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...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

December Meeting - Must be Crackers!

There was so much going on at our Christmas meeting it was a struggle to fit it all in! 
There was the raffle, with a smashing star prize of a big pile of boxed goodies, which was won by Jane - there were lots of other prizes too though, with a gold theme which meant lots of lovely chocolates! 
We had our Christmas Cracker gift exchange - very exciting! 
Members who wished to take part made a cracker (most of them using a template provided a few months ago) and filled it with a small gift. We put them all together on display, and as raffle tickets were drawn, you could choose a cracker to take home. 
They all looked beautiful, and many also contained hand-made gifts. 

You can see how hard it was to choose! 

Then there was the quiz, set by Sue B, with a lingerie theme - very fitting, as Sue owns a bra shop in Brighouse! She also provided lovely prizes for the winning team. 
Wyn showed us how to make Christmas baubles, using polystyrene egg-shapes - only a few were finished on the night but as you can see they are very effective, and they are easy to match to your colour scheme. 


Last but not least there was our splendid Christmas supper, with members all bringing some food to share. The counter was literally groaning under the weight of it all! 

Some members have even had time to do some sewing in and among their festive preparations. (How do they do that?!)

Vanessa has been carrying on with some work we started a few months ago, using melted wax crayons to make a background for stitch. She's used lots of french knots and pistil stitches to embellish her colourful work. 

Sue has been on a workshop with Anne Brooke and has made a collaged box showing all the different places that she has lived during her life. 

Merry Christmas to you all - see you and more of your lovely work in the New Year! 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

November Workshop - Felting Three Ways!

Following on from our talk by Julie Turner at our November meeting, (see earlier post), she agreed to run a workshop for us covering lots of aspects of felting. 
Julie brought along items made by herself and others, including a lovely tree/rabbit scene made for her by her daughter Isabel, and also Isabel's wedding bouquet, which you can see on the below photograph. 

Lots of lovely wet-felted pieces made by Julie

First of all we did some 2D needle-felting, making an array of pink and purple flowers

Then we did some 3D needle-felting, making a forest of toadstools.

And a dog.

Julie then taught us her quick and easy way of wet-felting - much quicker and easier than other ways we had tried felting before, many of us made a couple of pieces in the time we had left. If you want to know what method Julie uses, you'll just have to book a workshop with her! 

Below are all the pieces that we made during the workshop - vases of flowers and some beautiful landscapes. 

Julie rounded off the workshop by demonstrating her embellisher and then letting us have a go...

November Meeting - Back to Back with Julie Turner - and a Textile Tea-Party

On the Friday of our meeting, the Branch were lucky enough to be invited to the magnificent surroundings of Halifax Town Hall, along with other local groups connected with textiles, for the Mayor's "Textile Tea Party". This provided an opportunity for the groups to have a look at each other's work / what they offer, and to network with each other to see how they could work together to provide the best service to the residents of Calderdale. 

We were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Calderdale on behalf of the Mayor, who had unexpectedly had to attend another event in London. 

Here are the members' items we took along to give the other groups a taste of what we do. The atmosphere was lovely, we all enjoyed seeing each others' work, and as an added bonus, there was tea and scones!

Friday's meeting was a talk by our own member Julie Turner, who has recently given up "proper work" and is now concentrating on her textile business. 
Julie's family keep Ryland Sheep and she told us how they arrived at this lovely breed (the pigs weren't a big success and were decidedly less useful to a textile artist...). 
Julie took us on the fascinating journey of how she learned to use the fleece from her own flock of sheep, all the way from the shearing to the wearing of garments knitted from wool that she has spun herself. With her lovely friendly manner and sense of humour, we had a hugely enjoyable time listening to her talking us through several improbably named pieces of equipment along the way. 

Here is Julie demonstrating one of the afore-mentioned thingamajigs with the assistance of the lovely Margaret. 

This piece of work has a background woven from coloured Ryland rovings and the tree is formed from white Ryland wool woven by Julie. 

This little lamb was made by a friend of Julie and was the first thing made from wool that Julie had spun on her traditional spinning wheel. Julie explained that she had learned from this first attempt at spinning that the yarn was too coarse because she had been spinning it too tightly, and that she had left too much lanolin in the wool. 

Some of Julie's home-spun white Ryland yarn

Buttons made from coloured Ryland felt

Not a proper sheep

If any other groups would like to contact Julie, she is available for talks and workshops and you can e-mail her at julie.turner@live.co.uk

Sunday, 11 October 2015

October Meeting - Christine Poole; an "In Betweener"; and Other News!

Our speaker at October's meeting was Christine Poole, who brought along some of the work she has completed during her lifetime's stitched journey, starting with pieces worked as a child and ending with her current projects (some not yet completed, which we could all relate to!) 
Here are some examples of Christine's work, which had been mostly been done for EG competitions : 

As you can see from the above photos, Christine works mainly in what might be called a traditional style with lots of long-and-short stitch, a skill sadly lacking from my repertoire! 

Julie Turner brought along a new piece of her own which is also in a traditional style, although not worked on a traditional background, as she has used some more of the table-mat that she employed for her stitch samples to do a piece of drawn thread work. This lovely piece was then decorated with french knots for foliage and flowers. 

On Saturday 10th October, Mandy, Margaret and Davina attended the Regional AGM at Scarcroft Village Hall. After the annual meeting and some lively debate about the future direction of the Guild (there will be an e-mail winging its way to members from HQ about this), it was time to sit back and relax, and listen to the fascinating talk by the afternoon's speaker, Karen Casper. I won't go into too much detail, as we are hoping to have Karen to speak to our Branch, but she is a very inspiring embroiderer, who only started stitching when she was in her 30s (and she is STILL in her 30s) but who has had work featured in many prestigious art magazines, and also in fashion magazines as statement pieces. She produced reams of work-books, samples and some fabulous finished articles. 
Here is a taste of what she has been working on....

Karen uses lots of vintage lace which she says that she never cuts up unless it is already badly damaged; all of her work is completed in white and cream and coloured afterwards (apart from the scanned pieces used in the skirt). 
The bottom piece has been completed on a Cornely embroidery machine, which does chain stitch over lace and is often (as in this case) used for wedding veils.

She also does workshops...exciting news and something to look forward to in a future programme! 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

September Meeting - Lots of Stitchers met the Challenge!

Our September meeting brought our Annual General Meeting, and once the formalities were completed, we had time to admire the completed 2014 - 15 Branch Challenge, which was "A Stitch A Month" on a small piece of fabric, so that we could learn some new techniques, revisit old ones, and find out what we liked doing best. 
Members who had completed the challenge had mounted their stitches into books, onto canvas, or had displayed them in other imaginative ways. 
I have had to cut down the number of photos to 3 per member just to make it manageable, but it was a difficult task! 
Here they all are, for your perusal! 
(Don't forget to click on the photos for a closer view of your favourites.)

Janice's quilted book was in shades of rust and brown and the cover was decorated with canvas work. 

Val's concertina book has a canvas work cover too, with stitches displayed on both sides of the pages. 

 This is Margaret's little black book, with a machine embroidered frontpiece and with the stitching done on black fabric to match the cover of the book. 

Catherine's book has a stitched plastic canvas cover, and her stitched samples continue the theme in shades of blue and silver. 

Jane's stitch samples are mounted on canvas and make a colourful display

 Abi has made a lovely box from canvas work and her pages fold out, concertina style, on pages which have been spattered to match the box. 

 Jackie has also made a concertina book, with striking covers and very neatly labelled stitch samples in lovely variegated threads.

Vanessa's samples are in a concertina book of a different kind, made from a tasselled blanket offcut. The inner pages are machine stitched to give a defined crease. 

 Jo has given her stitch samples the theme of the Night Sky, and has used dark blue silk with silver metallic threads for impact. 

The first of Anne's samples (I know, annoying isn't it!) is a lovely book in a folder, with a stamped heading page for each stitch. 

 Julie's colourful samples are in a concertina book, and she has recycled a table mat to use as the background for her stitching. 

Anne's second set of samples are displayed on a strip of denim, on a large wooden bobbin. (I'm sure her days are longer than mine.)

Mandy's samples aren't quite mounted yet...they are stitched on silk, using variegated silk threads.

 Wyn's stitches aren't quite mounted yet either! These beautiful samples will finally be displayed on a wooden bobbin. 

And finally...you may remember that some of our members went to Summer School in July. 
Sue took a gold work class with Jenny Adin-Christie and this is the beautiful brooch which she started then, and has now finished...I should have put a 5p next to it for scale - it is tiny, but exquisite! 

~Please also have another look at the August "Flowers" Playday, where you can see some updates of members' work...