Daily Make (7)

I’ve recently been having a great time experimenting with screen printing, which I’ve not done since school! I’ve been printing on fabrics to make into more petals for Interlace, my collaboration with Bethany Walker. Our exhibition opens in less than 4 weeks time so there is lots to do….

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Lovely leafy screenprint #dailymake2015

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Almost at the end. #knitting #dailymake2015

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Along with grey petals, I’m also celebrating the nicer shades of grey on Instagram with the hashtag #50niceshadesofgrey. I’m posting pictures of lovely grey things, when I remember.

There have also been some blues. Made on Monday, when I was really feeling blue. It didn’t last.

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Monday blues #dailymake2015

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Week 7 has mostly involved visiting exhibitions, taking down exhibitions and preparing exhibitions, which isn’t so bad. But there *must* be more needle and thread in the next few weeks.



Daily Make (5 & 6)

My excuse for missing an entire week of #dailymake2015 was my birthday last weekend. I made a dress for my birthday party and did a lot of work on petals for Interlace as our exhibition deadline looms ever closer! I’ve also got back into knitting which is a joy.

Some of the last couple of week’s makes:


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Smocking ready for release!

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Working in blues today. Very unusual for me. #dailymake2015

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Daily Make (4)

Again, it has been a tough week of deadlines and not as much making as I would like, with an added stinky cold for the last few days. I’m finally having a weekend off, after working 27 days straight through in January, and am spending it planning and preparing for a big birthday party next weekend! I’ve also worked out what’s going on with my phone, so I’ll have decent photos again soon.

This week’s makes

Something I made ages ago, in lieu of actually making….

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Mending my leggings. Whilst wearing them. #riskyrepairs

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Dramatic smocking on a private commission

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Coffee-coloured darn. #TheBeautyofStains #dailymake2015

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Some stitches that didn’t make the cut and came out later.

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Stitched stain. #TheBeautyofStains #dailymake2015

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Stitches that stayed

Comfort knitting after a tiring day

Back to my own work, at last

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Piles of petals. #dailymake2015

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Making for Interlace

Slow Stitching


Daily Make (3)

Three weeks into DailyMake2015 and I’m struggling to find time to make something every day, which is really frustrating! January seems to be filled with funding & project applications, meetings, admin and more meetings, some deadlines and more meetings. All of it is good, but it is taking up far too much time away from actually making.

On the plus side, when it is a making day, I get lots of making done.

This week’s #dailymake2015 are augmented with some other making-related pictures – things that are part of the process but aren’t actual making.

Part of my new work for Narrative Threads

Finishing off a bespoke clothing job for a client, which is normally Erica’s job, but she’s off travelling for a few months away from her sewing machine.

My kind of clothing-related job; repairing a vintage jacket for a customer.

Desperation making when no sewing happened… I did an inch of knitting, for the first time in several weeks. I’ve only been meaning to make this hat for about 2 years….

Preparation for making. Choosing the cloth and the thread.

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Colourful sampler fun #embroidery

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Workshop sample for an embroidery class I’m teaching in a few weeks. It is such fun to play with colours when my life mostly revolves around neutrals and faded shades apart from Interlace, although this set of petals is pretty subtle.








Daily Make 2015 (2)

Some days I do lots of making. Some days I barely manage anything and have to resort to a doodle in a sketchbook as my #dailymake2015.

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Loudest of pinks for @bethanyswalker #dailymake2015

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Nearly there. But must go to sleep. #embroidery #dailymake2015

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A tiny bit of patchwork before bed. #dailymake2015

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Bored with insertion stitch now. Nice though. #dailymake2015

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I’m making progress on new pieces for Narrative Threads and Interlace and I’m enjoying having sketchbook on the go. I have it beside my armchair to doodle, sketch and invent embroidery stitch patterns while I am drinking tea and being sat on by my cat.

Daily Make 2015 (1)

As I made myself a new necklace from old beads on New Year’s Eve, I reflected how I rarely actually make something every day. Work gets in the way. I teach. I administrate. I clean the house. I walk in the countryside. Sometimes there just isn’t the time. I resolved to make time, each day, for even just a tiny bit of making. This year will, fortunately, full of making – unlike last year which was full of funding applications! I have two big exhibitions to make new work for, one at the end of the year and one in a couple of months.

I will be sharing my daily makes for 2015 on Instagram, hopefully every day for the rest of the year. Here is my first week.

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From the back. #dailymake2015 #embroidery

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More playing with beads this morning. #craft2015

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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.


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:

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

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. 


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.

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!

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


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.


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