Oh Happy Sprout!

Done. DONE!  Sprouting is over.  Well the ‘fun’ bits are.  There is only more pressing, quilting , backing, binding and hanging to do.  Seeing as I was teaching and working in a shop that sells quilting supplies, it was amazing how completely I forgot to get some wadding to quilt it with. This level of idiocy takes some serious talent, and lots of practice.img_20190201_095330706

I have stretched it but as it hung  afterwards the distortion caused by the stitching has come back.  May be some more stabiliser? but I would rather it hung easily,without tensions.  No, acknowledge the fault and use,  do not try to hide. Perfection would be a bore, and if I don’t have something to angst over then I might feel the need to do some housework.

Things I would change – the height of the back hill – don’t think I have tied the left  treeline to the rest of the image effectively enough and the curve makes it look like an eyebrow. I wouldn’t mind a touch more of something in the deadzone that is the middle ground. More tone in the green? At least the old boiled sprout colour has become less dominant. I do like it as a colour but not in wholesale quantities.  At the very least this piece has gobbled up a vast amount of thread – well over a kilometre I guess. I now need to go on a major foraging mission – I think I am going to shift more towards Madeira threads- their base is just half an hour away and round the corner is the source of sublime  bacon sandwiches!  Always a silver lining.20190130_152818-collage Its next public appearance should be in April for the York Open Studios – the invitation is there- come and see the Sprout (properly named by then!) in its native habitat – I am nmber 96.


Happy Christmas

middlesbhut I have definitely survived the Mid-winter Hut in the Middle of Middlesborough  experience but it has taken quite a while to organise the house back to some semblence of order.  Now most things are sorted – all now have some where to go and somewhere for me look when I can’t find them.

It was good to  see a selection of old and new work together, to see the constant and also progressive elements, and to see how a new audience respond. They were not looking for art, not looking for textiles, I was in their patch rather than them coming into mine, and the response was either blank, disbelief or real enthusiasm, one guy went and fetched his friends and then his family to have a look! (Didn’t buy anything though,  still waiting for my millionaire to roll up).  Can’t really compete with the Reindeer Parade or hot street food.

So I have put all of this year’s efforts up at home, just to see where I have got to,  and…. it doesn’t fit. I need a bigger wall, in fact 2 bigger walls. The snapshots do not include the larger pieces or the last winter walks offering.   Very surprised. Rather smug.  Bit confused. My perception of  the last months seems askew, the pictorial is as strong as the abstract.  Some of the tangents  do seem less tangenty.  Since I stopped doing the pure  process based things  the 2 extremes are working together, a bit forced in the hybrid pieces but more comfortably in the newer bits – like the Winter Walks.  And as for the basics – use of stitch, use of colour and surface , they are dotting about all over the place.  Perhaps  the separation was a good thing, it let the ideas about how I should work get tested out and now I am reverting more to how it is natural for me to work without over thinking.fBrammerWinterWalk

One thing is certain, this is a cyclic trend. I have to test, to try, to ask. And don’t always see the answers immediately.  Above is Winter Walks, I think it is finished now, even quilted it a little. It has come quite a long way from the mangled thing shown last post. Next post I think should be his life history.

Think is definitely time for Christmas. Hope you all have a thoroughly enjoyable festive season and  recover quickly from the New Year celebrations.

ps new workshops are listed on my website and the frantextiles facebook page, plus some sale items.

Christmas strikes early.


Some of the tribe at the show in Ripon Cathedral this week-  but meanwhile back at home…..

“No problem. Need samples for the December class. Shall I take one of the pre printed forest animal panels and see what I can do with it. Must showcase the fabric and engage people to come to try freehand/motion working. Not a problem.”

I do wish that when at work  I would shut up at these strategic moments.


2 garland ideas for a visiting group to try, a metre and a half of decorative panels strung together ( reminds me of  a pelmet crossed with a hockey skirt), quilted pictures, quilt block proposals, and a  small “quilt” later…..even did a little hand sewing…… ( I do work in a quilt/embroidery shop)….



Moda, who produced the animal images, are usually a bit tight, so why did they decide to populate whole forests with just one panel!!!!

Never mind. Working with found images can be fun, and although this isn’t really my preferred style of work it should provide a bit of entertainment, technical practice, be a ‘safe’ start point and act as a confidence builder. Just got the backing and binding on the ‘quilt’ to do then it is back to my own stuff!

Will admit, cutting the hedge is starting to look like an attractive option.

I gave in. Used about half the panel – the rest has been divided up and is on sale in the shop as smaller blocks.


Thinking Ahead

There was a frost, I made a penguin pillow and Christmas bunting for work a while ago – this means Christmas and the New Year aren’t too far away.  I am still finishing the Summer work, not yet on the Autumn stuff !p1050987

This is the complete piece first shown in the blog “Yellow”.  It is so heavily stitched in places that it is unrepentantly wobbly and will not remain flat. Rather than argue  I have just sealed the edges so of course it is now wildly of true. Win some, lose them later.

The other  strand of activity has been planning and developing some Christmas ideas using  some freehand work. These are for a couple of  second level afternoons (not total beginners or at least survivors of an introductory afternoon) run at the Viking Loom and I may well offer more intricate and intensive  afternoons at home. Some I intend to make up for the Artisan and Craft events I booked up for ( sad I know, but I enjoy eating).

If anyone is interested in joining me for any of these, the Thursday morning  sew ins, or in the new programme of workshops for the new  year please make contact.


The three autumn trees

So last week I showed the intense autumn tree – this week it’s what happened next, and  what is still happening to all the leftover bits.


Tree 2 –  This was scrappy  bits  of the unwanted  fabrics  in rough layers, stitched and then cut back as in the first one. The whole looked a little stubby so the  scraps of the scraps were  sewn into the extended  branches. There is definite difference in the result, the bottom half is richer and denser, but difference gives the tree more character and life1 happy accident.


This is tree  3- on the last part of the  old linen but this time the pulled fibres and scraps of the scraps of scraps  are worked into the stitches as the tree grows. It looks so much lighter and more delicate.


I like them together, as a sequence, but  already

Been  experimenting with adding a quilted landscape around the last tree but am not certain if it is effective enough. Perhaps a slight colour in the line could help – it is getting back to the idea of only having certain areas in full focus. When it is dry then It will be decision time.


There is still a small pile if fibres left to play with – a small bush perhaps. or maybe use if developing the quilting further………