Saturday, 2 August 2014


I was inspired by a WI friend who had made a lovely bag using 3 tea towels.  This made me think 'what else  could I make with  them ?'

So I bought a load of pretty tea towels (you need the smooth ones - not the loopy towling type) I paid about £3 for three.  This set had particularly pretty edgings and trims including a 'Made with Love' label and heart button, which I used to great effect.  The tea towels are a really good quality strong cotton.
The pink polka-dot tea towel is from another set.  I used the two long sides to make all the handles for my set of bags and purses.
 The first thing I made was a small tote bag for the side of my wheeelchair, measuring approx  22 x 24 cm.  I used some of the pink polka-dot for the outside of this bag. The bag is lined   and interlined with some wadding. I used the  the flowery tea towel for the lining and also for a pocket on the front to keep my phone handy. The bag has a single handle (12") from side to side, and Velcro fastening.   I finished it off with the 'Made with Love' label and heart button.
The next thing I made was a treat bag for Bailey (the dog!) This uses the white tea towel with the flowery border, and the pink polkadot for lining and tab handles.  The tabs have Velcro on the end to form  loops to go over a bar or belt.
Finally I made a camera case and a zipped purse from the flowery fabric, lined with white.
So that is four little bags I've made from 3 tea towels, and there is still some fabric left! Watch this space to see how I use that!

Enjoy the Summer
love Jane xx

Friday, 4 July 2014


The War Centenary Exhibition has opened this week at Bournemouth Library, The Triangle, Bournemouth,  and two of my pictures are included.

This knitted collage is based on the painting 'Bursting Shell' by CRW Nevinson.   The collage was inspired by the poem:


Not that we are weary,
Not that we fear,
Not that we are lonely
Though never alone -
Not these, not these destroy us;
But that each rush and crash
Of mortar and shell
Each cruel bitter shriek of bullet
That tears the wind like a blade,
Each wound on the breast of earth,
Of Demeter, our Mother, wound us also,
Sever and rend the fine fabric
Of the wings of our frail souls,
Scatter into dust the bright wings
Of Psyche!
                                    Poetry by Richard Aldington from Images of War (1919) 

Knitted collage with knitting needles, paper, knitted wool and paper butterflies on a painted knitted background.

The knitted collage of spring flowers was inspired by this poem by Aldington:


How impotent is all this clamour,
This destruction and contest
Night after night comes the moon
Haughty and perfect;
Night after night the Pleiades sing
And Orion swings his belt across the sky.
Night after night the frost
Crumbles the hard earth.
Soon the spring will drop flowers
And patient creeping stalk and leaf
Along these barren lines

Where the huge rats scuttle
And the hawk shrieks to the carrion crow.
Can you stay them with your noise?
Then kill winter with your cannon,
Hold back Orion with your bayonets
And crush the spring leaf with your armies?

Painted  and knitted wild flowers on a knitted background; thanks to  Judy Smith and Angela Graham of Throop WI for knitting the flowers.

Jane xx

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


For most of the Spring and early Summer of 2014,  I have been working on a tablecloth, my entry for the ‘Tomorrow’s Heirlooms’ competition to celebrate the Centenary of the WI in 2015.  Now it has finally been completed and delivered,  I am able to share how it was made.
The main coloured panel started out white and evolved (or grew) as the result of various textile experiments.  The first addition of colour, olive green and tropical green, was the unpredictable result of ice-dyeing, where salt-soaked fabric was covered with ice cubes with dye crystals sprinkled on top. 

This technique results in a pattern created by nature as the dye falls on the fabric where the ice melts. I did the ice-dyeing back in February when it was so cold the ice wouldn’t melt naturally and I had to use a heat gun to speed up the process!
When it was dry, the fabric reminded me of looking up through a canopy of leaves. To add to this effect, I used some of the fabric to cut out 47 leaves which were appliqued in the four corners.  These represent the 47 members of Throop WI; they are all a bit different, none of them are perfect, some are a little frayed around the edges.  I used green, red and mult-coloured thread to attach the leaves.

In order for the cloth to look a little less like army- issue camouflage, the fabric was then over-dyed  by sprinkling the salt-soaked fabric with ocean blue dye.  By this time I had already stitched on the leaves so in order for this not to go blue I masked them off with leaf shaped cards.  The dye was sprinkled on from the back.

The result was a beautiful multi-colour effect, reminiscent of Monet’s Water lilies. The pink ‘flowers’ were randomly scattered by Mother Nature (pink particles being an ingredient in the blue dye.)
The cream borders on the four edges are hand-embroidered with words to describe the WI’s contribution to society over the past 100 years:
The WI Inspiring Women since 1915
Throop WI ~ Women Working Together
I used a water-soluble pen to write the words then embroidered them in green thread using backstitch.  The borders are made with a self-facing so that no messy stitching shows on the back.  On the four corner squares are four gold leaves to mark this special anniversary.

I nearly gave up and was ready to take the scissors to it several times, but now it’s finished, I’m happy.  Many hours have been spent sewing in all the threads, so that it is as neat on the back as it is on the front.
Finally the tablecloth was carefully folded so that the word friendship is uppermost when the box is opened.  
 I included a summary of how I made the cloth and a tag with wash care instructions.  Wish me luck!!
Love Jane xx

Monday, 19 May 2014


I would like to give a BIG Thank you to Paul  for transforming this barren space:

and  all this lot:
into my amazing new creative space:

Here it is now I’ve moved all my bits and pieces in! And it is all so tidy!

Calligraphy Corner:

Sunny workbench:

 I’m looking forward to sharing my creativity and having friends join me for 1:1 workshops.  Watch this space!

Bye for now,
Jane xx

Friday, 14 February 2014


Happy St Valentine's Day to everyone!  Here are a couple of iris-folded hearts:


This one is made with purple fabrics and metallic ribbons.

This one is for music lovers!

with love
Jane xx