resources for the textile arts community
I work as a textile artist, and create both embroideries and quilts. I draw inspiration from a number of sources and spend time working on ideas in sketchbooks first. I work with mixed media here, with ink drawings, colour added with pastel and water colour, and cut paper and textile samples. I use my camera as a sketching tool, used to explore subjects in detail. The sketch books then become a valuable source of inspiration in my textile work.
I am attracted to both colour and pattern and current themes include South America, both ancient art forms and indigenous textiles and costume, seaside beach huts, fishing boats and the summer flower garden. Travel has always proved inspirational where I have explored ideas from carpet weaving, embroidery, and architectural detail in Turkey, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Morocco, and currently Venice.
I use many techniques in my stitched textiles to create wall hangings, embroideries and quilts. These skills are based on traditional techniques, but developed into contemporary and innovative styles and worked by hand and machine. Techniques include appliqué, patchwork, quilting, free machine embroidery, hand embroidery, fabric painting and dyeing. I also enjoy experimenting with other materials such as plastics, heat sensitive materials, paints and hand made papers, and finding ways of including them in textile pieces.
New pieces of work are designed and made in my studio. These are exhibited in both local and national exhibitions. Quilts and wall hangings are entered into national and international quilt competitions, some juried entries.
I have been teaching in Adult Education for about 20 years, and also giving special one day classes and talks about my own work throughout Britain. I write for national magazines including Popular Patchwork, Patchwork and Quilting, Fabrications, Workshop on the Web, and The Quilter. I am also a qualified quilt judge.
I am a member of the East Midlands based Living Threads Group, the Quilters' Guild, and the Embroiderers' Guild.
My talks are illustrated with actual pieces of work, and there are plenty of them! I show illustrations of the sources of inspiration, and prefer not to use slides. However if I travel a long distance by train I may have to use slides.
This talk shows sources of inspiration for, and examples of wall hangings and quilts on this theme. Patchwork, quilting and embellished surfaces have been used in innovative ways, and combined with exciting colour combinations.
This talk shows how colour has inspired my work with design ideas from many sources. These include the summer flower garden, fishing boats, the city of Barcelona, travels in North Africa and South American textiles. There are some quilts, but also embroidered wall hangings.
This is the inspiration for a series of pieces which use a variety of techniques and materials, all in some way associated with either fire or water. Includes subjects such as Venice, volcanoes, and pieces that will hang outdoors.
Techniques are demonstrated in easy to follow stages with samples. Templates are provided where needed. Examples of finished pieces are shown. A materials list will be supplied so that students can bring their own materials and tools.
Create textured surfaces on fabric by hand printing patterns with heat sensitive media and paint. Embellish further with machine embroidery. Surfaces reminiscent of old tiles and crumbling plaster, as well as the finish of old and sumptuous silks can be created. The results can be used in embroidery, appliqué patchwork and quilting.
Drawing inspiration from the wealth of pattern found in traditional designs from Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey. Endless combinations of patterns and colour, produce visually interesting results. Techniques include layered appliqué encouraging torn and frayed edges, combined with free machine embroidery.
Free machine stitchery on water soluble material using a wealth of pattern from Morocco. Inspiration from tiling, architecture, henna painting, wood carving and textiles. Patterns provided.
Go beyond pin tucks and alter the surface of machine embroidery and appliqué shapes with the addition of twin needling. Machine embroidery threads and metallics will add richness to the surface. Patterns and grids can be created, and the handle of fabrics altered. Surface threads can add a tactile dimension. Decorative machine stitches can also be explored.
Mix hand embroidery and 3D appliqué, using colourful fabrics, sheers and net to create a small panel of textured summer flowers. Stitch geraniums, delphiniums and marigolds.
Weekly classes in hand and machine techniques of patchwork, appliqué, and quilting. Also machine embroidery and quilting offered to local groups.
I am based in the East Midlands and can be contacted by phone 01332 661562, or by email
If you are interested in a talk or dayschool please contact me for details of fees and distances travelled. For more information about me, please see my website: www.heatherleadesign.com
Read Greta's article on A Quilt for Outdoors