My introduction to embroidery was bizarre. I was teaching food studies at Morley College in the 70’s when my husband, an architect, told me that a client of his wanted a new altar frontal for a chapel. “I’ll make one”, I said and to this day I don’t know why I blurted it out. I’d always liked stitching and felt I’d like a challenge. But little did I realize what was involved.
I managed it, with the help of books. The clients were so pleased, they asked me to make another! And another and after a fire consumed one, yet another! I joined the EG, but soon realized that I needed some ‘proper’ tuition. Beryl Dean’s class was interesting, but not broad enough. I then found the City & Guilds course at Beckenham, with Moyra McNeil and Barbara Siedlecka. It was an eye opening, brain invigorating experience and immensely enjoyable.
During that comprehensive course, I was introduced to felting and the tactile quality and the way the fleece held beautiful colours grabbed me. I make felt to use as a base for embroidering by hand and machine, use the Nuno technique to fuse fleece to hand made paper and into silk for clothes and scarves. Designing and stitching on vanishing fabric and using it with the shrinking qualities of fleece gives interesting results.
I use my photocopier for newspaper headlines and photos, flower pictures and photographs which I print onto muslin and stitch by hand and machine.
I also make covers for books and photograph albums. These can be in any sort of fabric or leather and are usually for special people or occasions, so each is designed with this in mind.