Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and New Year full of warmth and creativity!



Cow Parsley Quilt

cow parsely wholeYou may remember that I attended a Textile Tales workshop earlier this year which rekindled my enthusiasm for printing. Well, I was tidying my pile and decided that I would work spontaneously and incorporate one of my experimental monoprints into a piece of work. I love the cow parsley print so it was a good starting point. The composition seemed to want to be machine stitched. The spontaneity, however, resulted in some mixed ideas for piecing it together. I started with curved lines to hold the fabrics in place, then decided it needed curls to bring it all together, but they seemed to be at odds with each other. I like the uneven bottom, but the uneven top was difficult to work with and I really must learn that there is a time and place for uneven edges and the top of a hanging isn’t one of them. The addition of the organza ‘shadow’ behind is okay, but again, spontaneity wasn’t my friend.  I think it should have been longer and gone around the pole. The cord (made with myCow parsley special cordwinder machine) is okay, but works its way in to squeeze the top of the fabric. I did like using some worn and favourite fabrics, even going back to my childhood and I enjoyed working onto wadding. I don’t often think to do this, but I like the added texture it gives.

Why I am sharing this with you? I need to say out loud that a basic plan goes along way towards achieving perfection! There, that’s my lesson of 2017 which I will pay attention to in 2018. Return to artist research, experimentation, samples, consideration of hanging mechanism! Back to the City & Guilds files for me!


Happy Advent!

I like to make my Christmas cards and I wanted to get ahead of the game this year and stitch something ready to transform into a card. Lacking inspiration, I went on to search Pinterest. Only when I let myself get side-tracked did I find something inspirational – the work of Jackie Cardy, a mix of quirky handmade felt, velvet and machine embroidery. Tree felt-velvetHer work looked so bright and tactile, so I thought I would experiment along similar lines. I already had some handmade felt and knew there was some velvet in the scrap box. This Christmas tree was the first experiment. It was such a pleasure to stitch – no need for a frame, you could just hold it and move it easily through the machine; some straight lines with the presser foot and then some free machine embroidery for the curls.  The following weekend I raided the scrap box again and made a winter house scene. I used wool fabric, for the background, furnishing velvet for the house – which I have to say was hard to get the stitches to show up on as it was so thick – handmade felt for the bushes and I decided to back it with a layer of woollen blanket to make a more sturdy decoration.  I remembered house felt-velvetfeeling inspired by an artist at the 2016 Knitting and Stitching Show who had made beautiful large flowing pieces stitched into blankets. Then, by coincidence, I noticed in Embroidery magazine this month a small piece of work by Michala Gyetvai – the same person, I think! I’m going to enjoy doing some artist research over Christmas, I feel even more experiments coming on for 2018.