Sarah B – Treadled Textiles.

I am a Textile Artist with a focus on environmentally sympathetic practice. My flat-pack mannequins are a long term and permanent project and now, adjacent with the business of my flat-pack figures, I use eco and repurposed fabrics to make clothing, items and art pieces on any of my treadle sewing machines and which are presented on FlatMannies if possible.

I have practised in art and design with a sensibility towards sustainability for years. A piece from my recycling work is in the permanent collection at The Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP) in Poole UK and is an item which formed part of a collection that won me the Best Newcomer Prize at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey in 2004.

I often embellish cloth with printed, appliqued or embroidery designs or with a combination of construction techniques. I have always had an affinity towards surface pattern and playing with colour and shape ever since the days of graduating from Brighton with a Fashion-Textiles degree and gaining a place at Texprint London, that year.

In early 2021 curiosity led me to work on embroideries with the backing fabric removed. After many experiments results proved successful and what I now call ‘Stitched Shadow Art’ was born.

‘Maggie Bird’ designed in Autumn 2019 and block printed for zero-carbon shirts in January 2020. First shown at the Member’s Showcase exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, March 2020.

The block for ‘Maggie Bird’ just before any ink got near it …

On 15th July 2021 the Devon Guild of Craftsmen announced via their newsletter to members that it has a new name… MAKE Southwest… and with that… a new logo …

The bright red and yellow print in the background of the image shown above (partly seen) is called ‘Trebah’ .. It’s a silkscreen print that I designed from drawings done in Trebah Gardens, Cornwall.

My georgeous vintage machines (undergoing some modifications here)… supported by an even more vintage treadle-table.
Treadling a Free-Machine-Embroidered Motif.


The sun shone briefly on this November day when two totes in gorgeously bright recycled cloth were finished. Their making marked a breakthrough in honing construction.

On a bright December day all the woollen jumpers (that have been collected over some time) got sorted into a colour-system. Ideas are coming together for what can be done with this resource….

Egg Cosies …… The first items treadle-made from the jumpers. (January 2021.)
I experimented with treadled-stitched structure recently… (March 2021) …It worked out…
April ’21 … Other ideas for what I’m currently calling ‘Standing (treadled) Stitches’ are coming together…
Early May ’21 … What I’ve decided to call the ‘Woolly Rouleaus’ project starts to make better sense now with the addition of a tea-cosy to the (so far) small collection.
Mid May ’21 – Discovered that Buildings can work in ‘standing stitches’ opening up a whole new realm of possibilities… This piece is called ‘A Falmouth Terrace’.
Standing Stitches in the Devon Guild’s Spring Show at Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey this year. This amazing show on the edge of Dartmoor is open from 29th May until 10th July 2021.
Batch production today (June ’21) fortunately including wonderful colours, lovely rouleaus, soft linen and stitched drawings. And soon to literally include dried English lavender from Kent.

July 2021.. Am sourcing lavender exclusively from the Southwest now that I’ve found it farmed locally on the Lizard Peninsula… (at the lovely Roskorwell Farm).

December 2021 … Worked on these feathered friends and finalised how best to present them. ‘Standing stitches’ seem to look best under glass…

Finished this new standing-stitches piece in April ’22. It’s called ‘On the Quay’.

Finished this piece today..27th May (’22).
An Instagram post today (17-11-22). I needed a brighter selection of egg cosies… and got them finished just as eggs become less plentiful in supply !
Work in progress on a new design and printing block for swing tags. February ’23.
Happy to have work selected for this year’s Summer Show in Bovey Tracey.

My stand at Potager Garden for their Summer Arts Fair .. A wonderful weekend had in the company of fantastic artists and visitors… all in glorious sunshine too. It’s well worth a visit to this stunning place if you’re in beautiful Cornwall.

Exhibition Stand at The Creative Craft Show, Exeter, September ’23. A great response to my work…. some wonderful teaching sessions and lots of greetings cards sold…