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Finding time to create is a juggle when teaching creativity is my mainstay.

Being around students in itself is exciting and inspiring; watching them run with new concepts and dedicate their time to learning and evolving always rubs back off onto me.

So with term winding down I’ve found some spaces to attend to my own work.

And as the garden itself is less demanding in time during the Winter there was a synchronicity to using it as a muse.

The bare structure of the leaf-less plants inspired a pared down colour palette of black and white materials both to draw with and sew.

I walked from top to bottom of the garden, drawing for 2 mins here and there and created a long roll drawing which I then translated into applique, foiling and stitches (also in a long format)

With Midwinter passing yesterday and the Christmas holidays beginning tomorrow, now is a good time to take stock and plan what projects will be next.

This will be my final post showing all the work I completed as Artist in Residence at Winterbourne House & Gardens. This post features the Textile work that I’ve done – not the printed pieces or pattern designs which I’ve already showed you but the embroidery pieces.

These may have started life as printed textiles which were then embellished with stitch but they have come to life as either hand or machine embroidered works of art.

I had grand plans to do much more; Margaret Nettlefold (one of the original home owners) was very fond of needlework herself and so it was very in keeping to follow this line of response.

However if you’ve ever done any embroidery yourself, you’ll know how time consuming it is. The chair featured here is an old oak chair from WH&G and emulates the chair seat cover that Margaret herself made which is on show in the house.

And so that ends this chapter of work for me. It has challenged and inspired me as an artist.

I can’t remember having such a long-standing project before which is a lesson in pace and stamina in itself.

It’s been a real treat to have had this opportunity and whilst I could still do it all again and find I haven’t enough time, I am also complete and ready to focus on new inspiration to work from.

embroidered cushion

Here’s another finished project that has been lurking in the ‘to do’ pile for too long. It’s from the book Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! Embroidery (Crafts) which I got for Christmas last year (completing it inside of a year isn’t too bad now is it?!)

close up of embroidery

I’ve gotta say that embroidery is not my thing and this has reminded me of that! I’m too impatient and it’s too fiddley, plus my forty-year old eyesight isn’t what it used to be!! It took three hours to fill in a tree trunk! Thank heavens for Location, Location, Location and Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour.

embroidered dog

I discovered along the way that buying cheap embroidery thread is a false economy because it untwists almost immediately and becomes straggley. But this sewing is good enough and even here where the thread split when I sewed through it, it just looks like the dog has an opened barking mouth – of course I meant that to happen, it was no accident- ha… I also discovered the joy of memory foam cushion filling – little sausages of really dense sqiddgy foam. I stuffed the whole bag in. It’s an arm workout moving it around the sofa!

So now we have the best dressed sofa because of the new cushions this week. They look great, it’s just a shame no one is allowed to lean on them!

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