Between my day job, wedding and birthday cakes and general life, 2016 was not my most productive year…threadwise. However, it was a year in which I feel my freemotion embroidery skills took a step forward and I found my own style.
The year started with some seasonal appliqué.
Then there were the days I woke up with an idea in my head and couldn’t wait to put it on fabric.
Miniatures inspired by the Very Berry ATC (artist trading card) and mini hoop swaps.
free motion embroidery
Much of my time…and my heart…has been invested in portraits of pets and wild creatures.
owl in flight
commissioned pet portrait
I am still in love with the beautiful city of Bath, and want to many more cityscape and landscape embroideries in 2017.
I am a big fan of nature and wildlife. I do enjoy embroidering city scenes too, but free-motion embroidery works so well for fur and feathers I keep returning to wildlife.
Today was my last stock-making day before King Edward School Christmas fair on Saturday 26th November (North Rd, Bath 10 – 2) as I am in the office for my day job tomorrow. I embroidered a sleeping fox – a little bigger than the mini hoop I made earlier in the year…
…another owl, as the first one I made sold in less than an hour of posting a photo on Facebook – in a hoop rather than a frame this time.
…and a red squirrel.
I also made a couple of appliqué hare pictures, but it was too dark by the time I finished to take photos.
The Winter is such a busy time with craft markets and Su and my ‘At home’ – not to mention a busy time in my day job and lots of Christmas baking…
I rather thought the New Year would be quieter all round, but actually all aspects have been decidedly busy – not least with commissions (and gifts) of appliqué and free motion embroidery portraits of pets…
Hampus the Swedish Vallhund
..and even horses!
Applique and embroidery landscapes and seed heads…
There are more commissions but I can’t share photos of them until I know they have been given to their final recipients.
Last year I started taking part in a few artist trading card swap with other stitchers, via lovely Ali at VeryBerryHandmade, and got hooked on making things tiny. The latest swap was on the theme of ‘home sweet home’. This was the one I made and sent off:
…and this is the little piece of gorgeousness I received from Cynthia:
All this working in miniature inspired me to try some well known views of Bath and frame them in 3″ flexihoops…my version of Bath bubbles!
I also embroidered a few more birds…
All were very well received at my stall at the Larkhall Festival on Saturday – had a lovely time; thank you to the organisers and all the lovely people who came to support me (and Su selling her willow work). We also had lots of interest in our Grownups Playgroup craft workshops!
Last weekend I ran a Fun with Freemotion workshop with Grownups Playgroup – it was so much fun! We started with tea and homemade biscuits (of course) while I chatted about the basics of freemotion applique and embroidery and we had a bit of practice with paper and pencil, to get used to moving the paper rather the pencil. Then it was time to move on to a calico doodle sheet…one of the most fun things to do with your clothes on! Seriously, just let your imagination run wild and sew whatever shapes and squiggles and pictures pop in to your head, making use of fabric flowers I had spent an evening cutting out in preparation.
Once everyone was comfortable with whooshing the fabric about under their needle and darning foot, we moved on to the pieces to be finished in an embroidery hoop. I had provided some applique templates in case anyone was short of ideas and it was so nice that everyone had their own designs in their heads…and they completed them beautifully! Moose, robin and dog.
It was just a half day workshop, but it seemed nice to finish with a tasty, veggie-friendly meal…lots of chat, and afterwards we had a tour of Su’s garden and admired her tadpoles (and willow work, of course!)
Finally, don’t forget to come along and say hello at the Larkhall Festival craft market (New Oriel Hall, Saturday 2nd May, 12.00 to 17.00)! Su and I will also be in Alice Park on Monday 4th May…being willowy!
At the end of March I will be running a crafty workshop for the Bath WI. We will be making pincushions in teacups (and flower pots), so I have been busy designing and making some samples to take to the WI on Wednesday so people will have an idea of what we will be making.
One of the things I love about working from home is being able to interact with the garden birds. We put out food and try to keep our garden wildlife-friendly – with a big, deep hedge between us and the other half of our semi, and shrubby bushes and trees in both the back and front garden gardens. So I need no encouragement to take an hour to watch and count the birds for the Big Garden Birdwatch.
In honour of the birdwatch I made a couple of 3″ embroidery hoop stitched pictures of black caps on Kaffe Fassett backgrounds (the female has a ginger cap, rather than a black one).
I am looking forward to sewing a flock of bird art!
Ooh it’s been a busy Winter. Busy, but profitable. What has slipped has been writing (and housework…sorry Mark!). So here goes…a brief summary of 6 weeks in the life of Sue Deere, textile artist.
I have worked on a teeny weeny Artist Trading Card for the Very Berry Handmade swap:
I have had lots and lots of orders – many for pieces using the customers’ own photos, so I can’t really share them here while others were freemotion pieces and now Christmas is over, I can let you see!
My photos as well as textile art:
I had a number of craft markets and hugely successful and enjoyable open studio with my friend and willow artist, Su Macpherson (involving plenty of mulled wine and mince pies too!) – for the Christmas Fair at Bath Library I even had a very lovely young French lady to help me run the stall.
Su and I treated ourselves to a half day fused glass course at Silversides in Larkhall:
Excitingly, Su and I have also decided to work together running craft workshops – a creative fun day out, suitable for the absolute beginner: Grownups Playgroup
We are now booking for:
21 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow plant supports (only two places left)
28 March 10.00 – 16.00 willow sculpting
11 April 10.00 – 16.00 introduction to free motion embroidery
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
I will also be running a workshop for the Bath WI, making pincushions in teacups:
As well as all this crafty loveliness we have had a lovely selection of frosty mornings and Winter sunshine…stunning sunrises and delicate moonfalls.
A few brisk Winter walks to put roses in our cheeks:
Lots of wildlife to admire, including a kingfisher in the Botanical Gardens in Bath!
In contrast, the cats have been making the most of the central heating. Max has been experimenting with different resting places including Christmas presents, a hamper, boxes and a rather nice pack of truffles! Rio stuck to Mark’s dressing gown and the ironing board…
There were decorations…
…and lots of baking…
…injuries – little ones like burning my arm on the oven and bigger ones involving an ambulance ride to A&E when our neighbour tripped and cut her head badly.
There were party hats, racing wind-up robins, cocktails, two Christmas dinners, accounts and my first tax return…
A little while back I had a vision. It wasn’t spiritual or enlightening, I just had a picture in my head I wanted to put in to fabric. A picture of a tree on a hillside in rich autumnal colours. This was the result:
I have now sold this piece and the lovely lady who bought it commissioned me to make the other three seasons. It has been an absolute delight making these fabric pictures. Have a look at the rest of the year…
With a shed load of Christmas craft markets coming up, I could do with some little elf helpers! As the house fills with Christmas goodies I am already feeling festive…just hope it doesn’t wear off before Christmas! All available to buy or to order in my Christmas shop.
Of course you can come along to one of my Christmas stalls – Friday 21st Nov Yatton Keynell Village Hall (2pm to 4pm), Saturday 29th Nov King Edward’s School, Bath and Saturday 6th Dec Bath Central Library.
This year you could be wearing a Deerey Me creation…brooches and earrings!
Of course you can dress your Christmas tree too!
…and don’t forget Christmas cards!
Last but not least, it was my mum’s 80th birthday last week…she got a round of applause and and a birthday cupcake at the Pump Room on the day and then a family get together at the weekend. Happy birthday (again) Mum!