Summer School – Day 3

The final day  – mostly ran smoothly – the double sided print matched up perfectly and I made my first box. The fabric took a bit of manipulation to lie flat as I’d added a pleat at the bottom – not a good design point.

I then had a second box printed but this time the alignment was out so the back (inside) of the box didn’t match up with the front (outside). The person operating the printer then discovered the pieces of fabric weren’t exactly the same size, hence the mis-print. The problem was soon rectified but a good lesson leant.


The box folded – not quite right on the glued side – I should have cut the fabric closer.


A good three days for me working with a material I like the feel of  as it’s robustly soft. I welcomed the muted colours the printer produced although several members of the group were disappointed as they had chosen vibrant hues for their design which did not reproduce well. I’m pleased that after several hours on photoshop I aligned my design up perfectly for double sided printing.

I’d like to experiment more with the fabric – lazer cutting, colouring and stitching it.



Summer School – Day 2

Another beautiful summer’s day but indoors again for me at Summer School. I’d worked late into the previous night on my design.


I took my inspiration from a floral pattern I found on the V&A website.


inside copy

Inside the box before folding

outside Thursday flat copy

Outside the box before folding

I carefully lined up the images with the folding lines and took my memory stick to class. Firstly my work was printed out on paper.


I folded and glued it into the box shape but something was very wrong on the outside – the flowers were no longer central in each section. I’d not accounted for a right-hand  side and a left-hand  side when printing double sided. Back to the metaphorical drawing board.



Summer School 2014 – Day 1

For the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to attend Summer School at Cardiff Met. This year I chose Made with Love run by Joanne Terrar YoungThe brochure described it as “Exploring culture, family and heritage through 3D textiles.” Just up my street!

The first morning the group tentatively came together. Unfortunately we were seated in a class room configuration which I felt stilted the creative flow. Joanne started off by asking us what we thought textiles were then we split into small groups to discuss “What are your experiences and memories of textiles from childhood? Have you any stories of family heirloom textiles?”

I thought about two categories, home furnishings and clothes.

Home Furnishings

Heavy, dark, large floral patterns for curtains. Some plain with boarders of patterned material stitched on. Years later I found out the reason for this style; they were blackout curtains from WW2 when fabric was scarce.

In the early 1960s colours zinged into the house – I had pale yellow curtains with pelmets, a bed cover, lampshades and a large storage box all lovingly made by my mother out of the same fabric. The chosen wallpaper complimented the design. The front room was redecorated in a Sanderson William Morris printed material and each chair had its own arm cover and antimacassar hanging on the back. They were ‘loose covers’ as my ever practical mother wanted then to be washable.

 Golden Lily by William Morris

In 1965 my parents moved to an up-to-the minute designed house but the home furnishings came with us and remained until 1997, when my father died.
In the meantime my first home furnishings consisted of Indian throws for curtains and sofa covers. The cushions were made out of large flour sacks which I dyed then re-inked in the name of the mill. il_fullxfull.330560923

Then I turned my thoughts to clothes and again the 1960s introduced me to change.

In the 1950s my clothes consisted of hand made dresses usually from the same fabric my mother had used for her new dress. Sometimes a skirt was made from an old pair of my father’s trousers but worst of all were the pyjamas handed down from my brothers. Thankfully I wasn’t expected to wear any of their day clothes! But  second hand clothes were a staple of my wardrobe – usually gleaned from WI jumble sales where my mother helped out – she had the best pickings before the garments were piled high onto trestle tables to be rummaged through minutes later by the hoi-polloi. The shame when another girl from the village recognised her cast off on my back.
But  at the start of my teenage years my fashion improved. One reason being was one of my older brothers had a ready supply of fabric through his workplace so I began to experiment making my own clothes. The simple shift was an ideal start as I could construct one without a pattern but this MacCall’s one is similar.

mccalls sewing pattern 6740-f67934

Another reason was I could buy a dress from C&A’s for 19/11 on a Saturday afternoon to wear out that evening (less than £1.00).

Joanne then showed us to the book Textiles, The Whole Story by Beverly Gordon along with a vast selection of images of textiles from around the world.

Next we were introduced to Evolon, a microfibre fabric  made from polyester and polyamide chips which has a variety of uses from mite-proof mattress covers, window blinds, banners, filters and clothing.

The advantages of this non woven material:-

Doesn’t fray
Can be stitches, glued
Can be heated to mould into shape
Feels like suede but acts like paper
No stretch
Can be printed on using a domestic printer

After lunch we were invited to start on our own designs. I was daunted as, until this point, I’d no idea what fabric I was going to use or what size piece I had to work with. It was important that I utilised the inherent characteristics of the fabric; that I made something I couldn’t make out of anything other. I had but a short time to make my decision and chose to make an origami flat folded box. Unfortunately no computers were on hand so I left the rest of the group to work on their designs in order for me to go home and produce my digital design.

I spent the evening working on this template.