NATURE NOTES: Starting the Finishing Process

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Here I am, finally, at the beginning of the end of this project.  Now, you might think, after a year of following me making mixed media and textile art pages that there can’t be much left to do, and I wish that was the case, but you’d be wrong…  There’s quite a lot left to do.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more things there seem to be on the list!  So, in this post I’ll tell you all about it, make a plan and then potter on with it in between a few other projects I have in progress.


At the very least, there are sixteen things left to do.  They consist of: 

Designing and making the front and back covers, which I envisage as being a sort of raised textile bark with creatures crawling on it.

The front and back endpapers need to be designed and made up.

Two pages with stitched nature-related quotes.

The reverse of those pages.

A title page.

A copyright page.

A dedication page and something for the reverse side.

The reverse of the very last December page.

Print out my nature observation pages which accompany my art work.

Apply and stitch these to the reverse of the art pages, then finish all the edges neatly.

Make a clamshell box.


I am starting with the design for the endpapers.  I am planning a William Morris-esque design, but haven’t yet decided if these will be painted and stitched, or just stitched.

Then I will stitch the quote, title and dedication pages, and the reverse pages.  I will also check each art page for anything that might need a little more work (I can already think of a couple of things!).

Next will be the covers.  I think these will have a raised surface with stumpwork creatures and leaves and some stitched lichen.  I want them to be quite textural, like bark.

Then I will print out all my notes and apply and secure them in place with machine stitching.

The book will then need to be hand bound with linen thread, and I am going to insert tracing paper separator pages to prevent any problems with paint or colour bleeding between pages when the book is stored.  I am planning to bond a fabric strip to the binding side of each tracing paper page to prevent them from tearing out over time.

The clamshell box will come last.  I have never made a clamshell box, so it will be interesting to learn a new technique.

Here’s hoping it all comes together nicely.  I’m looking forward to having the completed textile book in my hands, and to turn the pages, this year and for years to come.  I think Nature Notes will be a valuable comparative resource as far as Climate Change is concerned, as it documents what Nature has presented over the course of a whole year.  I noticed in Spring this year that some plants were three to four weeks behind on last year, which is odd, considering the endless cold, snow and ice we experienced over the winter of 2017/18.  But, I suppose, Nature is the master manager, in a permanent state of flux dealing with whatever existence throws at her, so I shouldn’t really be surprised…  Now, without further ado, I’d better go and get on with that list!

Stack of fabric pages from textile Nature journal 2018
Nature Notes 2018


A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the travelling exhibition ‘WILD’ by the Art Textiles: Made in Britain group. It was on show over the Easter period at the rather wonderful Bramble Patch quilting haven in Weedon, Northamptonshire. I defy you to visit there and leave without buying something or visiting the cafe – we had coffee and cake after viewing the exhibition and I left with some fabric and thread, as you do!

The Art Textiles: Made in Britain group consists of some of the top names in British textile art and aims to promote British textiles both here and abroad. A new themed exhibition is held every two years, and the WILD exhibit debuted at the Festival of Quilts in 2018.

I really enjoyed looking at all the colour, texture, stitchery and techniques on display and thought I’d share a selection of the pieces that stood out for me with you. I hope you enjoy them!

I loved the delicate, natural fragility Edwina Mackinnon’s work puts across.

I love the three-dimensionality of Cas Holmes’ seed head, and the way the tree installation pieces moved subtly with the slightest movement of air.

The colour, shape, texture and movement in Hilary Beattie’s botanical pieces sang out from the white walls of the exhibition space.

Sylvia Paul’s work had a big impact on me, so much so that I could have stood and looked at it for ages!  I loved the attention to detail on the animal A to Z, and the colour and texture created in the zebra study.

I loved the format and texture of this piece by Elizabeth Brimelow, representing walks around ‘White Nancy’ on the Cheshire plain.

I was fascinated by Stephanie Redfern’s ‘Nest’, made from wires, printed Khadi paper, milk bottle plastic, beads and thread.

Sandra Meech’s ‘Marking Time – Wylye Valley’ was so vibrant, colourful and textural.

If you’d like to know more about this exhibit or the group, you can visit their website at