2011 review

I started this blog nearly a year ago, so the end of December seems an apt time to look back and see how far I’ve come.

  • Techniques I’ve learned so many new techniques this year on my course at Morley College – wet felting and embellishing, shibori, basket weaving and coiling, using the heat press, screen printing. I started off making small samples and experimenting, but by the end of the year I was making stuff that was good enough to sell at fairs and markets. This was very satisfying!
  • Selling Talking of markets, it seems a long time since my first ever stall, at Spitalfields, where I sold precisely – nothing! Amazingly, it didn’t put me off, and things have only got better since then (well, they could hardly get worse!). I’ve also learned to be a bit more phlegmatic. Sales are always encouraging, but markets are a really good way to meet other makers and make useful contacts, as well as gauging interest in different types of product. And it only takes a moment to make a sale: on the Sunday before Christmas at 4pm I was freezing cold and wishing I hadn’t bothered, when a woman turned up and bought two scarves.
  • New friends It’s been wonderful making contact with other fibre artists through this blog and at Morley College. The shared passion, advice and ideas have been extremely rewarding and a bit unexpected. Thanks to everyone who reads and follows this blog – I’m very grateful.
  • Makerhood In the real world, my involvement with Makerhood, running their blog and PR strategy, has been a fantastic experience. The website now features more than 60 local makers offering everything from biscuits and cakes to recycled computers. Better still, there’s a real community buzz, with enthusiastic participation in our social events and makers’ forums. And we also helped to set up the monthly makers’ market in Brixton  and some pop-up stalls in Brixton Village to provide other selling opportunities.

So what does 2012 hold? Here are my new year’s fibre resolutions:

  • To experiment more with combining different techniques I’ve already made a start with shibori and screen printing, shibori in the heat press, shibori and felt – notice a certain common element here?! – and I’m keen to continue and develop this.
  • To experiment with more different fibres other than wool and silk when making felt – inspired by Zed.
  • To improve my machine embroidery – inspired by Nicola and Hilary. Hmmm, this could be an expensive resolution, requiring a new sewing machine!

Doubtless there will be various diversions and detours along the way. For example, we’re doing some papermaking at Morley College this term – who knows where that could lead?

Whether you make resolutions or not, I wish you all the very best for 2012.




3 thoughts on “2011 review”

  1. Hi Kim
    thank you for the 2011 revue …..you did a lot !!!
    Lucky you, paper making !!! I love it and am doing it since a few years…. making cards mostly and little collages !!! it is a lot of fun !!
    wishing you a good start into a very creative 2012 !!
    take care
    Silvia TR …still raining, better tomorrow !!

  2. Kim – happy new year to you! Reading this year in summary makes me realise what a lot you have done this year – truly a remarkable year it seems to me. And I am honoured to be mentioned as one of the “inspirations” for one of your textile resolutions. Truly honoured.

    You don’t need an expensive machine for the sort of machine embroidery I do. Admittedly mine wasn’t cheap when I bought it (about 5 years ago now – its a Pfaff) but it has a lot of programmable stitches that in fact I just don’t use. The key is being able to drop the feed dogs and to use an embroidery or darning foot. My daughter has a much cheaper Singer machine which does embroider as well, though the pedal is ‘stickier’ making it tricky to go slower. That said, I do love my machine – which takes much punishment!

    if you can find one convenient, can I suggest a class with Angies Hughes – she got me going with free machine embroidery. She is based in Ledbury and I don’t think she gets to London much, but if you can find a class with her then it could really get you going. (her blog is linked from my site)

    Thanks for finding my blog and it has been great to meet you this year (in the cloud so to speak). I have been very tardy with it over the Christmas period and seem to have just slobbed out in front of the TV, but I will get back to it. I have only really been blogging for a year now too, and have found so much inspiration and like minded souls out there in the blogosphere – it really takes textiles to another level!

    Well – here’s looking forward to 2012 (and what ever you plan to do with those chicken feathers!) Hilary xx

    1. Hilary – many thanks for the advice on sewing machines. I have an ancient Singer I inherited from my mother, who bought it in Germany more than 40 years ago. It’s built like a tank, and the instruction booklet is in German. It’s very basic – just straight stitch and zigzag – but I would be happy with that if I could work out how to drop the feed dogs. I assume a universal Singer darning foot would fit it – or do different Singer machines need different attachments?

      I’m not into lots of fancy programs – just interested in adding some texture to felt or printed fabric. I’ll look out for Angie Hughes.

      Happy new year to you – and may your well of creativity overflow in 2012! 🙂


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