How do you chose a colour scheme?
Do you go for bold and bright?
or do you prefer a more subtle palette?
Very often the starting point for a colour scheme comes from observing the world around us. Whether it’s walking through the vibrant but chaotic bazaars of Jaipur, whipping up a storm in the kitchen or strolling along the Cornish beaches in winter - they all tickle our creative senses and we love capturing that moment in fabric and thread.
If you would like to create your own bespoke stash of fabrics too then head over to the Bringing colour to life page and read all about our brand new year-long course. We are very excited about it as it'll bring all the techniques we love using to colour and add texture to fabric into one course. Plus we will be in our new 'new' studio by the time it starts in September. We'll be telling you more about the new studio shortly, but as it has been built with us in mind we will have masses of light and space plus plenty of height adjustable work benches - so come and join us, be inspired!
This year I've challenged myself to draw daily and, via the Instagram #10minutedrawingproject, everyone else too. I did wonder if anyone would join me... but they have! After much fiddling, I've managed to work out how to save a copy of the images, so here is just a snap shot (no pun intended!) of some of the drawings already posted...
By the looks of things most people are using drawing/sketchbooks, but Terry has confessed that a time or two to using what ever comes to hand - including the back of an envelope! Which just goes to show that when the moment strikes you can be flexible! And what are people drawing with? Different media are being tried and used, including different weights of pencils, coloured pencils, drawing pens, Sharpie markers, even the humble Biro. Which all goes to show that no complicated or expensive equipment is needed...
I know for a fact we have an adamant 'I don't do drawing' participant (you know who you are - I'm thrilled you're joining in!) so what's stopping you from joining us?? You can start (and if it's not for you, stop) the challenge anytime you like. You don't even need to draw daily; although the more you do the more relaxed and confident you'll become and in time your drawings will reflect this. You can keep your drawing private - but if you want to share (and we hope you will) then post them on Instagram with the hash tag: #10minutedrawingproject - that way we can all see them.
Remember, practice makes perfect: so grab a piece of paper and a pen and we'll see you on Instagram soon,
Hazel & Terry
Welcome to 2018 and the first of our new series of blogs. It seems fitting that as the door to the old year closes and the one to 2018 opens that doors are featured!
I've been lucky to travel to many different countries and I always seem to come back with plenty of photographs, with doors featuring time and time again!
Some of the doors can be very grand and imposing with lots of gilt and decoration.
Or others which are scruffy and broken with peeling paint; it doesn't mater to me.
All these fancy door knockers were photographed in Chania when I was on a walking holiday in Crete. It was a bit of a disappointment to find that anyone could buy a hand, I'd thought they were a sign of something mystical happening behind the closed door!
What do you find yourself photographing time and time again? If you have an interesting door, share it on Instagram with the tag: #Institchesfindinginspiration, I look forward to seeing what you post. Now, where did I put my window photographs.......
Hazel & Terry
Terry says I have a butterfly mind, so in 2017 I took to recording my life for a year - one snap at a time! Each day I took a photograph and posted it on my Instagram with the tag #thelivinglifeonedayatatimeproject. I'm not sure I'm a better photographer, after all I just used my phone, but I enjoyed the habit, the discipline, the act of recording my life. And now, with just one photograph short of the full year I have to decide: do I continue (more than likely, it's quite addictive) or move onto another daily practice?
The received wisdom is that practice makes perfect. By doing something repeatedly you should get better, so 2018 is my year to see if I can actually become better at...drawing. By allotting 10 minutes each day and limiting the media and subject I want to see if I can improve - I don't think I'll become a fine art master, that's not my plan, what I hope to achieve is becoming more skilled at looking and recording.
I figure that 10 minutes is a manageable time scale that can be slotted into a busy life, just enough time to make some marks but not too long to become onerous. So, who fancies joining me on this year long adventure ?
The photography daily practice was easy - I just needed to remember to take the photograph and post it on Instagram. I never missed a day - but (sssh, don't tell!) I did sometime post two on one day because I'd forgotten the previous day. I plan to be equally as forgiving with myself in 2018, after all this is meant to be enjoyable.
I also want to keep equipment to a minimum so here's what I'm going to start off using:
Ever since I was a child I've wanted my own date stamp, obviously spent too long in the library as a child! So to record each day I also plan to use the date stamp Terry gave for my birthday this year. I'm going to enjoy that: stamp, stamp, stamp!
Some weeks I may also use my iPad. It's quite different to conventional tools, but as I have the iPad pro and pencil and I need to become more familiar with using it, into my art bag it will go.
The last thing I need to do it set myself an appropriately timed reminder on my phone calendar - a gentle reminder to stop what ever madness I am doing and take 10 minutes to draw. Yes, I think I'm going to enjoy that!
On Instagram I'll be using the tag #10minutedrawingproject, so if you feel inspired to join in don't forget to use it - I'd love to see you there! I'll also post regular updates here on the blog and on our Facebook page as well.
Wishing you a very Happy and creative New Year!
Hazel & Terry
Please see our travel blog to see what we've been up to from this date until 2017!
Hazel & Terry
It's always a delight to welcome Gillian Travis to InStitches and today she was back teaching interchange applique for us.
Her enthusiasm is so infectious yiou just know you're in for a busy, creative day!
Interchange applique is a technique Gillian has used with great succes for her own quilts and she's busy sharing the technique with others; and now, literaly hot-of- the-press, she has a book too!
After a quick introduction to her quilts and quiting life the students were then off....trying out this amazingly effective technique for themselves.
Gillian had brought along a fabric and paper kit to introduce the basic technique which gave everyone confidence,
and then everyone was encouraged to start designing their own applique. Debbie is a quilter after my own heart - she bought a Plymouth gin bottle for her shape inspiration!
Anne is working with vases
Whilst Gillian is on hand to give Sue a helping hand choose some fabrics which aren't floral!
...and there was cake!
Apricot & ginger flapjack
12 oz butter
10 oz soft brown sugar
8 oz golden syrup
1lb rolled oats
1 level tbsp ground ginger
A couple of handfuls of chopped soft apricots
A handful of chopped pecans (optional)
If you want to know more about Gillian and her work, then hop along to her web site: www.gilliantravis.co.uk
Here at InStitches we love nothing better than quilts with lots of quilting on them. We enjoy traditional hand quilting and all types of machine quilting, but our favourite thing is to use interesting threads and a variety of stitches to add texture and interest to the quilt surface. And better still to mix it up a bit and combine large hand stitches with machine quilting.
In Hazel's quilt Does Anyone Fancy a G&T? she used seeding in various colours and thicknesses of thread to great effect for shadows to ground the items on the table. If you look closely ou'll see it is also used for texture in the lower sections. Can you spot her favourite french knots? Look for the bubbles!
and there was cake...
Of course, sewing at this level makes you hungry so there was plenty of cake and a bowl of tasty homemade spicy pumpkin soup for lunch. Hazel grows the squash on her allotment and this year they have become HUGE, so there will be plenty of soup for our workshops this year!
Begin by heating a small frying pan and dry roasting the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds – this is to toast them and draw out their flavour. After 2-3 minutes they will change colour and start to jump in the pan. Remove them from the pan and crush them finely with a pestle and mortar.
Cut the pumpkin in half through the stalk, then cut each half into 4 again and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. Then brush the surface of each section with the oil and place them on the baking sheet.
Season with salt and pepper, and then pop them on a high shelf of the oven, gas mark 9, 475 F (240 C) to roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a large saucepan over a high heat, add the onion, stir it round and when it begins to colour round the edges, after about 5 minutes, turn the heat down. Let it cook very gently without a lid, giving it a stir from time to time, for about 20 minutes.
Then remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave it aside to cool.
Now add the stock and the milk to the onions, and leave them with the heat turned low to slowly come up to simmering point. Next scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin with a sharp knife and add it to the stock together with a seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then let it all simmer very gently for about 15-20 minutes. Next the soup should be processed to a puree.
Because there's a large volume of soup, it's best to do this in two halves. What you need to do is whiz it until it's smoothly blended, but as an extra precaution it's best to pass it through a sieve as well in case there are any unblended fibrous bits.
Taste and season well, then when you're ready to serve the soup, re-heat it gently just up to simmering point, being careful not to let it boil. We like to serve our soup with a swirl ofcrème fraiche and cubes of creamy feta cheese.
This recipe is a combination of two from Delia's winter collection
Makes about 20 scones
350g caster sugar
110g soft unsalted butter,
2 large eggs, at room temperature
225g plain flour
1/4 teaspoonbaking powder
1/2 teaspoonbicarbonate of soda
3 large over-ripe bananas, peeled and flesh mashed
1 teaspoonvanilla extract
75g chopped pecans (optional)
Hot on the heels of Lin Kerr's workshops, this week we had the pleasure of a two-day workshop with Arleen Wild. For those of you who aren't familiar with her work, Arleen is a mixed media artist, and her work is an energetic mix of painting, free motion stitch and fabric. She produces stunning landscapes, seascapes and flowers some of which are huge! You can see more of her work on her website.
Arleen is a very generous tutor, with a wealth of knowledge and tips about the media and processes she uses. We started by priming the canvas and while it was drying Arleen helped everyone select a suitable image or elements from several images as a jumping off point. The idea was to produce a unique piece of artwork, and not a slavish copy of the photograph. Next we added a subtle wash of paint to form the background. Hers is a very loose style and I think one of the things that most people took away was the message that less is most definitely more! The tiniest amount of paint, or fabric and thread used in a painterly way, can really lift a piece. The day was all about layering materials to achieve the desired effect and give the work energy and focus. A dab of paint here, a couched thread there, then perhaps a tiny piece of fabric, caught down on one edge only, all the time paying attention to composition, and definitely no straight lines!
Don't you agree that all the work looks amazing? Some aren't quite finished yet but all are well on the way.
and there was cake . . .
You will have spotted that there are scones and home-made jam with clotted cream in the picture. Well we couldn't let all these lovely people work so hard without some kind of reward, so over the two days there were raspberry muffins, banana and pecan loaf and chocolate oat biscuits and the aforementioned scones. Recipes will follow!
If you have been inspired by the work shown, and fancy a creative day out with friends (and cake!) why not check out our Textile Adventures workshops. There are three left this year and we will soon be adding next year's programme.
That's all for now - thanks for reading!
Hazel & Terry
Welcome to our blog! Here you'll find out what's been going on, plus plenty of ideas and inspiration and the odd cake recipe!
Check back often to see what we're up to - it's great to have you along
Hazel & Terry
- About us
- Courses & workshops
- Make & Create!: Beautiful home
Guest tutors 2018
- Debbie Lyddon - Sculptural forms
- Linda Miller - Pictorial Machine Embroidery Workshop
- Deborah O'Hare - Painted landscapes
- Wendy Dolan - Architecture in stitch
- Judith Needham Catalonian tension tray
- Sarah Waters - nuno felted scarf
- Alice Fox - Collecting Colours
- Caroline Bell - eco printing on fabric workshop
- Debbie Lyddon - Exploring place
- Contact us
InStitches: exciting courses for people who love textiles, quilting, design, stitching and sketchbooks