Friday, 20 December 2013

Pairing Off

I've put together the patchwork blocks into pairs, the next stage is to join the pairs into strips of ten blocks……..

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Nearly Finished!

I put my glasses down for a moment, look where they landed!

Friday, 6 December 2013


I finally completed the last block of the crazy patchwork quilt that I started many moons ago, one hundred in all - phew! Next stage - piecing them together ha ha!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Show & Tell

Ooops! It's nearly one month since I've written a blog post!I've been busy with things that have taken me away from my studio, but that's OK, life is enriched by all manner of events. My other half had a fabulous show last month, the private view was so busy and as always I never got to speak properly to anyone as there were so many lovely people to say hello to. His work always amazes me, he is so modest about what he does, I'm so proud of him!If you didn't get to see the show fear not, he produced a newspaper that is like a substitute for not being there called 'There Is Only Time', full of photos and words, you can get it through his website or his Etsy shop. I cannot choose one picture out of the many as my favourite, but here's one I like....

The Other Half's new book came out at the same time, the first part of a trilogy called 'The Invisible Kingdom'. I really enjoyed reading it and looking at the detailed illustrations. I'm  looking forward to the second part so much, I need to know what happens to our young man......

I went along to the gallery on the day that he was signing copies of his new book. It was very busy as you can see, the queue snaked its way around the gallery. I just popped in to say hello, I took this photo from outside, it was such a wet miserable day, but it was happy and positive inside....

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Crazy Times

Continuing on from the crazy patchwork that I've been creating of late is this piece.....embroidered in feather and fly stitches.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Rick - Rack - Is - Back

This giant rick-rack arrived in the post, pretty exciting stuff for me! I can't wait to use it.

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Thursday, 17 October 2013

Afro Supa Hero

There weren't many positive images of people of colour for me to look up to as a young black girl growing up in Birmingham during the 1960's and 1970's. So I totally understand where Jon Daniels Is coming from in his personal exhibition 'Afro Supa Hero' now showing at Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood until February 2014. A journey from childhood to adulthood.

I felt like a 10 year old me as I walked around - Ah man! Remember the Harlem Globetrotters they were so cool! The Jackdon 5? - wow!, their moves and outfits were so bostin (brum speak for fantastic). Uhuru! I wanted to be her! Imagine! a beautiful black woman, playing a main character in a TV programme.....

The exhibition has so many main players in the black real world and in the fictional world represented in action figures/ comics/games/ posters. From the political world we see Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther king and Malcolm X, from Hollywood Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Storm (X-men), from television Mr T, Huggy Bear and Dobey from Starsky & Hutch, the fabulous Lieutenant Uhuru to name but a few.

Music and art are represented too with figures of Music producer Lee Scratch and artist John Basquiat also this poster of P-Funk .....

As I was feeling like a child, I couldn't resist poking my head through the Supa Hero figure stand. A fellow museum goer kindly took my photo ( he actually took about 20 because he held his finger on the button he he!) I need a super hero name how about Supa Sister? Sounds too much like an over enthusiastic nun! Or .....Or with my hair now half grey half black I think I'll call myself salt n pepper or the badger. My super power? Would be to turn wrong doers into soft toy characters - ha ha!

I'll be popping back soon to have another look at the show and check out the other exhibitions, my studio is very near to the museum.....

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Friday, 4 October 2013

Check It Out!

I love wool tweed fabrics and thought it would be quite funny to sew some cats and kittens out of houndstooth fabric!

I bought this oversized houndstooth check in Soho which I think 

works quite well next to the traditional sized pattern that we are used to.

I'm hoping to find a medium sized houndstooth check soon so that I can add a different sized pattern to the the family above.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Summer Review

There's a change in the air, it is cooler now and I've got my winter clothes out from under the bed! As I witness the seasonal changes, I realise that I didn't tell you about some of the things we saw over the summer  so here goes .... 

On one of the many record breaking 'hottest days' we had a family outing to Oxford to see the Stradivarius exhibition at The Ashmolean Museum. Gathered together there were 21 instruments of the master violin maker Antonio Stradivari. For me the most interesting part of the exhibition was seeing the recreation of his workshop, in which his original tools and patterns were displayed. There was also a film that showed the violin making process - it's always a pleasure to see someone crafting an object! One thing that amazed me though was that there was no music played throughout the display! Surely along with these beautifully crafted and adored instruments one should able to hear the sound that can be produced from them? No, it wasn't to be, well not when we were there. I think there were two recitals during the run of the exhibition separate to the show. Maybe there was music on the audio guides that museums are so keen on these days, I'm not a fan of these devices, I prefer to experience a show personally, gathering information by reading curators notes, talking to the staff and coming to my own conclusions. Better still if someone is with me when it's also nice to discuss the exhibition and hear others' reactions.

Oh! If only I could have heard you playing!
In June we went to Kingston University's Graphic Design Degree show, there is never a shortage of original and interesting ways of communicating to behold at this event, take for instance this fabulous eye catching suit by Tom Biddulph...

On the textiles scene it was very exciting to go to 'Prick Your Finger' to see  'Chicken Strikken' an exhibition by activist knitter Lisa Anne Auerbach. Read about it here......

Rachael, owner of Prick Your Finger and supremo knitter!

We also immersed ourselves in Punch Drunk's and The National Theatre's production of The Drowned Man  housed in a gigantic old abandoned sorting office in Paddington.. For me this was a totally new experience. I had only ever been to traditional plays and performances so was a little bit nervous about being in an audience where - 'you will be masked for the duration of the performance, need to wear comfortable footwear, will be separated from your group, and where there will be areas of darkness and confined space', and all for three hours! All I can say is that it was a fascinating experience made even more surreal by wearing a mask and by being told not to say a word to anyone. I really enjoyed watching the performers move and dance, it was quite beautiful at times. It was like being inside a television moving around the characters, walking around the were in your own dream, culminating in the final stage where you and the other 200 or so members of 'the audience' gather together to see the final throes of the actors. I would love to go back, because when you finally get to speak about what happened with your friends you realise that everyones experience was different and that there were whole scenes and rooms that you did not see..... 

What! I didn't see you lady, where was that?

At the movies we saw Elysium (a little bit silly!), Alpha Papa (a giggle), Museum Notes ( a moving study of two people in an unusual situation)and The Great Gatsby (fantastic costumes).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Kitten Call

Every now and then I get to find out where my little creations end up. Thank you Lucy G for sending me this photo of her new acquisition 'Pea Beep' bought from Elphicks last month.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Crazy Raving

My pile of crazy patchwork blocks is steadily growing, 45 so far......I'm aiming to make 100! The second photo shows the reverse of a block, I quite like the pattern that the stitching makes as I pootle along, crazy on the back as well as the front! 

Friday, 6 September 2013

4 Squared

Here's a selection of crazy patchwork squares that I have been working on this week.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

All Present and Correct!

All stuffed and rearing to go!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Fun Bear Three

Three more bears in the world, just waiting to be stuffed.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Crazy For You

I'm so looking forward to getting back to the studio and working on new projects. This summer I've been busy doing family stuff -visits, holidays and some decorating too, also helping out The Other Half with his work. All the while I've been thinking about my sewing and picking up old jeans from charity shops and car boot sales, notably Brookland car boot sale, Romney Marsh in Kent. Now I have that end of the school holidays feeling, but without the dread of going back to school ( hooray our kids have grown up and I no longer teach!) instead I am very excited about what the next few months will bring. The first thing I'm going to work on is crazy patchwork, I made a few samples when I had the chance to sneak into the studio, one in the photo above. I'll keep you posted!

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Friday, 2 August 2013!

Here it is at last, my very own website! You'll be able to access the blog, Etsy shop and see my gallery of work which I'll be updating on a regular basis. I hope you like it!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Denim Logcabin Patchwork

As you know I like making patchwork. One of my favourite designs is the logcabin design which has been used for hundreds of years in different formats, apparently log cabin patterns are to be found on the tiled floors of some ancient Egyptian buildings. 

I build up the patchwork by working square 'blocks' that are joined together. Above the strips of light and dark denim are randomly placed. Not happy with the design, I made alternate light and dark blocks below.

This arrangement didn't make me happy either!

So I next divided each block into light and dark.

This was better, but wasn't symmetrical enough to my eye, so I worked out where I'd gone wrong and finally found the right block formation to create the design below.....

I used a flat fell seam on my overlocker to sew the strips together, once a seam is stitched you gently pull the fabric strips apart and magically the seam flattens out on both sides of the fabric. This is very exciting for me, because it means that I do not have to back this type of work, great news for anyone who has slept under one of my very heavyweight quilts! 

Right side of patchwork.
Reverse side of patchwork.