished about the time my husband became ill (and subsequently died) so I just dropped the project. I never did like the “rules” that were imposed on the piece but I also don’t like leaving projects undone…so this weekend I framed the piece. “Migration” is a beach seen as a small plane flies up the beach…so you see whales migrating up the coast and people who have migrated to the beach. The hooked piece is 16″ x 38″ (41cm x 96cm) – which is a cm larger than the “rules” said it could be…and you guessed it, when I put an exterior frame on it it’s so big I could hardly find a place to hang it…nevermind get a good photo!
The frame makes the overall size 34″ x 48″ (85cm x 124cm)! I deliberately didn’t center the piece in the frame…and I’ve started to tie a few things on the seaward side that you might find in the deep ocean (abalone, coral…and I’m still adding things); shells,bones and driftwood are tied on the “washed up on the beach” side. Not sure I like it very much – particularly don’t like the corners and would never have made corners if I were doing this again. The piece was made from knitting yarns; buttons for beach umbellas; seeds for driftwood; and the rocks are Waldoboro sculpted with “sand” in the cracks. The “people” and “surfboards and boats” are made with beads.

Judi