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...

Sunday, 29 May 2016

In Betweeners - Leaves and Furrows

Members have been busy again this month, finishing Playday pieces and also ploughing their own furrows (sorry...).

Firstly, Abi has completed the piece that she started at the Sue Spargo Playday a few months ago. She has backed it with an off-cut of herringbone tweed and has finished the edges in unusual corduroy bias binding. 

Jo, meanwhile, has been learning a new skill. 
This technique, which she has used to decorate a petite fabric bag, is called furrowing. 
I was unsure what furrowing was so I asked Jo to explain it. 
She told me that you start with two pieces of fabric, the top being about twice the size of the base. The top fabric is then attached to the base fabric with random stab stitches, making lost of little hills with furrows in between. 

The pictures above and below show a piece of felt 
at different stages of the process. 

May Playday - Quilt Top in a Day

I think when Wyn mooted this subject for a Playday, she had seen someone demonstrating a quilt top in an hour, but that would be pushing it a bit even for the most dedicated of our stitchers, especially when allowing time for chatting and cake-eating! 
Most members started off with a "jelly-roll" of fabric (jelly rolls are made of strips of 2.5" wide fabric which are cut into lengths and then all rolled up - jelly roll is the American name for swiss roll). This is an example of a "jelly roll" made up of complementary colours of fabric.

The strips are then sorted out and stitched together along their longest sides, either in rows, or in ever-expanding squares, or other suitable designs. 

 The following photographs show pieces that members 
have started to stitch together. 

The stitched pieces are then pressed from the back to flatten the seams.

By the end of the day, members had pretty much accomplished their missions, 
with some beautiful results! 





Sue B


Wyn again



Sue H



Visitor Paula

Abi (sorry it's a bit blurry!) 


Saturday, 7 May 2016

May Meeting - Morwenna Catt

The guest speaker at our May meeting was the quirky Morwenna Catt, a textile artist who divides her time between the UK, where she lives in Yorkshire, and Norway. 
Morwenna divides her time between teaching, making carnival masks and costumes, and developing her current themes in textile art. 
She showed us examples of her earlier work, including "Handbags for Nuns", which caused much hilarity, before moving onto more current pieces from her Sweethearts and Sandbags installation. This piece is based on the familiar WWI Sweetheart Cushions; Morwenna's are in the form of large commemorative pieces, which when on display are hung from the ceiling on parachute straps, with parachute cords hanging from the bottom. 
One tells the story of her grandfather and is constructed partly from army serge. 

Another has a pattern formed from the outlines of toy plastic soldiers. 

"Bullet holes" are made from applied velvet patches and buttons, with red threads representing blood.

Finally Morwenna showed us a cushion which bore the names of all of the soldiers who had been "Shot at Dawn" for crimes including desertion, assaulting an officer, and cowardice, as well as other criminal offences such as murder. 

Morwenna's current body of work is entitled "Augury" which is the interpretation of the future, based on the behaviour of animals and birds. 
Disappointingly Morwenna didn't bring the Fertility Bird with nipple tassels and testicle pom-poms, however she did bring one of her birds, and one animal, which are fantasy creatures partly constructed from pieces of fur recovered by her partner from road-kill (unbelievably, Morwenna is a vegetarian!)

The bird is wearing a hood and is standing on a stitched felt box. 

Last, but most certainly not least, Morwenna displayed a life-size model of a Shaman whose costume is based on the epic poem 
"The Lady of Shallott" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

After hearing about Morwenna's fascinating textile journey (if you would like to know more, she has a website http://www.morwennacattart.moonfruit.com) - we had chance to admire the progress made on members' animal quilts, started at the Mandy Pattullo workshop last month. 

Vanessa's Stag in a Trance

Jan's Running Hare

Jayne B's not-quite-finished Stag

Wyn's Now-more-a-Hare-than-a-Donkey

Jo's Exuberant Hare

Anne's Hare (I think he's on the same exercise regime as me!)

*For other finished animals, see earlier posts