the turning year..


The Solstice and Christmas door wreath gently carried down the garden today and laid on logs for the birds and creatures to enjoy…holly, heather, honeysuckle, ivy, old man’s beard, rosemary. I brought feathers inside that were resting on the logs and will keep any such gifts for the next wreath making..

The cycle continues – and I was so aware of the rings on the logs – the cycle of seasons and years continuing their rhythm…

A fox calling out woke me in the night and two nights ago we glimpsed a barn owl in nearby fields

Time to stitch again, to continue, to get into the rhythm!

wheeling in thoughts..

IMG_2618a susibancroftA dilated view – the camera lens reveals so much detail and I like the way the light catches the thread – it is the thread I want to focus on – the beauty of it’s substance as twisted silk as well as it being my intervention into the cloth – my stitches / my thoughts

What I most notice about this is the shadow – being able to see the stitches at the back of the organdie fabric – the running stitches, the buttonhole stitch, the tiny tufts of thread.. Catching the layers – not hiding but revealing all

IMG_2625aI have travelled between the tailor’s wool and a translucent fabric or tissue with the buttonhole stitch. It confirms where I feel more naturally at ease. I have deepened a view of thread and stitch being integral to thinking – I think / I stitch – there is no separation – one flows with the other.

IMG_2630aThis week I will share work on the tailor’s wool suiting – the sketchbook is filled, overflowing – and I am selecting images to share at the exhibition, and which written reflection to record on audio.. hmm – much to be done!

For detail have a look at Select 2013 



new year, new mend

Uh oh – where have I been?!



Remember this… jeans mending piece

Well , it seems to be attracting alot of interest! I find this heartening.

It always feels natural and easy working on denims – patching, mending, stitching, embroidering, creating something with a deeper beauty whilst protecting it, saving it from falling apart. It has lead a full life, shows the signs, the places of strain as well as tears.

So – in looking, suddenly I notice the full subtle colours of the threads, the softness of the cloth through wear. I want to hold on to this.


To back the tears with bursts of colour, to stitch the layers with rhythm and balance

and add something.

susibancroft_jeans mending 2




I want to thank someone special too – for her inspiration, and a practical note about blanket stitch! Have a look at

Thanks Sherri Lynn!

the big mend

Remember this?! Well The Big Mend with Scrapiana was such fun! A monthly mending get-together – and last night some ingenious, inspiring jeans mending and patching – see here for the ‘Liberty knee repair sachiko style’, ‘square spiral jeans mend’ and ‘red scribble jeans mend’  and Scrapiana’s beauty here… got to try sometime with my 2 most precious, faded and ripped pairs!

So – what did I take?

I took a favourite blue merino jersey of my mother’s – she would buy just one new one every couple of years from the same maker to keep her warm (loved the soft feel and lightness) and was always excited to order a new colour or style – I have so many pictures in my head of her in these.. and, yes I do wear them!

This one has a few threadbare places and one hole…

So – I have always been a bit nervous of darning and this idea of needle-weaving a patch to sew on is just so clever – see Eirlys’ samples on the left there!

Alison was there too and she did some amazing darning in singing colours and stitches..

Will look forward to the next one.

threads – more thoughts….

A sampling piece from the hand-washing sequence which is now on show at Musgrove Hospital, Taunton – a Brunel Broderers Exhibition, Mending My Ways

I have been thinking about all those threads and why they are a constant in my work..

Threads…loose threads, left… – a metaphor – until now partially glimpsed, fleetingly captured in my understanding…..

Suspended, reaching out, pausing, changing where they lie, are they touching something or is the space important?

The possibilities of connecting, or not.. or waiting to connect – other, between, beyond, unfinished or extending – in the liminal space between the work made and another place

I think a physical representation of me, my intention – the marks are mine but so is the thread itself- it is the substance of my making and my thinking, maybe it is me!

It is a question, a subtle invitation – the place where words tail off in a conversation waiting for a response. Nothing finished or ‘cut off’ but open to possibilities and relationships…..

inching along

I am part of a ‘quilt challenge’ – a fragment piece every couple of months with each person having chosen a theme secretly and a blog to share work! I like the difference creative play on an unexpected theme gives – have a look at the first offerings here

the first piece – soft fine turban cotton layered with bamboo wadding, silk threads for hand stitch, charcoal free machined, pen drawing…

the feel of the layers, the slow smooth stitching together creating those textures

the drawing of grasses and earth showing through and threads cut, drifting in the air

hand stitched knots – flakes floating down

coral stitch frame for defining an edge and leaving edges floating

the memory of a walk

capturing an experience – the sound of birdsong, energy of small darting feathers seeking food, trickling water, sharp cold enlivening the senses






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.

An unbroken line

Sometimes the creative process is like an unbroken line – the pencil moving continuously and in intricate or sweeping movements, forwards, backwards, around, over, under – like a never-ending scribble drawing. And from this process of doing, and thinking and the movements of the hands, and connections not even registering or sometimes glimmering, comes something.

This was just one of those – months of thinking, fragile ideas, time playing with the wire itself, and one day, out of all this, suddenly emerged this figure. When I photographed her she was dancing with her shadow – the sun unexpectedly shining strongly on the walls giving another dimension, another layer, another life.