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 the newly formed Spotlight Textiles. I am the Principal Tutor for Creative Stitch which offers courses in Creative Patchwork and Quilting and Creative Stitch Textiles. I teach each year at the Knitting & Stitching Shows and Festival of Quilts. I also offer workshops and talks to groups throughout the UK in person and via zoom. With a foot in both camps I am also a member of the QGBI and the specialist Contemporary Quilt Group and STARS (formerly Suffolk West Embroiderers Guild)

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Poppy's Quilt

Poppy's quilt
I have been promising to make a quilt for my daughter for several years now as our old house is cold and draughty with rattling windows and no double glazing. So finally.........to keep Poppy warm this winter, here is her double bed sized quilt which turned out to be 80" x 96" made from a Moda jellyroll and a simple nine-patch and hour glass block design.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Slightly Foxed

The Quilters Guild Contemporary Group are putting together another suitcase collection with the theme of 'All in a day's work' and I have just submitted my entry.

The collection will be made up of 60 small A3 sized quilts which are available for groups to hire.

My entry is 'Slightly Foxed' which celebrates my 28 years as a bookseller where I have been immersed in a world of books and writers and just some of my favourite authors are listed. But some of my most treasured books are those old, musty and 'slightly foxed' books with the copper coloured discolouration on the page. I just happened to have some rust dyed fabric in my stash which was then stamped and stitched to make the piece.

'Slightly Foxed' - the front

The back

'Slightly Foxed' detail

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.  

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Kerry's First quilt - ever!

I ran an absolute beginners workshop at The Cosy Cabin  recently to make a 36" x 36" lap quilt using the nice and easy Strip Rail block. I was delighted when Kerry, who had never done any patchwork before, sent me a picture of her finished quilt - she has now made 2 more baby quilts. Didn't she do well?

Kerry Welch's First Quilt
So if you have been on any of my workshops and have images of finished items to send me I will be delighted to post them onto the copperqueen blog

If you would like to see what other courses are being offered at the Cosy Cabin click here www.thecosycabin.co.uk

Monday, 21 October 2013

Tin Hut Textiles Exhibition

The recent exhibition by Tin Hut Textiles held at the Cinema Gallery in Aldeburgh went very well.
I am just one of the eight very talented members of THT and this was our first major exhibition.

The theme of the show was 'First Elements' and we had chosen 'Copper' to showcase our skills this time. All 8 members had the challenge of making a piece with Copper as the theme and to a standard size of 12" x 24" and mounted onto a canvas.

3 of the 'Copper' pieces by Marie Limb (left) and Marion Barnes (right) with me in the middle

'Decay' was another theme chosen and each Tin Hut Textiles member had to make a piece with this theme 9" wide but at any length. As you can see the results are as varied as the personalities of the makers.
'Decay' pieces by Annette Morgan, Marie Limb, Me, Marion Barnes and Cynthia Thomson as seen left to right

Our final group display was one using Ufford Church as the inspiration as the group meets in the Village Hall (with the distinctive tin roof which gives the group it's name) next to this lovely church. Each if chose a part of the church or churchyard and made a wallhanging 18" x 24"

Below is Janina Moore's  lovely delicate piece based on some stone carving in the church

Janina Moore

'Ufford Church' by Cynthia Thomson, Mary Mcintosh and Annette Morgan
The next Tin Hut Textiles Exhibition will be as part of the City & Guilds Graduate Show inn Wickham Market on Sat 28th and Sun 29th June 2014 where our next element will be.......... 'Silver'

Paper Mania Day

The Paper Mania Workshop at the WI in Ipswich on Sat 28th Sept seemed to go quite well. We had 9 lovely ladies putting together collages of painted newspapers in their chosen colour and then adding layers of sheers and stitching by machine before burning away the layers to reveal some for the paper below.   It was quite challenging for those who had never free-machined before but everyone produced a piece to take home to be framed. Here are just some of the pieces.......

Paper Mania Day on Sat 28th September in Ipswich - Barbara's piece
Paper Mania 

Monday, 30 September 2013

New Sampler Quilt Course at the Cosy Cabin

I started teaching a sampler course at the new quilt shop The Cosy Cabin at Risby Barns near Bury St Edmunds this week. This is a 12 week course, running on Thursdays from 10am - 4pm, to make a full size (96" x 96") bed quilt. 16 different quilt blocks.

We started nice and simple with 2 strip piecing blocks. Watch this blog over the next 12 weeks to see how the sampler quilts take shape. If you would like to join the class then please contact the Cosy Cabin on 01284 811222
Block 1 - Rail fence - student's own fabrics

Block 2 - Strip Rail using Shabby Chic range

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Festival of Quilts

It was a fantastic experience to have my very first Quilting in Action stand at the NEC. Thank you to everyone coming along to say hello and give me moral support. Special thanks to Yvonne Brown with whom I shared the stand and who introduced me to using a soldering iron in textiles in the first place! Special special thanks to Annette Morgan who suggested that I took her usual spot whilst she had her own use gallery. Here is a couple of images of Annette's fantastic work from her Sticks and Stones exhibition.....

It was fabulous to see the work of two of my students hanging in the show. Marie Paddon entered her Final Quilt from the City & Guilds Certificate in the Contemporary Quilt class......

And Johanna Gardner had her Final Quilt hanging as part of the Quilters Guild 'In the Spotlight' gallery where she represented Region 9 Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. 

But best of all Jacqueline Amies who exhibited with me in the Further Education Gallery in 2011 entered her Final Quilt from her C & G Diploma into the Contemporary Quilt competition and was placed SECOND, how brilliant is that. 

 All seven students who took part in the FE Gallery have kept in touch and we try to meet up at Birmingham or the Knitting and Stitching Show. Jackie Ketley who showed her Certificate work in 2011 has now almost completed her Diploma with Janice Gunner and had her 3D work on show as part of the Quilt Creations competition.......

So inspired by their example here is my pledge.....I WILL enter a quilt into the show next year......

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Even more from the Graduate Show

The City & Guilds course can also be taken by distance learning and this is the route followed by Joanne who lives in deepest darkest Essex (Southend!) and Katherine White from Staffordshire. 
Joanne won the award for Outstanding Student which was brilliant. 

Joanne Hill

Joanne Hill accessory

Joanne Hill Final Quilt

Katherine (Kate) White has a really quirky style. I just loved her teapot made for the Form assessment and her flowerpot container. 

Kate White
Kate White Container
Kate White Form

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

More from the C & G Graduate Show

Johanna Gardner was selected by Region 9 (Cambridgeshire and Norfolk) to represent them at the Festival of Quilts 2013 'In the Spotlight' gallery. The chosen theme is 'The Underground' to celebrate 150 years since the first London tube was opened. Jo has done region 9 proud and we look forward to seeing her quilt hanging at the NEC in Birmingham from 8th - 11th August 2013. It is also her City & Guilds Final Quilt.

The Underground - Jo's final quilt with a lovely discharged brick wall!

Johanna Gardner P & Q Certificate

Wallhanging inspired by the winter walk at Anglesey Abbey near Jo's home in Cambridgeshire