How lucky did I feel to go to a workshop to learn how to transfer a painted surface to fabric in a technique developed and taught by Esterita Austin a fabulous teacher and quilter from the US.

This is some of Esterita’s work and it is characterised, I think, by the luminescent quality of the colour and the amazing amount of detail she creates. I love the beauty she draws out of inanimate objects.

Now I don’t want to give a detailed explanation of her method because that would be unethical. But I do want to give you a taste of the method and what you can do with it. I want to say, upfront, I’m not a painter, and I had to paint …. challenging. In fact I did two paintings and binned the first one. As Esterita says: “It’s only a bit of paint.”

I chose to do a rock cut church in Cappadocia, using a photo from a holiday I took with my daughter a few years ago. I remember it mainly because she chose to explore the lower levels, and as I saw her disappear down a hole, I did wonder if she would return. Anyway, here is the photo and my interpretation.

Rock cut church, Cappadocia

One of the most interesting things about Esterita’s technique was the way you could layer the painting to make details easier to paint. In this example the green foliage has been painted separately to the earthernware pots, then the two paintings combined. Watch the magic.

Now isn’t that wonderful, the trees, foliage and earthernware pots come together seamlessly. The sky was added in a third layer, and the detail was amazing.

This was the work of one of the student’s in the course, but here’s Esterita displaying the final image.

Isn’t it amazing?

Some of the other images were wonderful. Here is some of the work in progress.

If you are interested in Esterita’s work, her website is and while she is from the states, she teaches in Tuscany every year and it looks amazing.

This workshop was held in Urunga, NSW Australia and organised by the lovely Caroline Sharkey. If you are planning a trip to Australia and want to meet some quilters, then contact Caroline and see what she has on offer. Urunga is a lovely coastal town on the mid north coast of NSW . I want to share a couple of photos from my evening stroll along the boardwalk.