We are a group of women (but men are welcome!) who have an interest in textile art and embroidery. We are of mixed abilities and there is no need for you to be able to sew to come and join us - there are no tests!
New members are always welcome - why not call in and join us as a guest for a few months?
Meeting fee for visitors is only £5.
Our meetings vary - we have talks and workshops, show and tell - we also have lots of weekend workshops and playdays. For details of what's coming up (and what's been and gone!) check out our programme below...

Monday, 10 April 2017

April Playday - UFOs

There were only a few of us at our April Playday - I think that the glorious weather may have had something to do with that - but we got lots of sewing done and had a good chat, and Vanessa provided some glorious chocolate cake. 

Jane was busy on her machine all day, sewing together some quilts she had unearthed whilst packing up for her imminent move to North Yorkshire. They look great - maybe she'll use them in her new summer house / studio (yes, I'm a little bit jealous...)


She's behind there somewhere!


Liz was relieved to complete her froggy zentangle from last year's Branch Challenge...


... she also finished a delightful wall hanging that she started at a Marna Lunt workshop.


Janice spent most of the day making sample cards from her new set of Brusho dyes and came up with some interesting effects, she then did some more work on her Peacock from the Circles Playday. 


Vanessa was working on her vibrant "60s" book which she started in the "splinter" book-making group 


I love the titchy pattern on these pages!



And Mandy did some more work on the never ending scrolling landscape from last year's Regional Summer School. Nope, not finished yet. 



April Meeting - Chicks and stuff

Margaret, our very efficient programme secretary, spent the whole of March cutting up pieces of yellow felt so that we would have something seasonal to occupy our time this evening. She made a sample for us too so that those of us who are too lazy to read instructions had something to copy! 
Here are the little fellers that were finished on the night : 
...and here are two that Abigail finished later 
The pieces of wire were all the same size (those that you get in packets for cake decorating, etc) but if you made big feet they had to have shorter legs!

Basically, you have to cut two chick shapes and some wings and a gusset from yellow felt, and a beak from orange felt. Blanket stitch the chick together, remembering to stitch the beak in and the wings on, and to stuff him before you seal all his seams, then make a foot at one end of your wire and poke it through the seams at the bottom, out to the other side. Bend the legs over and then make the other foot at the same length as the first (or it won't stand up!) It looks like there's a lot of wire to start with, but you probably won't have any to spare. When you've done, stitch his (her?) eyes on using a french knot or a little bead. 
They'd make great decorations for your Easter table or Easter gifts. 

As well as the chicks, members brought some pieces that they've finished lately. 

Janice and Liz have completed their Fairy Slippers from the March workshop :







Vanessa made two brilliant Pinky and Perky felt dolls with knitted sweaters and curly tails





She also finished her piece from the Circles Workshop



And made an elaborate pin cushion, which is (as you can probably guess) a teapot covered in fabric, with a padded lid for the pins. The fabric and embellishments are stuck on with PVA glue if you want to give it a try yourselves!






Our yellow-themed raffle was a huge success - thanks to Elizabeth and Sue B for that - and Jane Beck, who is selling some of her excess craft items prior to moving house, raised a brilliant £50 for Melanoma UK, a cause close to her heart. 


Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Workshop - Fairy Shoes

The inspiration for these fairy shoes came from an article published in a past issue of Stitch, by Annette Emms. Margaret had made some for her son's wedding a while back and agreed to pass on her experience. As you can see, there were several different interpretations of the design with each member putting her own stamp on her pair of tiny shoes! 













Tuesday, 7 February 2017

February Workshop - Print, Collage & Stitch - Anne Brooke

We are very lucky at Halifax to have such talented members, many of whom are successful textile artists in their own rights. 
One of those is Anne Brooke, who is a hard woman to pin down! As well as being a school head of department, Anne has just opened her own textile studio in her garden, as well as giving talks and workshops to other groups, and demonstrating at shows such as Art in the Pen at Skipton, so we are grateful to her for sparing the time for her fellow members! 
Here they all are, hard at work...
















And here are the photographs of the (huge amount of) work done at Anne's workshop on Sunday. 















Members said how much they enjoyed the workshop and several went home and carried on working until they had finished their hangings! 

This is Janice's : 



And this is Lesley's :



And here is Liz's : 



Anne has a website which can be found at http://www.annebrooke.co.uk, as well as a blog, a Facebook page, and Instagram with the tag hannemadebyanne. 


February Meeting - Valerie Wartelle

The speaker at our February Meeting was the talented felt maker Valerie Wartelle. Born of French / Scottish parents, Valerie had what many of us would consider to be an idyllic childhood, living in Paris and spending the summer in the south of France at her grandparents' home, before moving to New Caledonia, a small French territory to the east of Australia. She returned to France in 1974 to attend High School. 
Valerie's first foray into the world of textiles came when she did an Art Foundation Course at Braintree College, then continued to a BSc (Hons) in Textile Design at what was then Huddersfield Polytechnic. Because this was a science degree, there was great emphasis on understanding the materials, and technical expertise, including the dyeing of fabrics, and different finishes. 
For her final piece, Valerie "rescued" a door from the yard of her student accommodation and kept it in the workshop, assiduously spraying it to keep the mossy finish it had gained from living outside. She loved the layers of peeling paint and they were the inspiration for her body of work, including this cardigan, which you can see is a different colour on the inside. 


After working for 10 years as a knitwear designer, Valerie moved away from direct involvement in textiles, returning in 2012, having been introduced to wet felting by a friend. Valerie told us that she likes responding to what the fabric is doing, rather than working towards an end point.  


As well as using wool to create shape, images and colour, Valerie uses it to trap other fibres and fabrics in an almost invisible way, using the techniques of Nuno felting to "stick" different textures to each other. She often uses pre-felt as a backing and attaches silk organza or chiffon pieces, trapping hemp or flax fibres to "draw" on the surface. She adds details to her pieces in several ways, including photo transfer and machine embroidery.


Initially she worked from her kitchen table for 3 days a week, meaning that the family had to have a lot of takeaways! In 2014 she was able to give up working for Kirklees Council to concentrate on her art, and now has studio space at Artworks, Halifax, where she is able to do more experimental work using a large printing press and screen printing. Her current body of work illustrates Valerie's interest in fossils and insects. 


These pieces have a subtlety not usually found in felted work, which comes from the work being printed and then re-felted. 
In 2015 Valerie was named "Best Emerging Textile Artist" by Embroidery magazine and awarded "Best Picture in Show" at the Great North Art Show in Ripon*. 
She is currently running workshops at Word of Mouth in Hebden Bridge, and a Artworks, Halifax. 

Valerie's talk was followed by our stupendous colour-themed raffle...


*This year's Great North Art Show is held at Ripon Cathedral from 2nd - 24th September.