Textiles and Assemblages


This was one of my first applique pictures, made when I was 15-16 for an O' level exam.


I like to make small textile appliques

Inspired by the art of Victor Stuart Graham in Newhaven, East Sussex.

This started off as an ordinary brown paper bag.....after crumpling, machine sewing, painting, and embelishing with applique, embroidery, buttons and beads, it ended up like this....it was my first attempt at this, and I am still not satisfied with the design....but hopefully next time....!

Sun burst appliqe and embroidery. Made in 2000

Made around Christmas 2003. This was good practice for being 'untidy'!! I was so used to trying to make perfect little stitches - a pain sometimes - so it was a relief to be deliberately messy!!

Inspired by a tile.....that hangs in our kitchen, designed by Lillian Vernon.  This is not a true copy.... 

When Jac was small, I drew around his hand and made this applique for him.

I love Janet Bolton's work, and have a few of her books. This is one of my efforts from about three years ago. The rust brown velvet is from a pair of very large curtains I picked up in a car boot sale. They will last for years if I continue with this size work! Also, they must have been washed at sometime and their colour ran into the lining....and then faded irregularly in the sun....oh! it's gorgeous.

Two more copied from Janet Bolton. The flowers were my first attempt at her work.

Whispering Hearts class with Jude

'Blue Moon' from Sun Moon and Stars class with Jude

Some work ~ mostly in progress

Natural dyeing of cotton, silk and linen cloths
Acorns, avocado skins, carrot tops, dried bay leaves
and cyanotype for the blue

....... Winter Solstice .......
a year, in a nine-patch design, with most likely the moon in the centre, and the eight celebrations around it :~ samhain, winter solstice,  imbolc, vernal equinox, beltane, midsummer, lammas and autumnal equinox.
I am finding that I am making each one as a separate small cloth....

I found as I worked, that I was dissatisfied with the centre
of Winter Solstice, and did not like it at all, so, gathering
courage and thinking of Jude, I decided to cut it out!

...and replace it with a piece of very dark purple silk
velvet. It feels much more appropriate in representing
the darkest time of our year. The spiral, and dream leaves
will be added again.

Here's the story

Soya milk soaked prior to dyeing

Eco dyeing with red cabbage and black beans

black bean dyed linen. Can-wrapped

l-r: red cabbage, red cabbage (soya soaked), black beans (soya 
soaked). This is before washing in the machine. The colours after
washing were a lot more subtle.

After drying, before washing

After washing in the machine

A birthday card I made for My Man. He feels
that the badger is his totem....


Restricted creativity tentatively taking flight.....collage art. I made this in Summer 2004.....it represents how frustrated I felt when my creative muse had gone 'walkabout'.....

I collect a lot of driftwood on dreamy beach walks. Our house and garden are scattered with their smooth and silvered beauty. One day, while 'playing' with some of them, this assemblage evolved. 

This is not yet finished. I wanted to play around with textures and subtle colours.

A small assemblage 8"x8" (my first), inspired by the work of  Kurt Schwitters

This is one of the pieces in a series of five which will represent five decades of my life, 
{Excavating Helen}, as I reached fifty last December, (2010).
This one, represents my years from 10 to 19,with the tree, (which I made from copper wire),and stones and horses showing a most important part of my growing up years.

I work very slowly ~ sometimes taking yearsT before everything comes
together. This one though, flowed to completion in just a few days.
It shows much of what I love...spiral shapes, heart shapes, shells, feathers, working with melted wax, buttons, hand~made paper, silk, tea~dyeing, the infinity symbol and collecting all sorts of little unusual scraps of things.

Another piece for 'Excavating Helen' that I made in October 2010. 

I hoard so much. All my 'findings' are recycled thrift finds, and nearly all my materials are thrifted clothes, (from denim jeans to silk dresses and silk~velvet {my favourite} shirts), curtains, scarves, or bolts of cloth that are looking for a new appreciative home. They are stored in wooden cheese boxes.

Because we are short on space, some of them hold up our bed!

The collecting is as much a joy as the making of something different out of them, and I get a simple pleasure just looking at them; so many hues in each colour, so many textures.


  1. oh i loved looking at all these pieces. i have one of Janet Bolton's books but haven't gotten to it yet. just love that chicken. i see you've been into hearts for awhile. you do beautiful work. thanks for sharing.

  2. i love your cheeze boxes of treasure
    last fall i had the neighbor kid help me winch
    out a huge dresser in the bedroom, enormous
    waste of space (about a foot and a half to
    walk in around the bed that is jammed against
    the wall) and instead put metal storage shelving
    for my cloth. one and a half shelves hold all
    my clothes....the rest is POTENTIAL.
    if i had access to cheeze boxes it would be
    more aesthetically pleasing.
    i love your assemblages...something i used to do
    a little
    glad to be with you in Jude's world

  3. Hi Deanna, and thank you. Janet Bolton was my very favourite textile artist until I came accross Jude!....and she gives classes!!

  4. Hi Grace. Thank you for visiting. I am so lucky with those boxes. Friends of ours who have a willow farm, bought 1000 of them from a cheese factory that was having to change to another material (can't remember what now). They line the walls of our living room as book cases too, and in my studio :~)))

    I love 'POTENTIAL' ~

  5. i love seeing all your stitch work here. i am drawn to your assemblages too. i like how you place things and string them together.

  6. Thank you Jude. I'm busy making stones to roll over your way at the moment :~)