Thursday, 28 March 2013

Close to home

Back in 1998, we were early for an appointment to view what is now our home. While we waited, we wandered up to the top of the street, just to see what was there.

We found a huge open space, with woods in the distance and views to the South Downs.  From the day we moved in, we took daily walks around the playing fields –before we had a dog, our cat used to join us.  On a clear day we can see to Firle Beacon in the east and the Jack and Jill windmills in the west.  In winter, sparkly cobwebs festoon the thorny hedgerows and maize stubble catches the frost.  In spring, we’ve watched lambs playing and calves being born in the fields, while the woods are full of bluebells.

This embroidery shows the district council’s plans to cover the land with 1000 new houses and industrial units – this same land that has provided a reassuring natural rhythm to the days and years.  If the fields are built on, we’ll lose more than our view: our connections to the land and seasons will be gone – and with them, what makes this part of Uckfield, our little corner of East Sussex, such a special place to live. 

This time last year we fought and won the right to let our dog run off the lead.  Unfortunately, at the same time we fought and lost the right to keep the green fields and our view to the South Downs to the developers who want to build 1000 unwanted new homes.

As part of our Embroiderers' Guild regional challenge, we are making a book about our branch and district, with each member doing a piece about where they live - and this is my contribution.  When I saw the plan the council had drawn up, with that pink zigzaggy line, I just knew I had to stitch it!

Monday, 25 March 2013


We have been moderated and verified, internally and externally, and we are chuffed!

Fabulous job, ladies - well done each and every one of you - and thank you!  My first City & Guilds as a tutor instead of a student, and you've done me proud.

If anyone wants to join us in the autumn to have another bash at it, sign up here!

Monday, 18 March 2013

On a roll

I've got myself organised, I've got a plan and so this morning I finally dug out my box of bits that I started way back in December...

This is as far as I got "before"

Just playing with colours and themes...

But then it stopped, I got stuck.  Until now!  On a quest for more discipline and in a spirit of "just get on with it" I scheduled the whole day today to do just that, get on with it.

So first, I needed some fibonacci spirals...

By lunchtime I'd got this far:

But that's it, folks - I can't show you any more at the moment!  I've photocopied and cut up lots more fibonaccis, but now I need to paint them.  Then the sampling begins.  I'm thinking a combination of collage and felt (my big newly-rediscovered "thing"!)

This is all for the Big Idea, which is still a big idea even though the exhibition it was all for has now been postponed.  Probably for the best, but it leaves me in the dangerous position of not having a deadline. 

Hence the self-imposed discipline!  Gosh it's painful...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Thread sketching

As promised, my little stitching project inspired by Stephanie Redfern.

First, gather ye random pieces of paper and stuff:

Then, scrabble around to find sketchbook - one of the many... - and choose a suitable candidate:

Thirdly, find yet another blank sketchbook and quickly draw the main shapes and lines: 

Then, start to stick down the random bits of paper, following the "plan".  Work quickly, before the Inner Critic wakes up and asks what's going on:

Stitch all over it - by hand and machine - again, working quickly:

Don't forget the leaves and stuff:

Decide it's finished, step back and admire.

Then photograph in poor lighting, late at night...

That's better!

Monday, 11 March 2013

A day's nashing

A day with Alison Nash on Saturday  ("My world of beads and fibres" - what's not to like?!).

And as is usual with this sort of thing, by 4pm we'd got this far: 

Oh well.  Here is a blurry close up of mine:

I've been occupied with other things since then so I haven't finished it....

The "other things" are inspired by Stephanie Redfern's article in the latest edition of Workshop on the Web.  I haven't taken the last photo of my little project yet, so I will post another time.  Suffice to say I am jolly pleased!  Thank you Stephanie!

Oh yes, some of the other things have also included tweaks to the blog - what do you reckon?  Still haven't worked out how to best display text and photos.  Today I'm experimenting with a justified formatting, something I usually may be the answer though...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A grand day out

On Tuesday I was up bright and early to go into Battle....

with five keen machine embroidery students!

Courtesy of Jenny's book and Gina's workshop idea, we made a collection of some rather beautiful bags. 

 They weren't all completely finished by the end of the day, so for the purposes of the photos some of the tassels are "unattached" and need a bit of a haircut...don't look too closely!




(with free machining!  There was a certain amount of bullying and cajoling, but we got there in the end!)

and last but by no means least, 
Anne Marie's:

Thank you for a grand day out, ladies!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Hot off the griddle

and there I was wondering what sort of cake to make this weekend...

Happy St David's Day!