Archives for posts with tag: N.T Bodnant Garden

Officially handing over my completed textile art to Charlotte Stretton at Bodnant Garden

After over six months work preparing my textile art impression of ‘Penjerrick Walk in thirty years time’, I am so pleased to say that my work is finally in National Trust Bodnant Garden’s hands!!

My picture represents an avenue of white Rhododendrons called ‘Penjerrick’ in Furnace Wood, Bodnant and how it will hopefully look in maturity in thirty years time. The original rhododendrons were planted by the garden’ owner Henry McLaren, the second Lord Aberconwy in the 1920’s, but sadly this area died back over the years and only slightly now remains. Furnace Wood is the most recent part of Bodnant Garden to be opened to the general public in Spring 2017 and already there is evidence of restoration of the walkway, with young plants growing that have been cloned from the existing rhododendrons still growing elsewhere in the garden.


I felt honoured to have the chance to make a piece of textile art that will be on show in the Garden for a number of years. An artist impression had already been produced, but this was felt to be unsuitable for exhibiting being too small. After showing Bodnant my drawing (see below), my textile started out from my usual method of painting on a cotton sheet using thickened dyes. I could have carried on adding extra areas of painted flowers to the sheet, but as one of the criterion of the Commission Brief was to have a 3d effect, I decided to add natural felt which I discovered could be dyed!


My pencil drawing of Penjerrick Walk. I wanted the viewer to feel like they could walk into the drawing, having less detail in the distance.



Sheet painted with thickened dyes


Experiment to see if natural felt could be dyed with thickened dyes

Felt also had the advantage of being able to be cut out without the fabric fraying, which would be particularly good for cutting detail on the ‘3d’ areas.


I then set about painting the natural felt shapes with the idea of applying them to the individual areas on my design..this did not turn out quite how I expected as when washing and drying the felt they stretched out of shape and I ended up applying them by cutting them up and moving bits around like a strange shaped jigsaw to get the right effects!! Talk about a learning curve!! After finally adding each piece, I also applied free machine and hand embroidery for extra details.


Cutting out and applying the painted felt to fit in the right shape!!

My plan for the overall finished piece of work was to have plenty of perspective and depth, like you were actually walking into the image, so the final piece of felt to be added needed to have more detailed larger and closer flowers.


I painted this area onto a single piece of natural felt hoping to apply this to the background, but like the other pieces, I ended up cutting it up to fit right stitching pieces on top of each other!


Close up of the creamy white Penjerrick Rhododendrons with added stitch to emphasise the shapes and depths of flowers.


The finished piece of work before being framed.

bodnant picture3

Textile art in frame.

As said before, it was an honour to do this piece of work and I feel my legacy to the Garden…it was also a very big learning curve for me too, which I hope will help me with future pieces of work!







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.