Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Hiatus and Lost Mojo

Well, it has been a long two years since the last post!
The arrival of our two teenage nieces coming to live with us and surgery 
on my hand as meant there has been no time  or ability for creativity.

Now with the household running smoothly and the hand back to 
full mobility I can once again venture into the long neglected studio
to reacquaint myself with my mojo!

I have been experimenting with rust dyeing and eco dyeing of late and
have been using the unique fabrics produced for my latest series of works.


We are fortunate to live not too far from the Jurassic Coast and have 
over the years spent many days picking amongst the
fallen rocks for fossils, not always successfully! 
It is these fossils that have been my inspiration for these works.

 A small section of the Ammonites piece.

A small section of the fish skeleton piece.

I have used a lot of free machining and hand stitching within
these pieces as well as some mixed media.

These works, along with others can be see in my Studio during
West Berks Open Studios 2019.
More details to follow.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Zhen Xian Bao Chinese Thread Box

These beautiful little paper boxes hail from the remote south west of
 China and are used by the Miao women to store threads.  They are 
usually decorated by hand and have an indigo dyed cover.

Here is my first attempt in paper, the next one will be in fabric!

Outside cover

The first layer of boxes which twist to open and close.

The first and second layer, each side mirrors each other.  Lifting up the diamonds
opens up the second layer of boxes. 

 Second and third layer together, again, lifting up the second layer
opens up the third box underneath.

Fourth layer of boxes

Fifth layer of boxes

And finally, the big box at the bottom is revealed.

This looks incredibly complicated.  The hardest part was the twist opening
 box that you see first.  The rest of the boxes are very simple to fold.
I followed the instructions in Ruth Smiths
Folded Secrets Books.
The instructions were clear, concise and it was
great fun to make.

Friday, 8 July 2016


What a brilliant 2 weeks we have had at Rook Lane Chapel in Frome.
The walk up the steep hill to get to us didn't seem to deter people
and we had some lovely visitors through the door.

Just some of the pieces that were on show!

Mandi Bainbridge

Angela Knapp

 Angela Knapp
 Chrissie Seager

 Claire Passmore

 Alicia Merrett

 Dot Carter


 Jane Brooks

 Judy Stephens


 Kay Swancutt

 Liz Hewitt

Maria Harryman

Stephanie Crawford

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Exhibition Time

Contemporary Quilters West 

Our next exhibition, Unfolding Stories 2 
Come and meet the artists, we 
love to chat about what we do!

Friday, 6 May 2016


I haven't posted for a while because I have been busy finishing my pieces
for our upcoming exhibition at Rook Lane Gallery in Frome.

Below is just a little taster of the pieces all inspired
by Hagstones.

Each piece measures 10" square

There are 9 in total and when hung will
form a 3x3 tile measuring
32" square with the spacing inbetween 
each one.

So now they are done I have been playing with Xpandaprint
and some stencils of fossils and fish.

I followed the technique shown by 

I used EZ screens and exposed them using my 
own designs.  I find I have better results exposing them
using sunlight rather than an exposure lamp.
With the weather we've had here in the UK lately 
I had to wait a while!

Two of the screens exposed and drying on the washing line!

Xpandaprint printed through the screen ready for heating.
I think there is a little too much Xpandaprint on the fabric.

Two of the ammonite fragments on a stitched
grid on the Tyvek, the one on the left
didn't need to be on on the grid as it has connecting lines.
The one on the right has lost some of it's definition as too
much paste was applied.

I love the fragments left over from the heating/melting
process, these have the potential to turn into pieces of rock!

As well as using Tyvek I decided to try out the Xpandaprint on
soluble paper.  Above is the fish stencil, the one on the left is the 
soluble paper.

After heating I popped the paper into water and as you can
see from the above picture the result wasn't what I had hoped for!
Xpandaprint doesn't gel well together on its own, it
definitley needs a stabiliser behind it.

Finally I wanted to add some colour to the fossils.
For these two I used Adirondack Inks with a 
little bit of  bronze acrylic brushed over the top when dry.

Am fairly pleased with the results for a first go.  Ideally
I would like to try and get the Xpandaprint a little thinner 
when printing through the screen.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Chinese Whispers

A little Chinese Whispers Challenge
has been taking place within our
Contemporary Group.
This is my little 12" quilt
based on the one I received.
The little quilt I received to 
interpret was a landscape.   It
had what appeared to me to be a
rock face as part of it.
I chose to focus on this and to zoom
 in and produce it in more detail.

I used rust dyed fabric, painted vilene, smocking
thread, sweetie papers, tin foil and sheers to create
the rock face. 

Machine and hand stitch added the layers of texture
that finished it off.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Hexies Hexies Everywhere

For the last 18 months I have been
going Hexie mad!

After having a huge sort out of fabric I ended up 
with a pile that consisted mostly of pieces
of fabric that I no longer really wanted to
keep, or weren't big enough to use for 
any of my projects.

So....rather than just giving them away the
decision was made to turn them into a new
quilt for our bed, and so the Hexies Quilt
was born.  

Three thousand, two hundred and seventy seven little
1" hexies later, along with some half hexies
 the quilt was finished!  
Yes, that was 3277 hexies!!

All that was left was to put the boarder on and
decide on how to quilt it.

It was at this point I wimped out and decided that
the best thing to do would be to get it 
Long arm quilted.

Luckily for me we have a lady not
far from me in Newbury who
provides this service!

Barbara at 
was very helpful and took plenty of time to discuss
pattern and wadding options.  Wadding
chosen was 70/30 poly which she supplied, so I 
only needed to supply the backing fabric.

My choice of quilting design is called Entangle,
quite approiate being that the quilt certainly 
entangled me, I loved making it, even though
I did question why I decided to use such small
hexies on more than one occasion!

It now resides on my bed, waiting for the cold
weather to arrive so we can keep warm and snugly.