Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Where now?

It is reassuring to find we all have blocks to our creative process from time to time.Kirsten came along this time with some felt pieces ,her lovely felt locks mats/cushions,

Which are very warm and comfy to sit or stand on.She was agonizing that she has made little progress towards 'Echoes'.She felt that her work tended towards the commercial rather than the creative.We felt she was being hard on herself as she has such talent ,her pieces are always creative.We reminded her of her 'things with wings' exhibits in Heartspace.We also think her drawings are exquisite and perhaps she could include some of these to link with the felt.

Look at this beautiful little bird,how is that not evidence?

Friday, 25 July 2014

Work not workshop.

We have seen the lovely things created by Debby and Carol in the Margaret Beal workshop.However, we have still to see what they have been working on since last month.
Carol ,as we saw,has completed her backgrounds but is now beginning to add the life,creatures etc.She has been thinking about colour and thread choice for this.She had stitched a piece but found it wasn't the effect she wanted.

The colour and thickness weren't what she was after.Several suggestions were made for her to follow up.

Debby meanwhile had been continuing her 'bug ' theme and had created these lovely little critters.

She also brought this...

Silver and Thread at Newark Park

This was a beautiful and inspiring exhibition at Newark Park (NT) of silver jewellery by Rosemary Cochrane and textiles by Louise Watson.  The sketchbooks were wonderful, as was this window of old stained glass. Here are some of Louise's delicate embroideries:

Books and recycling.

Sally has continued with her River book.trying some stitch into the pages and ways of edging the page to finish off.

She preferred the hand stitch but found it hard going perforating the fabric.Liz made a useful suggestion of using a long machine stitch without thread then 'stitching' by hand into the resulting holes.Sometimes there are simple but effective ways of doing things.
She also brought along a piece of work that had been recycled into a book cover for her Christmas trip to Prague.

A detail from inside....

A very effective way to incorporate photographs ,stamps,stitch and ephemera.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Of the sea.

Jenn's fossil piece was brought along so she could get some feedback.Her idea for a hanging has suffered from indecision and has moved forward not a lot.There were lots of suggestions from the group ,and she decided to go away and give it just one more try before banishing it or cutting it up!
In an effort to do something more positive she stitched this while the tennis was on.

It is based on a sea urchin and at this stage still has more stitching ,beads and sequins to be added.

Ira,meanwhile.had taken away the suggestions we gave her last meeting and came back with these.

Finding ways to interpret brain coral in textiles.

and a stitched piece.

Sunday, 20 July 2014


Sue uses an embellisher to create some wonderful textural pieces.In this one she has incorporated some silk ties.

She has also used some  wool 'locks' .She explained that the embellished pieces were done separately before assembling together to create her cockerel.He has the main components but there will be lots more tweaking and adding touches before he is revealed in all his glory.

She had also been playing cutting into shapes to see what would emerge.This is a circle.

It might be interesting to see what each member would do with the same shape and set of rules...... A circle and no more than two cuts for instance.

Thursday, 17 July 2014


Debbie brought along some colorful knitting cottons purchased in Bath.They are very good quality and as useful for embroidery.Good clear zingy colour.

There were about a dozen or so colours but she was very good and didn't buy them all!

Continuing with the theme of colour Ira had brought along the book "Exploring Colour" written by the late Julia Caprara.She had used one  of the ideas in the book to create a sketchbook reference for colour stotries.

A rich  page using a whole variety of collected items to explore blue green.

and another referencing rusts,orange and gold.A lasting inspiration to turn to again and again.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Female Convict Bonnet

Like Jenn, I too have made a convict bonnet (see her earlier post). My girl, Harriet Young (no relation!) was convicted at Banbury Assize Courts in January 1846 aged 16 - her crime not known, (but perhaps she was cold and hungry?) and shipped out on the Sea Queen the same year                                         Viv

Monday, 14 July 2014


Liz brought along her coast pieces.She had found lots on the beaches in St Ives and used them to rust  some fabrics and papers.

This piece was displayed in The Guild recently.It has lots of stitching and beachcombed finds applied.
Here is a detail.


These two pieces  were inspired by Alice Fox,there were three but one sold at the Guild.Stitch and rust on Khadi paper.So simple but the marks and colours very evocative .

As they are glazed please excuse the photographer!

Liz also took part in a recent Quilters Guild workshop with Hilary Beattie,also on the theme of Coast.

These were some fabrics produced ,using thermofax screens ,stencils and stamps.Liz was disappointed to find the fabrics once washed did not retain their brilliant colour.

A page from the sketchbook worked on the day.Hilary works very quickly laying down shapes,colours etc. in her sketch book as she goes along,then revisits and works into the pages to derive her inspiration for her quilts.

Sunday, 13 July 2014


Jane brought along her Celtic pieces she has begun working on but you'll have to wait to see them.
She had also been playing around with a fabric pack and had made this useful little pouch.It carries her 
memory sticks but could have any number of uses.She only used a fragment of the pack.

She also brought along this new product.She had seen something on the web called Kick Starter. People put forward proposals for products etc.and the viewing public can pledge funds to help them start up.Some ,such as this,are successful and can set up to test the market.
The lightcase was one such product,Jane pledged some funds and received the lightcase at special rates.It's a pop-up light box , designed so you can use a phone or camera to take better lit photos.
It's a really good idea,if you want to find out more www.lightcase.co.uk.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Margaret Beal workshop.

The Embroiderers Guild in Bristol recently held a workshop with Margaret Beal.Debbie and Carol took part and they both had tempting treasures to show.

There is no stitch involved,just the use of a fine point soldering iron.

It bonds the synthetic fabrics ,as well as allowing for some intricate 'drawing' through brass stencils.             

Even uninspiring fabrics give scope for exciting results.

Lots of samples neatly kept for reference in future play.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

July already.

Sue played hostess to us this month.We have had such lovely weather but it turned out pretty cloudy and overcast with some sharp downpours ,not that it impeded us as we were inside.
    Marilyn was back from her cruise ,which she enjoyed.She couldn't resist this rather lovely piece on her holiday.It looked like two pieces of fine silk back to back with lots and lots of hand stitch to join them together.

The colour was especially vibrant on this grey day.

She also brought two woven pieces based on her rainbow colours.This one ,I think,was called the Yoruba curve.It is called after the African Yoruba tribe who use the weave structure.

It has such movement.

This uses the same colours but woven in fine linen,the natural colour dilutes the rainbow colours.