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.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Singing the joys of autumn

Where to see autumn colours around the UK

It's autumn here in the UK and that is my favourite season of the year! I love the colours - all those warm golds and oranges. I love the scents - that very distinctive, but oh so difficult to put into words, scent of shortening days, of falling leaves, of ripening fruit and almost imperceptible decay. I love the chill in the early morning air, and pulling the curtains and snuggling under a blanket in front of the fire in the evening.

John Keats' "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness".

I've begun a patchwork bag in colours to celebrate the season.
This pattern is called a Friendship Star. The star on the other side of the bag has the fabrics reversed so the star there is patterned on a plain background.

I've also just returned from a week with my lace tutor in Wales, where I spent a blissful week stitching circles...
and a few squares ...
Just samples which I'll display in a book together with their instructions as a record for future projects. Now I'm trawling through all my needlelace books to find more designs to add to my collection.

While I was in Wales I found this piece of antique Casalguidi embroidery in an antique shop. Well I couldn't resist could I?
It's a little bag with embroidery across the front, knotted tassels on the two bottom corners, and a drawstring around the top. I shall probably use it as a project bag for my embroidery as I do like to have my works in progress inside a pretty fabric bag. I've done a little of this type of embroidery myself in the past (I may well have shared these photographs before).

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Long time, no post!

 I thought it was about time (long overdue actually) that I posted a little about what I've been up to. I'm busy with my City and Guilds in Embroidery which I'm doing by distance learning with Distant Stitch. I'm really, really enjoying it but sticking to a schedule when you're working alone is not easy. I'm finding some of the work quite a challenge too - not the stitching, I'm enjoying the stitching, but some of the methods for the design work are new to me and some days I definitely feel way outside my comfort zone. Not that that is a bad thing of course. New challenges are important and certainly part of why I decided to do the course, but that doesn't make it easy.

Anyhow ... a bit of eye candy first of all from the Festival of Quilts last month which I attended for the first time with a local patchwork group. I'm more attracted to the art quilts (as you'll see from the quilts I chose to photograph) but this first image of a tiny miniature quilt caught my eye. Such intricate work and beautifully stitched.

I love the colours on this next quilt - the progression from the cool blues, through yellow to the pops of pink and red over on the right.

This still life quilt of a vase of flowers, bowl of fruit and an open book is so delicate. I'd love to have this one hanging on my wall.

A real contrast to the last image is this quilt in fiery reds and oranges against the cooler blue of the background. Gorgeous!

This one is reminiscent (to me) of church buildings in Russia with the icons and all that gold.

A positive rainbow in this next one with such intricate scrollwork - another miniature quilt.
 and another - I just love all these reds, pinks and oranges - circles in squares.
 Last week my brother came to stay with me and we went to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield (among other places). If you've never been and you find yourself in the area do go along. The displays are changed regularly though, of course, there are always pieces by Barbara Hepworth there.

Food for thought!!

I loved this small golden sculpture.

 and an unusual view inside the model for the piece of her work which hangs on the side of the John Lewis store in London.

And finally - just to prove that I am doing some stitching - here are the final samples for the two modules of my City and Guilds course that I've completed so far.

 This needlelace piece was based on a stone wall - several layers of random lace.

and this piece for the module on stars was intended to show growth and disintegration. My decision to use french knot slips and cutwork was based on a section of painted tile in the town centre where the paint was peeling off and the area was covered in lichen.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

February's finished

Time for a round-up of the stitching I've been doing during the past few weeks. Most of the things I've done have been for my recently started City and Guilds embroidery course so there have been lots of stitch and thread samples and experiments which I won't bore you with here. There are a couple of more resolved pieces though ...

For some reason Blogger has decided to put this and the next photograph up sideways and I can't seem to change it. In each case the top of the image is actually the left hand edge of the piece. The project is all about a stone wall so these are sections of the wall, worked first in canvas work 

 and then in needle-lace. I actually worked two layers of lace in some parts of this piece to give a better indication of texture and the mix of colours.

I also finished another crazy patchwork piece which will probably end up as a book cover at some point.

and finally this piece of hardanger and couching. Aren't the colours joyous?!!

After what has felt like quite a long cold winter here in Yorkshire the garden is springing into bloom and it feels so good to get out there when the sun is shining and enjoy the sights and sounds of the earth coming back to life.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

New year - new adventure

I'm not even going to comment on how long it is since I was last here. Christmas happened, with lots of visitors over a three week period, but even that is now long gone. Projects got finished (some at least), resolutions were made. I've often wished that I'd had the opportunity to do a proper textile course. I do lots of workshops but none that lead to a recognised qualification. Yes, life got in the way, and I don't regret anything that I have done. The qualifications that I have and the courses that I did were related to work and when the family were at home there was never the money available for a lengthy and ultimately purely recreational course. However, over the past few months I've been thinking more and more about this and decided that it really is probably a case of now or never and, working on the principle that it is only ever the things that you didn't do that bring the greatest regrets, I've signed up to do a City and Guilds course in embroidery. It will be done distant learning as I have neither the opportunity nor the inclination to go along to a regular class at my age. So - watch this space as I share some of the projects that come out of that particular new adventure.

Now it's time for a little eye candy - some of my completed projects

 A linen  pouch to hold my current embroidery project.

 A ribbon embroidered pincushion which will surely never feel the prick of a pin!

 and last but not least my cross stitched Russian icon of Mother of God

And finally some flowers I bought this week to remind myself that even though the world outside is cold and grey, spring is surely on its way