Wednesday 30 July 2014

The Book Looks Very Bookish

Well, the 'Cut, Shape, Stitch' book is published and is selling very well. If you have purchased it, you will find a free class on the site.We're all delighted with the quality - our printers are just the best. If you ever want a really good printer go to the Colour Factory at Sittingbourne, Kent. They are a delight to deal with. It looks so different when it is a book - we proof from pdfs, so it doesn't give you the feel of a book. One of my favourite sections is where Sam and Paula produce work from the same shape - a circular die that comes in different sizes. 

Paula's concertina book with hand stitching, is wonderful and Sam's machine embroidered collar below shows real innovation. Actually, it is a mix of two collars - Michael got creative with the photo and we love the effect.

I managed to get to a wonderful exhibition at the gallery in Upton Park, Poole, Dorset, on Sunday. By four =friends who call themselves the 'Body of Work Textile Artists', it was a really jolly show. Very sunny and suitable for the sea-side were Jennie Pickering's beach hut designs, below. I have written a review for the September WoW.

We are running a sketch-a-thon in the next Workshop on the Web in aid of the Teenage Cancer |Trust where we are asking people to donate sketch books or decorated books for us to sell. I had a friend who lost a daughter a fourteen and I shall never forget how awful it was. So when I met one of the fundraisers for this charity, who do such great things, I thought  our Wowies would come up trumps for that. 

The pic above is from one of the late, great Val Campbell Harding's sketch books, based on a design source of painted fairground ponies. I love the way she includes the original - a detail of a photo, then draws it and finally produces wonderful samples.

I am still having the time of my life with the Brother Scan N Cut. I am working on concertina landscapes - see my free cut sample below.

I have drawn out the design, ready to cut - see below. If it works, I'll write it up as an online class for those who have purchased the book.

I will have to turn the design half way as it is quite big and will not all fit on the mat. That should be a challenge.

I think I told you that my knee replacement is happening in a few weeks' time. I hear that Kim Thittichai has to have the same op soon. I have suggested that we have it at the same time, in adjacent hospital beds and then Clive can look after both of us. Fiona says that we could also run a mean three-legged race!

Wednesday 23 July 2014

The Big Day Off

It has been a very hectic time lately, what with the book, the show and the knee. I have a date for the new knee - 19th August. I have already had operations on my hand, now my knee - hope my boomps-a-daisy doesn't go next.

I am having a whole day off because it is my birthday. In a minute, we are going to Walford Mill in Wimborne. It is a great gallery and they have an interesting-sounding exhibition. Later, various kids and friends are descending and this evening we are descending on Fiona for dinner. Well; that is the plan. Clive bought me a new Kindle and a box set of Trollope (Clive does love a good trollope) to watch when I am chair-bound. He also bought me a Calla lily as they are my current fave thing. It has replaced the elderly orchid in the bathroom.

Do you remember my wood warrior race? I was playing with them on the Scan N Cut. I was puzzled as to how to mount them and in the end they ran away and hid among the leaves of my birch bark piece.

The lion masks that the warriors wore have been terrific fun to work with. They have been vessels, been mounted on stencilled backgrounds and are about to be stitched as a background to a large hanging I am working on. I am having a retrospective exhibition at the next Craft for Crafters show in Devon so I'm working on new, big stuff for that. 

I have also used the lion drawing for a Brother tutorial on the Scan N Sew - will let you know when and where it appears.

I am really hooked on this Brother machine and am now pursuing the heads theme by looking at a series of carvings that we found in Scotland. Stirling castle was a very inspirational place and we spent a lovely day there last month.

The heads, which were carved, were once brightly painted and they had fantastic head dresses. Don't know if you can see them in the pic below. I'm also fired up by the Green Man legends. I think they sprung from my wood warriors - their antecedents. 

Thought I would cut them in a similar way to the lion but my first attempt looks like Rod Stewart on a bad day. Perhaps he will be better with his hat on.

The book on cutting  is coming this week so, if you are on the 'let me know' list, we will soon be in touch. If not, you can go to and join the list - no obligation to buy and you might win a prize. I can't wait to see it at last - it seems to have taken ages but really we did most of it in the last two months.

I am doing a talk on cutting at the Festival of Quilts. I am also giving a new talk on mixed media techniques, shown as videos as well as images. I foolishly called it 'Textiles, the Movie' but forgot they only put the title on the show booking forms so it wasn't clear what it was.  So it didn't get many pre-bookings. If you are coming to the show, you might like to come and join me - everything from metal to Tyvek will be considered. It is on at 11am on Thursday 7th.