Patchwork & Quilting by Leah Higgins

A little textile inspiration from my YouTube Textile Collection. Today it features the stunning patchwork and quilting of Leah Higgins. Filmed at The Festival of Quilts 2019.

Addition: Thank you to Leah Higgins for a brilliant blog post about the day I interviewed her at The Festival of Quilts for a ‘Meet The Artist’ YouTube.

I meant to write this post a few weeks ago but, as per usual, I’ve been busy and didn’t get round to it…. but I’ll put that right now!
During my exhibition at Festival of Quilts I was asked if I was willing to do a ‘meet the artist’ interview for a YouTube channel. I immediately said yes as I was very flattered and publicity is always welcome. It was arranged for the next morning.
Ten minutes later I started getting stressed about being filmed …. what would I say? what would I wear? what if I had a particularly bad hair day? …… Whilst I thoroughly enjoy talking about my art I hate having my photo taken and the thought of being filmed was, frankly, terrifying.
Thankfully Catherine Hill from Arnold’s Attic was brilliant. She said the right things to calm me down and had clearly spent time preparing her questions. She had taken the time the previous day to really look at the exhibition, to read my artists statement and to read the labels for the each piece.
She did a great job of editing the interview and I am absolutely thrilled to have this record of my first solo exhibition. If you have a look please take the time to like and comment –

Thank you Leah.

Lancashire Cheese and Onion Pie

After a lot of deliberating over the design, I’ve finally finished my latest piece of embroidery, called ‘My Mum’s Baking’, which you can see in the The Embroiderers’ Guild – UK ‘Home’ exhibition (along with ‘Time for Tea’ ) at the Knitting & Stitching Shows this Autumn. It’s all about my childhood in Rochdale and my favourite food. Wednesday’s tea was always Lancashire Cheese and Onion Pie. This is my Mum’s own recipe.

Hand embroidered on a vintage pillowcase that belonged to my Great grandmother – displayed on a vintage cheese grater, woven with vintage thread. ✂️

My Mum's Baking - Cheese and onion pie
My Mum’s Baking – Cheese and onion pie
My Mum's Baking - Cheese and onion pie
My Mum’s Baking – Cheese and onion pie
My Mum's Baking - Cheese and onion pie
My Mum’s Baking – Cheese and onion pie

The First Day in the Mill – Lancashire dialect

‘The First Day in the Mill’ is a piece that harks back to my Lancashire roots and the stories I heard as a child. It’s exhibiting in the Quilt Creations category at The Festival of Quilts 2019. It features 61 elongated hexagons – or cloth ‘weaving shuttles’ – each embroidered with a job in the cotton mill. The central panel features a poem by Louisa Bearman, written in Lancashire Dialect, about her First Day in the Mill when she was thirteen.

The First Day in the Mill. Cotton 'Weaving Shuttles'
Cotton ‘Weaving Shuttles’

The cloth is a mixture of modern, preloved and vintage cotton – some from the Arnold’s Attic Collection – and some have been naturally dyed to create a soft mix of textures and tones throughout the piece. The centre of the work features a Lancashire Rose and a vintage weaving shuttle, given to me by my father.

The First Day in the Mill.  Lancashire Rose.
Lancashire Rose.
The First Day in the Mill.
Weaving Shuttle.

This is a very personal piece. It shares some of the thoughts and emotions that my own family experienced in years gone by. My Grandad Nixon was twelve and his mother was ten on their first day in the mill.

The First Day in the Mill. Poetry in Lancashire dialect.
Poetry in Lancashire dialect.

It’s entirely handmade and hand embroidered.