Category Archives: textiles

Textile Book

My eldest Granddaughter, Miss E has just had a birthday, and I was thrilled to be able to give her this book – I have been making it for ages.

The fabric I have used for the cover is from 1946. My mother-in-law used that fabric to make a cot mattress cover for her baby son (my husband). When my first son was born she gave me the fabric. It felt so precious I never found the courage to cut into it to make anything with it … until now.

Where the desire to make books comes from, I don’t know, I have been on several courses and started quite a few books, but this is the only one I have finished to date.

This book was started during a wonderful few days one-to-one with Frances Pickering in Spring 2016;

then a day’s one-to-one workshop with Kim Edith. in Southampton in 2018. I can highly recommend both workshops. I learnt many things I have yet to put into practice;

and now I am making a Stitchbook with Helen Birmingham,  also highly recommended.

I am not quite sure what it’s all about, but if I discover why, I’ll let you know.

Miss E has been watching this book take shape and she beamed with delight when I gave it to her – I asked her if it was ok for me to share the video and she gave her permission.

I hope you enjoy it .

Textile Tuesday: July

couchingWe are edging towards the end of The Stitchbook Collective year, in August we will receive our last kit. Was there ever a better timed project! There are 150 of us in the Collective and it has been a wonderful creative community to be part of over the last few months.

Our June box was all about Laid Work and Couching, including how to couch lettering.

Of course I had to include a bit of rust dyed fabric – Rust Dyeing has been my favourite process of the whole course – I love the magic, alchemy and serendipity of it.

The Laid Work was a real challenge for me

stem stitch outline

I like to be messy and abstract and fairly free with my stitching

pineapple design

but Bayeux stitch is not any of those things – keeping within the lines is what is required, (and as I am writing this, I am already creating a design in my head of a messy, borderless piece, but still using some of the Bayeux stitch technique…. ooo .. but no … I have to finish writing this post first – ‘inspiration’, a blessing or the opposite?! sometimes both)

embroidery, Bayeux stitch

I searched online for an Art Deco pineapple design (you might already know how much I like pineapples, here is just one post about them, but there are loads more and if you want to see them, just type Pineapple into the Search Box top right) and created the above from a wallpaper pattern.

After all that control, my inner rebel needed to get messy again so time to experiment with some eco-dyeing

eco-dyeing

An old calico curtain pickled with mould spots has found it’s time to shine. Soaked in soya milk, and then wrapped round a rusty nail, encasing leaves soaked in rusty water.

steam dyeing

In they all go to be steamed

I like the look of the bundles as much as I like the dyed fabric. There is something intriguing about the mystery they hold. (Argghhh! another idea …. project of bundles as the art work themselves, on a theme, so wrapping pertinent pieces of memorabilia in a bundle and then working on the outside to hint at what it holds ……. noooo … get back to writing this post!)

To speed up the process of drying, I sat them on a wheat-filled heat pad that is heated in the microwave

drying bundles

But even that wasn’t quick enough for me, so I later put them under the grill on a very low heat.

I also tried printing the leaves onto paper

eco-dyeing

I was a bit disappointed with the results at first, but there are definitely marks to work with …. I wonder where inspiration will take me.

Although there is a tinge of sadness that The Stitchbook Collective is coming to a close, there is also celebration as our books are going to be exhibited at the Kniiting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November.

Even better news! Anyone who would like to be part of the next Stitchbook Collective can be. Helen is running another one next year – I can highly recommend it! Suitable for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. You can subscribe for a whole year or buy the individual kits.

Must go, I have messy Bayeux stitch to figure out and a few bundles to make.

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If you would like to share any textile related posts in July, just pop a link in the comments below, current or archive, anything textile related,  are all welcome.

 

Textile Tuesday: Kunin Felt

Kunin Felt, the Stitchbook CollectiveThe Stitchbook Collective, organised by Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads couldn’t have happened at a better time. Each month a box of delights pops through my letterbox and new little textile project is born, full of learning, peaceful stitching and an opportuity to share it with the others in the Collective.

If you are looking for a small slow stitching project, I can highly recommend Helen’s kits, which come with full tutorials and all the materials needed to produce a piece of textile art.

May’s box of goodies was all about Kunin Felt and playing around with candles and heating the felt to form flowers or other shapes that took your fancy.

I was a bit stumped to start with and could not work out a design I wanted to create, so I turned to Pinterest and found this post which inspired my design.pinterest, felt, B Zwickler

I laid out some pieces of shiny cord included in the kit an added my own Sari waste cord which I got from YarnYarn, and couched them onto the black backing felt.Yarn Yarn, felt

and gradually built up the design.

felt design

A fun month with bright colours and playing with fire, fabulous!

Have you been playing with textiles this month, or maybe you have some archive posts about textiles you would like to share. Just pop a link in the comments, I would love to see them.

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month.

Textile Tuesday: Tyvek

Is anyone else losing track of the days, weeks, months?!

Here just one week late is Textile Tuesday

Tyvek

In The Stitchbook Collective we have been having fun with Tyvek.

Each month we get a pack of goodies to experiment with

The Stitchbook Collective

It is always a wonderfully exciting moment to open the parcel to see what is inside

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Colours I would not usually choose to work with, all carefully chosen and lovingly put together. The kits are still available if you go to the Untangled Threads website, and a pound from the sale of each kit goes to the mental health charity, Mind. So far Helen has raised and donated £2,489.50.

Tyvek is a synthetic fabric that reacts to heat

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Creating great bobbly textures

This one was painted with a tester pot of Dulux emulsion before hitting it with the heat gun

painted tyvek and heat gun

Here is the piece of fabric collage I will put on a page in my stitchbook

textile collage

Now onto the next parcel to open, which is all about felt.

Have you been working with textiles or found any interesting textiles or textile art recently? If so it would be fun to see what has caught your eye in the world of textiles. Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

Textile Tuesday: Chindi

slow stitching on chindi rags

This is one of my samples to go on April’s page of the Stitchbook I am making, as I follow Helen Birmingham’s wonderful guidelines.

This month’s kit is a particular delight.The Stitchbook Collective, April

And includes a small piece of Chindi rugchindi rug, rags

Pulling out the fabric pieces and ironing them is like finding treasure

rags

all those disparate patterns, all harmonising together

tacking

The serendipity of finding the patterns within the rug intrigued me so much I bought another by mail order

chindi rug

and found these patterns inside

chindi rug scraps

Very different but no less exciting. I am going to have fun stitching on these.

I am loving this 12 month course, each month offers new techniques and ideas. Each kit is still available in Helen’s shop.

Do you have any textile adventures to share with us this month?

Please leave a link in the comments to your Textile posts – current posts or archive are all welcome.

Scrap Happy Box

machine embroidery on crazy patchwork

I made this piece of crazy patchwork in 2013 and although I have photographed it and have tote bags and cushions made from the ensuing fabric, I have never made anything with the fabric itself.

Another little fabric box seemed just the right project for it.

Still using canvas left over from my needlepoint days, I cut the sides 3″ by 2.5″ and the base a 3″ squarebox structure

making a fabric box

I lined the box with an old T-shirt, the hem at the top.

recycling an old T-shirt

Here are all the layers, ready to be stitched together.

pieces ready for assemblong, fabric box

The base is T-shirt fabric on both sides.

After stitching the layers together with some runnig stitches across the pieces, I blanket stitched the edges

fabric box

Then sewed the pieces all together to form the box

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Using some 2ply crochet cotton left over from a dreamcatcher, and a 2.5mm hook, I did a chain stitch all round the top into the blanket stitches, to make a simple shell stitch edging.

fabric box with crochet edging

Lots of Scrap Happiness to join in with Kate and her merry band of Scrappers on Scrap Happy Day, which is on the 15th of every month.

If you want to see how some scraps of rusty barbed wire can be used to create art, have a look at my previous post.

Pop across to see what others have been doing with their scraps:

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, LindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

Always inspiring!

Sofa Repair

My son and daughter-in-law have a cute sofa, but the seams had come apart on the seatsofa repair

It was going to cost a small fortune to have it recovered and they couldn’t find anyone to repair it ……… Granny to the rescue!

binding

I already had some bias binding, so I bound the frayed edges.herringbone stitch for mending

And brought them together with stitching

mending

The bigger split could not be pulled together, so I sewed in a layer of fabric underneath the hole.

sofa repair

I went over the L-shaped repair with another layer of binding to reinforce, and then sewed on patches of new material with hem stitch done with a curved needle.patching upholstery

I gave each patch an iron to finish off. Not the most professional job, but it was very satisfying to know I have given the sofa a new lease of life.

And I have saved the left over bits of spotty fabric should any more holes appear.

The best bit was when Little Bro (7) thanked me so much for mending their sofa.

🙂

Textile Tuesday: Box

Textile Tuesday happens on the first Tuesday of each month. Join in by leaving a link in the Comments. Current or archive posts are all welcome, your own textiles or those you have seen out and about.

textile art, box

Inspired by Cathy’s Scrap Happy post, I was itching to have a go at making a fabric box.

I have lots of bits and pieces of canvas left over from my needlepoint obsession days. A piece of this made a nice firm frame.

needlepoint canvas

I cut 3″ squares of canvas, and 3½” calico squares as the backing for some little pieces of textile collage.

collage, upcycling, recycling

After stitching the pieces in place with just a few stitches, I put a piece of wadding between the calico and the canvas and stitched them all together.IMG_8217

The two pieces on the left have little pockets.

textile collages, slow stitching

I sewed blanket stitch round the edges and made a plain calico basetextile box

then oversewed the sides to the base before sewing up the sides.

Oh I did enjoy making this but it had taken me a whole day and I wanted to finish quickly. I cut a piece of canvas for the lid and thought, ‘that’ll do’.

textile box, collage, canvas lid

I added a piece of thicker wadding top and bottom and found a shell for the handle.

Ta Dah!textile box

I think it works

Now – what to put in it ….

 

Textile Tuesday: Rusty Delights

Hello Everyone and welcome to February’s gathering of Textiles on this, our second Textile Tuesday Photo Challenge of 2020.

Have you got any textiles you are working on, or have you found any when out and about? Archive posts are welcome.

Just leave a link in the comments to join in.

textile art, Joomchi, rust-dyed paper

Lichen

I still can’t leave Rust Dyeing alone. The serendipitousness (? !) of it has taken me hostage and will not let me go!

It is so tempting to just keep dyeing, the results are so exciting but at last I have three finished pieces to share with you.

textile art, rust-dyeing, mixed media

Desert Rendezvous

The rust-dyed Mulberry Paper in the first piece reminded me of tree bark.

The second one, using rust-dyed curtain lining, reminded me of the desert scenes my son sent me when he was running in the Sahara.

The third became a lament for the devastation created by the recent fires in Australia. The turquoise represents hope and water and new life returning.

textile art, slow stitching, embroidery

After the Fire

I am thinking of painting the background canvas for this one an Uluru Red.

Eventually they will all be for sale, I am working towards getting enough together for an exhibition. When I say ‘working towards’ – the main work to be done is getting my mind round the whole idea of exhibiting and all that goes with it, but I would like to see my work all presented together somewhere, sometime. It will happen when the time is right.

~

I am really looking forward to seeing the Textiles you would like to share with us on

TEXTILE TUESDAY

 

Textile Tuesday Number One!

needelpoint experiments and designsHelloo! Happy New Year – Happy New Decade – Happy New Photo Challenge!

I am really looking forward to sharing 12 glorious months of Textile Tuesdays.

Textiles of all sorts are my first love in the land of Creativity, so I’m starting off with a bumper crop of archive makes that I have just excavated from my many and various boxes in the loft – it is like a museum of my life up there.

The archaeology was prompted by a photo by Sheila on The Great House Exmoor on Instagram  of a doll’s house she had found.

Sheila and her family have bought a fabulous Georgian house on Exmoor which they will be renovating ready for Bed and Breakfast guests. My goodness what a task, but I am SO looking forward to watching the transformation of the rooms as I know they will be fabulous.

About 25 – 30 years ago I had a crush on needlepoint – I had seen someone making a cushion cover and had to have a go – so I bought a kit

This was my first

Then this one

As you can see I liked more subtle colours in those days – it was all terracotta and soft greens – very grown up!

After a trip to Turkey, I was interested in kilim designs

but I didn’t love this one and could not find the patterns I wanted to make so I started designing my own. Following a visit to a Doll’s House Fair I started designing and making doll’s house carpets – a perfect craft for travelling. They are all to the 1:12 scale. 1 inch = 1 foot.  They were wonderful little projects to pack in a backpackIMG_7512

I made this one on a canal boat in Shropshiredolls house carpet

and this one has crossed the Equator twice –  travelling right round the world with me in 1994. I designed it as I was travelling, adding in motifs I came across.needlepoint

The bright colours soon burst forth IMG_7509IMG_7504I became fascinated by how the same colours and the same design could create such different patterns.basketweave-1

daffodil, Warhol style

A computer programme helped me design these ‘Andy Warhol’ daffodils. WdaffI made them as cushion covers but then wondered if they would be better frames as pictures needlepoint daffodiland my indecision consigned them to a box in the loft.

samples

Some need a bit of cleaning. But – what to do with them – having unearthed them from their box, I realise they should not stay there, something needs to be done with them.

These could be cushion coversneedlepoint

starsrunner

I think some could be framed, even in their unfinished state – but what do you think – are they art one would want hanging on the wall?

Food for thought.

~

That is a long post from me! Some months I will most probably post just one Textile Photo – do you have any textiles to share – one piece or many – current or archive. You are welcome to dig deep into your blog archive and revisit old posts – anything goes so long as the photos are your own.

I’m really excited to see your very own Textile Tuesday.

Just leave a link in the Comments.

 

 

After the Fire

rust dyeing, slow stitching

It often surprises me how the piece of creativity I’m working on, reflects what I’m surrounded by or preoccupied with.

This piece of rust dyed fabric with a few simple stitches is a work in progress. It is suggesting scorched earth to me, and raindrops falling into puddles making ripples to quench and cool.

It connects me to Australia and Aboriginal art and my heartfelt yearning for those fires to calm and for people and wildlife to find safety.

Running stitch.

The ripples go out to cover the world – we are all connected.

Joomchi

Our deliciously delectable December box of goodies from The Stitchbook Collective is all about experimenting with mulberry paper – a technique known as Joomchi.

Helen has sent us some sheets of paper in a variety of colours and has devised a cunningly clever way of felting them together in various ways to produce a fabulous textured surface that can then be stitched.

These are the pieces I have created – before adding any stitchingjoomchi

the one top left is much more see-through held against the light

paper felting

I haven’t been able to completely wrench myself away from rust dyeing

rust dyeing, keys

and found some more goodies in the hardware shop to play with.

nails, washers

This piece of felted paper seemed to go really well with the rust and red wine dyed cotton curtain lining

joomchi and rust dyed fabric

I discovered that the wet paper can be moulded over textured objects to add surface interest.

This one was moulded over the top of the radiator moulding joomchiand looks at home on this piece rust dyed calico

rust dyed fabric and joomchi, textile art

I added some simulated rust staining to the green paper by painting with Koh-i-noor inks.

Just a few stitches to hold it all together and I have this month’s page of the Stitchbook done.

There is more to explore with this technique so I have just ordered some more mulberry paper from Calder Art Supplies in Huddersfield.

I might try rust dyeing the paper when it comes ……..

Rust Dyeing

dyeing rust with red wine

rust and red wine

I’m in deep!

rust and red wine

rust and red wine

I have been thinking about writing a blog post about my adventures in rust dyeing, but I’m so into it, I can’t stop to put cohesive thoughts together

rust and black coffee

rust and black coffee

So here are a few photos to give you and idea of what is going on around here

black coffee

dyed with black coffee, before washing

dyeing

after washing

rust, nails, vinegar, calico

calico, nails and white vinegar

rust dyeing

white vinegar, copper panel pins, rusty nails

I found some craft stranded threads for 40p a skein, made by Trimits, ideal for rust experiments

craft threads

I have made a start on stitching

rust textile art

copper panel pins, white vinegar and stitching

Must go and check on the pieces I left overnight…….

Scrap Happy Stitchbook

This month’s Goody Pack from The Stitchbook Collective, is all about dyeing and staining.

beach finds

It probably comes as no surprise that I have a Rust Collection. These are all pieces I have gathered over the last 5 or 6 years whilst beachcombing.

I have been waiting to use them for dyeing fabric, but every time I looked online for instructions, I came across confusing information, so didn’t have a go …. until now!

Helen Birmingham’s written instructions are clear and run alongside a helpful video tutorial. This gave me the perfect kickstart. You can still buy the kit in her online shop.

I relished getting each rusty piece out and arranging them.

flat lay

enjoying the texture and colours.rusty nails

Then the happy task of wrapping them in white-vinegar-soaked fabric.

fabric dyeing with rust

Leaving them overnight was a challenge – I’m SO impatient

Some were stacked on a trivet above my cooling wood-burning stove to speed up the process

rust dyeing stack

I also stained a few bits of paper for collage at the same time.

oven rust

The larger pieces were put on top of vinegar-soaked fabric and put it in the oven.dyeing with rust

I put the oven on the lowest temperature for just five minutes and left for a while, repeating this several times, sprinkling with white vinegar to keep it moist.

rust stain

The grid effect came from a disposable barbeque mesh, that had been left on the beach.

rust dyeing

Fun!nails in calico and curtain lining

Nails wrapped in strips of an old calico curtain and the lining were my favourite little experiments

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My intention was to dye strips of fabric and embroidery thread to use in textile artIMG_6874

– but I loved the look of the wrapped nails so much I have kept some of them wrapped

wrapped and rusted

and will use them as they are.

To preserve them, I have painted them with some old acrylic varnish found in the garage, left by the previous owner – it must be at least 15 years old, but it did the trick.

varnish

So exciting.

This is a little stitched sampler that will go in my Stitchbook.

textile art for The Stitchbook Collective

I am enjoying this so much!

Joining Kate for her monthly Scrap Happy get together.

There are lots more Happy Scrappers to check out as well.

Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
MoiraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

Have you been creative with things destined for the scrap heap? If so, leave a link in the comments of Kate’s post and join in the fun.

Tapestry Weaving Exhibition

Back in August I wrote a post entitled Interactive Art, in which I mentioned that I was hoping to go to an exhibition to see the wonderful work of Alastair Duncan.

I went!

Here is a photo he sent me of his piece for me to share with youAlastair Duncan interactive weaving

The pale leaf shapes are wire and when they are touched they play a sound.

On Sunday 20th, I went to the Exhibition in London, at the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road, curated by Margaret JonesIMG_6376

who had taken over 500 hours to weave her beautiful diptych, ‘The Fallen’

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It was wonderful to chat to Margaret and hear about her passion for weaving and how she had invited exhibitors from all over the world to be part of this exhibition.

Joanne Soroka‘s richly textured piece, ‘Another Country’,  reminded me of Australia

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The dreamy ‘Strandsong’ by Joan Baxter, (if you click on her name the link will take you to a rather beautiful video of her) reminded me of blissful hours spent wandering along the strandline, beachcombing

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I did not take the details of this striking piece – wish I had now

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And this one was more needle-weaving than tapestry but intriguing all the same

IMG_6371

IMG_6372

casting delicate shadows on the walls.

If you would like to see more of the tapestries, go to the Heallreaf Instagram Page.

My favourite was Alastair’s, and I loved the interactivity of it

IMG_6367

As you touched the leaves it activated sounds, which you could listen to individually or if you touched two at once or several in quick succession you could layer or weave the sounds together and create a soundscape. There were a couple of sounds of people laughing which was a surprise and made me laugh too. It would have been great to have had the sounds playing out into the room so that several people could play at once.

One of the most thrilling aspects of the day for me was to meet up with two fellow textile artitsts from the Stitchbook Collective. That’s Tracey in the photo above. We all enjoyed the exhibition and meeting and chatting to Margaret and afterwards we went to a nearby cafe to chat some more about the Stitchbook Collective, and share our own textile stories.

IMG_6381

We discovered that we had all made a Sawdust Heart, and this created another rather special, bond. Tracey (in the middle) runs textile classes and if you are in the Cambridge area (UK) and are interested in taking a class, send me a message via the CONTACT ME page and I will pass on her email address to you.

It was such a joy to meet with two more of Helen Birmingham’s happy band of stitchers. (Cathy is another)

The link (Helen’s) takes you to an article written in the Scarborough News (annoying ads alert)

A quote from Helen from the article:

I like this quotation ascribed to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC): “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

 

39

Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing or why you are doing it until later….

In memory of 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

lift the flap of old blanket and there hidden beneath is the number 39

in memory of the 39 migrants who lost their lives in a sealed container

I was on an Art Course last week and on Wednesday I created this piece – today, as I realised its connections and significance, I added the number 39, painted on with my finger, hidden beneath the piece of old blanket.

The process:

Our tutor, Helen Turner, did a demonstration using this red acrylic paint. It is not a colour I usually use, so to push myself out of my comfort zone I used the paint in various experiments.

At the end of the day whilst clearing up I cleaned my brush by wiping it backwards and forwards across a piece of A2 cartridge paper

I wasn’t sure how to use the piece of canvas, so I placed it on the paper whilst clearing up and left it there overnight. It had the look of a blood-soaked piece of cloth.

The next day, I put these three elements together. The weave of the blanket going with the criss-cross of the paint on the paper. The red blanket stitch, chiming with the colour of the paint. (The blanket is one that I had collected to send to Syrian refugees a few years ago – it was so old and threadbare, I had kept it back, wondering if I could use it in some creative way.)

I did not make the connection until today, but that morning at 1am, 39 dead migrants were found in a container in Purfleet, Essex, 50 miles away from where I was staying. The container was being driven by a red and white truck.

The aesthetic we were trying to embrace is Wabi Sabi, an Eastern concept, the migrants, so we have heard, were either from China or Vietnam.

Today I was going through the artwork I had done on my course and suddenly made the connection – I added the number 39.

It is now a piece in memory of those particular 39 migrants and all the other thousands who have died fleeing from war and poverty, searching for a better life.

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

The Stitchbook Collective: Texture 2

The Stitchbook Collective

As you might remember, I have joined The Stitchbook Collective: a year long adventure in stitch with monthly Workshops created by Helen Birmingham.

In September’s Texture Pack we were sent a small pack of factory waste threads to play with. Helen provides some very helpful video tutorials and explained the process of glueing these threads together to make them into a piece of fabric that can be used in a fabric and stitch collage..

I separated the threads out into colour groups and used mainly purples for this piece

embroidery

Although it works as an example of the technique, I’m not thrilled with the design and prefer the more abstract look of the backreverse embroidery

especially when I flip the photo

the back

I can see this in paint on canvas ……..  each excercise sparks new ideas.

With the next groups of threads I kept the threads in a rectangular shape, hoping to be able to create a better design.

gluing threads together

I cut the lower piece into 4 and laid it on some waste sari silk which I got from the company YarnYarn.

textile

textures

At Helen’s suggestion (in her video tutorial) I added some netting provided in the pack

embroidery

and then stitched into it with Rice Stitch, Running Stitch and Cross Stitch.

I am happier with this one.

Here are the two pieces as they will appear on the page of the Stitchbook.page of samples, embroidery, Stitchbook Collective

I am really enjoying the workshops and the stitching, but I don’t feel I am in the creative flow of it yet. I am waiting for that magic ah-ha moment, when the creative penny drops and, well  ……. hmmm ……..  I’ll know it when I feel it.

The best bit is to be part of a like-minded supportive group, sharing what we are making and talking all things textiles – I’m really loving the sense of community that is building up.

The packs and tutorials are so well put together. It is very soothing to sit sewing whilst listening to Helen describing the process and her joy of stitching. There are a limited number of packs still for sale in Helen’s online shop, one pound from the sale of each pack goes to the mental health charity MIND.

To date £749 has been raised.

Stitchbook Collective: Texture

The Stitchbook Collective is off and running! Our first pack arrived a day early – wow! I was jumping up and down with excitement. Little packages of delight.

The Stitchbook Collective, texture pack

A present I have given myself, each month for a whole year – it feels so good.

Then the joy of opening them all up and seeing what is inside …. all there waiting to be played with….

Helen Birmingham's Tecture pack

The Texture and Starter Packs are available to buy individually, with unlimited access to the video tutorials.

As a child, I used to go and stay with my step-grandmother, I called her Dabbity, and she would have little embroidery projects ready for me to make – it reminds me of that – Helen and Dabbity have merged together in my mind, it is warmly comforting to have those memories revived.

Once again (like in the Starter Pack) there are 9 tiny samples to create – this is the first one I did

calico squares, texture sample

It inspired me to think about making a larger one, with just the large cross-stitches to hold the fabric pieces to the back ground – so I’m off to get some more calico.

The next was a loopy one – I love these loops

calico loops, embroidery sample, Stitchbook Collective

and then a spider’s web inspired piece, weaving the textured thread through the spokes

surface embroidery, woven web

I am having fun with these.

One of the best things about this ongoing project is the Facebook Group that nearly all of the 150 in the Stitchbook Collective are members off. We share pictures of our work and aspects of the processes we go through. It amazes me to see the rich variety created from much the same materials and what gems are created on tiny areas of calico.

Do you have any embroidery on the go at the moment?

Leave a link in the comments, I’d love to see what you are up to.