Sunday, 26 August 2018

Hanging out the washing.............but not as you know it.


                             Someone brought a copy of Maggie Grey's ' WOW 'book to our last meeting.Sally was interested in the article by Laura Kemshall,where she recycled works on paper into sketch books.As she has so much material ,and is always wanting to find uses for it Sally went home ,sorted out her stash of watercolour paintings and put them through the wash!Here you can see her bowl, bucket and brush with the 'washed' pieces hanging out to dry. They were on heavyweight cartridge paper so survived the treatment well and are now ready for a new lease of life as backgrounds for new work.What a brilliant way to recycle.


She works a lot in sketchbooks and loves to create books based on her travels.

In her sort out she found an ideas book of hers from 2003.She has detailed ideas she can use ,see page below.Nothing ever goes to waste ,they can always be revisited or taken in a different direction.

She had been to see several exhibitions in Bath ,The Dutch Masters and Ellen Tanner's Ethiopian diaries at the Holburne and Kaffe Fassett/Candace Bahouth at the Victoria Gallery.We wondered about the word GIMCRACKERY used by Ellen Tanner to mean Shoddy.The Oxford dictionary lists it as worthless.We weren't sure we had heard it used.

She also showed her penguins in their hoops which were taken to the Make Space at Bristol Museum to show her method of working.She 

stitches through printed out images of her drawings then tears the paper away.It works very well.

She also found this little stitched piece of an elephant ,which relates to the practice drawings she was doing last month ,in anticipation of her next foreign visit.

Be sure if you can ,to visit Sally and Viv's stand at UWE as her collection of textiles is going to the museum to hold afterwards.It might be a last chance to see up close, and to find out about them from the person who collected them.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Developing surface designs.

Jane has been designing more patterns using Illustrator and using a template to set them up.As you can see from the following images a red triangle marks an area then apparently this can be mirrored, rotated in  six ways to create the block.

Here are some examples.

Another source for inspiration have been Fair Isle knitting designs

and 'Bugs' from Elizabethan embroidery in various colour ways.

Pink Pig ,the producers of lovely papers and sketchbooks ,have a competition for a cover.Jane has sent off an entry will they resist?

Her stitching this month has been to create this badge based on a face.
She is currently contemplating having more of her fabrics printed ,the firm Fashion Formula were mentioned.


Wednesday, 22 August 2018


Debby had decided she was going to create a smaller version of her fish but this time was going to approach it differently.Starting with the free motion stitching as you can see in these images .She then intends to add colour last of all.

Little like the sweet little bird which has been painted and transfer painted.

Debby will be teaching some workshops at the South West Quilt and Textile show .like the good teacher she is she has been preparing samples to show what the students will be working to complete.Her Dandelions and Daisies class uses free motion embroidery and the use of dissolvable fabric.As below in progress.

She also picked up this lovely little Berlin work kit for a song in a charity shop.

She has worked the cherries first as they are more interesting than the background.

She had also been back to Make Space in Bristol Museum when a local artist was there .Unfortunately the photo didn't come out but Debby had bought some little pieces created  by Anna Gravelle using a tufting machine.You can visit her at

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Farewell and Good Luck.

Marilyn came along to her last GTA Show and Tell this month.She is moving to Devon ,probably at the beginning of September.We shall miss her and her wonderful injections of colour to our meetings and exhibitions.
She has obviously been busy sorting out and packing up her house here but had managed a weaving course at Dartington Hall Hotel with Margo Selby.

These are just a small selection of samples she created using the LAMPAS weave structure.They were all very different .

It is a very old technique where the warp threads are made up of two thick and one thin threads .Marilyn used some fishing line for her fine thread and her own hand dyed mercerised cotton for the thick.

A few years ago she and her weaving group created a stunning calendar and they raised money for charity from the sales .This time they  are going to do individual books containing multiple pages of weaving samples.

We are sure she will soon find a textile group in Devon,our loss will be their gain.We wish her well and good luck in her next endeavours.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

West Country Quilt and Textile Show.

You can see us on Stand G 86 ( they altered the numbers of stands after we did the flyer !)


If you go to the show website 
you can get a discount on your tickets.
Liz Hewitt will be exhibiting with Debbie Pawle too.They have an African theme this year.
Please come along ,there is lots to see and of course the opportunity for some shopping.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Reduce ,reuse ,recycle.

Sue is going round in Circles.She has been putting her collected fabrics to use on her embellisher.Some gorgeous blues in evidence here with lovely differences in texture and pattern.She is contemplating a series on The Planets.We thought this a brilliant idea, just imagine Mars and the reds she could employ.We thought of the different ways they could be displayed- circular canvases or embroidery rings.

She had also been thinking about moody seascapes and had produced this, below.(Excuse the odd angle) We thought the addition of the seabirds inspired.They add such movement ,and give the feel of the birds wheeling about in the disturbed air.We thought they should be left as they were with no further embellishment.

Deryll had been sorting through her accumulated samples, many from her City and Guild workbooks.

Wondering what to keep and make use of ? A reminder of many,many hours of work and some forgotten techniques and materials.

She had reached the conclusion that she would sift through and choose some to cut up and reassemble into a new landscape piece.We believe there will be more than just the one.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Foreign climes.

Sally and Viv have personal  collections of ethnic textiles collected on trips abroad to see the way they were made in their homelands. They have given numerous talks to various groups and have built up a wealth of knowledge.This year they will have a stand at the South West Quilt and Textile show displaying textiles from the Miao people of South West China.As well as seeing the textiles you will have the opportunity to examine sketchbook created on their trips and be able to speak to them in person.


   Sally and her husband are great travellers and think nothing of jetting off to far flung places.They are planning a visit to Zambia so Sally has been practising drawing elephants, not that she need to!They have been before but this time plan just to sit and look.No doubt Sally will fill a sketchbook of her observations that we will be party to at some point ,and you too if you follow the blog.

Here is a taste of some of the pieces they plan to exhibit.

The colours sing out

and the techniques amaze with their intricacies.

the backs are interesting too .

Japan must be on a lot of holiday agendas as Viv received a present from her son's visit to Tokyo.These shibori dyed fabrics are lovely ,Viv is trying to decide how to best use such a lovely gift .

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Hedgehogs,a storm and some teacups.

Kirsten had been given an Alpaca 'fleece' by someone who keeps them.She had been trying it out and had made some cushion pads and these sweet little hedgehogs which were still in progress /The fibre were softer than normal fleece but still usable.

She is a multi talented person and a very competent artist .Kirsten has joined the Clevedon Art Club,who hold monthly meetings.At these meetings they have visiting artists who give demonstration and then the members are encouraged to have a go.This is one of Kirsten's pieces ,created with brushes and sponge and depicting a stormy seaside scene.We loved it.

Jenn had been using her cotton organdie and trying to perfect her teacup and saucers.

She had bought a set of the new Inktense watercolour box, which are waterproof when allowed to dry.It means layers can be added with no running.

She had painted some loose Cornflower shapes and added some simple stitch.Other things tried were trapping and some stamping.

The inspiration is snippets of overheard conversations and she had begun to experiment with 'writing' with free machineing onto the saucer .It was too illegible in white, slightly better in blue but this needs more experimentation.