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 24, 2010


It was a great day yesterday, a really happy birthday. Lots of gifts, lots of cards and lots, (too much!!) of home made cake! Thanks mum!! My stomach hasn't recovered yet, how long will that take?? I didn't do any work at all, these things were done friday and saturday. I didn't even get home until nearly midnight, visiting relations, one of whom is about to have a baby any day but not to be unprepared I took lots of towels to boil just in case! This afternoon I am going out to spend my birthday money, yes I got birthday money so that means I must have been good this year!
Now I am itching to get my hands on fabric, I miss it when I am away too long and to me a day is way too long. I have started to paint another piece of cotton, half done at the moment. I have an idea for another one and I have finished the first one I showed you the other day. I am going to cut these up to use in my work although my daughter has claimed ownership of one piece and is demanding I turn it into a purse! We shall see. I am also half thinking I could maybe sell this fabric, 12 x 12 inch pieces, what do you think? Now that my work is my only source of income I am thinking of stuff like that all the time. It seems my book bubble may have burst, three of them remain unwanted so the thinking cap has to go on again.

This piece of crazy patchwork is taking shape too. I am going to applique some of my hand painted fabric onto this, onto the lace areas and then it should be complete. I am really happy with how the embroidered beads look along the edge at the top. They are really tiny but so worth the effort. I think they make a real difference and add that little something extra.

Well I must go, there is money to spend and lots of cake left over that looks lonely on its own! Then it will be back to embroidery and fabric painting and brain storming with a little bit of ironing thrown in!!


whitney-anne said...

Happy belated birthday Karen!
PURSES!!! You must do more purses!!

JP said...

love the crazy patchwork

Heather said...

So sorry I missed your big day! Happy belated birthday! It sounds like it was a perfect day, too.
I can't wait to see what you buy with your birthday cash.
Maybe a trip to Cloth House in London is in order? (I lurve that place!!) Hugs-

Rachel said...

I've been discovering lately how much difference the tiniest things can make to a piece - it makes finishing a bit fiddly (how do I know when it's done?) but worth it for the extra life in the piece.

Miss 376 said...

The beads are beautiful, this is a delightful piece and wonderful painted fabric

connie said...

Happy Late Birthday Karen. However sounds like it will be continuing a bit today. Have a great one. I am loving what you have been doing. Keep it up!!!

Elizabeth said...

Glad to hear that your mum made a delicious cake for you. Sad to hear that the bookbubble already exploded.

Kaye Turner said...

Such a pretty piece. Glad you had a good day :-)

Ingrid said...

stunning patchwork and those beads are gorgeous,must be so small......
will love to se what you make outof that beautiful painted fabric:-)

Gina said...

Love seeing these new directions. The painting and the gingham... all fabulous!
Happy Birthday too!

Abi said...

Re: Book Bubble

perhaps a different approach? what if you try seeing if there is increased reaction to selling your embroidery/patchwork books where you have filled in pages.. like in your example book? i myself would be more attracted to that.. (the thought of messing up a nice book like that would scare me)

because your example embellished book was lovely and the little bits you added - from your hoard and such.
it would be like buying a complete piece of artwork from you

just a thought anyway..