Stitched and Bound Exhibition

The 2014 Stitched and Bound Back to the Razors Edge exhibition at Heathcote Museum and Gallery, the tenth contemporary quilt exhibition presented by The Western Australian Quilters’ Association (WAQA) opened yesterday.

I am delighted to have my work Honouring Good Men selected for the exhibition.

Honouring Good Men

The work consists of 165 recycled men’s ties.

81cm high x 75cm wide x 2cm deep

“Pull up your socks, tuck in your shirt, straighten your tie, put on a brave face…”

Ties are formal wear for weddings, funerals, and work, all places where men often through necessity, tend to hold their thoughts close to their heart, in order to have the strength to fight the battle, seal the deal, protect loved ones, or save face.

We usually see only one side of the person. Here, unpicked we see the reverse also. This can be complementary, contrasting, and sometimes very surprising. By stitching and binding together the public face and normally hidden private side, a glimpse of the whole man is seen.

HGM Detail 4The exhibition is open from Saturday 5th July – 10th August 2014.

Heathcote Museum and Gallery is located at:-

58 Duncraig Road Applecross

HGM Detail 2HGM Detail 1


The Making of Gloria

“Once” AKA Gloria is my garment in the Common Threads Wearable Art Awards. A wonderful choreographed event showcasing the finalists was held last Sunday at the Manudrah Performing Arts Centre. Here is the story of the process involved in making her…

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I had previously made a “Tea Bag Bag” for a WAFTA challenge and I liked that it often takes viewers a while to notice it is made from tea bags. I also had a collection of blue surgical cloths waiting for a project. The theme of “Drift” along with an “Eco Wear” section made these materials seem right.Febmar2014 001I used LOTS of tea bags. Thank you to Liz for drinking lots of cups of tea and supplying many of them.  Emptying the contents and preparing them takes a lot longer than you would think. I spent several evenings on this step alone! Working directly on a dress model is a process I really enjoy. I could audition a variety of design options quickly without the need to stitch.The blue cloths were hand stitched to create gathers giving flow and direction. Each piece was sewn separately and then attached to the skirt. I have used this technique previously in my garment for the ECU Draping Course, although that fabric was stretchy and quite different to manipulate.

Febmar2014 002 I decided I wanted some movement in the piece and I thought a “Bubble style skirt” would give me the wobble I desired. Thanks again to Liz for her technical suggestions. (I used Rigilene a plastic boning for corsets). The central piece of yellow plastic (my Dad found for me) had a previous life pulling electrical cables through the cavities in double brick walls.

Febmar2014 009I made the “bubble” shape from plastic and Rigilene first, then covered it in fabric to make the petticoat. The next step was to trial ways of wrapping the blue cloths.Febmar2014 005

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After I had the design I wanted the REAL challenge is of course that a person has to wear this…and be able to get in and out of it.. Febmar2014 018


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Can’t really expect a live model to have pins stuck into them…

Febmar2014 023The tea bags were stitched to an old tea dyed petticoat. A side lacing allows the model to slip in and out of the top. The skirt is elasticated with a drawstring tie.

Once by Louise Wells Back  (2)

My gorgeous daughter Olivia modelling

Once by Louise Wells Front

Photographs by Josh Wells.


At the VIP Cocktail party after the showcase with the lovely Tayla modeling.


Once is the title of my work for the Common Threads Wearable Art Awards, part of the Stretch Festival in Mandurah. A couple of weeks ago our garments were modelled, professionally photographed and judged. I am thrilled that my garment has been selected for the showcase presentation for the garment finalists in May. Wearableart1Wearableart2Normally I wouldn’t show full photographs of my work until after an exhibition opening, although for this event we have all been given the photographs to promote the show. You can see my and all the other garments on pinterest at:

“Once” aka Gloria (as she is like having an extra body around the house, takes up a whole seat in the car) was entered in the Eco Wear section, the overall theme for the event is “Drift”. She is made from LOTS of tea bags, jeans, and the sterile fabric used to line surgical instrument trays. Once is the use and lifespan of many of the items in our lives today. The by-products of manufacturing processes and discarded items now drift through our waterways.Wearableart4Thank you to the gorgeous Taylor for being a fantastic model.

Sprang, Gathering and Patterns

I’ve had an exciting and busy few days.

I went to the WAFTA work day on friday with the intention of learning how to Sprang. I first heard of this ancient weaving technique  from Mikaela Castledine when I attended a WAFTA visit to her studio a few weeks ago. She had a gorgeous wrap made in this technique and very generously gave me a quick demo.  On friday with the help of Anne Williams and a book she found on ancient Peruvian textiles we started to play.

Only warp threads are used

Only warp threads are used

I used strips of T -Shirting and working from the centre of the frame made a twist in the threads.  These are held in place with a ruler or knitting needle. The weaving develops at both ends at the same time.

The completed piece still under tension on the frame

The completed piece still under tension on the frame

This technique has been used for hair nets, hammocks and cyclone wire fencing.

The final sample off the frame.

The final sample off the frame.

Of course it was not this simple, lots of head scratching, false starts and unpicking and most of a day involved!

It is an interesting technique that I would like to explore further…

Yesterday was the third session of the Draping course at ECU. Our tutor has been encouraging us to consider the silhouette, change the shape of the body.   I decided to try making some of the clam shell shapes from thick felt to add some structure to the garment.



I’ve covered the shapes with the same gathered fabric. Still more to do to become a wearable garment…

photo4photo7Today we went to the Midland Workshops Heritage open day. My mother worked in the office, both my Grandfathers, a Great Grandfather, great Uncles along with many other family members spent their working lives at these workshops. There is a memorial wall near the entrance with bricks dedicated to the workers and their trades. image



It was very interesting to see the site of the workshops, and also the current use by artists. I am fascinated by the patterns, the components of the trains made in wood to be cast in metal. They have now become stunning sculptures as you can see in Eva Fernandez‘s work and souvenirs that I couldn’t resist.

Eva Fernandez's work at Midland Atelier

Eva Fernandez’s work at Midland Atelier


What part of a train could these possibly be?

Spring has arrived!

Spring has arrived in my garden…even if it has only just arrived on the calendar! Completely ignored, and much to my delight, these Irises reappear every yearimage



Today in the second session of the Draping course we were asked to bring along a couple of images we found interesting and 3m of fabric. I liked this image below for the subtle colour, the shapes and texture. We were asked to use the shapes in our image to section the dress form to move away from conventional dress lines.


After several attempts to divide the dress from with draping tape, I found pinning the fabric directly gave me the shapes I was after. I wanted to create the textural lines in the clam shells so starting at the hip I gathered the loose knit jersey with a running stitch. (thanks to Textile Traders buy 2 get one free I have lots of this fabric) A second  section has been started…lots more to do next week.

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Today was the first session of a 5 week draping course at ECU Mt Lawley myself and fellow MELD members Julie and Margaret are attending. We learnt how to section a dress model  and then using a couple of metres of calico, we had free play to pin, tuck, and manipulate the fabric.

Dress Form sectioned

Dress Form sectioned

rear  - sectioned dress model

rear – sectioned

I was fortunate to have a dress form that already had the markings of bust line, waist line, hip line, centre front and back, neck line and arm hole. These markings ensure the designed garment can be made into an accurate pattern.





photoI planned to make a bussell style skirt. The curves of the body need to be considered. Pleating, folding and allowing the form to unfold resulted in this…

Step 2

Step 2

Front view

Front view

Side view

Side view


Crease to Crumpling

Colour Project – Shadows, Part 6

No Crease, one crease or a few part way through a piece of paper with a “break” or bend in the opposite direction to the crease can give some very simple and sophisticated pieces. These samples below  are only some of many I made. The others were very difficult to photograph to show the form created.

Crease 1 Crease 2 Crease 3 Crease 4 Crease 5 Crease 6 Crease 7 Crease 8  Crease 9

Crumpling created using Tissue paper. Beautiful delicate organic forms can be created.

Crumple 1Crumple 2Crumple 3Crumple 4

Crumpling in a straight line gives a different set of possibilities.

Crumple 5Crumple 6Crumple 7

Crumpling from a centre point.

Crumple 8Crumple 9Crumple 10Crumple 11

This is the final post of samples for the colour project!

Thanks again to Folding Techniques for Designers by Paul Jackson for the techniques and inspiration for December.