Monday, 11 April 2016

Dear resolve to blog more often has dwindled. I keep meaning to do it but my pictures are on all sorts of different devices so it's taken me a while to get everything together.

Some time ago I was given some Shetland Wool by Jennie who I meet every year in Ireland.
I eventually used some of it to make a piece of embroidered felt and was able t take it to Ireland at the end of February to give it to Jennie. The cottage we were staying in had excellent lighting for photography.

It also had a nice table and we made felt together while our other halves were at their music classes.

Later in the week Jennie returned the favour and we all went to her cottage where we made little post it note books, using a variety of techniques, especially her lovely flower making techniques. 

She'd taken all the hard work out for us by preparing the shapes, and brought loads of lovely materials.
Jennie's blog is Live the dream where you can see many more of her beautiful paper projects.

On other days my friend and I walked and met some locals. A very wet Donkey. It did rain sometimes!

But its such a lovely village and the views across Galway Bay to Connemara were very clear some days.

We drove along the Wild Atlantic Way

Just beautiful.

and saw surfers at Lahinch.

And in the evenings there was The Craic. 
This was in the pub in Kinvarra , the Sunday night session. It was funny that we'd seen a TV programme about the woman playing the banjo earlier in the week.

During the week I met up with Esther Kiely and Breda McNelis , two of my lovely textile contacts.Breda and I had arranged to do a swap, she gave me two of her lovely pieces so I was very lucky. (Pictures to follow)

Breda captures the colours and textures of the Burren so well in her work. 

She offered ma a choice and I couldn't decide between these two so she gave me both. 

They are beautifully framed, and the piece I gave to her was lightly and rather wonkilly  mounted on card. 

 Now, Hetty had   a GREAT time while we were away.
But she put on a little weight!

She's now back to her slim self.

In Lancashire we have some amazing Textile Heritage and some of the mills are museums.
Sadly , cuts in funding have threatened them with closure so I decided to visit them before they close.
I had an afternoon at The Helmshore Textile Museum , and it was fascinating.
It ceased production in the 70s (?) but there are machines dating much further back. The staff did a couple of talks about the way cotton fabric was produced, and it was fascinating, and a real eye opener about the harsh conditions of the workers.
Below is the system they had for reducing the size of the cotton lengths prior to spinning.

The machines below we for rubbing up the nap of the woven fabric.

The Museums have been given a bit of a stay of execution but I fear they may eventually close.

I've made a bit of my own fabric too.

I'm quite pleased with this length of embroidery, the colours work well in real life.

Forgive the rubbish 'finger in the way' photo but how astonishing it was to open the curtains to snow a couple of weeks ago.
Very pretty on my walk.

On the way home, the cross in front of The Chapel next door proved just how late the snow was.

The lovely wood below is Formby Point,  where we went for an afternoon with my Mum.

It's owned by the National Trust and is a Red Squirrel reserve. The woods are really quiet and calm despite the huge number of visitors who were there. We saw a few Red squirrels and we walked down to the beach, over the sand dunes, Hetty had a good run off the lead on the beach and enjoyed herself.

I did a bit of household sewing recently ..amazing!
I fell in love with this fabric when I went to the shop across the road from the Textile Museum, and I splashed out on half a metre, which I then managed to eke out to three cushion covers

I added some leftover curtain fabric and did a bit of random applique .
I love the colours.

 Other sewing has been done too..I've discovered a lovely new colour combination.

My new favourite : rose pink and olive green


Miriam Weaver said...

A lovely post Jackie, you have been busy. As always beautiful work, I love the new colour combinations. It's such a pity if the museums close so much of our history lost, I really enjoyed visiting the bobbin mill last summer. Hopefully these museums will be taken over by English Heritage or find funding elsewhere and stay open. Like you I intended to blog more but so far that's not happened, I look forward to your next one!

Robin Mac said...

You might take a while between blog posts Jackie, but you certainly make up for lost time when you do - what a feast this one has been, with so many lovely photos. The pictures you were given are delightful, I am not surprised you could not choose between them. Your work is just as lovely as ever, I do like your new colour combinations.
I hope funding is found to keep the museums open, what a tragedy to lose that history. When you say the conditions were harsh, did that continue right up to the seventies, or had conditions improved by than. Certainly all the novels from the early twentieth century (and earlier) told of appalling conditions, but I assumed something would have been done later on.
I will look forward to your next post! Cheers

Mary McAndrew said...

Great post! I always leave way too much time between my posts so I know what you mean. I loved all your pictures too. It's sad about the lack of funding all over the country for important things like this museaum and mill. I love the pillows you sewed you clever girl! Love the tree you added (that's what you did right?) and the colors are great. I've always loved your pins and was just thinking how stressful it would be to have to choose one, I love them all! Oh I also love your long embroidered peice of felt, looks great and will be nice mounted.
Keep it up!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What a fun post - so many interesting things to see and read about. Have to love the look on that donkey's face - he was obviously not amused about being wet. I'm sure your friend must have been absolutely delighted with the art you made for her.

Marci said...

Wonderful post, full of interesting things. Is that the Jennie that has a papercrafting blog? I love her work. Your pillows are gorgeous and I greatly admire your textile work. Beautiful!

Jackie said...

Thank you everyone. Marci Jennie's blog is called Live the dream. We meet up every year in Ireland. I must edit my post and include her blog address.

FeltersJourney said...

All of your work is (as always) beautiful Jackie! Love the embroideries and brooches, and your cushion covers are very smart.. gorgeous fabric, you did well getting three covers out of half a meter :)

Love the photo of Hetty on the scales too :) what a sweetie!

Felt Makers North said...

I love the stitching and the colours fabulous! Also glad you had a good time in Ireland, may be come North next time??

Gretel said...

Your colour combinations are always gorgeous! And you know, I didn't realise there was a rogue finger in front of the trees with snow picture, until I read just seemed to be a natural continuation of the branches. And, a very belated thank you for your good wishes xx

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