Sunday 29 December 2013

Embroidered Flower on Tumbling Blocks Quilt Fragment

Bought a new quilt to cut up before Christmas and down time in front of period drama over the last few days has allowed me to try out a new range of work, embroidering folk art style  flowers on to the surface. I feel a whole folk art flower phase coming on as I received a wonderful  ( and very expensive) book for Christmas called "Patterns and designs from Muhu Island" which I think is going to influence me for a while.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Louise Bourgeois in Edinburgh

I have been to Edinburgh today especially to see two Louise Bourgeois exhibitions. She is one of my absolutely favourite artists and I have always loved the way she has used fabric in many of her sculptures throughout her life. Sometimes it is clothes she or other family members have worn, old sheets and towels and sometimes tapestry elements which relate back to her parents tapestry mending business in the north of France. Today one of the most moving pieces in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was a sculpture which used many of the berets which she wore every day. It was also good to see "Ode a La Bievre" again. Saw this a few years ago in London and a postcard of this cloth book has always been on my noticeboard.
In the Fruit Market Gallery I was mesmerised by the insomniac drawings and writings made at the end of her life.
If you don't know her work then google images Louise Bourgeois Fabric Works and hopefully you too will be blown away by the emotional charge in her work.

Monday 23 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone.
( A design by my daughter )

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Monday 9 December 2013


I have just restocked my etsy shop with some bits and pieces from my studio including this collage which has bits of my late grandmother's sofa included and some very old silk hexagon patchwork. I love working in this very free patchwork style just pulling very special bits and pieces together into a resolved composition.

Sunday 8 December 2013

Fox and Flowers

This is one of the pieces I am showing in the Textile Hub exhibition. The fox is built up with tiny hand stitches/ split stitch. It takes me so long and I am wondering whether to go back to machine embroidery to do work like this where people can't seem to tell the difference.

Monday 2 December 2013

Textile Hub Winter Exhibition

You are warmly invited to join us on Thursday night for the preview of our winter exhibition. I will be showing all of the really big pieces that were exhibited earlier this year at Birmingham.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Spring Textile Courses

Next year I will be running courses all over the place - Cornwall, Norfolk, Suffolk, Scotland, Nottinghamshire and Kent! Now I am getting back into a routine after Knit and Stitch my thoughts turn to running workshops from The Hearth at Horsley which is where I have my studio. I have just added 3 new Spring courses to my website. To check them out please look HERE

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Open Studio

My studio is open this weekend. If you didn't get to Harrogate you will be able to see a lot of the work that I exhibited there. There are some lovely additional people in the hall this time so do come and join us!

Monday 18 November 2013

One day left till Knit and Stitch Harrogate

My bags are packed and I am all ready to meet the public and exhibit my work in my gallery "Thread and Thrift" at Knit and Stitch in Harrogate. this year I feel privileged to be exhibiting alongside Dorothy Caldwell and Tilleke Schwatrz . The only down side is that I will be inside for 4 days and won't be able to get out to the Harrogate charity shops!

Saturday 16 November 2013

Suffolk Flowers

Suffolk flowers from a Norfolk girl. One of many pieces that I have been making to sell at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate. I will be going on Wednesday to set up. If you are in the North please drop by and say hello. I am on stand TG500. You won't miss me if you have a prepaid ticket as I will be the first gallery in front of the entrance. My space is slightly smaller than at the other shows though still packed full of pieces I have loved making and wish to share with you.

Monday 4 November 2013

Angels and Icons

There are a couple of places left on the Angels and Icons course I am running at The Hearth on Sat November 16th and Sunday November 17th. You can book through Horsley Printmakers and the course costs £110 for the weekend.

On this course we will use images of angels, icons, the Virgin Mary, old fashioned holy
cards to create your own iconic pieces of art. They will make a stunning decorative feature
in your home at Christmas or anytime. You can transform old Christmas cards and found
images into richly textured and layered art redolent of Italian altar pieces or Mexican
shrines. Mandy will show you a number of surface decoration techniques in association with
some easy table top printmaking and collage with lots of “bling” thrown in too with use of
gold leaf and other patinas. This course is suitable for complete beginners or those
students who revel in experimentation and exploration of a mixed media approach to art.

Sunday 27 October 2013

Lorina Bulwer

Very pleased to have seen the Lorina Bulwer samplers this weekend as part of an exhibition called "Frayed" at Time and Tide Museum, Great Yarmouth.
The two chaotically embroidered letters are each over 3 metres long and made in the early twentieth century by Lorina who was an inmate ( "lunatic")  of the Great Yarmouth Work House. The text is one long confusing rant with no punctuation and in upper case letters. It has been sewn on to a patchwork of fabrics.She has used it to pour out her frustrations with being in the workhouse and hurls much abuse against other people through her stitching . A true subversive piece of art. This is the first time that the two halves have come together in one place.

Sunday 20 October 2013

patchworking again

Back in my studio this week making work for Knit and Stitch at Harrogate to replace all the work I sold off the walls at Alexandra Palace. All hand sewn of course.....

Saturday 12 October 2013

One more day to go

One more day to go at Knit and Stitch. I have met so many lovely people who have been complimentary about my work. Thank you to all those blog readers who introduced themselves. It was good to meet you. Here are some pictures of the exhibition are when we first set it up.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Knit and Stitch here I come

TGC1 is my stand number at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. More information on how to get there HERE. If you are visiting please come and see me!
I will be "appearing" at Harrogate too so those of you in the North might have to wait another month or so to see my exhibition.
Here are two new applique pieces.

Sunday 6 October 2013

Thursday 26 September 2013

A new skirt

I have been working on a new skirt made from an old satin hexagon quilt. I will be showing this for the first time at The Knitting and Stitching Show in London in a couple of weeks time with a couple of complimentary coloured textile collages and much much more. You can get tickets to the show much cheaper if you book ahead. Here is the LINK to the web site. Hopefully the skirt won't be hanging from a couple of bull dog clips by then!


Sunday 22 September 2013

A Perfect Day

A perfect day out with my very dear friend Jayne. Up at dawn to arrive at the very start of a vintage textile fair in Manchester that we haven't had to organise ourselves! Many purchases made of course. On for  full sunday dinner at a little cafe we always go to and then to Salts Mill for a beautiful exhibition and afternoon tea. The exhibition looked stunning in the   ( very rarely open ) roof space of the mill with this September sunshine pouring in. The exhibition is called Cloth and Memory. Here is a LINK to its own site. It is worth travelling to. The best textile exhibition I have seen for a very long time....