Member work

Member work

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Happy New Year!

We were pleased to welcome Guild CEO, Terry Murphy, to our first meeting of the year.  Terry came to discuss the benefits of belonging to the Guild and to hear our experiences and questions, especially about the rising cost of membership.  He also called in to see the JETS who were busy in the upstairs hall finishing their De Denne competition work and their workbook covers.

Terry's main message was that, like other charities, the Guild is facing many challenges to support members and branches while keeping its costs manageable, increasing membership and complying with governance regulations.  There are no easy answers, and it is likely to be a continuing topic of conversation between trustees/staff and branches/members.

We thought Terry might be interested to see some of our members' work from workshops over the past 12 months:


After a lovely bring-and-share lunch, we were treated to a short talk and demonstration of lace making by member, Gaye Dopson, which was fascinating and illuminating.  A mind-boggling number of hours go into making even a small piece of lace.

Lucy's lacy reptiles - 3D shapes covered in lace and beads

We then had a couple of hours to start our own small piece of work incorporating pieces of lace, or to continue stitching an existing project.

The sales table this time groaned with books that members wished to recycle.  Quite a few bargains were snapped up, but that still left a couple of boxes full to be passed on to a charity bookshop.  Nevertheless there are benefits to everyone from weeding out things we no longer need - not least freeing up our shelves for new titles .... !

On the subject of giving to charity, Gill Dakin, who was the winner of our Christmas challenge, decided to donate the £25.16 raised through the challenge to Rugby Young Carers, who wrote a very nice thank-you letter, saying that it "will bring smiles to the faces of the children by funding the next workshop planned for early 2018."

Our next talk is on Friday 2nd February:

Zara Day, "From Textile Art to Interior Design".  

Zara is an artisan designer who creates luxurious embroidered fabrics for interior designers, architects and designers.

More details soon.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Junior Embroiderers' Programme 2018

We meet in the Upper Hall at St Mary's church, St Mary's Road, Leamington Spa CV31 1JW on the first Saturday morning of the month, 11.00 - 1.00 pm.

Our sessions cover all kinds of textile-related activities, such as hand and machine stitching, dyeing, printing, weaving, using beads, and much more. We have made a variety of things, from bags to cushions and wall hangings, as well as cards and gifts for special occasions, and we are keen to enter competitions and take part in exhibitions. 

If you are interested in joining the group and would like more information, please contact:
Janet Rose, Group Leader: 01926 430120 / also has lots of information for young embroiders 
and textile students.

These are some of the things that are on our calendar this year:

  • 6th January  Finishing Work

Finishing our De Denne piece and Work Book cover

  • 3rd February  Felt Poppies

Making poppies for a display in St Mary's Church, Warwick later in the year

  • 3rd March  Chicken bunting (1)

Making bunting 

  • 7th April  Chicken bunting (2)

Finishing our bunting

  • 5th May  Pot Tops

Making an embroidered padded top to a pot

  • 2nd June  Pot decorations

Embroidered and beaded decorations for the pot lids

  • 7th July  Postcards

Making a postcard using the sewing machine

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

12 Days of Christmas + Instagram

You can now see photos of our textile work on Instagram: @leam.embroiderers.guild

On the subject of Christmas celebrations, here is a selection of members' pieces submitted for our 'Twelve Days of Christmas' challenge.  Over £25 was raised for charity by members voting for their favourite piece. (The winner was Gill's book of .... The Twelve Days of Christmas.)

Seven Swans a-Swimming

Twelve Days of Christmas

Three French Hens

Christmas Tree Festival, St Mary's Warwick

We are delighted to have been able to take part in the 2017 Christmas Tree Festival at the Collegiate Church of St Mary's, Warwick.  Launched at the Victorian Evening on 30th November, the Festival will run until 10th December.  There are still events going on, and around 50 trees decorated by different organisations on display, so it's well worth a visit.  

Here are a couple of photos of 'our' tree, adorned with the lovely baubles handmade by Leamington & District members, including some by the JETS.

Monday, 13 November 2017

JETS' Suffolk Puffs

The girls had previously marbled a cotton bag in their September session using the shaving foam method that Sally showed us.

This month they learned how to make Suffolk puffs (also known as yo yo's). It proved a little tricky for small fingers, but they persevered and each managed to make several which could then be added to their own bags. The puffs needed ironing flat first.

They will be finished off at home, with the panel being stitched onto the back of the bag.  We will take some photos at our January session to show them off to everyone.

So now each member of the group has a special bag to carry their JETs work book in.
The girls decided that Suffolk puffs are a lot like Marmite - you love them or hate them!!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A successful day at Compton Verney Textile Fair

We were delighted to find on arrival at Compton Verney that we had been given a prominent spot in the lovely Adam Hall. Our table, designed by Gill and Sue, had a tiered centrepiece topped by our members' sparkly, shiny Christmas baubles, which were much admired throughout the day.

The Branch book was on display and also the recently completed travelling books. The books were supplemented by a selection of other small items by Sue, Margherita and Janet.

Ann D, Margherita, Anna and Gill were kept busy throughout the day talking to interested visitors, and handed out lot of leaflets (prepared by Sally) to people enquiring about becoming branch members.  A successful day!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Design inspiration and Angie Hughes: The Trees Leaves

Jayne Emerson's talk on how she came by her unusual job took us on a whirlwind tour through her sources of inspiration and how she finds ideas literally everywhere.  Jayne designs and makes fabric swatches for use in the fashion and home furnishing industries - not many people knew such a job existed!  She brought along a case full of swatches for us to look through and drool over, together with some of her more recent framed work. Jayne uses an embellishing machine with a wide range of materials to create texture and effects, bringing home to us what a fantastically useful tool it can be!

Angie Hughes: "The Trees Leaves"

The following day, we were fortunate enough to enjoy Angie Hughes' new workshop.  Based on Alison Holt's technique* of stitching a tree shape "in space", i.e. across a hole cut in a piece of fabric (scary? definitely!), this was our first task of the day - challenging even to experienced machine stitchers.

We did all manage to make a tree successfully, which we then used to create a stamp by impressing it into a Heat 'n' Form block.  
Stamps can also be created simply with leaves, especially those with strong veins, which can look remarkably tree-like.

We had a lot of fun creating effects with different paints, foils and stencils 

... before going on to stitch into our printed shapes. Here's one of Angie's lovely samples to give the idea:

Angie stressed that she has been making adjustments to the workshop as new developments and ideas present themselves, and even had a little lightbulb moment when we were gathered round discussing the numerous techniques included in the workshop.

As always, Angie is extremely generous with her experience, guidance and materials.  We had a hugely enjoyable day, and we always learn so much from her.  

* Machine Embroidered Woodlands, Alison Holt

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Annual Textile Fair at Compton Verney - 4th November

This event has become extremely popular, and this year Leamington Embroiderers' Guild will have work on display. Do try and pay a visit - there are always lovely things for sale.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

November talk: "My Life in Textiles" by Jayne Emerson

Visitors welcome - Friday 3rd November

Jayne trained at Loughborough College of Art, graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Multi Media Textiles, and went on to complete her Masters in Fashion Textiles at Central St Martins.  Since then her work has taken a wide-ranging path that has allowed her to express her creativity from craft through to couture.

For the past 18 years Jayne has created innovative fabric samples that explore the boundaries of modern embroidery, patchwork, fabric manipulation and needle felting.  Her samples have sold to a wide range of clients that include Chanel, Calvin Klein, Nina Ricci, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Balenciaga, as well as John Lewis Home, Top Shop, M&S and Boden.

Jayne is the author of five books and also taught Kirstie Allsopp how to needle felt on her show, Kirstie's Handmade Britain, as well as being one of her craft experts at her annual Handmade Fairs.

Jayne will be the tutor for our next Summer School in 2018: Creating Fabric Recipes for Collage.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Members' work

Here is a round-up of some recent work by Leamington branch members:

Firstly, the JETS entry for West Midlands Regional Day

At their recent sessions the JETS made pieces of wool felt, on which they appliquéd fish/shell motifs cut out from additional felt pieces, then they embellished them with beads. Each JET who entered received a certificate, and there was a goody bag with lots of useful materials for the group. 

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Sue Cooke has kindly allowed us to show a photo of the piece she has submitted for the Guild's Page 17 exhibition:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The book is set in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona and starts in 1947, during Franco's dictatorship. Sue has used several techniques in her piece: the background is painted and leather book shapes applied; canvas work and leather are used for the library of books; the figure and the building have been machine embroidered on transparent fabric.

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Sue Frances was inspired by the mini workshop after the AGM in September to make a piece in the style of Gilda Baron:

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And if you are looking for inspiration for the branch Christmas competition, 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' (at the Christmas lunch on 2nd December), here are a few pages created by members of the Travelling Books Group:

Jean Myatt
Amanda Griffiths

Fiona Metcalfe

It's great to be able to post these lovely images, so do keep them coming, ladies!