Last but not least

As some of you may know I’ve been working with Water St School in Skipton. Here for your delight is the work of year 6 students with a theme of water, using needle felting and applique skills.

I think the three hangings look absolutely brilliant. Although some may not have been too familiar with sewing needles and applique there’s been some really good stuff produced. Everyone had a ball with needle felting including the teachers! After all which of us doesn’t know how to jab things? That and a little creativity is all it takes.

It’s a shame I can’t show each piece individually but there are more than 60! The background was painted by the students before we began work. If you haven’t seen the work of the other years take a look now. reception, year one, year two, year three, year four and year five

Cats, cats and more cats!

Well Jaguars are cats and there are thirty two of them in these three hangings. Using applique techniques I worked with Year 4 at Water Street School to create jungle themed pictures of Jaguars – inspired by Henri Rousseau.

They look quite good all together don’t they? Many of the children (aged 8-9) had not sewn before and were unfamiliar with threading needles and tying knots – good job I had plenty of help with that.

If you haven’t seen the work of the other years then you can take a look now. reception, year one, year two, year three and year five


Last week it was the turn of Year 5 to make a textile hanging based on their theme of astronomy. However, as there are 33 children in the class that presents some logistical problems, so I thought it best to produce a tryptych. We spent the first session designing and making individual planets, stars and even a black hole. Each child also made a small felt rope.

In the second session we split into three teams and within each of these we then had three more teams. This allowed me to keep changing who was working on the large hanging and each child had a go at every stage of the process. We laid out white fibres followed by mid blue, navy and black to form our night sky background, after which we added some throwsters silk waste fibres for a little sparkle.

Whilst some were working on the background, the other children were cutting out their planets ready to be added and they also cut some triangles for extra decoration down the side of the hangings. With a little time to spare they made small 3D planets which I later stitched on. We added the ropes to the tops of the felt as this will be the mechanism by which the felt is hung. All I need to do is cut a length of dowelling and tie the ropes on.

Once eveything was laid on we all gathered round for the big rub to set the patterns in place. To finish the felt we used the teams again and rolled both with our arms and with our feet (not at the same time you understand, the children aren’t that bendy!). These are traditional methods of feltmaking and I’m proud of how the hangings have turned out. Sorry I can’t show you a full shot of all three but it’s raining (again) outside and even on a step ladder I can’t fit them all into shot.

If you haven’t seen the work of the other years then you can take a look now. reception, year one, year two, year three

Crazy patchwork

More work from Water Street School. Year three were working on a theme of light and dark and I took along some examples of crazy patchwork which was very popular during victorian times. The idea is that you can take patches of varying sizes and shapes and overlap them. Each patch may also be decorated with motifs, embroidery or buttons and each seam is also decorated with embroidery or lace etc. The more you put on the better it looks.

I began by asking each child to draw a triangle and then to work within the confines of that shape. As the theme was light and dark, I had some children working in light colours on a white background and the remainder working in dark and bright colours on a dark background.

I wasn’t sure what exactly I would do with the triangles when completed but thought working on this shape would allow me quite a few options when I came to make the hanging.

I decided the school probably had enough rectangular hangings by now and that three smaller ones would mean they’d have more places where they could be displayed. I understand these will be in the cloakroom area where the children will see them each day.

Bearing in mind that some of these children will only ever have used a needle and thread in school before and are aged 7/8 I think they did incredibly well. A few completed their triangles and even managed to move onto decorating with threads, ribbons and ric rac trim.

If you haven’t seen the work of the other years then you can take a look now. reception, year one, year two

Rag rugged pictures

You’ve already seen what reception and year one children achieved in their textile sessions, today it’s the turn of year two. Just before they went on a visit to the Bradford Industrial Museum, where they’d see quite a number of rag rugs, they had a go at the technique for themselves.

The first afternoon we spent time practising the technique but it was abvious that in the time we had, it wouldn’t be possible to finish the hangings that way. The solution? We collaged the rest of the fabric on and it gives a lovely contrast in texture and depth.

The children worked really hard on the hangings. All the buildings and weather symbols were taken directly from class work based on their theme of homes and weather. What a cracking job they’ve done.

Woven towers

This is another one of the pieces I’ve been working on with Water Street school in Skipton. The theme is castles and due to restrictions on where this piece will hang it’s turned out more to be towers. The pieces were woven on cards and cords made to represent mortar between the blocks. I especially like the leaves and flowers they drew to climb up the walls.

Each child chose to work in either hot or cold colours. I just need to add a few twigs to represent arrow slits and the job will be done. This hanging was created by children in year one – just 5 and 6 years old.

They may only be little

They may only be little but they’re big on talent. I’m working with Water Street Primary School in Skipton for a few weeks. Each week I work with a different class to produce a wall hanging with a  theme and a few techniques.

This first hanging has been made by children in reception class using weaving skills and the children in this class are only 4 and 5 years old. Not easy to concentrate for long periods at a time when you’re so young but they did a really great job. And the theme – seasons. We’ve used all kinds of fabrics plus paper, packaging and plastic bags etc. Everything has been donated so the cost for materials is nil.

Most of the weaving was done on cards, then we covered some cardboard shapes and the sticks at the bottom are first attempts at God’s Eye weaving. For the helpers it was fast,furious, chaotic and so much fun! I’ll try and show you photos from each class as we go along and then a grand finale at the end.