Saturday, 25 January 2014

Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition at Grantham

Lincolnshire branch of the Guild are staging a three part show in the Museum in Grantham. Comprising a selection from the national Guild archives; local branch recent work and all five hundred "Postcards" created by guild members across the country for every competing nation at the London Olympics. A really stunning showcase of talent from the very simple to the most complex stitchery with great inventiveness.
Each branch across the country was allocated a competing nation and asked to produce eight postcard size little embroideries on the theme of that country.
Here are a selection which really caught my eye.

Thousands of tiny French Knots bring this Agama Lizard to life.

The complexity of different stitches which went into this Lion's head in such a small space was mind blowing!

Here the foreground wall was created as applied over the background giving a strong 3D effect.

Three separate postcards depicting the view of the Treasury building in Petra from the foot of the Siq. Really beautifully done and so evocative. 

Just loved this fellow.

Panama brought to life my my own branch.
A really fun collection of tiny works of art!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Experiments with an embellisher.

I have often looked at textile works which have used an embellisher and wondered how the effect had been achieved. Recently I had the opportunity to "play" with one for a day and see for myself what could be done. These are my poor first attempts!
I had made some lightweight felt, the cerise one, and this was very easy to work with, better than the more solid commercial ones. It was amazing that I could join two pices of fabric together this way, no thread at all.
This little sample allowed me to try out lots of materials and threads.
Trimming the sample down and using the embellisher to attach the little sample to a larger piece of felt work well.
Adding beads and some hand stitching worked ok too.
Don't think I would buy a machine but will look at needle felting as a possible means of adding interest to the surface of some of my work in the future.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Northamptonshire Guild of Craftsmen Exhibition

I've just been to see this local exhibition of work by artists practicing in many different materials. Lovely to see that there is so much talent about. I loved the basketry of Maggie Smith, her platters would make great recepticals for fruit or cheese at table and her fireside baskets brilliant for logs. There was some interesting Stained Glass and  a stunning occasional table in what looked like Walnut that I would love to own if I had a large enough space to put it in.
The pieces that I was particularly interested in were by Wendy Davies, a textiles artist, producing beautiful little gems of exquisite stitchery. She has given permission for me to include images of her work here.
Really interesting combinations of fabric and stitch that make you want to peer more deeply into them.

These beautiful little monochromatic appliqués cleverly mounted on a metal frame.

Very interesting use of industrial hardware to showcase these interesting paper and stitch compositions.

It does ones soul good to see that craft skills in art forms are being created and that at this exhibition pieces were selling too.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Making a "Tool Roll"

As a treat, before Christmas, the embroidery class made Tool Rolls! White and cream fabric, torn into strips and stitched down onto light weight cotton was tray dyed to create the outside and embellished with stitching and beads between classes.
The inside was made the following class. Toning cotton fabric formed the base with matching fabrics for pockets and scissor holder.

All applied and stitched in place.
We drew round the scissors and then machine embroidered round the shapes. Strings were attached at the opening of each scissor slot to anchor the scissors in place when carried about.

Space dyed felt was folded and stitched through to form a needle case and a pad of felt for pins.
Slots were stitched in the narrow pocket to hold thimble , eraser, machine needles etc.

The inside was then matched to the outside ,wrong sides together and the raw edges bound.

Cords were made and inserted to tie the roll up.
Brilliant and great fun to do!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Journal Quilt distance learning.

Having missed the boat with CQ Journal Quilts in 2013, because of the Bookwraps, I have signed up with Ineke Berlin's online programme. Each month we receive a set of instructions for a JQ and we post photos of our sketchbook and the resulting JQ online and receive feedback from Ineke.
My theme is "An English Garden" and  I thought I'd share with you my progress.

Abundance and full blown flowers was the look I was after.

Using torn fabric squares as my background.

used oil paint sticks and a freezer paper stencil to create a flower image on the background. I then quilted the flower and added French knots to the background before facing the JQ.
A very good learning experience and it reminded me why I so enjoy taking part in these little gems each month.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Why so quiet?

Happy New Year!
Rather late in the day I decided to make a few presents; so I spent the four weeks up to Christmas tied to my sewing machine and needle working to a tight deadline! Why I do this to myself, I'm not sure, it would be so much better if I spread the effort out over a much longer period!
I have two Great Nephews who have not had a bed a bed quilt, so this year I have managed to make one for each of them. Not works of art, but quilts that can be used every day.
In addition to the boy's quilts I finally finished the last traditional block quilt UFO which I started work on in 2006! I had wanted to try a Storm at Sea quilt, managed to get the top done while stressed out by my job and then quilted most of it in 2008 and then it languished in the UFO pile as I had lost interest in traditional work. Its been resurected as my Niece wanted to give it a home!

 So you can see why I had no time to indulge in chat here!
I'm looking forward to a creative 2014; lots of ideas swimming around my head, some new challenges and a wish to revisit my Petra theme for a couple of new pieces of work, plenty to keep me busy! I'm also planning to get out and about to see more of other people's work and galleries, the inspiration this provides is very important!