Thanks for calling by. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to leave a comment and call again to catch up on my news.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Another exhibition!!

But this time it's my very own exhibition - yes ... just me!! I've been working towards this for what seems like a very long time and indeed the pieces have been stitched over several years. There was a real mixture of emotions as I walked out of the gallery space after hanging them and the house looks very bare without all my lace and my books. So I thought I would share some pictures here, even though you will have seen some of them before.

Red Square - inspired by a memorable holiday in Moscow

Fairy Garden - inspired by the Fairy Garden at Cannon Hall 

Autumn Leaves - inspired by falling leaves on a sunny Autumn day - you know the days when dust motes sparkle in the air

Strange Fruit - very loosely inspired by a pomegranate

Carnival! - a Venetian style carnival mask

Lace Trio - the butterfly at the top of this trio was the second piece of needle lace that I ever made. The other two pieces are examples of Point-de-Gaze lace

Butterfly #2 - What can I say ... I love stitching butterflies

 17th Century Echo - a very much enlarged copy of a motif from a piece of 17th century Venetian Gros Point lace in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Out of Africa - a design by Ros Hills
Clematis - inspired by the plants in my garden

And then there are the boxes ...

Garden Casket - this has butterflies around the sides of the lid and flowers on the top

Sycamore box

and finally the books ...

 The Fairies

 The Lewis Chessmen

Playing With Rainbows


 The front cover of my stump garden sketchbook

I do hope that you've enjoyed this little tour around some of my exhibition pieces

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Festival of Quilts 2016

If there's still anyone out there reading this blog I'm truly sorry for my poor attendance here. However I thought that some of you might like to see some of the quilts which caught my eye at the Festival of Quilts yesterday. It's a huge show and very tiring to walk around the whole thing but there were some real beauties there to admire and some extremely clever quilters who displayed their work. Way out of my league! I can only stand in awe!

Most of my favourites were in the art quilt sections but this traditional hand-pieced hexagon quilt was just so beautiful.

Three quilts with trees as their subject

 A deconstructed hexagon quilt!

 Lots of colourful spirals on this one

This quilt (above) was called sunrise ...

 and this one is sunset

A colourful and cleverly pieced barcode

 Lovely little patches and scraps of embroidery joined together for this wallhanging.

This one is by the very talented Cas Holmes

And last, but not least, two extremely large and beautifully embroidered eyes - one open and one closed.

It was a tiring but very inspiring day!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The year half gone already!!

I can hardly believe that it's already the middle of June. It is a little scary how quickly time passes as you grow older, and there's definitely beginning to be a feeling of not having enough time to finish everything I wanted or planned to do. I'm aware that, even as I write those words that it sounds a lot more negative than I actually feel however. And so onto more positive things although I have very little stitching to show you today.

I'm fresh back from a week of visiting my son and daughter in London and thought I'd share a few of the places I visited and some of the things that inspired me whilst I was down there. I spent most of  my week in Walthamstow and revisited the William Morris Gallery. I love Morris' designs and am impressed and inspired by how much he did with his life - artist, printmaker, designer, poet, social reformer, political activist ... but this time I'm just sharing a couple of photographs and neither of them are of his work.

These plants (lots of them) are in the Gallery garden and the leaves appear in several of Morris' designs. I love the architectural nature of the whole plant, the shape of the leaves and the silvery sheen they have when the light catches them just so.

There was an exhibition in the Gallery of African fabric and I was particularly struck by this beautiful dress, especially the way in which the fabric design has been used to such great effect. You can also just see another piece on the wall which is edged with pictures of Nelson Mandela.

Here it is in more detail ...

 Mother goose and her goslings in the park behind the Gallery.

I was also introduced to a shop which goes by the wonderful name of God's Own Junkyard, where they stock hundreds of neon signs. ...

 ... love hearts galore ...
 ... a Chanel angel ...
... True love never dies.

This globe is covered with tiny photographs of every solar eclipse ever recorded and they are reflected out onto the walls of the room as tiny pinpoints of light as the globe slowly rotates. A brilliant exhibition at Somerset House.

I was also inspired by this beautiful lace-like roof at the Westfield Shopping Centre.

And finally, just a little stitching to show you ...

I made this piece of lace as a house-warming gift for my son and his partner. Entitled 'Hive'.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

City and Guilds progress

I just completed Module 2 of the City and Guilds Embroidery course I'm working on with Distant Stitch and thought I'd share some photos with you.

The brief was to make a three dimensional embroidered useful object inspired by animal print.
During the months it has taken me to work through all the research, design exercises, samples, etc, etc I found I was most inspired by lizards. The prairie points on the lid of my box are not only inspired by the spines on the lizards' backs, but also by the dragon back roof on Gaudi's Casa Batllo in Barcelona.

All the fabrics were dyed by me and then many of them machine embroidered before being cut and pieced to make the patchwork body and lining of the box.

 The lining is slightly padded and hand stitched in random lines of running stitch using a soft Coton a Broder thread in off white.
I have to say that I'm absolutely delighted with the way this has turned out - much better than I sometimes thought it would do.

In and amongst the coursework I've been stitching a few French knots onto this little rockery.

 I also took some time off recently for a day out in Haworth to visit the Bronte Museum in this 200th anniversary year of Charlotte's birth. It was lovely to revisit the Parsonage Museum and see the new exhibits of tiny scraps of fabric from some of the gowns she wore and her tiny gloves and shoes. Walking round the museum it is so easy to envisage the sisters reading out their books to each other as they sat together in the parlour in an evening.

 Another day out to Salts Mill in Saltaire. For those of you not fortunate enough to have visited this huge memorial to England's industrial age, the mill has now been turned over to exhibition spaces, the inevitable cafe's and sales spaces which contain luxury homewares, art materials and books on every subject imaginable. It is interesting to see little reminders of the mill's past life in the structure of the building and to imagine it filled with looms and people and deafening noise.

And finally a picture taken in our town centre of a cherry blossom tree in full bloom. Spring is truly here!