Ouseburn Open Studios starts tomorrow

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

It was great today to finally get both my portraits of Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, both poets who died during World War One, up on the outside wall of my studio, number 11 at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne. It’s been a busy couple of weeks tidying, cleaning my space as well as getting everything finished off.

Inside my studio - cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Inside my studio – cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Opposite my studio, there also a number of rather fabulous jewellery makers whose studios I enjoy popping into when I get a chance.  inthesilverroom is contemporary silver jewellery by Michelle – check out her fabulous website for distinctive designs.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

'Matriarchal Trefoil' and 'Caretakers of the World, UNITE!'

‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ and ‘Caretakers of the World, UNITE!’

Both of the pictures above have been made using ‘hooky’ mat technique. I finally framed up the ‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ yesterday, as it had been tricky to source someone to cut me an oval board to mount the heavy picture on. You can see a link to the stages of this picture here.

Embroidered Love Birds

Embroidered Love Birds

Really pleased with these two little fellows! So cute! I do enjoy embroidering, very relaxing and again, another job finished. A deadline is always good to have and the Ouseburn Open Studios, is a great one!! I am so looking forward to getting down there now as it’s a great opportunity to meet people, show what you’ve been working on, get feedback and maybe even sell some things!!

And just a reminder for anyone in the area: it’s on this Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm.


How to: Catherdral Window

This is a beautiful technique which simulates the look of quilting and patchwork but the great advantage to it is that once each piece is completed, it will already have a tidy, finished backing which means there is no extra work to be done.

I hope you find these instructions, accompanied by photos simple and straightforward. As with many techniques, working through the process a number of times, is the best way to ‘get it’.

Materials needed:
4 x 25cm squares of cotton fabric
4 x 9cm squares of contrasting fabric
Needle and matching thread

Step 1:
Stage 1 CW
To make it easier to fold your fabric over the next few stages, iron diagonals to create a cross crease and a centre point from corner to corner. Then iron a 1/2cm border all the way around the square.

Step 2:
Stage 2 CW
Fold corner points of square into the centre and iron flat.

Step 3:
Stage 3 CW
Again, fold new corner points into the centre of square and iron flat. Then, stitch the centre point flaps, where they meet in the middle, to opposing flap but not under-layers of square.

Step 4:
Stage 4 CW
Make another folded square, following the instructions above and then whip stitch the two outside edges of the squares together (this will be covered by a cotton square, so don’t worry about neatness on this ‘right’ side so much).

Step 5:
Stage 5 CW
Place 9cm square over the stitched line and pin squarely.

Step 6:
Stage 6 CW
Fold the fabric from the under squares to form a frame around the 9cm square. Create a curve on each edge, so that it is wider in the middle and narrower at the edge, ensuring to neatly cover the under stitching.

Step 7:
Stage 7 CW
Slip stitch the border frame around the 9cm cotton insert ‘window’.

Step 8:
Stage 8 CW
Repeat stages 1-7 to create another pairs of squares with one ‘window’ insert. Stitch them together like Stage 4 and then place two more ‘Cathedral Windows’ following stages 5-7.

You can now continue, following these instructions, to make beautiful Cathedral Window pieces.

If you make two squares and one window, why not turn it into a needle case. Four squares and four windows could be a cushion or a table protector. Join squares to create a rectangle for a table runner or just go mad and make a quilt!

Traditionally, Cathedral Windows would have been made with white fabric (I find cheap curtain lining works well – recycle from your old, washed curtains) and small, square scraps.

Have fun, variegate your fabrics, use up leftovers!