All the exhibitions in one day

Today I went to London and I…..

Started at The Foundling Museum’s Fate, Hope and Charity exhibition. I’ve not been there before as I stupidly missed the textiles exhibition last year. The cafe was good too and National Trust members get in half price so it was only £3.25.

Pottered down Lamb’s Conduit Street and looked wistfully at Persephone Books but didn’t want to end up carrying heavy books around (see later…)

Walked down to Somerset House to see Wool House, which was, as I expected, great. Preaching to the converted, really, as I am already a massive fan of wool! I like the felt pieces and entrance hall best.

Had a lovely backstreet browse on my way over to Clerkenwell, where I’ve not been for years. Bought a dress at Leather Lane market too. Popped into Lesley Craze Gallery and Craft Central’s tiny shop. I wanted to see the new Craft Central gallery, but they were closed whilst setting up this weekend’s wedding fair.

I was then lazy (tired feet!) and got a bus over to the British Museum to see the African Textiles Today exhibition, which has some great stuff but is quite small and (predictably) woefully poor text panels and lack of interpretation. The tiny exhibition about Sowei masks was excellent though. It was interesting to add some context to my work on Derby’s African collections, which I (purposely) didn’t research too much when I did the commission.

Headstrong

Dropped into Blade Rubber to try and find ink in almost the right colour for my logo. Had to buy three as you can’t test them… They also have a brilliant selection of American mixed media craft magazines which are always worth a browse and lots of interesting tools and materials that I don’t know anything about… for scrapbooking & stuff I suppose.

I’m tired just writing this up…. I walked over to Contemporary Applied Arts and was DELIGHTED to find Pairings II (not officially open). I missed the Stroud exhibition last year and have regretted it. I gather this is a slightly different exhibition but it has a lot of the same work in it. I was fascinating to ready about collaborations when I have just done two myself. A brilliant exhibition. As usual I dropped into Rebecca Hossack Gallery too. I’ll miss having these two neighbouring galleries when CAA moves to South London.

What next… Ah yes, the WEFT exhibition at Brunei Gallery in SOAS. It turned out to be twice the size I anticipated but full of amazing things. It closes at the weekend so I am glad I got there. I had no idea what the narrative of the exhibition was or really what was what (lost a lot in translation… ) but there are some stunning textiles in there (and quite a few dreary things too). I particularly loved the work of Hiroyuki Shindo from Japan. It is impossible not to love contemporary Japanese indigo as far as I am concerned.

Image from Some´ Museum

My last port of call was Waterstones Gower St, just around the corner from SOAS, where I discovered they had a 50% off sale on the second hand books! I’ve bought many a book from their excellent second hand section before. So having decided not to carry books today, I came home with a very weighty bag containing (amongst other things) The Golden Age of Couture, Mining Couture (which I very much wanted to read anyway, having crossed paths with their project a number of times), another copy of Metric Pattern Cutting (so I have one to lend out), Nature Cure (which goes to show I have one or two interests outside of textiles… ) and finally a book about Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar, about whom I know nothing, but her work looks fascinating. 

And then I got the train home & pedalled home super fast as I didn’t have enough clothes on and it was FREEZING on my bike. 
And that is what I call a relaxing day off!

Studio Sale!

On Saturday 20th October 12-4pm I will be holding a massive sale of lovely things at my studio (directions and details at the end of the page). Additional sale date Monday 22nd Oct by appointment afternoon & evening. 

What I have for sale:

Fabrics:
Vintage fabric pieces 25-50% off
Lots of 60s prints, some 50s prints and plenty of big pieces (2-3m) as well as small pieces.

poppies.JPGnew old fabrics


New fabrics including Laura Ashley furnishing fabric and new organic handwoven cotton for just £5 per metre (half normal price!)




















Books: My books 25% off and a wide range of new and 2nd hand (carefully selected) craft & sewing books. Also sewing magazines including Stitch for £5 (RRP £8)

sew it up on shelves
Sew It Up £15.00 (RRP £19.99)
Mini Quilts £12.75




Gifts:
Necklaces, brooches, cushions, bags and scarves all HALF PRICE From £3. Masses of samples and slight seconds at bargain prices, perfect for Christmas presents. 

Amelia wool felt brooch £5 (normally £10)


Felt Necklace £6 (normally £12). Also kits for £4!


Handmade Christmas decorations, slight seconds from £2



Sewing Kits HALF PRICE from £1.50!

Mr Mouse felt hand puppet kit £4 (normally £8)



Vintage sewing patterns from 50p with 1950s rare patterns just £3.

patterns from 50p

 Haberdashery and sewing tools 25% off.

Embroidery thread 40p

 Sewing Machines. Serviced and in perfect working order. Two vintage machines – Central 1960s as shown £35, Vintage Jones semi-industrial straight stitch SOLD. Plus other machines – come and find out!



Craft materials:

Stash bag
Fabric scraps (vintage and recycled) £1 per bag. Recycled wool felt scrap bags from £3


paper folding - 09
Collage papers scrap bags from £1 per bag


Knitting yarn at bargain prices! Good quality stuff and also some cheap stuff. 


Spend over £50 and received another 10% off!

Free drinks & biscuits; come for the afternoon. 


HOW TO GET HERE


Sale takes place in Ruth Singer Studio, Workspace 14, Phoenix Square, 4 Midland St, Leicester, LE1 1TG. This is the same building as the Phoenix Cinema but the workspaces are not directly accessible from the cinema foyer.
To get in, it is best to come to the Burton St entrance to Phoenix Workspaces, which is opposite Staples (on the opposite side of the main cinema entrance). Make sure you are at the workspace door not the apartments door – big glass door with large lobby, orange back wall, lots of post boxes & not much else – not the one with the bath-sofa on the corner which is the flats. Ring number 14 & I will let you in to the lobby & come & collect you.

Parking
Pay and Display spaces are available around Phoenix Square, until 6pm this is charged and is for a maximum of 3 hours – costing around £1.70-90. From 6pm and on Sundays this parking is free. You can park on single yellow lines from 6pm too, but not on Sundays. Please do not park in Staples car park. There is now a small car park accessible from Burton St at the side of Phoenix. At the time of writing the pay & display meters have not been installed so it is free!

Access
There is a lift to the workspaces from the Burton St entrance. The Studio is fully wheelchair accessible and there are accessible toilets on the same level.


Pleat and Fold

sewing2

Pleats and folds have fascinated me since I started designing and making professionally, seven years ago. It all started many years before with an obsession with 18th century dress trimmings made from folded and manipulated silk.

Neckpiece

My new book on fabric manipulation, due out in 2013, has a whole chapter on pleating and folding techniques. Working on it has been a joy; a chance to experiment and play with new (to me) old techniques and the chance to invent some of my own.

pleats detail.JPG

You can get an advance preview of some of the techniques in the book at my next fabric manipulation workshop on Sunday 30th September, 10-4 at Ruth Singer Studio, Leicester.

Garrick Cushion detail

Sunday 30th September 10-4 £45
This is an exciting creative workshop exploring decorative pleating and folding techniques in fabric. We will learn box and knife pleats, decorative variations, pin tucks and origami-like folds in fabric to create samples for use in quilting, embroidery and fashion projects.
All materials included.
Suitable for all levels

pressed pleat.JPG

Handmade in Leicestershire

Ruth Singer Studio presents the Sewing Space at Handmade in Leicestershire at Belgrave Hall Museum & Gardens on Saturday 18th August

The forecast for Saturday is for hot and sunny (if we ignore the *heavy showers* part) so come along and join us in the glorious gardens of Belgrave Hall for a bit of social sewing. We’ll have a bijoux sewing space in the gardens all set up for you to relax and have a go at making fabric flowers inspired by the surroundings.

The whole event costs just £1 entry and for that you get a load of craft stalls, a nosey around the hall and the chance to hang out in the gardens with lovely sewists. What could be better?


11.00am – 3.30pm
Belgrave Hall Museum & Gardens


Belgrave Hall Museum & Gardens, Church Road, Leicester LE4 5PE

Workshops at Knitting and Stitching Shows

I am teaching the following workshops at London and Harrogate this autumn – workshops have just opened for bookings. 


*  Harrogate — Thursday 22nd November  *

11.45am Introduction to Trapunto Quilting (Code 11)
Trapunto or Italian quilting is a fast, fun technique for creating raised texture on fabric. Unlike traditional quilting, in trapunto the stuffing is added between two stitched layers of fabric just in the areas required. Trapunto can be worked by hand or machine, but in this class we will use simple hand-stitching techniques to create a small sampler. This workshop is suitable for all levels of stitchers and is an introduction trapunto for those who have never done it before. 


2.15pm Pincushion using Bobble Technique (Code 21)
This is a decorative fabric manipulation technique using simple stitching and stuffing to create raised, stuffed bobbles on fabric. The technique is similar to shibori but creates a permanent, stuffed effect on the textile. This workshop will only use hand stitching and is suitable for all level


*  Harrogate — Friday 23rd November  *

1pm Pincushion using Bobble Technique (Code 45)
This is a decorative fabric manipulation technique using simple stitching and stuffing to create raised, stuffed bobbles on fabric. The technique is similar to shibori but creates a permanent, stuffed effect on the textile. This workshop will only use hand stitching and is suitable for all levels. (see image above)


3.30pm Folded Flower Brooch (Code 62)

This workshop teaches you how to make a dome-shaped folded felt brooch, with layers & ripples. You will also find out how to make a square variation of the brooch, as well as professional finishing techniques for the back of your brooches. We will also cover tips & tricks for working with felt and how to source different types of felt including wool and recycled wool. The techniques are simple and fast and only require hand sewing. 


Bookings here



* London —  Thursday 11th October  *
Booking details here

1pm Introduction to Trapunto Quilting (Code 23)
Trapunto or Italian quilting is a fast, fun technique for creating raised texture on fabric. Unlike traditional quilting, in trapunto the stuffing is added between two stitched layers of fabric just in the areas required. Trapunto can be worked by hand or machine, but in this class we will use simple hand-stitching techniques to create a small sampler. This workshop is suitable for all levels of stitchers and is an introduction trapunto for those who have never done it before. 


3.30pm Folded Flower Brooch (Code 39)
This workshop teaches you how to make a dome-shaped folded felt brooch, with layers & ripples. You will also find out how to make a square variation of the brooch, as well as professional finishing techniques for the back of your brooches. We will also cover tips & tricks for working with felt and how to source different types of felt including wool and recycled wool. The techniques are simple and fast and only require hand sewing. 


Retr0 exhibition at Beetroot Tree Gallery

tiles panel.jpg

I am delighted to be invited to exhibit at The Beetroot Tree this year. When I first started out, seven years ago, this gallery was the first to select my work for exhibition! Things have changed a lot since then & rather than bags & purses, I am now exhibiting wall panels, including several of my most popular pieces.

The exhibition opens on Saturday June 16th and continues to July 22nd.

grey polonaise panel.JPG

circle pleat panel.JPG

There is a Pimms & Pampering night on Thurs 28th June where you can meet the artists, including me. It sounds wonderful! It is free but you need to book in advance.

fold -framed.JPG

Other exhibitors are Ruth McLees, Mick Rafferty and Esther Patterson of Curiosa & Curiosa. I am a big fan of Esther’s work too.