Monday, 30 June 2014

A little bit of Free-Motion....

I adore hand sewing yet every now and again a project evolves that requires more stitching than my poor little fingers can handle..... that's when I dust off my wonderful Bernina and machine away.
This piece of sewing - work in progress - is a small piece made using raw edge applique onto a vintage French Quilt..... a picture of my children in France.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Elephant Dung, Shredded bank notes and Wimbledon

What do Elephant Dung, Shredded bank notes and Wimbledon all have in common?

They are just some of the materials used to create the wonderful array of papers,  all crafted on-site, at Frogmore Mill - The Paper Trail.... the birthplace of paper production in the UK.

The Mill is just down the road from me, so of course I have to pop into their shop every now and again.

The paper is available in various weights - I like the thicker papers for sewing into. 

Paper made from Shredded Bank of England Notes

Paper made from Elephant Poo

Paper made from Grass Cuttings from various sites in London, including Wimbledon and St James' Palace

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A wander along the Silk Route.....

I love any excuse for a day out.
Recently I have started a Hand Embroidery course that encourages you to expand your textile horizon - looking for fabrics, colour, textures and generally looking for creative inspiration.

..... so a day out in Essex and Suffolk  - checking out the odd silk Mill Shop or two in Sudbury, PLUS a silk textile archive in Braintree - had to be on the cards.

The Warner Textile Archive was first on the itinerary in Braintree, Essex, followed by visits to factory shops at the working silk mills of Stephen Walters & Sons (owned and ran by the same family for 400 years !) and Vanners  in Sudbury (their silk appeared on the Great British Sewing Bee ).... lots of goodies had to be purchased - of course. By the way, both Silk Factory shops take credit cards !!!!!

The Warner Textile Archive was an eye opener - samples dating back hundreds of years from Warner's and other local Silk Mills.... some of the samples show the drawings and painted art work alongside their finished hand woven silk cloth - stunning, and well worth a visit .....

The Silk Mill at Stephen Walters, had a mill/factory shop with goodies collected from the four mills on the site..... it was a joy to behold.... fabric, yarn, patchwork scrap bags, silk by the metre...... and a large on-site car park !


Tie fabric

Silk, cotton, silk blends plus lots more in these bags of joy

Ready made items available too
Vanner's has fabric by the metre, yarn, premade items (silk bow ties, silk ties, silk handkerchiefs), scrap fabric rummage bags, plus lots more.....Just behind Vanner's is The Gainsborough House and Museum (which I ran out of time to visit!)
I arrived home with my silk filled bags, jolly tired, and looking forward to tomorrow and a lovely day playing with my purchases.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Open Garden Squares Weekend in London 2014

Yesterday was brilliant - a day out, walking around the private gardens taking part in the Open Garden Squares Weekend in London.
My husband and I packed a picnic, drove for half an hour and started our day in the glorious surroundings of  Hampstead and Hampstead Heath, London NW3.

I went with two heads on as usual - one as a gardener, and the other looking for interesting patterns and textures for textiles and art projects. I have lots of photos below, but a few more quirkier 'textile inspiration' photos can be found on my Facebook Page.

The places we visited were  Gainsbourgh Gardens.......... Fenton House....... The Hill Garden and Pergola ...... The Branch Hill Allotments.   Everyone taking part loved showcasing their gardens - definitely a date for next year - Notting Hill and Little Venice I think !

I love the way each borough in London has it's own recognisable street signage

Each tree in the orchard had herbs hanging from them and a wild meadow underneath 

The gardens were in disrepair and taken on by the Corporation of London in 1980 - they are stunning now

Warm and friendly gardeners - their individuality is expressed in each plot

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A weekend of stitching with Jessie Chorley at Hope and Elvis......

It is now Wednesday, and I am still on a high from the weekend of stitching at the Jessie Chorley workshops at Hope and Elvis.
I was fortunate to have places for the Altered Journal workshop on Saturday and the Embroidered Objects workshop on Saturday.... and to make the weekend complete, I shared it with my daughter - a perfect girly sewing weekend !

I have attended Jessie's workshops before and I learn more and more every time. She has a relaxed way of teaching and always ensures each student is at their ease - we all walk away from the classes with finished pieces or 'work in progress' to ensure we have many days of enjoyment to follow adding the finishing touches and completing the project.

Louise was, as always, the perfect hostess. Her studio is a Tardis full of what appears a never ending range of 'raw' materials to keep us content. She somehow always manages to find everything we need to keep us stocked up on our creative journeys.  Miss Debs catered a fantastic French inspired spread (as you can see below, it proved very popular) influenced from her recent visits to the Flea markets of Paris - she brought some of her lovely linens - and of course I bought a large bag or two full. 

I have posted more wonderful photos from the weekend onto my Facebook Page.

These are just some of the finished pieces from the weekend......

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