Monday, 28 November 2011

Fusing Fabric Workshop

On the 26th November, Margaret Beal came to lead a workshop for 12 members of the Guild. She demonstrated how to cut felt and polyester organza with a soldering iron. First, we stitched leaves and abstract shapes with free machine embroidery, and cut the excess organza away from the edges of the stitched shapes:
Margaret Beal  Fusing Fabric 2 Workshop 27-Nov-11 (35)

We then layered organza, free machined into it, and carefully removed the top layer in sections to reveal the organza underneath:

Margaret Beal  Fusing Fabric 2 Workshop 27-Nov-11 (22)
Some beautiful effects were achieved by building up layers of snippets of organza, and then working into these with stitch and the soldering iron:
Margaret Beal  Fusing Fabric 2 Workshop 27-Nov-11 (33)

The members produced lots of great work over the day, and I certainly feel inspired to take this further:

Margaret brought many beautiful samples of her work to share with us, and these were invaluable to help us understand the techniques she shared:

All in all, we had a great day, and are looking forward to next year's workshops. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Coming Up in December

Within the Guild:
December meeting - Members Workshop and Christmas party. Committee members will be bringing mince pies, and there'll be a raffle. We'll be working on a collective project, so please bring materials as specified on the requirements list. Sadly, this'll be our last afternoon session, as from January 2012 we move to evening-only sessions. If you've been contemplating coming to a session for a while, please do come along!

Fairy Tales in Fabric at the MAC
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December

Lost in Lace at Birmingham Museum
Ongoing until February 2012 - would any one like to go to this exhibition together on a Saturday in January? Leave a comment if you'd like to go.

November Workshop -Fusing Fabric 2 with Margaret Beal

We're looking forward to welcoming Margaret Beal this Saturday for her Fusing Fabric 2 workshop.

For members who are coming, the requirements list is below:

Sewing machine
Machine embroidery threads (non-meltable) for example cotton, rayon or silk
Usual sewing kit
Medium size tapestry needle
Large fabric scissors
Soldering iron 240 volts, 18-24 watts *
Medium/ large terracotta flower pot with a drainage hole in the bottom to use as a soldering iron stand
Mains extension lead
Piece of glass about A4 sized, edges covered with masking tape (e.g. Picture frame glass)
Metal ruler 6 inches long, not less than 1 inch wide
Face mask (if you are concerned about breathing in any possible harmful fumes from melting fabric)
Fine wire wool to clean the tip of the soldering iron *
Nylon organza in a variety of colours #
Acrylic felt #

* Note on Soldering Irons
The soldering iron should have a very fine tip; she uses a 0.12 mm tip, 18 watts.

Margaret will have soldering irons available for sale at the workshop, priced at £23.50. If you'd like to order one in advance of Saturday, please call her on 01264-365-102 or email

I've seen Margaret demonstrating before, and she has put the wire wool in a toilet roll tube to make it safe and easy to handle, so it might be worth bringing a spare tube.

# Optional
Margaret will bring a supply of nylon organza and acrylic felt at a charge of £3 per person.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Requirements Lists - December 2011 & January 2012 Sessions

Could people attending the December and January sessions please bring:

December 2011
Christmas Guild Project
A sewing kit (scissors, needles, embroidery needles, pins etc.)
Threads, beads, sequins, ribbons, braids in Christmas colours (Red, green, gold, silver)
If you wish, bring reference material with a Christmas theme
Background fabric will be provided

January 2012
New Beginnings - Our Shared Industrial Heritage
Paper or Sketchbook
Pritt stick/paper glue
Old magazines
Water colours
Coloured tissue paper
If you wish to bring your own reference material on the theme of Our Industrial Heritage, please feel free, however some will be provided for you.

If you have any queries, please email

Moroccan Mosaics

This month, Angela Thompson came to talk to us about her travels round Morocco, and the textiles she has collected.

She showed a presentation with many photographs of the buildings and architectural details which have inspired Moroccan embroidery, full of rich geometric patterns.

Due to the wide range of cultures that settled in Morocco, there are many different styles of embroidery, varying from town to town, and ranging in style from very delicate to rather more coarse embroidery. Angela also talked about how she had visited homes where families embroidered items for sale, like table cloths and tea tray inserts.

Here are some of the photos I took of the textiles that Angela shared: