Friday, 16 August 2019

Cut and Paste

As you all know collage is at the heart of my practice, even if I do it will cloth rather than paper, so I was delighted to go to "Cut and Paste" at Edinburgh gallery of Modern Art yesterday. Well worth a visit and covers 400 years of collage including a quilt, some work incorporating textiles and stunning work from John Piper, Picasso, Vanessa Bell, Mrs Delaney and many many more. You need to allow at least two hours to go round as it is a large exhibition with a good catalogue to back it up. Here are a few pieces that are really old.

about 1700-50. The fabrics are inserted UNDER the engraving in these pieces

George Smart The Goosewoman 1830

Old Bright the Postman 1830 George Smart

Friday, 9 August 2019

French Book

Recently I was teaching for Crafty Retreats in France and set the students the challenge of creating a fabric book using pieces of fabric that had been unpicked from an A4 size piece of old quilt that had a sandwich of many layers. I started one myself too but have only just had time to finish it today. I made a small concertina which is sewn in to a cover made from the original quilt. The collage is the thing really with the stitch just adding a little bit of surface interest. The photos are not too wonderful as it has been dark and rainy here all day!

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Loving Baltimore

I have been to The Festival of Quilts today and the highlight of my day was to see the very old Baltimore Album  quilts up close. What was new to me was the drawing in Indian ink on to petals and to add details here and there. I have never seen this detail through reproductions in books. It made me want to go off and do even more appliqué and I hope looking at my photos makes you feel the same way!

Friday, 19 July 2019

French Finds

I have just taught for a week at Crafty Retreats at Mallety about 20km from Limoges. Some fantastic high quality work form a friendly bunch of students working with vintage materials and old bits of quilts. there were a couple of short trips to local brocantes and I thought I would share with you some of the lovely things I found.

a very old cotton net mosquito net

a piece of ragged damask curtain and a piece of needlepoint which matches perfectly

a little suitcase of fine sewing samples by Arlene Guinot

funky embroidered wood egg cup and cosy

bobbles from the curtain

embroidered bits

hand embroidered in wool belt

cute dog

the usual red and white linen

more linen and lace

old gold thread and alligator skin wallet

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Free Style Patchwork

I think I do patchwork all the time, (though some of you might disagree!) as I join different shapes and elements together. I use the traditional patchwork building blocks but instead of building up a quilt top I use them to embellish garments. I want them to appear as having a patchwork element without being too heavy handed and I like that this free style approach allows me to let the shapes float away from each other a little. This week I have been working on a new piece incorporating these yellow triangles. I have also included pictures of some older work where I have used this approach.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Returning to Chateau Dumas

Lizzie Hulme who offers workshops from her beautiful Chateau Dumas in France gifted me a small tattered quilt in May and pieces of it have crept into this little book which will be following me to France this week when I board the plane for Limoges and teach for Crafty Retreats.
I will be returning to Chateau Dumas again next summer to run a week's worth of workshops if you would like to join me there. Full information about the course HERE

Thursday, 6 June 2019


I have has some old work on display in my studio for the past few weeks and it is a good time to reintroduce it. This is a wallet book I made more than 10 years ago called " Beloved".

Monday, 20 May 2019

Revisiting Cowslip

Every other year I teach at Cowslip Workshops in Launceston, Cornwall. It is a beautiful, warm and friendly place and I will be travelling down there on Thursday to run 4 workshops ( all full I am afraid) over the bank holiday weekend. I was very happy to be asked by Jo to do a pop up exhibition for four days ( Friday 24 - Mon 27 May) in the barns I could just imagine how good my big wall art pieces would look in this setting. I have shown these a couple of times before but mostly they reside in a suitcase in the loft so if you are passing near Cornwall at the weekend please come and see! Here they are, all  at least I.5 metre square so much bigger than anything I usually do.