are you domesticated?

Without doubt the best thing about this whole blogging thing is the dialogue it enables. Under its first name of “needled”, I started this blog ten years ago, and over the past decade I’ve met some of my best friends and colleagues through this online space. Many of you correspond with me, and though it… Read More

a local habitation and a name

(A familiar walk between St Annes and Lytham). I have written before about walking in familiar places. As I think about last year’s walking project, I realise just how important the familiar is to the particular pleasures I find in walking. Stomping the same ground is an important way of connecting with a landscape, allowing… Read More


When thinking about process, there is nothing more instructive than unpicking someone else’s stitches. I found a beautiful hand-embroidered cloth on ebay. I have plans for it. The plans involve deconstructing and transforming it into something else. I began by undoing the slip stitches of its heavy, worn cord edging. Then I started to unpick… Read More


I am looking forward to the Christmas holiday immensely. It seems to be the only time when both of us actually entirely stop working. This year, part of that lovely non-work time will be spent on Islay. Hurrah! There will be walking! Wild, wintry landscapes! Roaring fires! Last time we had a holiday, we really… Read More

belle’s summer quilt

The quilt is finished! To recap: The quilt-top is made out of twelve of Belle’s stripey t-shirts, cut up and pieced together; I used an old blue sheet for the quilt back and one layer of light cotton batting. I tried various methods of hand-quilting the top, but didn’t like the way the stitches interfered… Read More

sounding out

Me and the quilt have been sounding each other out for some weeks now. I have been trying various things on the quilt top. Various threads. Various directions. None of them felt or looked quite right. Whatever feeling I followed, the stitch lines just seemed wrong. Stitching the quilt top seemed to work against the… Read More

from twelve t-shirts

You may be wondering what has happened to Belle’s quilts. Well, it is taking time. I have to choose the right moments to work on them. They feel and smell of Belle. Making them is not an easy thing. But there has been some progress recently. For the first quilt I chose twelve of Belle’s… Read More

Annie’s room

If you’ll excuse some trumpet-blowin for a moment, I have a piece in the current issue of Selvedge about the doll-art of Tabitha Moses. I find Tabitha’s work incredibly suggestive for many reasons, especially her thoughtful engagement with stitch as both process and mark. I urge anyone who’s interested to have a look at the… Read More