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, 11 April 2011

April Workshop - "5 Hour Challenge"!

This workshop, run again by our Chairman Wyn Ingham, was a mystery to all of us prior to the day. Wyn provided us with a list of ingredients and we just turned up and did as we were told (except for Sandra who was a bit of a rebel).
Every hour, Wyn told us what we had to achieve in the following hour, however as the idea had come from a magazine where this was a 5 day challenge, we were understandably lagging behind by the end of the day!

Hour 1 - was spent colouring a piece of plain fabric (calico or similar) with watered down acrylics, fabric paint or dye. While that was drying (with the help of hair-dryers, heat guns and the hand-dryers in the toilets) we cut shapes from foam to make some stamp pads. Wyn had bought a bargain foam bed roll at the pound shop which worked a treat and was much cheaper than the proprietory art brands! We made the pads by sticking them onto thick card with double-sided tape.

Hour 2 - was spent stamping patterns onto the fabric we had coloured, using the pads we had made (Wyn let us cheat and use some ready-made stamps too).

Click on a photograph to see the enlarged version

We also used some puff paint, or Expandaprint, to accent parts of our pieces.

You can see from these pictures that, as usual, there were lots of very different ideas within the group.

Hour 3 - was spent machine stitching on our stamped pieces of fabric. The accuracy of this stitching was not so important, as the next stage was
Hour 4 - no-one actually reached this stage, but the idea was to cut our fabric into pieces and then
Hour 5 - reassemble the fabric into a vessel, any shape or size.
Anyway, the following pictures show most of our pieces at stage 3, after being machine stitched:

Davina's piece after stitching
Another piece by Davina. The white areas are printed in puff paint, then embellished with stitch.
Some of Sandra's experimental pieces, incorporating wool fibres.
Vi's piece which almost looks like a finished quilt!
Maureen's piece with some applied fibres and loopy machine embroidery
Jan's piece, based on allium heads, with painted Bondaweb applied in strips
Wyn's samples, based on peacocks and peacock feathers
Helen's piece stamped with intricate butterflies
Myra's pansies, showing several stages of the process
Cath's interesting abstract piece - can't wait to see where this is going!
Val's vibrant sunflowers
Sheila's pansies which have been outlined with fabric paint for further emphasis
Mandy's piece, part printed and part stencilled (and part stitched!)

Hopefully we will see some further development by the time of the May meeting...in any case, if you are not going on holiday (which seemed to be most people!) please bring your pieces for the benefit of members who didn't attend the workshop.

April Meeting - Mary Conway - "Thoughts on Paper"

Several new members and some welcome old faces joined us for tonight's meeting. Before Mary began her talk, she kindly judged our 2011 Branch Challenge, which was based on the same categories as the Regional Competitions (got to get those entries in there somehow!). The categories were, "Chemistry", "A Confection", and "A Flower Beginning with the Letter A". There were lots of entries, displaying all manner of skills and ideas.

In second place, Mary chose Cath Moore's thought provoking piece on the way that a flawed DNA gene can affect a family's health, in the "Chemistry" category.

In first place (drum roll...) Mary chose Val Turner's beautifully machine stitched (at arm's length?) piece in the "Confection" category. You can tell from these two examples that the standard of work was extremely high and we are hopeful of coming home with some trophies at Regional Day!

Mary's talk detailed her work with paper, starting with her early days of making concertinas from bus tickets, and I suspect that she was not the only one!
Mary's samples were very delicate and intricate and she told us that she often worked with tracing paper in order to get a knife-sharp crease.

One of her major pieces was based on Roger Akroyd's library at Bankfield Museum and included her making a translucent smoking jacket out of organdy based on one of Roger's jackets, this was then laid on photo-sensitive paper and the resulting photos reassembled into a picture of the jacket.

As you can see from the above piece, there is a heavy Japanese influence to some of Mary's work, which involves very accurate paper-folding.
She is currently working on a project detailing how climate change is predicted to affect the coastlines of some countries, due to the rise in sea levels.