Something special: a newborn baby. As this baby’s mother was preparing to give birth I wanted to be making – making, thinking, linking with my friend. The calm, meditative repetition, the gentle focus.

An opportunity to collaborate with another friend too – Alison Harper, another Brunel Broderer. I made the granny squares (first ever, slightly awry, combining colour and shape as I went along) and Alison pieced them all beautifully together, adding decorative borders too!

Wrapping a baby – welcoming, protecting, warming…

Pom poms feature in some current work of Alison’s – have a look at this post and others about the power of a simple textile skill to brighten lives.

Wonderful wool from Wool, Bath

Oh – and glimpses of my mother’s tapestry cushions too!

A Route Through

What a week! Have a look at Mapping The Future: Where Are You Now. We have been SO busy with the curation and hanging of this show – opening party last night! Sue Prichard, Textile Curator at the V and A, who curated the wonderful Exhibition: Quilts: 1700 – 2010, was our guest curator and what insight, sensitivity and wit she brought to it!……  Sue has also written an essay in the accompanying Catalogue for the exhibition.

A culmination of 2 years work and inspired by our TFSW Conference on the same theme last year.

Glimpses here of my piece, layered, stitched, drawn, folded  – A Route Through

A collection of bus tickets.

Sorting, selecting, placing, stitching, reflecting.

What do they reveal, hide?

What patterns, stories, thoughts impart?

Mapping of place, time, journeys.

What questions do they provoke?

Layers of fragments laid down.

Stitched drawings of routes through,

and behind, between and beyond.

Connecting the past, present, future.

Drawings from my routes and thread lines stitched following my analysis – colours for categories showing purposes of journeys including at least a few invisible threads.

More images later here and on the Mapping blog..

Wrapping by hand

Curious Drawers had me thinking about wrapping and unwrapping family made treasures.The ones that have been crafted for each other with love.

One of the pieces I made was this ‘dust-sheet’ – a fine layer, lightly enveloping and able to protect gently. It was stitched with hands and text.

Free-machine embroidery, hand stitch, pen drawing on cotton organdie and on domestic ‘dust-sheet’. The chair was made by my great grand-father who made them for his children.

Hearts – Drawing Together

This work was made as part of a deeply moving project where listening and receiving were the real essence – of which more sometime …

Drawing Together – A Creativity Works Exhibition

Saturday 8, Sunday 9, Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 October 2011

Two groups of people were introduced at a distance by artist Deborah Aguirre Jones; responding to each other’s drawings, they began a conversation, becoming known to each other without meeting face to face.

An exhibition of drawings by women undergoing times of transition, and contemporary artists based in Bristol and Bath.

Catalogue with texts from: François Matarasso, Deborah Aguirre Jones and John Hammersley

More later, more links to come ….

Centrespace Gallery Leonard Lane Bristol BS1 1EA


Family made

My mother’s hands – such a familiar gesture, outstretched with something to show and a story to share, unfolding…

Hands through time, across generations and spaces, passing on making,

stretching out to each other, connecting and holding..

Curious Drawers

First image – work in photography.

Second image – work in free-machine drawing, hand-stitch, drawing details in pen, worked on organdie fabric – 3 generations – hands of my mother’s, my own and my niece

Where Next?

Moving on to some work that holds my attention throughout the years! Hands…

To begin -a cutwork family dress, one made for my mother and aunt when babies. On it, I have placed an embroidery of drawn hands – free machine drawn in thread , pen, hand stitch. One of my nieces stitching.

 The original photo of my niece that inspired the piece credited to my brother

The beauty in imperfection

Another ‘family-made’ ‘hand-made’ treasure from my cabinet for Curious Drawers today.

This is a rabbit hand-carved by my husband when he was 11 or 12 when learning wood-carving at school. He was disillusioned when he carved too hard into the side, causing a gouge mark, which he felt was a flaw he could not rectify because that would have altered the shape of the hollow too much. To me, it captures the ‘essence’ of all that is a rabbit – perfectly. Visitors wanted to hold it and the warmth of the wood, fit to the hand and ‘feel’ was much remarked on.

Just as an extra interesting note about passing on skills, his father was a craftsman and loved working with wood.

It was such a challenge responding to this one – I settled on a tag with a photo printed onto cloth and embellished with simple lines of stitch – a quiet piece, no need for more.

Remembered beginnings

Another day, another draw! Opening this draw revealed 2 cloths.

One is a doll’s coverlet I made when I was 7 – I made it open one end, like a mix of quilt and sleeping bag. I do recall deciding on the patterns of stitches and the design and the colour. An early memory of stitching. I remember being excited about wanting freedom to decide for myself what design it would have: that is a vivid memory!

The second is my response – my capturing these fragments of memory, reaching out gently to pin them, some fading, some glimmering, some caught in the texture of thread