Intuitive Art, Process

Fast and Slow

This is a fast and slow process. It is about the speedy sewing machine, where the fabric is manipulated with free flowing movement. The machine whip stitch causes the bobbin thread to be pulled to the top, creating little dots and pulls around the circles, echoing the edge stitch of the letter. I like this spontenaiety.
Then it’s slow and purposeful, stitching by hand to define the letter. The choice of colour and weight of thread influence the outcome. Using the same thread on the letter as on the back ground creates balance, using a weightier thread brings colour and texture to the surface.

Art, Process

Message from The Universe – Part 2

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I’ve been considering the relationship between fear and pain, not surprising given the arm fracture. ‘Fear:Pain Ratio’ is an alternative title for this piece and since last friday (24th Jan) i have completed a number of watercolours.This was the first.

I drew a grid with stepped lines, creating a ‘wall’ which was filled with a loose washes of colour straight from the palette. The darker shades were mixed from complementary colours to balance the blend. I waited for it to dry.

With my journal entry fresh in my mind and my favourite biro in hand (my non writing hand) I mapped out keys words and added my current doodle symbols (which my daughter-in-law suggested look like Adinkra symbols) To give each word more definition, it was ringed with a bold amorphous shape. At this stage the image was flat so extra 3D lines were drawn and filled to add depth and decoration. Then the colouring in arrived. Which colour next? The choice seemed to line up as I went along until it was complete. I wanted the colour to show through the layers- to create a veil like effect- because fear can be like that sometimes- like an invisible veil covering me.

Affirmative Art, Art, Colour

Message from the Universe…

Watercolour painting with a New Age theme, featuring text and pure colour values.
Message from the Universe © Maggie Winnall
Watercolour on paper


I fell…was falling, slipping, sliding, going through the air.

The cup of tea in my right hand dropped, tea splattered everywhere and BA BOOM…I’m on the floor. I hold my left arm and wait..sit and wait as I assess body pain, register sensations, whilst around me my girl and grand girls rush to help. My left leg is sore..not sure yet about my left  arm. I hold it close to me to avoid my’s pain free at the moment, once I move it, the pain will arrive.

This was last friday evening. There was more drama afterwards, an ambulance was called, I was carted off to A&E where they diagnosed a fractured left elbow. A big thanks goes to The kind and helpful A&E team at St. Thomas’ Hospital for their fantastic care.

So today is right hand day no.3, using the left side of my brain, as I navigate through with one hand. I have been able to draw and write though, so have taken up watercolour. Stitching is out right now, no needle threading or cutting intricate curves and serifs, no little letters. I’m making my letters in biro and paint.

Art, Colour



Normally it’s a ten minute bus ride to Clapham Common from my house ( I sometimes drive the 137 route). On this bright beautiful morning I walked and captured the light and colours for you to enjoy. Some one once asked me what I loved about London. My reply ‘the trees’ surprised them, maybe not an obvious choice for a busy cultural metropolis, but everywhere you go you can enjoy them.

Learning, Materials

Yes- the Oysters are shaping up.

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Working through the assembly sequence is interesting because of the different weights of cloth I’ve used. The red, pink and purple are furnishing weight cloth, which makes the wallets cosy… with a chunky feel. The black/dark grey works well, it lies flatter and is easier to stitch and accommodates the quilted templates more easily than the others.













Affirmative Applique™, Process

24 Oyster Card Wallets and Thank You

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Today I tested nylon thread to sew my recycled plastic bag oyster card wallets. Once over the technical problems, needle breakage, uneven and wobbly stitches  I managed to finish the 24

colourful oyster wallets you see above.

Also I’d like to thank all the visitors and art enthusiasts who came to see the Open Studio event on 5th and 6th October. I was so busy  putting up the information on the home page that I

forgot to blog about it. So here are some photos of my Affirmative Applique™ oyster wallets that were on show. For more pictures of the Open studio click here.Affirmative Applique™ Oyster Card Wallets with messages of hope and gratitude by Maggie Winnall-Sewin Studio

Affirmative Applique™, Art

Affirmative Applique™ at the Southbank Centre

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Affirmative Applique™ was started as part of my personal development work with Affirmations. I create positive statements and words made from letters cut from cloth,which are applied to a ground fabric. The words and letters are stitched into place using a selection of coloured threads.

I use different fonts for the letters and enjoy the cut out letters in their own right, even before they are stitched, see the first picture above. The other two pictures show the work in progress and you can see the difference between the daylight shots and under the neon light in the studio.

Affirmative Applique™ was named by Duncan (and given to me to use-many thanks Duncan) to describe my textile affirmation work, also known as Hope in Your Handbag™, at the workshops I ran at the Shared Space sessions at Transition Town Brixton. I added the ™ sign to identify Affirmative Applique™ and Hope in Your Handbag™ as my own original work and to help people recognise the same.

This weekend I will be at the Festival of Neighbourhood, Grow Your Own Ideas Finale (London UK) from 11am-4pm  running a drop-in workshop  Affirmative Applique™ session. We will be stitching cloth badges to take home with you. You can choose from a selection of coloured fabrics and thread, cut out your own letters, then stitch them into place! Add your pin and Voila! your own badge. This is a simple introduction to stitching for children that everyone can enjoy too. I’m hoping to see Brenda (whom I met at the Bunting workshop) and lots of the friends she is bringing tomorrow. Hope to see you there too!

Accessories, Colour

Sewin Studio banner at Brixton Market

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My Sewin banner had it’s inaugural visit to Brixton Market today. I made the banner to fit the width of the stall which is 2 metres (6ft +) It is made with raw edge applique, machine stitching on white organza.

The pink buckram is dyed with cochineal and it has faded nicely to match the tone of the original logo. The stitching is hard to see from the front so I’ve shown you the reverse, so you can get an idea of the detail. Each segment of each letter is stitched separately.

I’l be back at Brixton Market on the 30th August 2013 with more fabric oyster card wallets and new colour ways, adding more choice to the collection and some small art works. If you’re in the market, look out for my banner and come and say hello.