Sunday, 21 May 2017

New Online Teaching - is (almost) up and running - just a few hours to go . .

The new Sonas Studio logo
Hoorah!!! We have finished the first Sonas Studio online workshop - Manipulating with Heat. 
Enrolment starts at midnight tonight (May 21st)

If you want to enrol on this then you need to be added to the database by 10pm (UK time) tonight. So email me Only people on the database will be able to access the new workshop for four days then it will go public, and places are limited.
Enrollment and payment are from May 22nd (for the database, then it is open to the public from May26th). 

The workshop videos go live on June 5th - this gives you two weeks to prepare and collect your tools and materials. Once you have enrolled and paid you will be able to see the welcome video explaining all you will need for the workshop.

Me on the first day of filming.

 We have had great fun and learned a lot!!! And we are now VERY tired. My colleague Jayne and I have filmed and edited the first two workshops, and will be filming the third in July, ready to go out in September.

 Every 2 day and 3 day equivalent online workshop will include a 16 page full colour book of inspiration photographs.
This one has just gone to print ready for the launch of the videos on the June 5th.

 A few of the Tyvek beads I made on the first workshop.
A section of the Tyvek box featured in the first online workshop.

This is just a short post to let you all know what is happening.

After all these years of talking about it - we have finally done it!!!


Hello Jill - will email tomorrow.
Hello Diana - am sooooo tired.
Hi Tod - did you get the emial???

x x x

Sunday, 7 May 2017

New Zealand 2017 - the final post. A New Starting Point with Taranaki Patchwork and Quilters.

 Torn music and newspaper . .

OK, enough with the relaxing and the pure enjoyment of being back home. 
I am a tad late posting this last workshop from my New Zealand trip. 

I had a fabulous time with this group - some of them were VERY naughty - you all know who you are!! This was the second of 2 x 2 day workshops in Taranaki and most of the group did both workshops.

This has become one of most popular workshops. I think it is so loved because what you are making doesn't have to look like anything. Also recycling old papers, maps and magazines is very enjoyable.
 Painting the Bondaweb/Vliesofix

 Scones and cookies are the thing in New Zealand - 
and I am NOT complaining.

Once we had painted the Bondaweb/Vliesofix we got to making the first small samples - you learn just as much from making a small sample as a larger one, and you use much less product. I have named the process 'Backgrounds and Prettys'. It is a repeated tearing process that gives very pleasing effects.

 Layering up the torn papers.

I love this process, you never quite know what you are going to get . . . 

Torn layers with gilding flake, mica flake and transfer foil.

Using a rotary cutter instead of tearing can give interesting results.

 Using torn paper to decorate a spiral bound book.

This part of A New Starting Point will be the second online workshop, launched mid June - hopefully.

 The next samples are of the paper strips ironed onto painted Decivil 1 light. A soft, leather like iron on interfacing. These were then made into slip covers for books.

 A great selection of decorated Decovil 1 light.

Next we got on with making newspaper faux chenille. Newspaper was layered alternately with polyester organza. Channels were then stitched and the top layers are then cut and distressed, making sure not to cut through the bottom layer. You don't have to use polyester organza between the newspaper, but I love the contrasts of the old, matt newspaper and colourful, shiny organza.

 A few of the fabulous faux chenille samples.

Thank you ladies for such a fabulous time. I will remember you all fondly. Thank you for the laughs - didn't we have a good time???

 The final show and tell . .


I am about to start making the new samples for my first two online workshops. Jayne is arriving next Saturday and will be staying for 10 days while we film and edit the first workshops. We also need to sort out some kind of order for the first 10 workshops. We have quite a lot of planning to do - and climb a very steep learning curve - fast!

If you would like to be the first to know about the launch of the first two workshops and receive the new Sonas Studio newsletter please email me at and ask to be included on the database.


Look girls, this hare came to say hello while I was having a picnic on the field today.
You can just about see him, in future I will take my big camera with me as well as the phone. So exciting.

Hello Jill - hopefully the hares will still about when you come back. 
Hi Diana - been thinking about you. 
Hi Tod - amazing huh!!! I saw six hares today - all bouncing about in the sun.

x x x

Sunday, 23 April 2017

New Zealand 2017 - part the fourth . . Hot Textiles with Taranaki Patchworkers and Quilters, New Plymouth.

 A fabulous painted Bondaweb/Vliesofix sample.

Having arrived in New Plymouth, it was straight on with the next 2 workshops. The first 2 day workshop was Hot Textiles and the second was A New Starting Point.
So on with Hot Textiles - I have included photos of the products we used so you know what to ask for. This workshop was going to concentrate on using unpainted and painted Bondaweb/Vliesofix and Lutradur/CS800.

Bondaweb/Vliesofix, still my most favourite product after all these years.

CS800 also known as Lutradur, a heavy weight spunbond, and Decovil 1 light, a wonderful leather like, iron-on interfacing

After introducing myself to the group and explaining roughly what we would be doing, we got onto painting the Bondaweb/Vliesofix and CS800/Lutradur. It is very important to know how little paint you need to get the correct effect. You don't want the paint to form a barrier.

The group painting the Bondaweb/Vliesofix.

While were waiting for the products to dry, I did a short demonstration on how to foil unpainted Bondaweb/Vliesofix. If you use this product unpainted it is guaranteed washable. Perfect for applique. 
Transfer foils are washable up to 30 degrees and can applied to the Bondaweb/Vliesofix with a cool iron and baking paper. Whatever shape you cut out of this wonderful product, the foil will stick to it.

Here you can see the Bondaweb/Vliesofix has been cut to a shape and ironed onto fabric. Once the glue had cooled down the backing paper was removed. The iron was then turned down to about 'wool'. If you iron the transfer foil with an iron that is too hot, the foil will pucker up. The foil was then laid over the exposed Bondaweb/Vliesofix shape, colour side up, and covered with a sheet of baking paper. This was then ironed for about 30 seconds. Enough time for the heat to get through the layers and reheat the glue. Once cold, the foil can be peeled off and your shape should be covered in foil. Great fun, and washable.

Once the Bondaweb/Vliesofix was dry, we could get on with playing. Remembering 'which way is up'!

These look lovely without any decoration.

Once the group had created their backgrounds on fabric we got to playing with decorating them. We used dried flowers, mica flakes, flat sequins, gliding flake, glitter and transfer foil . . .

Some fab decorated samples.

A peaceful room while the group had lunch in the room next door.

The second day we started playing with the CS800/Lutradur. I had put heat guns on the materials list and had assumed (Yes! I know, never assume) that NZ heat guns are the same as the ones use in the UK. Those in the group that had never used them before bought paint stripper heat tools from the local hardware store. The boxes are actually labeled with the words - heat gun!!
They were 2000 watts and way too powerful for what we needed. Plus, if we had plugged them all in the circuit would have tripped out.

Half of the group had the embossing type tools that we needed.

Luckily there was a local craft shop who had them in stock and saved the day.

 Decovil 1 light was painted painted wit a thin wash of acrylic paint. Once dry, the glue side transfer foiled and then polyester organza was iron and then zapped.
 CS800/Lutradur was decorated with painted Bondaweb/Vliesofix and gilding flake and then with a heat gun.

Some of the group decided to further decorate their Bondaweb/Vliesofix back grounds with toning coloured CS800/Lutradur . . .

Zapped CS800/Lutradur pinned to the backgrounds ready for stitch.

The group have great gun fun zapping polyester organza

3 layers of CS800/Lutradur, stitched together on the sewing machine, then zapped with a heat gun to reveal different layers of colour.

Laying up the colours - seeing which looks best.

Having a relaxing half an hour stitching into a sample.

We had a fabulous 2 days playing with the products and had another 2 days of excitements to come. More of that next week when I am back home.


One of the group showed me a sample of work she had made after reading my second book Experimental Textiles and having a go at 'The Journey'. You can see the 2" section taken from her 'Journey' on the left and the 12" version in fabric on the right. I do love knowing that people do use the book. Thank you Dorrianne.

Dorrianne's samples from Experimental Textiles.


I am now enjoying a relaxed weekend with Alysn and Brian Midgelow-Marsden at their beautiful house on the Tawharanui Peninsula. I start flying home tomorrow. I have had the most wonderful time and been so very looked after by all my hosts. 
See you all again on the other side of the world . . . when I have woken up!!!


Hello Jill - x x x
Hello Diana - x x x 
Hello Tod - will Skype later in the week when I can form a sentence. 

x x x