Monday, 25 April 2011

Knitted lights

Three lights (blue and green) by Ann Sutton
These lights, by textile artist Ann Sutton, are exhibited in York Art Gallery.   They are knitted linen tubes, with glass light inserts.  I'd have dated them as contemporary, but apparently they were made in 1969 - I wonder if the knitting has stretched over those 40 years.

As the title suggests, the piece consists of three similar lights - the only reason one is missing is due to photography angles!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Pots and Kettle

 This textile work is in York Art Gallery.  Apparently it's a collaboration between Alice Kettle, a textile artist, and Alex McErlain, a ceramicist.  The gallery blurb says that she took his drawings and, "using computer technology and machinery normally used for stitching blazer badges"(!) turned them into textiles. 

I like the line drawing effect, and the feel that it's a drawing of an archaeologist's table at a very prolific dig.  I'd love to know if he used the drawings to create jugs, and what they looked like if he did. 


This is the motif for an Easter card - am really pleased with it, as it's an infrequent foray into cross-stitch.  I normally prefer unstructured embroidery with it's freehand meandering, but I wanted something more traditional for this design. 

The main part of the cross is (apparently) called Jacobean couching, or trellis couching - the flecks of gold between the crosses are tiny couching stitches.  It's a new stitch to me, and not in any of my books but really like the effect.  The ends of the cross are just normal cross stitch and the flowers are lazy daisy with a bead centre.  Some scattered french knots and a ribbon of back stitch finish it off.  I only had cream Aida fabric, so used a piece of sheer fabric over the top to give some colour - once pinned in place this was surprisingly easy to stitch through.

I hope you're having a happy, restful Easter

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Quilt Art 25

Photo from
Went to York Quilt Museum and Gallery yesterday, to see an exhibition called Quilt Art 25.  Quilt Art is a group of twenty textile artists who've been collaborating for 25 years, hence the title.  The exhibition was very good, some beautiful work providing great inspiration.

Unfortunately there was a strict 'No photography' policy, which I do understand but find frustrating, so this is a detail from High Tide Low Tide - Broadstairs/Kent, by Inge Hueber, used by the museum to promote the exhibition on their website.  It is a beautiful quilt, the piecing of different shades is incredibly skillful and I liked that she'd chosen to leave the raw edges visible so it was like seeing the reverse of the quilt.

Monday, 18 April 2011


Sutherland Seas (photo from
I've just spent a v.satisfying day looking at lots of lovely embroidery and then wandering around a beautiful garden in the sunshine so feeling v.relaxed and happy.

The exhibition was in the Long Hall at Ramster, a country house nearish Guildford, where there is a biennial textile art exhibition.  This year there were over 300 pieces exhibited, everything from traditional birds and flowers to stitched reclining nudes and 3D pieces.  Some of the names were renowned artists (Kay Dennis, Fay Maxwell, Heidi Rhodes), others unknown, at least to me, but producing some amazing work.  The piece here was from an artist I'd not come across before: Iona Mackenzie Laycock who produces some beautiful abstract land and seascapes.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Wall of colour

Inspired by Purl Bee's wall (which, incidentally is a needlecraft/quilting shop in Soho NY, not Soho London), OH and I now have a fabric wall in our lounge.  

I love it, as it combines fabric, luscious colours and embroidery hoops (although may want to tweak some of the fabrics/colours over time - great excuse for fabric shopping).  And the best thing is, the idea was OH's suggestion: he's definitely embracing the whole textiles thing, may yet get him stitching.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Shark's teeth

As part of the embroidery course I'm doing (C&G Innovative Hand Embroidery), my latest piece of homework was to create examples of edgings.  This is my favourite: it's called Shark's Teeth, although i think the repeating rows are more mountainlike.

Other edgings are (from left) some home-made bias binding, a different type of Shark's Teeth, and cording.  They were all surprisingly easy, although (my ongoing gripe with this course syllabus) I wouldn't call them innovative.   On the plus side, it does mean the spare room fabric mountain is v.slightly smaller now.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Make-up bag

To fulfill a birthday promise to a friend, I've just finished a make-up bag.  The request was for one big enough for mascara and a compact, but small enough to fit into an evening bag, so hope this fits the bill.

The fabric is unfortunately viscose, as I really like the pattern and had it been something a bit more tactile I'd have been tempted to buy a load of it to make a dress.  Probably just as well, though, as the fabric mountain in the spare room is too big already.