Saturday, 6 April 2019

Party Party!

What a lovely way to spend a Saturday: helping Liz celebrate a big birthday with lots of her friends!

Silk ribbon embroidery was the order of the day, with two different designs on offer and lots of scope for individual interpretation.  We stitched, shared stories and marveled at our creations.  Silk ribbons can be used in lots of ways to form beautiful flowers.  Starting with simple woven roses, the group soon got adventurous and were willing to try more complex stitches.  Adding a bit of bling in the form of seed beads and Kreinik threads elevated the work to mini masterpieces. 

If you'd like to celebrate a special occasion or just get together with a group of friends I'd be happy to host your party at my studio.  Why not drop me a line at

Wednesday, 13 March 2019


Doodling - we all do it!  In meetings, my papers are always peppered with swirls and curlicues, stars and boxes.  Waiting on hold on the telephone, my pen wanders to any scrap of paper within easy reach and a mass of lines and shapes unfold.

It's not dissimilar in stitching.  A recent re-discovery of a book advocating just such practice and a chance donation of some new crewel wool has inspired me to take needle to linen and just see where these lovely threads take me!  A chance to relax and unwind, a little bit of inner peace.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Samples for the consideration of Lady Makins


Finished at last!  For the last two and a half months I have been wrestling with ideas for the new Gifted Exhibition that Textila 3 are showing at Gawthorpe Hall.

The inspiration part was easy, I was immediately drawn to a beautiful cream silk bodice with iris embellishment that belonged to Lady Makins and was donated by the Parish family.  Through conversations with the curatorial team at Gawthorpe Textile Collection, I learned that similar dresses would be worn only a few times before they were discarded or more probably, re-worked.  An early take on the concept of disposable fashion.

I used the iris motif to create my own stencils for devore printing.  I printed 3 different types of silk-viscose fabrics which could be offered to Lady Makins to make an alternative dress.

Presenting these as a mood board, allows the viewer to see my inspiration and design development from raised-work flower to printed fabric and contemporary interpretation of the iris embellishment using simple wire shapes.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Inspired?  Well maybe!  Having spent a few months in the creative doldrums, not to mention the distraction of Christmas, I needed to get my act together to make a sample for the forthcoming Textilia 3 exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall.  Taking inspiration from a collection of items that had been given to Miss Rachel B Kay-Shuttleworth, I have to produce a suitable response.

I chose a silk bodice which was described as 'worn by Lady Makins'.  It had raised-work irises running diagonally across the garment. The curators told me that the bodice would have been worn only a few times before it was discarded, but most likely re-modelled.  It struck me that this was the last word in disposable fashion.  I started to wonder what would Lady Makins choose as an alternative?  The devore printing technique had been recently invented and was very popular at the turn of the 20th Century.

After a series of disastrous experiments with devore paste and layers of different types of fabric, I had to revert to standard devore fabric.  This small 4x4" sample will be used to introduce each of the participating artists.  My sample is 3 layers of silk-viscose satin, velvet and georgette fabric, cut back to reveal each piece which I hope is reminiscent of a fabric sample book.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Happy New Year!

New Year and new creative adventures.  Here are a couple of things that I was making during December. These little robins were made as gifts - there are 4 of them flying around!  The prototype started out as a stitched bird (below) but the fully fledged version had a coat of bright red feathers made from tiny strips of sari silk.

Sunday, 25 November 2018


In September, I set the Haworth Stitch Group a challenge to make a scarf using fine cotton cheesecloth and appliqued shapes.  This group of talented and creative ladies have surpassed my expectations to produce the most wonderful work.  Here is Liz's scarf.  She used a series of interconnecting circles to create a pattern and then stitched over them with split stitch and chain stitch.  The effect is stunning!


A lovely workshop with Textilia 3 group and led by guest tutor Hannah Lamb, brought a sense of order to my Auntie Jean's sewing box.  Disparate objects found at the bottom of the box have been attached to dark linen with various decorative stitches.