Thursday, 26 July 2012

Rag dolls

I have always made rag dolls and felt animals since I was a child and given them away to family and friends. I thought I would see whether they were suitable for selling, so I have opened a shop on Etsy at and I will see how it goes!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pictures and printing

For the last few months I have been trying some new ideas. I have made two pieces for an exhibition in the village. The theme is 'Resistance' and after some thought I remembered a Women's Voluntary Service badge which my granny had from the war. I was thinking about the roles women played in WWII, and after some research came up with two ideas. The first shows the Morse code for the slogan 'Careless talk costs lives' and the second shows a factory worker wearing red lipstick. I understand that red lipstick was used as a propaganda tool, encouraging women to boost their own morale as well as that of the troops. Red lipstick was often included in the parcels of clothes, blankets etc sent over from USA to Britain to those who had lost homes in the Blitz. There was also an underlying feeling that women might lose their femininity by having to do traditional men's jobs and that staying pretty would help to stop that happening, how times have changed! Both pieces are on 50x50cm canvas with acrylic paint, fabric collage and hand and machine embroidery.

I have also been learning relief printing as I have often been told that my designs are very suitable for printing and I am enjoying a break from textiles. So I have learnt how to make lino cuts, select different papers and use washable printing ink as that is more suitable for printing on my kitchen table that oil based inks. I have used as a design drawings from my investigation of cell microscopy. In most cases there are 3 or 4 layers of different colours of ink in order to achieve the results. Sorry the photos aren't great!What do you think?


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Friday, 24 February 2012

Moods I and II

A couple more of my embroideries for a local exhibition. The photos of the framed finished pictures aren't very good so I am posting them as works in progress.

The first is machined in layers then ripped back and distressed in order to reveal layers of colour.

This second embroidery is hand sewn and cut back. I have used silks and cottons of varying weight, hand dyed in order to create the layers. The variations in colour are often due to the changing colours on the hand dyed cloth, often space-dyed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Mind Map and Mind Games

I have finished two embroideries for a local exhibition in my current favourite style and themes. Mind games is the blue one and is based on a brain scan and the pink one is based on the shape of neurones and an idea. Keeps me busy anyway!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Transfuse and Transplant



I have been brave and created two hand embroidered pieces for an exhibition in my village. The theme of 'Renewal and Regeneration' was set. My pieces are entitled Transfuse (obviously linked to blood transfusion) and Transplant (based on bone marrow). They each measure approx 8x6cm and are mounted on silk covered canvas board. I would have had them box framed but didn't have time. They are made using 5 layers of dyed fabric and cut back using the reverse applique method. Some of the tiny areas were a real challenge! Anyway I was very pleased and surprised to be given a commendation for Transfuse. Hope you like them.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Bye for now

Hi just wanted to tell all of you who follow me that I am stopping the Diploma for now. There have been a number of issues leading up to this so I am giving myself a rest. I shall be trying to do some things in my own time and will post from time to time so don't delete me! I am enjoying reading all your posts even if I don't write any comments, so keep up the good work! I hope summer school is fun, I shall miss seeing you all. Love Paula x

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Module 1 - finished 3d design and project

This the inside and outside of the final piece.

 Overall I am pleased with it as it is brightly coloured, fit for purpose as a treasure chest. The down sides are that the raw edges to the strips are quite fragile and will need some care. It would not be suitable to be used as a standard toy. I like the dimensions as it is striking and the little pyramids are big enough to house an item. I am happy that this is a close representation of the paper mock up and in particular that the sides have the same strong reinforced quality that stops it looking too floppy. I think it is a good contrast that the little pyramids have a softer appearance.

 I tried it with further layers of pyramids but it became very 'busy' and I like the effect of finding little brightly coloured jewels in the bottom of the large pyramid.

I wanted to create 'pockets' inside the pyramid in which to hide little family treasures for a child to find. Initially I planned to make fabric pockets but I didn't like the effect. In the end I decided to make a number of small pyramids using 2 different layers of the stiffened fabrics. The apices were particularly difficult to finish neatly so I topped them all with a bead or two. Each pyramid measures approx. 8cm high. These fit neatly into the base of the pyramid as each is a geometric fraction of the original. The pyramids have a different colour lining but the photo doesn't show this very well. Each has an opening along one side allowing you to place an object inside.

It was serendipity that one of the sides was a little shorter than the others so that when it closed up it fits neatly into the apex made by the other 2 sides and miraculously stays there!

 I have decided to use this pyramid as a memory box which I could pay with with children in the family . I wanted to create a container so I joined 2 of the sides using ladder stitch. The blue lining shows as an edging to the side panel as in the paper mock-up         

As the seams were too thick with any other technique, I laced the fabric on to the card shapes then applied a dark blue fabric to the reverse as a lining. The base was covered in a plain piece of fabric, edged with a machined cord, and the sides ladder stitched to the base.  

On Sian's advice I increased the size of the pyramid by half again and the completed piece measures 37cm high and 25cm across each side of the base. I made a net and cut card to fit. I made a sheet of fabric to cover each piece using fabric backed by iron-on heavy weight vilene. Each strip was cut and overlapped on the stripe above. The silk tended to fray more than the cotton so in places I overlapped both edges. I did try normal seams for the strips and edging them in order to reduce the fraying, but the former was too bulky and the latter rather fussy and ugly. I used cotton floss in a matching colour to join the strips together. Having tried a few methods I used reverse applique by cutting tiny windows in the strips and backing the gaps with small pieces of different coloured fabric. I other areas I used small blocks of satin stitch or star shaped stitches.
So now I hand dyed a range of cottons, linen and silk satin to the required colours. I also used a couple of bought fabrics in order to complete the colour range. This is a selection of fabrics used.

paper and card mock-up

colour study

Well at last I have finished the 3d project agreed with Sian at summer school! I have continued with the idea of a pyramid but changed the surface design and worked out the technicalities. I liked the colours from my colour study and the stripes of colour, plus they reminded me of the Mayan pyramids in Mexico which In was lucky to visit as a child. I made a mock up in card and paper to look at the idea and liked it! I decided to change the order of each stripe and square on each of the 3 sides and chose not to have the stripes matching at the sides in order to make the eye stop to look. I lined the pieces with dark blue and liked the way this showed as an edge along each piece. Sian was happy with this so I set about making it up in fabric.