Monday, 30 November 2020

The Finished Article.

Sally has really got a march on with her insect book.

Finishing borders to the pages,

creating foliage in the background,

and adding in more insects.

Before designing the covers 

and stitching it all together with a Coptic binding.

It sits in the hand beautifully, and is a little jewel of a book.
What next ?


Saturday, 28 November 2020

More evidence of creative endeavour.

Bristol Embroiderers Guild hosted an online workshop with the lovely Angie Hughes.Carol took part and created this 

and this using Angie's technique of applying layers of fabric and stitch .

She then went on to put her own spin on it to make some very desirable cards.Wonder who'll be receiving these?

Jane has treated herself to a new weaving frame, this time to include sleeves.Getting it was a game and a half involving USA and Argentina .She has combined three yarns to weave a simple one over one under weave that resembles a herringbone.We look forward to seeing her wear the finished jacket.

Deryll has been doing some make do and mend .This cushion was originally made using a fabric pack to show how they might be put to use .This was back in our Sidcot exhibition.One of the fabric was a loose weave and with use it had frayed out.Ever resourceful Deryll had cut out the original fabric and replaced it with new adding decorative stitch to finish off,the cushion will live on!

During lockdown Debby has taken part in some online challenges .One was to create 'ugly'paintings using three colours plus white.In the process it was important to notice what you enjoyed...Debby loved the scraping back into the paint to reveal layers, and was surprised at the colour combinations.She found it hard to stop as her work is usually so full of detail.

These photos were taken when they were 80% finished and she wishes she had stopped then.We love the effect of the layers and added marks .Sometimes being challenged and 'out of our comfort zone 'can lead to exciting new discoveries.

She took the paintings and had them printed on velvet by Spoonflower .These are considering how they might look made up as cushions ........delectable!


Saturday, 14 November 2020



While on a visit to Hestercombe Gardens Viv spotted a log pile 
and couldn't resist snapping this photo.We can totally understand why...
the repeated shapes ,the colours and the textures.With a little Photoshop she was ready for the next stage.

Working in her sketchbook  to create some ideas using a range of drawing and painting media to explore colours.

Then she moved on to use ripped and torn collage papers ,working into them with drawn marks.This set her thinking about how it might transfer into fabric and stitch.
Deryll used to do a lot of dying of natural fabrics with natural dyes and produced packs of these fabrics for sale in some of GTA shows.Viv remembered she had bought some and looked them out.

These look perfect so Viv is set to get her scissors out, ,and work her magic with blending fabric and stitch.


Friday, 13 November 2020

Zoom weekend with Stitch Textile Artists

Jenn spent the weekend Zooming with Stitch Textile Artists ,a very different experience to spending the weekend with them at Ammerdown.
Working from a chosen image, photo, drawing they were set tasks to explore before coming together to share and discuss what they had done.

Jenn went back to revisit the Maria Stewart pot from Nature In Art as she thought she could develop her ideas further.They were asked to choose two words that would inform their work for the weekend ,Jenn chose CIRCLES and LAYERS .She made a very quick and loose drawing in ink, wax and bleach then used a viewfinder to isolate a part that appealed to work from.Samples were made  using one stitch in black and white ,then colour was permitted.Hand dyed fabrics with related marks were used next adding some scrim over one with  eyelet stitch to reveal circle shapes, and layering up fabrics on another before gathering up circle shapes.Next colour and black and white could be combined, before finally  exploring a  more considered way of working on a last sample.After chatting about what had been produced further suggestions will  be taken forward.Hopefully, the next time they meet will be in person at Ammerdown and more progress will have been made.

For November Jenn decided to try to do a little stitch each day, just because.She came across some indigo dyed Khadi fabric patches bought some time ago, that were put to one side as they turned her fingers blue ! They were put through the wash and are now fine.This is as far as she has got ....below.


Thursday, 12 November 2020

Insects revisited.

In the 1990s Sally was commissioned to create a waistcoat based on insects, the above photo shows it on the recipient and below some of her design ideas being worked on paper.

Like many of us in the time of Covid she has been seeking ways to kickstart her creativity. DESIGNMATTERS TV by Linda and Laura Kemshall has proved a place where a pleasant half hour or two has been spent.Sally was interested in the way Linda had used ATCs(artists trading cards ) to create a book.
And even more  delighted to find that she had stored away her inspirations for the above waistcoat.

Ever one to reuse and repurpose whenever possible she has used old watercolour sketches ,washed and hung out to dry, before repurposing  as her pages.

Borders to the pages have been collaged from papers cut with fancy edges 

or stamped with Sally's collection of  woodblocks  bought on many trips abroad.

Some creatures have been embellished with free machine stitch

She has also begun to refer back to her original design, adding in twisted stems of Convolvulus behind these glorious creatures .

It just goes to show that ideas can keep on giving!


Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Ancient Buildings.

We met on Zoom this week and had a lovely chat and a catchup.With the second lockdown in place until December 2nd and less of a chance to get out into our gardens we needed a pick me up.
Jane showed us her latest digital machine embroidered piece based on Ancient buildings.She started this series with Pevensey Castle and is continuing with a building closer to home. Below is a close up showing the density and the sheer variety of thread colour used.

Her photographs  were taken on a Summer visit to Tintern Abbey, just over the bridge from where she lives.She loves the tantalising glimpses you get  when viewed through narrow openings.
The piece looked very three dimensional on screen but will be so much better seen in  life.

Wonder what building is next on her list?


Tuesday, 3 November 2020


The blog has been very quiet for several weeks,Covid seems to have affected our creative urge and productivity.
However ,some exciting news from Liz as she submitted work for Saqa's Digital gallery 'Land Art :From theForest to Your Balcony' and was accepted.
her pieces Fragments of time and Fragments of time 11 are pictured below.

and her statement about the work :

I am researching ways of recording how our industrial past has marked our landscape.Fragments of Time are part of a series of pieces documenting the effects the Tin Mining and Fishing Industries of Cornwall have had on the landscape and its people.These industries have left ruined buildings, rusting boats and discarded machinery that litter the cliff tops and beaches,
Fragments of time consists of three layered and pieced strip cloth maps stained with rusty objects gathered as I walked along the beaches harbours and coast paths, capturing a sense of the place,
The patterns and colours created within the cloth-rusty orange ,greys and blacks-evoke memories of past times and the rock formations found within the landscape, capturing moments of time as a visible sign of something that no longer exists except as a fleeting memory.Stitch was used to enhance these patterns and to document the marks observed within the ruined buildings, rusting machinery and the coastal landscape.