Reel Stories

My latest artworks called Reel Stories, started life as a handful of reels that I rediscovered after a day sorting through my collection of vintage cotton reels. The smallest reels are a perfect size for my hand embroidered text.

It’s funny how a relaxed day pottering around can spark an idea.

Reel Stories
Reel Stories

The cotton cloth is an old pillowcase that I eco printed with plants from my garden – to date I’ve created three artworks in this series.

The first features an extract from a Lancashire poem ‘Hand Loom v. Power Loom’, author unknown. Unwound the artwork is 2 wide x 2m long.

Come all you cotton weavers, your looms you may pull down.
You must get employment in factories, in country or in town.
For our cotton masters have a wonderful new scheme:
These calico goods now wove by hand, they’re going to weave by steam.

There’s sow-makers and dressers and some are making warps.
These poor pincop-spinners they must mind their flats and sharps.
For if an end slips under, as sometimes perchance it may,
They’ll daub you down in black and white and you’ve a shilling to pay.

The weavers’ turn will next come on, for they must not escape.
To enlarge the master’s fortune, they are fined in every shape.
For thin places or bad edges, a go or else a float,
They’ll daub you down and you must pay three pence or else a groat.

If you go into a loom shop where there’s three or four pairs of looms,
They all are standing idle, a-cluttering up the rooms.
And if you ask the reason why, t’ould mother will tell you plain:
“My daughters have forsaken them and gone to weave by steam.”

So come all you cotton weavers, you must rise up very soon,
For you must work in factories from morning until noon.
You mustn’t walk in your garden for two or three hours a day,
For you must stand at their command and keep your shuttles in play.

‘Hand Loom v. Power Loom’, author unknown.
First in the series of Reel Stories
First in the series of Reel Stories

The second artwork is a list of all the cotton mill workers jobs which includes titles like quilter, beamer and tenter. Unwound the artwork is 2cm wide x. 2.7m long

Second in the series
Second in the series

The third artwork documents the cotton industry mills and works that processed the cotton. Unwound the size is 2cm wide x 70cm long.

Third in the series
Third in the series

These pieces are part of a body of work about the Lancashire cotton industry.


I’m pleased to announce that Reel Stories 1 & 3 have been accepted for the 3rd International Micro Textile and FIbre Art Exhibition “Scythia” at 17.00, str. Mariyky Pidhiryanky 23, Ivano-Frankivs’k, Ukraine. 6th – 20th June 2023 (the exhibition catalogue is available to view here – my artwork appears on page 34)

The new edition of the international textile and fibre art exhibitions Mini and Micro Scythia, now in their 11th and 3rd year respectively, will open on 6 June. These two important events, which take place every two years, are part of the larger project that includes the well-known International Biennial of Contemporary Textile and Fibre Art Scythia and the Fibremen exhibition.

In the Mini Textile category, works by 131 artists from 33 countries will be exhibited, while 50 artists will be selected for the Micro Textile and Fibre art exhibition, representing 23 countries.

Scythia 2023

For more information please visit Scythia or discover more in an article in ArteMorbida magazine.


Fragments & Sylko Addict

Fragments is my latest piece of needlework, stitched and assembled during the last two years of Lockdown.

Lockdown was a challenge for me in many ways. Time stood still, my creativity was stagnated and I felt I needed a project to escape the world outside. The solution was to create components for an artwork that I knew would eventually evolve and take shape.

Fragments - hand stitched quarter inch hexagons in eco dyed cotton cloth - reverse of the work.
Fragments – Back of the work.

Non-essential shops were closed so the cloth was sourced from within my own home: old garments, bed and household linens.

Each piece was cut up and dyed during the summer months with plants from my Lockdown garden.

These hexagons formed part of a portable project that kept me focused and occupied.

Hand stitched over quarter inch hexagons with red thread. Started during the first UK Lockdown in March 2020.

Size 20 x 20cm. Red cotton thread, cotton cloth.

Fragments - hand stitched quarter inch hexagons in eco dyed cotton cloth.

This piece forms part of a body of work created during Lockdown in the UK.

Bound Part 1

Bound part 1 - vintage kitchen utensils wrapped in vintage cream cloured thread and red sylko thread

Bound Part 1, is a new piece of work featuring pieces from my collection of vintage kitchen utensils.

For generations women have been bound to the home and a life of domesticity. This piece is a celebration of the tools of their trade.

Beautiful Skyline products manufactured in the Lancashire town of Burnley, well-worn wooden spoons and unusual utensils.

Each piece tells a story through the imperfections, scars and dents it has collected through use. Artwork is mounted onto a cotton tea-towel woven in Quarry Bank Mill .

Size 31 x 38 cm. Vintage kitchen utensils, hand bound with vintage crochet and Sylko threads.

Bound part 1 - vintage kitchen utensils wrapped in vintage cream cloured thread and red sylko thread
Bound Part 1
Bound part 1 - vintage kitchen utensils wrapped in vintage cream cloured thread and red sylko thread
Bound in vintage threads with a hint of my favourite Vintage red Sylko thread

This piece forms part of a body of work about my Lancashire roots.