Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds…..

I’ve just completed a commissioned quilt, entitled Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds, for the local branch of the WAW (Walkers are Welcome).  The two characters in my design are based on the twins from the old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert, but in this case they are carrying backpacks and are walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

The old Start-Rite children's shoe advert

The old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert

After taking several photographs of the local landscape I chose the view which was taken just outside of Horncastle, with my back to the A158, looking across towards the Wolds and towards the village of West Ashby.

Photograph taken from the A158 on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds

View of the Lincolnshire Wolds looking towards West Ashby

The 30 x 30 cm quilt combines several techniques including the use of Inktense pencils to draw and colour the background scenery.  The twins are applique with 3D backpacks.  The trees have vilene trunks and needle felted foliage created using the embellisher machine.  The hedgerows were made from a lightweight scarf which was distressed using a heat gun while the stitching is a combination of hand and machine embroidery.

Working on my design for the Walkers are Welcome art quilt

My preliminary sketch for the WAW quilt

Working on the WAW quilt

Work in progress

I’m not a fan of borders so, as the brief was to include a border, I’ve painted it to make it an extension of the main image.

Horncastle - Gateway to the Wolds

The finished quilt


Horncastle gets “Yarn Bombed”…..

My morning walk with Maddie today was made even more enjoyable than usual with the discovery that Horncastle had been Yarn Bombed by West Ashby Women’s Institute!  What a fabulous start to the day seeing all these wonderful creations decorating the town.  No doubt they were installed as part of the SO Festival which premiered in the town this evening and was a HUGE success.  Crowds of folk turned out to see the Circus Heros, Sheesham & Lotus & Son, Thingamabob and the grand finale The FlameOz Fire Show.  More about the festival to follow but for now here are just a few of the decorations that made me smile earlier today….. 

The horses on Jubilee way we’re given checkered blankets and a nose bag.


The trees were decorated with colourful wraps…….

The bollards along the Bull Ring were sporting hats and scarves…..

These “climbing” hedgehogs took me by surprise on North Street….. 



As I approached the river on my way to Tesco it was evident that the intrepid WI ladies had also been this way…….   


There are lots more installations around the town which I have been told of but haven’t yet seen.  I just hope that the ladies of West Ashby WI visit us again with their wonderful creations!

Easter Craft Event Update…

A collection of polystyrene eggs decorated with needle felting.

Mini decorated eggs

The weather wasn’t particularly kind to us at yesterdays Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair….the chilly wind being the major problem!  However we did get a fair amount of customers through the shop door and the majority were keen to get out into the garden to see the wonderful handcrafted goods on sale and chat to the people who had made them. As well as my felted items we had water-colour paintings by local artist Peter Skipworth.  Peter has written and beautifully illustrated a book on local walks titled ‘Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds’ which is on sale at the shop….those lucky enough to purchase yesterday benefited from a personal signing by the artist himself!

Peter Skipworth's beautifully illustrated book 'Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds'.

Peter Skipworths illustrated book ‘Step into the Lincolnshire Wolds’

Other items on sale included unique cards, jewellery and more from Handmade by Esme and colourful handmade necklaces and bracelets from Debbie of DD Jewellery and Vicki and Judith from Snowdrop Gifts  For the home and garden there were wonderful handmade gifts created from recycled wood by Palletology including the fabulous ‘Insect Hotels’ while Stephanie from Stuff with Style displayed funky wooden gifts in the form of bunting, bird houses and much more.


Handmade by Esme - one of the local crafters featured at the Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair.

Handmade by Esme at the Joseph Banks Easter Craft Fair.


Colourful necklaces and bracelets on sale at Joseph Banks in Horncastle.

Handmade necklaces and bracelets from DD Jewellery

Recycled pallet wood made into Insect Hotels for the garden.

Insect Hotels by Palletology made from recycled pallet wood.

Stuff with Style make funky gifts such as this wooden bird house.

Funky wooden bird house from ‘Stuff with Style’.

I was fortunate to find a space indoors (only marginally warmer!!) where I sat and demonstrated needle felting to the ladies (and the occasional gent) who were curious to see how it was done.  Thanks again to all of you who stopped by and I hope to see some of you at future workshops.  Also keeping warm was Debs from Debs Makes, busy upstairs having fun with her Saturday afternoon sewing group.

Small embellished brooch.

One of Debs cute little brooches made on the embellisher.

Last, but not least, many thanks to Helena from Spare Time by Helena who kept all the crafters supplied with tea and coffee all day and Kate and Richard who manned the shop!

The next Craft Event at Joseph Banks is planned for May 31st.


Retro Van cushion created by Helena.

One of the many fabulous cushions created by Spare Time by Helena.

Easter bunnies needle felted using Merino wool onto a polystyrene ball.

I couldn’t resist making a few needle felted Easter bunnies!

Easter Craft Fair…

Poster for EasterThe Joseph Banks Centre on Bridge Street in Horncastle will be hosting another fabulous Craft Event on Saturday 12th April, ahead of the Easter weekend.  If you are in the area and fancy popping in it would be great to see you!  There will be several local crafters instore and, weather permitting, in the garden, each with their own unique collection of handmade goods for sale.  I will be sitting in a quiet corner somewhere (as ever!) giving a demonstration on needle felting, so if you see me don’t be shy – come over and say hello!  Many of the gifts on sale are suitable for personalising so this is something worth considering as it makes a fabulous gift even better!  Also we will be happy to take orders for Easter i.e. if there is something you want in a different colour/design/whatever….simply ask and we will do our best to accommodate.

Breaking news….

More exciting news on the felting front….my brooches and key rings are going on sale at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre in Horncastle from tomorrow.  There will be a mixture of large wet felted brooches and smaller dry felted gifts to choose from.  The Sir Joseph Banks Centre is the home of the Sir Joseph Banks Society where visitors will find information on the life and the amazing work of one of our most famous and respected explorers.   The Society is very proud to have Sir David Attenborough as its president and the building it occupies houses a growing reference library and is working towards establishing a research centre.

The building also boasts a thriving gift shop, run by volunteers, and crammed with all sorts of beautiful gifts.  There are a mixture of “bought in” and hand crafted items, with a lot of the stock being created on the doorstep by talented, local artists/crafters.  From pictures, jewelry, ornaments, clothing, accessories, etc., you name it and they probably have it!  So if you are in the Horncastle area and looking for unique gift ideas be sure to give this shop visit!

A selection of my handmade wet and dry felted brooches and keyrings.

A selection of my handmade wet and dry felted brooches and keyrings.

Beautiful gifts for the home on sale at the Joseph Banks shop.

Beautiful gifts for the home on sale at the Joseph Banks shop.

The shop is crammed with great gift ideas for Christmas!

The shop is crammed with great gift ideas for Christmas!




November Needle Felting Workshops

Joseph Banks A4 jpeg

My love of needle felting is fast growing into an obsession!  So much so that I decided I had to share my interest with others and found myself, last Saturday, launching the first of the  November Needle Felting Workshops which are being held in The Joseph Banks Centre on Bridge Street in Horncastle.  We had a packed house with a lovely bunch of ladies, some had tried needle felting in the past while others were completely new to it.  Various techniques were shown and discussed and everyone was given the option of selecting their preferred method of working.  All equipment and materials were supplied, including fabulous Merino wool and by the end of the two hours everyone agreed they had had a good time and each of them had produced a beautiful, unique felted brooch to take home.  One of the ladies contacted me the day after to say she had been wearing her brooch while out shopping and had received lots of admiring comments – not bad for a first attempt!

I will be holding the next session on Saturday 9th November from 10am – 12noon.  All ages/abilities welcome but please note that numbers are limited so please refer to the poster for contact details as booking is essential.