Member work

Member work

Friday, 13 January 2017

January Members' Day & JETS Leader retires

Our Members' Day meeting on 7th January was tinged with a little sadness for our group of  Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students (JETS), when they said 'goodbye' to leader, Jean Myatt.

Jean set up the group eighteen years ago (then called Young Embroiderers) and along with helpers, planned and organised the monthly Saturday morning workshops.  Starting with just half a dozen children, over the years there have been as many as twenty members, and Jean has inspired many children to stitch.

The JETS presented Jean with a book of appliquéd and embroidered flowers that they had created and sewn into a fabric book.  Jean was thrilled and will treasure her beautiful gift.  She said she had greatly enjoyed teaching and encouraging the youngsters to sew, and also thanked everyone who has helped her over the years.

The branch presented Jean, who has been a member of Leamington & District for 25 years, with a book token and a "Jean" rose in recognition of all her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm as JETS leader.  Branch Chair, Anne Prior, thanked Jean on behalf of the branch, saying how much the students had enjoyed her workshops, and that a number of students had gone on to pursue a career in textiles.

Currently, the JETS meet at St Mary's Church Centre once a month and the group continues to thrive. The children (aged 8 - 17) learn to stitch by hand and machine, dye, print and appliqué besides trying lots of other techniques, and many of their pieces have won awards.

(If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Janet Rose: / 01926 430120.)

Here's a look at the pages created by the girls for Jean's textile book:


Back to Members' Day (and perhaps we will be seeing a bit more of Jean in our workshops now ...), where we had a lovely day stitching, needle felting, chatting, enjoying a bring-and-share feast of good food, and swapping textile bits and pieces on the bring-and-buy stall.

Gill and Lucy had set up an inspiring display of winter-themed pictures and items for our 'Seasons' book project, and gave us a couple of very useful demo's on using threads trapped between soluble fabric sheets and how to use the Sizzix die-cutting machine to create fabric leaves and flowers, and to emboss fabric for texture.

Members had also brought in recent work, including some of the beautiful books started at last year's summer school with Chris Grey:

Details of February's talk by local textile artist, Maria Thomas, will follow soon.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Starting 2017 ...

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! 
We will be kicking off 2017 with our January Members' Day on Saturday 7th.  

The theme for our continuing 'Seasons' project is Winter. There will be two short demonstrations of techniques to try out during the day - suitable for beginners and more experienced members (or prospective members). You do not need to have been to any other 'Seasons' days to join in. Alternatively, if you prefer to sit and stitch with fellow members on ongoing work, that's fine too.

A short requirements list is available if you wish to create a small 'Winter' panel - please email or send a comment to this post if you haven't received it / would like it.

The day will run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm at St Mary's Hall, Leamington.
Entrance is £5, payable on the door. 

Lunchtime will be one of our lovely bring-and-share lunches
and it's always great to display any recently finished items - or work in progress - 
that members bring along.

Why not donate your unwanted gifts or bits & pieces that have been sitting in drawers / cupboards for too long to the bring & buy stall? (Proceeds help to boost Branch funds.)

Saturday 4th March

Workshop with Sue Frances: 'A perfect disguise for your iPad, notebook or tablet'

The piece you will be making could also be made into a book cover or panel, and you could incorporate any past workshop creations into it (a good way to use up UFOs).

There are a few places left on this workshop, so if you are interested, please contact our Programme Secretary:

Sue is a qualified Occupational Therapist, who trained when crafts were an essential part of the practice. Since completing a foundation in Art and Design at OCVC, she has been working with Mill Textile group led by Sue Green and with Zero 5. She has exhibited at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury, The Festival of Quilts, Embroiderers’ Guild Leamington and at her studio during Oxfordshire Art weeks.

Sue's current preoccupations are “not wasting” combined with a love of the natural world, colour and modern art and design, and the workshop she has designed facilitates the making of a cover using scraps of fabric and pieces left over from previous projects. Those with some experience and confidence with their machine will be guided in the process to make heir own piece. There is a formula for this, but creative as you are, there is room for personal expression.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Lunch and January 2017

There was no talk or workshop in December, but we had a lot of fun at our annual Christmas lunch. After a really good meal accompanied by Bucks Fizz, wine, coffee and chocolates, 
Getting ready for our Christmas lunch
Getting ready for our Christmas lunch
there was more ...

✫ the always fiendishly difficult Christmas quiz 
(degree of difficulty measured by the winning score: only 13 out of 20!)

 seasonal poetry readings 

 a dip into Secret Santa's sack 
(a textile-related gift for everyone - all beautifully wrapped, of course)

 and this year's challenge was to make a Christmas wreath (max. 6" diameter) 

 We vote with coins for our favourite/s, and the money goes to 
charity chosen by the winner -

Janet's Christmas wreath

- this year £25 was sent to the local branch of Helping Hands.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday 7th January, 

when we start our 2017 programme with Members' Day.

We will be carrying on with our Seasons project, this time 'Winter' appropriately enough.  
More details after Christmas.

In the meantime,

Monday, 21 November 2016

Join our JETS group and have fun!

Junior Embroiderers and Textile Students

Are you creative?

Are you over 8 years old and under 17 years?

Join our JETS group and have fun with us!

We do: textile art; printing; dyeing; collage; 
hand and machine stitching ... and much more.

We meet once a month on Saturday mornings in Leamington Spa.

For more information, contact:
Janet Rose
01926 430120

Sunday, 20 November 2016

AGM and 'Seasons' workshop

This is a bit of a catch-up on our Branch AGM in September, since we haven't yet shared the photos.

After the necessary business session in the morning and a bring-and-share lunch (always enjoyable!), we got down to the serious stuff of rummaging through our bags of fabrics, fibres and wool, to make a start on creating our 'Autumn' panels.

We had made the frames at the spring members' day, so now for the fun and making a start on the four panels to go in them - one for each season.

Our programme secretaries, Gill and Lucy, had set up a beautiful "nature" table to provide some inspiration, and then gave us some guidance on needle felting a background and making a leather-look material (brown paper, paint, PVA glue, tissue paper) from which to cut out leaf shapes.

No doubt about it, this was play time for grown-ups!

Looking forward to seeing the finished panels ...

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Gold work day school with Hanny Newton

Following Hanny Newton's inspiring talk about her journey in embroidery, we enjoyed a lovely gold work day school with her.
Hanny Newton - Copper and tin on wool blend fabric
Hanny Newton - Copper and tin on wool blend fabric
We were given everything we needed on arrival, so that we could get straight into our stitching: a ready-hooped piece of fabric, needles, scissors, and a generous selection of metal and embroidery threads with which to start on our gold work samples - brilliant!  After a short demonstration from Hanny, we embarked on couching our chosen metal thread with a variety of stitches, getting used to manipulating the threads and gradually building up our repertoire sample by sample.

After a bit of practice, we were able to start thinking about the combinations we preferred and how to develop them further.

It was an engrossing and very enjoyable day, and Hanny was helpful and encouraging.  Many of us had been wary of gold work, fearing it was going to be difficult and very exacting.  However, Hanny's contemporary approach, which is freer and more informal, gave us the confidence we needed to experiment and have fun.

We agreed that we had all learned a great deal and went away after a thoroughly satisfying and inspiring day.