Strength and fragility…

I searched back through for this post about a beautiful quilt I have – patched and pieced

It lies nowadays draped over my making table with the creamy white backing face upwards, and I often glance down and rest my eyes on the hand stitching and think

Susi vintage quilt 2The sun shone through it’s fragile layers this week – areas are disintegrating and revealing the inside and the softness and melting colours were so restful

Susi vintage quilt 4Susi vintage quilt 5It could stay folded quietly away, but I love it’s ageing qualities – out of sight would I really be caring for it more?! I prefer to keep it with me, alongside me..

The white thread patterns texture the surface – stitches as strong as ever – the even rhythm of their work is quietly astonishing to me and connects me to so many stitching hands – I linger as I Iook, wondering about it’s making

Susi vintage quilt 3It had an outing this last summer when family children were all camping in a yurt nearby and I thought why not?! I wonder if they will remember it in years to come…It came back smelling faintly of woodsmoke from the wood burner..

Another delicate rhythm

a delicate rhythm 4 from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.

In memory of my Aunt – Rosemary


May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(traditional gaelic blessing)

A prayer flag –

inching along again!

I missed the date for finishing my little quilt fragment for ‘inching along’ but I am not worried – the theme was ‘rhythm’ and it took on it’s own pace and time…

The first phase was documented here

The base fabric is a fine turban cotton which I left out on the beach every night whilst we were away, tied to some rusting old boat bits so it soaked up and imprinted with the rhythm of the tides. The walking rhythms of the days…noticing the changes to the tide lines… have become stitched patterns and pauses. The rhythm of stitching the piece has integrated into the past couple of months and is a practice I want to continue.

Now I look at this I feel a strong sense that I could have stopped here – I love the texture and movement of the cloth. But I carried on, the thinking and process of stitching took over and I ended up

As a piece in reality it is more cohesive and integrated – maybe part of this is enjoying the way photographing the phases of a piece can highlight aspects and enhance them..

I also like the way images can magnify, draw attention to detail, dilate my view

Have a browse..

The fragments of colour are naturally dyed cloth from Heike – Gerdiary –  her inspiring blog is one I so enjoy – natural dyes supporting the natural world matter to me

Onto the next quilt piece, the next exhibition, and the next body of work….!


Pom Pom Tree

Just finished this today! Wrapping a Pom Pom Tree – So exciting – a real first so a bit glitchy but hey – what a learning curve and that is so creative!!  Have put in into the Pairings II Video Open see here

Credits to Alison Harper, Jane Barker, Victoria Carpenter and Susi Bancroft and thanks to Tim Martin at the Brewhouse, Taunton where the TFSW Exhibition Mapping the Future: Where Are You Now has just closed.

Family Days

A hand-made family day…

…having a nap wrapped in a warm, colourful hand-made blanket in the midst of family chatting and eating lunch!

Meanwhile – a hand-made present – drawing, cutting, stitching, making a bag to give …

We had been talking about sewing machines – along the lines of: ‘who showed you how to sew with a machine?’ … ‘ Ma did, my mother’ ….. ‘ who showed her how?’ … ‘ Nana, her mother, my grandmother’ … and so on and sew on….! Handing on these skills, the love of making and remembering – all so precious….


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!

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.