Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a
Very Merry Christmas
A Peaceful New Year

Thank You all for dropping by.  Hope next year brings lots of
creative inspiration and the courage to follow your dreams.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Little Bit Of Sparkle!!

Saturday saw myself and a group of ladies spending the day creating beautiful
Winter Wonderland mini quilts.

  I had been invited by the Dorset Branch of South West Quilters to teach my Winter Wonderland workshop.

So Sat dawned very foggy down in Weymouth, Dorset, 8am saw me driving through the fog to Portisham Village Hall, just along the coast from Weymouth. An ideal venue to host a workshop.  Lots of space for everyone and very light and airy.

My class consisted of 14 very lovely ladies all of whom set to, and started creating their backgrounds. 

Irene constructing her background.
A couple were horrified that they had to tear their fabric into strips, no rotary cutting on this workshop!  This is a very textural workshop so tearing is necessary.
Rowena adding lots of textures and sparkle!
At one point you could have heard a pin drop, such was the concentration in the room.

Desira concentrating !!

Having achieved the first layer of our complex cloth we broke for lunch to stretch the legs and put the world to rights!!
Then it was on to stage two, adding lots of threads, sparkles, snowflakes, a final layer of netting and plenty of quilting to hold all the layers together. 

This part went down well with the ladies being free to add as much or as little sparkle as they liked.  


They were definitely a sparkly bunch of ladies and were creating some fantastic backgrounds.
Once all that was done and quilted down it was time to add the trees, words and finishing touches.


  Everyone was pleased with their achievements and for some ladies it was a first and took them totally out of their comfort zone, everyone went away with a smile on their face having thoroughly enjoyed the day!

Linda's finished pieced with added trailing holly leaves. 

Pam added deer to hers

The almost finished pieces.

A big Thank You to Maggie & Desira the SWQ Dorset Reps and to
Maggie again for putting me up and putting up with me!!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Celestial Dancers ......Adding the detail....

Time to start having fun with stitch.
The little dancers have been hanging on my design wall for a good wee while now. (Well over a month, more like six weeks!)  Family commitments kept me away from them, and, on losing my beloved father my artistic muse totally deserted me. It has been a struggle to find it but it is slowly returning and today has been the first day I have felt like returning to my little studio. 
In my little haven of peace and solitude, with my favourite radio station on in the background I lost myself in the calm and opened my inner door and let the creativity flow.

 As each dancer is seen in a different constellation of the night sky I have outlined them with a metallic thread, keeping the detail to a minimum. They are meant to be ethereal rather than solid beings.

 In keeping the detail limited the dancers maintain the strong impact that I am looking for.

 This little ballerina is my favourite, I love her poise and grace!

Eventually they will all be named after different constellations, these will be stitched onto the backgrounds with weeny small buttons sewn onto the strategic star points within the constellation.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A little peek

Just a little sneeky peek at my next CQ journal quilts.  There will be 4 altogether with my theme being Celestial Dancers.........

Sunday, 4 September 2011

And Finally........

On to the last piece in the Apotecary Garden Series.

Sept 2011 

Lunaria Annua

I just love the papery silver seed heads
on this plant,
Once again, please do your own research
before eating or using any plants yourself!!

Monday, 22 August 2011

And So To

Augusts' Garden Quilt

This time it's the Poppy. grown in abundance in my garden. 
Certain varieties have been cultivated down the years for their
Opium producing properties.  
Personally I prefer the seeds sprinkled on a hot freshly baked loaf!

Once again construction is the same as the previous Garden Quilts.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Garden Apothecary Continued

So on to Julys' Quilt...

This time looking at Sea Holly and it's properties.

Once again I strongly recommend you do your own research
into its' edible and medicinal properties.

Each of the four pieces have been constructed in the same way, using
disperse dyed fabrics along with mono printed and screen printed fabrics.

I chose Sea Holly as it has been growing in my garden for many years. 
I particularly like the way it's spiky  architectural qualities 
contrast strongly with the soft colour of the leaves and flowers.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Garden Apothecary

I have, for a long time been interested in the edible and remedial properties of everyday plants found in most gardens.  It's amazing how many plants are grown in my garden that have edible properties that I  am still learning about.

So my next 4 Journal Quilts all have this theme running through them.  Finding out about which parts of them are edible and which parts can be made into tinctures, poultices and lotions to treat various ailments.  

Rather than take my word for it, I would
strongly advise you to do your own research before trying any of the remedies listed!!!

Sea Holly June 2011

Disperse dyed background with a piece of my printing board drop cloth.  The words have been printed onto t-shirt transfer paper which has then been ironed onto sheer fabric.  Sea Holly fabrics have been screen printed and appliqued on.  Detail free machined.

Friday, 5 August 2011

On To Mays' JQ

Ever have one of those days when a particular song takes up residence in your head and no matter how hard you try to get rid of it, it just won't budge?
Well Mays'  Journal Quilt was the result of one such song!!
Any idea what it might have been?

Did you guess it was...
'Daisy Daisy give me your answer do'!!
So May was based on said song.  The background is a piece of hand dyed fabric that has been mono printed using wallpaper,  The Daisies were appliqued on.  The song has the line 'on a bicycle made for two' in it.  Instead of using a bicycle I have deconstructed the bicycle wheel and just used the spokes to quilt the piece.  Funny how, once it was made the song completely disappeared from my head!!!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

JQ's The Next One

Ode To Kandinsky ......April 2011

In keeping with the artist theme I have used Kandinsky for this piece, basing it on his 1933 painting 
'Closed Circles'
This was  painted during a time of great change and repression and the original is very dark and brooding.
Despite this, I was drawn to the geometry of the painting but decided to add some optimism to it.

The background is  bright, representing hope and the circles contain
dark patches representing the oppression and darkness of the time the painting was  created.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Journal Quilts....The Next Installment

 March 2011

Hundertwasser Lollipops 

Freehand cut curves background inspired by the artist Hundertwasser.   
 I love the lollipop shape he inculdes in many of his paintings.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mini Quilts

This year I am taking part in the Contemporary Quilters Guild Challenge to make a 10" square Journal Quilt each month.  The first 4 have the theme of Circles.

So here is the first one!

Feb 2011
Based on the poem 
' Spell of Creation' 
By Kathleen Raine

The background is hand dyed then breakdown printed, the image was applied using markel stick and applique along with lots of free machine quilting.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Graduations & Handbags

So our son is about to Graduate 1st Class Hons MPhys this month, much to our delight....I've got my outfit as the dress code is smart, I even managed to find shoes.!!  Try as I might I couldn't find a handbag to go with the outfit, so in desperation at the weekend I headed to my workroom, raided my stash and set to with the sewing machine.  

What do you enough???

Detail from the bag front

Friday, 10 June 2011


This little beauty fell at my feet this morning when I opened the shed door.  There she sat, despite me telling her she was going to get run over by the lawn mower if she didn't move!  But she sat, ignoring me.  Maybe she was cold and needed to warm up before she could fly so I gently lifted her and placed her on a leaf in the sun.  Wouldn't you know, 20 minutes later her antennae were up and she was looking perkier and shortly after that she took flight and went on her way.
I am slightly flummoxed by her appearance, we've not seen this butterfly before in the garden!  Any idea of who she is??

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


For those of you who would have liked to come a quick snapshot of the recent exhibition .........

Am I going to do it all again next bet I am!

Tweet Tweet !

A couple of weeks ago I was very fortunate to catch this beautiful scene.......Mummy bird feeding her chick who was sitting in the Lilac Tree.  Fortunately the camera was near by and I managed to get a few snaps before both birds flew off to hide in the privet hedge.  Not having seen this bird before in our garden I was intrigued to find out what it was and after much debate settled on it being a very rarely seen House Sparrow, a fact that was later confirmed by our twitching friends.

Isn't he/she a cutie!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Finished In Time!

I have been very excited about this piece of work for the upcoming exhibition!

Last year we went to Westonbirt Arboretum for the Festival Of Trees.  Every year, as part of the forest management a number of trees are felled and these are then sliced up and sold on to the public.  I bought 3 beautiful pieces of Yew each one about 5 -6 feet long!   They have been sitting in the shed, allowing them to season naturally and are now ready to be used.  After much sanding and waxing here is the finished piece, which, of course has been used to showcase a piece of textile art!

I love the shape, colour and texture of the Yew and being a Traditional English Longbow Archer this is what our bows would originally have been made of.
  The feet were made by a friend out of wrought iron and the whole thing stands about four and a half feet high.

Monday, 25 April 2011

12 Days and Counting

There are just  12 days to go before Open Studios starts.  Think I am organised but not sure if I'm ready!!!

Just a few little snippets from the cowparsley series below, If you want to see the whole pieces why not come along and say hello!!

Will post some more pics when I've sorted them out!!
If you would like an Open Studios Brochure to see all the artists taking part then drop me a line and I'll post one out to you or visit the website.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Exciting Times

It has been a good while since my last post but I think I have the perfect excuse.

No, I've not been lazing around doing nothing, far from it!! There is a great buzz of excitement along with a good jangling on nerves in our household at the moment.  I am, for the first time this year taking part in the 'Open Studios' scheme for our area.  So I have been working my little socks off getting all my pieces finished and everything in place.

Time is running out fast with just one month to go before I open my doors to the public for the very first time!
Nearer the time I shall post some pics of all my makes just to whet the appetite!!!