a life of fibre

Sofa repairs January 3rd, 2019

It’s over the Christmas break that I seem to find time to have a go at something that’s been bugging me for a while. This year it was the sofa which has sustained terrible damage from one of the cats, right down to the wood on both corners.

I patched it up first with some hand made felt to cover the wood and bring the level back up to the same as the rest.

It doesn’t look pretty at this stage but no matter, you won’t see it when I’ve done.

It’s a big improvement isn’t it?  Hand crocheted madalas using yarn from my stash and then stitched on.

The sofa is 26 years old but it was only these areas of upholstery which needed attention. I saw the idea on facebook and am so glad I decided to give it a go, such an improvement and I’m thrilled with the result. Interestingly the hardest point was the time sat on the floor stitching them on!


Patchwork cushions December 4th, 2018

In September I assisted Charlotte in the making of two floor cushions for her room at uni. The fabric was bought from the 6 scraps for £5 bin at the Fent Shop in Skipton. All end of designer stuff and perfect for soft furnishings or tote bags.

I was allowed to cut strips, do the maths and press all the seams. Not bad for our first attempt at patchwork and they’re well loved and used.



Flower garland November 27th, 2018

Turquoise and orange are Charlotte’s (my daughter) favourite colours, so I made a garland for her house at uni.

British Fibre Art Magazine November 21st, 2018

I’ve been very lucky this year. First my pots were featured as a header on the British Fibre Art Group on FaceBook and then that tuned into an entry for the 2019 calendar.

Now my wreath is featured in issue 12 of British Fibre Art Magazine, as the front cover no less!

Chuffed to bits?  You bet I am.

University nesting September 22nd, 2018

Charlotte suffers quite badly from homesickness when she’s away at university and has found it helps to do a significant amount of ‘nesting’.  I thought I’d try and help.

I’m happy about this little piece of art. It’s hand embroidered on hessian which cameas free wrapping on one of our deliveries, it’s backed with leftover fabric from curtain making (free) and mounted onto a piece of cutoff MDF (free) from the joiners next door to us at work. Turquoise is one of her favourite colours.

There was sufficient hessian to make another tote bag and I think I might even squeeze a third one from it!!

The biscuit exchange September 19th, 2018

So, I teased you last time with this image.


Our girl has a healthy appetite and seemed to be constantly hungry when she went to university, the same was also true for some of her friends and one in particular. They had a group chat. The chat was often around being hungry (no surprise there) and swaps of biscuit resources were undertaken, The Biscuit exchange was born and the group chat relabelled.

I felt this should be celebrated with a tote bag to carry further supplies 🙂   The centre of the biscuit and the words are hand embroidered with the rest of the biscuit being drawn in with a sharpie. It’s gone down a storm 🙂 🙂

I made three other bags for her friends but sadly forgot to take photos. I will do better.

It’s been so long September 14th, 2018

It’s been so long since I posted and life has continued to happen but for some reason I’ve not had the energy. Some days energy levels are low and others non existent ,  so far tests have revealed nothing and the doctor’s current theory is it’s related to menopause – joy 🙁

Have I made felt? yes. Have I done any other textiles? yes but I just haven’t found the energy to talk about it and the longer I’ve stayed away the harder it’s been to come back. There’s so much I’ve wanted to say / show you and it’s been bugging me but I’ve decided the only way to get back is to not worry about what I haven’t said / shown. In the fullness of time some things may appear but others you may never see. I’m making a concerted effort to blog and try and get myself back in the swing of things.

Charlotte is back off to university next week, she’s passed her driving test and will be more mobile but the homesickness has never gone away and she’s not really looking forward to returning. Falmouth is such a long way away! One way to deal with it is to nest like mad so there may be a blog about floor cushions on it’s way, you have been warned. However, custard creams will make an appearnace before then!



Print at Armley Mills – 1 August 8th, 2018

Last year I used print at Armley Mills as part of three of my pieces for the Wool Stories – The Felted Mill exhibition. This time around I wanted to use print again and couldn’t help but revisit the wallpaper block I used last year plus one or two which belong to the same pattern.

Here’s the original.

Now for the rest.

Here’s how they work in use

Then I found this one.

Gorgeous as all this is I’m not sure where I’m going with this currently, this is one to come back to.

Sewing machine trials August 6th, 2018

As part of my artist in residence activities at Armley Mills I was privileged to be allowed to use one of the industrial sewing machines from the collection.

It was a bit of a trial. I started off with a quick trial using the thread already in the machine. No problem, stitch length easy, reverse fine. Then the top thread broke. It took a little while of me checking the neighbouring machine to thread it up to the needle at which point I discovered my eyesight was much worse than I thought! I couldn’t see the eye, Louise (museum staff) fetched a torch and I discovered it threaded left to right rather than front to back, phew, eyesight not that bad then. I still couldn’t thread it but at least I knew which way it went 🙂 Louise (love her) then fetched a magnifying glass for me and the needle was finally threaded – yippee!!

Full steam ahead, but not for long before the bobbin thread ran out. Hmmm, how do I fill the bobbin? Come to that how did I get at the bobbin? I did manage this faster than threading the needle but that was mainly because Andrew the technician was around and showed me how (phew). I was off again.

I wanted to use  my own thread so set to, rethreaded the machine, got out my hoop, stretched the double layer of cotton muslin into it and discovered I couldn’t fit it under the foot and the foot didn’t come off without a screwdriver which I didn’t have. Irritating but never mind, took the hoop apart, put one ring on the machine then slipped the fabric under the foot , put the second ring of the hoop under the foot and reassembed the hoop.

Yay!  Blast! The bobbin ran out again. That was fine, I took it out, filled it put it back and then discovered I couldn’t get the bobbin thread through to the top because the hoop was in the way. Took it apart, pulled the bottom thread up, reassembled the hoop, started stitching again. Top thread ran out. Nooo.

On the final day I went armed with a pre-filled bobbin, new thread and two pairs of scissors  as I forgot scissors earlier in the week and was bailed out by Linda (museum staff), what could go wrong?  Nothing it seemed, I got on quite well and was just thinking that I didn’t need to do much more when the drive band snapped. Drive band stopped play as there was no technician on site. I’d been concerned about it throughout as I’d noticed the dust accumulating under it and had pointed it out to staff. What can you expect? drive bands perish, I was privileged to use the machine and lucky that the drive band held out so long.

This is the first stage towards a pot, I’ll be doing some rust dyeing next before I nuno felt it.

Artist in residence July 24th, 2018

I’m off to start my artist in residence at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills today. I’m having to spread it over two weeks as I can’t afford a block away from the day job (Adelaide Walker). I have plans for the day, I wonder if it’ll actually work out that way? wish me luck!