For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .

''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007

Monday, May 23, 2016


The silk piece, the petal piece is almost completely embroidered....just one or two petals left to embellish. Having said that, I may add something else to that surface, I'm thinking......
The gingham piece has more work needed too, lots more work. Thing is, I have wondered for some time whether these two pieces would live together happily so I tried it this morning. I think they do. What do you think? 
I can't stay long today, there's cake to eat. Happy Birthday to me!
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Sunday, May 22, 2016

buttons and bling

As you know I am about to get new cabinets in which to keep all things've been sorting out which mainly consists of moving one pile of stuff to another space and replacing it with another pile of stuff. Whilst shuffling piles of stuff I came across a couple of things which came back from France with me, a blingy pillow and two sets of buttons. They are now in the shop.
I've been embroidering lace cloth quietly for a few days now, for a class related project. Meantime, whilst my mind is wandering to all things sample and portfolio related whilst I stitch  it also wandered back a few years to a past project. I don't want to say too much about that today in case I create a huge mess which I can't share but this afternoon I plan to doodle with that project in mind, alter it, move it on and hopefully it will be the start of something ''quite'' that I mean, same stitches, same cloth (one trick pony here) but different patterning....hopefully....
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Saturday, May 21, 2016


Another piece has been created for my ''sample portfolio'' plan. Here I have taken photographs of the ''whites'' for this collection along with the new piece finished yesterday. More paper based work is needed and I intend to remount everything I have put together up until now....I'm not happy with the mounts. My paper has arrived for that but now I'm waiting for silk ribbon. meantime I will create more pieces. Sampling samples is what I have decided to call this process. Create embroidered samples, mount them, decide you aren't happy and do them again.... - See more at:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Embroidery, lace, Marimekko and thread

It's been a busy week...I resisted temptation in Paperchase. I would say that was my biggest achievement. New cabinets have been bought, white of course....they go on the wall next week. An expert will be doing it so they don't immediately collapse which is what would happen if we did it. I sorted out a cupboard, (second image) and if you can spot anything alcohol related in that image it has nothing to do with me. The red box, I bought that from a Graduate at a Degree show several years ago. It was part of her final collection of gift wrapping paraphernalia. The ceramic bowls in that image are extra special, hold  a lot of affection and good memories for me. I exhibited in London alongside the guy who made those several years ago. When I got home a parcel was waiting for me, those bowls, a gift from him. Since then he has become a superstar and was artist in residence at the V&A earlier this claim to fame...he gifted me some of his work.
The cupboard with the untidy books...I still need to sort that out. I'm hoping to get a lot of things ''sorted out'' over the next couple of weeks. Famous last words I know but at least I have done one cabinet, that's further than I have ever gotten before. Finally, the last post man making me and pencils. Thank you. Marimekko pencils???? Who knew....
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Friday, May 13, 2016

stripes, silk, samples,

The latest ''in progress'' sample for my planned mini sample portfolios. This one has striped silk in shades of grey and off whites which I bought in London earlier this year. So far one seam is embellished with French knots and web stitches run the length of a strip of striped silk. When I laid this piece alongside the piece from yesterday it struck me how well they live together, it started me thinking about a bigger piece using this combination of cloth. I am resisting though, trying not to get distracted.
The main reason for my resistance is a plan I have to develop something which I have been working on for class, for ''stitching a  story....'' My girls don't even know yet but hopefully when it develops I can share a tiny glimpse of it on here for you. The girls get to hear about it on Sunday.....
(stitching a story girls......I may be able to post late Saturday afternoon. I will let you know :))

Simply Stitch 4 was re-listed as a work on your own class yesterday after a couple of requests.. You will find that here.
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

white and gimp......for a sample portfolio

Another sample, white, gimp, pleated net...the next step in my sample portfolio play. This one has couched gimp overlaid across pleated net,  a seam of French knots and four tiny cutwork circles worked on a strip of cotton lace. There was quite a bit of response to my queries, my ''wondering'' from Tuesday, thank you for that. I am leaning towards three double spreads, six embroidered pieces in total and keeping them all the same colour, consistent, for example...shades of white, subtle blues and grey in one collection. Other portfolios will have brighter colours, pinks, lemons, brighter's still very much a ''work in process'' and requires much more ''wondering'' but I am part way there. - See more at:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

bullion knots over piping cord

This piece of work hasn't been touched for almost a week. I rectify that today, adding piping cord and embellishing it with bullion knots.  This piece won't form part of my 'sample portfolio'. It is too big and I really don't want to cut it down. Instead it may be used to form part of a larger cloth as I mention in the video.
There haven't been any decisions made yet about the queries from yesterday.....I'm just leaving my mind empty of that, continuing to create little compositions, hoping the light bulb moment will arrive without any help from me.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sample portfolio, part two

The second ''page'' of my mini portfolio plan has been put together. I now have more questions to ask myself......should each mini portfolio have one colour scheme, should the whites and blues and off whites all be together? Should the pinks, the brighter ones all be together? or should I mix them up? If each mini portfolio was a similar colour, fabric, stitch combination that would make it a ''collection''. It could be a collection of varied colour and fabric but then where's the consistency? Who knew it would be such a minefield of doubt and query? 
Also.....I may have to remount these.....that thing called ''consistency'' again (plus I am not happy with the mounting of the one from yesterday.)
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Sample portfolio


n. pl. port·fo·li·os
collection of works or documents that are representative of a person's skills and accomplishments
The penny finally dropped yesterday to mount and display these little compositions and stitched works. This is the first ''page'' of what I hope will become six pages of embroidered samples, a mini design portfolio. I am thinking of these as an extension of my little artist books. Bigger pieces, more considered pieces, more surface embroidery, more composition, more layers....more.
The pink pieces are next....that will make two pages, four mini design samples. 
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