Tumulus stitch sample

A desire to stitch rather than weave, I used my Rew Down inspiration, but the colours came from an automatic drawing that I made after the visit. Made a few months ago, I can’t stop picking it up. I backed it in felt and it just feels sturdy and tactile. I’ve thought about making it bigger but I’m not sure that it will feel as perfect! I would guess its about A5 size. It incorporates stitch, needle weaving, applique and machine wrapped cords. I wanted some small patches of colour around the bottom edge of the circle and I experimented with machine zig-zag over the applique. It worked really nicely.

Rew Down stitch



So I found a way to use my sample, afterall. I attached it to some fabric and laced it on to some card. On reflection, its a bit puffy and I should have used felt to cover the card instead of wadding. It was a new technique I used to mount Tallulah Seaside which I’d already forgotten about: cut a piece of mount card, attach 2 or 3 strips of double-sided tape to the card, peel off and attach a piece of commercial felt. Trim to fit. Then wrap with your design, lace and finish with a piece of felt on the back. Just the right thickness. Happily, it has been accepted for Ventnor Secret Art.




Combining weave & stitch

I had in mind that I would work this piece for Ventnor Botanic Gardens young apprentice scheme. However, the brief – simply an A5 piece that you can post in an ordinary envelope – proved too difficult! The proportions were just wrong and when the length of my tassels and cord were constrained, I abandoned its purpose and just made it into a piece that I really like.

The journey was quite a long one. First of all, I made my stitched centre a little too big. So I’ve kept it as a sample for now.  I decided that the weave needed to be more than just a frame because why bother weaving it! I also felt it would work better as a square rather than a ‘windy day’ rectangle.

Stitch 5 + pic

So, I chose a new image and just worked part of it as the central stitch feature, which worked much better.

Weave 4 + pic

I used glass beads to finish the warp strings and made the tassels from the weaving wool with a little bit of pink sparkly thread added to balance the colour of the beads. The cord is made from the same mixture of theads as the tassels. A nice straight, dark wood twig is the perfect hanger.

Weave 4

As a little aside, the Guldusi exhibtion, Keep Your Eye on the Planet  was showing as part of the textile fair in Karlsruhe (Germany) and from May 29th, it will be in Textilmuseum Max Berk, Heidelberg-Ziegelhausen for around 2 months. The exhibition is accompanied by a program of supporting events that will be posted on the Guldusi website. So, if you happen to be on your holidays, do drop by!





Tallulah Seaside

Do you remember that strange virtual reality world, Second Life? The place where we were going to hold virtual meetings with our work colleagues without having to actually be at work? Well, I dabled with my altar ego, Tallulah Seaside. I seem to recall that there was some kind of name generator included and that’s what I chose. I rather liked it. So here is Talullah brought to (almost) real life. I purchased the embroidered coat through the Guldusi initiative, Coats. A beautiful piece of work by a lady in Afghanistan.

I wonder if she will approve of how I have incorporated it into my own work? I don’t find creating human figures easy, so I have to give credit to Lea Stansal for inspiring her head. The green gloves – I own a pair and the coloured tights – I own many pairs, are my own design. I enjoyed the process of working them in a hoop on some pink felt. Then I cut them out and stitched them on to the original embroidered surface. I was too anxious to stitch directly on to the fabric. The chiffon scarf was added at the end.  I quite like her, although perhaps she is  bit of a monster?!



Bargello books

A belated Happy New Year to you all! I’ve been having a bit of a tidy up – its a good for the soul, apparently. Inspired by a trip to the American Museum in Bath in 2017 to see the fabulous exhibition Joyce Petschek: Breaking the Pattern, I set about making these two Bargello book covers. Something I could do whilst watching the Christmas TV. That was Christmas 2017. Just before Christmas 2018, I stitched them to their notebooks. Why did it take me so long to get around to it? I enjoyed the process of stitching something so repetitive. Maybe I will set about learning how to stitch a cushion pad for my sewing room chair? If you want to learn a bit more about the process, you could have a look at this book: Beautiful Bargello by Joyce Petschek.

Bargello books

Montol – completed

More is definitely more with this piece. It could have had several endings but, to me, this is the best one possible. Made on single weave canvas painted with water-soluable oil pastels and coloured in with threads. Organzas and silks appliqued to the canvas for the”fireworks”, accentuated with handmade cords. The washed crow feathers were more fragile than I expected but, with care, they made it in to the final piece. Stitches in a variety of threads included chain, herringbone, zigzag, buttonhole, running stitch & straight stitch.  Metal “spinning flames” were made out of an old tomato puree tube – just the right colour.

The wire wrapped cords edging the piece were machined using organza and a mixture of threads. The felt leaves and berries, are commercial felts joined together using the embellisher – I have to make use of it! The little bells were the only things I had to purchase. A nice find from Oliver Twists at the recent Knitting and Stitching Show.

Too fat for a box frame, I decided to leave the piece unframed – afterall you won’t hear the bells behind the glass. I had to think hard about attaching it to the velvet. I fixed the velvet to a stretcher frame and stitched the piece on to it. The velvet was laced in the traditional way and then I stitched a felt backing on to it to cover up the strings.

To me, it captures the spirit of Montol: the excitement, other worldliness, musicality; the death of the Winter sun, its rebirth and renewal. I’m there already!


Montol, mixed media embroidery, 25cm x 25cm


I’ve been wanting to make this piece for a couple of years now, but once the event happens, I procrastinate and then it doesn’t feel right to make it out of season. It is based on the Montol Festival which happens at the Winter Solstice in Penzance, Cornwall. A once low-key beacon lighting event has now turned in to a much bigger event with parades, dressing up and the soulful music of Raffidy Dumitz. As a Cornish girl, I always try to be at home for this celebration. I want this work to be about the feeling I get at marching with the parade. But there might be another piece to follow of Old Ned

Collage is a good technique to help me work in a more abstract way. Sometimes I just don’t know where to start. As you can see, I’ve just begun to move it along on to my canvas. I’ve used water-soluable oil pastels to get some colour down and have just begun to tear up and fix on strips of sheers. I’ve also added some crow feathers – I’m going to see how these go as I start to stitch.