Sunday, 28 June 2015


Maybe it's the return of the Clangers that has made me think of one of my favourite TV programmes from my childhood or maybe it's the abundance of chives and sage in my garden.  Herbidacious was the magic word that opened the door to the garden that belonged to "The Herbs" - a set of characters ruled over by a very friendly lion called Parsley.  My colours this week are the bright green and rich purples of chive or sage flowers.

I've been given this material by a local company, the Design Mill, to make things for the Manorlands Garden Party.  The annual hospice fundraiser is always one of the high points on my calander.  I help run a stall with a couple of friends and we sell handmade items.  It's a throwback to our days of volunteering in the Day Therapy Unit where we were well know for our creativity, craft activities and cakes.

I've made little zippy bags and embellished them with stitches and buttons, using the printed patterns as a guide.  They seem so bright and fresh - perfect for a few pieces of make-up.  

The Manorlands Garden Party takes place on Sunday 12th July 1:30-4:30pm and just in case you're wondering, the Chives were a bunch of unruly schoolchildren and Sage was an owl.  Herbidacious!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Bleeding hearts

This is my interpretation of a Sweetheart pincushion - they were made by soldiers during the First World War as a token of affection.  They often came in kit form but some were made from scraps and included regimental badges.  Grassington Embroiderers' Guild asked their members to make some of these pincushions for their annual exhibition which takes place this weekend.

I chose to make mine in silk, using a sumptuous deep crimson and a dark red-brown.  Both colours echo the blood-soaked mud of the trenches.  Rather than use glass headed pins to decorate the pincushion, I have hand stitched beads and embellished with shiny viscose threads.  The poem was cunningly printed directly onto PVA stiffened calico using a standard desktop printer.

The exhibition of work takes place at Wharfedale Rugby Club in Threshfield on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th June.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Something on my mind

As a busy working mother with three teenage girls I'm always juggling my life and commitments. I use mind maps to plan projects so it seemed only natural to take this kind of map as the subject of my entry for the Embroiderers' Guild Regional Competition. 

Something on my mind captures all the many tasks that crop up during a week and my thoughts as I break them down into manageable jobs. I chose to represent it on a head scarf using viscose georgette fabric and machine embroidery. When the scarf is folded into a triangle, the layers of words appear on top of each other, showing the conflict between different activities.

Head scarves were most popular in the 1950's and 60's and so I created a screen print of a stylised rose reminiscent of this era. They appear to be like eyes, watching or passing judgement on me. For my generation, born in the early 60's we saw our mothers break free of domesticity and join the workforce. We grew up thinking we could have it all but learned that our lives are a constant compromise.