For the love of textiles & blogophobia


Time to confront my blogophobia. Here goes….

I’d like to tell you about my primary school teacher. I can’t remember her name but she was without a doubt my first inspiration in textiles. Not surprising really. It was Ilford 1971, she wore long flowing dresses, no shoes, and false eyelashes which she painted up on to her eyebrows, finishing off each one with a tiny eye (don’t ask me what time she got up in the morning).

That year all my memories of school were of tie dying fabric with mind blowing results, sewing cushions and hot water bottles, making collages and being overwhelmingly happy.

So, not a lot has changed really, although the journey back to the start has been equally as colourful.

My Mum, who like so many other Mums at the time, bought shed loads of the same fabric and laboured into the night making garments to dress her, then three, daughters identically for the next however long until the roll finally made its last spotty dress.

3 sisters, 2 in spotted dresses, I'm the one who wore both the dresses for years after they were handed down.

3 sisters, 2 in spotted dresses, I’m the one who wore both the dresses for years after they were handed down.

Many of you may not know what I’m talking about but by now it was 1972ish my little sister was on the way and my evenings were spent “helping” Mum make endless romper suits out of an enormous roll of pink jersey whilst listening to (was it The Scaffold?) repeat “One pound is a hundred new pennies” on the radio. [‪@DaveGorman@b3ta_links “as I remember The Scaffold did a whole series of songs about it. For your sanity do NOT seek em out…”]

The arrival of my sister was heralded by the demise of the old currency and the birth of decimalisation. Yes I still measure my fabric in inches and am extremely confused as to why in the UK fabric width is often measured in inches and its length in centimetres. Change is slow! Desperately repeating The Scaffolds song offers no comfort in this dimension.

Tell me if I am wrong but did I hear that the Messenger mission to Mercury recently ran out of fuel due to confusion between metric and imperial measurements? It would appear that I am not alone.


A quick catch-up

What we’ve been up to

The organisers of Redefest, a wonderful local music festival, asked us to repair a damaged 10×8 m2 marquee.  Heavy-duty repairs are certainly within our remit.  Redefest is a volunteer run festival, with two stages and plenty of activities and workshops.  At £6 per adult, £4 per child of £15 per family, I can’t think of anywhere better to be on the 2nd of August!

redefest festival













Source: Redefest


Hello, welcome to Dizzy Birds!

Thanks for visiting our new Dizzy Birds blog!

Hello! We are Katie and Grace, two dizzy birds who first met three years ago, weirdly, through our landlord.

Katie bland


Grand Designs!


We have run two free community one-day workshops, the first in tranquil Tarset and second in bustling Newcastle.  These were preliminary taster sessions for a bigger project, the Spiral Project, which we hope to roll out nationwide someday as a community event.

Tarset-Spiral tapestry