Sunday, 30 December 2012

Rouleaux loops

In between the mince pies and turkey sandwiches I have managed to fit in a bit of embroidery! Loved adding the rouleaux loops and hundreds of French knots. Another block completed for my wrapping cloth - am looking forward to putting all these together with lots of twiddly bits and prairie points!


Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas is coming ...

Finally getting into the Christmas spirit! A sneak preview of some small festive embroideries for you. More to come over the next few days I hope.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Christmas is slowly making is way into the Studio, I have decorated up the window this morning and have started embroidering snowflakes - lots of bullion knots which are my favourite stitch at the moment. I should have waited and photographed it when it is complete but the sun was just shining and it lit up the embroidery just right.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

White embroidery

Some more pictures of work I am doing as part of Karen Ruane's Embroider, Embellish, Create class. Layers of vintage and new fabrics with added stitches and lace embellishment. This block is being damp stretched whilst I work on some more blocks to fit alongside.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

More bullion knots ...

A piece of embroidery in progress. I am working on Karen Ruane's class "Embroider, Embellish, Create" and this piece will form part of my first block. It's made from vintage fabrics mixed with some new and embroidered with lots of knots and my favourite lazy daisy stitch. More pictures to follow as I work on this project.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

More circles ...


More playing about with circular shapes which seem to be creeping into my work ... got some ideas to take this experiment a bit further ...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Bullion knots

Thought I would share this photo of some more hand embroidery I have been doing - bullion knots and paper circles - based on an old embroidered button. More to come later....

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

An Embroiderers Ledger part II


A few more photos from another part of my Embroiderers Ledger. The first shows the whole section all together then I have put in some details of the embroidered samples. This was another really fun section and I hope it shows how much I have enjoyed working on this. I now have so many ideas buzzing around that I am really excited about getting them worked up into finished pieces - I will keep you updated on my progress!!

Monday, 29 October 2012

A Quilt for Rafferty

A new baby in the family so I just had to make a quilt for the new arrival. It's all blues and greens with appliqu├ęd circles, prairie points and a handstitched name.

Friday, 26 October 2012

An Embroiderers Ledger



An apology to begin with - I haven't updated my blog in a little while but I hope that some of the photos above will show you how busy I've been. I wanted to post these photos together to show you what I've been up to. Four weeks ago I started an online course with the exceedingly talented Karen Ruane - please have a look at her blog as it is inspirational, amazing, fabulous ... The course was called An Embroiderers Ledger and ran over four weeks with two postings each week from Karen with videos, PDF and bucket loads of ideas and information. I have had an amazing time and have a beautiful sketchbook now filled with lots of ideas for me to take forward and work up into embroidered pieces later on. It has been lovely to reacquaint myself with hand stitching - I have concentrated on my machine embroidery for so long that I had forgotten how much I love hand stitching and how much I have missed it. I will blog the last couple of pages as soon as I get them finished and promise to get back to my weekly postings!!


Friday, 28 September 2012

Blocks 3 & 4 of Quilt Along

I think I have mentioned that this quilt is paper pieced and I am really enjoying pulling the blocks together. Haven't had to do too much unpicking on these blocks either - must be getting the hang of it now!


Friday, 21 September 2012

Studio window display

Spent ages yesterday re jigging my studio window display. We have got some building work going on at the moment which eventually will be an extension to the studio but this obscures the window a bit. I find it difficult to know what to put into my window which leads to my inability at the moment to define what I actually do - if I say textile art people invariably ask what that is then walk off with a puzzled look! Embroidery is what I do - machine and hand - but I also make quilts, cushions, gifts things -in fact anything involving fabric and thread. I have also over the past 5 years run art workshops in primary schools which have been very varied, anything from looking at and recreating Tiffany lamps, to ice sculpture workshops. I am trying to sort out that definition so that I can revamp my website, and get some advertising sorted so more people are aware of where I am and what I do. I am also working on a couple of workshops around hand and machine embroidery. I just don't seem to have enough time to do everything (or anything most days!). Any suggestions ? ....

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Quilt-along Block 2


Block 2 of the Quilt-along - loving the colours! The book we are following is called Quilts for Rosie: Paper Piecing Patterns from the '40s and each week we are working our way through the patterns in the book. This block seemed to go together a bit easier than last weeks - though I still haven't managed to get all my points to match!

I have been doing some work towards a commission - my client has asked for an antiquey country cottage feel for a wall embroidery so I have been experimenting with some small crochet flowers to start with. Will be moving onto some hand and machine embroidery flowers next whilst I sort out which looks best. (the crocheted doily isn't my work - though that could be next to try out).


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Block 1of a Quilt-along

I am joining in with a Quilt-along which is being hosted by, the first blocks were to be posted on Monday, so I'm only a few days late!! This block is called "Mothers Star" and is the first of 20 which I will then make into a large quilt. The blocks in this quilt are made using paper piecing which breaks each block down into smaller sections and you stitch them using a printed paper guide - almost like patchwork by numbers! I still needed to use the unpicker a few times! Not a bad effort for a mornings work.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Hand embroidery sampler

I haven't done any hand embroidery for ages and certainly no traditional embroidery. I am working on a hand stitching workshop to introduce children to traditional embroidery stitches so I thought I would dust off my hoops and pull a small sampler together showing the different stitches we will be learning. Do you think this would be good for adult learners as well - are you interested in traditional embroidery stitches?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Stash raiding part 2

Whilst I was cutting my fabric collection up the other day I came across a book of silk samples that I had been given a year or so ago. I had forgotten all about them so it was a lovely surprise to find them at the bottom of my fabric drawer. Since I had been cutting everything up and making it into a quilt top I thought I would use the silk samples and patch them into a large multi coloured random quilt top - here it is! The fabrics are really beautiful and there are some really bright pinks and turquoises amongst them - I think they look ok together and once I have found something for the backing fabric I can begin quilting it. My aim is to hand quilt both these fabric stash quilts and my fingers are itching to get stuck in so I suppose that means I will have to go fabric shopping for backing and bindings! The start of my new fabric stash perhaps....

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Stash Raider Quilt

I have raided my stash! I have a large drawer where I keep all the ends of fabric left over from other projects. I never seem to use the bits in this drawer and the collection has been growing and growing. So I had a mad hour or two this morning where I emptied the drawer out, pressed all the fabric then set to work with my rotary cutter. I chopped everything up, there is nothing left - eek! It is all now laid out on my studio floor waiting to be stitched together to make a stash raider quilt. Not all the fabrics quite go with each other but it's interesting to see all the different fabrics I have used over the last few years and to see that there are a lot of blues and browns! I am now determined to buy more patterned, brighter fabrics so the next time I get the urge to chop all my stash up the resulting quilt will be more striking! I will keep posting photos as I work through putting the quilt together so you can see how it tuns out.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tissue paper collage


I thought I would show some work I have been doing with my two daughters with tissue paper. Earlier this year we saw Victoria Bellas Carters gorgeous tissue paper flower collages at The Station in Richmond. She had an exhibition there and we were really impressed with the delicacy and beauty of her work. My daughters have been wanting to have a go at their own tissue paper collages ever since. These are their finished results which I have photographed alongside some cards from Victoria Bellas Carter showing her work. I think the girls have done really well and their pieces of work are beautiful - well done!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

From sketch to stitch

Have been working on my sketch of a local barn today. I have shown the sketch I made a couple of weeks ago and then the stitched version underneath. Over the last few months I have been working on making my stitching look more like my sketching and have been using just black threads on linen base to imitate paper. I was working on two stitched versions at the same time and unfortunatley had a bit of a disaster with one of the pieces of work. After stitching I decided that one needed enhancing with some brown acrylic which I promptly spilt all over my work table. I mopped it up and picked up the pot and spilt it all again! After cleaning up again I then popped some on the embroidered sketch but I think I got a bit carried away and it was too brown!!! Should have left the paint alone today I think!
I have rinsed this piece through to see if I can salvage it - am just waiting for it to dry now to see what it looks like. Needless to say the paints have been put safely away!!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sea shells

Here's a first trial for some smocked and embroidered sea shell forms using the fabrics that I Ice Dyed earlier this week. We recently got back from our summer holiday to Northumberland and brought back buckets of sea treasures - shells and pebbles we found on the gorgeous beaches. I am wanting to use these to do some sketched studies and then work them up in these smocked dyed fabrics - this trial is quite small so I am going to try out a large more sculptural form next.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Ice dyeing

I love dyeing fabric and saw an article on Ice Dyeing in June/July 2012 issue of Quilting Arts and thought I'd have a go. My stocks of dyes have run right down so I only had a couple of reds and blues to play with so the resulting fabrics are all a bit "samey" but it was so easy to do that I will have another go with some brighter colours soon.

First I soaked my cotton fabric in soda ash for half an hour

Then I wrung the pieces of fabric out and lightly scrunched one up in the bottom of my dye pot. I then added a handful if ice cubes and sprinkled a small amount of dye powder on top of the ice cubes. I kept layering up the fabric, ice cubes and dye putting just red dyes on some layers and blue or a mix on the others.

I then covered the pot and left it overnight for the ice cubes to melt and carry the dye through the layers. Is a bit like magic and is exciting when you start rinsing through the layers the next day to see what patterns you are getting.

This is the dye pot when I have taken a few layers of fabric out. The fabric was well rinsed and then given a hand wash in warm soapy water before being pegged out to dry. I now have a lovely pile of coordinating pieces of fabric - I just need to think what I can make with them now!!