Category Archives: stitching

Value my tools – comment 17

I use my rotary cutter frequently when working with fabrics. Today I couldn’t find it! It was then that I realised how much I needed it.

When I found it (in the place it should have been and where I looked first) I looked at it with new eyes and decided to draw it. Deceptively simple, but it’s circular blade and smooth lines were hard to draw without wobbling. But then cutting smooth lines without wobbles is just what the cutter is so good at. I appreciate it all the more now.,


Do the same again – comment 16

In a sunny moment between the rain showers I headed outside to gather some winter leaves to eat with our meal tonight. The Swiss chard provides a bright splash of colour on a grey day, and I thought I might draw the leaves before cooking them.

But then I discovered (thanks to a Facebook reminder!) that I drew Swiss chard exactly one year ago on this blog!!

I can’t do the same again, I thought to myself. But I did. Well I used the red Swiss chard leaf as inspiration, but this time I drew with my sewing machine on fabric. The same but not the same.

Do something different – comment 15

Perhaps the hardest time of any kind of January art/creative blog challenge is about now. This is when I begin to think “what can I do today?” and feel I am having to search for inspiration. This is the time energy wanes and I run out of steam. To renergise I wondered what I could do today that was a bit different.,

Just outside my window the winter jasmine is flowering with courageous little yellow trumpets undeterred by gloom and rain. I have drawn it before, but today I decided to brush up my free machining skills, and trying drawing it with thread instead of pencil. And I know that watercolours can dry very pale and insipid on fabric, so I thought I would try some new inktense colours I had been given as a present.

Result? Well my free machining needs some practise, the inktense colours are certainly bright, but they lack subtlety and weren’t the best for blending. But at least I tried something different!

Serious play – comment 9

“Art is serious play” said Grayson Perry.

Well I’m not sure about the art or the serious part, but today I have certainly been playing around with some of the “stuff” I have uncovered while tidying my room.

I found an unfinished collage of paper serviettes, wrapping paper, old lace and another scraps, half trimmed with offcuts from my ribbon box. I have added more discovered bits, with no accuracy in the cutting, sewing or gluing. Just experimenting and having fun. It needs some finishing, probably stitching into a little book, but the colours brighten up what has been a very grey day.

Don’t forget to play!ūüėä

Entwined threads

No posts recently from me because I have been feeling very tired and not 100% well. A virus? Or related to a long term condition I have had for many years I’m not sure, but some blood tests soon will hopefully give some clues.

I find it hard not to feel miserable when I feel ill, and the wider news – local, national and international is not encouraging either. ¬†Physical and mental are so closely connected for me, entwined even. This morning I was reading Deborah Alma’s “The Emergency Poet” ( a great poetry anthology for “down” moments) and happened upon this little extract from William Blake.

“Man was made for joy and woe;

And when this we rightly know,

Through the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,

A clothing for the soul divine,

Under every grief and pine

Runs a joy with silken twine.” ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†From Auguries of Innocence

Weaving, cloth, thread and fabric are metaphors I can understand and relate to strongly, as the name I chose for my blog indicates.¬†And then I found myself reading from Beverly Gordon “Textiles the Whole Story”, (a wonderful book about the meaning and significance of textiles in our lives). She describes so many rich metaphors about threads, but what stood out for me today was her description of how entwining and weaving provides beauty, strength and durability to the cords and cloths which hold us.

So perhaps I can gain courage¬†today that the paradox of joy and woe entwined is ultimately a source of strength. And, just like the surprising toughness of natural silk, we can be reassured of joy, even when it’s hidden, running along the twisted threads of our lives.

Just as I was thinking this the postman delivered some Kaffe Fassett fabric remnants I’d bought from EBay. Not silk, but the colours are certainly joyous! Enjoy…



Enough for now…

Sometimes in a process I need to know when to stop.

So this is an update on my trunk restoration, and I think I have done enough for now. The quilt panels are complete and I have glued them to the trunk lid. The fitting is not precise, but it is good enough.

I have painted the body of the trunk in a dull brown. I was trying to emulate the colour of old leather, but in a matt finish. After two coats it was still slightly streaky and I was intending to do a third. But as it dried it took on an almost wood grain effect so I decided to leave it like that.

At some point I need to make some handles to fit the metal fixings on each side, but that can wait. With the addition of two glass worktop protectors which fit exactly (well almost) I think it now serves its purpose – a repository for all my notebooks and sketches, and a reasonable coffee table!

Process moving again…

Nearly three years ago I started a process to restore an old trunk which had been in our attic for years.
Battered and dirty it was not good for much, so I set about painting it and re-lining it. I also managed to recreate a drop in drawer for the inside and finished the interior.

And then everything stopped, and it has been sitting in my conservatory, half painted ever since. This week I had tea with a friend who I hadn’t seen for months. She asked me how my trunk was going. Trunk? I realised it had been forgotten…

But I had been accumulating materials for possible solutions to the outside refurbishment. So spurred on by my friend’s enquiry I started work again. I had been collecting fabrics with a theme of writing and creativity for a while. After some long consideration I decided that collaged and quilted panels using some of my fabric stash would work best to cover the lid, as the trunk will hopefully be a repository for some of my written and textile creations. Selecting appropriate words was quite challenging, given the bitty nature of the fabric. And making the panels the right size and shape was tricky, but I am now creating the last piece.
Some days of torrential rain, followed by an unseasonable head cold has meant I have been largely confined to the house for a few days. I was feeling irritable and frustrated at myself as well as the weather. But frustration was eased by the activity – my head and sinuses may still be blocked, but I feel the process of trunk restoration is moving again…
Still a way to go, I’m determined it won’t be another three years before it’s finished!