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Happy New Year - what happened in 2023, and what's going on in 2024

Happy New Year!! Fantastic – we’ve made it through another year and It always feels like a fresh start on January 1st to me. I’m not good with resolutions ( well to be honest I’m just bad at any discipline)  but I really would like to get the blog and newsletter done more regularly. Which shouldn’t be too hard, as my past record is rubbish. The one thing you can say for me, is I don’t bombard your inbox with rubbish. So I’m thinking I could aim for one each month, at the beginning – and I’ve put that in my diary already. Only time will tell, but as I say, it all feels possible at the beginning of a new year.

Snowdrops - already showing their heads and a great start to every new year, as they mean hope in the language of flowers

This is along one – lots to recap and share. You might want to make a cuppa and sit down and enjoy a magazine type read! Or maybe split it up into a couple of sessions. But please do read – its all good stuff.

2023 was a very busy one, for workshops, shop and exhibitions. It was wonderful to get my first exhibition since covid out in public. I feel being a working artist, underpins everything else I do. And for me, exhibiting is a hugely important part of that.

So Tulip Mania had its first outing in April/May at Forge Mill needle museum – a long time great textiles venue. Creating an exhibition of work, takes a lot of time, and it's lovely to be able to show it at a few venues.

. I took some of the tulips to FOQ in August, but its next big outing (with lots of new additions) will be at the Fashion  and Embroidery show, at the NEC , March 14 – 17 2024. I’ve attended this show, since its early days as The Madeira show in Harrogate. I was a textiles student in Durham, and many of the collages had stands there to share what we were doing. It moved many years ago to the NEC in Birmingham, and is now a huge affair, with three shows in consecutive halls. It’s the first big show of the year, and planning my visit has helped me through many a cold and dark winter. I will also have a trading stand there, and will be demonstrating throughout the show as always! I’d love to see you there – lots more details in Februarys newsletter/blog. Heres a nice promotion in Embroidery magazine - I'm in some lovely company

Tulips then travels for its largest showing, at The Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes, Powys. I will be adding a lot of new work for this outing – and its one of my favourite venues. Llanidloes in May is a joy

Also showing at the arts centre, in the gallery alongside Tulip Manie, will be Viewpoints first outing, with their exhibition ‘‘Honouring the Past; Creating the Future’, inspired by vintage textiles in the Welsh Quilt Associations collection. This is the exhibti9ong group for those who have completed 2 years of my Make it Personal course, and the work they are producing is absolutely beautiful

Lots more details for this in March newsletter/blog. But the dates for both exhibitions are Sat 27th April – Monday 27th May – please add those to your diaries – it could be a great day out, or even a few days trip to this stunning part of Wales.

After May I will be starting work for a whole new exhibition, inspired by my large (and growing) collection of mid century textiles. I’ve been wanting to make this work for a few years now, so I’m really looking forward to it.

It will be showing for a run of 6 months with Grosvenor shows, from January to June 2025. Ive got so many ideas and pieces in my head, its going to be a very busy 6 months getting them all made. But I love that. Grosvenor was the first show to exhibit my work, back in 2012, and Im delighted to be back touring with them again. And it’s a great chance to get work around the country, so more of you can view it. More about that show later in the year. (the year seems to be passing already!)

Finally on the show front, Viewpoints will be taking ‘Honouring the past; Creating the Future’ to the needle museum in Redditch in September 2024 – from Sep 4th to Oct 20th - another diary date for you. I will be teaching a workshop there alongside the exhibition – watch out for details of that in the next few months.

Workshops in 2023 have been just fantastic – I never stop marvelling at what people create when they stop being frightened.

Gelli printing has finished 3 full year long runs and is now in a fourth outing. Lost of beautiful work made – here’s just a few

Breakdown printing is another course that’s run a few times. And we have the last live session of the latest run coming up in January6. Again – lots of beautiful materials produced – a few here

Drawing for the Terrified ran from Sep 2022 to Sep 2023, and was a joy to teach. A very engaged group, and I know many of them discovered drawing, and now include it as part of their everyday art practise and pleasures. Here’s some images from their group.

Amazing from a group of people who were terrified and convinced they couldn't draw!!

And we had one more run out of Still Life: Pots and Flowers in 2023. Always such joyous pieces made in this workshop – and this was no exception. Ive shared lots if a previous post – but here’s a few again

This is really why my blog posts get long - so much to show you. All these groups deserve their own posts so I can share more. Hmmm - I'll try ..

New courses that started for the first time in 2023, were Machine Artistry and Themed Sketchbooks. The former only just got started in Dec ember, but we already have a very hoppy vibe in the group, and some lovely Christmas banners/bunting created. Lots more to come from this group I am certain

We took The Healing Garden as out theme for sketchbooks for its first year. This has been a delight of a course. Learning about the plants, as well as looking at lots of different ways to create sketchbook pages inspired by them, has been a pleasure to teach, and the pages from the members are just awesome. I need to do a whole post to share all of those – there are so many – but here’s a few as a taster.

I think the fun we are having just oozes from these pages

Both of these new courses will re-run I hope – watch out for details. If you want adding to an email list of alerts, just let me know

And lastly for workshops, I taught two external retreats at Redditch in 2023, both based around tulips. We had a wonderful time on both occasions, with loads of stunning work being made. I think they need their own post too – but here are some of them

2024 already looks busy here, so I’m not sure what new workshops there will be. I’d like to add some more short one off ones – but time is always my limiting factor, and I have a lot of textile work to make!!

I’d also like to write some more books – I have so many in my head. Time is my limiter there as well – but I think I just must get onto these next year. It’s been 4 years since I published the Language of Flowers catalogue, and 7 years since the last Make it Personal book was published. Make it Personal Book 1 has been re-printed several times now, and we do have some in the shop now. I’m also putting in another order to take the spring show at the NEC

It’s a wonderful book, and I do love writing. I started a second gelli printing book in 2023, but just didn’t get it finished. I think I need a new plan – watch this space😊 

And finally the shop. Still small and only sells the products I use myself. It’s a love hate relationship we (Steve my husband) have with it. We love our products and customers, but often struggle with …. yes … time. All the more so since my lovely friend Gill passed in 2021Its been a tough year for small businesses: the cost of living increases have affected all of us. Its also tough competing with the big retailers. We just don’t have their power for purchasing. Our response has been to increasingly make our own products. Our paints, dyes, stencils and stamps are all high quality and unique to us. This allows us to keep costs to you reasonable, and still make the shop worthwhile for us.

We now have nearly 60 colours of fabric paint (above)– all bespoke mixes (except black and white!), all highly pigmented and all very opaque. All of them are available if bottles of 50ml, 100ml and 175ml. Easily heat fixed with an iron, they are then fully washable of fabric. I do the recipes and then lock Steve in the basement

 to mix them!!

We also now have 50 colours of procion mx dye. Again – my own colour mixes, and again poor Steve gets to mix them. They are the cheapest and most vibrant way to colour fabric. We stock soda ash to fix them, and manutex to thicken them. And that’s all I use, and you need. They are available in 25g pots, with starter sets of 10g also available, We are revamping the starter sets to accommodate all our new colours. They will be at the spring show and then in the shop.

We also now make our own stencils. They are hand drawn (not illustrator formed) – so have that lovely hand worked (human not AI) look to them, I think. We use 190g Mylar, which is very strong, and leave enough space around the edges to use them with my beloved rollers. We keep adding to the collection( a few above) so keep an eye on the shop.

Our latest addition is my own range of rubber stamps. These are manufactured for me In the UK and I’m creating sets of designs to help you create your won amazing materials. The first four sets are shown above, and again, we are adding to the range regularly, so keep a watch out for new designs

We also have acrylic mediums, white cotton, papers and accessories and lovely neocolour 1 crayons in singles. We appreciate each and every order placed, and do our best to give you a personal and good service (as well as lovely stuff)

I’m hoping to do short videos on my Facebook page and YouTube, to show you ideas and techniques for using all these things. I think it will be after the March show though. It’s that time thing again !!

Well - that was long catch up of the year wasn’t it. If you are this far through – well done and thank you for reading. If you like smaller snippets and more regular posts – please do consider coming and following my Facebook artist page

I know many people don’t like Facebook, but I find it the best and safest of all the social media offerings. And you don’t have to do anything else with your account – you can keep it completely private. But it means you will get updates more often – I post most days … and a lot more when I’m excited!!

So – I’ll be quiet now and go walk the boys – still recovering from Christmas!!

Thank you for supporting me, my artwork, my teaching and our shop. I appreciate it more than you know. And I’m looking forward to a great 2024 with you all – Hilary xx

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Lovely post, Hilary and love the photos. Looking forward to having you and the Viewpoints students in Minerva in a few months time 😊 xxx

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And we are all looking forward to being there ❤️May In Llani feels like a tradition now. Big hugs xxx


Wonderful body of work, so inspirational may it continue, thank you HB for your generosity of both heart and spirit xx

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You are so welcome Jan - having you lovely people around makes my world a very happy place xxx


Lovely blog, great to see so much inspiration!! Happy New Year xxx

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I think its going to be a wonderful 2024 Lynda - see you in March xxx


JIll Hill
JIll Hill
Jan 01

Brilliant blog, lots of inspiring work and so much to look forward to

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Just masses to look forward to Jill xx


Always inspiring, you make me want to creat so much... Im always so time poor

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I understand the time poor bit - just try and eek out as much creative time as you can. Its so important I think xx

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