a life of fibre

Archive for the ‘Metaphor’ Category

Woodland pots 3

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

You may remember these pots from an earlier post or two. This is part of the work I’ve created for the misummer night’s dream theme we were working to at Metaphor.

I was extremely pleased with them at the time but I did wonder whether or not to stitch into them. It seemed an impossible decision with opinion divided on the question. in the end I did the only sensible thing and walked away returning some time later to decide that actually I’d give it a go.

Once I’d started I couldn’t stop!

Do you love it? I do, it makes me so happy and my heart sing.

Just looking at them again now makes me want to do more.

I was worried about boring you so I haven’t even added all the 17 photos here but they are all in an album on my facebook page for those who’d care to take a look. Oh, go on then, just one more 🙂


Woodland pots

Monday, September 5th, 2016

I think you’ve already seen the small one of these pots, both have been made as part of my Midsummer Night’s Dream work for Metaphor. It’s fairly obvious that bark and lichens are my inspiration.


The pots are a mix of different wools including Bergschaf, Merino, Swaledale and Norwegian.


There are Teeswater curls, synthetic and natural fabric inclusions plus mulberry bark, muberry silk, dyed silk cocoons and flax fibres.



They’re very well felted and quite stiff. I’m still debating whether to add some stitch, what do you think, would it improve it? Or beads perhaps? Both?

Tree bark

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

I’m still working (occasionally, as there’s not been much time) on my Midsummer Night’s Dream theme for my work with Metaphor. Fortunately there’s currently no end time so I’m able to work through without rushing.

For me, Midsummer Night’s Dream is all about the forest and the colours and textures. I will show you my sketchbook at some point but for now here’s one image


I’m working on some pots and considered incorporating tree bark texture.


Shades of red didn’t do it for me and I wanted the bark to be rougher and more broken up.


The brown is better. If anything, it’s improved by the photo.


I really love the curly edges but I’m not sure I want this all over the pot so will focus on colour and lichens in my next post.

Farfield is top of textile tree

Friday, April 10th, 2015

This is the title used by the Westmoreland Gazette in relation to Farfield Mill at Sedbergh.

“FARFIELD Mill is recognised as the leading venue for textile arts in the north west.

Housed in a wonderfully restored Victorian woollen mill nestling between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, in the shadow of the glorious Howgill fells, last year, the vibrant arts and heritage centre staged several must-see exhibitions – and this year’s programme is shaping up to be equally as good.”

You can read the full article here.

As part of Metaphor textile group I’m currentlty exhibiting at the mill and was chuffed to see that one of my pieces had made it into the article. Below are a few more images to tantalise you.




Our exhibition is on now until 3rd May. Farfield Mill is a lovely place to visit, in a great setting and has a cafe. get yourselves out for a day.

P.S. read the website before you go, you can reduce your admission cost with the use of a password!


Tree of life 7

Friday, March 27th, 2015

It’s a little while since I showed you any of my trees, I have been doing more work but just not finding the time to blog about it. I came across this image on the internet and found it so inspiring.


The electric blue against the dark background is very striking so I set out to make my own version in felt. Pity I didn’t have any blue silk so I went into the kitchen and dyed some up for the occasion.


Some areas of the silk had purple on so these were separated out. With the blue silk I made a book cover which I’ve lost the photos of but will show you next week once I’ve had chance to take more. The blue/purple I decided to use to make a small tree picture. After laying out a background of brown BFL I used the blue areas of silk for the trunk of the tree and the purple areas for the branches. Love, love, love the way it tuned out.


You can see here that I’ve them emphasised the colours and added some texture through the addition of stitch. Simple stem stitch for the trunk and single daisy stitch for the branches. Loving it but it’d look even better with a few beads don’t you think?


Ta-dah! A few beads set it off wonderfully and it looks splendid in a white box frame from Ikea. You can see all my trees and the wonderful and varied work of Metaphor Textile Group at Farfield Mill from now until 2nd May. I’m going to pop in this Sunday so will show you more next week.

Tree of life 5

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Do you remember this from earlier in the series?


At the last Metaphor meeting I played with applying a little fine sparkly thread to the outlines of the branches and it encouraged me to do more so I cut a circle surrounding the tree. One of my original sketches had the tree within a circle and I really liked the containment.


Much improved don’t you think? You can perhaps see that I’ve been busy beading it too although you can’t see the sparkly thread at all in these photos, just too fine I guess.

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Generally I prefer round sead beads but as I was trying to use only what I already had, I settled on the short silver bugle beads and I’m delighted I did. This tree now has a cold almost ethereal quality about it. Ghost tree perhaps.


I’ve been busy beading another tree too and I’ll show you that next time if I ever manage a photo that does it justice.

Tree of life 4

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Using much the same technique as before I began with a piece of BFL pre-felt and a paper sketch of a tree.


Cutting out a patteren from the pre-felt with nothing to guide me is too difficult so pinning the paper to the felt allowed me to cut through on one side of each cutout piece. The actual cutout was completed once I’d removed the paper. I really hope that makes sense to you!


Instead of laying fibre behind I used a second piece of BFL pre-felt onto which I had nuno felted some lace. I didn’t attach them through needle felting just laid the two pieces together and rubbed carefully so that they wouldn’t be disturbed.


Technically this has worked but I’m not at all sure that I like it.However, when I went to the last Metaphor meeting Rosie took a liking to it as a background and has taken it away to work on it. Once she’s worked her magic we’ll put this into the exhibition as a joint piece. I can’t wait to see what she does.

Tree of life 3

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Do you remember this page from my sketch book?


Using the bottom image as my inspiration I created a piece from BFL felt leftover from a previous project.



Fine blanket stitch along the edges of the cutouts and lines added in the centre to accentuate the curves. Do you like it? I do.

Tree workshop 2

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Working from the same simple sketch and another piece of pre-felt, I began by cutting out the curving lines of the tree.


Each curve was then outlined in purple and a mix of red fibre laid behind and needle felted all over. Small circles of yellow pre-felt were added in the crook of each bend and attached with a quick stitch in red wool.The sections of red wool that I cut from my previous piece were twisted and laid onto the trunk for additional texture.


As before, I felt the tree went too much into the background. To combat this I added some stem stitch across the twisted bits of red on the trunk and then purple stem stitch along each of the curving lines of the tree.


On each of the yellow circles I added a little trio of red french knots.


Another great set of colours.

Tree workshop

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Last Autumn I attended a workshop at York Feltmakers run by Jackie Lunn  we were experimenting with pre-felt techniques. I decided to use it as an opportunity to create more tree pieces and made a quick sketch to get me going.


As requested, I’d made some pre-felt in advance from leftover scraps pf Merino. A little yellow laid out and needled in gave me some cutting lines.


Small circles cut out at the top of the tree and a few areas on the trunk too.


The technique was then to lay fibres out acrosss the back of the pre-felt and secure with needle felting all over. Behind each hole I put a circle of blue/green fibre in various shades. Some of them courtesy of Jackie who’d brought her bit box along for us to rummage through.


The mix of red/oranges with blue/greens is one of my favourites. Needle felting across the piece from back to front pushes little spots of the background colour forward. I felt that the background was then a little busy and the tree was less visible.


A little work with thread brought the tree forward again. I’ve done a running stitch along each yellow line of the tree, I did try stem stitch but it felt too heavy. In each blue circle I’ve put french knots in various shades of blue.


It’s turned out well. There’s a second workshop tree in progress which I will show you soon.