i am not a quilter…


Well what an amazing month. Birmingham NEC was fab. Travel up with the Mad Canadian and Mrs Masala chai was great and it was win win win..they had a great day doing loads of stitchy things at the show and I has a fab time talking about my work and spending too much money on supplies….including a plethora of plastic bags (don’t ask) and am happy to say I am now the proud owner of an original Caroline Bell and an original Alison Hulme. The day was great and as always I left the show on a high. Am back into making books big time and have started using imagery from grays anatomy work in them…watch this space…

Note to self must remember to take lemon cake to every show!Managed to get a great write up in the Petersfield post about the Hardhome Embroidery. Not responsible for the byline!! They usually ignore me….Chinese whispers should mean that before long It’ll be like I’m in the Game of Thrones…..

Sideways for a reason….










Since then I’ve been madly making for  Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta….just over a week away where I’ll be demonstrating upstairs …making books, brooches and hand stitching…..

Please come and say hello. Staying with the lovely Sarah Waters so I haven’t got far to travel. I ve been making lots of books… Still doing lots of grey stuff but playing about with colour too.


imageAnd yesterday well it was  fab! I taught a workshop at the Ashcroft Centre in Fareham at their fabric day. It was great….my class was fully booked and we did my version of crazy patchwork ….think the ladies were a bit worried when my opening gambit to my ‘textures of quilting workshop’  was’ hi my name is Helen and I am not a quilter’… But think I pulled it back!  There is something about the randomness  and ‘more is more’ with crazy patchwork/quilts that I love. …. anyone who knows me, knows I am far from an exact person…and I am definitely not a quilter.  There is nothing more satisfy thing than bringing  together lots of old bits of material cutting them up joining them back together to make something new and beautiful that just sings!… Fitted with the theme of CAROL PARKER’s VISIBLE MENDING project – which was also at the Ashcroft …REPAIR  – A participative postcard exhibition  about visibly mending items when her allotment shed was broken into and she had to patch it up with whatever materials she could find.

“The idea was to alter a postcard in some way…tear a small hole, scratch the surface etc then repair it…”

The postcards are accompanied by an embroidered map which is added to at each place on the journey from Lincolnshire and back. … Check out her word press site

Missed Nicky Barfoot’s talk and class I was teaching  my class  but there was a lovely lady who spent time later in the afternoon showing me how to knit a cord and it took me a bit to work out that she’d learnt the technique at Nicky’s workshop.. I am a bit slow on the up take sometimes!!!!! !! So thanks Nicky I have bought some wool and these strange things.. Wish me luck!!!!

Loved Alison Hulme’s workshop which I had the privilege to witness as I was cutting up oblongs of bondaweb in the same room … … the things you do in the name of art…and was itching to have a gond I listened to Caroline Bell’s talk about how she ended being the amazing Eco dyer that she is. I love the colour and the stitch!!!  Anne Moore was there too as were her amazing beach huts….Paint The Town .. Really liked the way she had set out her stall. Magic!  Wendy Fleckner was there too so it was a bit like an Eastleigh reunion!!

Jennie Rayment, pictured in her sewing studio in EmsworthBefore I left I managed to sneak into Jenny Rayment’s talk and let me tell you that lady   should  be doing stand up… So glad I got to listen to her. Her next book is evidently a hundred ways with a bathroom scrunching thingy!! Loses a lot in translation. Haven’t laughed so much in ages!!NB couldn’t find a photo of her as a bunny girl??

I am teaching another class at the Ashcroft Centre on   June 14th . Really looking forward to it! I’ll be making hand stitched keep sakes. Hoping it gets fully booked too!

Click the link to book
We will create a hand stitched keepsake to, and I quote ‘ remind you of a treasured moment or person’. . And so back to now……

Brockenhurst  weekend after next  and then I’m off to give my scholar speech at the Embroiderer’s Guild AGM in Manchester    Phew. I will need a long rest after all that lot or at the very least a large gin.

P.S. Worthing Embroiders Guild were fab and am going to do a workshop there  next year.

P.P.S. also went to Petworth House which as great. They’ve got a great Capability Brown exhibition there of guild members work. Lovely pieces.

P.P.P.S. I forgive you Sarah for double booking and not being able to see me this week…I pinky promise I will never feed you cereal for lunch ever again X

P.P.P.S do I get an extra prize for being home alone with the kids for the last two weeks whilst all this has been going on? Guess not hey!


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