Saturday, 23 June 2018

Mapping Skipton

Skipton Embroiderers' Guild are mapping Skipton, one building at a time.  Our latest community art project called, Where's My Home? aims to make a large textile map of the town featuring key buildings and places where people meet or work.

Here's my version of the station buildings, Bondaweb applique and hand stitch measuring just 10x7cm.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Swan Song

Swan song: the final performance or act of someone's career.

For me, this refers to the latest community art project for Skipton Embroiderers' Guild.  It's a collaborative work to create a map of Skipton Town Centre showing some of it's wonderful buildings and most importantly, where people meet and work.  We've called it Where's My Home? because that's what everyone looks for when they see a map.  It has been generously funded by Craven Ward Member Budget and Craven Trust.

We will be working with different groups and some businesses to make representations of the place that they call home.  We've also asked our members to make a 4x4" square depicting their home or home town.  I was born in Buckinghamshire and most of my extended family still live there.  When I visited recently I noticed the fabulous golden swan on the top of town hall in Buckingham.  The swan is the emblem of the county which was famous for breeding these birds for the king, hence the crown around it's neck.  It has another meaning for my family because they lived at Swan Farm.

We hope the project will be completed in time to display it at Yarndale, 29-30th September 2018 and we are looking forward to a Summer of creativity.

I'm just about to enter my third and final year as Chairman of Skipton branch, so yes, this will probably be my swan song.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Heartfelt praise

This little heart (only 15cms) has been made for the Embroiderers' Guild 100 Hearts Project celebrating lives, lived and lost during the First World War.  My maternal family, the Leonards, were farmers in Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire and so I have chosen to reflect their contribution to the war effort. 

My design is based on corn dollies that were made as favours and talismans of good fortune.  Corn dollies are more usually woven from stalks of wheat, but this Oxfordshire Sweetheart is plaited.  I made mine from some gold braid, echoing the braid used on military uniforms.  I fashioned the ears of wheat using bullion knots in cotton perle yarn.  The poppies and cornflowers were common to both the fields of England and France and symbolise the loss for each country.

It will be donated to the Guild exhibition that will run later this year and will ultimately be sold to raise money for the Armed Forces charity SSAFA.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Tea party

It's always time for tea in my house but this little tea pot was inspired by a trip to the wonderful Rusty Shears Cafe in Whitby.  Not only do they serve excellent tea and cake on vintage china, but they have a dazzling selection of gins!  Just the ticket after a damp walk along the cliffs from Robin Hood's Bay last weekend.

This is a trial piece that I'm thinking of making for my craft stall at  Manorlands' Garden Party which takes place on Sunday 8th July 2018.  It would look nice on a little cushion or perhaps some cards.  It's machine embroidered using a reverse applique technique.  Two or more layers of fabric are stitched onto a background and then cut back to reveal the different colours.