Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year with much inspiration!


Instead of sending cards this year I have decided to give money to Isle of Wight charity, Bus Shelter, whose mission is:

“To provide safe overnight accommodation for people sleeping rough on the Isle of Wight”

Water 1

water-1I’ve been beavering away on some pieces for TRAC’s March 2017 exhibition on the theme of Water. Its a great theme, so many ways of interpreting it. Of course, my starting point was Ryde’s beautiful beaches, but I found my inspiration along the seawall with its rusted gates and waste water outlets from the grand houses above. I took the approach of my City & Guilds work, drawing and sketching, experimenting and thinking – hence no blog post for a while! But then I just had to stitch, so I took some of my experiments and tried to place them together. This piece incorporates rust-dyed fabric, scrunched brown paper, sand-papered denim. I then created a print block using funky foam taken from patterns and shapes around a rusty gate. Stitching includes running stitch over the printing, broderie Anglais, French knots – proper and loopy, couching, and darning. The only thing I have to do now is to consider the framing.  When I started this piece, I didn’t really think about how it would turn it out it was just going to evolve. Unfortunately its evolved into non-commercial frame size!  I think a box frame is required because of the ‘loose’ couching, but we will have to see.

Addendum: A perfect piece of driftwood was discovered on the beach in Penzance and was tacked to the top of the piece and strung with some cord made with my Kreinik cordwinder – there are never enough opportunities to get that out!  Great fun!

Skirt number 2

I’m very pleased with myself.  I have to thank YouTube for helping me through the more tricky bits, but actually the logic side of my brain has worked well to get this skirt to completion. It may seem simple to some of you, but for me its an achievement.  So I have a new skirt, which cost less than £6.00 and was made in just a couple of days – pattern to wearing. Now back to embroidery…skirt-2


Over the summer, I enjoyed 4 days of a sewing bee, led by Hannah Woodford here on the Isle of Wight; me another lady and some school girls, a diverse group which Hannah accommodated beautifully! The first day was spent tearing up magazines to create a book of ideas for our designs. I knew before I started that I wanted to make a skirt, but I was delighted to be encouraged to incorporate my stitching skills into the design. Appliqué and inlay appliqué gave my skirt a unique character and with Hannah’s help the skirt fits beautifully. Not bad for a first attempt! I also won the sewing bee and was presented with a beautiful heart pin-cushion, much to the annoyance of the school girls I think. They’d spent the time transforming old denim jackets and skirts into really up-market pieces.


Yesterday, I decided I was going to test what I had learnt and attempt another. I found a great YouTube video on how to make a pattern for an a-line skirt. It’s all cut out and ready to go. Next step is to purchase the special hidden zipper foot for my sewing machine. I found a good video about how to sew an invisible zipper too. Watch this space perhaps to see another skirt or maybe some more how to videos!





Frost 4 for blog

Frost 4: 121cm x 21cm

My fourth piece in the Frost series evolved from an oil pastel sketch via a flat piece of appliqué to a number of stuffed pods as I began sampling. I more or less followed the shapes and colours of the initial drawing, but gave myself some additional rules to follow in choosing the colour threads for the hard-edged appliqué which all adds to the colour dynamism. Joined with invisible thread the pods appear to float in space. This time the pods are small and light and can be easily hung on a picture hook. Out of the 4 pieces, I think I like this one best of all. I have just the space for it in my conservatory!

As you can see, having a long piece of work can be problematic for blogging as the text doesn’t wrap around easily.  I do want to get across something of the scale of the piece though and so, the measurements are approximately 121cm x 21cm. For those of you who are interested, I’ve also added the sizes to the other pieces too.