Monday 9 March 2015

Fun with fabric

I am often drawn to fabric projects and feel fortunate to have been sewing in various ways since I was little.
Sadly my first little needlecase, made when I was about 7, disappeared in the painful years of divorce and moving but recently I came across my old needlework file and realised what a sound foundation the needlework lessons gave me. I really enjoyed sewing and 3 friends and I made history when we insisted on taking both Needlework and Art at O level. We had to see the headmistress about it but stuck to what we wanted and the whole exam timetable had to be changed for us. Interestingly, one of those friends is Alison Wilding, now a world famous sculptor.

This file cover was the first thing we made at Senior school. Here's the first page in my needlework folder.
I remember being scared the first time I used an electric sewing machine but by O level was making my own dresses and enjoying it; heres my Olevel Practical paper - a trip down memory lane!
More useful things we learnt!
My grandson's quilt has been fun, about to start the machine quilting.
NOT my favourite job!
I've used up some more 1970's strips to make a table runner for my sister Liz, or it could be hung or put on a bed or chair.
Nearly finished.
Exciting news is that my hare prints will be in a lovely new book.  It was March 2014 when I first heard about this project and now it's nearly there! Very exciting. It is called The Artful Hare by Alan Marshall. Publication will be early May, books available from and selected bookshops and galleries, price £27.50 (hardback, 275mm x 245mm, 208 pages, work by 73 British printmakers, 370+ prints).
Here's the cover, I'm looking forward to holding a copy! More information on my fb page. Please share my post if you can to spread the word. Thank you!


  1. I never got beyond making an apron in needlework at school. Lessons were so uninspiring

  2. Beautiful smocking Anna, I did some for my City and Guilds last year and loved the process, but was glad I didn't have to do more than a small sample! I too did a dress for my O level (didn't we all?), which went to my mother's god daughter, then was returned to me for my daughter when she was little. I was so delighted to have it - but then passed it on to a friend so it has travelled out into the world now.
    Your lime and grey quilt looks lovely - remember to roll those shoulders very five mintues while you quilt it though :-)

  3. Anna, congratulations on being included in the book. I am tempted to buy a copy even though there are no hares down here and I've never even seen a live one. I think it's all about the myth and symbolism surrounding them. Hope it produces lots of positive feedback.

  4. I wish we'd done all of that at school and how nice that you still have your books and samples. Congratulations on being in the book - next you'll be writing your own?

  5. I enjoyed this post and understood how important sewing feels when you love it. I had to drop it at O level as it clashed with some other subject. What a treasure having your school file.
    I had a toy sewing machine and then was able to use an old treadle singer at primary school. I loved embroidery, x stitch and making simple clothes. Now patchworks, bags and bits and pieces. So many sewing books on my shelf.
    Love both of your patchworks, beautiful. And how wonderful to see your hare prints in the book, looks like a lovely book. Congratulations.
    Best wishes for A Happy Easter.


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