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New designs

Two new designs have been sent off to the printers, this time in shades of blues, yellows and greens. One shows a springtime field of yellow rapeseed flowers dropping down towards the sea at St. Abbs. The other is a late summer view of the fields of East Lothian, with stormy clouds gathering and biscuit-coloured barley heads in the foreground. They will be available in my shop as coasters, cards and a notebook. If you’d like to see the original versions of these images, they will be shown in my exhibition at St Abbs’ Ebba Centre from 23rd to 29th March.

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French knots take over

For my latest artwork I have been recreating a field of rapeseed flowers with vibrant yellow threads and many, many French Knots! This is a view of St Abbs in late spring/early summer. I have a great selection of works completed now, for the St Abbs Art Exhibition at the end of the month. Can’t wait to see them all on display! This design will be used for printed products available in my shop soon! I love the impressionist look of the design and the fresh, spring colours.

Fields at St Abbs showing french knot flowers
Fields at St Abbs
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Textile Techniques Class – moving onto some embroidery

This week my students looked at using waste fabric to stitch on anything, where the waste fabric is pulled out thread-by-thread after stitching has been completed.

My students had chosen gorgeous embroidery kits from Nancy Nicholson and we hooped them up and started with the simpler stitches. This was continued for a second week. The designs really start to stand out with the threads giving a such a tactile 3D quality to the design. We discussed what to do with the finished piece, from backing it and attaching it to the front of a bag or box, making it into a decorative cushion panel or simply stretching it over an art canvas for hanging on the wall for all to admire our handiwork.

As this was a longer session we chose some gorgeous wool fabrics and starting cutting out pieces to make beautiful storage bag-boxes in our next class, to be embellished with our stitched designs. Can’t wait to show off my students’ work in my next post.

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Textile Techniques Class – cross-stitch challenge

This week my students brought their completed bookmarks and practice pieces with their fabulous cross stitch designs. I then set them a Valentine’s card speed stitch challenge, providing some Aida cross-stitch fabric marked with a heart shape using a transfer pencil. Then I challenged them to stitch their own designs, whether it be a geometric pattern, a modern random and over-sized stitching, text or a picture.

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Textile Techniques Class – cross-stitch

For weeks 3 and 4 of my class, the students began some cross-stitch for the first time, using squared paper to make up their own designs for a bookmark using Aida fabric. We continued this topic into Week 3, moving on to learn how to stitch into any fabric using ‘waste’ fabric stabiliser, then pulling out the stabiliser strand by strand afterwards.

Spaces are still available in the class if you’d like to join us for the remaining six weeks. We’ll be completing our cross stitch basics then moving on to other forms of hand embroidery. Check out the PACC website.

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Oilcloth storage box

Today I made a lined oilcloth storage box. A friend had asked if I could make something spill-proof to sit on a coffee table and contain the TV remote controls. I used up some leftover tablecloth fabric and lined it with a navy polka dot cotton. Sewing the fabric on the reverse side was straightforward, using a jeans needle in the sewing machine. Getting the lining in was a big challenge as you can’t pin the oilcloth so I used paper-clips but they liked to slide out. The top stitching was hard to get neat, because you have to add a layer of tissue or baking paper (also paper-clipped in) to help the coated fabric run through the machine.

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Textiles Techniques Week 2 – Handstitching

Looking forward to Textiles Techniques Week 2 where we will be doing some cross-stitch to learn about embroidery fabrics, stitching tips and thread tension. The students in my class have expressed an interest in hand-stitching, which means we can take the convenient route to our class content as for most classes we won’t need to bring a sewing machine. Hand-stitching is rewarding, practical, creative and portable. We are going to start off with some cross stitch techniques to create some small and simple designs. Why not come and join us and have a go at this absorbing handicraft? For more information visit the Poldrate Arts and Crafts Centre, www.pacc.org.uk.

class poster for textile techniques week 2