Tuesday, 15 June 2021


Remember this post: A Companion Piece?

Well here it is finished.   I used the preset stiches on my machine and added a plain binding.

The finished piece is 16 inches by 15 inches.  Irritatingly one corner is decidedly off kilter.  It may or may not get fixed!

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday, 12 June 2021

What will normal look like post lockdown?

In the UK, we are all hoping for a positive announcement on Monday, that lockdown restrictions will be removed.

After over a year of uncertainty and being disconnected from friends and family, we are approaching a time which is being described as normal. We will be back to normal!

Do you have a picture of what normal should be? 

The normal we lived in 2019? The busyness. The rushing about chasing down who knows what! The latest fashion look? The latest interior design?

Was our previous normal based on truth or on some stereotypical concoction made up by advertising agencies? Had we taken on a lie?

Is that why when things happen to change the ‘normal’ we’re living, we don’t acknowledge that we need to learn how to live with the new version because neither the previous version nor the new version fit the picture in our heads?

I don’t have an answer to these questions. These are just the thoughts scrambling around my head trying to make sense of what is going on.

Do we want all of things from before March 2020 to exist in our new normal? Would it be better to ditch some of the things?

Which things would you ditch? Which things will you keep? Which new ideas will you adopt in the future?

How have you dealt with the last year and a half? Have you struggled? Have you enjoyed the downtime?  Have you been overwhelmed by the negativity?

Or found ways to stay positive?

Tuesday, 8 June 2021


Today I'm sharing more from the photo inspiration archive.  These photos are based on patterns.

What sort of photos do you take?

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday, 5 June 2021

A Companion Piece

Last month I told you about a new hanging I am making using fabrics I printed and dyed on the Text, Texture, Tile workshop.

With the fabric I had left over, I cut strips and randomly sewed them together.

I cut the assembled pieces into narrower pieces and laid them out.

Instead of having all the pieces running vertically as in the previous hanging, I tried putting some horizontally.

I tried the pieces in different places and then bgan to sew the strips together.

The bottom half of the hanging assembled, with added narrow blue strips.

I carried on assembling the pieces together.  I really like this with it's strange edges but I think it will probably need to squared off.

I cropped the photograph to see what it would look like.

I have bonded the uncropped version onto acrylic felt and a backing fabric ready to sew.  I'll share the sewing expereince in another post.

See you soon.

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Photo Inspiration

As I've said to you before, on my computer I have gathered together photos into folders labelled Buildings, Decay, Line, Machines, Pattern, Rust, Shape and Texture. Whenever and wherever I am out and about I take photos of these things which possibly have no relation to the outing I'm on. They are supposed to provide inspiration for sketchbook work but really just reside on the computer.

Today's photos are about texture.

Did you spot the uncropped one with my foot in the photo?

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday, 29 May 2021

Colour families day 3

On Tuesday I told you about the first two days of the Colour Families workshop.  On the last day I took my Venice Sketchbook with me.  I wanted to try to colour match a colour family to be able to produce fabric I could use for a piece inspired by the sketchbook.

Leslie particularly picked up on this section

 And in particular the window section

I started by using Dark Brown procion dye and Charcoal made from equal parts Dark Brown and Royal Blue to make this colour family.

This family is paler.  I added 2 teaspoons of print paste to every tub.

Then I added a small amount of turquoise to every tub - a dribble of dye while I counted 1 2 3.  Not a very accurate way to do it!  Plus I really didn't mix some of dyes together very well.

Using a roller I put the dye onto a cotton/silk mixture fabric.

I'm not sure how I'm going to stitch it.  I want to leave it as a whole cloth but it is a very lightweight fabric so need to think about how I am going to proceed.

I painted another piece of fabric which also needs some thought.

I feel I want to leave it as a whole piece and possibly stretch it over canvas.  It's the stitching that needs thinking about.

Or maybe I could cut it up and piece it in some way with this one from the last blog post.

Decisions! Decisions!

Thank you for joining me today

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Colour families

Last week I went to a three day workshop called Colour Families and Mark Making led by Leslie Morgan from Committed to Cloth.  She rarely teaches outside of her own studio so we were extremely fortunate that she agreed to teach at Littleheath Barn Studio.

A colour family is where you take two colours of procion dyes and mix them them together using a matrix.  Can you guess what colour I used?

Actually it was't turquoise on the first day!  I used Golden Yellow and Scarlet in equal parts to make an Orange (top left) and mixed this with black (bottom right).  Each colour that you mix is scraped on to soda-soaked cotton to keep a record of the colours.

This is the fabric washed out, ironed, cut up and stuck into my sketchbook.

During the first two days I concentrated on the Golden Yellow/Scarlet mix to black, then turquoise and then a turquoise/black mix.   The first one is a paler version of the family above.  To achieve this I added 4 teaspoons of print paste to each pot of the colours.

A new family using Scarlet/Golden Yellow and Turquoise.

And lastly in this series, Golden Yellow/Scarlet with a mix of 2 parts Turquoise and 1 part Black.

I used the colours in the pots to scrape onto larger pieces of cotton fabric.  This was the first family I made.  The photo was taken after it was washed out and ironed.

This was done with the last family shown above.  This is what the colours looked like whilst the dye was wet.

This is the same fabric washed and ironed.

The next two photos show two pieces I also scraped dye onto and printed on.  I used larger pieces of fabric and cut each of them in two.  Half I washed and ironed and you can see below after two days of 'batching'*.  The other half of each piece has been left to batch for longer to see if it makes any difference to the colour if you leave it soak in longer.

I'll tell you about day 3 next time.

Thanks for joining me today.

*Batching is a process where you leave dry dyed fabric rolled up in plastic for several days to allow the dye to sink into the fabric.