Stitching the Forth Bridge

What possessed me to attempt to stitch the girders of the Forth Rail Bridge? This has felt like the stitching equivalent of the mythical never ending paint job! I used to do 15 minute stitching sessions when bubs was sleeping but then I got sidetracked with other things and this has lain dormant next to my desk for about a year. The image is a tracing of a woodblock print that I found online, the bridge is such a beautiful structure and I still marvel at the scale of it despite seeing it and crossing it nearly everyday for the past 13 years. 

I’d initially planned to stitch the whole picture in red thread but I think it might look better with some additional colour.

So over the past couple of evenings I’ve stitched the bridge while watching Charlie Brooker ‘s Screenwipe, the fabulous Cunk on Christmas then tonight’s episode of Sherlock. I’m gutted that I’ve only got a tiny section of it to do and I can’t find the bloody thread that I used and of course I didn’t make a note of the number/make either! I’ll have a proper look in the morning, I can always make a start on the other sections and hope I can find a close match in the thread stash! 


Summer Journal – Should Scotland be an independent country?


This gallery contains 8 photos.

Last week over 80% of the Scottish population went and made a cross on a piece of paper to decide the fate of the United Kingdom. On Referendum Day I took a walk down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh to the Scottish … Continue reading

Ice Sheets at Loch Errochty

landscape 2

Back in February last year I spent a week up in Loch Rannoch in Perthshire. I’ve visited this area many times (Schiehallion is my one and only Munro!) but I hadn’t been up to Loch Errochty before – so glad that we trekked up there as when we crossed the dam that spans across the foot of the loch we saw these amazing ice sheets:

ice sheet

As soon as I saw them I thought of rippled silk –

ice ripple 3

So my plan is to try and recreate this as a textile piece – I’ve bought a metre of pure white silk and thought I would use either black satin or velvet as the base, I think I’ll do a trial run first with some cheaper nylon fabric before I start messing around and cutting up the silk!

ice ripple 2

Also need to choose which section of the ice sheet to focus on – if my trial run goes OK then I might do a few of them – thought it would look good as a triptych but as I say we’ll see how it goes!

ice ripple 1

The Loch Errochty Monster? A spirit in the Loch? My Dad thought it looked like a dragon – you could see so many patterns in the ice

ice goat

At the other side of the dam is the power station. If I had the cash and Scottish Hydro were willing to sell it to me I would convert this building into my Highland retreat so if I get a sudden multi-million pound windfall look out for me chatting to Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs!

grand design 2

gd entrance

building 1

My sister was getting bored waiting for me and Dad to finish taking photos so she entertained herself leaving marks in the snow:IMG_5418I’m planning to get started on this in the next couple of evenings – I thought by writing about it I’d feel compelled to start it so hopefully I’ll have something to show by the end of the week…my Dad turns 60 this year and I’d love to give him something to remind him of our holiday (he’s sold a few of his photographs of the ice sheets at Craft Fairs down south!) so perhaps this will spur me on a bit too!




The Great Tapestry of Scotland

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I had a rare free afternoon a few weeks back so I headed down to the Scottish Parliament to see ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ which is the worlds longest tapestry/embroidery depicting 420 million years of Scottish History.

The stats in the book state that it took:

50,000 Sewing Hours (Equivalent to Sewing 24 hours a day for 6 years)

300 Miles of Yarns

1000 Stitchers

After getting through the security barriers, setting off the alarm and getting a swift frisk by a member of staff , I entered the crowded exhibition area. The place was mobbed so instead of following the orderly line travelling the length of the tapestry (all 143 metres/160 panels of it!) in chronological order I went for the more scatter gun approach – as a result of this my photos of the tapestry skipped back and forth in time so it’s taken me a while to put them in the order intended!

What surprised me the most was the sheer range of subjects that the tapestry covers, alongside the obvious inclusions of the Glencoe Massacre, the Jacobite Rebellion and the 1707 Union, it is fantastic to see figures such as Hill & Adamson – the early pioneers of Photography in Scotland – and events like the beginning of the Ordnance Survey celebrated in the Tapestry.

This is one of the most amazing piece of artwork I have ever seen, it is breathtakingly beautiful, and seeing all those people enjoying and appreciating embroidery for the art form that it is, well, it just gladdened my heart.

Over the 3 weeks it was on display it attracted 30,000 visitors with people queuing around the block to get in! I was pleased to hear that it will be returning to the Scottish Parliament from July – September 2014 so I’ll be heading down to feast my eyes upon it once more.

According to the website there are plans for the tapestry to go on tour across the UK and Overseas (40 panels will be heading down South to the Cheltenham Literary Festival from 4-13 October 2013) so I hope the work of the dedicated Scottish Stitchers gets the worldwide recognition it deserves!