Thursday, October 28, 2010

Machine Perspectives

I do love sewing machines, whether they are very old or very new.... I think they are wonderful. I know many of my friends collect shoes, some handbags, but for me its the sewing machine.
They do tend to be a bit pricey, so that does tend to curtail my collection of them.

At any show, such as the knitting and Stitching or the Festival of Quilts, you will find me hovering around the sewing machine stands. I think I inherited this obsession from my father, who always took great pleasure in visiting the motor show at Earls Court to see the latest inventions to be found on the motor cars.

At the K & S show in London this year, I was very impressed by the stand and the work on show by the Manchester School, showing machined examples of their students and teachers. You might recall, I wanted to buy the accompanying book, but unfortunately it was so heavy I was not able to carry it home. So I have just received it from Amazon... and am absolutely thrilled with it. Its the sort of book I like, I can dip in and out a chapter at a time. Lots of interesting information. Of course it is also lovely to see one of my ex students featured in the book... wonderful.

The studio is progressing, lots of painting going on and the electrician is here this morning to wire up and give me the necessary certificate. I ordered the flooring yesterday, but they cannot fit it until Wednesday......Arghhhh.... never mind ... will give me a chance to sort out the present workroom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BBC Wiltshire Radio and my studio

My studio is progressing very fast now, water is plumbed in and the storage units are going in. Do not think it will be long before I move in...... however today I took a day off and went to my daughters. As you know often in the holidays I work with the grandchildren on arty crafty stuff. Today it was pouring with rain, so a good day to stay in and enjoy ourselves.

Yesterday was grandsons 7th birthday ( where has the time gone?) and we had to finish off the cake as well!!

However we had a very entertaining guest come and visit us at lunchtime, Mark O'Donnell, one of the presenters on Radio Wiltshire.
He talked to us about the fact we create things together, in fact 3 generations of us and have some real family fun as well.
He happily posed with 2 of the grandchildren and a friend who came round for the day for this photo. He is also clutching a pencil case we made for him. This was today's activity. Mark is clutching one of the pencil cases we made as a present for him. He was thrilled as he has somewhere to keep the spare batteries for his radio microphone now.

First of all the drawing on plain paper, using transfer crayons and paints. We filled a whole A4 sheet of paper with art work. Every ones was different and so were very individual.

Then the designs were ironed onto synthetic velvet, and the colours shone beautiful and backed with plain calico for strength.

Then to keep the layers together, we stitched using the Willcox and Gibbs chains stitch sewing machine, and even 3 year old took a turn at stitching. Look at the speed the handle was turning.... the photo is blurred!

Then 7 year old birthday boy had a go, supervised by older sister, total concentration. I forgot to take a photo of the finished pencil cases..... sorry!
Have to say I stitched the zips in for them.
I will let you know when the interviews are broadcast... then you can listen in to hear what the children had to say.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


As promised I am showing you some of the hand stitching I have been occupying my time with. It is for the Meadow Larks exhibition in Cirencester Museum next month. I am, trying to depict some of the textures found in the mud in the field and on the riverbanks and the footsteps of visiting wildlife.

This piece is to show the flowers and seeds sinking themselves into the ground ready for the next cycle of growth. This is handmade silk paper with flower heads embedded and free hand quilting by machine. I really must get this piece to the framers. I rarely frame my work, but think this one needs it. No glass though.
My large piece I have already framed, and have had it put behind glass.... I am not happy with it... and cannot photograph it now without reflections. Sometimes I do not think things through properly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Studio action today

When I got up this morning... this is how my new studio looked.. it was very cold, but at least it is not raining outside.

Then the action started.. pretty impressive huh?

By afternoon tea break ... progress is pretty fantastic!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Studio is happening !

When I got home this afternoon from my GWE stitching group.... the electric points were in, the raised floor was finished and.............

the wall opening is ready for the bricks arrival tomorrow........the window is already stored in the other garage waiting for the wall to be built. Muscular men are on call for tomorrow to help take out the heavy metal garage door.......I'm elated!
Thanks for all your lovely comments, I am doing some hand stitching, and will show you when I have done some more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Car shed to Studio- The transformation

This is the shed for the car.... well formerly.... its ages since we put the car in there as it was more of a storage garage. So I have cleared all the gear out of there, sold a lot of it on eBay.. like my Mum's 3 knitting machines and a spare exhaust for hubby's motorbike to name just a few items.

I am having the space transformed into a downstairs studio. Very exciting.............. but also very dusty. Builders dust seems to penetrate the whole house. Its looking wonderful and I am very excited about having my studio downstairs.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Julia Caprara 1939 to 2008, a Retrospective - was the highlight of the show at Alexandra Palace for me. It was fantastic to see her work and sketchbooks all together in one space. It was a very crowded space, but when I returned later in the day, it was calm and almost empty. I took a number of photos, and realised how much I miss her mentoring. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to catch up with Alex again.

I also enjoyed the work on display by the Wessex Textile Artists: Not Set in Stone. My artist friend Lynn Prosser is a member of this group, as is another stitchy friend Maggie Grey. Great to see so many visitors flocking to the stand to have a look at their work.

However I was very surprised and very pleased to see an ex student of mine exhibiting in the Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating: Machine Stitch Perspectives. Well done Louise Charles. Brilliantly colourful piece of work. I wanted to purchase the accompanying book, but unfortunately they did not have it in paperback, and the HB was quite heavy, and I had to consider travelling on public transport.

I had a good look around the The Global Paper Exhibition from Holland, it was in a lovely large space..... but paper really does not float my boat..... I found it hard to be very enthusiastic. It was a good display though.

I had never visited on the first day of the show before, and it was good to see lots of students visiting as well, notebooks at the ready. I only made a few purchases, which is so unlike me. Returned home very late .. 10pm... and very tired body and legs... but well worth it.

Friday, October 08, 2010

North Meadow, Cricklade

I have been working on my designs for the Meadow larks Exhibition at Cirencester in November 2010.
Here are some close up photos. It has been a long road of deliberations, and unusually I have not created much in my sketchbook yet..................!

I must get along to the meadow again soon and take some more photos before the animals leave.

If you want to know more about this ancient water meadow... click here