Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Book Give-away

Below you will find details of the books I have up for grabs and how to get your paws on one of them. As there is no such thing as a free lunch (or book) here is an advert for September's Workshop on the Web  You can go straight to the book bit at the end of this blog entry, of course, but the pic below is good.  

In the September issue of WoW we have eight great workshops and an interview with Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly. Below you can see pics (clockwise from left)  from Adele Thomas (great ideas for easy screen printing), Cas Holmes, Ruth Smith's paper folding technique and Linda Vincent's collage article. We also have an in-depth product review and a very newsy news section, thanks to our wonderful features editor, Sam Packer.

OK, advert over. Below is the list of books that I have over after a massive and, in some cases very regretful, shelf clearing operation - see last post. I am asking for a five pound contribution to cover post and packing.

 I am asking you to email me on with the words Book Giveaway as the subject. 

Please tell me the name of the book you would like and give your email address. If more than one person wants the book I will draw from the hat. Closing date Wednesday 28th. I'll contact the lucky winners.

UK only because of currency and postage but I will do a free draw of a special book for overseas folk. Please indicate in the email if this is you.

Here are the books.

Book Giveaway August 2013

An Elizabethan Inheritance
The Hardwick Hall Textiles
Santina M Levey
978 0707 802 497 (hardback)

Machine Embroidery
Ideas and Techniques
Pam Watts
978 0713 466 447 (hardback)

Embroidered Books
Isobel Hall
978 1906 388 133 (hardback)

Transparency in Textiles
Dawn Thorne
978 1906 388 485 (hardback)

Creative Bead Weaving
Carol Wilcox Wells
978 1887 374 057 (hardback)

The Creative Artist
Nita Leland
978 0891 344 650 (softback)

Machine Embroidery from Australian Artists
Kristen Dibbs
978 1863 433 303 (softback)

Creative Machine Embroidery
Linda Miller
978 1408 103 982 (softback)

Beautiful Bowls
Kath Danswan
978 0955 439 407 (softback)

The Art of Paper Collage
Susan Pickering Rothamel
978 0806 928 258 (softback)


Stitches – New Approaches
Jan Beaney
07134 42727 (hardback)
Cover slightly torn

The New Machine Embroidery
Joy Clucas
978 0715 389 997 (hardback)

Design Sources for Embroidery
Muriel Best and Vicky Lugg
978 0713 455 731 (hardback)

Best of luck.

Friday, 23 August 2013

House Sorting and a Lot of Spare Books

The week has been filled with a lot of boring business stuff but I have managed to do some clearing and putting away in the workroom. Just a little bit more WoW for the September issue and then it is back to some serious stitching.

We have also been really sorting out our house. All those of you who said I would love a conservatory were so right. We have hardly been out of it and the light is wonderful for reading and stitching.

It turned out to be rather larger than expected. I said to Clive when we were at the planning stage, 'No-one ever says, after building,  I wish it was smaller, so let's go bigger'.  It is rather large - I asked my son-in-law, as were viewing from the bottom of the garden, if he thought it overwhelmed the scale of the bungalow and he pointed out that you couldn't see much of the bungalow, so it didn't matter! Go big, I always say.

I have just ordered a new rug made of recycled sari strips. As I have loads of these, I could probably have made one myself but I might rise to the occasion and produce a few cushions to match. You might notice that there are piles of books in the pic above. This is because,  the dining table has moved into the conservatory - see, Clive, I told you big is good. As it is off the kitchen I can now chat to people as I cook.

The space in the living room means that we can have another bookcase. I have lusted after one of these Conran ones for ages. An investment piece, of course(!). The same son-in-law observed that it looked like a Billy bookcase - badly assembled.

Another bookcase means that the last of the boxes of books in the garage have a chance of finding a home. They are nearly all my stitch books and I have hard choices to make, as they won't all fit. It has to be done as we want to get the car in if it is another bad winter. They have been there since we moved, nearly three years back.

I would like to give them away but the post would be expensive. If I put the titles up in the next blog post, would people (that means you lot) be willing to pay five pounds for post and packing, do you think? They are mostly hardbacks and some of them are still quite expensive on Amazon. I'd much rather they went to good homes, rather than the second hand book man. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Taking Time Out

Well that's the last commitment over and done with and now it's time for some fun stuff. Over the past six weeks or so, we hardly seem to have been home. We've travelled a lot, met some lovely people and worked pretty hard. I am really looking forward to getting in my workroom and doing some stitching.

The last away time was for the Festival of Quits in Birmingham. The show has now moved completely to the new management, Upper Street Events, and it seemed to be as good, or even better than ever. I gave several talks and the techies were great - although my own personal techie set us up in his usual confident way.  For the first time, there was a tutors' breakfast meeting with coffee and croissants (and great goody bags). There were no long winded speeches - just an appreciation of the role of the tutors, which was really good to hear on the first day. I think the show is in safe hands.

I loved the quilts by Annabel Rainbow and Laura Kemshall on their Through our Hands stand.  Annabel's is from the Life series, a detail of 'On the Shelf'.

I had trouble working out the titles of Laura's, my system failed me. It was great, of course.

Next to them were Sue Chapman and Terrie Hitchcock. Terrie sold all her dolls.

have reviewed both these exhibitions in the free review section of September's Workshop on the Web. There is also a full review of the show from Sam Packer.

I did my interview with someone for something. Here's a pic. The someone didn't know what is was for either but we had a very good giggle and she asked some very good questions.

Apart from getting my teeth into some new work in the next six weeks (no gigs for six weeks - feels like school's out time), I shall be editing our next d4daisy book. This is going to be techniques and wisdom from six textile artists: Elizabeth Brimelow, Ro Bruhn, Ruth Lee, Si├ón Martin, Olga Norris and Beryl Taylor. I'm sure that you all know and love Ro's work. Here is a pic.

The book should be out in early December and if you'd like to find out more about the artists and see their work, go to   There is a giveaway, too. The working title of the book is 'Six of the Best,' which I really like but fear I may get some dodgy emails with a title like that. Any ideas for a good title will certainly be up for a prize!

I also plan to get on with the exciting part of the conservatory - blinds, rugs, furniture etc. It is lovely and all those people who said I would love it were so right.

Smudge has been really grumpy since we came back - he does love a good sulk to punish us for leaving him. We were out watching the meteor showers last night when he crept up (in Jaws of Hell mode) and bit the back of my leg. I think I woke up all the neighbours - it wasn't a hard bite but, in the dark, it was really scary. I shut him in the shed for the remainder of the performance.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Wonderful Week

I have had a most wonderful time with my mates in Textiles..21. This is the second time I have been with the group to the Kingcombe centre, in deepest Dorset (near Dorchester). This is a residential centre, maintained by the Dorset Woldlife Trust. They do run lots of wildlifey courses but they also have textiles artists leading workshops and groups can book in to do their own thing, which is what our group does.

The surroundings are wonderful and it is great walking country. At the centre you can gain inspiration from the wild flower meadow........

......and rush into the workroom...... stitch it out. This is Chris drying out her water soluble stitching.

The food is wonderful, too and Peter the chef is so enthusiastic. He has a delicate touch and, while meals are delicious you don't feel too full. (Well only if you have second or third helpings!)

Eggs are supplied by the blonde bombshell and her mates.

Further inspiration was supplied by the cows passing the gate. They stopped to look at us and gave us a photo-opportunity with their leaf patterned hides, thanks to the shadow effect.

I used my time to explore the cutting gizmo that I have acquired for my Bernina. this is a dangly for my conservatory - deliberately twee. Cutting loads of motifs in one go was no challenge for the Bernina. I hope to play lots more.after the FoQ.

Here it is in place. The conservatory is finished and we love it but I haven't had time to sort out all the furnishings so you will have to wait until after the Festival of Quilts, next week. I am doing three talks over Thursday and Friday and I am being interviewed by someone for something at 2pm on Thursday. I think it is free, so come to the main stage and watch me make a fool of myself. See you there.