About Me

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Sudbury, Suffolk, United Kingdom
I am a textile artist living on the Suffolk Essex border. I am a member of the Out of the Fold Textile Group and Tin Hut Textiles. I am a Tutor for Creative Stitch which offers courses in Creative Patchwork and Quilting and Creative Stitch Textiles. I teach each year at ArtVanGo and at the Knitting & Stitching Shows and Festival of Quilts. I also offer workshops and talks to groups throughout the UK.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Shrivel Up and Dye

Here are some images from the Shrivel Up and Dye workshop last weekend. I love this technique where we layer lots of different silk, cotton and linen fabrics onto artic ice-wool fleece and first stitch them into place using lots of different stitches and then shrivel them  by washing at a high temperature and then dyed with procion dyes.

Shrivel Up and Dye pieces ready to start the hand embellishment

Irene Ralph using her favourite copper colours. Note the gorgeous rich colour of the silk velvet.

Kate Arkle - not quite the burgundy colour she wanted but this bright pink piece looks great. The silk organza at least was burgundy!

Sarah Barrowclough working in greens - note how the wool felt picked up the acid yellow on the dye and lovely washers covered in cotton thread dyed with the fabric

Val Harrowven's lovely piece dyed with a magenta and turquoise mix which gives a great range of colours

This 2 day workshop is being offered at the Embroiders Guild Winter Weekend at Belsey Bridge from 7th - 9th  February 2014  www.embroiderersguildeast.org.uk
or can be booked for your group

Monday, 18 November 2013

Cosy Toes at The Cosy Cabin

I taught a class at The Cosy Cabin www.thecosycabin.co.uk in Risby nr Bury St Edmunds on Saturday to make Christmas Stockings

The Cosy Cabin has a cutting machine to cut letters to make your stockings, buntings, banners, etc really personal and any fabric can be used with Steam-a-seam on the back

Here are our completed stockings
Cosy Toes at the Cosy Cabin

Friday, 15 November 2013

Life's a bleach!

I am very excited to be offering workshops at Textiles In Focus at Cottenham Village College in February 2014. This is a great event which I have attended as a visitor for several years. The programme comes out around Christmas time http://www.textilesinfocus.co.uk.

I will be doing a two-hour workshop called 'Life's a bleach!' - using discharging paste and household bleach to remove colour from black and pre-dyed cloth. It can be a bit smelly but the results can be great.
Bleach on black linen
Discharge paste on black linen
The 2 combined with added stitch


Monday, 11 November 2013

Texture Adventures Workshop

I taught a 'Texture Adventures' workshop to a group of lovely WI ladies in Ipswich on Saturday.



This technique uses a large print cotton fabric, layered up with several sheers, then stitched and cut away to create a textured piece ready to be framed. The plan is to have a contrast between the smooth shiny motifs and a textured background which has lots of added machine and hand stitching.

Seven ladies went home with an 8" piece ready to frame


Monday, 4 November 2013

Out of the Fold exhibition

Out of the Fold always sets a challenge or theme for each exhibition and the one for the recent exhibition held in Bury St Edmunds was 'Finer Focus'. Three related pieces were all to made from recycled calico coffin covers. 'Finer Focvs' being an anagram of 'Coffin Covers'


I must say that I have loved working with the soft unbleached calico of the covers which were stamped as above with the Ecoffins logo and also with the legend 'FRAGILE DO NOT STACK'
The calico dyed wonderfully and resulted in a soft warm tone.

'Someone's father, someone's son' - my Finer Focus piece


 I worked with the full length of each coffin cover - which vary according to the size of the contents - and wanted to make a sombre piece in keeping with the source of the fabric. Each length was dyed, the wording then stamped very simply with acrylic paint, then stitched by machine. The Finer Focus theme came from highlighting that in the long list of names on my 'roll' of cloth that each one of those names was an individual and someone's father, husband, brother or son.

Finer Focus - British panel(detail)
The first panel I made was one showing a long list of British first names. This was dyed using a grey Procion dye to suggest stone.

Finer Focus - German panel(detail)
It was listening to radio 4 whilst stitching the English panel above when I heard a programme talking about a memorial being planned to commemorate the centenary of the first world war where the fallen of all nations are to be honoured. This led to me thinking about the Finer Focus piece in a wider way and led to the making of the second panel using German names and highlighting 'Sohn (son)' 'Ehemann (husband)' 'Vater' and 'Bruder'  within the text in red. This panel was tea-dyed.



Finer Focus - the Western Front(detail)



 The last panel was done in haste with the exhibition deadline fast approaching and was stamped more sparsely with the names of battles fought on the Western front between 1914 and 1918. The fabric was washed and dyed after stamping and stitching to give the weathered appearance of stone.

This series could go on - panels featuring the names of Italians, Russians, Australians......9 million men died in WW1 alone. Or the theme could come forward or back in time. History has never been short of battles or lives lost.