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!

So you missed my blether…..

well I had another one up my sleeve just for you!

Ther week has ended with this…

White walling at Art One for degree show
White walling at Art One for degree show


Can't fit anymore in...
Can’t fit anymore in…

but began like this….

..after taking down my studio space last week…it’s still mostly in the car boot..unfortunately didn’t manage to sneak it past him indoors as he helped me get it into the car…so he actually knows how much c..p I need to get back in to the house.  Does anyone know any altruistic patrons out there who would like to give me a studio space in Petersfield for  6 months or so for a nominal fee? I can move out quickly! The search is definitely on.  If this year has taught me one thing it is that  I need a space to work in…game on…

Can't fit much more in...
Things pretty tight here too….by the way this is the other bit of the same room not another room!!!

I got  two more screens printed up..one of which I managed to wash away with the pressure washer..oops…then made ten purses.. and after thatI spent Friday felting and drinking tea in the new forest with sarah waters..(didn’t I Sarah?..look what we made…very creative!!)

Can’t get photo off my phone put yours on sarah..sorry!

imageI had intended to go to the Pallant Open House  onSaturday but got waylaid  by birthday shopping expedition with 12 year old  going on 21 year old…so instead spent time in New Look and Hennes, Claires  and Accessorise..very inspirational.

What I missed…

Wood Engraving and the Brook Green School
Wood Engraving and the Brook Green School
Leon Underwood: Figure and Rhythm
Alice Kettle: Odyssey

along with free coffee and workshops….

…what I got….

Strangely it is very hard to download pictures of H & M stores and Claires Accessories..funny that!!! However the experience is imprinted on my mind so only wanted them for the benefit of you dear reader – you’ll have to make do without#!!
Sunday went to Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta to see Caroline Bell and Alison Hulme.  Lovely show.   Really glad I made the trip.  Bumped into Sue Hawkins who had a stand there and told her had made her  scissor saver up.   Said hello to Fay  Maxwell.  Hadn’t seen her for ages – she inspired me to do the art college thing when she showed me her lovely sketch books and let me spend a day with her in her studio…showed me how to make cords too!!!
Alison Hulme Textiles
Caroline Bell Textiles


Needle Work Fiesta
Beautiful quilt at the Fiesta….












The great hing about going to a show like this is that it really fires me up.  I want to make loads of things with my materials and be creative.  Have got a  definitive list of things to make up this week…started with another cell work picture and going to make some more things to sell as well as two more exhibition pieces which will be shown at Eastleigh College and Romsey Abbey later this year.



Monday, went to Ramster with Abi. Every two years Ramster hosts an exhibition of textile artwork.  Its on until 30 Apr 2015 17:00 Google Calendar  - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 Yahoo Calendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 Hotmail / Windows Live Calendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 iCalendar - Ramster Embroidery and  Textile Art Exhibition - 2015-04-17 10:00:00 .  Abi and I are  applying next time..wonder if we’ll get in?   Actually I shouldn’t have said anything cos if wedon’t now you’ll know!   Jane Simms from Liss in SticheS was successful there as was Consuleo Simpson(room6).  Sorry no photographs of their work as  I was too stingy to pay for the photo pass…these are from the Ramster website…  http://www.02textiles.co.uk/Images/Ramster%202015%20Pieces/index.html

Lovely hall to hang work in
these figures were lovely
sorry no idea who..great colours tho!
P.S only joking this is in my kitchen!
P.S only joking this is in my kitchen!