Whitework book

I’ve really been enjoying the whitework I’ve been creating and it’s all thanks to being a member of Metaphor Textile Group. Whilst teaching a felt making session I started this book cover as an example. People often get stuck for ideas or fazed by being asked to design and so this was partly to show how to make the cover and partly to show how focussing on one thing can be liberating and yet work very well as a design.

Working on a white base I added circles (always my go to shape for simplification) of fabric in different shades of white. There is cotton scrim, silk and crystal organza.

After felting I’ve continued with the circlular theme by stitching mainly spirals into the felt. They overlap and again are in shades of white and cream with a metallic silver thread added in for a little extra interest. The photos don’t show the fabrics very well but if you look to the left in the photo below you’ll see the scrim in white and cream.

Adding fabric to your felt adds texture (yum) and adding stitch adds even more texture. In this case more is definitely more with the stitching and feels pleasingly textured to the hand.

This is just one of my items which will be on sale at Trawden Artist and Makers exhibition and open studio event on 21/22 October.

Felt covered vase 2

It’s only a couple of weeks since I showed you a felt covered vase which I was stitching into. I wasn’t feeling it, the white stitch just seemed too stark and it needed more.

I’ve added some french knots in an off white silk thread, courtesy of Rosie (thanks Rosie) and some crystal beads and am really liking it now.

This is just one of my pieces that will be for sale at Trawden Artist and Makers art trail and open studio on Saturday and Sunday 21st / 22nd October.

Midsummer Night’s Dream – Skirt

I started this skirt…oh so long ago! I finished some months ago as it was a piece I created for my Midsummer Night’s Dream work with Metaphor Textile Group. The problem I was having was in photographing it.

Not great is it. The skirt is long so I had to extend the top of the mannequin up which meant it kept toppling over in the breeze. Not that I got outside to photograph it very often as it was usually too wet, grey, windy or all three. I asked my daughter Charlotte if she would do a photo shoot over the summer, she agreed and even convinced a friend to be the model.

The shoot couldn’t begin until they were both home at the same time and the day dawned brightish but grey. Our model, and Charlotte’s friend, Rio Hindle is a lovely girl, very happy to sit, stand, pose as directed and not minding damp, dirty feet. Best of all, I couldn’t believe my luck, the skirt fitted perfectly as though it had been made for her with not even one tiny adjustment required.

The skirt is Merino wool which was hand carded in shades of greens and plum, dyed tussah silk noil added and the inside lined with green mulberry silk which is what you can see on the waistband and ‘bustle’.

The hemline is covered with Teeswater curls which I hand dyed and then I hand beaded with a green glass bead which matched the mulberry silk embellishment.

Rio’s top is fashioned from one of my scarves, another item which fitted remarkably well.

I thought I should also share with you a few of the ‘poses’ the photographer, Charlie Battersby, adopted 🙂

I’m not sure pale blue denims were the most suitable attire for the shoot but I’m sure you’ll agree she did a brilliant job. Was I there? yes, of course, I was responsible for aiding the model climb onto and off various structures, tweaking the outfit, carrying the shoes and getting in the way. Here’s me photo bombing.

My grateful thanks to our model Rio Hindle and my talented photographer duaghter Charlie Battersby. I hope you’ll see some pictures of the shoot on her site soon.


Textured white pot 2

You may remember this pot from a few weeks ago. I was very pleased with how it turned out and pondered on it for a while but I always knew I would stitch into it.

Round the rim is a mixture of pearl and crystal beads plus french knots in a range of white and cream shades.

Around the centre is a line of stem stitches with short lebgths dripping down from it. Above that is a mixture of beads and french knots as per the rim.

I’m absolutely delighted with the finished pot, I’m giddy with delight and I’m over the moon. Do you get that I like it? It was created with the intention of it being part of an exhibition with Metaphor Tetxile Group but I’m wondering whether to put it on sale at Trawden Artists and Makers event in October. On the other hand perhaps I really want to keep it, what to do?

Woodland pots 3

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

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

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

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

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

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.

IMG_9830 - Copy (2)

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.