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...

Friday, 27 January 2012

Burano Houses

A cold Sunday morning in Halifax saw us transported by way of a workshop with local textile artist Gillian Travis, to the much more picturesque location of Venice and the small island of Burano, where the houses are painted bright colours, reportedly so that in times past, the fishermen coming home from the sea could immediately tell which house was theirs. (I expect they use sat-nav now!) 
Gillian explained to us how to interpret our own photographs in line drawing, in order to trace the results and transfer them to coloured fabric (turban cotton is ideal) which is then applied to a backing piece and stuck down with Bondaweb or Heat and Bond (the latter being easier to trace onto and giving more exact results). 

When all the applying (or more correctly, applique) is complete, the pictures are enhanced with machine embroidery to become the finished product. Here are our pieces pictured just before we finished for the day. 

Needless to say, no-one reached the sewing stage! Here are some of Gillian's Burano houses to show what we are aiming for. 

You can see more examples of Gillian's work by following the link to her blog in the side bar. 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A world in Miniature

A well attended January meeting saw us all straining our eyes to see Maureen Aspinall's astonishing collection of miniature works of art, all created by her. 

Maureen belongs to a miniatures group in Huddersfield, and their challenges were the starting point for many of her pieces. One such piece was the hat shop pictured above (I have included a pound coin to show the scale). Everything in the shop was created by Maureen, who has a background in tailoring. 
Miniature work is usually done in 1/12 scale (such as the hat shop) but sometimes in 1/24 or 1/48. 
One of her prizewinning pieces was the creation of some dolls house dolls' dolls(!) and pictured here are some dolls from another shop piece made by Maureen which contains many other similar items. 

She told us that although some things were glued using Marvin Medium (made by Berol) for example the furniture, which she makes out of mount board, all of the fabric pieces were stitched. Below is a room made by Maureen in 1/24 scale. The mount board is stained and it does look like real wood. 

She uses an ordinary sewing needle and recommends threads from Empress Mills where they have a good selection of specialist threads. (We are having a visit from Christine Driver at Empress Mills later in the year.)

She explained that when dressing miniature dolls, such as the one shown in a workroom setting above, it was important that fabrics drape correctly, and so for this reason she tends to use natural fabrics, usually cotton or silk. 


Pictured here is a doll wearing an outfit that Maureen created for the Regional Competition last year. A recreation of an authentic Victorian pattern from 1877, it is possible that the original dress was decorated with real flowers. Maureen then went on to create a garden for her to stroll through. 

Following Maureen's talk, we had a chance to have a look at her pieces close up and see the detail that makes her work look so authentic.