June 2018

As you will tell from my two previous posts, the beginning of the June was spent in Wales. I fell in love with Ceredigion and, if I could have, I would've packed up my sewing machine and whippet and never left. Alas, there does not seem to be too many jobs in the area and the teenager would not be impressed - he has got used to 24-hour living in the city. So, we returned home with plans to return next time we needed some R&R.

I didn't managed a lot of sewing last month. A lot was going on workwise, and have been a bit under the weather and ended the month with a nasty virus. Then, of course, we have had a heatwave which means it is a slog doing anything but sitting in front a fan eating ice cream!

Early on in June I had some work in a friend's exhibition in Henfield. On display were quilts and cushions made by her students and then a themed area with work based on the Suffragettes. The striking piece of work below is by Carolyn Trehern. I gave my friend a couple of my tins to add to the display and it looked really interesting together. The exhibition was part of the garden and arts festival, and as I walked back to the car I managed to get a photo of one of the flower pot trousers. Loved the folk feel to them - made me laugh, as well as feel slightly unerved!

I was sad that my Tuesday night sampler class finished, but look at these stunners... they were a fun group and running a 12 session course fortnightly means you spend a lot of time with people and really get to know them.

On the 21st we went on a trip up to Devil's Dyke to welcome the Solstice sun. It was an amazing experience, just my small group and a handful of students who left after about 15 minutes so we had the whole of the Dyke to ourselves. We took some poems and readings, and food for breakfast. The flask was much needed - it was so cold. The dog rather enjoyed it, but I did tell her she won't be getting a walk at 4.30am for the rest of the year. 

One piece of work I did start on is my doll. For a while, I have really wanted to make some small, almost palm size dolls, and either create their own stories or style them to literature - like my tins. Once a month I go to Committed to Cloth for a 'stitch with intent' day and this, for me, creates a space where I can work through ideas without getting distracted by hoovering, food shopping etc. This month was a good example of why I need to go. The doll shape was tricky (hats off to you 3D artists) and I had limb issues etc. Being at my workbench meant I had the resolve ideas and I left with a sample doll, rather than giving up and getting distracted. The following week I walked to the art shop and bought a box frame and the idea started to take shape. Being in the box, the doll reminded me of A Room of One's Own so she is now Virginia. I hand stitched a backdrop of words onto a piece of vintage cutter quilt and that is how far I have got. Later in the month I spent the morning at the Ardingly Antiques Fair and saw the Edwardian Healing Power tin and thought that would be perfect for her. I plan to make a second doll with pipe cleaners in the limbs (thank you Wendy Ward for the suggestion) so she is posable and with different clothes. So, a good start on a work in progress.

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I also spent a morning on a map drawing class. It was excellent, with a friendly and talented tutor Helen Cann at Onca. We started with a sketch walk, then returned to the gallery to draft our maps. In true class style I was not happy with my sample, everyone else's looked so much better - but that is always the way, whether it is stitch and paint. My spelling mistake for Trafalgar Street was also a bit unforgivable - I have walked up and down this road for decades! I really enjoyed it though, and it felt good to try something a little different. The theme of maps fits in with my love of history and the story of communities so hope to return to it sometime.

And that is about the sum of my work this month. I was reading something recently about journals and pondered over the idea of starting one. Before writing this, I felt I had not done a lot this month but seeing it all written here makes me think it was not a bad month for my creative work. Onwards it goes, sometimes slowly and other times at a sprint.