Sunday, 17 August 2014

Working with the heavier interfacings.

 The new book from D4Daisy

 Most of you will have seen that Maggie Grey has a new book out from D4Daisy and some of you will already have it. It is a fabulous book, full of exciting ideas. Every page had something brilliant on it - using one cutting tool or another on it - from hole punches to laser cutters. It is a very good read.
The book features several of the Vilene interfacings - or 'pelmet Vilene'. I though this might be a good time to explain the differences between the 'pelmet' or 'craft' Vilenes as most of you know them.

There is no such thing as 'pelmet' or 'craft' Vilene. It is a term that has been adopted to describe a firm sew-in interfacing. The correct name, or in fact, number for it is - S80. Not very exciting - but if you don't know the number you will have trouble finding it. I sell all the medium to heavy weight iron-on and sew-in interfacings on
I have had to name the button that all the interfacings on 'pelmet Vilene' or no one would be able to find it!!!!

'Capstones' 6ft wide - S80 coloured with acrylic paint, cut by hand and machine stitched to black cotton.
 S80 cuts with scissors, hole punches, die cutting machines, the Brother Scan and Cut, laser cutters and a soldering iron. It can be painted and printed onto and is fabulous for transfer printing (Disperse Dyes). It is firm enough to make small boxes, small vessels, cuffs, postcards, masks etc.


S80 painted with a thin layer of acrylic paint. Bondaweb was then ironed onto the back and shapes were cut with a soldering iron. The shapes were then ironed onto a background of S80.

The S80 can be stitched by hand or machine.


 S80 painted with acrylic paint then decorated with painted Bondaweb, a few foils and stranded glitter. Xpanadaprint was then applied, puffed and painted gold. Finally hand stitch was added.


The brightly coloured background is transfer printed S80. This was then covered with a layer of distressed Tyvek which was in turn covered with metal/polyester lame that had been zapped - the whole thing was decorated with herringbone stitch using a mohair knitting yarn.


One of my 'Signs' range. The black and bronze areas are S80. It gives a fabulous matt surface.


 Then we come to the Decovils - there are two - Decovil 1 and Decovil 1 light. I know, there is no rhyme or reason, this time they have names. These are new iron-on interfacings, they are cream in colour and feel like leather. They have been created to reinforce bags, but I think they feel far too nice for that. I use them for book covers and small boxes or pockets. The Decovil 1 light is lighter than the S80 (sew-in) and the Decovil 1 is slightly heavier.
Because they are iron-on, anything you can iron onto Bondaweb, you can iron onto these fabulous products. Just make sure if you are painting your Decovil you use a very watered down paint - or you will clog up the glue!!!


Slip cover for a book made from Decovil 1 light - see the video.

The Decovils can be cut with the same tools as the S80 mentioned above apart from hand hole punches.

A die cut bag made from Decovil 1 - see the video

I am having trouble having my 90cm rolls of Decovil cut into 30cm widths at the moment - all should be back to normal next month. In the meantime I am selling the Decovil in individual pieces of 30cm x 90cm at a £1 reduction on each piece so 1 piece of Decovil 1 light is now £4 and the Decovil 1 is £5. The prices will go back up when I have the new rolls delivered from Germany.


Then we come to the 'big boy'!! The S133. This is my favourite iron-on interfacing because it so sooooooo useful for vessels. It can be coloured with watered down paint like the other interfacings. The sticky side can be decorated with anything you can iron onto Bondaweb. It can be cut with scissors, die cutting machines, a scalpel, the Brother Scan and Cut and a laser cutter.
I wouldn't try to hand stitch into it - but it is fine for sewing with a sewing machine. Just take it slowly and don't tug.


 S133 makes wonderful vessels - it is very firm

 CS800/Lutradur ironed onto painted S133.


 A die cut box made from S133 decorated with newspaper and a block print.

 My friend Lee Brown made this box for me from S133 - it is based on Guell Park in Barcelona which was designed by Gaudi.

Lee's box - aprox 12" x 24".

I love the sticky side of the S133 - but Lee likes the non sticky side. She draws into it with a soldering iron which gives a brown, scorched line. The drawn shapes are then filled in with procion dye - Lee used a Koh-in-Or palette.


All done with just a soldering iron and procion dyes - isn't it fab?
Lee is a quilter - this is her website.

I love ironing different textures onto the S133 . . . . .

This is S133 decorated with handyed silk tops and painted Bondaweb.


Earth Jewel - 4ft tall

This vessel was constructed from CS800/Lutradur and painted Bondaweb that was then ironed onto a background of S133 to make it strong enough to stand by itself.

And finally - I make many layers of gorgouesness and iron it onto a back ground of S133 - which is then laser cut into shapes that I make up into earrings and brooches.

Here is a video showing how to make the jewellery with a die cutting machine.

My jewellery can be found on my Etsy shop - 

I hope you find this post useful - where ever you buy your interfacings from - you will need to know the correct name or number. If you are still not sure - you can go to and look at the 'Pelmet Vilene' page and they are all listed there - you dont have to buy anything - you can just look.


I will be off to Northumberland early on Tuesday. It will take me all day to get up there. I am teaching a 3 day Summer School for the North Eastern Embroiderers Guild - 'Design to Stich'. I am very excited to be mixing stitch with design, it is going to be a fabulous 3 days. I am also looking forward to seeing that part of the country, I have not been there before. I will posting lots of images on Facbook and of course on here when I can.

So - have a good week, if you do place an order on, they will be posted out on Tuesday the 26th of August when I am home again.

Take care and have fun. 

x x x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Festival of Quilts 2014 7 - 10 August

The 'before' photo . . 

The lovely Laura Strutt who works with me on Vilene stands at all the shows.
I couldn't do the shows with out her, her energy and humour keep me going.

Well, that's that for another year. The Festival of Quilts was even bigger than last year, with fabulous quilt displays from all over the world. There were thousands of visitors every day, many from all points of the globe, including Australia and New Zealand. Working on the shows is a great way to keep in touch with friends, and of course, make new ones.

The finished stand - in action.

The lovely Laura showing off her fabulous samples.

The not so lovely and very hot Kim demonstrating her samples.

I made a new friend at the show - the very beautiful Laura from the Italian Vilene office. As you can see we got on well right from the start.
We had great fun together and will no doubt be seeing each other again.

One of the many great things about doing the shows is that visitors bring work to show me - sometimes ex students, others that I have never met.

This little note book cover was made with decorated Decovil 1 light. A fabulous iron-on interfacing that feels like leather.

I was pleased to see this visitor wearing a Tshirt she had decorated with 
Hot Spots and transfer foil.

 . . And we mustn't forget the reason we were there - The Quilts!
There will be many posts on blogs about the show and of course on Faceook.
These are just a few of the quilts that caught my eye. I thought that by including the printed descriptions in the photo that I would be able to tell you who made the work - but of course I can't read them - Grrrr!! so many apologies to the artists.

I loved this piece - great colour and texture.

All the quilts were hung beautifully. 

I was particularly taken with this layered piece, beautifully French seamed piecing.

I am not a great lover of digital printing in textiles, I feel interpretation would often be a better route instead of a direct copy.
However, I found this quilt fascinating. A great use of tonal value.
Just brilliant!

I loved the layout of this quilt.

Alicia Merrett had a stunning solo exhibition at the show. I have always admired her work. Her use of colour, her design and finish are exquisite.

These are just two shots of a very colourful and exciting exhibition. 
To see more of her work go to 

Another exhibition I was looking forward to seeing was the work of a new UK textile group - Art Textiles: Made in Britain. 
The members are Louise Baldwin, Pauline Barnes, Hilary Beattie, Ineke Berlyn, Cas Holmes, Rosie James, Edwina Mackinnon, Sandra Meech, Stephanie Redfern, Christine Restall, and Jenny Rolfe. It was a diverse and very interesting collection of work about identity. Here is a link to their website.

                       I loved this very sensitive work by Ineke Berlyn.

This large scale work by Rosie James was breathtaking, the breeze created by the air conditioning gave it a life of it's own - Stunning!

It was good to see this piece by Hilary Beattie finished. I had seen it in various stages on Facebook, it looked fabulous.

Steph Redfern is a mixed media artist that I have been following for years. I love her work. I featured it in my most recent book - Reclaimed Textiles.

This was Hilary Beatties' stand at the show, a riot of colour.

As usual Hilary's work table is full of joy.

Steph had her own stand, just beautiful images and texture. Gorgeous work.

Colouricious were there, Jamie and Ted were manning the stand selling their amazing range of wooden printing blocks. It was great to see them both again. There are many new designs on the website and some old friends have returned.

And last - but most certainly not least, my mates Art Van Go were there, helping everyone with ideas and their exciting product range. I can't wait to see them all again. I will be teaching a 3 day workshop on Transfer Printing at Art Van Go on the 2nd - 4th September. Can't wait to see them all again and spend some time with them.

 The calm before the storm just before we opened on Sunday.

I had a brilliant time at the show - it was very hot and very hard work, but boy was it good fun. It was great to see my chum Laura again and it was good to get a chance to tease Chris and Per from Vilene. The boys are great fun and always very good value. Our next show will be The Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally - it will be here in no time.

x x x 

I am home for a week then I am off to Wooler, Northumberlad, to teach a three day workshop, Design to Stitch. I am very excited to be asked to teach all the way up there and I am very pleased to be teaching a design based workshop.

Then the following week I will be back up to Redditch to teach my ExTex 3 groups.

So I have lots to do - loads of admin and orders for to pack and post. I might even get an hour or two to attack the hedges.

x x x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

ExTex 3 - 2nd session. Making printing blocks from their designs.

A fab page from one of the sketchbooks.

Apologies for being a bit behind with this blog, I was being a student my self this week - on a course with Gwen Hedley - FANTASTIC! I feel as though I have found my path again. It's time I stopped writing books and started creating work.
So - The second sessions of Experimental Textiles went well, all the students came back!!! That was a good start - and with such fabulous homework and a good start on their sketchbooks.
The homework was to take one design created on the first session and make a collage in black and white, maybe playing with counter change or inlay applique.

These are just a few of the beautiful samples that were produced for homework.


This flipped and mirrored design was turned into applique and then mirrored blocks were cut.

  The prints from these blocks worked really well and I will show them at the end of the month when the groups meet again with the rest of the fabulous prints.

This was a great design isolated from 'the journey' exercise .

The design was scanned in and manipulated on the PC to great effect.

Once we had had a look at and discussed the homework, we got on with making printing blocks from the previous sessions designs. Using foam core board as the base of the block and self adhesive foam for the design, both group cracked on fast and made some fabulous printing blocks.

The girls transferring their designs onto the foam core board and self adhesive foam.


Some of the students went the extra mile and made mirror blocks to complete the print. It is always worth the time it takes.

The blocks printed onto a page of a very old copy of Women's Weekly!

An over printing exercise . . .

And a roller print of one of the blocks - just gorgeous.


Having fun choosing colours to overprint with.

Printing onto folded paper . . .

. . And leather.

These fabulous blocs were used to print . . 

This shirt!

As you can see the groups are producing a lot of brilliant work - I am already panicking about how I will be able to choose what is going into the end of year show in March. aaRRGHH!!!! but Hey! what a great problem to have . . . 

There will be more at the end of the month - their next session is 28th - 31st.

* has been very busy with the sale of Lutradur/Spunbond and my new transfer foil packs. I will get all the orders posted tomorrow. I am still waiting for the Decovil1 light to come in - but everything else is in stock.


Festival of Quilts - stand M8 - NEC
   7th - 10th August

I will be leaving for Birmingham on Tuesday afternoon ready to set up the Freudenberg Vilene stand - M8, first thing Wednesday morning. 
Vilene are the sponsors of the Masterclass Quilts and our stand is opposite the quilts. Do come and say Hello! to Laura and myself - we will be demonstrating on the stand every day. We will be able to direct you to all the stands that sell Vilene products. It is going to be a very busy and exciting show - 

Whhoo hoo, let the fun commence!
See you all there.