Do you remember life before lockdown when so many of our community would gather on a Saturday around midday at the Grace and Flavour gardens in West Horsley? All those lovely muddy fresh-from-the-ground root veg and dew-fresh greens?

Well I am sure we will all be queuing at the door again soon and meanwhile Amanda de Haast has used it as the subject for her GladRags square. Amanda volunteers at Grace & Flavour and is also a trustee of the West Horsley Place Trust. This is not just a pretty reminder of our locally grown fruit and veg (and often flowers and herbs too), but a nice ‘thank you’ to all the keen gardeners who keep it going whatever the weather! Like the other local charities that have been recognised and celebrated in this project, Grace & Flavour's contribution to our community is so important; 10% of their produce is distributed to those who cannot access fruit and veg easily. 

Many of us all over the world have now got used to not just talking to friends and family in far flung places, but seeing them on screen too. Remember the old days of Skype? Well now Zoom seems to have taken over as the go-to for both social and business calls and everything from a virtual birthday party to a company’s AGM can be shared ‘face to face’. My son reminded me that as with Skype, when a noun becomes a verb it is well and truly part of our lives! Thus it is with Zoom! So much easier to say we will Skype or Zoom which is probably why so many of us use them in preference to the many other similar possibilities (Teams, Houseparty, etc)! This square was made by Suzie, one of the West Horsley Place team. 

Slashed fabric is a simple yet extremely effective way to add colour and texture to a piece of work. You will need 3-4 pieces of fabric, all the same size. You may want them in toning colours like this denim example, or strong contrasts like the orange picture. Pin them together and then tack in place to hold them steady. Sew parallel lines - either by hand or with a sewing machine - about 1.5cms apart.

Your stitch lines can either be horizontal/vertical or diagonal, like the blue example. Using sharp scissors, cut through the top 2-3 layers and then ‘fluff them up’ by running your finger up and down each channel to reveal all the colours under the top layer. This is so satisfying and if you have used really colourful middle layers, the results can be quite extraordinary.

Once you have practiced this a bit, or if you are really competent with your stitching, you can vary the patterns created by stitching wavy lines or indeed going round in circles!

We are always looking out for your stitching, painting, dyeing, crochet or knitting designs – just make your work 17cms (15cms with a 1cm border all round) and take a good clear picture to send to [email protected]

We always love to see your work and to include it in the blog. Please do join in the GladRags Project and help us make a creative record of our community's resilience in this difficult time. 

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 (now open again Thursday-Sunday inc 11am-4pm) and Haslemere Museum.