Machine Embroidery Big Beast 2


This is the life cycle of a large piece of machine embroidery. It began early last year. But only got going in the autumn, therefore has no oilseed rape. And the hills have grown, and the farm buildings were taken down by the developers, and……

Sketched in situ – should have taken a rubber. Under painting  with dye and ink, trying it wrapped around the stretcher (120 x 40 cm! ),then happy sloshing time in the garden – dilute ink/dye and coffee/tea stain and lots of water. Left it out for a day or two.  Lastly, drying on the hall floor, so completely in the way.


Can’t find the early textile photos. Layers of gauze and stitched lines suggest the landscape. The trees are more complex –  ( last week’s slideshow!)

At this point it is nearly finished, but not quite p1060369near enough. There is balancing to do, adding, and taking away. Hard to stop this becoming fiddling.

Tweaking is fine, but no one likes a fiddler.

Spot the new (deliberate) holes!  Might even see the extra orange by the trees, and the deeper tones in the landscape.  I do like this section the best, but it does make the rest look out of focus. Might be a good thing! The two on the right are the back. Again really like the tree section.

And the finished article – not yet stretched onto the frame but at least it is pressed.


Haven’t settled on a title yet, so is known to its friends as The Big Beast 2.

Updating my mailing list – if you would like notices about my own workshops and exhibitions please send me a line –

Upcoming events-

Exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery, York. Til 15th March 2017.

Stitchy Day. 8th March. A day workshop exploring and experimenting with freehand machining,  held in my workroom, York.

York Open Studios 2017- last 2 weekends in April.






3 thoughts on “Machine Embroidery Big Beast 2

  1. Hello Fran, lovely to see the process of constructing Big Beast 2 …and love the piece on your banner headline.

    It is sods law but for some time I have had a painting class booked up for March 8th or would have come to your messy stitchy day.

    I have been renting a studio space as a trail thing at School house gallery. I thought I was joining a group of other creative people but it has been largely solitary, apart from occasional visits by Francine ( whose work is also in Blossom street) and my work has gone from being average to being very poor indeed.

    The saving grace so far this year ( and I have the space till mid-march) has been print classes with Jo Walton and support meeting with another friend keen on stitching, Jan Merry who lives round the corner. I love her little stitched books,

    I now have four weeks to make the most of the space down there. My daughter has suggested I use it for dyeing materials and doing messy things I wouldn’t do at home.

    The other artists have gone to join a new initiative at Pica studios. Grape lane. what a buzz. so exciting and so far from SHG in atmosphere etc.

    Love your pieces in Blossom Street.

    All good wishes



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