New Class: Vintage Fabric Concertina Book


Telling a story through collage and stitch

Three things have brought about these pieces of work:

Firstly, last year during lockdown I did an online course with Karen Stamper (from England). This was done on paper and we were encouraged to do a lot of mark making and experimenting with different media. I liked the idea of working back and forth in the pages and continually making additions, responding to what was already there.

Secondly, over the years I have been studying works by by several other British artists Cas Holmes, Mandy Pattillo and Anne Kelly. All these artists work with ‘found’ and pre-loved fabrics and ephemera. I gradually became able to see the beauty in old and worn out things. Using them in my work has been very satisfying, not to mention cost effective and an environmentally sound practise!

Lastly, I had the privilege of helping to clean out my mother-in-laws old country home. She is 91and worked on the farm until recently. She ‘made do’ in so many ways and threw anything out! Here I had the perfect opportunity to gather a collection of materials and pay homage to my husbands family history. Many years worth of inspiration and work!

Thus was born my version of the fabric concertina book- a lovely balance between fabric collage and stitch. In this proto type I have used the combination of both machine and hand stitch. I have also used a mini-theme (kitchen) and restricted colour palette (red, cream and a little green/blue) and only used materials found from the old house.

The cover is made from the curtains that hung in my husbands boyhood bedroom.

The jug is backstitched with black thread. Couching and blanket stitch.
Running stitch, machine free-motion, the orange is made up of fabrics from two little girls dresses, one synthetic, the other velvet.
Work in progress from another book with a green theme. Part of a tie in the left hand upper right. The dish is a gel transfer from a laser printout. A buckle will be added after the cover is attached.
Work in progress from the ‘green’ book. ‘Fake Herringbone’ stitched with two threads in the needle on the checked school uniform. Flowers and leaves have been cut form a tablecloth and attached with chain stich.
Found buttons, all different but with the same size and colour.

These small projects are a perfect way to try out lots of ideas for a larger piece of work. I plan to make a series of larger textile collages about this old country home and its people.

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