Friday, 22 June 2012

Summer Party - 9th July 2012

The next meeting of the Birmingham Embroiderers Guild is a very special one, as it is our Summer Party. There'll be plenty going on:
  • Exhibition - If you've done any embroidery (whether complete or in progress) at or inspired by any of our workshops or dayschools with the Guild, please bring them so everyone can have a look. This includes any embroidery created for the 'Our Shared Industrial Heritage' project, whether you submitted it or not!
  • Competition - bring your embroidery on the theme of 'Animal, Vegetable or Mineral', and vote for the winning entry.
  • Strawberry cream teas - included in the standard entry price (£1.50 for members) will be a strawberry cream tea, with a tasty scone, jam, cream and strawberries, all served by the committee.
  • Chinese Raffle - There will be several raffle prizes on offer, including a bottle of wine and some embroidery related items - when you buy a raffle ticket, you'll get to select which prize you'd like to be in with a chance of winning.
  • Summer reading stall - bring one or two books to donate to the summer reading stall, which we'll be selling for a small amount towards guild funds.
As well as all of that, we will have Bailey Curtis speaking to us about her colourful life in textiles. She creates lovely landscapes in hand dyed felt, and will be bringing plenty of samples of her work to share with us.

The meeting will be at 7:00pm on Monday 9th of July, at our usual location of the Friends Meeting House, Watford Road, Cotteridge, B30 1JB. It is near Kings Norton train station, and on a number of bus routes, including the 11 and 18, and near the 45 and 47 buses from town. There is a free car park at the front of the building. If you are thinking of coming, it would be very helpful if you could RSVP by leaving a comment here, or by email to, so that we can work out how many strawberry cream teas to arrange. See you there!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Committee Members Needed

The Birmingham branch have a lovely, hard working committee who get together four times a year to steer the direction of the branch. Several members have served for a while now, and have chosen to retire, therefore we need some new people to join us.

There are three specific posts that we would like to fill, but if you just want to be a general committee member that's fine too! The vacant posts are:

  • Treasurer - responsible for collecting money from memberships, raffles, fundraisers, etc. and banking it, providing reports to the committee about the branch's finances, paying speakers, hall fees, etc, and maintaining the membership list.
  • Vice Chair - supporting the chair to promote and represent the Guild, chairing committee meetings and hosting branch meetings if the Chair is absent.
  • Programme Secretary - Chairing the Programme Planning working party, booking speakers, providing details of the bookings to the committee, liaising with speakers, producing the programme cards and flyers.
A short job description is available for each role - please email if you would like the job description or would like to express your interest in the role.

And finally, thank you to Janet W, Pam and Linda for all the hard work they have put into the committee and the branch over the past few years.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Stitch of the Month: Herringbone Stitch

After some lovely examples of webs and wheels last month, this month's stitch is Herringbone Stitch:
tast 2012 #5: herringbone stitch
(Sampler by hetkabinet on Flickr)

For some stitch instructions, take a look at SharonB's stitch dictionary, which includes standard herringbone stitch, and two variations; double 1 and double 2.

Once you've mastered it, why not try varying the size and orientation of the stitches:
Variation of herringbone stitch

(by murgelchen on Flickr)
Layering in different colours:
Herringbone Stitch - Woven
(from Mary Corbet on Flickr)
Using it to build up a design:

05 - Herringbone Stitch (2)
(From magpieslaundry on Flickr)
you could also try varying the threads you stitch with, lacing it with ribbon or wool, working it in a circle, beading it, anything to see what different effects you get.

Another stitch in the same family is the twisted lattice band:
(From Sharon B)
What effects can you get? We'd love to see your samples next month!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Show and Tell June 2012

We had a marvellous Show and Tell this month, absolutely full of beautiful pieces that members had been working on during the month:
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (1)

Last month's stitches were woven webs and wheels, and several members brought their samplers and explorations to share:
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (2)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (17)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (4)
Margaret hosted a felt making mini workshop earlier in the month, and these lovely landscapes were produced on the day:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (18)

Janet W designed this interesting sampler about Alvechurch, which she has stitched with other embroiderers from her Church. It will be given to a group who are coming over on an exchange from Peru:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (19)

Angela has finished her lovely embroidery from the Polish Rhapsody day school, and turned it into a purse:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (3)

Margaret has been experimenting with free machine embroidery on scrim, and has made these lovely light and airy pieces:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (5)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (6)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (7)

Janet M brought in this beautiful cross stitch - a baby bib as a gift. She's chosen a beautiful selection of animals:
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (9)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (10)

Margaret also hosted a silk painting workshop, where members were asked to create a picture, and dye a beautiful scarf.

This is Linda's giraffe picture:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (8)

And her silk scarf:
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (13)

Two members brought back their finished pennants - we're really looking forward to seeing them all joined together and strung up at our Christmas party this year:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (11) 2012-06-11 Show and Tell (12)

One member brought these two beautiful embroideries, worked in lovely bright colours using mostly buttonhole stitch. The effect is stunning:

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (14)

2012-06-11 Show and Tell (15)

Margaret also made this brilliant picture of Ironbridge, which she has machine embroidered:
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (16)

If you've been working on a project over the past month please bring it along to next month's session - we'd love to see it!

(If I've not attributed/misattributed your project, please leave me a comment with the details and I'll fix it)

Trip To Style Africa

Following on from the Doodle poll, we've decided that we are going to Style Africa at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 28th July, meeting in the museum tea rooms at 2pm.

Please feel free to bring your friends and family.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Gargoyles, Ghosts and Gravestones with Annette Emms

This Monday, Annette Emms came to speak to us about her fascination with churches, and all the marvellous embroidery that this has inspired. She brought along many samples of beautiful, richly textured embroidery, with both hand and machine stitching, including her delightful books.

Annette describes herself as a storyteller, and this really comes through in her work. She has stitched lots of books, sharing legends from the areas she has visited, including this lovely book about well dressing. It includes a dress for the water goddess, lovely flowers and bunting:

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (4)

Annette makes quite a lot of books which have smaller books tucked inside them, one of which is her book telling the tale of the Mordiford Dragon, and Maud the fairy.

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (3)

As well as creating a book about the dragon story, she also created Maud's book of dragon lore, and her fairy slippers, both of which fit into sections at the front and back of the main book. I found all these secret extra treasures fascinating; they really show the delight Annette takes in creating things:

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (2)

Annette took us on a journey around churches she has known and loved in Herefordshire, Wales and Cornwall, sharing the embroidery she created inspired by each place, including these lovely angels from a headstone in Cornwall:

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (5)

Annette also makes lots of lovely embroideries with backgrounds of beautiful soft felt and scrim, in gorgeous colours. Her method for making the angels is featured in the current issue (77) of Stitch Magazine.

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (7)

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (10)

She has used similar methods to do these beautiful pieces, inspired by a children's poem...

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (12)

...and a book to answer the question "What do moonbeams do during the day?", posed by her granddaughter:

2012-06-11 Gargoyles Ghosts and Gravestones (15)

Annette's talk was not only full of examples of her wonderful embroidery; she also shared many funny tales about her adventures, and also told us more about her techniques, including making fabric paper. It was a fabulously enjoyable session, and we are now really looking forward to her workshop in September, where she will be sharing her image transfer techniques.

For more I took pictures of Annette's work, see the Flickr slideshow, and check out her website for more information, including her blog. You can also buy the pattern for her lovely pixie boots at her Etsy shop.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Annette Emms in Stitch Magazine

This month's speaker at the Birmingham branch of the Embroiderers' Guild is Annette Emms. She will be talking about gargoyles, ghosts and gravestones next Monday, the 11th of June.
I purchased Stitch this weekend, and was surprised to see a project by Annette in it. Her Fluttering Of Angels is on pages 18-21, and is a lovely little project, with needle felted angels. There are several nice articles, including an interview with Moy Mackay, and blackwork in white.
It's a good magazine, well worth picking up.