Heart, Intuitive Art, Learning, textile art

Learning Curves


I’m practising my learning curves, in more ways than one. Literally in the sense of stitching curved shapes together and metaphorically to practice and learn to be humble in the face of mastery. That I somehow expect to be able to just do things without any sweat or toil or effort …. that it will all fall into my lap as a gift… but the gift is really the learning curve…. sometimes you just have to admit that it’s not as straightforward as you think. The dilemma of constructing the #State of Mind Map ‘bubbles’ has to be resolved.

This is why you have been dragging your feet, because you don’t know how to do it!  Contrary to what your head is telling you, which is to work it out in your mind’s eye and visualise the end result. You know by now that all the mental planning is aiming for the perfect result and is nothing like how it will be in reality. Thanks to my Coach for this prompt, that if you know what it’s going to be like, there is no room for surprise and this is what we want after all.

So I’ve humbled to the process to practice a technical skill at which I will improve, the more I practice. Practice makes perfect …. that word again… practice makes better, improved, growing, good enough. There, that’s better, new and improved iterations of curves and learning how to stitch them together. I have a book that escaped the book cull of last year, which has instructions on how to do the same. It’s all about notches, lining up the edges, marking them so the edges match and easing the concave side to fit the convex side. The first attempt ended up with little gathers, which became tiny pleats when I pressed the cloth flat. Still, there are more to make and it will become easier.

I tidied the table and was left with a pile of cloth that I don’t know what to do with, so these bits and pieces will be used for my #learning curves. It will be fun to see them pile up and improve, be surprised at how they look together.

Affirmative Applique™, Process

World of Stitches


I’m stitching a world on the reverse of the dress now. New story threads and new words will be added.

At the present I am in an ocean of stitches, laying down texture for my next beautiful word.

Affirmative Art, Art, Learning

Textile Art in the Garden

It is my day 53 in the #100 Days of Making Project. I say ‘my’ day 53, because the A* people are on day 63. This ten day gap has opened up and revealed secret thought processes (once I got over berating myself !) Thought processes that have been running the show for the longest time and that have contributed to major procrastination issues. I’m amazed really, that it’s taken so long for me to see this and I’m amazed at being held hostage for so long too.

This is all good, because now I know what I’m dealing with.

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!

Affirmative Applique™, Learning

Crows at the Southbank Centre-Village Fair 24th August 2013

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We made  crow themed bunting at the Southbank Village Fair on August 24th. These lovely people joined in as well as two girls stitching away at the beginning of the day. I would like to have included them in the gallery, but I hadn’t asked their parents’ permission directly. I always enjoy drop-in stitch sessions and thanks to you if you took part. It was great to meet you!

To be Confirmed : 7th and 8th September Sewin Studio returns to Southbank Centre as part of the Festival of Neighbourhood Finale-Grow Your Own Ideas, with the Affirmative Applique™ taster workshop,  where you can make a simple and effective cloth brooch.  This is a free drop in workshop. Please check back here or the home page for confirmation.

Thanks to Makerhood for inviting me to take part and Georgia Wade from the Soutbank Centre for the Village Fair weekend.


diagonal tacking/interfacing the handbag

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Making sure the interfacing  stays attached- learning diagonal tacking from my 1970’s Vogue Book of Sewing- a great resource that stands the test of time. I love the pattern the stitches make.


Deadlines don’t work… Part 2

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Aaliyah cosy © 2012 maggie winnallSo many childhood messages can be loaded with negativity – don’t do this…don’t do that….or else…then negative consequences follow. It’s no wonder we procrastinate and are fearful to act.

Giving myself a deadline to finish Aaliyah’s quilt was an attempt to kick the procrastination, instead all manner of obstacles presented themselves…….

So I decided to treat each obstacle as a learning opportunity, to listen out for the thinking behind the ‘difficulty’, to identify what informed the thought.

One learning choice was to listen to ‘Eat that Frog’ by Brian Tracy, which amongst other things, throws insight onto why deadlines don’t work.

So, whilst hand sewing under and around all the raw edges of Aaliyah’s quilt, I listened to words of encouragement, stitch by stitch I heard news of the positive consequences of doing this….doing that…., stitch by stitch I heard an endorsement of the positive feelings to experience following this advice. It is a strategy I recommend to help you move along  in your work, because stitch by stitch  I heard  refreshing, encouraging words which hopefully all the little stitches have captured and are now wrapped around Aaliyah.


One of a kind the making

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the next stage ?  A little experiment with cloth, paper and scissors to see how the purse might look with red or green handle.Hmm……

do I have then nerve to slice all my stitching ……..?