Christmas sales and workshops

A quick heads up on a couple of sales I’m taking part in before Christmas.

sprout flyerFirst up is two weeks with Women of the Cloth at Sprout Community Arts in Streatham. As well as selling our work, my sister WOTC Carol and Joan  will be running workshops in felting, crochet, weaving and embroidery. We’ll also have a couple of guest artists, one of whom (Janet Thompson) will be running a workshop on needlefelted dogs.

The sales and workshops run from 27 November to 10 December. The private view is on Wednesday 27 November, 6.30-9pm – everyone welcome!

Sprout Community Arts is at 74 Moyser Road, Furzedown, London SW16 6SQ.


DIGGIN_DESIGN_A5_FLYER_B_V3_no crop_Page_1Then on Sunday 1 December Carol and I will be at the Garden Museum’s Diggin’ Design, a great collection of artists and designers offering sustainable, eco-friendly gifts. There will also be animals in residence from Vauxhall City Farm!

Open 10am-5pm, £3 entry on the door (includes access to exhibitions, permanent collection and beautiful 17th century knot garden)

The Garden Museum is at 5 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB.


I’ll be selling lots of upcycled scarves (of course) – including this gorgeous silk wrap. This was a plain red sample by Maria Grachvogel that was in the job lot of scarves that I successfully bid for at Kerry Taylor. It’s difficult to photograph because of its translucency – but take my word for it, it’s beautiful. 😉

red flower wrap

There will also be felt and some smaller bits and pieces, like these crocheted lavender sachets (dried lavender kindly donated by my friend Judith).

lavender sachets

Coffee and onion skins

I love indigo (in case you hadn’t noticed!) ;-). But recently I’ve been reading a lot about other natural dyes, including eco printing. So I thought I’d have a go.

My first attempt at eco printing was not a roaring success, based as it was on pulling together various techniques I’d gleaned from scouring the internet. (Since then, a more detailed tutorial has been published by Terriea Kwong at The Felting and Fibre Studio.)

I soaked a silk scarf in vinegar, put some rose and geranium leaves on top, rolled it up and tied it, steamed it for an hour, then left it in a glass jar in the sun for three days. The result was some very faint leaf prints, though a few were a bit stronger.

ecoprint1 ecoprint2

dyebookThen I came across Dyes from Kitchen Produce by Setsuko Ishii in a discount bookshop, illustrated with line drawings in that beautifully simple Japanese style.

So I went back to trying shibori techniques with a couple of different dyes.


First coffee:

coffee scarf1 coffee scarf2

Then onion skins:

onion scarf1 onion scarf2

I think there are some promising colours here. ESP fears I will be raiding the freezer for his stores of soft fruit next!

Shibori bonanza

I’ve been continuing my experiments with overdyeing other colours with indigo, mostly on scarves I’ve picked up at markets and charity shops.

Here’s a selection.

shibori woodgrain scarf
This was a heavier woven brown/bronze silk scarf, so I stitched most of it to produce a woodgrain (mokune) effect. Even after washing and rinsing, the ridges produced by the stitching were still evident, so I just pressed the ends but left the central part unironed to keep the texture.

shibori brown scarf
Another brown silk scarf in lighter pongee silk (looks better and more subtle in real life than in the photo!).

shibori pink shawl
Very sheer raw silk pink scarf, clamped and dyed – very difficult to photograph!

And here are some more conventional blue and white pieces.

shibori mineral scarf
Arashi (pole-wrapped) pongee silk scarf
shibori spiral
Shibori spiral (stitched on cotton)