My fascination with textiles has always been part of my life. From those early childhood days spent around a table with my sister making cards. Then being taught to crochet and sew patchwork hexagons. To later in life when I took up classes and college courses to learn and push myself in the different areas of embroidery and design. In 1998 having spent some 9 years studying many embroidery subjects and gaining City and Guilds part 1 & 2 Patchwork and Quilting and part 1 & 2 Embroidery I embarked on an OCN Diploma in Textiles at Tresham Institute, Kettering. Looking to combine and stretch my skills to a new level. My work is inspired by the flowers and foliage within my garden and from rural Bedfordshire, England, where I live.
I have a passion for floral and leaf designs featured strongly in the architecture of many of our English country houses. These houses often have idyllic designed gardens which i frequently visit, taking with me my camera and sketchbook and documenting them in quick little drawings to be referred to later.
I represent these drawings in many ways from machine stitch by outlining them in deep rich threads through layers of organza fabrics to create a wide range of innovative 3-dimensional floral structures, fashion accessories, curtains, and hangings, or through hand stitching, using traditional stitchery to capture their essence.
Predominantly I work with fabrics that are sheer in their construction and appear transparent allowing light to filter through and change their tones and hues. They range from deep rich colours through to subtle shades and by carefully mixing them beautiful soft colour merges occur as a result, adding depth and tone. I then use of a soldering iron or a heat gun where necessary to finalise the design and add details to the finished design.
I enjoy the relaxation of hand embroidery with beads, wirework, stumpwork and Goldwork being my sit down in the evening passion. Goldwork has become a contemporary way to express my hand-drawn designs and I now enjoy turning these drawings into Goldwork kits for you all to try. They are available in my web site shop if you fancy trying this golden technique.
Whilst exploring and finding a clear medium to support and line my sheer fabrics I became fascinated and inspired by plastic and its see-through appearance. Used to support and structure my Organza fashion bags and jewellery, this plastic produced quality that enabled large amounts of continuous textural stitching whilst allowing for the structure of the sheer designs. Experimentation with stamped images, trapped layers of tissue and sheer organza fabric has resulted in an extensive series of PVC textiles all laminated together with imagery, stitch, outlining and textural surface stitching.
I teach regular weekly classes in my area on machine embroidery, hand sewing and mixed media whilst giving lectures, and contributing projects to many of the National Stitch and Embroidery magazines.
I love my career and enjoy the rewards of helping students achieve what is in their head and how to put it down on to fabric using their own unique creativity. It always amazes me how we all interpret our chosen subjects be it simple stitchery, placement of fabrics or stitches that create texture. Thousands of years of embroidery have gone before us and we are still bringing a level of newness and diversity to our field.