Member work

Member work

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Stitched Primroses - Fran Holmes talk and workshop, October

Fran Holmes, a member of textile group Meniscus, gave us a very entertaining talk about her textile journey from City & Guilds (which struck a chord with many of us) onwards.  We learned about some of the unusual techniques she used to create her highly original cabbages for a C&G module,

and innovative uses for Spunbond (the new name for Lutradur) and Vilene/Vliesoline products, such as the very useful Solufleece for machine-stitched items.

Fran's talk was called, "Stitch, heat, burn, distort", which exactly describes her beautiful textile work, from a gossamer-lace cape and ballerina's dress

to books, boxes, flowers, leaves and primroses in pots,

which happened to be the subject of our day school the following day ....

Thankfully, Fran had made up kits of materials and provided templates for the day school, so we just needed to bring our sewing machines and appropriate threads.  This meant we wasted no time in getting down to the stitching,  

and we spent a thoroughly enjoyable - and productive - day on our flower and leaf making:

We had already painted the polystyrene inner for our tiny pot, so that just left the stitching to be finished at home, and assembly of the final 'plant' ...

We're hoping they turn out as well as Fran's.

Friday, 16 September 2016

JETS' lovely covered jars

September's JETS workshop was very successful.  The girls covered jars with ribbon and lace, and then stitched on beads and sequins.  Some ribbon added to the rim and a (battery) tea light popped inside meant they all had a pretty light to take home.  They also took away another jar and the bits and pieces to create a second one at home.

Don't they look pretty?

Monday, 15 August 2016

Summer School with Chris Gray

We had a brilliant two-day summer school with Chris Gray last week-end, held in the lovely rural setting of Leek Wootton deep in Warwickshire countryside.  Chris gave us two days of expert and entertaining tuition on stamping and stitching, along with lots of tips and anecdotes, to make unique folded books on a theme of our choice, which - if they turn out anything like Chris's own - will become beautiful keepsakes.  

Chris brought everything we needed, from a wide range of wooden stamps, stencils and paints to her vast stash of hand-dyed fabric, beads, sequins, threads and wools.  We spent a happy and very busy couple of days creating patterns, motifs, re-arranging layouts and then stitching and embellishing.  All works to be completed at home, of course, but we felt we’d had a really indulgent and satisfying time. 

Decisions, decisions, which motifs to use?

Deciding on the layout
Preparing to stitch

The fun part is selecting the threads and embellishments

A very varied collection of themes shaping up
Chris is a generous and very helpful tutor, and she has been kind enough to put a very complimentary post about us on her blog, with some photos of work in progress:

I had a wonderful time with the lovely ladies!

 They did some absolutely stunning work...

 ...and I've blogged it this morning...
 ...copied to Facebook page as well.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

National Celebration of Stitch, 6th August

We celebrated National Stitch Day by holding a drop-in day for visitors at Charlecote Park while our Capability Brown exhibition was still on display in the Orangery.  We were delighted to welcome 87 visitors - young and not so young, male and female, stitchers and ‘non stitchers’ – who popped in long enough to add a stitch or two, or sat stitching for nearly an hour embroidering leaves, deer, flowers or the ‘Charlecote Bayeux’. 

When completed the Bayeux will be on permanent display at Charlecote. 

Throughout the exhibition, our JETS group’s panel depicting pike, which swam in the River Avon in Capability Brown’s day and also feature on the Lucy family coat of arms, has been on display in the summerhouse nearby. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

National Celebration of Stitch, 6th August

We are celebrating National Stitch Day on Saturday 6th August by inviting visitors to drop in and join us at Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon.  

This coincides with our Landscapes of Capability Brown exhibition in The Orangery restaurant at Charlecote, and we would love visitors to come and add a few stitches to a panel which was started at our drop-in days during June/July.

Here are two ladies who happily got involved:

No embroidery skills are needed, just come and 'make your mark' by adding a few stitches, or have a rest and chat to our members who will be guiding the activity.

We will be in the little museum room above the main gatehouse (it will be signposted) from 11.00 am to 4.30 pm.

(Normal National Trust admission charges apply.)

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Junior Embroiderers - Charlecote follow-up

Following on from their visit to Charlecote, the JETS created this beautiful scene; on a painted background they printed images using Thermofax screens and then added embroidered deer and flowers.

This beautiful cushion was made by Bethany:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Marion Plumb.

Friday Talk - "Colours to dye for" and Saturday Workshop.
July 1st. and 2nd.

Marion's talk was a "Cook's tour" of the use of colour both historically and in different cultures. She brought along many examples of dyed textiles from around the world including a wonderful selection of pieces from kimonos. She was very generous letting us touch and examine these pieces.

Saturday's workshop was making paper and it was a really enjoyable day.

We began by soaking cotton linters and card to create our base pulp. When it was sufficiently soggy we had to liquidise it.
Marion gave us a short talk about the process and we were off!

In preparation for the workshop we had made moulds from photo frames.
The vat was made ready. The pulp is added to extra water and then stirred vigorously in preparation for pulling the pulp.
The mould is taken through the water and the paper is on the surface.

We then layered all the paper we made in a post, each separated from the next by a cloth. By the end of the day the post was quite large.

During the morning we added extra ingredients to the pulp, changing colour and adding items to give texture to the paper. We also embossed it by adding hard items and also inserted materials between two layer of pulp.

In the afternoon, we made new vats of pulp, this time to make finer paper adding all kinds of extras.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we had to remove the water from our posts. Hopefully no neighbours were watching as we rocked away on the boards surrounding our posts. The amount of water that came out was amazing.

Making the press.

Pressing out the water.

It was a really good day, relaxed but hard work. Everyone became quite addicted to the process and on average made about 30 sheets of paper.
Below are some examples. Hopefully more will follow as their paper dries.