Rosie little handbag

Still setting fair the workroom. “Setting fair” – used to love the end of the day when I worked with horses and everyone was mucked out or turned out, the tack was clean and, last of all, the yard was swept. My current studio activity is the textile equivalent of mucking out, in the hope of being able to set fair for a very busy winter of high-brow art! Before that, some work that is more craft than art.


I have had a white knitted felt bag base knocking around for several years. Adding a few hand-dyed fabric scraps and beads, means it is now a finished item.

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Clamshell purse

In the spirit of the autumn feeling I always get, and it feeling like autumn already, I am in a use it up, tidy it up, sort it out, throw it out mood. I have had a clamshell purse frame for ages and ages. I used it with some hand-dyed velvet which I embroidered with some cotton from Paint Box Threads – a Festival purchase.

I loved the process – much easier than I expected. For a first try it is good, but not, of course, perfect. I learnt that using cotton velvet makes life difficult and you can see – as I point out the flaws!! – that the thickness of the fabric make neat corners nigh on impossible. A lightweight Panne velvet would have been a dream and any silk, wool, or cotton without bulk would do well. Just needs a polish to clear up any glue strand on the metal and I am good for any soirée you care to invite me to!

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August CQ Journal quilt

A freezer paper stencil and blue oil stick, close meander stitched in variegated blue thread around the letters and open meander stitching to fill. Simple but I like it.

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July is dressed up and playing a tune

Summer breeze! 

Strawberries make mighty fine prints. This may well fade to browns, but I love transitions, so that’s okay! Just using the trimmed tops – we ate the berries!

Here is July’s CQ 11″ X 11″ Journal quilt. The year’s theme is ‘Text’.  This quarter the techniques all use applied colour, (as opposed to dyed colour). Here I have drawn onto the cloth with Inktense pencils, then sprayed with water. This does cause colour-bleed, but I like it. Bubble-stitching with blue and then white thread, emphasises the blurring. To focus on the lettering I have adjusted the scale of the quilting.

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CQ Journal quilts 2017

Last 11″ X 11″ CQ Journal quilt of the second quarter. Year’s theme ‘Text’, quarter’s method – stitch. June is hand stitched in threads which contrast the text and background.

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Light and Dark

Cwilt Cymru, with whom I exhibit, are going to be at the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre in June. Our work will be smaller pieces than usual, (we are exhibiting there again  in 2019 with work that has been more slow-burn) based loosely on a theme of ‘Light and Dark’. My sci-fi brain instantly went ‘ad astra’ when I heard the words, and I enjoyed working in a less introspective and cerebral way, whilst still making the work complex and, I hope, interesting and ‘faceted’.

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CQ Journal Quilts – second quarter in progress

This quarter’s focus is on using stitch to apply text to fabric. April’s 11″ x 11″ journal quilt has the word free-motion machine-quilted. I am sticking to a blue and white colour way throughout the year. The stitching followed circular marks made with a Frixion pen – I spiralled outwards from the centre by eye. The ‘i’s were dotted using a Derwent Graphik pen.  My normal handwriting is extremely messy but the delightful, almost meditative sense of rhythm that I fall into when free-motion quilting brings out the deep-down style of cursive I was taught in primary school, (using a dip pen) – with the idiosyncratic open ‘p’   Miss Bulmer of Moorgate Primary preferred. Her ‘f’s were even more unusual double-looped affairs! I loved that school!!

May uses my favourite text-to-fabric method – appealing to me because of my interest in negative space. Tight layers of meander surround the letter-shaped voids.

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