autumn tree

Well, here we go again!  Back into lockdown, but with a difference.


This time the children are still able to go to school taking the pressure off parents trying to work and home-school, so we hope you will have more time to think about a square (or another square) for the GladRags Project.


For those who don’t already know, we are planning to join all the squares together, eventually, to make a large banner to be displayed as a reminder of our collective experiences.  Your submission may be stitched, painted on fabric, crocheted or knitted, as long as it has the following dimensions:  we are asking for 15cms square designs with a 1cm margin all round to allow them to be stitched to their neighbours.  At the moment we are just asking you to send in a good quality picture of your finished square and hang onto the square itself until we are ready for the big-stitch-up!


When I was thinking about what you might do, my eye was inevitably drawn to the wonderful colours of autumn all around us. I took this amazing picture of the ginkgo tree outside the Kingston Road surgery a few days ago. What colours and against the dark sky they were so vibrant! 


So I thought you might like to celebrate the colours, or the leaves.  With this in mind, I contacted the wonderful Lynda Heines for permission to use some of her pictures to inspire you with her printed leaves.


The reason for suggesting printing is that you can use some plain light coloured or white fabric (even an old pillowcase?) and get the whole family involved.


Lynda uses textile paint but you can get good results with simple acrylic paints.  This blog is for making leaf stamps, but you can use the leaves to print directly onto the fabric – you get the best results if you first print your leaf onto a piece of paper to take off some of the excess paint, and then print again onto the fabric. 


Lynda’s step by step instructions here explain the process for the print-blocks much more clearly than I could!  Have some fun with the colours and shapes. 

Having printed, you might want to stitch over your prints, or cut them out and then glue them or stitch them onto a background colour.


Lynda’s blogs impart so much fascinating information about printing and stitching just keep reading and you are sure to get hooked!  She has lots of ideas for simple things around the home you can use to make printing blocks – from corrugated cardboard to bottletops or even straws!


We look forward to seeing your results – just be sure to add your name so we can show your work on another of our blog posts.  Please send your pictures to  [email protected] 



Nancy Shafee is a member of the International Feltmakers Association, Fibre Art Network, Heritage Craft Association and current Chair of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen. 

Nancy lives in West Horsley. She teaches feltmaking and sells her work through The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery in Milford and Haslemere Museum. During the lockdown, workshops are available in kit form too!