Saturday, March 14, 2009


Our Feature Presentations this week include an art to wear piece titled the Cordoba Bag, the Fabric Master - one of the 'hottest tools' on the market and the sumptuously illustrated book 'Embellish and Stitch'.

The Cordoba Bag by Maggie Grey was inspired by the Great Mosque at Cordoba, in particular the arches. The Great Mosque at Cordoba was founded in 785. The Roman Catholic cathedral and former mosque is situated in the Andalusian city of Cordoba and today houses the main church of the diocese of Cordoba in Spain.


A design board based on the structure was produced and then translated onto fabric and fibres.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

A needled background of wool felt was colored with walnut ink and embelllshed with silk fibres and chiffon. Cut out arches and stitched shapes, based on Moorish floral motifs, were overlaid onto the background. The arches on the bottom and the straps were produced using sewing machine software.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

The resulting piece is a stunningly detailed piece of wearable art!

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

For more ideas and inspiration please visit Maggie Grey's site
Workshop on the Web.

The Fabric Master is literally one of the "hottest tools" on the market! The art of distressing fabric with heated tools has become an integral part of Contemporary Art Quilting. Soldering tools such as the Fabric Master have given artists the freedom to produce intricate patterns that might otherwise have been impossible.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Laurel Sage

A wonderful article titled 'Mastering the Fabric-Master' was written by Kathleen Laurel Sage for the UK based magazine 'Stitch with the Embroiderers Guild' - Issue 46, April/May 2007.

Synthetic fabrics including chiffon, organza and acrylic felt all work well for fabric distressing. Held like a pen, the Fabric Master uses heat to do all of the cutting, no pressure is required. The variety of tip shapes make it fun and exciting to use.

Books such as 'Embellish and Stitch' by Maggie Grey and Valerie Campbell-Harding, 'Hot Textiles' by Kim Thittichai and 'Fusing Fabric' by Margaret Beal all provide excellent reference material on using hot tools.

Author Margaret Beal

Author Kim Thittichai

The Fabric Master Kit includes one 18W tool, 7 interchangeable tips, one A4 cutting mat and one mini sample pack of fabric.

Solder on!

Our feature book is 'Embellish and Stitch' by Maggie Grey and Valerie Campbell-Harding.
This book concentrates on using embellishing techniques to produce a variety of effects and surfaces.

Authors Valerie Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey

Topics include Superior Surfaces, which examines the materials suitable for use with the embellisher machine, hand felting and texturing.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

The section on Heat Treatments explores ideas for using the heat tool with embellished and needled surfaces.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Grey

Other topics include applying fabrics and fibres, texturing and trapping, couching, manipulating and weaving. Softcover - 55 pages with full color photographs.

* The Meade Design Group Team for their excellent work and continued advice.
* Sierra at Stampington for all of her help with the complimentary ads in Belle Armoire.


  1. This entry is so informative and complete. From the inspiration, the concepts, the technique, the materials and the end result.

    Wow! I almost want to start a project after this read.

    Thanks for the mention! :)

  2. Hi Delores and Andy - I thought you might be interested in this: while I was driving into town from Colwood this morning I noticed that on the community events screen at JDF Rec centre they were advertising a quilting fair this weekend, I'm sure you already know but I thought you might be interested if you hadn't heard!