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.