Tuesday, 20 November 2018




Lest we forget....

We had a few items related to the WW1 Centenary appear this month.Sally brought along one of the shrouds created by Rob Heard in commemoration of the 72,396 Commonwealth soldiers killed at the Somme with no known grave.They are currently on display in Queen Elizabeth  Olympic Park in London.There have been  small  exhibitions around the UK over the past four years, most recently at Bristol Aerospace Museum.It was a mammoth undertaking by the artist and gives a very graphic idea of the carnage visited upon one  nation at one battle.

Liz brought along the book and  catalogue of the 1,568 Sawdust Hearts exhibition initiated   by Helen Birmingham.The heart above, number 39 ,was created by Liz to honour the lost soldiers from Heligan Garden in Cornwall.

Queen Mary originally instigated Sweetheart Pincushions at the end of WW1,which were pinned by soldiers as part of their convalescence. The exhibition of the new hearts will be on display in Woodend in Scarborough 3-30th November. Funds raised will go towards Combat Stress the veterans mental health charity.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Medieval stonework and an infestation.

Above, is a detail of what you see below.Ira has been working on looking at an old stone wall.Each of the pieces will be assembled to create a whole.The amount of stitching she adds to her work is quite breathtaking and a lot is hand stitched.The darker rectangles will border the piece with the lighter ones inside.As you can see from the detail the threads used pick up the colours of the paint finish.There will be a lot more before she considers it done.

She, like Sally, entered a piece for the RWA Open Exhibition.However, she was unsuccessful this time.The piece you see below was based on an historical, medieval theme.

Jane, meanwhile had been pursuing her idea of an infestation of insects.She had wanted a very fine silk to support her machined insects.She bought some Margilan silk which is used a lot in Nuno felting.

It was from two different sources and differed in its colour and weight.She now needs to sample her ideas and find if it will give her what she wants.

She has been inspired by a piece of music she heard in Gloucester Cathedral, played as a four part round on harmonicas.The work was by Julian of Norwich.......'and all will be well'.She would like this to be her message the world.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Doing nothing........really ?

Carol is so good natured and easy that she often gets herself put upon.This month she said she had done nothing of any note then it turns out she has got roped in to crocheting 140 poppies to celebrate the end of the Korean war.They will commemorate 885 casualties and are to be displayed in Olveston churchyard.

She brought along her workbook ,she is so very organised and thoughtful,where she details her ideas and makes.The one above was a New Home card she designed and made for Marilyn.The one below was a wedding card for her son who married recently.Both uniquely hers.

She had also been along to a' Dinky Print 'workshop where she had produced these strawberries 

complete with sparkly seeds.She also brought along an interesting article from The New Scientist about How to read Inca.They think they had a sort of language using strings and knots .Carol was interested and may use this as her inspiration for messages.

Deryll also brought along an interesting  newspaper article.It  showed how  this Summer 's heat had exposed lots of sites of archaeological interest not before noticed ,when viewed from the air.Another subject for messages perhaps.

She had been exploring ideas for cards ,see below.

As ever, she had a nifty little technique to share 

Fabric was mounted in a hoop and some circles cut out.Using straight stitch you stitch backwards and forwards to fill in the holes.The threads are then cut carefully on the edge to create the flower head .

She discovered ,if the fabric is left in the hoop after the flowers are cut ,you can do another set over the same holes, and get bi-coloured flower heads.Nifty eh!

Saturday, 27 October 2018


Sally had returned from her trip to Zambia and admitted that she had sat, walked but not lifted a pencil .She had used the time to relax for the two weeks she was away.

She had picked up some beads and flour resist fabrics from Tribal Textiles at the world Textile Day

and had some delightful cards from Zambia, made on paper made from elephant dung.

Since being back ideas have been slowly percolating, and she has made drawings 

from photographs of the trees which fall and lie down the in the river in Zambia 

She has also been playing around on the computer with her photos applying filters to see what results.

The mud ,below, is so like the markings on a giraffe.

More wonderfully textured trees and 

a play with zebras!We thought the middle one could be a perfect abstract piece....Sally maintains she doesn't do abstract.

She intends to use her repurposed ,washed papers to create a book ,with beads for the binding.Her mind map of the emerging ideas ........it just shows that no experience goes to waste.It just needs time to emerge.

And one last purchase -from Sue Hawkins at UWE ,a kit to see if Sally can manage some hand sewing which she finds difficult these days .

She thought the canvas work might help as there are holes already to push the needle through.


Sally's exhibit at the RWA Autumn Open Show .Textiles are gradually being recognised and accepted ........Well done Sally !

Sunday, 21 October 2018

More World Textiles.

Debby had picked up this indigo fabric from Quilters Guild where they often have some pieces of fabric for sale.She thought it had been stitched along its length before being dunked in the dye bath.There were some very fine lines where it had resisted the dye.She was wondering what she might use it for .The width was quite narrow so she might have to do some piecing to get a garment from it.

She had also had a spending spree at World Textile Day, picking up some Hungarian batik fabric.It is incredibly fine and detailed, the wax is pressed into the cloth from copper and wire tools which create the repeat patterns, like the tjaps used in Indonesia.

Debby couldn't resist adding to her collection of tjantings, they are beautiful to look at and a joy to use being so light.

a little Hungarian heart 

and stencil,

some Schwein fabric

and a fabric pack.

She also bought this length of stitch resist fabric in gorgeous earthy colours.Debby told us that before the Slave  trade many more dyes were used.It was only that indigo was easy to cultivate that it proved popular.The patterns in the fabric are reminiscent of scarification patterns used on skin by many indigenous peoples.

Her last purchase was a lovely Kantha pack.We will no doubt see these in different guises soon.

She had been doing some creating too.......in her own words" this month I have been mostly making bags'

This is one and she has used a Prym snap tool to add the closure .They can be bought in lots of lovely colours to enhance your makes.

These were made from some pleather and offcuts of laminated fabrics left over from a workshop.

If you visit @65 gallery in Nailsea when we are there we are sure you'll find many more such goodies to spend your pennies on.

World textiles.

Do you remember the indigo fabric Viv was given as a present fromTokyo?
This is what she has  made with it ,isn't it lovely?She'll get lots of pleasure from wearing it.

It was World Textile Day in Salford the other weekend and several of the group went along.As well as interesting talks there is always a lovely selection of stalls selling all manner of textiles and related items from around the world.Viv treated herself to a selection of beads.

She also brought her version of the bag Deryll shared with us last month.

It was started but put aside and not finished ,perhaps she'll get around to it now Deryll has told her she should!