Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Webs and Wheels

For the May session of the Guild, we had a Members Workshop, led by Janet Wright.

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Janet's sample of whipped and woven spiders' wheels.

She showed us all how to work woven and backstitch spiders wheels, and challenged us to experiment by trying different options including:
  • Varying thread type and thickness (wool, perle, stranded cotton)
  • Varying the number of spokes, remembering that a woven wheel needs an odd number of spokes, but a backstitch wheel can be worked over any number
  • Varying the size of the wheels
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This was a lovely, lively session, with plenty of opportunity to chat to other members, and help each other to work the stitches.

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If you would like to work on these stitches at home, here are some instructions on how to do them, courtesy of Sharon Boggon:
We also decided that we would like to have a greater focus on hand-stitching, and are going to work on one stitch per month, between Guild meetings, and sharing our finished work. Some members would like to make samplers, while others would like to use the pieces for cards, boxes, and other small items. There won't be any pressure on members to do this stitching between sessions; it'll give us an opportunity to improve our hand stitching and learn some new stitches, or revisit stitches which we haven't used for a while. We have asked members to bring 10p to each session, to cover the cost of an info sheet for the stitch being worked on.

Janet brought her samples worked for another group - this is the kind of thing we could create. They'll be great when stuck working out which stitch to use:

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Trip to Style Africa At BMAG

I've now made a Doodle poll to see if we can work out a date to go to Style Africa at BMAG. It's free entry, and looks to have lots of lovely patterned textiles.
If you're interested in going, could you please pop your name in the poll and tick the dates and times you can do? I propose that we meet at 10am for the morning slots, or 2pm for the afternoon slots, in the Museum Tearooms.
Feel free to share this invite with friends and family, whether they're Guild members or not.

Summer 2012 Competition

Not long now until our summer competition. The competition will be held at our July meeting, and the theme is 'Animal, Vegetable or Mineral'. You can enter any embroidery you've made that fits the theme, so a piece doesn't have to be made especially for the occasion - take a look around your house and see if you have any pieces you've stitched and could bring along.

Birmingham Embroiders Guild Exhibition 30 May 2011 (8) by Viv Wilson
Viv Wilson embroidered this wonderful picture, called "When King Kong Came To Brum", which was exhibited at the Mayormaking Day last year. It could be a competition entry as an Animal!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Webs and Wheels is on Monday

Don't forget that it's our Webs and Wheels session this Monday, the 14th of May, at the Friends Meeting house in Cotteridge at 7:30pm.

Janet will be teaching us all some lovely handstitches, and she has asked you to bring the following items:

Requirements List
  • Backing Fabric – Any colour to tone with your choice of threads, cotton or linen preferred. Any size from 6 inches square to A 4 size.
  • Embroidery Hoop or support fabric e.g. thin felt or pound shop dusters.
  • Paper and pencil to sketch ideas
  • Variety of threads in your colour scheme e.g. stranded cotton, coton a broder, cotton perle, tapestry wools, etc. + needles and sewing kit
The finished piece can be used as a sampler or made into a picture, box lid, book cover etc.

Whipped Wheels
(Photo from Aranthe on Flickr)

If you've been wanting to do embroidery for a while, but didn't know where to start, this would be a good session to come to. If you don't have the things on the list, don't worry - just come along - often members bring spares and we're happy to share!

See you on Monday!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Show And Tell April 2012

We had lots of brilliant work to share this month. Both Bernadette and Janet M brought finished pieces that they had started in our Polish Rhapsody dayschool.

2012-04-23 Show and Tell Bernadette's Cushion

Bernadette has worked her finished tree into this lovely cushion, with lots of fly stitches and beading. The end result is really delicate and beautiful.

2012-04-23 Show and Tell Janet M's Barge

Janet's piece is her entry for the Our Industrial Heritage competition, and is also reminiscent of a recent canal boat trip she went on. She's used the couched wools really effectively to form the arched bridge over the boat.

2012-04-23 Show and Tell Margaret's Book

Margaret also brought her entry for the competition, which she has worked up into a book since we saw it last month. This page details the names of some of the great figures involved in the Industrial Revolution, and some of their creations.

2012-04-23 Show and Tell Betty's Spaghetti Junction Cushion

Betty took her inspiration for the competition from a legacy of the Industrial Revolution, mass transport. She has hand dyed these fabrics and printed then stitched an aerial view of Spaghetti Junction here in Birmingham. This has produced a lovely abstract pattern.

2012-04-23 Show and Tell Betty's Bag

Betty also brought this bag she has made with her hand dyed fabrics - the colours and patterns are gorgeous.

If you've got something you've made recently (or not so recently!) please bring it along to a future Guild meeting - we'd love to see it!

Inspiration On Your Doorstep with Angie Hughes

Last Monday, slightly later than usual due to the Easter break, we welcomed Angie Hughes to speak to us about her recent work. We were fortunate that she had just taken down an exhibition, so we got to see many of her pieces 'in the cloth' rather than just on a slideshow.

Angie talked us through her work, starting with some early pieces where she used text very heavily:

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In this work she embroiders the text of a poem by George Mackay Brown; "Shroud". The only text of the poem I can find online is in this youtube vid. Angie stitched the background with threads in the colours mentioned in the poem, with the words spiralling round.

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In 1997, Angie won the Charles Henry Foyle Trust Award for Stitched Textiles, with a large text piece. She created this alphabet using lots of pieces left after that work, and shared with us stories of her studio above a printers workshop, and time spent working making curtains, ll of which has contributed to the materials she has used over the years.

Angie then took us through her more recent work, where velvet and shiny materials feature much more heavily.

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'What Lies' was inspired by a project to respond to an exhibition in a museum. Angie worked this piece to represent all the layers of objects found under the earth.

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Here's lots more of Angie's more recent work, lots of shimmering land and seascapes and gardens.

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Recently she has been doing more work inspired by Klimt (as above) and Hundertwasser.

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She also brought along these lovely buttons.

Angie is a fantastic artist, who generously shares her methods and textile works with us, making for a brilliant evening. She has a good website with lots of online PDF workshops about topics like Shimmering Landscapes and Bags of Klimt. You can also find out more about what she is currently working on through her blog.

Useful Pictorial Stitch Dictionary

While browsing the internet looking for more knotted line stitches, I found this useful stitch and embroidery picture dictionary, which has photographs and links to instructions for a wide range of embroidery stitches.

I thought that this was really useful for those times when you have an idea of the effect you want to achieve, but are not too sure how to get it.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Regional Day Bookings Required

A message to all members - if you are interested in attending the Regional Day on Saturday 23rd June in Shrewsbury, we now need to let the Shrewsbury branch know how many tickets we require.

Therefore, if you are interested in going to the day, please either contact Janet Molloy directly if you know her email address, or email birminghamembroiderersguild@gmail.com, stating how many tickets you want, and whether you want lunch. Tickets cost £10 and lunch costs £8, and requests for tickets need to be in by the 4th of May - this Friday!

Text from the invitation is below:

West Midlands Regional Day

Saturday 23rd June 2012

Shrewsbury Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild – assisted by Oswestry and District Branch - is hosting this year’s West Midlands Regional Day and we would like to invite you to join us at what we hope will be an exciting and entertaining event.
The event is to be held at
Priory School Business and Enterprise College, Longden Road, Shrewsbury SY3 9EE
(maps will be sent out with tickets)
The cost of the ticket is £10.00
Lunch will be available for £8 and will be provided by Shire Services.

Programme for the day

10.00 am Doors open – Goody Bags distributed – shopping starts!
11.00 am Business meeting
12.00 pm Lunch – and shopping ….
2.00 pm Madeira Lecture entitled ‘This Lustr’ed Cloth: Metal in Textile Art’ will be given by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden. This will be followed by the raffle and prizes for our competition entitled ‘Our Shared Industrial Heritage’ (see details below)
Tea, coffee – and cake! – will be served at the end.
4.30 pm  Close

The venue has easy access for disabled people as well as a loop system.
The following attractions will also be on offer
• Raffle
• Tombola
• Young Embroiderers Display
• Exhibition of members work
• Exhibition of Priory School’s Year 7 pupils’ embroidery pieces

There will, of course, be all the usual shopping opportunities available throughout the day.
Stalls will include the EG Bookshop, Batik and Beads, Fairtrade Fabrics, Mulberry Silks, The Beetroot Tree, 21st Century Yarns, Monkey Buttons, Castle Quilters, Janice Williams (Goldwork) and a 2nd hand bookstall.
Entry Forms for the Adult and Young Embroiderers’ competition are enclosed. The theme for this year is ‘Our Shared Industrial Heritage’.
We ask that all participants in the competition complete an Intent to Exhibit Form (for return by May 31st 2012) and Part One of the Entry Form which should be handed in with the exhibit on the day.
Please photocopy any extra forms that are required.

We look forward to welcoming you to our event.