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Join my blog as I experiment with colour, pattern and textile arts ...

I love photography, drawing, painting, working with fabrics/yarn and anything vintage ...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Urban Sweater

Stopping blogging for a while is a very dangerous thing, that's if you want to keep a blog breaks the habit and it's easy to find other things to do ...  Although I do feel like I want to write some posts now. I thought I'd start with my City & Guilds Sweater. Against all odds, I managed to finish this and it passed inspection. It was so difficult ... dealing with everything lately and finding the strength to carry on with the course.  I think actually that it was the knitting that provided a diversion and kept me going.  The whole process from start to finish was a good thing for me. I feel confident now in my ability to see a design project through to the end and explore many possibilities along the way.

I started with a fairly ordinary source and managed to develop it through a series of ideas into the finished article which I LOVE!

It all began with a grid I'd seen in a car park I use every weekday.

This led to me thinking about roads and markings in general .. I found lots more source material around the railway station at the other end of my daily journey.

I started sampling with different qualities of luxury yarns, some suited the end purpose, others looked good but didn't fit with the sweater theme ...  I can make use of those another time ...

This then led to combinations of elements.

I started to think how I could translate these further ideas into sweater shapes - I chose an oversized, easy to wear shape as a silhouette as I wanted the sweater to be a casual weekend garment I can wear with jeans.

I began knitting the sweater and noted down what I'd done as I progressed.  It all went really smoothly, probably because I'd done so much sampling to begin with.  I blocked the knitted shapes and darned in all the loose ends which took a lot of time!  Good finishing is really important to achieve a good look.

Note the smile on my face as I'm wearing it!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Special Guest at Design and Make

I've just heard that Heather Jacks, winner of this year's Sewing Bee will be at tomorrow's 'Design and Make For Haven's Sake' Fashion Show tomorrow.  I so wish I could make it ... if you're in London tomorrow evening, go see!  It's in Notting Hill - see below post for more info ...  my Pony Duffel will feature ...


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Faux Pony Duffel

Well, I've been talking about this project for a long time now and I actually finished it and posted it off this week!

I made the bag from black felt and a faux pony skin, a combination which worked very well.  I took a long time over it.  The inside is lined with a plain black cotton and there are eyelets in the top threaded through with cord.  A magnetic fastening finishes the centre front..

I've donated this to 'Design and Make for Haven's Sake'.  It's a Fashion Show in aid of the Safe Haven Children's Trust in Cambodia.  It will run alongside London Fashion Week.  See the post below for more information of where and when.  

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Exciting things to come ...

I have so many things stacked up to post about ... so much and so little time ...

Artist's Textiles, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier ... hang on in there!  Coming up soon!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Design and Make For Haven's Sake

Slowly but surely, I am gradually picking up the threads of my usual life after recent events. I am sure my Aunt Margaret would approve of me taking part in this project. A while ago, I volunteered to make a hand-crafted bag for this children's charity. I'm in the final stages of completion of a faux ponyskin duffel and will post it next. It will be included in a Fashion Show running alongside London Fashion Week. If you're down in London, go see! There will be some very talented up and coming new designers taking part.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Ellen Margaret Amor

I have been overwhelmed by all the messages of support for my family loss, so let me share with you some things about my Aunt Margaret, who passed away a fortnight ago. I was named after her - Margaret is my middle name, and I used it as a basis for 'Marguerite Designs'. Here she is, in her youth, during the Second World War. She was amazing, running messages around Manchester for the ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Wardens and really wanted to be a Land Girl but was too young ... She had a deep love for the countryside, having left a small farming community in her native Wales with her parents and her sister - my mother, during the Depression of the 1930's. Isn't her hair fabulous in this photo? She was always very particular about it and it's one of the things I'll remember her for.

Here she is again, in the early 70's. This portrait was taken to celebrate 25 years service at a light engineering company in Manchester specialising in chain making, where she was a machine operator. Unfortunately, the work affected her in later life, as she couldn't use her hands properly. She gave me this photo on one of my stays with her - in recent years I've lived a long way from Manchester, on the other side of the country. On this particular stay, we had some great times going out and about - chatting, shopping, lunches, relaxing. She was a great character and as you can see, always made the best of herself. She was my god mother and we were close, as she had no children of her own. She always encouraged me with my work and asked me for any sewing I'd done so she could try and sell it for me around her neighbours. Aunt Margaret was so generous - constantly giving. My uncle, who she sadly lost over 20 years ago, used to say, 'she had a big heart'. Although not a regular churchgoer, she had a favourite hymn which originated during the Welsh Chapel Revival of the early 1900's and here it is. My family will be singing this at her funeral service this week.


I’d not ask a life that’s easy,
Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Gold and pearls so little mean,
Aur y byd na'i berlau mân,
Rather seek a heart that’s joyful,
Gofyn 'rwyf am galon hapus,
Heart that’s honest, heart that’s clean.
Calon onest, calon lân.

Heart that’s clean and filled with virtue,
Calon lân yn llawn daioni,
Fairer far than lilies white,
Tecach yw na'r lili dlos,
Only pure hearts praise God truly,
Golud calon lân, rinweddol,
Praise him all the day and night.
Yn dwyn bythol elw fydd.

Why should I seek earthly treasures,
Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
On swift wings they fly away,
Gwyd i'r nef ar adain cân
Pure clean hearts bring greater riches,
Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Ngheidwad,
That for life eternal stay.
Yn dwyn bythol elw fydd.

Dawn and sunset still I’m searching,
Hwyr a bore fy nymuniad
Rising on a wing of song,
Gwyd i'r nef ar adain cân
Give me Lord, through Christ my Saviour,
Ar i Dduw, er mwyn fy Ngheidwad,
That clean heart for which I long.
Roddi i mi galon lân.

Aunty Margaret, at peace now.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sad news

A sudden family bereavement means I won't be able to post on a regular basis for the next couple of months.  Sending thanks to all my loyal followers.