hand stitch

Affirmative Art, Intuitive Art, quilt, Results

Yes I Can


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I’ve set myself the task of finishing 8 Quilts by 31 December 2019. Admittedly they are small pieces, because of this I am hand quilting them. This makes them portable and easy to take to the ‘in real life’ quilt group I’ve joined. ‘Stitchers’ in Herne Hill are very welcoming ! I’ve also joined an online accountability group which is proving to be equally supportive.

The quilt shown here is quilt number five and is from a small series from way back, that addresses the voice of the inner critic, that negative and silent in your head voice that says ‘no’. The quilt is called ‘Yes I Can’.

Contemporary Art, Intuitive Art

Clutter Confessions #2 Obstacles


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Art Studio Declutter with textile art and quiltsI have a strong tolerance for discomfort.  I can avoid, ignore, evade or go Vague in regards to the ‘stuff’ that needs to be organised. It still boils down to the fact I cannot and will not move forward easily until I vanquish the obstacles in my way.

Contemporary Art, Intuitive Art

Clutter Confessions #1


For the longest time I’ve procrastinated being an artist and living my artist life. It is actually denying what is true for me, denying my own self and my own being. When I do make my art I feel so happy and satisfied. When I make my art it seems such a simple and an easy thing to do. It feels right.
This story of denial is played out through procrastination, unmade decisions, the build up of ‘stuff’ in my life, physical obstacles that stop me before I start. For example, my studio workspace is in a constant state of flux, always needing to be cleared, is cleared, then back to being a tip again. I do make some progress sorting it out and where I have taken control, things have stayed sorted. I can put a working system into place, organise all the tools together so I know where to find them (and put them away) I can eliminate items that I no longer need. I can remove old projects that distract from making the art I want to make.
There are so many unfinished compositions of pieced ‘patchwork’ cloth waiting to be quilted, so many cloths created along one theme or another, then so many ideas come cascading down when I start yet another new idea. This has been my ongoing story. It is currently my place in the scheme of things.
So I’ve decided to approach this challenge by taking this Chakra Quest with Anodea Judith  alongside my yoga practice, with the intention of unblocking the stuck energy, of being able to access the cause of the fear that underpins this procrastination habit. To work with chakra energy to integrate the body, mind and soul. To be able to move forward confidently, competently to finish and create the art that I am to make.
It is interesting though, because in my plan to finish some small colour and pattern studies, I am hand quilting them as opposed to the original plan ( made so long ago ..!.) to machine quilt them. And here’s what I have found : that I love, love the motion and meditative quality of hand quilting. I have been consistently quilting these pieces since I started. I love the textured look and handle of the cloth. That my energy penetrates all the layers, I’m putting myself in there. The stitches create a soft, beautiful, wholly integrated cloth.
I’m hoping that this bodes well for my chakra work .

Intuitive Art, Process

Do Your Best


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Do. Your. Best.

Mum’s maxim still rings in my ears, even after all this time. The power of words to linger, to imprint in your mind, to guide, to remind.

‘do’ is hand stitched.  I’ve taken the stitches across the letters here, to echo the background. I love to hand stitch. I love machine stitching also. There’s no need to choose one above the other, just enjoy each process.

As this project develops, I notice I am searching for specific letters to complete a word. There are no ‘b’s’ left, so I reversed a ‘d’ instead. I could expand the lexicon but will stick to the plan and only use the remaining letters. Keep some boundaries, test some limits. It will only be a problem if I want to spell.

Contemporary Art, Intuitive Art, textile art

Word games


The letters are growing in number. It’s time for a little fun, (or pun !) time for a word game and this is what I came up with. I especially like the vibrancy of ‘opens’.

Art, Colour, Process, Studio

Day 4 #100 Day Result


I am switching my routine, to stitch first and then do yoga, because I had a strange feeling in my head yesterday after I posted on the blog. The crown of my head felt weird, I couldn’t get out of that place, involved with words, technology, stuck the virtual space of my head and the internet, it seemed like one and the same thing.
How did I remedy it ? it did the dishes, yep, I stood washing up the dishes,  back to a safe,  familiar, scenario…Woman  Washing  Dishes…trying to ground myself and return to my whole body. I think yoga will be a better solution.

So now I’ve completed my little stitches for today. I love the colour, it is bright, vivid and warm. The circle or ring is an ancient and universal symbol.
I like it, I like the shape, this ‘O’ . It is pleasant to stitch, no sharp, untidy corners, with exactly the right amount of thread on the needle. It looked as though the thread was going to run out but didn’t. Then lots of little ideas arrived, how I might make micro changes.

Art, Learning, Process

Trying again


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I have one hundred 3″ cloth squares in various colours and a number of random letters left over from another project. Each day I will stitch one letter to one square and post it on Instagram and blog about the process here. This is to get into a habit of making and to make a micro system of recording my projects.  In keeping it small, and keeping it simple is to get myself a modest result and most of all to finish.

Because in last year”s #100 day project I was going along happily, then stopped for no apparent reason. I failed and took so long to recover. Really. This is a pattern of mine. When I am making something and feel good about it, I halt. There has been plenty of time for reflection as to why.

There were several contributing factors ( some might say excuses ) such as external circumstances and all manner of mindset games (generally known as the ‘inner critic’ ) that played in my head to divert me to ‘not’ doing. It is quite staggering the way the brain works to prevent a person ( that is, me ) to fulfill a simple aim, to make art for one hundred days. And when it didn’t happen, the consequences were drastic, to the extent that my grand daughter observed that my studio looked abandoned..
Some lessons learned from last time.
1. to focus only on the task, to finish the daily task. I found that I started to include other things that were not about the project, like celebrating my yoga days for example. Nothing to do with one hundred beautiful words.
2. There is what I call ‘force fixing ‘ mentally shaping the outcome – what it would look like, what would happen as a result, etc etc. Who knows what will happen as a result of 100 days of making or what it will look like. I have to just stitch each day, it will reveal itself as we go along.
3. When I’m doing something i love, ideas flow freely and open up the potential for bigger things, my mind becomes distracted, ambitious and gets carried far away from the task at hand.
4. Then there were the external circumstances, life showed up in the form of family drama and of course I dropped tools to help. There was no need for me to give up my project though, I just did.

So here, I am trying again, this time with a refined plan. To keep the whole process simple to execute, simple to record and simple to finish. To complete daily, to stitch over and over each day for 100 days. I’m hoping also to establish a routine that will lodge in my brain, for onward use into other endeavours. This is the intention ( after doing my daily stitching that is )

Affirmative Art, Art, Learning, Results

15 Minutes


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A new year begins, a welcome, an invitation to to each new day, for hopes and plans for the year ahead.

In 2015 I learned the power of 15 minutes – 15 minutes of de cluttering a day, 15 minutes of  daily yoga. Doing things in small pockets of time regularly makes a difference. I practiced yoga 192 days in 2015 and plan to continue this year.

What did you learn last year that you will bring with you in 2016?

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.