This is my latest commissioned piece entitled Towards the Wolds. It’s based on one of my favourite views looking east down Shearmans Wath, towards West Ashby and the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Shearman’s Wath is the site of a late Neolithic Henge. According to Historic England…..”the buried remains are situated 330m north of Thimbleby Mill on the glacial sands and gravels of the flood plain edge, some 150m east of the River Bain. The monument, which has been reduced by ploughing, can no longer be seen on the ground. It is, however, clearly visible from the air, and has been recorded on aerial photographs since 1970.”
The Wallhanging is approximately 42cm x 64 cm, created from 23 micron Merino fibres, Wet Felted, and embellished with hand and machine stitch. I’ve enjoyed working on this piece and very much looking forward to seeing it hanging in it’s new home!
I slept like a baby last night having got home after three very busy, and very enjoyable, days at the Quilters Guild AGM. The event was held on the Jubilee Campus at Nottingham University and attended by approximately 450 enthusiastic quilters. Over the three days participants had the choice to be entertained, and educated, by hour long lectures, half hour mini workshops and demonstrations, half day workshops and full day workshops. There were several traders, a wonderful selection of second hand books at massively discounted prices, a raffle, tombola and exhibitions.
On the Friday morning I gave an illustrated talk entitled “My F-Plan Diet……Fabric, Fibre & Felting” all about how I was introduced to Textile Art and Feltmaking back in 2014 and how my work has progressed, up to present day. I featured a number of pieces to look at in detail, explaining the background to the design process and the materials used.
In the afternoon The Guild held what they call the “Carousel”. This involved four tutors, each in a separate part of the room, demonstrating a particular technique. I called my sessions The Half Hour Flower and at the end of each half hour period and bell was rung and the participants swapped to a different tutor…..it was like speed dating for crafters!
With this being a “quilters” event, and with all the other guest tutors being textile artists, I felt privileged that the organisers had invited me specifically to teach and promote Feltmaking. On Saturday I had a class of 14 students making wet felted “Landscape” themed pictures, several were trying out wet felting for the very first time. The ladies each brought an image they wanted to create and we began by looking at how they could interpret the various shapes and textures in their design using fibre. Some students incorporated prefelts and everyone had time to do a little needle felting if they chose to, to begin to add the finer detail. The variety and quality of work produced in such a short time was amazing! Being quilters I think everyone was intending to add free motion stitch or hand stitching to their work once they got it home so I’m really hoping I get sent some images of the finished work.
Fantastic work all round from Saturday’s class!
On Sunday I had a class of six ladies making Wet Felted Bowls. We began by discussing the different fibre layouts that can be used to affect the shape and structure of 3D objects as well as how we can create interesting shapes using prefelts and differential shrinkage. The ladies each chose a style they wanted to create from my examples shown below and, as you will see, the results were terrific!
It was a great weekend and I got to meet, chat and work with some lovely ladies. I would just like to thank all my students for being so enthusiastic and working so hard! Thanks also to the Region 10 Committee for inviting me to be a part of it and hope to work with you again in the future.
My first stint at tutoring a residential weekend came to a close this afternoon with the final show and tell at Cober Hill. It’s been a terrific three days spent with the 18 creative ladies from the East Yorkshire Embroidery group. They don’t shy away from putting in the hours and the effort to learn a new skill but at the same time they certainly know how to enjoy themselves! We’ve had lots of chat, lots of laughs and the ladies have produced lots of wonderful work. It’s worth remembering that for many this was their first attempt at feltmaking……..
A huge thank you to Maggie and Carol for giving me this opportunity and I hope to work with you all again sometime in the future.
Last week I did a one-one Workshop for Alison who wanted to learn how to make a wet felted fish. This wasn’t to be any old fish, Alison made it quite clear that she was on a mission to create a Wrasse as part of a local community project. I’d never heard of a Wrasse so immediately turned to Google to see what it was we were aiming for. I discovered that there are over six hundred species of this fish with two being native to the British Isles, the Ballan Wrasse and it’s more colourful cousin, the Cuckoo Wrasse.
We decided to work with a combination of Bergschaf and Merino fibres. This was the first time Alison has Felted around a resist but she took to it like a fish to water (I had to get that in somewhere!)
This is how he looked once Alison had got him home and dried out, prior to embellishing…..
…..and this is the finished Wrasse complete with hand embroidery and an impressive set of dentures! Isn’t he handsome! Well done Alison, can’t wait to see what you make next!
A quick post to show how Alison and Yvonne have got on with making their beautiful versions of my Yellow Poppies wet felted wall hanging today.
Alison was quite at home with the free machine stitching while for Yvonne it was her first attempt and she admitted that she had got on far better than she thought she would. Just the mention of free machining sends some folk into a state of panic but with a few basic pointers I find most people overcome the dread and start to enjoy it.
Both pieces are looking lovely but there is still some work to be done so I will post an update once the ladies have finished their pieces.
December went by in a bit of blur, as I’m sure it did for lots of folk, but with the festivities now over and life back to normal I’ve time to catch up and record whats been happening creatively over the past month.
December got off to a festive start with seven ladies taking part in my Felted Fairy Workshop at the Alford Craft Studio. We began by wet felting the head, arms and body.
Once these were dry Boucle yarn was added for hair and this was dressed with a seed bead tiara.
Finally the fairies were given a needle felted bouquet to hold. They all worked out beautifully and one of the ladies has since been in touch to say she went on to make another six for friends to put on their Christmas Trees!
The second week in December saw me holding a textile workshop in Langton by Spilsby for members of The Spirit of Sutterby group. The group consists of approx 70 Members (if I remember right!) and has formed with the goal to explore the village of Sutterby, research its past, record its present and help with its future.
This was a great opportunity for me to get involved in a local collaborative project and hopefully my workshop provided some inspiration and guidance to help move the textile side of their project forward.
The group was keen to try out techniques they hadn’t used before and had fun with the heat tool and soldering iron, distressing polyester fabrics, Lutradur and Tyvek as well as painting and layering their fabrics.
It was a busy day and although no one got their piece finished I was assured they had a great time and were taking away lots of new ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how these translate to the Textile Landscape they will produce for the Sutterby project.
Earlier this week I travelled up to East Keswick, a small village just a few miles from Wetherby, to deliver the first of a two-day Yellow Poppies Workshop for Nicola Hulme at Simply Stitch.
Nicola with a selection of her work on the wall and my work on the table
14 ladies attended the workshop, some had previous experience of felting while for others it was to be their first time.
Once the basic techniques had been explained students were given the option to recreate my design or to develop their own and it was good to see some of the ladies working on their own designs and alternative colour schemes.
The time flew by, it was a lovely day with good company and Simply Stitch proved to be a hidden gem! The beautiful studio is large, bright and very well equipped. There is a fantastic choice of classes and courses run by Nicola Hulme, including patchwork, machine sewing, purses & bag making, hand embroidery and much more! The studio also hosts regular visits from well known specialist tutors in a variety of subjects. On sale are up to the minute patchwork fabrics and all the other essentials such as threads, wadding, notions, etc.
Simply Stitch studio
Nicola was a terrific host and ensured that the tea, coffee, biscuits and cake kept flowing! Watch this space for photos from next weeks workshop including images of the finished wall hangings.