Monday 9 August 2010

A dose of William Morris does the trick

Yesterday I brushed away my creativity cobwebs with a Michele Hill Workshop. I am so glad I did.

Runing so many workshops myself, it was so nice to be a student for once! Such luxury!

Michele Hill is of course, a fellow devoted fan of William Morris and has just published her second book focusing on WM inspired applique. She is also featured in this month's Inspirations Magazine (one of my favourite magazines!). There's also her fabric range, patterns and of course, workshops. A visit to her blog is a must because I simply cannot do justice to her work in just a few words.

This is a pic of what I worked on in the workshop. The design is inspired by a detail from "The Forest Tapestry' designed by William Morris 1887. Although I havent done much, just sharing our experiences along with this great pattern was pleasure enough.

Happily, I stash busted for this workshop. I found an old print from Nancy Crow. I love how the colours wonderfully swirl on the tail. Currently the background is the new Miss March's Collection but I may yet change it (of course). Thinking of maybe a dark blue background? I will investigate the original and see how I can do most justice to the era.

I am not sure where this piece will take me. It's supposed to be a 'bell pull', but knowing myself well enough, it may yet turn into a cushion, table runner or wall hanging. My DD is actually working on a William Morris tapestry (Strawberry Thief 1881) so I may co-ordinate when I see the finished results.

Being as generous as she is, Michele Hill also gave away a lucky draw  - and I was pulled out from the basket of names! I was really pleased as I never win any lucky prizes. What a treat. The pattern was this pic featured right - it's called Springtime. Oooh something more to do, and I can't wait!
I'd better polish up my skills to do the pattern justice.
Thanks Michele...will keep you posted on my progress.

In other news, I am eagerly awaiting several postal deliveries. The postman on our street is being tardy again. I had just adjusted to receiving my mail every 2nd day as well as having it rescued and re-delivered from my neighbours mail boxes... and now it's suddenly gone quiet again. Don't postal workers get training?

There's fabric expected: yes I know I am commited to stash busting, but I have a few new designs that call for fresh prints so I had to shop online. I am also expecting some great books from The Book Depository.

Hopefully some packages arrive tomorrow...

My Fabric Wish
I have been dreaming of the following type of fabric. It seems I am forever looking...and still wanting.
The type of fabric I am looking for is a background fabric:

  • Charcoals
  • Indigos
  • and not quite orange with tiny specks of blue
  • Ivory with very feint specks of blue and grey
brush strokes, or a mottled wall but too mottly, a washed out stroked milk brushed wood

Am I dreaming? Does this background range exist? Or do I have to do it myself??

I wish designers would give us more depth and character in our 'simple colours' so we can applique it to our heart's content.

All this talk of William Morris has reminded me of what I am really after from my fabrics (we often have to 'make do' to match our ideas, don't we?)

I think I was born in the wrong era! All my Art Nouveau and Arts and Craft's devotion is just a symptom.

Ok, back to the real world (and my dishwasher)...


  1. I love the bird, it's turned out wonderfully.

  2. It looks like you had a very enjoyable work shop. It is so nice just to take "day out" and do what you like doing best.

  3. Hi Esther. Have you checked out this line of fusions fabrics from Robert Kaufman for your charcoal fabrics:

    I've actually used a couple of them and they are quite nice.

  4. Hi gorgeous Esther! It was such a joy to meet you and I am still a little gobsmacked that you were in my workshop - glad you had some well earned time out! Hugs, Michele (and go Morris!!)


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