top of page


Lines and Geometry by Penny Proctor

February 2024

My most recent body of work relies on the familiar lines and architectural shapes that have featured in older work but also encompassing glimpses of the natural world that surrounds us.


I am at the moment working on a piece inspired by the artist Kandinsky - this is changing and evolving as I stitch it, and I am hoping it will grow into two different pieces of work, still featuring  geometrics

Lifelines by Pat Brown

February 2024

I have been thinking about how ‘Lifelines’ might be interpreted - the synapses in our bodies receiving the signals that breathe life into movement, and the lines mapped on the earth from bird migration and indeed people moving to better lives. I am also exploring more abstract lines which to me may show the chaos of our thoughts and lives.


BRUSHES by Gill Davies

February 2024

My work most recently had been inspired by an Australian artist, Lorna Crane. I enrolled on, and greatly enjoyed a course run through Fibre Arts Take Two, with Lorna. Her encouragement to express ideas and to believe in your own creative voice was really refreshing. As a result of the course I became a little obsessed with making tools (brushes) which in many ways are objects of desire in their own right.

At the same time as following Lorna’s online course, I found a fairly large, square pebble on a Norfolk beach. As it sat in the palm of my hand its shape and feel inspired me to draw it and explore the possibilities of its shape, using the brushes I had made. I am still stitching the fabrics and papers that emerged, with many of the lines of stitches representing the walks on the beach I enjoyed, and finding the pebble.



November 2023

Gill was inspired by the Australian artist Lorna Crane and shared with the group ideas for making brushes, which  as well as being practical tools for mark making are individual works of art; they also look great as a collection.The group had fun making different types of brush: calligraphic, slapped, smudge brush, cotton head and feathery. Ideas for handles included driftwood, cane or any sort of sticks - the more imaginative the better. They could be decorated by wrapping with fabric and threads.

NATURAL LINES by Lesley Taylor

March 2022

With the theme for our next group exhibition being 'The Collection' I decided to turn to the many and various collections of natural and curious finds displayed in my studio space.


Looking at this random collection I was drawn to the lines found on many of the natural finds including leaves, bark and many other finds but it was those on sea shells that drew me in. Studying them closely I noticed how many linear patterns there are, not only on their surfaces but on the insides as well. While I was looking at these lines I was reminded that among my collection of sketchbooks there was one I had put together whilst doing a design course with the textile artist Gwen Hedley using the very shells that I was looking at!

Taking this design work and sorting through the sketches and samples inspired me to finish some of the pieces which you will see in the exhibition. Stitching the linear patterns and the different directions they were taking made me think of the contour lines of a map and the journey some of these shells might have made to wash up on the different beaches that I had found them on.

Each of the pieces include paper, ink, print, hand and machine embroidery using different weights of threads and stitch techniques.

insight Lesley 1.jpg

BUCKLED DOWN by Janet Pullen

February 2022

In common with most hoarders I guess, I can own up to possessing many collections or groups of things. Some things are kept ‘just in case’ they might be useful; they may have been acquired for a specific purpose but considered indispensable thereafter; they may have been given by or acquired from someone else. Whatever the origins, items in sufficient numbers can eventually be grouped to form a set of similar objects – a collection!

Whilst sorting out haberdashery drawers I came across a little battered old toffee tin, with a 1920s image of HRH Prince of Wales, which I recognised had come from my late mother’s belongings. On opening I rediscovered a collection of buckles, which once belonged to either my mother, grandmother or great aunt, all of whom had made many of their own clothes. Why had I kept them? Certainly not to use for their original purpose myself. But as a connection to my family and their textile world.

What interested me was the shapes of these items. I am drawn to geometric shapes and could see the possibility of working with them to create a design. So I experimented with repetition, shadows and parody ……...

……… well as the negative spaces and the threading-through feature of buckles.















insights 1 JP 2020-11-16 10.21.44.jpg
insights 2 JP.jpg
insights 3 JP2020-10-10 08.48.38.jpg
insights 4 JP11 2020-09-25 10.38.20 (2).jpg
insights 6 IMG_2491.jpg
insights 5 IMG_2463 (2).JPG


December 2021


The circumstances of 2020/2021 have been hard to ignore........I couldn’t help but focus on these in my creative work. Like many people I’m sure, I kept a log of events and I became fascinated by the words which crept into our everyday language - Superspreader, Support Bubble, Anthropause, Blursday, among many others. Initially I used all those odd scraps of paper and fabric I had printed on or cut from another piece and constructed a folding ‘book’ on which I wrote my log, some of which were personal (Eggless Easter) and some of which described events (eg, Tiers).

I have always loved illuminated manuscripts so I made some pages listing coronavirus related words, first painting colour blocks on paper, then writing on the pages using italic pen and ink, then transferring them to fabric before using stitch to emphasise the decorative elements.

This in turn inspired me to create a stitched version of a ‘psalter’ as a log of events. Every page was created in the same way described.

I like the shapes of church windows and, at Norwich Cathedral sometime ago, I had seen a sculpture using a phrase from Julian of Norwich - ‘All shall be well’. I find this a strangely comforting phrase and I then decided to combine all these elements - coronavirus related words, window, and phrase. The window itself is cut from vilene and the background is made in exactly the same way as the separate pages. I made a stencil from card for the phrase and printed this before adding stitching.

I may be finished with this theme now - I certainly hope so!















Pat Insight IMG_1459.jpg
Pat Insight IMG_1455.jpg
Pat Insight IMG_1454.jpg
Pat Insight IMG_1462.jpg
Pat Insight IMG_1199.jpg


October 2021


The exhibition ‘Picasso and Paper’ at the Royal Academy in 2020 was the starting point for my current work. As a readily available source from newspapers to paper napkins, Picasso used all kinds of paper to express his ideas with bold shapes and lines layered over one another.  I began designing through collage; printed magazine pages chosen for their colour and/or composition.  This has developed by using layers of fabric (linked to my previous work with Kantha) and my first pieces are heavily stitched and detailed with inspiration from African Art.  

The art of the Senufo people was of significant influence on Picasso, in particular masks: little did I know this was to be so apt. I researched their symbols and designs which explained that they created objects with a sacred purpose to serve as intermediaries between them and the unknown, overcoming their fears by giving them form and colour.

















I am now simplifying the original designs, strengthening the boldness of the design yet retaining their key elements.


Future work will also consider the effect of colour away from the traditional earthy tones associated with African pieces.















Watch this space!

EXTRA TIME by Penny Proctor 

July 2021


With the onset of Covid eighteen months ago, I was pleased to enjoy some extra time for stitching and ‘making’ away from my day job. I consider myself fortunate that I have stitching as a creative occupation and it readily filled many hours of that strange time in life.


The new theme – Collections – has afforded me the opportunity of continuing with my building/architectural theme.

It has also allowed me to further explore the work of Ben Nicholson following a drawing and printing course I completed online with Bobby Britnell.


The work below shows a piece I am still working on from the latter mentioned collection.  It is printed calico,  dyed and overlaid in part with sheer organza and almost entirely hand stitched. The colours are very subdued – possibly a bit too subdued.


















Vibrant colour describes the second piece here – also on the theme of Collections. The colour palette is completely different yet comes from the same inspiration. It seems to me to reflect the freedom starting to emerge from the Covid pandemic.

Penny insights2ps.jpg
Penny insights1ps2.jpg


May 2021


As lockdown has continued, life adapted and changes to routine embraced, a constant in my world has been the need to create. The joy of physically holding thread and needle, moving rhythmically, has often provided continuity between what was once, and what is now.


The ‘Work in Progress’ Group were lucky to have established a working theme prior to the first wave of the pandemic, giving us a focus and opportunity to think about how to develop ideas. These thoughts became the subject of our Zoom meetings, helping us all to stay connected.


Our theme, ‘The Collection’,  has allowed me to make use of a small collection of glass bottles; all are old, generally imperfect specimens. I enjoy handling the bottles, looking at the reflections seen in them and wondering about the histories they each have. I have used the opportunity to draw and abstract shapes before printing and then layering fabrics, without the sometimes inevitable pressure of rushing a piece of work. As I developed the ideas, I made decisions about how to work, for instance making use only of materials available within my studio – no online shopping! The scope for additional pieces seems to be immense and will undoubtedly lead to more in the coming months. Even writing about them invites still more investigation.


In the image is a partially worked piece, started in April 2020. The bottles are much enlarged from the real ones and the colours chosen because I like them!  Self indulgence in lockdown!

insights Gill May 2021.png

MAKING by Jeannine Lawder 

February 2021


Ballet costumes, Ballrooms and Baroque early days.

Freshwater pearls, silky tops on wool three-layered felt, beads rushing across the tabletop to the floor below, fragile beading needles and everywhere reflective surfaces of faceted beads and silky threads.


Our next WIPs exhibition theme is ‘The Collection’, and this time I am improvising all the way, prompted by an embroidered, stumpwork frame on a Victoria and Albert Museum mirror. This is coupled with a very strong memory of my maternal Grandmother making damask pink velvet roses to decorate her stylish hats. There is no other deep personal visual research or mood board of others’ images or ideas.

Still amidst the Covid-shadow I am determined to celebrate the decadent, embellished and theatrical. I have pushed away this urge through years of City and Guilds, art college courses and the collective tutorial disapproval of ‘glitz’. Brushing up on Goldwork will be essential.


So here I have started making handmade felt from merino tops (approximately 30 cm square), natural and supplier dyed shades. At the moment, it will all be hand-stitched and I may well experiment with the embellisher to add extra layers. Myriads of beads, silk and cotton embroidery threads are needed to realise the surface patterning. Eventually I will add to some areas silk ribbon embroidery - a technique I once dismissed as too old-fashioned. But now it feels right to be totally immersed in colour-scapes and rich, raised surfaces. The sketchbook will soon be needed to record and observe small textures in the lockdown garden, the ice fissures on the frozen pond, and realise them through stitching  and beadwork arrangements. This is the first time that I have shared work in progress in writing and I do not want to give too much away yet. But all those years of hoarding pictures of encrusted textures on Armani dresses, Matador jackets and Gujarati textiles are making perfect sense now.

bottom of page