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

Friday, July 20, 2018

12 months of embroidery

I am very excited about this......a full year of embroidery, of stitched papers, of embellished cloth, beads, ribbons, buttons, sequins.
To register go here.
12 month stitch along
A live blog running from September 1 2018 through to September 1 2019.
I speak about my online classes and creative life in a podcast recorded recently with 'stitchery stories'. You can listen to that here.
Online format.... Private password protected blog.
No deadlines. No set tasks. Lifetime access to all resources.
Staged payments accepted. Please contact me for details.
This online learning programme is born from the success and popularity of previous 'fly on the wall' classes.
Join me for 12 months of creativity, a unique fly on the wall experience. Observe my process, my day to day, my working practice over a full year. Who knows what will crop up, what will inspire and develop over this programme. We begin with a blank page of time and fill that page, that time developing embroidered works on paper and fabric.
There may be artist books, there may be delicately embroidered laces along with decorative silk surfaces.
There will definitely be buttons, ribbons, sequins, beads and all manner of added titivation.
Posting once every fortnight I will demonstraste my working processes, discuss my ideas and inspirations and develop various piece of work which result from explorations demonstrated in class.
Group interaction will be facilitated within the forum of a private Flickr group where it will be possible to upload images and receive feedback and encouragement from the wider group along with input from me. There will also be the opportunity for wider discussion within the ''discussion'' area of that group. Interaction in this manner is however voluntary. There is no pressure on you to participate within this forum. If you prefer to work quietly, on your own that is encouraged too. My wish is for you to use this learning experience in the manner best suited to you, to learn in a way which makes you happy and furthers your individual creativity.
Please note, certain tasks within this programme require the use of a sewing machine.
Access.... Unlimited. Forever.
Materials required.... List sent upon registration.
***No prerequisites, suitable for beginners and the more experienced.***

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Create and online class

to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention

My next online learning class....froth, white, layers, lace.......
Create and embellish.....twelve weeks centred upon the creation of delicate. fragile surfaces which will then be enhanced with hand stitch. Designed and produced using lace, delicate papers and finely woven cloth these surfaces will be enhanced with hand embroidery and used to produce soft panels of embellished cloth, pages for ledgers/artist books and hand embroidered buttons.
Techniques used during this programme will include basic machine stitch, simple free machine embroidery and hand embroidery.
It is hoped that at the end of our twelve weeks of study and sampling you will have the skills to create your own unique surfaces for hand stitch along with a small collection of delicate cloth pieces. In addition you should also have a small collection of complimentary hand embroidered buttons for use as adornments or fastenings.
As you have unlimited access to all resources provided during this course there is no need to 'keep up''. There are no 'set tasks' for those participating. Follow along at your own pace or merely observe and use techniques demonstrated in future work. There is no obligation on you to produce anything. You are not required to copy me or even work on pieces similar to those I am working on. Just pull up a chair, relax, observe, take from this class what you wish. My only hope is that you have fun.
You can read more and register here

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

a pink fringe

I'm rapidly falling in love with this. It was supposed to be the top of a pin pillow which was started in my London workshop but I'm getting carried away. Who knows, it may still become a pin pillow but for now I'm enjoying encrusting it with off cuts of beaded silk before adding my own hand stitch and sequins.
I actually think it will be easier to care for long term if it does become a pin pillow. It will have substance and weight and won't get creased if it is placed on a shelf or a table. As a bag or a pocket there is so much more potential for creasing with use. Pin pillow it is then, I've talked myself into it.
I'm going to leave it for a couple of days now. I'm busy creating overlays for artist book class and also putting finishing touches to pages over there. Pages excite me.....they are also very easy to fall in love with.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

adding sequins to a seam

As you are seeing so much of these pieces for 'London 2018' I figured I should speak a little about the process without giving too much away. There's a short video where I attach a couple of sequins and chat a little about the process involved in creating these fabric 'folders' for the upcoming workshop.
In other news.....I have been teaching myself a couple of new stitches (new to me but much used by others) for my stitch ledger which I will be working on in ''embroidery School 2018''. You can read more about that here...we start next Monday.
If you have already signed up for that I will be mailing you later today.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Embroidery School 2018

January 15 start.
2018 will be the year of my ''stitch ledger'', the development of a resource centred on the hand embroidery stitch.
A stitch
''a loop of thread or yarn resulting from a single pass or movement of the needle in sewing''
Be a fly on my wall whilst I develop my stitch ledger along with other works resulting from spontaneous inspiration. Observe my creative process, learn from my successes and my mistakes as I sample, as I construct embroidered surfaces from patches of cloth, snippets of hankies and decorative trims along with other found cloth both new and vintage. Witness the development of paper based works for use in design sheets and ledgers, in sketchbooks. Create what I create or embroider your own pieces whilst observing and learning from my creativity.
This online creative experience will take the form of a very relaxed and gentle gathering of cloth and embroidery, those who have an affinity with handling cloth, working with cloth. I will discuss my plans, my inspiration, the preparation and creation of embroidered cloth. I will demonstrate technique and process throughout. I can guarantee that there will be embroidery, embellishment and the manipulation of cloth. I will share my thoughts along with the more tangible sources which drive me.

In other's snowing. I'm chittered. I am turning blue.....
Hankie class girls....stand (or sit) by your computers. I have a video for you.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

cloth books not pockets

There's been a change of plan. My intention was to create pockets for the ''workshop kits'' for London 2018. I've changed my mind. I am now going to make cloth books with internal pockets to hold the supplies, the hexagons, the little snippets of things, the stitched papers and other stuff I haven't even thought of yet. 
More embroidery will be added to this, it isn't finished yet. There will be web stitches for sure and the embroidery will continue inside too. I can't get too carried away though as I need to make several of these....I best crack on. You won't see these again until after the event as I would like there to be some element of surprise on the day for those who are coming to play. There are only two places can read more here if you are tempted. We will have to be on our best behaviour as someone is coming all the way from the 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

hankies, sequins and French knots

Progress from hankie class. One of these embroidered panels is for a needle case, the other for a layered and embellished bag. There's a lot of French knots here, a little bit of cross stitch and quite a few sequins. 
If all goes to plan our needle cases will be finished later this week, the bag will continue for the remainder of class., more embroidered panels and layers of fabric edged with lace. That's the plan anyway.
Also this week I hope to make progress with my workshop kits for London 2018, a two day embroidery class. I spoke a little about those kits here. There are a lot of hexagons to stitch for that, a lot of ''grandmothers flower garden'' motifs to put together not to mention the embellished pockets I hope to make which will hold the workshop materials. That's a lot of stitching and not a lot of time to do it in. It will be here before you know it.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

sequins for an embroidered seam

This morning was all about playing, no pressure, adorning, going back to things which have languished for a while, adding a few pretty titivation's, surrounding myself with all things embroidery and basically relaxing and stitching. You should try it, I recommend it.
This piece was started in the Summer and taken on holiday with me. I haven't touched it since I got back, there have been new distractions, life, classes, domesticity but whilst I was adding sequins to this seam earlier I pretended I was back on my balcony in Spain. The sun has been shining here today so it kind of worked.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


I have started playing with ideas for my workshop packs for the two day London workshop next February. To be precise....I am thinking about the actual ''workshop pack'', the pocket which will hold things to be used in the workshop. So far I have secured gimp with bullion loops on a piece of vintage white which may or may not become the pocket. More surface embroidery will be added to that piece over time so the pocket itself will become a keepsake after the ''event''.
I have made a decision on which printed cloth will be used for hexagons and patchwork and general titivation and I am thinking about how to present those within the pocket. Do I add more pockets on the inside or do I pin the hexagons, ribbons and bindings to strips of vintage trim which can then be used in the workshop too.....decisions decisions. I will of course need inside pockets regardless for paper pieces, applique templates, waste canvas and lots of other little things, surprises....
It's early days I know but there are quite a few of these to put together, a lot of stitching and thinking still to do.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Layering cloth and handkerchiefs

Monday here was spent making videos for ''hankie class''. I was surrounded by hankies, edges of cloth,  seams embroidered with beads and sequins, layers of lace and vintage trims using previously stitched pieces for reference, inspiration and demonstration. Everything you see here with the exception of the blue edged needle case in the second image will become a bag, a bag created with hankies, lace and vintage trims. These pieces were embroidered before class, with class in mind....a head start for me. I realised yesterday how good a plan that was as these served as a perfect illustration of what I hope to achieve aesthetically with the bag we are making together in class, at least I hope class thinks so when they watch the videos tomorrow.
A reminder....the artist book class last for a whole year, twelve months. There is plenty of time to view what has happened up to now and participate fully both now and going forward. (I was asked to clarify this yesterday) Access to everything which has been posted up to this point is included regardless of when you sign up and most importantly access is forever, no cut off date. I hope that helps. You can read more here.