Sunday, 30 December 2012

New crewel work project . . .

Designed by Nicola Jarvis
Long and short shading with crewel wool
A new project - I have been commissioned by Nicola Jarvis to work her crewel work design.  More details later . . .

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

further development on the Lindisfarne Gospels

showing my technique ideas

open shading with silk thread, and running stitch
I have now started embroidering my printed calico of a design from the Lindisfarne Gospels.  My aim is to make it look as authentic as possible, using traditional stitch techniques and adding my own personal ideas.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lindisfarne Gospels workshop

a montage of students work
I taught a workshop at Burnbrae just north of Kelso in the Scottish Borders, testing my ideas on my students.

We worked on a combination of ideas including gold work couching and or nué, running stitch, applying gold kid leather, Pearl purl outlining and silk shading.

Lindisfarne Gospels

Lindisfarne Gospel - St Matthew carpet

The beginning of this project.  The Lindisfarne Gospels are coming to Durham next year (2013), and the North East Region of the Embroiderers' Guild are working on ideas to celebrate the gospels coming back to the north.

So far I have ink-jet printed onto calico which is fixed with Bondaweb onto more calico.

I now have lots of projects on the go.  Still nice to busy . . .

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Crown continued . . .

crown update

At last . . . more on the crown.  Now part worked in an exhibition entitled - 'Drawn to Stitch' at UCMK Galleries, University Centre Milton Keynes, 200 Silbury Boulevard, MK9 1LT.  The exhibition runs from 11th October to 9th November 2012.

The crown itself is mainly couching incorporating scoobies, plastic beads I bought from IKEA which I have cut in half both length ways and width ways, and elastic bands worked on linen.  It was really difficult couching the scoobies upright with such tight curls and curves, when they move constantly - but I love the result which is reminiscent of rouleaux decoration.  It has been so far a real learning process, but I fear I will run out of scoobies at some point . . .

Saturday, 29 September 2012

black and white mark making . . .

black mono printed swirls
white acrylic mono printing on white organza fabric
The final bit of mono-printing with Alison King

Sunday, 23 September 2012

mark making . . .

logo images with a gold whipped wheel, appliqué, seeding and a little couching
layered mono printing
I made these prints on a Alison King workshop through Hexham Embroiderers' Guild on a variety of plain fabrics and papers.  All are mono printed which involved acrylic paint and a laminated sheet.  Very easy and addictive because it is quick, once there is an understanding of the level of paint to use.  I plan to use some of them as backgrounds for future work.  This was all on the theme of Durham Cathedral, where I work as Head Broderer, and my logo which is a little like Saint Cuthbert's cross.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Crown - now started . . .

design transfer - 'tack and tear' with tissue paper

detail - now starting the embellishing
I have now actually started the crown, although what I have posted today, I have already partly unpicked.  You will see my changes - coming soon . . .
The design is worked on linen backed with calico.  I will explain about the techniques and materials I have used in the next crown blog posting in more detail.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The world of sparkling beads - Scent of England, Tokyo, Japan

An exhibition in Tokyo, Japan of English Embroidery on the eighth floor of Odakyu Department store Machida, Tokyo organised by RSN Tokyo tutor, Emi Nimura.  Exhibition includes work by my students and myself, as well as Emi's students.

Canvas work by Chrissy W; Blackwork by Jill Mc; Blackwork by Pippa Foulds
Silk shading by Ione D; Advanced Silk shading by Nancy E; Silk shading by
Deborah Younger Martin

Union Flag by Paulette D
Stamp and Gauntlet by Tracy A Franklin
To see more of some of these images - please see our new Flickr album 
Follow on Twitter #RSNDurham 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Saturday, 28 July 2012

thread winding

love the way this thread has been wound in to a pattern

more herringbone stitch

more herringbone in detail
All hand stitched in miniature - using a variety of crewel wool, coton perlé, coton á broder and other found threads. Just experimenting with this stitch, and working out its possibilities!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Saves9: Hot Off the Press

Saves9: Hot Off the Press: Wow - the Diploma Blackwork piece is off to Japan for an exhibition there of the work of the Royal School of Needlework. Chuffed to little ...

Thursday, 5 July 2012

herringbone stitch

herringbone stitch
I am currently experimenting with herringbone stitch, mainly because I have been inspired by our City & Guilds STITCHBUSINESS students.  Students are required to explore this stitch, and it can be stumbling block.  So I am showing that it is a very versatile stitch which can be very decorative, with lots of movement.  Worked with various thread types on calico. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Twitter logo . . .

Petit point

my Twitter bird 
This design was taken from Les oiseaus de Marie-Thérèse Saint-Aubin. Marie-Thérèse's designs are so beautifully minimal and refined, that I decided to work my bird in Petit point, using silk threads I have acquired, on an old piece of fine open weave canvas, in the Twitter colours!
Follow me on twitter . . . 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Finished Gloves

loved doing these
My finished gloves from a one day workshop with Mandy Pattullo - now complete, but not-mounted.  I may mount them onto fabric separately, then onto board.  So far, I am just pleased I completed something so quickly.  So great to create!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Another glove . . .

my second glove, which includes . . .

bits and . . .

This is my second glove I worked on during the Mandy Pattullo workshop back in April.  It includes applied net, sequins, buttons, and various acquired bits!  I worked on a glove shaped template, which was coloured vilene - it was already coloured pink by Mandy.  I worked with a theme of red, black and pink, with a splash of dark deep green, as I was looking for a hot colour theme vaguely based on mediterranean/latin/spanish colours, and in complete contrast to my other glove.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Royal Crown - preliminary drawings

St Edwards crown - my version
St Edwards crown - my version - detail
This is a first preliminary pencil sketch drawing for a piece of embroidered art work for an exhibition based on a design influenced by St Edwards Royal crown.

Glove part II . . .

assembling the glove
petit point
This small project for me, was a real exercise in spontaneity, working with mixed media and thinking on my feet to see how different parts or elements of the design form together in a glove template shape.  I still have finishing touches to make, but it has been a very quick project, working with three main colours, including a soft grey, pink and off white, and simple stitches, but hopefully perfectly placed.  I was looking for the vintage aged look, and I selected threads fabrics, materials and bits which represented this, some of which comes from Mandy's stash which she very kindly let us use.

The border patterns came from a danish stitch book which I have acquired from somewhere - 'Book of Danish Stitchery' Danish Handicraft Guild, Designed by Gerda Bengtsson 

Monday, 4 June 2012

Crewel work

samples from crewel work book
ISBN 9780956638809
Self published book on crewel work embroidery showing designs, stitch techniques, using two-ply worsted wool yarn known as crewel wool, on linen twill fabric.

The book, which is mainly picture based, details how stitches such as seeding, French and Bullion knots, and trellis work can be used in pattern and design.

Retail price is £29.99 plus p&p.  For further information and purchase, please contact

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Petit point

petit point on double canvas

my inspiration an 'Embassy' needle packet
charts, hearts, and border patterns

This all started on a Mandy Pattullo workshop, working with a glove template.  The workshop (which I did through the branch of Hexham Embroiderers' Guild) was on Sunday 29th April, but this is the first time (after a very busy teaching month), I have been able to post my on going results.  The workshop was very much based on collage and stitch.  There is more to come . . .

Friday, 27 April 2012

Wheat - a pencil drawing

This is a life drawing I did back in the 90's - so basically I am just showing off my drawing skills.  Worked using coloured pencil.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Gwen Hedley workshop with Embroiderers' Guild North East

Fabulous time on the north east Embroiderers Guild residential spring school with Gwen Hedley in Collingwood college.  The course was entitled 'Along New Lines' and we basically made our A6 sketch books look "very exciting" whilst learning new ideas on the theme of 'line'.  See below . . .
inked woven paper

chalk pastel edge and smudge over inked surface on paper

Evolon suede - printed with acrylic

my samples . . .

I loved every minute of it alongside a great class on 21 students in all - we were all very productive, very pro-active and very inspired!  Thanks Gwen and to the organizers of the North East Region Embroiderers' Guild.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum

paper and metal

This work is inspired by Islamic design and repeat patterns, but not a copy.  I worked it in a very spontaneous way, by just drawing in basic lines and tracing the shapes very naively, although I maintained  a certain amount of accuracy.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

experimental whitework

experimental whitework
Experimenting with whitework techniques using pulled work and surfacing stitching ideas, worked on 25 count Dublin linen which is an open plain even weave fabric - lovely to work on.  There is a combination of threads and yarns, including linen, fine wool and cotton.  Another on going unfinished project . . .

Sunday, 1 April 2012

the stamp

the finished stamp - showing detail of satin stitch and seeding

showing more detail and depth
The completed stamp was taken from an ink jet printed design.  My objective was to enhance the design with simple stitch rather than detract.  The whole design contains, couching, running stitch, seeding (single and double), satin stitch, stem stitch, using a tarnished 'passing' metal thread, stranded cotton, and a metallic stranded thread (which is a nightmare to use, but I am sure that is part of its charm!).  Design is approximately 12cm x 17cm and worked on plain cotton fabric.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

paper and stitch

paper samples

paper samples - detail of folded paper
Samples of paper and stitch from some time ago, which I want to, need to and look forward to exploring again, in the not too distant future.  I concentrated on metallic coloured papers, manipulating, tearing and cutting, then attaching with stitch - simple stitch.