a travelling tea towel..

My piece for the exhibition ‘quiet conversations’ which is currently showing at Fabrik Arts Lobethal South Australia.

This work was created as part of the wonderful online course ‘in place’ from the ‘school of nomad arts’ from the truly inspirational India Flint. An invitation to stitch a humble tea towel to join a line of connections worldwide. Mine is dyed in onion, turmeric and tea, all gathered at home during the lockdown months of 2020.

Stitched with words and embroidered with knots. As I sent it off I whispered gently into the folds and stitches – the quiet conversations of this community will resonate and flow.

French knots in naturally dyed threads- part of a vocabulary of stitches I use – for me, each knot usually represents a ‘thought’ that can be touched a little like a prayer bead.

Gently wafting in early morning sunrise in January before winging away to Australia.

The words stitched to the spine of the cloth:

tea – reviving, uplifting, community

turmeric – fragrant, gold, warming

onion – the grounding base of daily food

calendula – sunshine medicine – my power flower

new directions whilst keeping the old…

A big, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported this blog over the years. It has been resting a while. I want to work on it again and revitalise it over the coming months.

I have found myself a little confused about what to share where – and why..

There is work to slowly put in this space, and then some new direction of work which needs a place to hold it so it can breathe and just ‘be’ for a while as I reflect on it and develop ideas, play with materials, make samples.

So – I have a new blog to sit alongside this one https://susibancroft.com

It is a fledgling. This one also needs care so I will begin this year working out how to progress with each.

Thank you

heartstone – susi bancroft 2020

Mending patches…

He wore his socks over winter until there were huge holes in the soles.

I knitted patches over the top in garter stitch. The first sock patch was a bit big so looks like little wings on each side… so I made the second patch smaller. It feels like a cushion on the sole and I think the garter stitch will felt a bit hopefully

I caught up a stitch on each row to integrate the patch and Kitchener stitched the top. They have mistakes, they are uneven, I learned as I tried things out and I learned so much. He loves them and is already wearing them outside without boots or shoes – so I guess I will do them again next winter!!! It’s about long term love …

a garland of dandelion silk thread…

The first Spring solar dye of dandelions on silks and wool. The jar was deliciously warm from the sun, brought in before the coming storm tonight..

The moons of seed heads will blow far and wide tonight and the birds I can hear singing will shelter safely I hope. No swifts have yet arrived, I wonder how they will fare..

Mo Crow’s shared dream…

I was so honoured and delighted to have work in Mo Crow‘s extraordinary and magical project I dream of a world where love is the answer and Exhibition 

Have a browse through the posts which give the story and journey and there is a catalogue of work to view. What an achievement Mo! It is a richly rewarding read.. The experience of joining in was wonderful!

I talked about my ‘I dream of a world’ pennant on this blog, and off it went on it’s voyage of love to add to the power and strength of the dream.

Now – here it is after winging it’s way across the world back home to me…


Perfect timing as I am about to start the natural dye cycle again  – the dandelions are shining golden and the first solar dye bath is about to begin. The dream lives on around the world, the circles continue to ripple and to sing out to share ways to nurture our beautiful world..


heart hands…

Working with the silk thread I dyed with madder today, I thought about this drawing – originally a drawing, then I made a stitched piece – this is a copy of the stitched piece reduced down to fit inside the lid of my workbox to greet me each day!

I dream of a world where love is the answer…

One of the beautiful and powerful aspects of blogging, and of following artists blogs, occur when opportunities are offered to join circles of stitchers from around the world. For me, Mo Crow is one strong articulate creative woman who I love to follow. She inspires me greatly.

So – when the opportunity came up to be involved in Mo’s work, I jumped in eagerly! This is the work and some detail about it – ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer‘ – Wander and browse if you haven’t already.. there are plenty of rich details and narratives to follow…

My piece, my pennant of the gifted wedding dress arrived in the post, and – as ever – I thought for a long time about it. Ideas in gestation – embryonic but growing, always with the same seed of beginning, lots of musing. It took me a season to think it over. Mo talks often of the moon, we link up talking about the moon – it is a strong common thread for us. I decided to steep the dress fragment in a solar bath and a moon bath from Beltane to Solstice. I wanted to send Mo something that had weathered, had absorbed our rays, was imbued with a sense of place different to where it will be, but deeply connected – from the northern hemisphere to southern..


The dandelion – sun and moon together, from the flower to the seedhead.

The jar warmed outside in my garden in the sun, was cooled inside on my kitchen table by the moon. I carried it in and out, watching it carefully. When I finally opened it at Beltane it was warm in my hands from the sun and the lid whispered as I released it. Two bees came to look and we always have crows overhead. The cloth had taken on a subtle ‘barely there’ colour. I knew this would be the case as it is a ‘synthetic’,  for me that was part of my thinking about what Mo calls our ‘beautiful broken world’ – would it respond, could it change? It took colour, gentle but there…

And so, as Autumn colour develops outside, I laid out the piece on my table. I found the words ‘I dream of a world where love is the answer’ echoing and circling in my mind for months. On the bus, out walking, I repeated them in sequence, out of sequence, in a rhythm.. and the final piece reflects this.


The backing cloth is silk organza dyed with woad. The magical moments of pulling the cloth from the dye never fail to excite me, the yellow is dandelion solar dye.


The thread was a gift from my wonderful friend Kay Swancutt .

And the stitch that holds it all together? French knots are a vital and enduring part of  my stitch language. For me they are about thoughts, they are a tactile embodiment of these, they are like prayer beads..


So, it wings its way to Mo to be part of the ‘gathering’, to join the circle. Go well little piece, play your part in mending our world. And a heartfelt thank you to Mo for your inspired work, your integrity and your creative spirit, hands and heart…






golden yellow…

I took a blog break… Interesting how the instant ease of Instagram can entice away from blogging… I realise much has been posted about these matters. The balance doesn’t feel right yet for me – composing words and image for this blog gives me space to go deeper but of course now I have so many images that I am wondering where to start!

So.. after the cool blue and snows of the last post I decided on the golden yellows of the summer dye pots.

Let’s see how I go…

Coreopsis – a mass of sunshine globes – so stunning I nearly couldn’t bring myself to cut any flower heads! A bowl for me and leave the rest and the buds for the pollinators. Such a generous plant..

Slow gentle heat and time – to watch to almost simmer, to deepen.

I have a growing precious stack of colours from this spring and summer.. and a drawing of my winter quilt stitch plan..

This practice has drawn out a more glimmering understanding of a sense of place …