I was introduced to free motion embroidery at a local appliqué workshop and started practicing at home using different threads, fabrics, stabilisers and colours. My initial stash of fabrics consisted of remnants and scraps given to me by a friend who is a local dressmaker, and I discovered that I really enjoy the challenge of "using what I have" rather than going out to buy the exact colours or textures I want. These days I receive regular donations from people, including sample books, rejected or damaged clothing, ribbons, buttons, lace... you name it, I'll take it! There is a huge volume of discarded textiles and I feel that I am doing my bit for the environment by re-using some of it. Plus it takes you in unexpected directions – what feels like "make do" can quickly turn into something that's original, something you had not thought of before, and I love that.
I am constantly learning new things too - textile or fibre art is incredibly diverse and I am at the start of my textile journey. I always like trying out new things, such as using water-soluble stabiliser or eco-printing. I also increasingly use hand embroidery or slow-stitching in my work.
My main source of inspiration is nature in all its diversity and beauty, and I feel lucky to be living in such a beautiful part of the country here in West Oxfordshire. The best ideas for a new piece tend come to me when I'm out on my mountain bike when it's just the bridleway and me. I also love flowers and they feature regularly in my pieces.