Printing and Art textiles
Artist and Teacher
Exeter Quilt show workshops...
Fantastic time was had by all.... thanks to everyone who joined in the fun!
Mothering Sunday gift.... for my big sister
​In memory of Mum and Gran... Mother's Day can seem 'a bit pants' sometimes...
Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge
Really worth a visit... really inspirational displays... even if I did miss
​the 'Stitched samplers' exhibition!
Nothing like a bit of slow-stitch to calm things down....
Stitch... stitch... weave... stitch... stitch
Bruges to Harrogate...
Bit of a bonkers week... lots of inspiration... fun... miles!
Had to make the most of the fantastic weather and had an amazing week exploring Canterbury, Bruges, Ghent... then up to Harrogate to teach at the quilt show....
Procion dyeing day
Cotswold Branch, Embroiderer's guild
A fantastic full-on day with brilliant results! The students learnt all about Procion
​dyes, how to mix them, their uses, making colour runs, space dyeing, cram jar dyeing, ice-dyeing, thickening dyes for printing, breakdown printing and screen printing, and silk-dyeing.
Knitting and Stitching show
Harrogate November 2018
Wonderful to go to a show and not be working...  had a fab time and saw loads of inspiring work... 
Linladen designs - inspired by 1960s Swedish work
Anne Kelly
Jenni Dutton
Cas Holmes
"It's beginning to look alot like"...

This year I MUST finish the Christmas quilt!
What started off as a quilt-as-you-go-challenge to ​use up all those sample swatches I can't help but pick up on my travels... has turned into a labour of love. I WILL finish it in time for Christmas... I will....
A touch of the Blues....
101 ways with indigo...
Thank you Duxford!
Hot on the heels of the Malvern show came the quilt show at Duxford. A really impressive site - and although the weather was freezing... everyone who attended classes had a great time!
Thank you Malvern!
We had a great time at Malvern Quilt show  - thank you to everyone who visited my stand and attended the workshops...

If you accidently took my glasses home (they're a black "no Fear" design) - please let me know as I'm (quite literally) lost without them!
Leaping Hares in Churchdown
Who cares that it's 'cats'n'dogs' outside... when we have leaping hares (aka racing rabbits) inside? 

We spent a super day with the Churchdown Quilters painting, printing, lino-cutting and stitching these concertina books. 
​There was a LOT to be done... and NEW skills to learn... but everyone seemed to have a great time and the results were BRILLIANT.
As the leaves fall - we dye with them!
We started our eco-dyeing classes today and the results were ​spectacular!

First we soaked our cloth in soya milk. Then using either leaves soaked in iron water... or an iron-soaked top cloth.... we rolled our fabric tightly and steamed for about an hour or so.

Yes - it was abit smelly... but the results look fantastic!
Start of a new term....
It was so ​​absolutely marvellous to see everyone again after the long break... and to say 'hello' to my new students too...

My new workspace is (almost) ready and I'm really pleased with how it's all working so far.... much more light, and space, and sunshine!

We've kicked off the new term looking at how our new 'woodland' theme will pan out - and throwing ourselves into gel-plate printing all the foliage around us while it's still there!
The results were AMAZING!!!!
Bodrugan Barton
printing, dyeing & 
​sewing retreat...
Just back from a full-on
​week of dyeing & printing,
​sewing and storms! 
With thanks to Lorraine,
Maggie, Lis, Gill, Lyn, Alison, Sarah, Cathryn and Noelle
​for a brilliant week away...

Summer hols...
Time to relax... unwind... spend time with the family... say goodbye to my faithful friend HarryDog... read alot... visit exhibitions... stitch... try new techniques out... paint and sketch...
End of term party...
After an amazing year all the groups joined together for a final get together...
It was a lovely day to sit in the garden, enjoy prosecco and yummy snacks and look at some of the fantastic work that's been produced this year.

I'm so impressed with what's been achieved... and so pleased that the groups all work so well together... friendships have been made... and I realise that I have the best job in the world!

Big thanks to everyone tht has taken part in the classes and workshops over the whole year.

Now to have a break - and start all over again in September.... can't wait!
More snowdyeing...
Just rinsed out the fabrics... they're still wet and unironed... but I'm pretty pleased with the results!
No 1 & 2 were done in the same bowl - although they are different fabrics (1 is calico, 2 is Empress Mills cotton). 

No 3, 4 & 5 are from a different set. I used "woodland' colours for a project I'm working on. Not sure they are very 'foresty' actually, but interesting none-the-less!

No 5 is the piece I put under the mesh to catch the run-off - that's why it's a bit paler and the colours are more mixed.

Well - the snow's miraculously all gone... the sun's shining and it's as if 'the beast' never roared round these parts at all. But I know better - I've got my snowdyeing to prove it!
Snowdyed success!
Such a lot of fun! And so rewarding too....

The silk scarf (left) was the first to be completed - and I'm so pleased with the results...

When dyeing with procion dyes you need a catalyst to get the procion dye to adhere to the fibres. With plant fibres you use an alkaline (washing soda) and with animal fibres you can use  an acid (vinegar). The fabric can be pre-soaked in this, or it can be added at the time of dyeing.

Silk is one of those 'special' fabrics that be treated either way... and so I used vinegar this time. Rather than wait the 24 hours for the dye to cure - I popped it in the microwave and within 2 minutes my wondeful scarf was ready to be rinsed and ironed dry.

I'm lovin' it!
Perfect weather for snowdyeing!
Let it snow.. let it snow... let it snow....

If you've already had a snow ball fight... made a snowman... been sledging... and are looking for indoor snow-related activities then how about having a go at snowdyeing?

I've talked before about ice-dyeing - and this is pretty similar... but I'll run through it again just in case...

Get yourself:
-a washing up bowl
-some fabric (soda soaked if you have it) - wet or dry
-some washing soda (if fabric not already soda soaked)
-a wire mesh (I use chicken wire/grill shelf/ or old colander)
-some procion dye powder

1. Place your mesh inside the bowl
2. Scrunch up your fabric and place it on the grill
3. Build up the sides with cardboard etc if there is a lot of space around the fabric if you like - it can save wasting dye
4. Cover the fabric with snow
5. IF your fabric has NOT been soda soaked sprinkle over washing soda
6. Sprinkle neat dry procion dye powder over the top
7. Wait for the snow to melt
8. Wrap your fabric in a plastic bag and keep really warm (like in an airing cupboard or on a radiatior) for 24 hours. I put the bag in a bowl or another bag too just to make sure it can't spill or drip on to anything else!)
9. After 24 hours - rinse under the cold tap until it runs clear. Then you can wash with detergent at a low temperature - use a colour catcher to avoid dye runs!

Text in textiles course
​This term some of my groups have been exploring text in textiles.

I trained as a typographer and so have always had an interest in text and type... how it's used... it's meaning... implication... and how it's physically created and applied.

We have looked at handwritten text - printed, written and stitched. At machine embroideryof text... at using gelli-prints... screen prints... blocks... stencils... discharged... dyed.. painted... sewn. 

We've looked at negative and positive prints... at messages concealed and revealed... at the aesthetics of typefaces... the appropriateness of a font... at how and why we use and choose a particular typestyle.. and what it says about us and our work.

All in all - we've covered a lot!

Now the group just needs to construct their projects ... using up all the fabric they've created... I can't wait to see the results!
Happy New Year- 2018!

Oh! I know I've been a bit slack with the blog... so much has happened...

We had a fantastic end of term Christmas party for all the groups - lots of wonderful finished works of art to celebrate... as well as amazing food AGAIN!

I've been working hard preparing the new classes for the Grosvenor shows - this year
I'll be concentrating on indigo dyeing, gelli printing, mixed-media work and dyeing silk.
It's going to be such fun and I'm really looking forward to it!

I've also been preparing our theme for this term - 'text in textiles' for my more advanced classes. This is a subject very close to my heart!  Just hoping everyone loves it as much as I do.... I'm sure you will!

Last Saturday saw the first of this years Saturday one-off workshops. We immersed ourselves (quite literally) in Indigo and the results were marvellous... ranging from adorable babygros, and vests.... to stunning shirts, bags and napkins. The cake seemed to go down well too!

Well, classes re-start tomorrow -   my beginner's will be marbling fabric to kick off the new year - can't wait..... 


Malvern Autumn Quilt show
Friday 20 Oct - Sunday 22 October

It's great to be back at Malvern - out local show - and to see so many familiar faces.

We have a NEW LOOK display stand!
Please come and tell us what you think of it... you'll find us at position no 54 in the corner (with the fairy lights) between the far end cafe and the far end toilets!
Mike will be running the stand and we have lots of new kits especially for Christmas gifts, such as:
- a super-quick scarf dyeing kit
- an easy indigo dyeing kit
- an antique-ing kit

as well as all our regular items, such as:
- gel-plate printing kits
- thermofax screens
- small silk-screens & squeegees
- inktense pencils
- fabric paints
- stencils
- procionMX dye kits
- manutex, urea, and pipettes
- blank items to print and dye, including fabric bags, silk scarves and
   Empress Mills egyptian cotton bundles

I'm also teaching classes all day, every day - so if you fancy a taster session of gel-plate printing, simple marbling, or printing with procionMX dyes, then sign up at the workshop stand as soon as you arrive.

Hopefully see you there? 


This week we have mostly been.... 
Breakdown printing!
We've been getting down'n'dirty coating our silk-screens with thickened Procion dye... leaving them to dry with textures pressed into them.... and then printing onto soda-soaked fabric with clear manutex (or thickened dye) to create fantastic results.

(It's called Breakdown printing because the dried dye 'breaks down' as the wet manutex hits it... releasing random patterns and creating stunning layers of dye).

You can use all sorts of junk to create texture... and once your done.. it all washes off the screen and you're ready to go again! 

(Note of warning... this can only be done with dye... DO NOT try with fabric paint as if the paint dries on your screen it will be permanenty damaged!)

Back to school feeling? Hoorah!!
It's great to catch up with my classes as we return after the long summer break.
So much to show'n'tell!

We kicked off with Indigo dyeing... it started off quite sensibly... but ended with pictures of model boats on various seas (calm to stormy). That's what happens when the theme is seascapes!

Really looking forward to the term ahead... hoorah for September!

Happy Harrogate
Having had a great summer break.... It was lovely to get back into the
swing of things at the Harrogate quilt show.

It was lovely to see familiar faces and get to know so many more at the workshops. Looking forward to coming back in February with a whole new set of classes and new stock for the stand too.

Summer lovin' had me a blast!​
After an amazing year of classes, shows and even an exhibition I was ready
for a good rest... a month of the sand dunes near St Ives did the trick!

No electricity, no internet, no running water... just me and Harry dog (and
various family and friends dropping by here and there). Oh... and lots of
slow-stitching and slow-sketching and slow-walking and visiting galleries (The New Craftsman is my absolute fave) and eating icecream (fast!).

I went to Barnoon craft workshop in St Ives for a weekly dose of creativity... how lovely to attend a class instead of running one for a change. It was great fun and I really recommend it. I also loved visiting 'Johnnies' cafe in Hayle... beautiful vintage linens, Selvedge magazines, Merchant and Mills patterns and a good cuppa too!

And I mustn't forget visiting Falmouth Art Gallery to see the Winifred Nicholson exhibition  - what a treat.

Oh I love Cornwall- whatever the weather!

End of term - tea party

A great way to end the year with a grand tea party and show'n'tell in the garden!

Students from all the groups gathered together to get to know each other and see what they'd been working on.

Lots of food... lots of prosecco... endless strawberries (yum!)... thank you for the delicious spread and for each of you bringing so much to the groups each week. 

Hope you all have a great summer and find lots of inspiration for our 'seascape' theme next term!

End of term...
​Thank you to all my wonderful students!
I can't believe another year is over...

It's been such fun teaching all my lovely classes... and needless to say 'you are all my favourites'!

You have all been such an inspiration to me and
I can honestly say it's been such a pleasure.. it really is the best job in the world!

I hope you all enjoy the end-of-term tea party tomorrow... (prosecco is in the fridge!)...
and I really look forward to seeing you again in September to get emerged in Indigo dye
and Potassium Permanganete and Seascapes!

Thank you - Kate x

Goodbye... bon voyage... we love you!!
All great things must come to an end... and after a few wonderful years of sewing, printing, eating, drinking and crying with my amazing friends - the time has come to say BON VOYAGE to the absolutely super Vics (back right).

It's been a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with Vics... and to see her love for linocutting grow and take off... I know this will continue and we wish you the best and all our love for this new journey.

Super Sandown...
A lovely time was had by all at Sandown racecourse.

Thank you to all you came and took
workshops with me...

And thanks to the wonderful Grosvenor shows for the fantastic workspace... and to everyone who helped me with my flat tyre at the end of the show!!

Thank you Spalding...
hello Sandown
Thank you to everyone who came and did workshops and visited me at my stand at the Spalding Quilt show. 

You Lincolnshire folk sure do like your fabric paint! Now I'm re-stocked and re-packed and ready to make my way to Sandown Racecourse for the National Quilt Championships this weekend.

I'd like to request slightly cooler weather, if I may! Looking forward to seeing you all again soon..... 

Daisy days.....
I've been doing a lot of experimentation this week.... trying out some new backing materials (courtesy of the love-er-ley Empress Mills)... 

I seem to be thinking about flowers, and daisies in particular... I've been dyeing fabric, sticking, sewing, embellishing, painting, and trying some new stitches, threads, techniques and generally having a brilliant time!

Great Malvern... great show!
18-21 May 2017
Thanks to everyone who made the Malvern Quilts UK
so fantastic...

I had a great time and apparently so did you!  

Everything is cleaned and boxed up to go again... this time off
to Spalding for the Springfields Quilt show on Friday 2rd and Saturday 3rd June.

I shall have a stand to sell lots of lovely supplies next to my workshop area so... maybe see you there

Malvern here we come!
18-21 May 2017
The weather seems have made a turn for the better... and it's off to Malvern again for Quilts UK show.

I'll be teaching all day, every day again - and you can usually find me upstairs.
I will be taking lots of stock and so will have a stand within my workshop area.

I'm looking forward to sharing my NEW gel-plate printing book. My initial print run sold out at the British Guild of Quilter's AGM in Torquay at Easter and so,
at last, the delivery has arrived and they are all looking lovely and ready to go!
Happy Harrogate...
It seems such a short time since I was last here...
I can't believe it was 5 months ago that I was in Harrogate last. The time has whizzed past, and I returned to teach another set of 3 workshops each day at this lovely quilt show. 

It was great to see some familiar faces, I really appreciate that (it means I didn't scare you away the first time!). And to welcome new folk as well to the wonderful world of art textiles.

Many of my classes were sold out, and some even had extras too!
We were gel-plate printing, marbling and silk-screen printing with thermofax screens and thickened dye. I love seeing you all realise the possibilities for creating your own fabric and projects - and can't wait to see the photos in the future.

And we're off to a flying start......
It's only the 19th January and already 2017 is proving to be a busy year!

There's been a lot of designing and planning new courses and workshops, as well as sourcing new inspiration and materials and starting to make kit packs for the shows and workshops this year.

The classes and workshops are already in full swing too. We had a great morning gel-plate class last Saturday with wonderful results and three very lovely, very happy ladies leaving with lots of samples and goodies...

Tonight I'm going to visit the Montpellier Quilters' in Cheltenham to share with them the joys of using Procion dyes and printing with thickened dyes. I'll be taking with me examples of my work, and we'll have an opportunity to try out runny dyes, and to scrape, blob and print with thickened dyes. I'll be taking some of Ineke Berlyn's thermofax screens too, as well as dye kits, Empress Mills fabric, and other sundries to buy - just in case any one attending can't wait to get started!

I'm now running four different week-day classes. Each group has its own personality, level of expertise and goals... but all of them are full of encouragement, laughs, coffee and cake... and so this continues to be a fantastic job which I absolutely LOVE!

If you'd like to join a one-off workshop or fortnightly class - please just contact me and I'll see if we can fit you in... 
It's my last show of the year....
Westcountry Quilt and Textile Show, UWE, Bristol.
11 - 13 November 2016
As the weather's definitely taken a wintery turn - why not join us at the University of the West of England (UWE) at Filton, Bristol, for this brilliant show?
This year, as last year, I'll have a gallery space  - G55-57.

I'll be teaching my workshops there, as well as exhibiting some of my own work and the work of some of my students. I'm also really pleased to share with you the work of Ruth Parkinson-Johns... a great friend and amazing textile artist.
All packed for Malvern!
21-23 October 2016
The van's all packed and it's off to the Malvern Autumn show with
lots of lovely kits for Christmas...

Stuck for gift ideas? Take a look at my "Something-to-do-on-Boxing-Day bags & boxes". (So if you've had enough of 1000-TV-favourite-re-runs - there's hours of action packed activity for everyone!)
Harrogate quilt show
Just back from a great time in Harrogate...
three days spent in the brand new exhibition hall... wonderful classes and so much enthusiasm... it's why I love my job SO much!

Thank you to all of you who visited my stand
and were lovely to Ben (at his first show ever)...
and to all you fantastic folk who keep coming back for more! It was really great to see you all!

Don't forget -  if you forget to get any supplies - my on-line shop is open.... and you can always
e-mail me with any questions you may have....
Dyeing days.....
Group 2 - 16-17 August 2016
After the success of the first two dyeing days... we're all inspired to have another go...

It always amazes me that even with the same materials how such diverse results can be achieved!

On the first day, the cram jar dyeing was definitely a popular option. It's great for producing really quick and striking results. (See more on this shortly).

We then spent time cutting out our own apron patterns, and dyeing the pieces with the final design in mind. 

Gina create a 'whole cloth' design, to be turned into a tunic later on... (see pic top left). 

Lynn & Gill spent the second day dyeing and sewing combined... their aprons nearly finished and a whole bag of dyed fabric to add to their stash!
Ice-dyeing (you can also use snow!)
As the ice melts the dye creates random, intricate patterns on the cloth below...
As there's not much snow to be found in Tewkesbury in the middle of August in a heatwave... I resorted to ice-cube trays and a back-up supply of ready made party ice from the supermarket.

There are several different ways to ice-dye.... just play around and see what works best for you....

Firstly, you will need a washing up bowl (or cat litter tray/ ice cream tub etc). It needs to be deep enough to sit a drip-tray inside, and then pile ice on-top. We used wire cake cooling racks in the litter trays, and home-made chicken wire versions to fit the other bowls we had.

The drip-tray allows the melt water to pass through the cloth so that it's not sitting in a puddle of mixed colours. We lined the bottom of the bowl with cloth as well to see what it would look like, and the results were pretty great actually... just a bit more subtle and muddier looking.

The cloth you use will need to have been soaked in soda ash or washing soda prior to dyeing. (Soak for at least 15 mins in a soda-ash solution of 1 tbs of soda ash per litre of tepid water. Or make the solution from supermarket washing soda using 3 tbs to 1 litre of warm water). You can wring the fabric after soaking and drip-dry - do not rinse. Use it either damp if you'd like blended colours, or dry if you'd like sharper, more dramatic results). Never tumble dry fabric with soda in it as it may catch fire!

Now the fun begins!

Place your 'under' fabric on the base of the bowl. You can crinkle it, scrunch it, pleat it.... whatever.... for different effects.

Next cover it with the drip-tray.

Then place the main cloth on the tray  - again give it some twists or scrunches for more interesting effects.

Next cover this entirely with ice. The larger the pieces of ice, the more dramatic the results as some pieces will thaw and allow the dye through quicker than others. Snow would melt more evenly, giving more even results.

Remember - the ice will dilute the dye - so you need to cover the fabric but not pile it too deep, otherwise the colours will be paler (unless you use heaps of dye).

Now wearing a face mask, sprinkle on the Procion dye powder. You need to be pretty generous with the dye - you could use a sieve to give a more even coverage. The dye colours will mix as they merge (eg. yellow next to blue will create green where the two colours cross over). As the dye hits the soda-soaked cloth, the chemical reaction will start to occur.

Be patient! Wait for all the ice to melt.

Then (wearing gloves), remove your cloth carefully, and place in a bag (or roll in clingfilm) and 'cure' or 'batch' your fabric. This is the part where the dye processes & fixes to your cloth. The fabric needs to warm & damp for at least 22 hours at 22 degrees. Placing it in the airing cupboard is ideal. If you don't have an airing cupboard, a hot windowsill can work well etc. If you can't get the temperature up to 22 degrees, just leave it as warm as you can for another day or two.

Next rinse your fabric under the cold tap until the water runs clear. Then you can wash in detergent up to 40 degrees. The colour is now fixed and permanent. Dry your cloth, iron if you want to and enjoy your beautiful results!

Dyeing days.....
Group 1 - 14-15 August 2016
It was so lovely to welcome back friends Mel and Lucy from Churston in Devon. We were also joined by textile artist Ruth Parkinson-Johns for a fantastic and productive day.

The sun shone (very brightly) and helped speed up the thawing process in the ice-dyeing buckets. (More info. to come shortly).

We also spent a lot of time cramming fabric into jam jars, adding dye along the way to create incredibly vibrant results.

And then there was the 'main task' - creating dyed fabric to make our cute-cross-over aprons.

Not to mention.... drawing and
painting and printing with
thickened dyes.... and removing
dye from our fabric using
discharge paste.

Wow! And I'm doing it all again
What a busy month!
Sandown National Quilt
17-19 June 2016
Another great Grosvenor show, this time at Sandown racecourse.
I was teaching all weekend upstairs, with the most amazing views over the racecourse and the whole of the London beyond. 
We had beautiful sunshine, torrential rain, fork lightning and 9 really fab classes! What's more I met some really lovely people who have given me lots of top tips on different ways to try things.... I think I learn as much at these shows as the students do! I'll be posting some of these on this blog before long.... watch this space.....
All packed for Springfields Quilt Show, Spalding.
3-4 June 2016
It's showtime... again! Just packing the van and off to Spalding for another weekend of quilt-show heaven!

I absolutely love the buzz and the busyness and meeting lots of new faces... can't wait!

(Just hope I haven't forgotten anything!)
Quilts UK at Malvern
Thursday 19th May -  Sunday 22nd May
The sun shone... the rain fell.... but we had a brilliant time at the Malvern Quilts UK show.

The Malvern shows are particularly special to me as they are my local shows (and I get to go home every night, see the kids, and have a bath!).

I also LOVE the fact that I have so many visitors that I recognise, and many I will have taught over the years who come and say hello...

I taught a record number of students (for me) this time as well  - and I hope you all really enjoyed your classes. Thanks for all the lovely feedback, and enquiries and orders... I promise I'm working as quickly as I can to get my on-line shop up and running... it won't be long!

Exeter Quilt show
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd April
We had a great time in Exeter at the Quilt show. Thank you to everyone who remembered us from last year and came and said hello, or joined another of my classes. They say 'time flies by when you're having fun', but I can't believe a whole year has passed already!

This year I've been running a workshop on using Procion dyes, and using thickened dyes too for printing & drawing with. So many people have been giving feedback saying they were always a bit blinded by the science of dyeing - but that after the class they realised just how straightforward it can be...

If you feel the same way, why not try and join one of my taster classes
€‹at the next show you visit?

Stitch & Craft show  - Malvern 
Thursday 10th - Sunday 12th March
It was lovely to meet so many new faces over the weekend... as always it was a crazy time trying to fit in 3 x 1hr workshops on 3 different subjects, one after the other! But we had a great time and we had such positive feedback and lots of requests for longer workshops in Tewkesbury where I'm based.

I'm just finalising some details but I'll be posting the dates any time soon... watch this space!

Don't forget I'm also teaching at The Inkberrow Design Centre, in the centre of Redditch, so check out there website for more details.​


Amazing Gelli-plate printing
Last week's class at the Inkberrow Design Centre in Redditch
We had a fantastic morning last week at the Inkberrow Design Centre, (which is conveniently located very near to Redditch train station).

This is the class for anyone who LOVES playing with colour and paint to make the most amazing and individual pieces of printed paper and fabric...

Roll-up your sleeves, grab your plastic pinny and off you go!
No drawing ability or previous experience necessary...

First off, I should tell you what a gel-plate is. These are either shop bought, or home-made, squares of a gelatine mix. The printing plate is like a tough jelly... perfect for mono-printing (where you simply ink a hard surface, squiggle some lines in the ink, and 'pull-a-print'). The gel-plate is more flexible, allowing you to press items into the gel to give amazing detail, ie. flowers, leaves, potato mashers, soles of shoes, bubble wrap, soft toys etc.

First up, we blobbed a pea-sized amount of acrylic paint (the cheap stuff, not artists quality as these tend to be too thick) onto the centre of the gel-plate.
Secondly, using a soft roller (or use a paintbrush) we spread the ink in all directions to finely cover the plate. You could try blobbing several colours around the plate, but be careful to keep it thin.

Next we pressed textures into the paint... we used bubble wrap, packaging from the recycling bin, sequin-waste, netting and pizza bases.

Lastly we made some paper shapes (with holes in the middle) and placed these on top of the paint also. 

Next using paper or fabric take a print by rubbing gently with the flat of your hand. Remove and be amazed!!

You can repeat this process again using a different colour to build up layers...

Next time I'll talk about using foliage, and stencils....

Using bleach and discharge paste...
This week we have been removing dye from cloth....
After years of ruining various items of clothing with bleachy cleaning mishaps - it seems like sweet revenge to get such amazing results using bleach as a printing medium! 

Using the dyed cloth from last week, and also some black fabric, we looked at the different results to be obtained using regular household bleach, thickened bleach paste, Jacquard discharge paste and Formusol (another discharge chemical).

Making sure we were kitted out with gloves, aprons, and with the back doors wide open we painted on the chemicals, sponged through stencils, printed through thermofax-screens and silk-screens to get some really interesting results. It's a pretty smelly business so open all the windows, and remember to wear a mask for mixing up the formusol especially.

And don't forget to clean your screens etc pretty quickly to avoid damaging them, and to rinse your bleached fabric after just a few minutes to avoid holes appearing!

We found that the dyed fabric took thickened bleach really well (top pic) - the lines were white-ish and work just as well on blue fabrics as others. You can purchase a bleach-pen, which is quite pricey, but convenient. Or we used a paste made on the stove with cornflour and water to which, after cooling, you add the bleach. This worked really well as a print-paste, although it didn't last very long. The bleach removed colour beautifully from the black fabric too (middle pic) -  althought the discharged cloth was a red/orange tone. Looking forward to using this with the cloth we rust-dye soon!

The Jacquard paste was really easy to use - just the right thickness and not smelly. Once applied, and left to dry for about 20 minutes, you steam iron the fabric and, as if by magic, the whiteish image appears! Marvellous! This paste can be stored for a good while.... 

Lastly we tried the Formusol. It's a bit of a bother as you have to mix the chemical powder (with mask on) into pre-made Manutex paste. It's really smelly, but again you apply, dry and then steam iron (in a well-ventilated area). The results were similar to the Jacquard paste - with lovely whiteish lines on black and dyed fabric, but neither works effectively on certain blue dyes. You can keep any leftover Formusol for a short while - but any longer and the smell is horrific! Be warned!

(In the bottom pic the crosses were bleached first, and then the central one
​was added using Formusol afterwards creating a yellowy effect).
We're just loving the different layers that can be achieved mixing dyeing and discharging and over-printing, and over-sewing... it's a whole new world!

Procion MX dyeing morning
This week my regular Tuesday class have been dyeing cloth....
If you've never tried dyeing fabric before (or only used dylon) then you might really enjoy trying Procion MX dyes for dyeing any natural cloth you might have lying around. 
As a start to our project this term, we needed to create some individual fabric. Dyeing your own cloth means you can create beautiful combinations of colours or patterns, in vivid strengths or muted tones. These can be combined with purchased cloth or used alone. 
So, to get started, we prepared our fabric by washing it, and then soaking it in a soda ash solution for a few hours (or overnight). You can also use washing soda from the supermarket if that's easier. 
Next, we mixed our Procion MX Dyes with 'chemical water'. This is a mix of Urea, Calgon and water - which helps the dyes adhere well to the fabric.
Ok - now the fun begins! You can scrunch, tie, fold, dip, paint, dab, or do whatever you like to get the dye onto the fabric in patterns and in colour combinations that you like.
We all started in a very organised way - recording which colours we combined etc - but all ended up having a bit-of-this-bit-of-that approach by the end of the morning!
Next, you wrap your fabric in plastic, and put somewhere warmish where it can 'cure' but remain damp for at least 24 hours. Then rinse well in cold water and dry out. The dye is now fixed and can be washed in detergent if you want to. 
Last step - iron your amazing fabric and admire the results!
Goodbye 2015.... Hello 2016!
The year has flown by and it was so busy....
I never thought the year would end up being so busy! So much so that
I gave up my part-time job in October to concentrate on teaching and creating my own work.
Thank you to all the lovely students I've met since June at Malvern and Bristol. Also to my weekly and individual students. It's been an absolute pleasure!
Sandown Workshops
Friday 19th - Sunday 21st  June 15
Another great weekend - this time at Sandown racecourse. It was a really
busy show for me, and I learnt such a lot from talking to different
exhibitors and teachers. 
The space for the workshops was fantastic with amazing panoramic views towards London.
Again, the students produced really creative pieces, and I had some lovely positive feedback....
Sandown National
Quilt Championships
Friday 19th - Sunday 21st  June 15
Have been preparing and packing for the Sandown Quilt show this week.
Teaching gel-plate printing and thermofax printing again.... I never tire of it... the results are different each time!
Gel-plate class in Torbay,
Friday 12th June 15
Had a really creative morning in Devon last Friday, running a gel-plate printing class for 8 lovely ladies. We focussed on foliage, and look what you can achieve with a few sticks of celery and some beautiful leaves!
Thank you Mel for organising us, and letting us use your beautiful house for the morning....
Malvern Workshops
Thursday 14th - Sunday 17th May
We had a fantastic weekend at Malvern - teaching 12 classes over 4 days; and what an inspiration the students were! I think I learnt as much from them as they from me...
I had some wonderful feedback - and everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Here are some pictures of students and their work...
Thank you to everyone who came and joined in - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did?
Thermofaxes designed and supplied by inekeberlyn.com

Blogged on Thursday 21st May 2015

Textured green gelli-print circles
Welcome to my website!
Welcome to the new website!

After lots of requests for information and updates - here it is at last...

It's early days yet and I'm still finding my way around the site, but hopefully you will be able to find out all you need to know
about classes, workshops and upcoming events. Also I hope to be able to showcase student's work and encourage you all to
keep being creative.

Blogged on Sunday 10th May 2015