Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Making the most of your Threads! Agnes Halliwell March Meeting 2017

This month our meeting was led by one of our own members Agnes Halliwell.
 Agnes is a very experienced stitcher and has a wealth of experience to pass on to us about using threads in unusual ways.
She wanted us to gain experience of the effects that can be produced when using threads in a variety of different ways and then be able to apply them in our own work producing the effect we wanted.
She brought a range of samples, instructions books and finished embroideries using a range of methods to inspire us.[see below]

Agnes began by demonstrated coiling or making a shape with a thread, applying PVA glue, letting it dry so it retained the shape, after which  it could be applied to a surface or used as a dangling trim to complete an embroidery. [See thread shapes drying below]

 Next we were provided with a piece of canvas and by wrapping threads in a sheer and passing them through the holes a variety of colourful organic shapes were made. [see below]

We were then shown how to manipulate threads by twisting splitting and ruching the plies. [See below]

Members thoroughly enjoyed the day and went home with samples and the knowledge to experiment and use a wider variety of threads and methods in their work.
A big thank you goes to Agnes for carefully planning the day and inspiring us to experiment more with our use of threads.
The day was enjoyed so much and Agnes did not get through all she had planned that members have requested a Part 2 next year.
Thank you Agnes and we look forward to Part 2.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Silk Painting and Batik with Caren Threlfall February Meeting 2017

This month we welcomed local textile artist Caren Threlfall who had come to show us the delights of silk painting and batik. Many of our members already knew Caren from various courses she had taken locally.
Caren showed us a range of samples she had produced and introduced us to the beautifully vibrant silk paint colours.
She demonstated the use of gutta to limit the flow of the paints and suggested that members might like to try a picture of a ploughed field, [see picture below] but could try out any ideas they wanted.

 Caren demonstrated how to apply the paint so that it flowed, mixed and then how to change the appearance of the paint by the addition of salt and drops of water.
Members were very keen to have a go and some of the beautifully vibrant results are below.

In the afternoon Caren put on her "cooking pot" to melt wax ready for batik.
Caren demonstrated building up a picture in layers of paint then wax applying darker and darker colours. She suggested we have a go at a dandelion clock.

Once the wax and paint were dry Caren demonstrated getting rid of the wax by ironing the piece between newspaper.
Some members got as far as this final stage others took their second piece to finish at home. There was lots of discussion over what kind of stitching and how much they were going to apply to their pieces without detracting from the beautiful colours.

It was a very enjoyable day with members being inspired to have a go at home.
A big thank you must go to Caren for inspiring us.

One of our members has embroidered her silk painting and added a few beads.

Completed work from previous workshops
A completed  "4 lines embroidery"  combined  with a stumpwork butterfly. Well Done!

 Weavings from last month;
Very pretty colours.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Weaving Denise Gates, Sandra Kendall January Meeting 2017

This month our workshop was on tapestry weaving led by two of our own members. Denise has been weaving for a number of years and produces fine detailed weavings.[see examples below]

 Sandra has only just started weaving a few months ago and is favouring textural weavings with found objects. [see below]

Members were told that weaving is very ancient craft going back into the stone age and practically every culture developed some form of weaving. Looms varied according to the needs and lifestyle of that culture.
We were also reminded that we had probably done some weaving in our embroidery e.g. darning, needleweaving, backstitch wheels etc.
 Denise and Sandra demonstrated how to warp our cardboard looms under tension and then how to do plain weaving.
We then warped our looms and made a start on plain weaving remembering not to put the weft under any tension otherwise we would have a piece of weaving with a "waist!" 

 As members reached the end of their thread they were shown how to add another colour and some brightly coloured pieces began to emerge.

Member then began to experiment with different textures, horizontal and vertical stripes and blocks of colour.

 Soumak, tassells and rya were demonstrated and members were able to add any of these stitches to their weavings.

 It was a very busy and profitable day with members enjoying learning new skills. 
We only scratched the surface of what you can do with weaving but by the end of the day you could see that members had already started to develop their own style and will hopefully go on to do more.
Thank you to Denise and Sandra for a good day.