Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Floral and arboreal adventures

I am in East Sussex this week transporting younger son to work experience each day.  Rather than trek up and down the motorway, I've stayed there and used it as an opportunity to visit National Trust sites that are new to me.  So far this week , that has included Nymans, Standen and Wakehurst Place.

Wonderful colours and shapes at Nymans

Nymans mosaic

More colours and shapes at Standen

Standen mosaic

an old Morris favourite on the walls at Standen


and embroidered at Standen


wonderful Morris blues at Standen

Blue at Standen

more flowers at Wakehurst Place

Wakehurst flowers

and beautiful willow sculptures at Wakehurst, made by Tom Hare





Friday, 20 June 2014

Clearing out, stitching up and inspiration - (photo heavy)

I am using these few weeks before I go to Australia ( for 4 weeks!) to clear up and use some of my sample pieces that had been lurking unloved for too long.  I'm a member of an exchange group for textile postcards, which are a great way to use stitched samples.  Looking at these, I'm evidently in love with blue and orange.

Black Kunin felt, bonded fabric, hand and machine stitch


Indigo dyed fabric, hand applique and embroidery, machine quilting


Indigo dyed fabric, fish from a greetings card


Commercial fabric, wrong side, hand embroidered eyelets, machine quilting


Commercial fabric, raw edge appliqué, buttons


Commercial fabric, machine applique and quilting, hand beading


Inspiration this past week has come from visits to

  • British Folk Art at Tate Britain- good, but seemed incomplete to me as there was no scrimshaw, canal ware and very little ironwork.
  • The New Georgians at Orleans House - interesting and bonkers combined non several pieces, on until 27 July
  • Twickenham Carnical, where the best popcorn ver was on sale.  If Drum and Kernel are near you this summer, do try their wares.
  • Matisse cut outs at Tate Modern - really lives up to the hype, but perhaps avoid going on a Saturday afternoon!
  • Chelsea College of Art , BA Textile Design show - I found the textiles amazingly inspiring, particularly the weaving, printing and knitting.  Surprisingly enough, little of the stitched work caught my eye.  Some of the beautiful pieces are below








A fun interactive design scheme by Christine Kim - choose shapes depending on aspects of your life…...


then print the result in repeats


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Drawings large and small

There is only minimal stitching going on at the moment, but a fair amount of art exposure nonetheless.  At the weekend, I helped out one of my friends with a community art project in Peckham, organised by Sustrans, with the aim of getting people out and about in unused spaces in the urban environment.  One of their projects for this summer is Pocket Places Peckham.  My friend Helen Peacock, has been working on a major project about Peckham, as part of her Textile foundation course at Morley, so it was great to see it developing in to this large, interactive piece.

Installation of the initial, huge poster




Taking part


More people


It was a real experience to assist in this and an opportunity to visit a part of London I don't know at all.

On a completely different scale, we were "en plain air" at the drawing course this week.  How difficult can it be to determine the horizon line?  In an urban park, I found it  very difficult, but I did manage to achieve one drawing I am pleased with.


As for the other - no, it's not an abstract, I was sitting behind the guns at the imperial War museum.  Perspective and foreshortening needs a lot of work.  The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day, there is a glorious poppy meadow in flower, so it needed some colour.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hearts tombola

Sudden, but not unexpected changes at work have led to more time than planned for stitching.  However, those changes are also unsettling, so I am finding it difficult to relax in to a large project.  The hearts tombola has been the solution.  These A6 book covers, made from this tutorial, have filled the bill.  The edging foot really helped giving these a professional- looking edge finish.

Pieces of tie silk, lined with scraps of old duvets.