Tuesday 5 November 2019

Making a Life

By the far the best book around at the moment is "Making a Life" by Melanie Falick. I met Melanie several years ago when she was assisting me at Chateau Dumas and she told me how she hoped to leave her job as an editor in New York and concentrate on writing her own book about using our hands. Years later, after travelling across the world with talented photographer Rinne Allen in tow she has achieved that dream. This is THE book to put on your Christmas present lists.
Melanie and Rinne even made it all the way up to Northumberland to visit me in my studio on a rainy dark day and I felt sure there would be no good photographs but guess what they decided to use MY notice board on the cover of the book and there is a 10 page chapter on how I am making my life sweet by doing what I do. On the way back to my house we stopped by at my allotment, the second best place in my life after my studio, and Rinne captured me there in a photo I am actually happy with. I don't often show pictures of me but here it is!

 “Excerpted from Making a Life by Melanie Falick (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Rinne Allen.”

Monday 28 October 2019

Hankie Dress

I have recently run a course based on up cycling old handkerchiefs and thought I would show what I did with the floral border of a handkerchief. It has been carefully cut and reapplied on to the surface of this little baby dress. Never be afraid to cut things up and use them to transform something else!

Monday 21 October 2019

Pop up

If you are working in London or visiting over the next couple of weeks please pop up in to my daughter's pop up exhibition in the heart of Bloomsbury not far from Kings Cross and British Museum. Here are the opening times and address. Next door is Pentreath and Hall which is lovely and Persephone Books just across the road!

Saturday 5 October 2019

The Textile Retreat Company in the New Forest

For several years I have had the privilege of teaching at Chateau Dumas in France and working with Lizzie Hulme who owns the Chateau and is responsible for making it such a lovely experience when you teach or go on a workshop there. I have also worked with Lizze in Britain too and she has told me there are still a couple of places left on a luxurious textile retreat which I have been part of for the last couple of years. The full details are  HERE It is a chance if you are far away in the USA or Australia or wherever to come over to the UK and have a little dip into London life as well as relaxing at Heathfield House in the New Forest where Anna Corba and I run the workshops. You will be looked after well and I cannot recommend it highly enough!The New Forest is beautiful in the Spring ....

Thursday 3 October 2019

Place, Home,Loss and Legacy

I realise that many of you will not be able to see this exhibition but for those of you reading this in the North East of England then try and get to see it at Hartlepool Art Gallery.  Claire A Baker has been visiting the Chernobyl exclusion zone regularly over the last five years. She has been documenting the lives and textile  traditions of the self settler Babushkas who have chosen to go back to their homes. The stories are very moving and it was good to see textiles produced by the women earlier in their lives and also textiles retrieved from the exclusion zone. Here are some pictures to give you a taste.
If you are an instagrammer you can follow Claire at @claire_a_baker

Tuesday 17 September 2019


I made these little collages for cards a while ago and have sold them all now but thought I would just represent them to you to encourage to maybe do the same with your own collections of cigarette cards. I have used the original cards so they were a bit of a pain in my studio as visitors would say " Have you got a.... ?" but what I am about is originality so once the card has gone it has gone!

Thursday 12 September 2019


I will be running a chicken course in a couple of weeks time at my studio and over the years have done many brown hens but thought I would have a try at something a little different after seeing a painting of a grey hen on a friend's kitchen wall.
My usual hand sewn collage technique on to a dyed background ( not quilt)

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Studio Preniac

Next year I will be teaching at Studio Preniac in France for the first time. For those of you who live much further away here is your chance to join me in a beautiful location. Here is the description and contact Studio Preniac to book HERE. The course is more than half full already even though it is a year away so get on with it if you fancy it!

Mandy Pattullo: 12th - 19th September 2020:

Mandy Pattullo

Textile Collage with Many Pattullo.

Again, one of the UK’s most popular textile artists and tutors, Mandy Pattullo will bring a series of her most popular courses to Studio Preniac in September 2020 which combine her love of vintage fabrics with observations of the natural world.
You will start the week with an introduction to the basic techniques of textile collage before starting a more structured approach with a focus on building up a bird portrait on to a fragment of antique quilt. .
We then turn a bit botanical using the seed heads that are around the Preniac as an inspiration for a Seed Heads piece. You will learn to layer up and appliqué backgrounds for your compositions and will use embroidery stitches imaginatively to describe the structure and silhouette of these remains of the summer. 
Mandy will do many demonstrations through out the week and bring inspirational samples, clear instructions and templates for those who can not draw (!) but she will also remain flexible And if you choose to just remain with one style of working rather than having a go at everything that is fine with her.
You can see more of Mandy's work, just follow the link below:
This will be Mandy's first to Studio Préniac.

Course Cost

Ensuite - £1,295
Private bedroom sharing bathroom with one other - £1,195
Sharing a twin ensuite bedroom - £1,095
Non Participating Partner - £ 795
Gites £100 Extra for Single Supplement

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