Do you have a collection of tiny, precious fabric scraps just waiting to find the right project? I created this technique to use up some of the very tiniest pieces of hand-dyed or antique fabrics. It is inspired by Victorian crazy patchwork but it’s much less busy. I use this technique to create fabric from scraps and use in small projects or as backgrounds to other stitch work.
This online workshop is on Saturday 27th November – online video lessons are available from 10am GMT with the live Zoom session at 4pm GMT. It costs £75. You will have access to the workshop for 2 months.
Sample snippets from the workshop videos
The workshop is the first of a new series of (almost) monthly series of textile and technique courses and workshops which will get going properly in January 2022.
Four pre-recorded videos: Welcome. Techniques. Stitches. Examples I have made and from my antique collections.
There are also some freebies including links to museum examples, a colouring sheet / template and some audio to listen to while stitching.
The live session will be recorded and shared so anyone who missed the live can catch up later. You will need access to Zoom to take part in the live session. All the videos and other resources will be accessible via Podia, the teaching platform I use. It is very easy to use, I promise! You will create a login when you book the course and you will get an email when the course opens and you can start. I’ll be around to answer any questions. You can join the course any time including on the day. Sign ups will close at 3pm to ensure everyone can join the live at 4pm. The live session is a chance to ask me any questions, meet other stitchers and share your work in progress. It will last about an hour depending on numbers attending.
Some ideas for small, postable gifts and digital gifts for the crime or craft-loving person on your list. Or you can add these to your own Christmas list. I’m happy to gift wrap and send to your recipient with a hand written card too, to save two lots of postage. Just leave a note in the order form and I’ll contact you to confirm. Browse the whole shop here. I’ve also got digital products for instant arrival and gift vouchers – you can choose to email a PDF or I’ll send a printed one in a card.
I’ve made a colouring book! I created a sort-of colouring book for my library commission earlier this year, and really loved doing it. It reminded me that I wanted to make a patchwork pattern colouring book a few years ago, but never had the time. I’ve made the time and now it’s ready.
My book of patchwork drawings is more than just a colouring book, it is a place to play with creative ideas, to try new colour combinations, patterns and really stretch your creativity. This A5 book (15x21cm 6x8in) has 14 hand-drawn designs inspired by original antique patchwork quilts which I have created meticulously for your enjoyment. I love using patchwork as inspiration for creative drawing and colouring and I am sure you will love these too. The paper is nice and thick, suitable for watercolour as well as pens, chalk makers and pencils. There are also two pages for you to create your own designs with a helpful grid to guide you. I have also included 6 pages of full colour designs with lots of tips and ideas to make this colouring book really special.
The colouring book is £9.50. I can post all over the world too. You can find it in my online shop, along with books, textiles and much more.
As I develop new work for my Fragments exhibition in the summer, I am investigating and exploring a lot of old quilts. I am continuing to explore my photographs and notes from the research visit to the Quilt Association’s collections in February and creating new technique ideas based on the structures, designs and history of the quilts. I am also investigating the antique quilts and pieces which I own myself and working out ways of incorporating elements from these pieces into new work.
Quilt Association collection
Quilt Association collection
Quilt Association collection
I have also been investigating my own collections of quilts and bits, engaging in Quilt Archaeology (credit to someone on Instagram but alas I forget who). What interests me is not the fineness of the stitching or the patchwork patterns but the textures, the tactility and the reasons these quilts were made and used (or not). I’ve been using drawing, painting, mark making and print techniques to explore my ideas, some of which are very large scale which will have dramatic impact and some much smaller and more intimate, like the quilts themselves, and invite close consideration.
My Criminal Quilts series originally commissioned by Shire Hall Gallery is probably my best known work including the 2016 Fine Art Quilt Masters winner. This winning piece will be exhibited in the Minerva Arts Centre this summer and the patchwork piece will be at Unit Twelve from the end of April. I’m really excited to be starting a new project taking this work further with Staffordshire Records Office in 2017-18. I’ve just received funding from Arts Council England to develop new work, exhibitions and community partnership projects based around the original archive material relating to Victorian women criminals.
To celebrate (or actually, co-incidentally) I’ve got a free workshop on Sunday 26th March at New Walk Museum in Leicester inspired by this series of work.
Inspired by Ruth’s work and using silhouettes of hands, create your own piece with a personal touch. Explore drawing and creating patterns on paper with your own hand outline and embellish with embroidery, fabric and paper collage. No previous experience is required. The workshop is FREE but booking is essential. Call the museum on 0116 225 4900 to book your place.
Alongside the fabulous Interlace exhibition I am taking to the Knitting & Stitching Show next month, I am also teaching one-hour introduction workshops in English Paper Pieced Patchwork and Introduction to Trapunto Quilting. Workshops usually sell out before the show starts so please book online in advance.
English paper pieced patchwork Weds 13.00
Trapunto quilting Thurs 13.00 & Sun 11.45
Rowan leaves to represent Rowan Ward. Hand embroidery.
I will also be exhibiting and teaching at the Dublin & Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Shows.
A whole weekend of creative and experimental patchwork and piecing using historic textiles as inspiration. Explore innovative and interesting techniques for patchwork and try lots of new ideas. You can come to one day or both days. All materials are included, although you are welcome to bring your own too. One day is £50, or book both days for £95. Book here
Saturday: Machine Patchwork
Enjoy a day of easy, stress-free machine sewn patchwork. Try out freestyle or ‘improv’ quilting to create colourful and quirky patchwork panels. Try log cabin, strip piecing and scrappy improv styles and simple blocks to build up into quilts. Measuring and maths will be kept to a minimum and I don’t insist on perfect matching seams so this is a great workshop if you prefer a more relaxed style.
You will need to be able to use a sewing machine confidently. Please bring your own sewing machine if possible. If travelling from a distance I can arrange a machine for you so please confirm this when you book. All other tools and materials are provided.
Sunday : Hand Patchwork
Enjoy a slow stitching day, hand sewing with beautiful fabrics and traditional techniques. Learn the art of English Paper Piecing using hexagons or other templates and try out subtle, delicate crazy patchwork using hand embroidery stitches to join tiny scraps of fabric. No previous experience required. All materials provided.