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...

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December Workshop - Harriet Lawton - Kintsugi

It was with some trepidation that we embarked upon our Kintsugi day - breaking crockery with a hammer and then stitching it back together again is not an everyday occupation, even in Halifax - but we all ended up having a smashing time (pun intended).
Kintsugi, in lay-man's terms, is the Japanese art of making something which has been broken and mended into something more beautiful than the original object, often with molten gold or other precious metals. 
Harriet Lawton came to give us a talk a while ago and we were fascinated to learn more about the technique that she has developed for "mending" broken china with voile and gold thread. 

We started off by choosing a piece of crockery from Harriet's collection of plates, cups and jugs. Some were already broken and instead of making a whole thing broken and whole again, it was possible to select pieces and make a kind of patchwork.

Next we wrapped the item we had chosen in a cloth and hit it with a hammer, hopefully breaking it into about 3 pieces but more likely about 9 pieces which of course meant much more work putting it together again! 
We then filed off any very sharp edges, and roughly cut some voile to the shape of each piece of broken pot, pinning the voile around the shard.

We took the china out of the pocket we had pinned and machined along the line of the pins, using the crockery as a template. 

After we had stitched round three sides of the pocket the excess voile was trimmed off, leaving enough of a margin on the open side to allow for turning in.

Because the voile has some give, it was easy (no it wasn't!) to pin it quite tightly around the piece of crockery, even if it had irregularly shaped edges.
We then used ladder stitch to seal the pocket and worked out where all the pieces had to go to make the piece whole again (a photo definitely helped with this!) 

Finally we joined the edges of the pockets to each other with decorative stitches, for example herringbone, using gold thread, to give a flexible, strong and attractive seam. 

Here are some of Harriet's completed pieces to give you an idea of what the finished item should look like - hopefully we will have some members' pieces to show you following our January meeting...

Some of the pieces had small gaps "darned" with the gold thread.

Cups and jugs were not for the faint-hearted! 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

December Meeting - Jolly Jam Jars and Festive Frolics

Our December meeting was jam-packed with Jam Jars - 29 members decorated miniature jam jars to exchange with each other. It was very exciting waiting to see which one you would end up taking home! 
Here they are in all of their glory! (Don't forget that you can click on the photos to enlarge them!)
This Christmas tree on memory wire sprang out of the jar when the lid was removed!

Tiny cross stitch trees and a hanging loop

There is a lovely beaded spider in this jar - the photo doesn't do it justice!

This jar had a crown on the inside, too

Many different techniques decorated the jars - this one is completely beaded

This cute felt robin hangs upside down when the jar is closed

This jar makes ingenious use of the lid!

A jar with a contemporary twist

Suffolk Puffs in different Christmas fabric made this very striking tree

Two tiny brooches

Ho Ho Ho - bunting! 

Japanese stitching and a Father Christmas ring thimble as the in-jar surprise

Frosty and his snowy balls

A fun pom-pom-topped jar

Holly and glitter - what could be more festive?

A grapey pin-cushion

Wrapped up like a lovely Christmas gift

Self-explanatory! A bobbin to hang on your tree...

A beautiful flower and a jar full of ladybirds

An innovative beaded and braided jam jar

A tiny pink mouse - and a very happy recipient!

Bead-filled and beribboned!

Trying to see what's inside - what do you think?

Another lovely jar with a festive theme

A snowflakey flower, or a flowery snowflake?

Ooh - beads and a silver Christmas tree! 

A beautiful and unusual tree topper

A felty Father Christmas with his list sitting on his chimney pot!

Felty flowers and a string of tiny bunting

We had a really fun evening - in addition to the Jam Jar Exchange, we made gift cones from Christmassy fabric, we had a delicious (and huge) buffet, and we admired the completed Seascapes from our last Playday, we also had a silver-themed raffle, and a picture quiz (with some very happy winners!) 

Happy Christmas to all of our readers!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

November Playday - Endless Seascapes

There's no better way to spend a wet November Saturday than stitching away at a joint (yet individual) project with your fellow members. 
This month we set about producing some Endless Seascapes. 
We started off with an A5 template (21cm x 15cm) and measured 6cm down from the top for the sky, then another 9.5cm down for the sea, the rest being shore. (Except for Rona who tried to be different and had the sea somewhere else altogether for a while!) We were free to use any techniques, colours and materials that we wanted and ended up with lots of different results. 

**Don't forget that you can click on the photos to get a better view**

Margaret applied scrim, beads and wind farms to hers and added footprints as a tribute to Acker Bilk!

Mandy made the sea and sand out of chopped up silk and then machine stitched over the top. The clouds are white velvet. 

Davina quilted hers, embellished with machine stitching and then made some stuffed pebbles

Isobel couched threads down and added lacy foam and ribbon for sand - she is going to paint the sky in later

Abi used cellophane and plastic as well as more conventional fabrics to produce her beach scene (love the reflection!)

Cath is working towards a tropical paradise by hand-stitching beach shades on her island scene

Helen painted the background with acrylics and then applied hand embroidered seagulls, waves and pebbles and some little fabric shells

Julie couched down her home-spun wool for a very textured sea and added wool pebbles and shell sections to the foreground. 

Cath applied pieces of different coloured fabric and then machine embroidered them to give texture to the sea and sand

Rona eventually got the sea in the right place and added a lovely little felt boat on hand-stitched waves

Wyn trapped chopped up fabric under net and machine stitched over the top, and is going to add cords and hand-stitched barnacles (see yesterday's post).

Sue obviously started hers three weeks ago as she has sand, sea, waves, sky, clouds, lighthouses...

Janice embroidered by machine and hand on a silk background, and added frayed scrim waves

Irene used many different fabrics and machine stitches to give this patchwork effect

Jan applied strips of fabric and added sari-silk yarn to give more texture to the sea, also cutting back parts of the sky

This is what they look like when they are placed together - obviously at the moment they are not in any particular order or finished or edged, but it will give you the general idea...

Check back at a later date for the finished results...