Thursday, 29 April 2010

New Pieces

I have done nothing but make new pieces all week and it has been wonderful. It has been so enjoyable just sewing.
I am thrilled with what I have made. It amazes me how you can start a project first thing in the morning and then by the end of the day what you have achieved and made. Magic!
Some of the pieces are for the Henley on Thames Fair and some are for the Clay Barn exhibition- "Material made Magic" 4 - 7 June Redhill Nr. Stratford upon Avon

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

My piece "Silkie Smiles" has gone off to Ruthin Craft Centre to be photographed for the catalogue for the show "SMILE" which opens in July of this year.
I wrapped it very well, boxed and taped it all up and then watched it being loaded into the couriers van, and off it sped to North Wales. Ridiculous to feel a bit bereaved, but I did.
I shall start making the sister pieces to accompany Silkie Smiles in a couple of weeks, I have lots of ideas but I want to mull them over for a while. The sunny weather is helping enormously, because all my pieces for the show are about swimming and the sea, I automatically associate the sunny weather with swimming in the sea, so my head is literally (forgive the pun) swimming with ideas.

I have just finished an order of 4 framed pieces, one of them being a lady in her garden picking beans, a sweet piece which I enjoyed making very much. Now I have an opportunity to begin making pieces for the Craft and Design fair which is held at the Henley Show Ground, Henley-on-Thames 14th-16th May, a fair which I have exhibited at for quite a few years now, and an enjoyable fair to do.

My week of making has been gently interrupted with a trip to Dorking embroiderers' Guild to give them a talk about my work entitled "In Stitches" a kind and enthusiastic group of keen stitchers, both hand and machine stitch.
As always, after the initially shock of standing in a room filled with people all sitting and looking at you expectantly, my talk was well received and I enjoyed myself.
I always look forward to visiting groups and guilds around the country, although I always get very nervous before hand. Who knows, the group could hunt in packs or be filled with heckler's.
More often than not, the groups always hold such a wonderful collection of personalities, kind, talented, knowledgeable and always very enthusiastic and appreciative.
On my return to the studio the workshop programme for the Easter Holidays Children's workshops was well under way. The garden was filled with happy and excited children all busy making.
The sock monkey socks were unleashed to a group of young makers, and eight little individual monkeys started to appear throughout the afternoon shine shine.
Oh, the delight of making.

More Monkey buisness!

members of Dorking Embroiderers' Guild

A lady picking beans

Thank you

Thank you to you all for all your kind comments and messages.

I am really delighted that you are enjoying my blog and also enjoying looking and taking inspiration from some of my lovely links.
let us all carry on creating!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Textile 10 at the end of a sunny day of stitching

Busy stitchers in the Lightbox

A Sock Dog in a bowl of Lego Space Ship pieces

Making Big and Small

My sister and her family came to stay for a couple of nights whilst still in the throws of the Easter Holidays. Whilst here my oldest nephew requested the chance to make something in sewing, music to my ears! as his younger brother busily fashioned a space ship in Lego on the big rug so also a little fashioning went on at the dining table with a pair of (new and as yet unworn) socks to create a little sock dog based on their own dog, Gypsy. The concentration that took place brought tears to my eyes with both little boys busy and happy making.
Sewing for the first time is hard, like everything it gets easier with practice, and I hope next visit I can entice them both to have a go.
The next day a lot more sewing took place in our studio garden workshop building, the Light Box.
A local group of stitchers called Textile 10 came with their sewing machines and we had a wonderful sunny day of Machine Embroidery. Of course as what happens at these magical meetings, everyone involved was shown the technique and then everyone used it to create their own delightful pieces of solid stitch. Each piece made, unique to the maker. I just love it! I love being amongst a group of people all busy with their work stitching away and making something unique to themselves, the creative energy that takes place in a room is almost tactile in the air.
They were a very happy and creative group and by the end of the day the fruits of their labours had paid off and beautiful pieces were laid out for show and tell, and then whisked away home.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Quilt in the making

St Ives in the rain, but still lovely

We went to Cornwall and stayed with lovely dear friends. My friend Rebecca Ball makes the most wonderful quilts Rebecca showed me her latest quilt which was on her quilting frame stretching the length of her studio work room. She had begun the quilting of it. The quilt quite took my breath away, it is absolutely beautiful. She has incorporated plain and patterned silk and cotton fabrics into the design. My photograph of it has not done it justice, not even including the amount of hard work, time and love that has gone into it.
She has a wonderful sense and clever play with colours and fabrics and maximises them to their full potential, it is only when you look at her quilts that you realise how clever she is with her choice of colour and how each block piece is placed so simply and so succinctly with the next block to create a clever optical illusion of the most wonderful colours and clever use of shapes to create unique and very desirable quilts.
We visited Truro Fabrics and spent ages just walking around the shop in a haze of loveliness before choosing fabrics and trimmings to take home to use. (well, one day)
I went to visit Tuppenny Barn in West Sussex an inspiring and long term vision incorporating learning, education and very very delicious organic fresh from the field produce. Maggie who runs it sent me on my way with the best flavoursome salad bag I have ever eaten.
My visit to Tuppenny Barn was a welcome break from the three commission pieces I am currently working on and have almost finished. The pieces have been very hard work, I did struggle with the drawings for the pieces, but the time spent has paid off and now the embroidered pieces work well together and now that I am on the last piece I feel as though I can relax a bit, I can't wait to get them framed and see them in their full glory.