Friday, 11 December 2020

Our handmade Christmas cards.

As we were only able to have our Christmas get together on Zoom, we were unable to exchange cards by our normal method.We usually put them in a basket then pass them around for one to be picked at random by everyone in turn.This year we were allocated a person on a list, then they had to be posted, hopefully in time for the meeting.Some did not arrive on time and through some confusion with the list one person sent two of her lovely cards to different recipients.Can you guess who ?

These are the cards so far sent and received the others will be added as and when, and the makers revealed.



Sunday, 6 December 2020

December days.

 Back in September Ira moved all the way up to Scotland to live.A long way  from the mild winters of the South West.
True to form the snow came this week, at least for a little while.
Her grandchildren, delighted to have a snow day , hot-footed around to hers, cleared her path and steps  and built a snowman before it all melted away.Here he is looking a little the 'worse for wear'

and later on 'decidedly worse for wear '! Could the empty bottles have anything to do with it?

Ira wanted to send everyone

All the very best Greetings from Scotland.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Daily (almost)acts of stitching for November.

Jenn decided she should try to do some stitch everyday throughout November.She had had some small pieces of indigo dyed khaki cotton for a while .When used previously they had stained her hands blue so before beginning they were washed and dried, this solved the problem.

She chose just to use straight stitches, couching and appliqué so as to make it simple.

Patches were added on as and when necessary.

The colours used were dictated by the indigo ground and some small pieces of silk left from work done for Nature In Art a few years ago.


Monday, 30 November 2020

The Finished Article.

Sally has really got a march on with her insect book.

Finishing borders to the pages,

creating foliage in the background,

and adding in more insects.

Before designing the covers 

and stitching it all together with a Coptic binding.

It sits in the hand beautifully, and is a little jewel of a book.
What next ?


Saturday, 28 November 2020

More evidence of creative endeavour.

Bristol Embroiderers Guild hosted an online workshop with the lovely Angie Hughes.Carol took part and created this 

and this using Angie's technique of applying layers of fabric and stitch .

She then went on to put her own spin on it to make some very desirable cards.Wonder who'll be receiving these?

Jane has treated herself to a new weaving frame, this time to include sleeves.Getting it was a game and a half involving USA and Argentina .She has combined three yarns to weave a simple one over one under weave that resembles a herringbone.We look forward to seeing her wear the finished jacket.

Deryll has been doing some make do and mend .This cushion was originally made using a fabric pack to show how they might be put to use .This was back in our Sidcot exhibition.One of the fabric was a loose weave and with use it had frayed out.Ever resourceful Deryll had cut out the original fabric and replaced it with new adding decorative stitch to finish off,the cushion will live on!

During lockdown Debby has taken part in some online challenges .One was to create 'ugly'paintings using three colours plus white.In the process it was important to notice what you enjoyed...Debby loved the scraping back into the paint to reveal layers, and was surprised at the colour combinations.She found it hard to stop as her work is usually so full of detail.

These photos were taken when they were 80% finished and she wishes she had stopped then.We love the effect of the layers and added marks .Sometimes being challenged and 'out of our comfort zone 'can lead to exciting new discoveries.

She took the paintings and had them printed on velvet by Spoonflower .These are considering how they might look made up as cushions ........delectable!


Saturday, 14 November 2020



While on a visit to Hestercombe Gardens Viv spotted a log pile 
and couldn't resist snapping this photo.We can totally understand why...
the repeated shapes ,the colours and the textures.With a little Photoshop she was ready for the next stage.

Working in her sketchbook  to create some ideas using a range of drawing and painting media to explore colours.

Then she moved on to use ripped and torn collage papers ,working into them with drawn marks.This set her thinking about how it might transfer into fabric and stitch.
Deryll used to do a lot of dying of natural fabrics with natural dyes and produced packs of these fabrics for sale in some of GTA shows.Viv remembered she had bought some and looked them out.

These look perfect so Viv is set to get her scissors out, ,and work her magic with blending fabric and stitch.


Friday, 13 November 2020

Zoom weekend with Stitch Textile Artists

Jenn spent the weekend Zooming with Stitch Textile Artists ,a very different experience to spending the weekend with them at Ammerdown.
Working from a chosen image, photo, drawing they were set tasks to explore before coming together to share and discuss what they had done.

Jenn went back to revisit the Maria Stewart pot from Nature In Art as she thought she could develop her ideas further.They were asked to choose two words that would inform their work for the weekend ,Jenn chose CIRCLES and LAYERS .She made a very quick and loose drawing in ink, wax and bleach then used a viewfinder to isolate a part that appealed to work from.Samples were made  using one stitch in black and white ,then colour was permitted.Hand dyed fabrics with related marks were used next adding some scrim over one with  eyelet stitch to reveal circle shapes, and layering up fabrics on another before gathering up circle shapes.Next colour and black and white could be combined, before finally  exploring a  more considered way of working on a last sample.After chatting about what had been produced further suggestions will  be taken forward.Hopefully, the next time they meet will be in person at Ammerdown and more progress will have been made.

For November Jenn decided to try to do a little stitch each day, just because.She came across some indigo dyed Khadi fabric patches bought some time ago, that were put to one side as they turned her fingers blue ! They were put through the wash and are now fine.This is as far as she has got ....below.


Thursday, 12 November 2020

Insects revisited.

In the 1990s Sally was commissioned to create a waistcoat based on insects, the above photo shows it on the recipient and below some of her design ideas being worked on paper.

Like many of us in the time of Covid she has been seeking ways to kickstart her creativity. DESIGNMATTERS TV by Linda and Laura Kemshall has proved a place where a pleasant half hour or two has been spent.Sally was interested in the way Linda had used ATCs(artists trading cards ) to create a book.
And even more  delighted to find that she had stored away her inspirations for the above waistcoat.

Ever one to reuse and repurpose whenever possible she has used old watercolour sketches ,washed and hung out to dry, before repurposing  as her pages.

Borders to the pages have been collaged from papers cut with fancy edges 

or stamped with Sally's collection of  woodblocks  bought on many trips abroad.

Some creatures have been embellished with free machine stitch

She has also begun to refer back to her original design, adding in twisted stems of Convolvulus behind these glorious creatures .

It just goes to show that ideas can keep on giving!