Thursday, 11 June 2015

Canvaswork by Jennifer Gray

Yes, yes I am working really hard on quite a number of new designs of which more later but I just want to share something which I am quite pleased with and which gave me a warm glow and pat of encouragement which I needed at the beginning of the week ... knowing I would be sat in front of the computer for many hours ...

I saw on Pinterest a front cover illustration for a book which got my radars twirling. Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray pub 1960.
Here it is below and you can see why I might be excited. Maybe not but it did it for me and I looked further, went to the wonderful ABE BOOKS (secondhand books from all over the world) and found a copy for a few pounds £3.00 I think. What treasure! It came on Monday, and I was thrilled with it, my absolute tip top style of decoration and drawings good stitch explanations and diagrams, fantastic colour pallete.

THEN I saw a beautiful seat cover which immediately looked familiar in style and yes, it was by my mother! I have not seen this design before and it was worked during her time with the Needlework Development Scheme, and it is perfect. I spent the afternoon completely distracted by the whole thing and drew up the design in Illustrator, printed it onto white linen and am in the process of working it up hopefully turning into a design for our new range. Though it may be a lovely download too ... maybe both! But I will post the results very soon.

Enjoy the rest of the pages from the book I have scanned!

Front cover of Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960
Front Cover
Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 including seat cover designed by my mother Joan Nicholson
My surprise, my mother's design for a seat cover!

Detail of Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 including seat cover designed by my mother Joan Nicholson
Detail

Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960   Buildings
Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960   Buildings

Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Angels
Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Angels

Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Flora and Fauna
Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Flora and Fauna


Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Birds
Page from Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray 1960 ... Birds






Sunday, 31 May 2015

Needlework Development Scheme Leaflets

A while ago I gave a small talk with slides to the Embroiderer's Guild in Tunbridge Wells. It was a gentle talk about my mother's life's work with textiles and embroidery and her influence on my own work. She did work with the NDS during the early part of her career as a designer and author. Some of my audience had brought along their own copies of some of her books which was so heart warming ... I was also approached by a lady I have met a few times at exhibitions in the past who said she still had her mother's NDS leaflets used while teaching and would love me to have them. Shortly afterwards she and another friend and I had a lovely morning embroidering samples and looking through these fabulous leaflets. I also have the book And Sew to Embroider, also a NDS book which has my mother's designs in ... I have scanned them all inside and out and am sharing the covers here and thinking about best way to share all in time ... and there are more to come!

The first (below) is a complete four page leaflet and following are just the covers. The colours alone are lovely ... TREASURE indeed.

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 26B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 26B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 26B Page 1

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 26B Page 2

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 26B Page 3


Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 28B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 28B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 36"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 36"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 10B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 10B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 11B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 11B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 12B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 12B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 17B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 17B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 19B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 19B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 21B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 21B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 23B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 23B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 24B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 24B"

Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 25B"
Needlework Development leaflet "Bulletin 25B"

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Pour l'amour du fil, adventures in France

Well, we returned more than a week ago, but I have been busy dealing with backlog of work which inevitably piles up when you go away, and though it was a working "away" ... we had such a lovely time at Pour l'amour du fil that we began to think of it as a holiday ... anyway, who wants to be lying around in the sunshine with nothing to do? Better by far to meet many new, and like minded friends and see many inspiring things coming home full of ideas and ready for a refreshed start!

Mind you it was a bumpy start .. my old banger failed it's MOT three days before we had to leave and there was a panic until we found another old banger to torture with a 6 hours drive there and back ... but we did it! What a relief to be on the ferry finally and on our way from Dover to Calais.

And France was glorious on the journey down, clothing itself slowly in green the further down we drove ... arriving late in Nantes with  nowhere to eat left open but MacDonald's ... oh dear the less said the better. Still we were comforted by the prospect of better eating over the next few days.

Now I am not going to bore you with a blow by blow account of the show, though I might talk about some highlights in detail as I go ... but I think I will make it a visual account mostly, and also a contact library of the artists and craftsmen who were there. Needless to say Nantes is a beautiful city on the Loire, it's cathedral a splendour to behold restored immaculately after a fire nearly destroyed it in 1970s ... oh and there may have to be some plates of food ... sorry, just this once.

We will definitely go again next year if we are asked to, so make it a date too and you will not be disappointed for sure!



Nancy Nicholson Stand at Pour l'amour du fil
Our stand at Pour l'amour du fil

Samples of Cake and Lovebirds made into a cushion

My class from second workshop
My class of lovely ladies from the second workshop

Little lovlies
All the lovely little 'things they had, made from scraps, needle cases, scissor ... things, little bags for thread .... so different! Also see the embroidered espadrille worked on by Milo my indispensable interpreter! And what a great idea! You made it all very relaxed Milo Thank you!

Class at work! We learnt stitches then worked on Birdie 2
We learnt some stitches then applied them to Birdie 2

Cecile Franconie stand at Pour l'amour du fil
The wonderful Cecile Franconie a huge inspiration for many people and it was amazing to meet her and see her work.
My neighbours at Pour l'amour du fil

Some of my new friends and neighbours from the show.

1. Elfie Tricot and wonderful animals (3) and also her beautiful little old dog (4)who was curled up under the table ....
2. Rachel John with her enormous luxurious knitting ... managed to stay cool. Our chum for the week!
5. Margaret, the first English voice to greet us from Fabric Affair click to find out more as they exhibit their lovely kits all over England too.

Exhibitors at Pour l'amour du fil

1. I have bought a needle punch hoop and needle and just now need time to DO! But so inspired by this stand Lo Spazio del Cuore
2. What an amazing mouse house and incredible business ... La petite boutique dodile 
3. Demonstration of needlepunching technique which caught my attention! Lo Spazio del Cuore
4. Incredible sashiko kits by Sashiko-ya, who we talked to more at the BANQUETTE! Really want to have a go at this1

Exhibitors at Pour l'amour du fil

Quiltmania stand and some of my fellow exhibitors and visitors ...



Exhibitors at Pour l'amour du fil

1. Beautiful Fabrics and wooden stamps at Neelam
2. Fabulous collections of buttons and craft kits from Atelier bon Heur du Jour
3. Beautiful Fabrics and wooden stamps at Neelam
4. I bought an antique spindle from this lovely stand but failed to take a card. I could have bought many treasures here but I think THIS is the place to go!

Exhibitors at Pour l'amour du fil

The stand I kept going back to, which made me want to make quilts again was Dutch Heritage, Den Haan Wagenmakers The examples were delicious and the fabrics too beautiful.
Irene Blanks quilts
Irene Blanks quilts are extraordinary see HERE for more

Le Comptoir des Fluerettes

Another stand which kept drawing me back was Le Comptoir des Fluerettes. Everything you need to make your own individual jewelery by stitching the metal plates (above) embroidering felt balls etc etc ... see their FB page by clicking on their name above ... yes I bought some and will post the results. Also look here


Tomi Nagano quilts

Quilts by the stars ... Tomie Nagano

Bill Volckening

An inspiring display of antique quilts from Bill Volckening


More from around the show ...

Tomi Nagano quilts

 More from Tomie Nagano



The FEAST! Mountains of oysters and prawns, salads and meats, pate, local cheeses, desserts to die for, wine, coffee ...

Banquette

Here I am with Rachel John and the lovely couple from Sashiko-ya enjoying the INCREDIBLEY generous banquette which the organizers laid on for the exhibitors ... it was delicious and unexpected! THANK YOU!

The whole picture ... exhibitors and organisers Pour l'amour du fil


And finally ... some tarte from a French service station ... yes! No burger and chips to be found.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Bird Embroideries

I am really happy to have been taken on by Yellow House Licensing recently and look forward to new horizons as a result. So I have had to collect images of work for them to make a portfolio to represent me. These two bird embroideries were made some years ago, maybe 4-5? and it has been great scan them properly as I never had time when I made them ... but I am definitely feeling it's time to make some more machine embroideries ... time? I must make time. The cottage is now going on the market so I have to keep it tidy and clean and as my kitchen is the nerve centre of this business that is quite a challenge .. also doing these embroideries is incredibly messy and it is a requisite to empty out piles of scraps to rummage through, resulting in myself, the cottage and the dog are then covered in trails of threads ... but I have explained to the agent this is a place of work as well as a picturesque and perfect kentish cottage.

If anyone is interested in a very unique, beautiful 400 year old cottage on the edge of heaven, please contact me .... 



Orange Cuckoo Machine Embroidery using velvets and silks, applique, wool base
Orange Cuckoo

Pink Cuckoo Machine Embroidery using velvets and silks, applique, wool base
Pink Cuckoo

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Embroidered Butterflies and France!


it's amazing how many blogs I read start posts with an apology for not writing for a while ... I am joining that throng here but I have an excuse, as do the others but it has been very busy here and writing the blog though very necessary has been a luxury of time I simply have not had ... and there is so much to post too. 

Firstly, the latest fluster is getting ready for Pour l'Amour du fil" which is "An International Show of the Arts of the Thread" Embroidery, Quilting, Knitting and Sewing in Nantes, yes that's France ... so off we go on 20th April with all our good and chattles ... driving in my dirty old Clio all the way to conquer France with the kits! It's all quite exciting. 
See here a short video of last year's event 

IF you are in Nantes to come to this wonderful happening please do find me and come and say HELLO! I speak maybe five words in French and I won't tell you what they are, and I am running two workshops so that will be interesting. There will be a lot of smiling and gesticulating. 

Then below are the latest downloadable designs of which there are going to be 10 this year ... The three below are Set 1 click here and the one at the bottom is one of two for Set 2 which will be ready in a couple of weeks.

Set 1 Butterfly Embroidery pattern download
Use these butterflies on a garment or as a sampler or singly as a small framed gift
Set 1 Butterfly Embroidery pattern download

Set 1 Butterfly Embroidery pattern download

Set 1 Butterfly Embroidery pattern download

Use these butterflies on a garment or as a sampler or singly as a small framed gift
Here is one I made for friend's birthday ...

Downloadable pattern for Hand Embroidery
Here I have stitched them on a coloured background


Downloadable pattern for Hand Embroidery