It has been a busy time recently so little or no time to blog. Since the Festival of Quilts there has been little or no time to catch my breath. Firstly there was the month long and hugely successful exhibition at Hilliers Arboretum (which never got a look in on this blog) to man and then wind up. I am hugely grateful to Zeronine textile artists for allowing me to be a part of it. This kind of blurred into Hampshire Open Studios at the Granary with Room 6 which again was very successful and hugely enjoyable ( again no posts, sadly). I did some demonstating and this is the results of some of my labours.


Then after a quick holiday to Portugal it was straight off to the Big Textile Show in Leicester. Great to see a lot of familiar faces and put names to faces of people I have only met on the internet.

Then yesterday was the hanging of Romsey Abbey. It was with some trepidation that I saw my piece ‘Metamorphosis’ being hoisted. Because of its length it has been difficult to visualise how it would look. I have been somewhat ambivalent about its new hue particularly as it was not what I had originally intended. However it needed to metamorphose to earn its title and whats done is done and this is now what it looks like.



I also have an installation of my wax pots which were part of my Common Thread body of work which have never had a proper airing.

FullSizeRender (2)

Obviously being the Abbey, the light is not going to be brilliant – it is what it is and a fabulous space in which to exhibit.

Some of the other work from my collegues is truly amazing, with their permission I am hoping to share some of it here at a later date.

Its the Knitting and Stitching Show next week. I am back on the stand this year, no exhibitions although Alison Hulme will still be with me. The stand number is TGB13 so if you want a pinny, a scarf, some fabric or just a chat please come and say hello. Alison is demonstrating for ArtVanGo as well so you might find her there.



A dyeing day

I have been waiting for a dry and sunny day to dye my banners for the exhibition in Romsey Abbey. I have been working on these on and off for the past six months so it was going to be a bit of a leap of faith. The original intention was to dye them red with madder but as the work progressed, I was aware that because I had included a lot of iron mordanted fabric, red was probably unachievable. I have done loads of samples but each one turned out differently so I had only an inkling of what I might end up with.

i also harvested my tansy crop, I have wasted to many of my dye crops this year.



I estimated that about 500g of dried madder root would do the trick. The brew looked promising…..



As expected when I put in the banners, colour shifts started almost immediately.


I made a secondary pot with the roots- waste not want not. Much more the colour I originally envisaged.


After several hours simmering banners have come out a pale aubergine


Not sure how I feel about them yet.

Festival Of Quilts 2015

Am now home from The Festival of Quilts. Alison and I had a lovely and very fruitful time. We met loads of lovely people and had a lot of laughs.


Our stand Рterrible light so not  good pics. We have decided we can no longer fit a quart into a pint pot so have booked a bigger stand for next year.

We also had work in the Quilters in Action exhibition
FullSizeRender (1)IMG_1219
As did fellow room 6ers Sue Chapman and Lynne Onions

Lynnes at the top and Sues underneath

A brief rundown of the highlights

Alice Fox in the Virtual Studio

IMG_1230 IMG_1231

Suzanne Lenzs Wall of Keys

Kate Whitehead

My favourite commercial stand this year was Neelam. The couple who run this come from France and they sell the most wonderful Indian block prints done using only natural dyes.



Lastly the child in me could not resist snapping this
This was part of an antique instructional quilt for children. Not quite sure what the message was!

Waiting for my feet to touch the ground!

A combination of computer problems and so much going on, I have been hugely neglectful here so this is something of a roundup.

Firstly at the beginning of the month there was the past graduates exhibition at Eastleigh College. Some lovely work on show and great to catch up with what everyone is doing. 

A very random selection. Several works were behind glass and impossible to capture.

Sadly the foundation degree is no more. However there is a broader based HNC starting up in the art department in which there is an opportunity to specialise in stitched textiles so all is not lost.

The next big thing was setting up the five week long exhibition staged by Zeronine textile artists at Hilliers Arboretum,  

The group very kindly invited me to be a guest artist for which I am very grateful. 

 Again just a small snapshot of what is on offer. Judging by the comments in the guest book and the number of sales, the exhibition is hugely successful. The gardens are beautiful at the moment and are also hosting a sculpture exhibition so well worth a visit.

Next week Alison Hulme and I are heading off to Birmingham to theFestival of Quilts. Fellow Room 6 members Susan Chapman and Lynn Onions will be there too. We are all in the Quilters in Action area. We welcome any visitors.

Then at the end of August I will be participating in Hampshire Open Studios as part of Room 6 at the Old Granary Owslebury.

Then it’s the Big Textile Show and the Knitting and Stitching Show and for the month of October will be part of an exhibition called ‘Stitched’ at Romsey Abbey


Next year doesn’t look to be any less busy with a Room 6 exhibition at the Nec in March, From the Earth textiles happening in June and all 3 Knitting and Stitching Shows with Marks and Stitch in the Autumn.

Always more to Learn

I am not an habitual giver of workshops – it is not really my style and I feel that I still have so much to learn. However when the opportunity arose to do a workshop at ArtVanGo, I decided to cave in. In the end I had a blast. The students were lovely and wanted to work really hard and the results were stunning!
We worked on fabric and paper and I think everyone went home with something rather special and my point about learning was proven since I came away feeling I had learned as much as they had!
Here are some of the highlights – there were many many more but not captured on camera.



IMG_1068 (1)







For anyone interested, the orangey red on images 3 and 4 come from aquelegia – who would have thought!

Many thanks to Viv and Kev for their hospitality. If anyone is in the neighbourhood of Knebworth and doesn’t know about it, ArtVanGo is a treasure trove of supplies of all kinds.

Normal Service has been Resumed

I have taken a bit of a break part of which has been spent in Cambodia. I thoroughly recommend it as a destination, the people are lovely and very laid back in spite of a very tragic history. Inevitably went to Angkor Wat and took some probably very cliched pics.

P1020881 P1020885 P1020889 P1020890

These of of the area known as Ta Promh and the only bit now with the trees growing through. The rest of the site is vast and I took loads of inspirational pics

We also went to Pnomh Penh, Kampot and an island, Koh Rong Samoleon which was relaxing and totally off grid





On our return I went to Birmingham to the Embroiderers Guild AGM to report on my year as one of their scholars. It feels like the end of an era especially as I am considering moving on from the ways in which I have been working for the past 3 or 4 years. It will still have an ethical basis but I would like to explore alternative ways of mark making.

However I have not quite finished yet. At the moment I am working on a very large piece that is to go into Romsey Abbey. It will go into a large arch and is double sided and will consist of 5 separate ‘banners’. Since it is time consuming I am hoping that the elements both together and apart will have various different guises over the coming months and over time will be altered in some way, hence title of Metamorphosis.


This is how far I have got.
I will document here the nature of the changes as and when they happen so watch this space!


inspirational cover, issue 3 1

I am delighted to be included as one of the featured artists in the most recent edition of Inspirational. This is the online magazine, brainchild of John Hopper from the Textile Blog link to which is  here. Well worth a look and incredible value with 157 pages and a huge number of images Рtruly inspirational!
I am particularly pleased to be in this issue alongside some amazing talent which includes not only other textile artists but potters, mixed media and other disciplines
5 caroline bell-inspirational publicity