Sea Inspired

My trips to the beach here are really inspiring my creativity – I love the colours and the textures and the dynamic, changing scenery. The shoreline is a shifting, liminal place where sea and land mix in a strange point of exhilaration. Where we live, above the great Chesil Bank, we have heard the turn and tow for nights now as the pebbles are tossed in the big waves. Yesterday in particular was a very rough day, with high winds and great big seas, so the effect this morning was to clean the shingle down to a smooth grit, easier for walking on and for collecting sea glass, my favourite find, though they are worn down tiny here at this end of the Chesil, so you have to watch out carefully! There are several cairns of flotsam along Cogden Beach, or what I prefer to think of as shrines, one even has a white processional way set into the shingle leading up to it. I did some repairs to this one, and noticed that a couple further down the beach were doing the same, following some strange primordial instinct.

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So here’s my latest work, I am very pleased with it, its worked out better than expected and now I want to make more pebble pieces – other ideas are embroidered pebble dolls, embellished patterned fabrics, encrusted calico. They are a fiddle but at the same time a joy to make, highly textured and completely covered with french knots using experimental Stef Francis threads, which are completely beautiful – this is a 3 pack of stranded cotton, space dyed linen and a slippy, silky rayon which I really mixed up the space dying to get Image Image

random effects, then backed onto wool felt ‘sleeves’.  They take many hours and use some fairly complex techniques, I will get around to posting up a tutorial when I make a few more – these are samples for workshop ideas so I hope that my clients like them!

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Tonight’s Embroidery Class – fresh produce!

Only two students tonight and what a lovely evening we had down at Make & Do with two wonderful strawberry brooches completed and one from a first time french knotter! I love the couching too with the late Winifred Clayton’s vintage slubbed yarn – well done, Claire and Kathy!

A new take on Embroidery!

I really enjoyed teaching granny squares this week – every one did really well and it was also good to get one very able student going on making straight sides on straight pieces of crochet by ending rows with chain turns. This weekend is all about sugarcraft as I decorate a very unusual order for a 40th birthday – results coming up tomorrow! This month I am teaching Creative Contemporary Embroidery at the WI’s Denman College and I am really looking forward to it! I am just putting an array of materials together now – will include free applique, beads, buttons, mixed threads, anything goes! People seem to be loving the updated style offered by sites like Sublime Stitching which gives an ancient craft such a fresh, modern look, so I am looking forward to seeing the different things everyone will make – limited only by their imagination! It’s like painting with threads! Here’s one of my little pieces for a bit of inspiration!

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Strawberries

The most luscious of fruits! I love to embroider them too! Make & Do in Caversham are running a reprise of the lovely workshop I taught in June where we made updated versions of vintage pieces by the late Winifred Clayton, a veteran embroidery teacher. We used her templates and even some of her supplies, it was magical! Here is a photo of some of the work produced by participants!

The next workshop is on 11 September – google Make & Do Caversham for more details.