Member work

Member work

Monday, 10 July 2017

Making Vintage Postcards with Janet Humphrey

Gill, who attended this workshop says:
We had a very enjoyable day with tutor Janet Humphrey, who arrived with goodies of lovely ribbons and hand-dyed lace and lots of inspiring samples.
After being shown how to get a unique vintage style postcard onto fabric using A4 labels and cut-out images, we set about choosing a postcard to embellish. Even though some members had selected the same postcard, each one soon became a beautiful individual piece.

We added lace, hand stitch and cut out extra flowers and butterflies ....

Janet was on hand throughout the day to teach us individually how to do new stitches such as creating a rose, stem stitch, French knots, etc and helped with ideas.
It was a lovely hand stitch, feminine, girlie day. Some members went on to buy extra postcards to continue with what was quite an addictive process of personalising them. We are looking forward to seeing them finished at our AGM day.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Marbling fabric

Friday evening's mini workshop using a shaving foam technique to marble fabric was very effective and a lot of fun - even if it was also a bit messy!

The starting point is a base of shaving foam, dotted with blobs of fabric paint

and 'stirred up' with a kebab stick or something similar to create interesting, swirly patterns

Fabric is pressed onto the paint-spattered foam, and the effects are many and various:

(the foam base for this print can be seen in the photo just above)

Our grateful thanks to Leamington member, Sally, who organised the session and brought along some of her samples, including husband's shirt:

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Vintage Postcards workshop - places available

Saturday 8th July 10.00 - 4.00

This workshop by Janet Humphrey will focus on using a blank vintage postcard pre-printed on to fabric (which Janet will supply).  Members will embellish the postcard with images of birds, butterflies, flowers etc., and then add texture with delicate hand embroidery: French knots, seeding, stem stitch and shading.

There are still a couple of places left on this workshop.  If you are interested, please contact or 07715664084 / 01926 338987 (please leave a message)

Please note: there will be an extra charge of £1.00 per student per postcard.

About Janet Humphrey

After gaining a C&G certificate from South Nottingham College, Janet went on to join the Derbyshire based ‘Living Threads’ groupShe has exhibited at various venues including ‘Stitching for Pleasure’ shows at the NEC, ‘Fashion Embroidery & Stitch shows at Harrogate, National Trust Properties and the Uttoxeter and Malvern Quilt shows. She is an enthusiastic tutor, keen to promote traditional skills and runs workshops for guilds, colleges and textile groups. Her work usually has an historical theme, often featuring hand dyed lace and she also likes to incorporate vintage images, fabrics and trims.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

"Stitch Draw" workshop

The evening before our workshop, Rosie James gave us a fascinating talk - illustrated with lots of photos and beautiful samples - on her progress from print specialist, through drawing and stitch, photography and screen printing, and the influences of painting and sculpture, to her current focus on stitched drawing.  (See post below, 29 May.)  You may have seen Rosie's striking hangings at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, among other venues.

The workshop started with some relatively simple exercises, all done with black thread on white fabric, and leaving long tails of thread hanging on the surface.

We progressed through further exercises, which included stitching an image traced onto tissue paper:

stitching figures drawn directly onto transparent fabric - see right-hand figure in the photo below:  

(It could be quite tricky to follow the drawn lines when looking through the fabric!)

and images built up with appliquéd coloured fabric:

It was a challenging, interesting and very enjoyable day, and Rosie was a generous and very supportive tutor.  We certainly didn't waste any time, and came away with some great samples.

➢ Perhaps we will be seeing a few examples of this technique on some stitched cards for our Greeting Cards exhibition at Leamington Library (31 July - 13 August)  .....

Monday, 29 May 2017

A Small Slashed Handbag - Summer School with Faye Maxwell

Friday 4th - Saturday 5th August (10am - 4pm)
Leek Wootton Village Hall

Workshop outline:

Day 1

We are delighted to be able to welcome Faye Maxwell to lead a two-day workshop to make a lovely small handbag using the technique of slashing.  It's an excellent and very creative way of using up the many fabrics we have stashed away.

The day begins by choosing the base fabric on which to work.  Then, the fun part - emptying the bag of fabric pieces onto the table or floor and digging into it randomly, pulling out lots of bits and pieces of different fabrics.

When enough layers have been assembled, they are covered with a pretty top fabric and the piece is ready for stitching on the sewing machine.

Once the stitching is done, we can slash into the fabric!  (The piece needs to be washed and dried overnight.)

Day 2

Construction of the bag and, if you wish, finishing with a handmade cord.

The cost for two days is £57.00.
There are just a few places left. If you are interested, please do one of the following:
Post a Comment to this post (which is monitored) or
Phone07715664084 / 01926 338987 (please leave a message)

Please note: If you are a Leamington & District Branch member, and would be willing to host the tutor for two nights, you will be entitled to claim a free place on the summer school.

About Faye Maxwell:

Faye originally trained as a Costume designer and achieved a diploma at Bournemouth College of Art. Following this she worked for Sadlers Wells Opera Company, before returning to Dorset and working in the fashion retail business until she married and moved to live in Surrey.

After her boys had left home for University she went on to the City & Guilds Part I and II in Embroidered Textiles and Design, which then led to a BA Hons in Visual Arts in Winchester combined with the Embroiderer's Guild which launched her into the world of Lecturing and Workshops, and the many Embroidery Groups around the world.

Although she loves the experimental techniques, Faye's first love will always be the embroidered stitch, and the many ways to change and experiment with threads and fabrics.

Rosie James, "Stitch Draw" Talk: Friday 2nd June

Our next talk, on Friday 2nd June, will be by Rosie James, an artist who works mostly in textiles, and who explores the use of the sewing machine as a tool for drawing. Her focus falls mainly on people and the kinds of crowds that form when people gather.  Recently she has become interested in the ways in which a line is created on the sewing machine and how lines are everywhere we look. These lines link us together.  The ways in which stitching and textiles figure in our everyday lives is a continuing fascination for her. 

Rosie’s work is created using machine and hand embroidery, screen print and appliqued recycled fabrics. She takes her first point of reference from crowds and large gatherings of people, looking for the detail in the ordinary but also the commonality within the group. 

Screen-printed buildings, windows, roofs and skylines also feature in Rosie's work. These elements create a sense of atmosphere and build links between the people and their location.

The black line of the thread is a seductive one; raised from the surface it is tactile and slightly fuzzy at the edges, velvety. This is one of the things that draws Rosie to the sewing machine rather than the pencil.

*** Visitors are very welcome at our talks. ***
Details of times and where to find us are in the "How to find us" tab on the right.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Workshop for Charlecote Park volunteers

Leamington member, Sue Cooke, herself a volunteer at Charlecote Park, organised a two-hour workshop for volunteers there to try their hands at making mixed media gift tags.

Bravely turning out on what was probably the wettest day of the month(!), everyone said they thoroughly enjoyed the session, and they all produced something they were happy to take home.

There was a request to have another event near Christmas ...

Monday, 15 May 2017

JETS make felt

For most of the girls, this was their first wet felting session.  They thoroughly enjoyed it and made some good pieces of felt ...  
Laying out the wool fibres
Applying soapy water
Adding a bit of embellishment

The felt has now been given boiling water treatment and dried
Over the next couple of sessions they will develop the pieces further.

Also in the next session, they will have a chance to use a die-cutting machine.

Friday, 12 May 2017


May's workshop was a lovely stitching, slashing, burning day with Kathleen Laurel Sage!

Kathleen is well known for her floral organza designs, and also her innovative use of materials to create panels, bags, jewellery and 3D items.

Following a packed talk, illustrated with lots of examples and slides the previous evening, that led us through Kathleen's many-stage transition from hand embroidery to the design and development of her distinctive machine-embroidered floral work, we were treated to a fairly intensive day producing our own panels.  

While some people preferred to create their own designs, Kathleen's ready-prepared kits took away a lot of the uncertainty - and for some of us, time spent dithering!  The kits are beautifully assembled with all the materials, design, instructions, process diagram and reference photo, and enabled those using them to really focus on the stitching and creating, and to complete a panel during the day.

These lovely lacy designs use organza fabrics trapped between layers of dissolvable film, which are machine embroidered and then cut back, and finally cut out with a soldering iron.  The whole process gave us a thorough understanding of the techniques Kathleen uses and the confidence to apply them to our own designs.

Kathleen is a friendly, relaxed, helpful tutor.  She is also well organised and made sure we kept to a pretty strict timetable to ensure that we got through all the stages and had a super panel to take away at the end of the day.