Finally displaying my own work

I haven’t been very good at displaying on my own work in the past. Partially because I haven’t felt it was good enough but often because I just didn’t finish it! I’ve decided that that is going to change. I was determined to complete the TAST piece that I was doing and put it on the wall in my studio. My focus was on filling the piece of fabric rather than doing 1 or 2 full year’s worth of stitches, or anything like that. And now I do, finally, have it on the wall!


I cut a piece of wood to size (recycling an old shelf) then I staple gunned on a layer of wadding (recycled blanket) and a layer of calico. I hadn’t left much of a margin around some parts of the stitching so it seemed better to create a secure base then to slip stitch the TAST work onto that. I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s just for me, to decorate my studio and remind me of what I can do, so the mounting doesn’t have to be perfected.

I love that I now have work that I’ve created decorating my workspace.

Festival Shopping

Oh my! The shopping is amazing at the Festival of Quilts! I could have bought SO much more than I did. Um, if only I had the money that is. There is everything at this show – all the fabrics, threads, stabilisers, paints, dyes, doodads and watsits you could ever need. And I really enjoyed doing a bit more than browsing 🙂

FoQ Shopping

I bought a couple of thermafax screens, a variety of machine and hand threads, Liberty fabric scraps, a mixture of applicators, dyeable fabrics, and plenty more.

Books I bought 4 quite varied books at the festival and these were just the ones that I felt I couldn’t leave without. To help me with my sketchbook habit and learning to find my artistic ‘voice’ I bought “Finding Your Own Visual Language” by Jane Dunnewold, Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan. It contains a series of exercises that can help you to try out different marks and ways of making them and changing them in order to naturally ‘bring out’ what your own voice is. I need to find a sketchbook to dedicate to this and then create a daily sketching habit. Mostly it’s not drawing but more making marks and shapes, which is a better place for me to start, I think. A very different book on sketchbooks is “Under The Cover” by Frances Pickering. Inside it is colourful and playful and seems to be a polished and printed version of her own sketchbooks but telling the story of how a sketchbook works. It’s a beautiful book so I’ve put it by the bed to read before I go to sleep at night.

Another beautiful and inspirational (or even aspirational book) is Dual Journey in Stitch by Pat Archibald and Gillian Travis. After attending a workshop by Pat I was inspired to do more work in her strain – colour + markal paintsticks. I went to look at her stand to see her display pieces and the vivid pinks, reds, blues etc. were beautiful and the theme of India was very attractive to me. So I’m going to read about her and Pat’s individual journeys through this country and what they created afterwards in the hope of drawing out some of my travelling experiences and.

Lastly, before this post becomes incredibly long, I bought a book on tray dyeing. I watched one of the artists doing some dyeing in the virtual studio (such a good idea) and basically just bought the book so that I could follow the instructions and do similar dyeing myself. I have done some tray dyeing before but there are plenty of techniques I haven’t investigated.

Book wrapAnd I won this last item! I love the charity raffle that they always have at the Festival of Quilts and I seem to be quite lucky. Two years ago I won a beautiful rainbow mini-quilt and this year it was a wonderful book wrap and notebook in beautiful batik fabric that I received. How nice is this?

Book wrap inside

On the inside is the notebook and a pocket for keeping handy bits and pieces or random things that I find on my travels.

TAST 2012 – Week 37

I’m just about keeping up! The stitch for week 37 of the TAST 2012 challenge was Pistil stitch. It’s basically a French Knot with a tail – the tail can be long or short which gives it quite a bit of versatility. There have been some very pretty interpretations of this stitch on the TAST 2012 blog so do go and have a look  if you’re at all interested. As I’ve been so manic recently I did keep it simple and just did a few odd stitches and a little circle like some of the beautiful dandelions I’ve seen.

TAST 2012 Pistil Stitch

I’d love to have had more time to play with this stitch. It could be used for so much but at least I’ve tried it now and it’s something I can come back to. I’m ready for week 38!

TAST 2012 – last few weeks update

Ok, so I didn’t stay on the blogging-regularly-wagon for very long! But things have been amazingly stressful. We’ve finally sold our house after quite a lot of drama and we’re now going through the paperwork and starting to pack lots of boxes. So I haven’t been quite on top of things but I have (just) been keeping up with the stitching.

Here’s my latest set of stitches:

TAST 2012 Sheaf Stitch

 The pink ones in the middle are the latest – Sheaf stitch. This one was easy and just changing the size or angle makes a nice pattern. I could quite happily do more of that stitch. On the right is my attempt at Linked Double Chain stitch. I couldn’t get it to look like something I’d done on purpose!

So, we’re already in the next week and the stitch for week 37 of the TAST 2012 challenge is Pistil stitch. I’ve never heard of it before but apparently it’s just a french knot with a tail – I think I can do that 🙂


TAST 2012 – Week 34

The stitch for week 34 of the TAST 2012 challenge looks like a pleasant one. It’s called Linked Double Chain stitch and it’s a combination of standard chain stitch and a twisted chain stitch. Things are still being quite stressful right now so I’m pleased to have a stitch that I feel comfortable working on and I’m confident of getting this one done on time.


TAST 2012 – Week 32 and 33

Oh dear. I only managed 1 week on the TAST 2012  challenge before I fell off the timing wagon! Hopefully it’s only temporary but the way that things are going right now anything could happen!

Well I finished my samples of week 32‘s Cast On stitch this week and it didn’t go too badly. At first it just didn’t look right but each stitch was getting better and looking more and more like the photos. It turned out to be really easy to do once I’d worked out how to hold the thread and I’m sure it would make a wonderful addition to a piece of creative embroidery.

Then I moved on to week 33‘s stitch which was Pekinese stitch. No problems here! Such an easy stitch comprising of backstitch with loops of thread going through it. It looks pretty and could be amazing when done in more decorative threads.

TAST 2012 Pekinese and Cast On Stitch

I will try to get back into a better blogging routine but currently we might be moving house and we have no idea exactly when!

TAST 2012 – Week 32

Oh my goodness! I’m a bit scared by week 32‘s stitch for the TAST 2012 challenge. This week it’s Cast On stitch. I’ve never heard of it but I presume it’s like the way that you start knitting and that is what worries me. I have tried to learn knitting a number of times but it never stuck. I did make a scarf for my mother-in-law for Christmas 1 year and was very pleased that she didn’t mind the odd buttonhole in it! (That’s what I called my accidental holes)

So I’m not sure what to make of this week’s stitch. And the fact that it sits above the fabric…I guess we’ll see what happens.


TAST 2012 – Week 31 Algerian Eye Stitch

I’m so pleased with myself as this is the first week that I’ve finished on time for a while 🙂 Ok, I only did a small bit of stitching but what matters is that I did it rather than how much I did. Week 31 of the TAST 2012 challenge brought Algerian Eye stitch. As I thought, it wasn’t as effective on the tightly woven cloth that I’m using for this challenge, but I did enjoy using the stitch and adding alongside my less geometric work.

TAST 2012 Algerian Eye Stitch

I hope that I get a chance to use this stitch again sometime and explore it further. I could imagine some beautiful, exotic-looking panels involving Algerian Eye stitch combined with other, geometric stitches.

TAST 2012 – Week 30 Oyster Stitch

I’m pretty much caught up with all the stitches for the TAST 2012 challenge now. I did do this stitch last week but I’ve only just had a chance to post it. I must admit to not being particularly fond of this stitch while I was doing it. It seemed just a step too much – too much thread and too many aspects. I can see that a cluster of them looks fairly effective but I think that I would probably use some other stitch if I was looking for a similar effect.

TAST 2012 Oyster stitch

This week’s stitch is Algerian Eye stitch. The samples on the TAST 2012 site are worked on Aida or an openweave fabric and they are very effective and Middle Eastern. I’ll be interested to see how this stitch looks when I sew it on a tighter fabric.