As I am sure you know, I love to stitch and to express myself in fabric and thread but sometimes this can be a lonely craft. When I created Stitching Kitchen a year ago I knew I wanted to create income from my stitching but I was also very clear that I wouldn’t become a solitary being, shut up in my kitchen stitching away. That is the core reason behind the Friday morning social stitch and the workshops – and long may they continue, I love hosting both.

Recently at Stitching Kitchen I was very pleased to be able to run a weaving sampler workshop, simple and effective and fun!  I have been itching to run a weaving workshop at Stitching Kitchen since January when I visited the Hannah Ryggen exhibition.  But these things take a little planning and I needed to brush up my weaving knowledge. Not to mention that I have been busy with needle felting, Indian block printing, and producing my textile art for exhibitions! After creating a few samples and practising my techniques and also acquiring a range of textured yarns it was time to take the plunge!

I picked up a brochure for Bucks art weeks while I took a whistle stop tour of Oxfordshire with my dear friend Ann back in May. I did a quick flick and noticed there were plenty of textile artists exhibiting so definitely worth a trip over the boarder (I reach Bucks within 2 miles of my house so not so far to travel).

Indian block printing on anything which stands still, skirts, tops, bags, tea towels and some fabric destined for a quilt too.  This week has been half term, so a great opportunity to run some daytime workshops while my lovely girls are away camping (poor things it is raining cats and dogs). I have recently acquired a summer skirt which after a few alterations will fit my little one – it is plain white so not idea for an active five year old but as she loves wearing her block printed t-shirt she has agreed that I can block print the skirt for her.

Textile Art is well represented at Oxfordshire Art Weeks this year.  Oxfordshire Art Weeks has started, I am so excited to be exhibiting for the first time and looking forward to seeing lots of art this month!

Little creatures surround me, each with their own character.  It all started when I was asked if I could to help one of my favourite quilting shops with a customer enquiry about needle felting. 'Do do you know how to needlefelt?' they asked. 'Yes' I replied and I was all ready to give some advice to their customer.

The ultimate up-cycle, wedding dress to christening gown - It was last autumn just after I decided to launch Stitching Kitchen that my youngest sister asked if I could create a christening gown for my nephew from her wedding dress. Of course I said yes! The idea of upcycling such an important garment to create a new heirloom to be passed on was just perfect for me.

A shopping trip to Oxford a good excuse to develop a new year intention, to do more textile art - that is a surprise! Hannah Ryggen, Woven Histories, Modern Art Oxford.  I woke on 30th December and totally ignoring the state of the house post Christmas I knew I had to visit Modern Art Oxford, I had meant to visit a few weeks back when meeting friends for lunch but was delayed. My effort to get up and go was rewarded in spades.

Indian Block Printing

Creating fabrics using techniques including: masking, over-printing and mitred corners (all explained later).

It is still early days for Stitching Kitchen and so far the Indian Block printing sessions have proved very popular.

I am a bit addicted to a great podcast by Susan Weeks - 'Stitchery Stories' and recently loved listening to her speak to Jamie Malden from Colouricious - I recommend you have a listen and find out more about the history and future of Indian Wooden Block carving and printing. Colouricious import hand carved wooden printing blocks from artisans in Jaipur, they also provide all the necessary sundries to print both on fabric and paper and even into clay! Take time to browse the website for more info and lots and lots of inspiration.

You can check out this wonderful podcast for creative people who love textiles, stitching & quilting - wonderful inspirational stories aimed at the fabric world.

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