Member work

Member work

Monday, 4 June 2018

Folded Books

Thanks to Christine Plummer's intensive mini workshop, we finished Friday evening with a really useful little fold-out book and the know-how to make lots more.  The beauty is that they can be made any size or colour, portrait or landscape, with or without pockets, .....

Starting with a large sheet of strong paper, we followed strict guidance on folding and tearing it in order to achieve a continuous 'concertina' shape.  (Inevitably, some of us didn't follow the guidance strictly enough and ended up with two separate concertinas - but that just means we will make two books, instead of one, though!)

Then we covered end boards either with some rather nice waxed paper provided by Christine or with our own special papers, and our little books were already starting to take shape.  

They just need finishing off at home with embellishments - and contents, of course.  

One idea to take away was to record a visit or holiday, by sticking in photos, maps and memorabilia, but the possibilities are endless ....

Friday, 25 May 2018

Don't miss these Member Exhibitions!

Branch members and other friends have been getting very creative - here are a few of their textile exhibitions coming up very soon:

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Free-machining half-day course - CANCELLED

Unfortunately this workshop has had to be cancelled.  We hope to reschedule it for later in the year.

Organza Layers
  Saturday 2nd June: 1.15pm to 4pm
St Mary’s Church hall - Upstairs
Members £10.  Non-members £15
Run by Guild member, Lucy Wilson
This will be an afternoon of stitch, using different textiles to build layers in organza to enhance colours and create texture, and finishing with a 3D picture.
             There will be a short demonstration on wire boning, which is used to stabilise organza.
This session involves working with organza and soluble fabrics on your own sewing machine, using a free-machine foot.
Requirements list will be sent upon booking.
Non-refundable £5 deposit needed to confirm place  (15 spaces available)
Use your own equipment or Session Kit available at a small cost.
To book, please contact Lucy direct on

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This half-day session follows on from a recent one working with organza and water-soluble fabric to create flowers.  This proved very popular with stitchers wanting to improve their free-machining skills.  Here are some examples of what they produced in the afternoon:

Monday, 21 May 2018

'Folded Book' mini workshop in June, and Weaving workshop

We welcome back Christine Plummer, for our next meeting on Friday 1st June, which will be a mini workshop rather than a talk.  Christine belongs to Jeudis, an exhibiting group who are often to be seen at the NEC and other venues.

Christine is a mixed media artist primarily working with papers, fabric and thread.  She dyes, paints and prints the majority of these to give a cohesive colour palette. They are assembled to form patterns and abstract designs which form the basis of pieces of work, based on or around a theme. 

Our mini workshop is based on Christine's special interest in books and collecting items to go in them. The covers are embellished with buttons, beads, overprinting and stitching to create unique personal journals and notebooks.

There is no need to book, but it would be helpful if you can let us know if you plan to attend (please just send a quick email to the Booking Secretary - see below).

Admission for non-members: £5
Kit for the mini workshop: £3

*  *  *  *  *  *  *
Christine will also lead a full day workshop 
on Saturday 2 June

'Weaving with a Difference'

After making a loom out of cardboard, we will be weaving with all different kinds of materials, such as wool tops, cotton, wool, fabric, silk, velvet, to make a special background piece that in itself becomes an artwork.  Alternatively, it can be embellished and stitched into to create a completely unique and beautifully woven hanging.  Driftwood or other found objects can then be used to hang your unique piece.

There is still a place available on this workshop.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact our Booking Secretary:

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Starting our Sumptuous Sacs, workshop with Sandra Jenkins

It's always a great help on a one-day workshop when the tutor provides everything you need to get on with the fun stuff, including pre-cut silk pieces, dyes, stamps, surfaces for printing and dyeing on, mixing pots, pins and even baby wipes and kitchen roll for cleaning up!  Sandra's former life as an art teacher obviously meant she realised how much time can be wasted looking for all these things.

So, we spent a happy morning printing and dyeing various types of silk fabric.  The more tricky part came in combining the printed and dyed fabrics into a coherent design - not nearly as easy as it may seem.  Nevertheless, some lovely compositions were emerging .....

The importance of achieving a satisfactory design meant that it was time-consuming, and not many of us got to the point of stitching the pieces down.  However, completion of our 'sumptuous sac' (or book cover or panel) can be done at home ....

Something like these samples made by Sandra is what we will be aiming for:


Many thanks to Sandra for lots of useful tuition, and a very full and satisfying day.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Exploring Design Sources for Embroidery

Sandra Jenkins' talk next Friday 4th May, will focus on how she has developed her skills as a maker and designer through experimenting with a variety of textile techniques and materials.  

Sandra has, over the years, been involved in engaging and motivating both young and older design students towards making satisfying creative statements.  She feels the starting point for textile work should be an interesting design idea.  Techniques learned and practised will have a longer shelf life if students are able to continue to develop ideas after a workshop.  

Sandra's courses start with simple methods of design production, and she will have 'step by step' plans using a range of materials to help explore the theme.

Come along on Friday evening and get some inspiration for that ever-present challenge for stitchers and embroiderers - finding the design idea that gets you started.
Members and visitors are welcome.

Sandra will follow her talk with a workshop on 
Saturday 5th May

Sumptuous Sacs

This will be a chance to experiment with resist techniques and combine the resulting patterned fabrics with velvet into a sumptuous surface that can be turned into a small pouch drawstring bag. 

There is a place available on this workshop.  
If you are interested in learning more, please contact our Booking Secretary:

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Covered boxes

Apologies for the deliberate mistake in the last post!  The date was actually Saturday 7th, and we had a fabulous day covering boxes with some lovely pieces of work.

The idea was to use up some UFOs, of which we all seem to have plenty!  We had been saving suitable boxes for a while, and you can see some of the beautiful results below.

Firstly, some ready-made samples by Gill, Lucy, Beth and Sue for inspiration:

Work in progress:

  and some finished and near-finished boxes ... 

Our thanks to Gill and Lucy, our Programme Secretaries, who put so much effort into planning the session and producing beautiful samples.  We had a super day.

Our next meeting will be a talk on Friday 4th May by

Sandra Jenkins, "Exploring design sources in embroidery"

More details soon.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Members' Day, Saturday 2nd April

It was a pity that Chris Yates' talk and workshop at the beginning of March had to be cancelled on account of the snow.  
However, the good news is that Chris will be coming to us in October next year, so we are looking forward to that.
In the meantime, our next meeting is 

April Members' Day on Saturday 7th April, 10.00 - 4.00

when we will be covering a box using a piece of unfinished work.  

Example box lid covered with hardanger embroidery
Members may also like to bring along some complementary fabrics, such as pieces made when transfer painting, embellishing, marbling, etc, and anything else they would like to put on their box.  A requirements list has been issued, and is available again on request (please add a 'comment' to this post if you would like it emailed to you).  

As usual, this is planned to be a relaxed and informal day, suitable for all levels.  There will be a bring-and-share lunch, sales table and display of members' previously unshown work - plus the opportunity to catch up with friends.

Entrance fee: £5

On the subject of finished work, Sue Frances has kindly shared the photo below of her lovely 'poppies' cushion from Zara Day's workshop.

It looks as though we will be having a really interesting day .....

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Chris Yates: "The Artful Teabag" - Friday 2nd March

Our talk this Friday will be by a textile artist who loves to work with recycled materials.  Chris Yates has had a longstanding love of sewing and textiles, and endeavours to keep her work fresh and contemporary by experimenting with new ideas and techniques.  She especially enjoys the challenge of working with recycled materials, teabags in particular.

Perhaps that's why, after working with teabags for several years, Chris seems to be getting a reputation as 'The Teabag Lady', and after her talk you will never look at a teabag the same way again!

Visitors are very welcome to come to Friday talks.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Zara Day talk and workshop

Zara's talk was riveting, and as a bonus she had brought along two of her stunning chairs for us to see firsthand, along with a range of exquisite samples.  

She outlined her development as a textile designer from studying print making for fashion at college, through teaching to the time when, as a Leamington branch member, she came along to a talk by a textile artist that inspired her to review what she was doing and to consider the possibility of working for herself.  Zara had been teaching textile art at Warwickshire College and took the decision to invest in a secondhand Bernina, which opened up a new textile world for her.  She became hooked on drawing with the sewing machine and soon began to exhibit her beautifully stitched designs at textile and handmade craft shows.  

Zara carried on teaching for a while longer, working on her collections in her spare time, but arrived at the point where she knew she would have to commit all her time and energy to her growing business.  As a result of successful exhibitions at events like Heal's Modern Craft Market in their London store, where her furnishing designs made a great impact, Zara realised that the handmade aspect of her work, though time-consuming, was what satisfied her. She didn't want to go down the retail route, which would mean losing control of her work after the design stage.  

Inevitably, the market for her work is niche - at the higher end, reached mainly through working with interior designers on designs for individual and corporate clients.  She has produced a number of collections and now works on leather, silk and other fabrics, as well as her trademark wool.

We were privileged therefore to benefit from Zara's expertise in a whole day's workshop to produce our own designs for a panel on wool fabric.  This involved cutaway and appliqué techniques, free machine embroidery and hand stitching.

Zara Day - cutaway, appliqué and machine stitch designs on wool
Zara Day - cutaway, appliqué, hand and machine stitch designs on wool
The design element took some time, but we all managed to create a design and start the stitching - to be completed at home, of course ....

We had a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable day, and our thanks go to Zara for returning to Leamington to inspire us in turn!