Monthly Archives: March 2016

My Journey – A Flotilla!


I decided to make all of the boats separately so that I can fit them into the waves as I go along. It has been a very nice change to work on something a little smaller and easier to manipulate! DSCF3370

Who recognises this sail?


A complex design develops

Or this spotty cuddy cabin…



And whilst I’m about it, quite a lot of this one went into the cobble stones …


I hope that you will be able to spot some of your fabrics in the final images but I must admit I haven’t kept a full record of where each colour came from – I’d never get finished!

The fabric pile is shrinking rapidly, most pieces have been used in some way already, but I have been saving lots of blues and greens for the sea itself.

That’ll be next weeks task – when all boats and harbour details are complete!


My Journey – along the jetty

This session has been focusing on cobbles!


This involves fixing tiny scraps of fabric in place and then ‘scribbling’ over the top with a circular stitch, fiddly – but the effect is worth it!

I’ve decided to tease you with only close up shots from now on – so that the Grand Reveal in a few weeks will be more exciting.


The scrap pile is growing larger, I’ve almost finished the buildings – just going back and adding details like the rope hand rail you can see in the first photo.

These two photos show how the harbour wall develops – I chose fabrics that were lilac/grey in colour and worked over them with a pale grey thread first to add texture then two shades of green to give the effect of sea weeds clinging onto the rocky surface. There’s some metal rings to be added too.

Unfortunately stitching the harbour wall was quite a tough job, I decided to call it a day when I broke 3 machine needles in quick succession! I think its all the to -ing and fro-ing!


Wise Birds -Wise Words

Just a quick post on some other work I’ve been doing on Wednesdays. Working with Cancer patients and their families, we’ve been knitting and crocheting owls for a few weeks and now they are all roosting on a papier mache branch looking into the treatment area. Each wise bird carries a messenger bag and in each bag are some wise words, written by staff, patients, family or friends. People can take out the words and read them if they wish – or just enjoy this unique collection of ‘rare breeds’ of owls!


We’ll have to do more woolly projects as we got a lot of yarn donations as we were doing this!

Good Friday outings…

A day away from the sewing machine today…lovely sunshine in Northumberland today.


A trip to Gallery 45 to check on the exhibition – images matching the weather today!

Glorious sunshine all day long, we walked along the shore at Low Newton by the Sea and I was intrigued by these..perfect holes gouged into the rock.


Manmade? I’ll have to investigate.

It’ll be back to the sewing machine tomorrow – maybe this image will filter into the harbour I’ll be stitching


Seahouses 2016


My Journey – Over the rooftops

This week it’s been all about roof tiles!

I like to find different ways to stitch the roof tiles to add interest to the piece. The spiral dyed fabrics have given me a fine palette of slate greys and terracottas to work with. I have used Oliver Twist threads to stitch over the fabrics and add the detail. You might also spot a little ric rac ridge tiling in there too!

So far this week I have stitched 45 buildings including a lighthouse and a windmill! There’s about half a dozen houses and a lifeboat station to add, then its a race down to the ocean!

There’s two weeks stitching time before the pieces have to be at the framers’ so if you don’t hear from me for a while its because I’m busy stitching!

I am sneaking off for a little Good Friday trip to Felton tomorrow though – there’s a week  left to go and see the Coast exhibition at the gorgeous Gallery 45 (featuring some of my work!)  – and there’s also the scrumptious Running Fox Cafe to visit, so as the school holidays have begun I thought we’d have some family time up there.

(I’m hoping the ‘Tidy Up Fairy’ might visit my attic in the meantime – as the stitch speed increases so does the debris!)



One week to go!


See that?? That’s time flying by! Voting started in the Craft & Design Selected Maker Awards at the start of the year and ends on March 31st – that’s next week!

These highly regarded national awards are based on an Online Public Vote for British and Irish Designer Makers – this vote determines a list of 12 makers in six categories including textiles – which is where you’ll find me!

I would be so grateful if you could take a few minutes to show your appreciation of my textiles by voting for me online!

 And here are the HisKidz spiral dye workshop results – sorry I didn’t get to see everyone on Saturday but I hope you like what you see here – the pieces are already finding their way into houses and rooftops!
I’ve nearly done all the buildings now – then it’ll be on to that stormy sea!
See you soon,
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My Journey – building a town

Another busy day stitching – you can tell because the fabric piles aren’t quite so neat and tidy today!


I paid a visit to the local library this week and was delighted to discover a copy of ‘Threads – The Delicate Life of John Craske’ by Julia Blackburn.  The book tells the story of the author’s investigations into the life and work of Craske, crippled by a mysterious illness, he could no longer work as a fisherman/ fishmonger and turned to painting and, later, embroidery. His work was shown in London in the early part of the twentieth century but unlike Alfred Wallis, the painter fisherman of St Ives, he slipped out of view until this book was published last year. Intrigued by his story and by Blackburn’s prose I brought the book home and began to read – one passage caught me up short, it seems to capture some of the meaning I am trying to show in our project – My Journey

‘All these fragile vessels: tossed by waves and sometimes almost engulfed by them, out there in the vastness of the ocean. Some were pinpointed by the angled glare of a lighthouse like the eye of God staring straight at them, others had smoke billowing from their funnels as they tried to  plough a way through a storm. I had the sense at once that it was all true: the tilt of a boat in relation to the swell of the waves and the strength of the wind; the rigging, the billowing of the sails.’

Julia Blackburn Threads Ch 3 pg 11 (published 2015 Jonathan Cape)

I don’t credit myself with a fisherman’s knowledge of boats and I hope our lighthouse will seem more welcoming rather than glaring – but I did feel a connection as I read these words. (You’ll have to wait until I’ve finished the book and returned it to the library if you want to read on!)

I’ve been working on the town and the light house this week. The reason the fabrics are so muddled is because I’ve been searching for pieces to become rooftops – with slate or terracotta tiles, walls – either painted or brick, and stone for the lighthouse. So there’s been a lot of rummaging, ripping and snipping going on!

I haven’t finished working on the lighthouse yet – I’ll go back and add further detail later on – but it has got some neighbours now…


Larger pieces of fabric used to construct the buildings


Checking how these two panels link together

I’d better update the list of fabrics I’ve included so far!

Faye, Gill & Harry, Prathiba, Hannah & Reggie, Murray, Alie, Louise, Rachel & Anna, Emer & Harry , Louise, Sarah W, Louise B, Barathi, Donna J, Bethan, Donna, Caz, Anne & Martha, Louise D, Mel C, Beth, Kemmy & Dilan, Viveka… Plus pieces from the LAB and Heaton Manor sessions – sorry I didn’t stitch your names onto the pieces at the time!

Don’t worry if you’ve not been mentioned – I’ve got a lot of blues and greens saved up for the seas!

I’ll be back soon!