Friday, 29 November 2013

Bird Book

I have taken a small break from work to make a book cover.  It's a present (possibly won't be a surprise now...) so I thought I'd make use of a Stencil Girls Swallows stencil, some lovely hand-dyed fabric, DeColourant my long suffering sewing machine.

First I pressed the fabric and then stencilled a bird design around the lower part of the fabric with DeColourant.  I have reviewed this product before and didn't get on very well with the DeColourant Spray but I do like the bottled stuff.

After sponging this on and then ironing, the design came out really well.  I then launched into stitching the fabric.  The gorgeous fabric was bought from the Festival of Quilts from Jo Lovelock who sells the fabric under Alter Ego

 This was the design overall for the whole piece.  I decided to make a book cover that you can fit a bought notebook into due to time constraints.  On a good day, I would have cut the paper and sewn them all in.

The beautiful fabric had lots of interesting patterns on it, so it was easy just to stitch around those.

For each bird, I stitched around in grey cotton. to give the impression of feathers.

On the edge of the book, I sewed seed beads in a blanket stitch.

All done!

Swallows Stencil copyright The Red Door Studio L.L.C., Artist: Tracie Lyn Huskamp, Manufacturer:

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Merry Christmas Sweaters

Due to be reviewed in the December issue of Workshop on the Web is Sue Stratford's book Merry Christmas Sweaters.

A book packed with those special Christmas designs that everyone in the family (EVERYONE!!!) can now sample the delights of.

I always like to promote a good cause, and one of the designs in the book, the Snowman, has been chosen by Save the Children to promote Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 13 December.  In return for a £1 donation, everyone is encouraged to wear a Christmas Jumper and celebrate Christmas kitsch.

You can access the pattern from the Search Press website:

Merry Christmas Sweater pattern

The sweaters included in the book are all good patterns, and you have set sizes for Adults and Children on different pages, which I am told helps prevent making different parts of the sweater in different sizes.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Art Van Go Exhibition - Taking Textiles Further

I paid my first visit to Art Van Go this week.  I have seen Viv and Kev many a time when at shows, but I've never seen the Knebworth shop and gallery.  It's great!  If you love their stands at the shows, it's just like that, but with more goodies.


As there is an exhibition on at the moment by pupils of Janet Edmonds, called Taking Textiles Further, I popped over there in the week to have a look at what was there.  And also to browse around the shop without being constantly elbowed out of the way by over-excited Show Shoppers.

I loved the work that was there.  My particular favourites were pieces by Buffy Fieldhouse which used printing in line and pattern that was reminiscent of Viking Runes.  I loved the way the pieces were assembled and that they were so visually striking with effective colour palettes.

Be What You Are IV Buffy Fieldhouse

Be What You Are I - Buffy Fieldhouse

Be What You Are I - Buffy Fieldhouse

Be What You Are II - Buffy Fieldhouse

Other members of the exhibition were Mary Gamester, who had sewn this beautiful handstitched picture.  I loved the colours and design:

Marian Hall's piece Gridlock I was lovely, with little snippets of handstitching in a contrasting colour that really stood out against the dark background.

Marian Hall - Gridlock I (detail)
Marian Hall - Gridlock I

Marian Hall's work Gridlock II was also a beautfiul piece and in the contrasting panel, the gold thread outlines lifted the shapes and highlighted them (above left and detail right).

June Withers produced some fantastically bright work which I loved:

June Withers: Autumn Leaves (left), Summer Glory II (middle), Summer Glory I (right)

There were other artists exhibiting but there's not room to put them all here - shame.  It's worth a look (especially if combined with a shopping trip), and the exhibition is on until 30 November.