Category: Art projects, textiles and photography (page 1 of 2)

My 3rd fabric book is finished!

Cover: needle felt, cut felt, embroidery view of my home on Crown street, Hebden Bridge in Spring time. Cross stitch lettering and crown logo.

Fabric with butterflies, dragon flies, and my own spirit animal – a ladybird – purchased at the fabric store next to Hebden Bridge outdoor market. I embroidered the insects while sitting in the pews at St Thomas church, Heptonstall, clothed in 18th century costume as I awaited my calls for being an extra in the upcoming BBC TV series, The Gallows Pole. Several members of the cast came to admire my creation.

While at Sheffield University Colin and I found summer employment at the Wilson Arms in Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales me as a chamber maid, and him washing dishes. I revisited the place with my Bolton School friend Judith in July 2016 and this design comes from a photo she took of me pointing at the sign. The building is now a nursing home. During the pandemic I lost a couple of earrings with taking my mask on and off several times each time I left my apartment. One of the earrings I was devastated to loose was one that Sarah gave me many years ago with leaves, dragonfly and flowers. I lost it on a trip to Sowerby Bridge to see my friend Viv. The turquoise leaves come from a bracelet that broke.

Hock Farm, Est. 1841 is a place that I visited during my research into finding the first piano that ever made it to California. John Sutter’s Hock Farm was the first large-scale agricultural settlement in Northern California, composed of grain, cattle, orchards and vineyards. I visited there with Emmett on December 29, 2014. I’m wearing my Monterey Bay jacket which I still have. The yarn flowers are made from some interesting yarn I found at a stall in Todmorden market.

On Edge Lane in Colden, Calderdale, there are some outhouses on the opposite side of the street to the houses. I took a photo of my shadow on one of the toilet doors.

On March 20, 2020 I walked along the canal from Sowerby Bridge to Copley Village. The old church door had some amazing decorative ironwork which I recreated in felt. The lettering is in cross stitch. I enjoyed designing the embroidery of St Thomas’s Heptonstall where so many of my ancestors were baptised, married and buried. Sometimes I am called upon to play the organ there for services. The grotesque on the old church in Heptonstall is needle felted from a photo I took when Angelika was visiting from Germany on August 9, 2018.

This a needle felted depiction of a snowy bus ride to Burnley along Cliviger Gorge on January 4, 2021. I added a few pieces of black net for the trees and embroidered the fences. It’s an hour’s ride to Burnley on the bus. I got off at the bus station, purchased a cup of tea to take away and got the next bus back ten minutes later!

Two continents. In April 2015 I stayed for 5 days by myself in a haunted former hospital in Virginia City, Nevada. When I say ‘by myself’ I was the only one in the entire building – no reception, kitchen, cleaners! I explored the semi ghost town, visited all the outlying districts including the abandoned silver miner’s cabin depicted here in cross stitch. I used rusted iron nails to distress the fabric in my title. The sheep fabric was purchased in Hebden Bridge using some wonderful sheep’s wool that Anna had sent to me. The cross stitched doorway is part of my ‘doors’ theme and is a local doorway on the Rochdale canal.

I recently discovered that I am related by marriage to the Hoyle family, textile manufacturers who originally came from Bacup in Rossendale but who built a textile mill at Old Town, a small community situated on the hill above Hebden Bridge. They exported all over the world and one of their buildings is now the high end Malmaison hotel in Manchester. I was fascinated to find this piece of fabric advertised for sale online, complete with the Joshua Hoyle logo.

Another page of 2 continents. Soon after I moved to Santa Cruz, California Dale, a friend and stained glass artist created a piece of stained glass for the fanlight in my front door. I have recreated it in cross stitch. The ‘face’ is a work of street art in Ancoats, Manchester – an area that had undergone amazing gentrification from the dreadful slums lived in by the textile factory workers – my Gledhill ancestors being part of them. In May 2019 I took a guided tour of the area with Manchester guide extraordinaire Jonathan Schofield. One of the churches has been restored and my piano group now performs at Halle St Michael’s monthly. The soldier looking from a window is another piece of street art in Rochdale that I saw in October 2019 on Smith Street.
Memories of my trip to Paris with Anna just before lockdown in January 2020. The interlocking hands were based on a piece of painted street art at the gable end of a building in Paris. The snippets from Parisienne postcards are from a book of paper I purchased during lockdown. The Haute florist ribbon was wrapped around a bouquet my daughters sent me for Christmas.

I experimented with machine stitching on a paper door. I was sceptical about this venture but it worked surprisingly well. A doorway of an abandoned mill.

A canalside door to a ruined warehouse on the Rochdale canal in Luddendenfoot. The leaves are made from the wrapping paper of a bouquet I received from my daughters. I made the arch from a cardboard wrapper of a cup of coffee. The door is cross stitched and the background is a quilted panel.

I visited The Royal Hall in Harrogate in 2015 when I was staying with my school friend Judith. I took a photo of the stained glass in the entrance door from the inside, hence the back to front writing. The leaves are made from cut out felt. The lace doily was purchased in an antique shop. I added embroidery to the floral background fabric

A photograph of my mum from the late 1960s, taken on a day trip but I don’t know where the church is – probably either Lancashire or Yorkshire. I used fragments of a rubber mat to add texture. I experimented with the various settings on my sewing machine creating a criss crossed roof. A broken necklace that I’ve had for years was added but I can’t recall where it came from.

A tribute to my holiday in Germany in August 2019 to see Angelika and her father, who lived in Dettelbach, who has since died. This wonderful piece of life size street art was painted on a garage door on Luipold-Bauman Strasse in the town. I cross stitched the car and added some gold paper for the wall. The background is a cotton patchwork.

I discovered that I could computer generate my own QR code based on my name. QR codes became a feature of life in the pandemic – from checking in at bars to ordering food, so this QR code is my name! A ruined doorway, probably from photo on one of my desert ghost town trips is bordered by selvedges of various fabrics featuring the words ‘distressed’ and ‘abandoned.’ The date 13.3.2022 was the date I completed this, my third fabric book.

This design is based on a piece of street art painted on a garage door in Ancoats, Manchester. I embellished the cross stitch with various beads and sequins. The background on this and on page 14 is made from an expensive cotton fabric with a combination of music notation and bricks.

The closeup of a door panel in Mdina, Malta from my trip there in 2018. It is needle felted. The horizontal face is a sculpture that I could see from my room in Kendal youth hostel where a stay for 5 days in September 2019.

A hand crocheted mat purchased from an antique shop and embellished with beads.

Creative lady

Suddenly the clouds rolled in.
The sky darkened
I could feel its weight
Pushing me down

I took the hint
Sat  down at my desk
Paint, yarn, scissors.
Creative lady? create!

(a metric palindrome if there is such a thing!)

Write a song!

Make a movie!

Photos of my walks around my neighbourhood during the first week of lockdown – set to music I composed a few years ago.

The weather outside is frightful, so sew!

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Snow outside the Victoria Theatre, Halifax

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I woke up to a snowy view today


Art classes – the best thing you can do on a cold gloomy day!


Taking a mono-printing class

Taking a charcoal drawing class – my first!


Now that i’ve got my artwork reframed my little place is definitely feeling more homely. It’s pretty amazing to be quilting in a room that was built by my ancestors in 1863 – as a sewing shop, complete with wheels in the ceiling that ran the machines.


An all day felted landscape workshop. Excellent teacher. Learned a lot about the early woollen industry in which my ancestors were very involved.


Coming in to land on the frozen canal is a bit tricky

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5 days in pictues




Christmas market  #1 at Hebden Bridge church. Katrina has her eye on the baked goods.

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Christmas market #2 at Ripponden


I had the veggie stir fry – cooked to order


Wonderful paintings by a local artist. The church boiler had broken and it was perishing cold in the church. We went outside to warm up. It was 34F outside.

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Christmas market #2 at Ripponden


No, I didn’t have the kangaroo


I had the veggie stir fry – cooked to order


Wonderful paintings by a local artist. The church boiler had broken and it was perishing cold in the church. We went outside to warm up. It was 34F outside.


Yum yum


Halifax choral society are celebrating their 200th year of continuous concerts. Haydn’s Creation was only 20 years old when it was the  first work performed by the Society, on 9th February 1818. …. “Believed to be the oldest choral society in the world, Halifax Choral Society has an unbroken record of performance since its foundation in 1817 by William Priestley. Here they are performing in the Victoria theatre with the best brass band in the world (officially) – Black Dyke Band.


After the concert I popped into the Piece Hall to see the Christmas festivities and the Hygge Tipi

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It looked very inviting but I had a train to catch.


Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Winter festivals galore


I decided to take the bus to Haworth after the first snowfall of the winter


I love the lattice work of the stone walls

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From the moving bus


This lady was on my bus. At the highest point on the moors she got off and went to her car. The bus driver waited until she’d removed the snow, opened the door and started the engine. All in a day’s work for a country bus driver. P.s The bus is called Charlotte! 


This greeted me in Haworth – it is Steam Punk weekend


Behind these wonderful characters is the cafe where Anna and i had lunch last week.


Puppy with octopus


Can I take this one home please?



Coming back on the bus we had blizzard conditions which are commonly referred to in this part of the world (if the man sitting next to me was anything to go by) as “Ee, gad! It’s snowing t’ buggery!” View from my window when I got home. 

Below: scenes from Haworth’s Steam Punk excursion


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Quilt progress

These are all works in progress.


View from the ruins of  Top Withens, Haworth


Piece Hall Halifax, 1779


Cottage in Lerwick, Shetland Isles used on the TV series Shetland as the detective’s home


Main Street, Haworth


Old mill door, Sowerby Bridge


The path to Ingleborough that Rachel and I climbed last year.


The splendour of Halifax Town Hall


Stoodley Pike from Heptonstall

A ‘nothing’ day that proved to be very productive

So there was nothing scheduled  on my calendar today. After spending a lovely day  walking to Todmorden  with Judith who came over from Harrogate yesterday I was quite happy to settle for a peaceful day. So, first things first. A quick trip round the Charity shops followed by a visit to the library. They are very strict on overdue books and I had  two due back today. If you are late they charge 5p per day! Horror! So armed with Wuthering Heights (which for some incongruous reason is kept in the Teen section) and Armistead Maupin’s The Night Listener I settled down to read. Then I remembered the Brie and Harrogate blue cheese I’d bought at the market on Thursday and so I that took me into the kitchen where my quilt looked at me and asked in a rather sad voice  ‘Why have you been neglecting me?’ I considered baring my soul to the fabric fragments but settled on placating it by beginning work on another scene –  Stoodley Pike. This kept me quiet for a while. Well, not exactly quiet since I was listening to George Martin’s string quartets, but you get the idea. When I’d got the general idea of the basic fabric design I sat down, but 5 minutes later decided I should jump on the next train to Halifax: I was out of Wunder Under, sometimes known as Fusible Web. I have to keep pinching myself. I don’t ever remember having this much freedom before. It’s rather exhilarating.

The Christmas lights have been strung up in the streets in Halifax but they won’r be turned on until later this month. As the assistant measured out 5 metres of Wunder Under I chatted. “Do you have any fabric I could use as stones?” I thought it was a long shot, and  the response, “yes, it’s just  here” took me by surprise. I wasn’t quite as lucky with “What about grass fabric?” though.

After a quick trip to Poundland (a place that Simon Armitage decries vociferously  in ‘All Points North) and Wilko’s, it was getting both cold and dark, so I opted for a warm-up in the Square Chapel. The scones looked delicious. I asked the bar-tender which beer might go with a scone, which for some strange reason he thought was highly amusing. I settled on a beer to drink then for one pound fifty, and a scone to go for three pounds fifty. Wow! As I sat enjoying my drink I browsed the What’s On brochures and discovered to my delight a flier for the Halifax Concert band – new members always welcome.

It was completely dark as I jumped on the next train back to Hebden just before 5 p.m. I looked up the band’s website. I’d even get to wear a uniform!


‘Stone’ fabric from the Fabberdashery


6 p.m.


10 p.m

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