Lesley Brankin

Textile Artist

Category: Painted (page 1 of 2)

Trying Something New

Sometimes the creative juices need a boost and what better way to achieve this than indulging oneself and attending  a stitch retreat?

I am just back from (a rather wet) Eastbourne having spent 4 days in the company of the fabulous Hungarian textile artist Eszter Bornemisza and 6 other like minded students. It was a  rare chance to explore some of the creative thinking and techniques behind Eszter’s amazing work and all without the distractions of everyday life to get in the way.

The first 3 days  of ‘Captured in Nets’ saw us stitching, embroidering, trapping, painting, dissolving and even melting various materials to create a sample range of exciting new textures and fabrics. Work was of course interspersed with plenty of cuppas, nibbles and not least a fabulous lunch courtesy of Christine, our amazing retreat organiser and host.

‘Captured in Nets’ – a wall of samples

Where I live!

Happy Accidents

The final day was spent bringing together everything we learn’t to create a piece inspired by our own interest. Mine is based on Polynesian Stick Charts and the designs of Napa barkcloth – this is still a work in progress so watch this space.

‘Captured in Nets’ – work in progress

‘Captured in Nets’ was a stitch retreat organised by Studio 11 Eastbourne

Getting Started

Having been invited to participate in this year’s Herefordshire Art Week (September 7 – 15th 2019) I thought I really ought to get cracking on some new work. Being a selling exhibition  I am working at a  smaller size than usual with the idea that my work can be displayed framed and ready to hang.  Here are a couple of pieces of work in progress.

Midnight Sun

Wetlands I

I am continuing with my mark making experimentation using acrylic inks on calico or textured cotton backgrounds. Once painted the work is then backed with a thin wadding and machine quilted. Hand embroidered details add the finishing touches.

Should you be near Ledbury area during Art Week do please pop by and visit myself and my fellow members of Quartet – Amanda Wright, Cheryl Kirby and Jill Exell. We will be found at

Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, HR8 1DW

Open 10.00 to 5.00, informal demonstrations daily

Sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery)

H.Art Website 

Celebrating a Special Anniversary

2019 sees the 40th Anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles (QGBI) and I was flattered (and somewhat daunted) when invited to make a quilt for inclusion in a special celebratory exhibition entitled ‘Spotlight@40’. If that wasn’t enough pressure I was told that subsequently my quilt was to become part of QGBI’s permanent  collection. Having worked, on and off, on my contribution for the past 12 months I can now show the finished quilt.



The second and third lines of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement read

“We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning.

We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK”.

In the spirit of coming together, in this, The Guild’s 40thAnniversary year, I invited fellow  members of QGBI Region 11 to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in my ‘spotlight’.

Design Process:

I love experimenting with different methods of making ‘marks’ using acrylic inks and simple, everyday tools such as old store cards and cardboard rolls. Taking the word ‘spotlight’ as my inspiration I began playing with ideas that might represent beams of light emanating from a spotlight. My favourite experimental marks were then scanned into my computer and the resultant files digitally combined and manipulated. One image in particular appealed and when scaled up became the basis of my design.

Making Process:

Having pieced the donated squares together as a quilt background I was reluctant to put paint all over them in case something went wrong – after all I only had one set of squares!  Using painted Lutradur as an overlay layer provided the solution and also gave an interesting surface to work on. The radial lines were created using my ‘card scraping’ technique but I substituted a long ruler for a store card.

The circle is printed using the edge of a plastic plate and the overlay shadow regions are cut from blue floral mesh bonded using Mistyfuse.

The descriptive words were printed out onto T-shirt transfer paper, cut out and individually applied – the size of the text represents the number of members who cited that word.  Finally my completed Lutradur overlay was applied to the background squares using more Mistyfuse and the quilt top was complete.


After sandwiching using Hobbs 80/20 wadding with a complimentary batik backing, I machine quilted all over the quilt before adding lines of machine embroidery and straight stitching for additional interest.

Thank You

A big thank you to everyone who supplied me with squares, words and on-going encouragement and also to Doughty’s of Hereford for kindly supplying the background fabric and wadding for the quilt.


If visiting Festival of Quilts in August or the Knitting & Stitching shows later in the year, please do pop by the Spotlight@40 gallery and view ‘Belonging’ and the other quilts

Small Beginnings


After what can only be described as year of intense highs and lows, the start of 2019 has seen the shoots of creativity starting to sprout once more. It may not be a large piece of work (A4 sized) but ‘Rain’ is the first piece of work I have completed for a good while. Created in response to a group challenge on the theme of ‘weather’.




Life has been a bit busy recently and I have not had chance to feature my latest quilt.  Another experimental mark making piece which reminded me of a cityscape, hence the title of ‘Metropolis’.  It was awarded 3rd place in the Art Quilt category at Festival of Quilts earlier in the month.

Metropolis (detail)


Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018

Each year, designed to co-incide with the annual Poetry Festival, Weavers Gallery in Ledbury hosts a themed exhibition of invitational work by local textile artists.  This year our theme was the life and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Dawn to Dusk

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

(from Elizabeth  Barrett Browning’s poem ‘How do I love thee?’)


The Wheel Goes Round …

28 June – 8 July 2018

Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm

Free entry, sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery).

Eclectica shortlisted for Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018


I am delighted to announce that Eclectica has been shortlisted for the Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018, one of 23 pieces of work selected for inclusion in this prestigious exhibition at Festival of Quilts in August. You can see the full list of selected works here – I am in some great company.

This is one of a number of pieces of experimental mark making work which have evolved since my attending an inspirational drawing course led by renowned textile artist Matthew Harris at West Dean College early last year. It is not a quilt in the conventional sense in that I have layered, felted and stitched multiple pieces of painted  muslin onto a base of wool felt. Deliberately there is no backing fabric as I wanted the drape of the wool to be an inherent feature of the piece.

Eclectica – detail

Fish ‘n’ Chips goes on Tour

Fish ‘n’ Chips

Fish ‘n’ Chips is touring (2018-2019) with Contemporary Quilt’s ‘In Print’ challenge exhibition. Our first venue is The Forge Mill Needle Museum, Redditch and runs from 25th May until 8th July 2018. Other venues and dates will be announced in due course.

Monoprinted on calico using artists acrylic paint.  Transfer printed appliquéd transparent fabric and acetone printed  newspaper ‘chips’. Machine and hand quilting.

Weeping Window

During March and April Hereford Cathedral hosted the travelling Weeping Window installation, a collaborative piece by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. A subset of the original Tower of London Poppies, created to commemorate the First World War centenary, this work captured my imagination.

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window March/April 2018

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window, detail

Still sticking with my mark making theme – this is an A4 sample piece I made in response.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window Detail

The Road Most Travelled

The Road Most Travelled

Even though the hand is better the mark making experimentation continues as, of course, I can now add stitch as well! This is a small (9 x 7 inch) hand stitched sample piece.

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