hollyhock textile art picture

At the moment I am working on a my ‘Hollyhock Textile Art’ picture. This is just one of the many projects I have got on the go, hopefully all to be finished before my Open Studio to be held on 2nd and 9th September. My inspiration for this work came from two photographs I took of the beautiful hollyhocks we have growing either side of our front door. I drew my design onto a cotton sheet, then painted with thickened dyes directly onto the fabric. More work needs to be done, to get extra depth in the colours, and once this is achieved, I will add machine and hand embroidery to add little details.

You can read about Helfa Gelf Open Studios with this link that will bring you directly through to my page.




Above shows the Foxglove Wall Hanging that I proudly had on display during August and September this year (2016) in the Pin Mill at the National Trust Bodnant Gardens. Along with twenty other ladies from my local Embroiderers Guild Group (North Wales), we had our work displayed throughout the garden, mostly hanging from the trees in the wind and the rain that was quite prevalent during that period!! My wall hanging  was protected from the weather inside the Pin Mill, so I didn’t have to worry so much about the weather!


The Pin Mill in Bodnant Garden…


My textile wall hanging on show on the back wall of the Pin Mill

I had a lot of admiration for my work, where many people thought that it was just a painting, but in fact it was hand painted with thickened dyes and free machine embroidery, with the individual foxgloves attached with stitching onto the 8ft long cotton sheet.


Individual flower painted with dye and before cutting out and attaching on the main piece.


Close up of attaching individual foxgloves to the backing sheet.

The whole exhibition was made in relation to the one hundred year celebration of the garden designer Capability Brown. Although, Bodnant was not one of his creations, it was decided by our group that the garden would be an excellent and suitable location to showcase our work.

Here are some of the other beautiful exhibits shown in the Exhibition.


Moya McCarthy’s free machine embroidered flowers displayed in the Boat Hut


Beryl Trimby’s felt wild flower hanging also in the Pin Mill


Pamela Headon’s Four Seasons’ woven hangings displayed in the Alder trees


Katie Robinson’s ‘Magnolia’ displayed in the Alder Trees



A number of different exhibitors banners also in the Alder Trees

Hopefully, we will be exhibiting our work in other places in the future and also carry out further work with Bodnant Garden, as this was such a very interesting and enjoyable project to do.



Background details painted with dyes sewn and finished…now to the rest!

I have been progressing with my work for our local Embroiderer’s Guild Project that will be exhibited within the beautiful National Trust Bodnant Garden at the end of August and start of September. I am working on a massive 8 ft long sheet that will be hung inside the Pin mill, using my usual technique of painting with thickened Procion MX dyes and adding extra stitching for emphasis. I have found it easier to use smaller pieces of cotton sheet to actually paint on before cutting out the foxgloves and sewing them to the main sheet with the Pin Mill on.



Foxgloves painted with thickened dyes before being cut out and added to the main picture.

Watch this space for further development….only have 3 weeks to get it all done!!



Very pleased to say that our Embroiderer’s Guild / National Trust Bodnant Garden Project is going along well. It is early days, but all our design plans have been approved by the garden and have been given the go ahead to be made. The above image shows my design plan, with foxgloves in front of the Bodnant Garden’s Pin Mill. I hope to make this into a large textile banner made from a cotton sheet with a calico backing, hand painted with thickened dyes and free machine embroidery. More layers of flowers will be attached getting larger in scale, nearer to the front of the banner.

The final exhibition will be held throughout the garden the last week in August and first two weeks in September. Updates to come!

Start of a new year but as well as starting new work from scratch, I thought it would be a good idea to move some existing work along to reach its next stage, free machine and hand embroidery.


I had the inspiration for my Daisy Textile Art from my photographs that I’d taken in a beautiful garden we had visited during the ‘Open Gardens’ Event in Llangernyw, North Wales during the summer of 2014.


I lied the idea of combining both photographs together to be my starting point of my artwork. I firstly drew the design using pencil onto a ‘prepared’ vintage 100% cotton sheet. (fabric had been rinsed in a sodawash solution, so the dyes will develop). I then added my first layers of colour, by painting thickened ‘Procion MX’ dyes onto the sheet, similar to painting with watercolours or thin acrylics or fabric paint. I use dye, as I find it has beautiful translucent colour that when ‘layered’ with other colours where needed, make new shades or depth of colour. I also find that using dyes on fabric when set does not stiffen the fabric, unlike fabric paint (which sits on the top of the fabric), so they make the fabric much more suitable for further embellishment.


This final stage of painting has taken a long time to do, as I have been working on other pieces of work in between. I am now in the process of setting the dyes by heat. As I haven’t got a steamer to do this, I usually let the fabric dry after it has been standing for 24 hours or more between plastic sheets, then steam iron the work for 5 minutes. I then will rinse the fabric in cold water removing extra dye.

I’ll show you further progress once I’ve started the free machine and hand embroidery.



IMGP5835Photograph of the special cushion commission I made just before Christmas this year. Made completely by hand with free machine embroidery…IMGP5837Close up of all the many stitches!

If you are interested in a textile cushion or picture design being made for any special occasion, get in touch with me – www.vickywilliams.net where I have my website showing more of my work.

Or email at vicky.williams@tesco.net.


I arrived for the final day of the ‘Artisans in the Palm House Christmas Fair’ in Sefton Park, Liverpool with great trepidation after spending quite a few weeks working very hard, to finish off making a lot of cushions and pictures. We had managed to get there from North Wales in a gale force storm, but were just pleased to be a part of the event, inside this beautiful building full of tropical plants and trees.

I’d finished a number of items including my Christmas tree cushion, with thousands of free machine embroidered stitches and added beads and crocheted gold ‘tinsel’…IMGP5794 and a number of small pictures, including this little oystercatcher one made from navy and white free machine embroidered stitching….DSC07065

Glad to say that I had a very successful but unfortunately rather brief time, as in the afternoon, the gale force wind was causing havoc outside in the park surrounding the Palm House and could have caused great danger to the general public, including the many shoppers who had to be turned away at the door.

I’d like to say thanks to all the crowds, Organisers and artisans who made it a very happy …but rather short day!

Hope to be back selling there next year.

Close up of work so far

Close up of work

As you can see I have added a lot of new colour to my picture, making it very colourful compared to my other Blog!

I hope to add even more layers of colour using dye, to finally get the colours I want. This is relatively easy to do as I will add more dye thickener to the powdered dye, making the colour very pale. This affect would be the same as in water colour painting, using a wash, which covers up the layer of colour below, but changes the colour slightly to the shade added.

Easier said than done!!

Work in progress

Work in progress

Studio view

Studio view

One of my Textile Art pictures with cards and commission work.

One of my Textile Art pictures with cards and commission work.

My Helenium Textile Art and cushion designs.

My Helenium Textile Art and cushion designs.

Helenium Textile Art

Helenium Textile Art

Dahlia, Echinaecea and Wild Garlic Cushion

Dahlia, Echinaecea and Wild Garlic Cushion

Blue Geranium, Sunflower and Cornish Wild flower Cushions.

Blue Geranium, Sunflower and Cornish Wild flower Cushions.

Badger and White rose cushions

Badger and White rose cushions

Other cushions including Amarylis, Artichoke and Pink Geranium.

Other cushions including Amarylis, Artichoke and Pink Geranium.

Spent a very enjoyable weekend meeting the general public who visited my own ‘Helfa Gelf’ Open Studio Event. This was part of the annual event held all over North Wales, which has now been running for ten years. It gives the public a wonderful insight into where the artists do their work and to meet them personally. (for more information – Helfa Gelf Open Studios)

I have been involved in the Open Studio Event now for four years and thoroughly enjoy showing people my textile art and cushion designs, as well as explaining the processes involved with painting with thickened dyes onto fabric and adding free machine embroidery. Much of my inspiration is from nature and especially my own photography where I love taking pictures of flowers and landscape.

You can see more of my work at www.vickywilliams.net

My cushions and textile art can be purchased at present by contacting me personally and I also welcome commission work.                       Email : vicky.williams@tesco.net

Lizard Poppies

Lizard Poppies

As you can remember, I’ve recently been on a very lovely holiday down to Cornwall at the beginning of July. I’m always on the outlook for inspiration for new textile art and took this photograph whilst on a walk in the Lizard. I love the colours and composition, although will probably get rid of the buildings in the background when I start drawing out the base drawing.

base drawing on silk with HB pencil

base drawing on silk with HB pencil

I’ve decided to use a thick silk for my base fabric instead of the usual vintage 100% cotton sheets to see if I can get brighter colours when painting with the dyes. (silk is still suitable for dyeing.) The drawing was very difficult to do as I realise now the complexity of all the stems and different shades of colours!!

base colour

base colour

This image shows the base colours added. I hand painted the thickened Procion MX dyes onto the areas where I need the colour, thinking ahead to what extra dye will need to be added to give extra depth and shades. I really love the colours made, but in this case, have decided to add more colour to show the beautiful bright colours that I found in Cornwall.

This is only the first part of the process to make my textile art….more to follow.