Member work

Member work

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Whipping, Stitching and iPad covers

Caroline Lindsay's talk and mini workshop on Friday evening, "50 Shades of Whipping and Lacing" had us trying out a variety of stitches, which was fun, and also drooling over Caroline's sumptuous and very tactile felt pieces created for exhibitions and shows (looks like another workshop coming up in the future ...).   
Caroline Lindsay, box lid
Caroline Lindsay, box lid
Here's a snapshot of some samples stitched on the night:




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There was further stitching on Saturday 4th at Sue Frances's workshop to make a disguise for an iPad, tablet or notebook.  This was a chance to use some of the scraps of fabric that we all accumulate over time.  

Sue brought along some of her own work for inspiration, and it was also a chance to get to know other members and to be inspired by their use of colour and layout.

The technique is to lay scraps of fabric on a length of calico which will accommodate your iPad or other device, and use machine zigzag to hold them in place.

The piece can then be further embellished by hand if required, before adding a backing and making it into a simple pouch.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Saturday 4th March: A perfect disguise for your iPad, notebook or tablet

Led by Sue Frances, this workshop facilitates the making of a cover using scraps of fabric and pieces left over from previous projects.  The piece you will be making could also be made into a book cover or panel, and you can incorporate any past workshop creations (a good way to use up some of those UFOs).

Those with some experience and confidence with their machine will be guided in the process to make their own piece. There is a formula for this, but creative as you are, there is room for personal expression.

For Sue's biography, please see post "Starting 2017 ...", 2nd January.

There are one or two places left on this workshop, 
so if you are interested, please Post a Comment below, 
or contact our Programme Secretary:

Fifty Shades of Whipping and Lacing - mini workshop

Friday 3rd March will be something a bit different.  Caroline Lindsay is giving us a mini workshop on

Fifty Shades of Whipping and Lacing

After a brief talk about her work in general, Caroline will explain what is meant by whipping and stitching, i.e. taking a few very basic stitches and whipping them into shape, plus unlimited creativity.

As we get to grips with these simple stitches, Caroline will bring round her samples to show ways in which one stitch can be reinvented with a simple whipping or lacing stitch.

Caroline belongs to a number of textile groups, including Sutton Coldfield Creative Stitchers and the International Feltmakers Association.  She trained at Leicester to teach needlework, specialising in Dress and Embroidery, and mastered a wide range of hand and machine embroidery techniques. Caroline often uses her own computer designs as a starting point for her work, which she then develops through working directly with the fabric, threads and stitching.

It promises to be fun!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Mixed Media Quilting with Maria Thomas

Maria Thomas's Friday evening talk gave us a fascinating overview of the ups and downs of her personal stitch journey, which she illustrated with copious examples of her work.  This was followed on Saturday with a workshop based on the mixed media quilting techniques Maria uses in her work.

As a starting point, we used simple images of everyday/household objects and combined them with a variety of layered and collaged printed papers and fabric.

As you can see, we had all come armed with a not inconsiderable quantity of papers, dressmaking patterns, food labels and fabric scraps, 

which, under Maria's guidance, we proceeded to laminate, stick and arrange into a roughly log cabin style patchwork panel.  Sewing pattern tissue was adhered with emulsion paint to fabric for strength, while copious amounts of PVA were used to create a quilt 'sandwich' of paper/fabric/paper.

Once we had tinkered with the layout and got it to our liking, out came the sewing machines for the quilting part.

There's no doubt further stitching and finishing to be done at home, but we had a super day 'playing' with our paper quilt panels, and it will be a good technique to carry forward.  

At the end of the session we laid out all our panels together:


and Maria photographed our work for posterity ...

Friday, 27 January 2017

Maria Thomas, "My Journey through Stitch" Talk

Maria Thomas at work in her studio

Maria loves to share her passion for textiles and enjoys giving colourful talks about her career and work inspirations.  She will bring along many samples of her work to display during her talk to us on Friday 4th February.
A love of fashion and sewing led Maria to take an ND in Printed Textiles at Mid-Warwickshire College, Leamington Spa in the late 1980s.  Keeping her connection with stitch she went on to study a BA Embroidery at Manchester School of Art, and in turn completed an MA Textiles at UCE in Birmingham.
Since graduating, Maria has taught drawing, embroidery and printed textile design at degree and FE level.  She has designed freelance for fashion, exhibited regularly and her work is in public and private collections in the UK & overseas.  Why not come along to her talk and be inspired?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Embroidery given to Charlecote in celebration of Capability Brown

This original embroidered hanging has been given to Charlecote Park by Leamington & District and Solihull branches of the Embroiderers' Guild. The hanging depicts features of the gardens that were designed by Capability Brown, namely the meandering river and the cedar trees, and these are complemented by a view of the house and a stag from the herd of fallow deer in the Park. 

2016 marked the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown, and it was celebrated at Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon, with an exhibition by Leamington and Solihull branches of stitched artwork inspired by Brown's work in the Park 

Visitors were also offered the opportunity to get involved with the Capability Brown theme at a number of 'drop-in days' during the summer.  Branch members prepared the panels and visitors were invited to add the foliage in "cross stitch with attitude" and to hand stitch the border leaves. Some visitors added just a few stitches, while others stayed and stitched for a whole afternoon. Further work was added during National Stitch Day 2016, organised by Leamington branch at the Park. Finally, the work was completed by both branches and assembled into a hanging which will be on display at Charlecote Park.

Don't miss it!  
The hanging will be displayed in the Orangery Restaurant from March 2017.  

Friday, 13 January 2017

January Members' Day & JETS Leader retires

Our Members' Day meeting on 7th January was tinged with a little sadness for our group of  Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students (JETS), when they said 'goodbye' to leader, Jean Myatt.

Jean set up the group eighteen years ago (then called Young Embroiderers) and along with helpers, planned and organised the monthly Saturday morning workshops.  Starting with just half a dozen children, over the years there have been as many as twenty members, and Jean has inspired many children to stitch.

The JETS presented Jean with a book of appliquéd and embroidered flowers that they had created and sewn into a fabric book.  Jean was thrilled and will treasure her beautiful gift.  She said she had greatly enjoyed teaching and encouraging the youngsters to sew, and also thanked everyone who has helped her over the years.

The branch presented Jean, who has been a member of Leamington & District for 25 years, with a book token and a "Jean" rose in recognition of all her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm as JETS leader.  Branch Chair, Anne Prior, thanked Jean on behalf of the branch, saying how much the students had enjoyed her workshops, and that a number of students had gone on to pursue a career in textiles.

Currently, the JETS meet at St Mary's Church Centre once a month and the group continues to thrive. The children (aged 8 - 17) learn to stitch by hand and machine, dye, print and appliqué besides trying lots of other techniques, and many of their pieces have won awards.

(If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Janet Rose: / 01926 430120.)

Here's a look at the pages created by the girls for Jean's textile book:


Back to Members' Day (and perhaps we will be seeing a bit more of Jean in our workshops now ...), where we had a lovely day stitching, needle felting, chatting, enjoying a bring-and-share feast of good food, and swapping textile bits and pieces on the bring-and-buy stall.

Gill and Lucy had set up an inspiring display of winter-themed pictures and items for our 'Seasons' book project, and gave us a couple of very useful demo's on using threads trapped between soluble fabric sheets and how to use the Sizzix die-cutting machine to create fabric leaves and flowers, and to emboss fabric for texture.

Members had also brought in recent work, including some of the beautiful books started at last year's summer school with Chris Grey:

Details of February's talk by local textile artist, Maria Thomas, will follow soon.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Starting 2017 ...

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! 
We will be kicking off 2017 with our January Members' Day on Saturday 7th.  

The theme for our continuing 'Seasons' project is Winter. There will be two short demonstrations of techniques to try out during the day - suitable for beginners and more experienced members (or prospective members). You do not need to have been to any other 'Seasons' days to join in. Alternatively, if you prefer to sit and stitch with fellow members on ongoing work, that's fine too.

A short requirements list is available if you wish to create a small 'Winter' panel - please email or send a comment to this post if you haven't received it / would like it.

The day will run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at St Mary's Hall, Leamington.
Entrance is £5, payable on the door. 

Lunchtime will be one of our lovely bring-and-share lunches
and it's always great to display any recently finished items - or work in progress - 
that members bring along.

Why not donate your unwanted gifts or bits & pieces that have been sitting in drawers / cupboards for too long to the bring & buy stall? (Proceeds help to boost Branch funds.)

Saturday 4th March

Workshop with Sue Frances: 'A perfect disguise for your iPad, notebook or tablet'

The piece you will be making could also be made into a book cover or panel, and you could incorporate any past workshop creations into it (a good way to use up UFOs).

There are a few places left on this workshop, so if you are interested, please contact our Programme Secretary:

Sue is a qualified Occupational Therapist, who trained when crafts were an essential part of the practice. Since completing a foundation in Art and Design at OCVC, she has been working with Mill Textile group led by Sue Green and with Zero 5. She has exhibited at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury, The Festival of Quilts, Embroiderers’ Guild Leamington and at her studio during Oxfordshire Art weeks.

Sue's current preoccupations are “not wasting” combined with a love of the natural world, colour and modern art and design, and the workshop she has designed facilitates the making of a cover using scraps of fabric and pieces left over from previous projects. Those with some experience and confidence with their machine will be guided in the process to make heir own piece. There is a formula for this, but creative as you are, there is room for personal expression.