Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Shop talk


As the sun finally put in an appearance today, I took the opportunity to photograph a couple of new bowls.  They’re now in my Etsy and Folksy shops,  replacing ones that sold.    


While I was playing shop, I thought I’d better review my postage costs. I’ve always been a big supporter of the Royal Mail, and the situation they’re in isn’t their fault, but the recent price increases are stunning. The cost of posting one of my feather-light bowls to a UK address has gone up 55%. For other addresses it’s 60%. Unbelievable.

So if you sell online too, don’t forget to check that you’re charging enough for postage and packing, allowing for PayPal’s cut as well.

And remember that Folksy’s charges for listings and sales have gone up too! 

Friday, 18 May 2012

New work: Pollen

Here’s another of the new pieces I’ve got on show with Textilia III at Farfield Mill.Pollen1

This one’s inspired by pollen grains viewed through a microscope – something I did a lot of in a previous life, long long ago.


It’s all machine embroidery, some free and some using a flower stitcher attachment. As so often in my recent work, the shadows cast by the suspended motifs are an important part of the design. I like the way they give depth and life as the piece changes with the lighting. This does make photographing the work tricky though – I can’t get the shadows I want without ones I don’t! 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Foiling about

Yesterday the postie brought me a lovely treat – a metallic rainbow of delicious transfer foil from threadnoodle’s blog giveaway. Thank you Isobel! Those not as lucky as me can buy some from her Etsy shop.

So, I had to have a little play, didn’t I…


Tasteful, eh? Not my usual style but don’t panic, it’s just an experiment.

This is an idea I had years ago, when I was given a reel of “fusible bonding yarn”. I thought, hmm, transfer foil sticks to Bondaweb, so what if? I don’t know if anyone else has tried it – probably not, you have to be a little daft, after all we have metallic thread, don’t we.  It’s not quite the same though…

My sample has all sorts of machine embroidery, built in patterns and free, using the bonding thread. Then the transfer foil has been ironed over it, trying lots of different colours. You can’t see the individual stitches any more, so it doesn’t look quite the same as stitching with metallic threads. A bit messy, the foil has somehow spread onto the fabric in places, but that might just be me being impatient.

Shiny metallics are hard to show in a photograph (for me anyway) – sorry.  But you get the idea.

The thread I’ve got is by Gold-Zack, and it’s meant for hemming I think. It’s quite thick and splits easily, so it’d be easier to use it on the machine bobbin. This Prym one looks like the current version, but there are other makes now which might be finer and easier to use.

The bonus is that the stitched patterns leave the foil full of lacy gaps so it’s ready for more subtle applications!     

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Bempton Cliffs


A fine day out on the east coast of Yorkshire at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, taking in the sights, sounds and smells (oh, definitely the smells!) of thousands of nesting seabirds. The gannets are my favourites, so elegant and striking, wonderful colours.

I’ve seen some truly amazing bird sights recently – starlings, avocets, gannets – beginning to wonder how I can get them into my textile art. Not easy, not with my usual materials and techniques… hmm.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

New work: Bloom


This is one of the new pieces I’ve got on show with Textilia III at Farfield Mill.

It was inspired by alliums, and created by free machining on dissolvable fabric. Each bloom has two or three lacy layers with beads between to make it three-dimensional.


As they stand up above the background, they cast interesting shadows – one of my favourite tricks!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Earthly Delights exhibition


Yesterday we launched the latest Textilia III exhibition at the lovely Farfield Mill, Sedbergh. It’s on until 17th June, with something for everyone who loves textile art – machine embroidery (free and digitised), hand embroidery, felting, book making, jewellery.

In the little adjoining room we’ve got handling samples and sketchbooks to pore over.

As I was on the set up team, I had chance to take lots of photos with nobody around. You can see some of them here.

The other gallery at the mill has an exhibition of digital prints on fabric by Ruth Lee, so it’s a great time to visit!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Sample Project 2012–April

Not quite such a fun bunch this month but I did manage to play with a variety of techniques.



Week 14: Violet-lined parrotfish

Cut-back applique, twin needle pin tucks.









Week 15: Gorgonian coral

Hand stitch.





Week 16: Whale shark

Commercial felt embellished onto indigo-dyed cotton.





Week 17: Brittle star/fan coral

Coral open structure - free machined on soluble fabric. Brittle star arm - wire bound with chenille yarn.