Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Christmas Hexagon Patchwork Quilt

The Christmas Hexagon Patchwork Quilt by Jackie Wills

At this time of year I am reminded of "The Christmas Quilt" created in 1988.  I take it out of the ottoman and drape over the mermaid coffee table. With so many stitches in one piece of work can't fail to stir memories of its creation.   The Christmas Quilt pattern was born out of an earlier work sewn in the 1970's (see image below)  The plan was to replicate some of the design using beautiful glazed cotton chintz fabric called "Cambridge" from Peter Jones in Sloane Square.   At the time I was working in London but commuting each week to Torquay.  Lots of hours on coaches and sometimes trains.  Sewing commenced once out of Heathrow until Exeter or vice versa.  In those days generally a three hour coach ride,  trust me, this journey was a welcome respite from the hectic pace of London work and living.

Memories of leaving Victoria Station in twilight or dark,  sitting on the top deck of the 501, the coach would stop and start  through the Friday night rush hour traffic via Victoria, Embankment, Earls Court, Chiswick and onto Heathrow.  This journey provided really good views into houses specially those with lights on.   I am sure people must have been aware that travellers could see straight into their homes, it was a fascinating insight.  Watching anonymous relaxed people sitting on sofas, hoovering or at the dinner table.

In those days a uniformed hostess wearing a red or blue suit would start service on the 501 after the Heathrow Stop.  This was my cue to get the tin of prepared fabric and hexagon papers and start sewing.  I set myself targets and pre-planned how many rosettes, straight lines or rounds of hexagons should be sewn on that journey.  Travelling light meant no room for extra fabric.  I was always mindful that loose cotton, pins and needles should be kept tidy.   Accidentally dropping a needle whilst travelling was dreadful, specially if someone was sitting next to me.  I always made sure it was found.  Often people would want to talk about what I was creating and conversations would be enlightening and lead to other subjects.  

"The Christmas Quilt" was idea to sew in portions and the work steadily grew.  Once back in London I would lay the work out and plan its next course before the weekend journey.  Eventually it all came together.   Happy memories of the 501 Coach and creating "The Christmas Quilt"

"The Christmas Quilt" by Jackie Wills 1988 

"The Christmas Quilt" by Jackie Wills 1988

Hexagon Quilt created by Jackie Wills in the 1970's which inspired "The Christmas Quilt" by Jackie Wills 1988

Left "The Christmas Quilt" by Jackie Wills 1988

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Creative Adventure to Haytor Quarry

Creative Adventure to Haytor Quarry

En route Haytor Quarry.
South Devon is a fabulous place to live, rich in culture and spectacular scenery.   It is possible to swim in the sea to the Hindu Temples, (Institute Beach Torquay) and just over an hour later jump into the Lower Dart at Newbridge on Dartmoor.    Last Sunday I swam to the Hindu Caves in glorious November sunshine then immediately headed for Haytor to meet fellow wild swimming friends for an adventure with a twist.

Carole, Allan and Helen are keen creative photographers with different approaches.  I just snap and hope for a reasonable result.   No agenda, just our cameras, some art work created by Helen and myself, cake and suitable hiking boots.  We met in at the very busy lower Haytor car park and headed up the track to the right of Haytor rocks and onto the disused Haytor Quarry.  The granite was from this quarry was famously used to build London Bridge circa 1830.

Art garment on the rocks.
The entrance gate lead to a scene of contrasting greys, greens, browns.    Carole spotted red fungi near the gate and began to take stills,  Helen climbed onto a well preserved winch, years previously she recorded the sound of the cranking wheel and created music.  I was drawn to the sheer walls and used my hiking stick to balance a denim art garment.   Helens pots then appeared and fitted so perfectly into the surroundings.  We all took loads of photographs, with our own unique perspective of the same scene.  Our belongings strewn on the floor, one person on guard to keep away curious dogs smelling freshly cooked and frozen cake.

Helens pots on my art garment.
Creativity over, the still almost stagnant looking green quarry water beckoned and we all jumped into 7.9 degrees of chill, to the amusement of some onlookers.  Cake and drink followed, and blue faces glowed pink.   We marched down the green slopes to normality laughing and joking.
Happy days.

Thanks to Allan for taking this photo of Carole, myself and Helen.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hand sewing hexagons together. Why is it so compulsive?

Hand sewing hexagons together.  Why is it so compulsive?

Starting with a question not everyone reading this blog will relate too.  For those familiar  with the joy of collecting textiles, keeping them safe and pristine waiting for the moment the brain switches to sew mode, project in hand or to be planned.   Paper hexagons ready to be covered with treasured or just purchased fabric.   The moment  needle punctures through layer of cloth and paper, thats the moment when the world disappears and immersion into another begins.

Its true to say that I am well qualified to confirm this transition.  My first experience of covering a six sided hexagon with fabric occurred around 44 years ago.  My mother encouraged knitting, crochet and even tatting but I found those crafts tedious and unrewarding.   Tensions with wool, with loosing stitches and stitches of uneven size made frustrating creating.  Perhaps impatience did not help, that gaping hole where a crochet stitch belonged meant ripping back to the point.  I did not see the point.

It would be impossible to calculate how many hexagons I have sewn. More than 10 quilts with over 3000 hexagons each, plus too numerous to mention smaller projects and samples.   A fair estimate would be heading for 100,000 - yes, one hundred thousand hexagons.  One hundred thousand paper templates covered with 100,000 bits of fabric.   Why, as I type now I wonder why!!

Concluding with the observation that sewing hexagons has shaped my life into contentment, creativity and a feeling of pride with the work created.    The sadness is when I die, with no children to pass onto, I can only imagine that my lifetimes work will at best end up in a car boot sale, far grander than the worst scenario of being buried under piles of refuse in rotting away............and then there are the unsold waistcoats...................  Should I care.  Definitely not.

Fibonacci Elgin 1989

Just a four of my works.  

Fibonacci Serpentine  Jackie Wills
The Christmas Quilt by Jackie Wills 1988

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not?

Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not?

Its a question I have been pondering for the last few months.  

Looking back to 1992 which was pre-internet my waistcoats were sold direct from my public studio at Cockington Court, in upmarket art galleries, shops or by attending large craft events.  In those days my garments sold for £35.00 - £70.00 each.  I would be disappointed if I did not sell two/three garments a week, and it became a reliable income.

Moving on to the mid 1990's, circumstances changed and I began working from my studio at home.   I missed the company of other craftspeople and public feedback, but the advantages outweighed.  I could develop new ideas in peace and work flexible hours.  I continued to sell at shows/events and at Brigid Foley's lovely shop in Tavistock.  Garments were selling from £75.00 to £150.00 each, at looking back at my records I did well.   Getting out to shows I was able to communicate directly with people and sell.    The quality of my work could be seen and appreciated.  

This was the first photograph I put online
back in 1998.
Then came the internet  around 1998.  I saw it as a massive worldwide opportunity and immediately paid for a website to be created.  It was a basic website with no shopping cart, just a few images and words with my telephone number and email address.   To my great delight I began getting enquires and commissions from UK and further afield.   Wow, this is easy and decided to focus on the internet rather than bother with getting out to shows and meeting people.  Looking back this was probably a mistake.

Moving to around 2002 and I created my own website with 1&  but unfortunately lost my original domain name.  Did not affect sales and enquiries.   In those days I could put a search out for my garments and they would appear at the top of the listings.  All good news.   The bad news was that sales on the internet and from Brigid made me complacent and I relaxed.     The internet and technology moves so fast that if you do not keep up with it then you sink.  

Waistcoat ref: 04 for sale

I remember the internet before google, before big names had websites.  Unfortunately my tech intelligence will never catch up and I cannot compete with the speed and sophistication of these wonderful websites selling beautiful clothing and reaching people.

This brings me back to the title of this post:  Are decorative waistcoats in fashion or not.   The answer is probably yes.   Unfortunately technology has surpassed me and I am lost in the depths of the internet revolution.  Its time to rethink.

Waistcoat ref: 137 for sale

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Silk Hexagon Patchwork Revisited. Small Hexagons

Silk Hexagon Patchwork Revisited.   Small Hexagons

I was sorting through my fabric boxes the other day and came across a Ferrero Rocher container full of silk covered hexagons and with great glee I turned the contents out onto my ironing board and sifted through the memories. Several hundred silk covered hexagons begging to be sewn together to form a useful item.    The project started back in the 1980's with a small silk sample book of bright colours, and some striped silk that I had some quantity of.

The coloured silk samples were very small and suitable to create  just four 34mm hexagons (17mm each side), per piece.    Some  of the unused silk had been pressed and included in the abandoned container, ready for use.

Striped material is wonderful in patchwork as it can be used to create extra shapes and patterns within your work.   I am able to demonstrate this below.

Experiment by placing hexagons in different directions on the fabric,  vertically or horizontally ensuring the stripe in the fabric corresponds with the points on the hexagons.  If you are creating a column of hexagons try to match the medallions so the stripe continues through the pattern.

Unfortunately I only have this small amount of striped silk to demonstrate.

  Below shows how rectangles and triangles can be created within the hexagon patchwork.   See how the cerise silk hexagon on right below has been surrounded by the striped silk, matching all lines for maximum effect.

Sadly silk does deteriorate and this can be seen in the centre yellow/orange hexagon below, the silk is just beginning to show threadbare signs.   This is despite the fact this work has been keep away from the sunlight and has not been used for any purpose.

Below is an image of the piece as it is today.  Unfinished.  The silk hexagons created from the sample book work so well with the striped fabric.    Should I use the hundred or so hexagons planned for the project or should I leave it be.......perhaps it was never meant to be finished.   I am tempted to place under glass on my dressing table as it is.   

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Black Denim Throws, Wallhangings or Floor Covering.

Black Denim Throws, Wallhangings or Floor Covering.

When I started using denim back in the early 1990's I realised how versatile and creative you could be with this fabric.   It is strong, easy to sew, great to embroider on and most of all can be changed by adding substances to it.  This took me down a pathway of experimentation, trying out different weights of denim, playing with colour discharge techniques, adding dye and paint.  Each product, brand and quantity created something new.

When I chanced upon black denim for the first time I noticed that it had a slightly different texture to indigo. I bought it only because the indigo had sold out.  It was an eureka moment when I added colour discharge for the first time, a rusty colour substance filled the bowl and the fabric changed very quickly indeed.  It sort of scared me as I thought it was going to melt away.   I washed the product out and left to dry naturally overnight, and awoke in the morning to find  I had natural effect animal hide.  Was a very exciting moment.  Brilliant for waistcoats.   See images below:

waistcoat detail by Jackie Wills
Waistcoat that inspired bedspread below by Jackie Wills.

Then I was given a commission to create a bedspread.   My domestic Brother sewing machine would not allow me to sew great widths or lengths so I optioned to create panels of various lengths.   Each panel colour discharged differently by manipulating the fabric/products in process.    I twisted black and rustic beige wool then machine couched onto each panel.  Simple skeleton lines.  Using earth colours for thread.

Denim bedspread commission by Jackie Wills 1992

At the time a created two other pieces which had more intense design.   The larger is a replica of the smaller in scale.   A friend recently discovered these forgotten works and I was surprised how enthusiastic she was about them.   To me they look dated, but have photographed well in situ today.
Denim is wonderful as it gets better the more it is handled.

I have created a video clip to accompany this blog:

Large denim throw by Jackie Wills
Denim Wallhanging by Jackie Wills

Friday, 6 September 2013

Coincidence or what? ............judge for yourself.....This blog is not about textiles

Coincidence or what? .........judge for yourself.  This blog is not about textiles.

Feel compelled to write about two incidences that occurred this week.  Need to air it and get it out my system.

About a week ago decided that the two plastic boxes had to be condensed into one.   These boxes contained diaries, old letters, newspaper cuttings and photographs from the 1980's and before.  It was a wrench to do and in hindsight should have chosen a time when each bit of paper could have been scrutinised.

I did the job standing up and was ruthless in my throwing.  Why keep Sunday Times magazines, newspaper articles and old letters and postcards from people who am no longer in contact with.   A postcard slipped, then ripped through my fingers from a chap with the initials D.W.   I remembered we had spent some pleasant times in the late 1980's hiking and going to events in London.    He disappeared off the radar completely.   I ripped his distinct handwritten card in two and that was that.

About three days later I was pushing a heavy trolly out of a supermarket entrance in a slightly harassed state.  Ahead of me, blocking the entrance was a lady and a man talking in an animated way.  He looked strangely familiar.    It was D.W. I did not interrupt the conversation and carried on my way.    How strange is that.....after 25 years off the radar, then two incidents in three days.  Weird.

The second happening occurred this morning.   Mornings are always busy and rushed off my feet.   I mostly always indoors working after 9am.

This morning completely out of sync I had the urge to find a galvanised bucket in the garden.  I never potter in the garden in the mornings.    A lady in her later years with a sleeping child in pushchair stood at the top of the drive.   I said hello and she seemed a bit overwhelmed, shy and tearful.   She told me she was visiting from a distance and that her parents once lived in our house and she wanted to walk past it.   I invited her in and we had the most pleasant conversation.  

It really made her happy that we had kept the bannisters and curtain rails.   She said had I not been in the garden she would not have stopped.   Strange.  Very strange.

The image below is of "The Happy Book"  I could not throw it away.   I must have compiled it when about 8 years old.   Quoting one of the bits I wrote  "If I did not knit or sew, what would I do for hobbies"  How prophetic.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The patchwork quilt that made me want to sew hexagons

The patchwork quilt that made me want to sew hexagons

Do you remember the first encounter which sparked your wonderment of patchwork, the force that said to "I want to make one like that".  I was seven years old when that moment hit me.   My Mother took me to Torquay Museum in Devon.  I remember lots of stuffed birds in glass cases and fossils at the entrance.

We climbed the stairs to The Laycock Gallery situated on the top floor. My eyes immediately focused on a huge glass panel which housed a beautiful Hexagon Patchwork Quilt.    I studied with awe the neatness of the arranged small hexagons sewn together by hand.  The colours were not vibrant, mostly brown, beige, ochre and salmon pink, blues and olive green cotton fabric.  I was totally mesmerised by this massive beautifully crafted hexagon quilt.  I asked my mother to teach me how to sew hexagon patchwork.  She did.

The quilt that so inspired me was created by Marianna Louttit (circa 1835) and she lived in the village of Mylor in Cornwall.

About 23 years later 1989, writing for the American Magazine "Quilt World" Feb/March 1989 (see article below this blog), I revisited Torquay Museum in the hope that the quilt was still there.  It was, the  impact was just as powerful as I remembered.  I took the photographs reproduced in this blog.   Apologies for the poor quality.

Fast forward another 24 years to  August 2013, and the photographs re-surfaced in a long lost box of diaries.   For the third time in my life the memory of my happy childhood hit me.   Still sewing hexagons, still loving hexagons and happy knowing that thousands of ladies all over the world are creating patchwork quilts using hexagons purchased from my websites, produced from my own hands.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Starting a creative business or project. Why you should photograph everything you make.

Starting a creative business or project.  Why you should photograph everything you make.

Throughout my creative business life spanning of over 30 years I always photographed everything I created.  No one told me to do this, it was just something I did.   When I first started out I did not realise the importance of this.  Now I do.

Over the last few days I have been sorting out all my photographic records of all sold waistcoats, about 850.    This comprises of several huge ring binder files crammed full of photographs in A4 plastic covers.   In addition I have several shoe box size plastic containers full of 6" x 4" photographs and some smaller albums.  At least a thousand photographs needed to be sorted and put into some order.    The reason for this quest was to look for a certain image of a garment I created many years ago.

My first camera was held closed with gaffer tape.  It worked and the images were just enough to create a recollection before selling.   Bearing in mind my first garments were created long before digital photography.   Then came computers and the wonderful facility of  selecting and editing images before printing.    Always print your photographs as you cannot rely on computers to preserve your images for the long term.   Think of your old family sepia albums.  Precious beyond words.

I am in the process of putting all my sold works online.  Its a mammoth task scanning and numbering each photographed garment.

Now for the scary revelation and the reason why you should photograph everything you make.   I am shocked to realise that I am scanning images of work I created 13 - 15 years ago of which I have no recollection creating.  I forgot  about a huge number of sold garments I made.   Crazy because each garment I create is an extreme labour intensive process from start to finish,  from cutting the cloth, planning the design, hand painting then embroidering before making into a garment.   Long hours of  intensive creative thought and energy.   How could I forget.

Keeping memories in your head is not enough.  Four images of work I completely forgot about.  Four of about 50.

All my works will be available online in the next few weeks. Contact me for further information.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Fibonacci Patchwork - Waistcoats

Fibonacci Patchwork - Waistcoats 

I became fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence of numbers back in the mid 1980's.  Subsequently the article below was published in "Patchwork and Quilting" magazine summer 1990.   An easier version to read can be found on my website:   I have also written a bit about it on my website  Apologies as it needs updating.  Please contact me if you would like me to email a copy.

During my time at Cockington Court with the Devon Rural Skills Trust I created a Fibonacci waistcoat using shades of solid red glazed cotton chintz, some heavy upholstery fabrics and some beautiful fabric from Zoffany.   The hand sewn fibonacci design made a beautiful back.

To make this into a garment I added machine sewn crazy patchwork which brought it all together. I remember being quite haphazard with the machine sewing.  Unfortunately this image does not show the fine detail.  I wore it constantly until a lady approached me and wanted to buy it.   I explained it was well worn which did not deter.    During this time I received a number of commissions for a similar garment.  See images below:

The theme for this Fibonacci waistcoat was reds, blues and with some quite strong patterned fabric.  Most of it was hand-sewn with random machine embroidery and appliqué. The thing about machine embroidery on chintz is that you have to get it right first time as unpicking leaves visible machine holes.  The glossy glazed chintz combined with non glazed fabric created an interesting contrast.  

These photographs were taken on a cheap throwaway camera and do not show the detail.   This garment was created about 1991 and at the time was a very expensive commission.

Other fibonacci commissioned waistcoats are shown below:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

How the internet changed my creative life.....................

How the internet changed my creative life.   The timeline dates back to the late 1980's when visiting a friend at Oxford University and being shown electronic mail.   In seconds a computer written letter was transported instantly to another electronic mail address in Italy.   It was a revelation and I gasped at this new technology, it was magic.

Fast forward to about 1996 when "Tiny Computers" and other computer manufacturers advertised all in one packaged bundles of software with a printer and loads of other bits.   I remember visiting the shop in Exeter and carrying all these boxes back to the car.   The cost was over £1000 which seemed a huge amount to spend.   The thing was I needed a new computer as the basic one I had was mono and unpredictable.  We were going through a major legal situation at the time and  needed a reliable machine.

With the package came a CD disc saying "internet"  and I immediately wanted to try it out.   I plugged it into the phone socket .....beep beep.......and hey presto.....internet was a doddle.   Email was set up with lineone and was touch and go whether a connection would fire...........remember those beeeep beeeep sounds.......

Shortly afterwards my Dad followed the internet trend and somehow managed to upload  the image on the right. I think he must have done it via a CD.   I am wearing of one of my early chintz patchwork waistcoats.  At the time it was a real performance trying to link it to an art website.  Working on my own I persevered and learnt by trial and error.   To think that the whole world could see my work by clicking a few letters on the keyboard, was sort of overwhelming.   The search engine I used was AltaVista  or Lycos, before Google was born.

Realising the potential to market/sell my work I
started by looking at Ebay.  In those days the listings seem to consist of sunglasses and other items based in USA.  Not much down in Devon.

I paid a professional to create my first website. It was rubbish and a waste of money, but at least I had a profile on the internet which unfortunately I could not update.

The next time I looked at Ebay was in 1993.  Technology had moved a long way, digital cameras and scanners where almost common place.   My first sale on Ebay was a book on Crewel Embroidery.   It was a great thrill to see the item go green with a bid.    From there I progressed to selling fabrics from my collection.  In those days I remember selling vintage fabric packs for much more than they would achieve these days.  From there I started selling patchwork paper templates and waistcoats, firstly on Ebay then creating my own websites with shopping carts.  

Pre-internet most my sales were from galleries and exhibitions.   These events were very enjoyable and profitable but extremely time consuming.  Sometimes I think I should do a few shows here and there but then do I really need too.  Not at this moment, No.

Life has been very busy and rewarding using the internet as a selling tool.    Its wonderful to be able to read emails from happy customers and get to know people who buy frequently.

Yes, the internet has changed my creative life.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Starting a small creative business. Those early days.

Starting a small creative business.  Those early days.

I first opened my studio 1991 at Cockington Court, Torquay.  Having a studio at Cockington Court with the Devon Rural Skills Trust enabled people to see me working, demonstrate and commission work in person.

Studio at Cockington Court 1991

Working in a studio environment with other craftspeople around was great fun and incredibly inspiring.  It was great to bounce ideas and hear first hand reports of creative opportunities.   Having the general public walk through the studio all day took some getting used too.  Patterns formed with comments made.  The first word uttered would become a predictable sentence, such as "how" and I would know the following words would be "did it take you to make that", or "you" and "must have good eyesight to do that".  Sentences referring to the word "patience" were incredibly frequent.  My Fibonacci Quilts in particular took quite a bit of explaining and very time consuming.    After a while I typed a sheet of "frequently asked questions", covered it with plastic and attached it to the table.   It was easy then to point to the information smile and carry on working.

One of the most memorable moments was when my studio was full of people and I was giving my usual spiel on Fibonacci.  Having repeated this mantra many times I basically felt like a monkey in a zoo with all these people staring at me.  After a while I became aware of someone in the audience who looked very familiar, and in a dumb sort of way I sort of associated him with my then American boyfriend.  This person asked me loads of questions about my work.   The buzz later in the building was that a world famous actor had walked through unrecognised.   I checked out a picture, and yes, it was him.   Oh, my goodness!!

Studio at Cockington Court 1991

Sometimes a member of the public would come out with a real nugget of useful information.   One of the best bits of advice I ever received was from a gentleman who had some knowledge of the Italian Murano Glass industry.  He looked thoughtfully at all my work and said I must start producing smaller, cheaper products to earn a "bread and butter" income, as long term I would not be able to rely on commissions, teaching and selling my signature works.  Hand sewing would never give me a living wage. This was really hard to accept,  but he was right I and started to diversify by creating kits, fabric parcels, and waistcoats.  This advice maybe obvious but at the time I was so passionate about sewing by hand and producing signature pieces that compromise was not an option.

When I look back at those days I wondered how I survived, being single I had to support myself  with  accommodation,  studio rent, electricity, water rates and council tax bills to pay. Plus food.  My mother used to take me to the supermarket one day a week which was very helpful.  No mobiles, cars, internet, insurance, loans or other costly items.   I cycled everywhere and kept life very simple indeed.  It was a very happy existence...........then came the internet.........

My next blog will be about how the Internet changed my creative life.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Roman Archaeology Waistcoat by Jackie Wills

The Roman Archaeology Waistcoat by Jackie Wills

About two years ago I was contacted by someone who wishes to remain anonymous. The request was to commission a long waistcoat.  I was sent images of artifacts found and equipment used on a Roman excavation dig/site.  These included a piece of Roman samian pottery and coins dating back 2000 years.  Also coins, a plum line, Roman broach, buckles, geofizz equipment, trowels, metal detector.

The brief was to put all these items onto denim.   I was given complete artistic freedom.  The sort of challenge I adore.

First of all I created some samples, I particularly liked the Samian pottery and 2000 year old coin.  Have to say it took ages transferring the design onto denim but the result was realistic and pleasing.   Intricate machine embroidery using Husqvarna Lily sewing machine was applied with great effect.

The next challenge was to balance all these items on the blank canvas, this being cut fabric pattern of the garment .   The thing is painting on denim, once it paint hits the fabric it is more or less irreversible.  So it has to be done with extreme care and with precise movement.   Acrylic paint is not very forgiving,  once the item placement has been decided, and the paint hits that area it cannot be removed.   I hasten to add if you get it wrong it means a new start.   Best bit of advice I can give is to practice on a scrap bit of denim to get your colours right on the brush, then go straight to the master work.    I work very quickly and tend not to think too much.  I do not do pre-sketches.  I do make sure that I have a clear head, and that I am in the "right mood" to work and get it right.  I do not like interruptions whilst I am painting.

The work has to be balanced.  After the items are painted on, denim is left to dry, preferably in an airing cupboard for a few days.   Then the real work of embroidery begins.   Its a bit like the paint.  I do not think too much, I go through by thread box and pick out suitable colours and machine embroider until I am happy with the result.  I do not pre-sketch or mark where the embroidery is to go on the fabric.  Its all done whilst the fabric is under the sewing machine foot.   I love couching wool onto fabric, specially textured wool as it seems to bring work to life.  Unpicking is not an option, so having a clear head is important.  Also make sure that your sewing machine is working properly.  New needle, clean of lint, and make sure you are working in good light.

Happy with the result, the garment was then sewn together.  

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this work.