Saturday, 26 March 2016

Alice, out in wonderland, Saturday 02 April

I am speaking about my quilt “ Roses are red, Alice is blue” on Saturday 02 April at Region 1’s regional day.

Alice's adventures in Birmingham

If you are anywhere near London SW8, from 1030h, it would be lovely to say hello.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Featherweight delights

We’re over in the new house for this part of the holiday week, so stitching is on the Featherweight.


A forgotten Moda layer cake pack, Lush uptown, too lovely to cut up, is going to be stitched together and backed with an old Witney blanket.  Very apt, as we are now living about 10 miles from Witney.

The Featherweight pressure foot has a very narrow allowance, probably about eighth of an inch, so I am using a more modern invention of a pad of Post-its to get to a consistent, quarter inch seam allowance.  I love this little machine for so many reasons, one of which is the smell of the machine when the light is on. Bizarre, as I don’t recall it from my childhood, but it is hidden in my brain somewhere.




I am so enamoured of the colour chart dots in this pack, it is the main reason why I don’t want to cut in to these squares.


The forecast for the weekend is rain,so garden renovation will be on hold while I enjoy myself joining the squares and working out what some of the attachments are for.




Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Outcome of dyeing

Well that was all rather successful, gorgeous stripes and textures




almost like simple ikat ( soon to be seen at SOAS Gallery) without the skill and effort needed.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Dyeing, drawing, drama

A beautiful, sunny day but no desire to go outdoors due to incessant noise from gigantic planes overhead.  Instead,I got the dyes out and set up a tray dye with some silk off-cuts that had been sent to me by the very generous Lorraine Pugh.

Fabric dampened, and folded in the tray

and with the dye poured over, a mix of royal blue, bright turquoise and black in a ration of 4:4:1.  I am going to leave this until the weekend as turquoise takes so long to penetrate the fibres when it is in competition with the royal blue and the black.

We have a [project at the art class for the last 3 weeks of term - Matchbox Museum.  The brief was to stuff a matchbox with as many items as posslble, perhaps taken at random from that drawer in everyone’s home that is where all the small items collect.  Then to place these items in different arrangements, by structure, by function, by material and the like, and to draw them in different ways.  I was struck by how the needle-threader, resembled a ray,

Needle threader drawn

and this resurrected memories of a painting by Arthur Boyd that I first saw over 25 years ago, that has stayed in my mind ever since.

The next stage is to make a book using some of the drawn images - at the moment this feels like a project for a year rather than for 3 weeks.

Exhibitions visited for inspiration

  • Mall Galleries, Lynn Stainer-Painter prize, now finished, first prize won by Henry Kondracki from Edinburgh
  • Mall Galleries, British Life Photography exhibition, laugh out loud at some of these, and I resisted temptation to buy the book
  • October Gallery, just around the corner from the Mary Ward Centre, to see the dramatic sculptures / hangings / by El Anatsui made from pressed, recycled aluminium packaging, on until 02 April.  There is a lovely little courtyard at the back of the gallery, a really special place to sit with a coffee and ponder life.
Then seen on the walk back to the station, Square The Block, emerging from the walls of the LSE.  
Square The Block
How can I have walked up and down Kingsway so many times and not noticed that before?  More eye peeling needed.


Monday, 7 March 2016


….withdrawal from blogging.  Not done consciously this time, but there is little stitching to share due to other unexpected happenings.

Unexpected, reasonably successful drawing of the manmade and the natural, 




Unexpected signs of spring



Unexpected reflections at the Estorick Collection - Manzu, sculptures until 03 April

Unexpected class trip for  instructive inspection of drawings at the UCL Museum of Art.  Tonks, Flaxman, Rosemary Young.

Unexpected textures on country walks



Unexpectedly disturbing exhibits at the Wellcome Collection, 'Medicine Now’, but also poignant pieces such as socks as chromosomes by Gina Glover.  Did that inspire an unexpected foray into knitting my first pair of socks, using the Magicloop method?  Or have I just had too much work-related train travel since the end of January?


Unexpected opportunity to join in with “ The Ride of the Valkyrie’ during “The Rinse Cycle” at Charing Cross Theatre, on until 12th March.

Expected wonders at the Barbican to experience “The Encounter” by the astonishingly versatile Simon McBurney.  Sold out unfortunately, but is being broadcast to several theatres. I’m not sure how successful an experience that will be though, without the technology used at the Barbican.

Unexpected wonder in the Curve Gallery at the Barbican on the same evening viewing the paintings / installation “ Where the Shadows are so Deep” by Imran Qureshi.  No comment here, as I encourage everyone to go and see it without reading any reviews or impressions.  Visually immersive art from another culture with wonderful colour and imagery.  A dominant colour is Winsor and Newton perylene maroon.  Free and on until 10 July.

Unexpected pin cushion made as instructed by the great Benta of Slikstitches.

Another unexpected, large charcoal drawing of a still life with a complex background


Many attempts to get the neck of that bottle


That little blue bottle is really difficult to draw