Tag Archives: British Summer

My Journey – almost there!

It’s been a day of stitching – eight hours at the machine today – anyone know a good masseuse??

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New needles and metallics have arrived! Needle breakages won’t be a problem now!

All of the sea is now stitched, I’ve really enjoyed working on it, building ripples and waves into the surface to give a sense of movement to the work. I’ve got two of the three panels hanging up together in the studio whilst I work on the third – sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I think I see the waves rolling in – but maybe that’s the effects of a long day stitching!

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This section is on the final panel, the last bit of the sea – as it calms down and wends its way around the headland. I’ll add some of the metallic threads tomorrow, to show sunlight glistening on the waves.

There’s a bit more to do on the garden – makes a change to be doing greens not blues! You’ll see that I’ve been changing the direction of stitch to differentiate between surfaces – water, sand, bushes.

I was certainly very glad to get to the end of the sea wall this morning – and no more broken needles!

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Here, you can see the garden fence going in, with zigzag stitch used on the grass in front of it. Zigzag still works when doing free machine embroidery and its possible to stretch and curve the zigzag to create texture effects.

Time to do some shoulder and neck stretches now – ready for the home straight tomorrow!

 

 

My Journey – storm clouds gathering!

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This is the first panel of the triptych under the needle! This is an upside down view of the storm clouds at the very edge of the piece.

It has been great to finally start stitching – definitely prefer this to all that measuring and crawling around on the floor!

To create the image, I select the colours from the spiral dyed and painted fabric, then tear them into small strips and place them in the right parts of the design. The plain white base fabric is covered with a fusible web – this means that I can see the outline of the design through it and, once the colour pieces are in place, I iron them so that they fix to the fusible web. this means they stay in position without the need for pinning or tacking.

I work on smallish sections because, otherwise, the manoeuvering  of fabric through the sewing machine can make some of the fused pieces fall off – very frustrating! (Can you tell I worked this out through experience?!) I  straight stitch with the machine set for freestyle embroidery, so I can go back and forth along the fabric pieces to secure them. Once they’re stitched in place I move on to the next section and repeat the process. Then, when an area is complete – the sky say, or the fields, I’ll work over it with more machine or hand stitching to add detail. On the clouds in the picture above you can see I’m starting to add some definition. I’m trying to create a squally shower effect at the bottom edge of the darker clouds.

So far I’ve included fabric from the pieces dyed by the following – Faye, Jill & Harry, Alie, Louise (mon), Prathiba, Rachel & Anna, Mumay, Emer & Harry, Louise (tues),Sarah W, Linda, Hannah & Reggie, Sue & Ted and two of the girls from Heaton Manor ! I’m not sure if you’ll be able to spot your colours but I’m going to try and keep a record of whose goes where!

I’m looking forward to starting the waves tomorrow – that will probably include some embroidery on soluble fabric to create the sea spray.

Be back soon!

Seaton Sluice Surprise

Sometimes you find something surprising almost on the doorstep! Often walking across the beach at Seaton Sluice, I’d look up to the headland and think ‘That looks almost like Brittany – whitewashed buildings on the headland, seas all round’ and wonder whether it was worth exploring. One evening early last Summer, we finally went along for a look – it was fabulous – the sun was setting over the hills as we followed footpaths over the grassy headland, stumbling across crazy driftwood and flotsam sculptures and discovering the tiny Watch Tower museum. We walked around the headland and back along the riverside before a well earned (!) pint at the pub (the biggest white building).

Inside the pub we found information about the history of the area – 13th century salt manufacture and 18th century bottle works, and learnt that what we thought was a river passage was man made! The Cut had been blasted out in the 18th century to make a better entry to the harbour for bigger boats to take coal and salt, south to London.

It was so lovely that we went back the next morning with a breakfast picnic of hot (veggie) sausage sarnies, a flask of tea and the children! Then we discovered the next bay along  Collywell Bay, with fantastic rock structures standing proud on the beach.

This weekend adventure inspired me to get sketching, and the first result can be seen above. It is created with hand dyed fabric, appliqued and stitched to capture the texture and detail of the scenery. I’ve called it Spring Tide – Seaton and it’ll be on view at Gallery 45 in Felton from this Saturday, 5th March. I’ll be at the gallery the following Saturday for their Meet the Maker event when I’m promised there’ll be tea and cake!

In the meantime, I’ll be getting on with that commission…..

Summer Time Workshop

Just to show that it hasn’t ALL been about maps lately!

Back at the end of May I did a One day Workshop with a group of Y9 High School students. They had been given the opportunity to exhibit as part of the Alnmouth Arts Festival 2015 in the lovely Aln Gift Shop . So we had the task of making something appropriate in one day.

After discussion with their teacher, I took the group through my ‘Tin Can Metamorphosis’ workshop, where simple mackerel tins are upcycled to become beautiful miniature works of art. The Y9 group used the technique of needle felting to create seaside and holiday scenes that were then housed in the upcycled tins.

(I should point out that the tins were emptied of their fishy contents, washed and dried before they became artworks – and yes, I eat a lot of mackerel!)

As you will see below, the outcomes were stunning, all reflecting the individuality of their makers and showing great skill and creativity.

Big thanks to all the Y9 pupils and Mrs Brown, I really enjoyed working with you all and hope you had a great day as well!

Many thanks to the Aln Gift Shop for taking the time to display the work so beautifully, staging it with similarly themed gifts and artworks from their stock.

And thank you to the Alnmouth Arts Festival for giving me a name check in their programme:)

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It may officially be Spring but it’s still pretty chilly up North, flowers are braving the cold, just hope there’s not a late frost!

Magnolia Stellata

Magnolia Stellata

I’m developing some more beach hut pieces (hoping to encourage warmer weather!) This one, Sandy Bay, is almost ready to go to Etsy. I’ve used a combination of machine and hand stitch with applique and needle felting. The little hut sits on a shingle and sand beach with gentle waves lapping at the shore, the bunting is up but, being a British beach hut the clouds aren’t too far behind – but what’s a beach hut for if not to provide shelter, and refreshments in the Great British Summer;)

 

Sandy Bay Peek Inside!

Sandy Bay                                            Peek Inside!

It will be joined by two others, Sole Bay *see below* and the Lobster Pot. On each one, the door of the beach hut can be opened to show a little scene inside:)

Sole Bay

Sole Bay – the textile so far and its original sketch

Somewhere to sit and watch the sea..

Somewhere to sit and watch the sea..