Thursday, 27 September 2012

Acrylic Wax for Image Transfers

Margaret has asked me to pass this tip from Annette on to you all about a way of finishing your image transfers. You can use Acrylic wax to Bring out the detail in your image and add a subtle shine. For my image taken from a boiler, the transfer was a bit unclear, and still looked papery, even though I had rubbed it as much as I felt able:

Acrylic wax on image transfers

The next photo is after the wax has been applied. It is noticeably clearer, and I think, when combined with a good quality transfer will really lift it. The acrylic wax I used is by Crafty Notions, and is available from Rainbow Silks, among others.
Acrylic wax on image transfers

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Volunteers and Committe Members Needed

As well as welcoming Steph Redfern to talk about her embroidery, the next Birmimgham Guild session on the 8th of September will also be our branch AGM, where we will be electing the new committee and discussing the running of the branch over the next twelve months.

There are lots of tasks which go into making a successful branch, from specific roles on the committee (e.g. Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) to volunteers setting up and clearing away at meetings, making the teas and washing up, selling raffle tickets and running the sales table. If you do one of these tasks for the Branch, I would like to say thank you for helping us to have such a lovely enjoyable place to meet, stitch and learn.

If you think you may have a bit of time to spare, could you please speak to a committe member and let them know how you could help. We would like people to volunteer to:
  • Sell raffle tickets at the evening meetings
  • Produce a Stitch of the Month sheet for members to use*
  • Join the tea rota*
* Sign up sheets for these tasks are available at meetings.

We  would also like members to join the committee as a general member, to add their opinions and suggestions about projects, support things like the Summer Party, and generally help make our branch a great place to be. The committee meets about 4 times per year, on a date agreed by all the members. If you are interested in joining the committee, please speak to Janet Molloy or Bernadette Wilkinson at the October meeting.

Thank you!

Monday, 24 September 2012

A Thoroughly Inspiring Day: Image Transfer Dayschool with Annette Emms

On Saturday, Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild welcomed Annette Emms to lead a dayschool entitled "Inspiring Images", and what an apt title that proved to be!

Annette generously shared her repertoire of techniques, all of them free from nasty chemicals, and we made lots of interesting transfers.
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

Annette brought along many samples of her work, for us to see how to put into practice the techniques we were learning, as well as lots of lovely images we could use to try the techniques.
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

Winsome made this fabulously successful transfer, using Dulux ivory paint and an Osborne Stationers' copy:
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

Here's a fantastically clear leaf transfer:
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

We had great fun making transfers using sellotape and magazine images, which let us choose lots of interesting images:
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

Annette let us have a go at using Gel Medium (availalbe from Art Van Go) to make beautifully delicate transfers on fabric and for adding to other work:
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

It was great to be able to work together to learn these new techniques, enabling us to learn from each other's successes and mistakes, and share ideas about how to take these new techniques forward.
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

To take a look at the images we produced, press play on this slideshow:

Annette's work is a fantastic inspiration for us, as we now plan to integrate image transfer into our own work. Here are some images of what she has done with the techniques:
Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop

For more of Annette's finished work, take a look at this Slideshow - press the play button to begin:

All in all, it was a fantastic day, and we came away feeling thoroughly inspired. If you get a chance to take a workshop with Annette, then do, it'll be well worth it.

Our next dayschool will be Simple Stitches, Themes and Threads with Steph Redfern on the 24th of November - see Margaret at the next meeting if you'd like to book a place.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Bailey Curtis: My Colourful Life In Textiles

At our summer party in July, we welcomed Bailey Curtis to talk to us about her colourful life in textiles - a title that proved to be very apt!

Bailey brought lots of samples of her felted and stitched pieces, and shared the stories of the landscapes and events which inspired their creation. We really enjoyed being able to look at and touch all of her work:

July 2012 Summer Party (37)

Bailey produces many large scale felt wallhangings and pictures, using an interesting process where she joins pieces of her felt and layers of cotton fabric together with cotton machine stitching, allowing her to dye the pieces with two contrasting colours in the dyebath, one dye for the wool and the other for the cotton threads and fabrics.

July 2012 Summer Party (45)

She shared details of her dyeing methods with us, and also brought some sketchbooks.

July 2012 Summer Party (41)

Bailey's work features a lot of textured elements, like wrapped and stitched tubes, making them a delight to touch.

July 2012 Summer Party (39)

Here are more photos of Bailey's gorgeous work:

And finally here's a photo of us all enjoying our cream teas and looking looking at Bailey's embroidery:

July 2012 Summer Party (60)

Summer Exhibition

As the nights draw in and autumn clothes come out of storage, July seems like a distant memory, but here are some pictures from the exhibition at our Summer Party to cheer you!

We brought in lots of work to share, including entries members had made for the Regional Day, work done as a result of day schools, and competition entries on the theme of "Animal, Vegetable or Mineral".

Competition Entries
Members were invited to bring along their work, either recent pieces or embroidery they had worked a while ago, and vote to decide the prize winner. There were so many talented entries across the whole range of embroidery:

July 2012 Summer Party (5)

July 2012 Summer Party (8)
This wonderful stumpwork knot garden and cockerel were brought in by Lyn, who I beleive went on to win the prize.

To see more of the entries, press play on the slideshow:

We also shared our embroidery from dayschools and members sessions over the past year:

July 2012 Summer Party (18)
Angela brought in these  beautiful cards using webs and wheels from a members session.

July 2012 Summer Party (21)

July 2012 Summer Party (23)
Some gorgeous goldwork following the dayschool.

July 2012 Summer Party (26)
A beautiful knot garden box following the Louise Watson dayschool.

July 2012 Summer Party (17)
Heather's finished Polish Rhapsody Ampersand after Angela Thompson's Dayschool.

There's plenty more examples of gorgeous embroidery in this slideshow:

We also enjoyed strawberry cream teas and welcomed Bailey Curtis to talk about her colourful life in textiles - photos of that part of the evening will be posted soon!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Spaces available on Annette Emms Inspiring Images Dayschool This Saturday

A few spaces have become available on this weekend's dayschool - Inspiring Images with Annette Emms, where we'll be finding out lots of ways to transfer images onto fabric, in preparation for further stitching.

(An image by Annette, from her Inspiring Images workshop)

The workshop will be held at the Friends Meeting House, Watford Road, Cotteridge, South Birmingham, this Saturday the 22nd of September, from 10am - 4pm. Places cost £25, and you'll need to bring lunch (though there are shops in the local area) and items on the requirements list, though as it's short notice, just bring what you can and people are generally able to share.

If you'd like to come along, please email ASAP!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Stitch of the Month Update - Fly & Herringbone Stitches

We have been doing a stitch of the month for a few months now, and members are really enjoying expanding their repertoire, and trying new things with their hand embroidery. Here are a few photos of members work using Fly and Herringbone Stitches:

I used herringbone stitch in purple and orange on my latest finished embroidery, it was a useful stitch to cover up some of the glue residue left on the velvet from some painted bondaweb!
Rosette of thorns

Janet M worked this lovely piece in shades of pink on a hand dyed fabric, experimenting with scale and types of threads. Hopefully it'll join her webs and wheels piece which is now framed in a hoop hanging in her home:
Herringbone Stitch

I think the below was worked by Pam, who brought it to the Summer Party. If I'm wrong, please let me know!
July 2012 Summer Party (30)

Winsome experimented with bright colours to work this fly stitch sample:
Fly Stitch

Bernadette made this card featuring lovely flowers in a garden:
Fly Stitch

We hope you're enjoying working the stitches, and would love to see any way you've used them, even if they're not the most recent stitch of the month! This month we're working on buttonhole stitch and Rosette of Thorns

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Then, Now and Yet To Be (September 2012)

On Monday the 9th of September, we had a lovely Guild session where members brought in examples of their work under the heading of 'Then, Now and Yet To Be'. It was great to see such a variety of styles of embroidery that people are creating, and how their work has changed over time.

Pam talking about at tablecloth she stitched as a teenager.

Louise brought in lots of wonderful work created by the Young Embroiderers, who meet monthly in Bromsgrove. They had produced lots of lovely things, including redwork rabbits, bags, suffolk puff spiders, and these lovely fairy shoes:

Bernadette shared this beautiful tapestry that she stitched for her office, which features elements of Islamic inspired design:
Moorish Tapestry

Angela has been using her graphic design skills in her embroidery, and has made these machine embroidered scooters based on a holiday sketch:
Angela's Scooters

It was Lizzie's first session, and she very kindly brought a cross stitch Winnie The Pooh blanket which she had sewn for her son. There were lots of lovely panels, so here's one of the bear himself:
Lizzie's Blanket

Marilyn has been working on this intricate blackwork sampler (in blue), and just has a deer and another element to stitch for the top right, then it'll be finished:
Marilyn's Blackwork

Janet has studied felting previously, and brought this lovely seashell to share. It is really rather large! She hopes to work into it with embroidery stitches:
Janet's Seashell

Pam brought this tablecloth which she stitched as a teenager. We were very taken with her choice of lovely bright colours, and how vivid the threads have stayed over the years:
Pam's tablecloth

We had lots of lovely work shared, for more pictures see the slideshow here:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Stitch of the Month: Buttonhole Stitch & Rosette of Thorns

Hopefully you all enjoyed working some fly stitch over the summer break! One person who worked a sample was Winsome, who made this lovely colourful piece:

This month's stitches are buttonhole stitch, and once you've got the hang of that, Rosette of Thorns is a lovely variation that is easy to work and produces spiky crown shapes that follow lines and define edges really well.

Buttonhole stitch is also known as blanket stitch. Sharon B has some great instructions for how to work it here - something that helps me to remember where to start and which direction to travel is that you start at the Left, on the Lower of two imaginary lines - Lower, Left - both L's!

Here, buttonhole stitch has been used very effectively to build up a scene with reeds - the long stitches and strongly twisted thread work really well:
02 - Buttonhole Stitch (1)
(From Magpies Laundry on Flickr)

Buttonhole stitch works well formed into circles, where it can make buttonhole wheels. This would look good alongside the whipped and woven spiders wheels that Janet W taught in her members session in May.
Buttonhole stitch
(From crf_kitty on Flickr)

Massed buttonhole stitches work brilliantly to build up texture. This piece was worked by one of the Birmingham Guild members, isn't it lovely!
2012-06-11 Show and Tell (15)

Rosette of Thorns is a very simple stitch to work once you've got the hang of Buttonhole stitch. It is just the same stitch, but with the long lines worked in groups of five at an angle, creating a lovely linear stitch. See Sharon B's stitch dictionary for instructions.

I worked the stitch on one of my latest pieces of embroidery, using it to emphasise lines and edges in the design:
Rosette of thorns

Rosette of thorns

Once you've got the hang of working these stitches, you could try decorating the long legs of the stitches with a knot or bead, working them in a range of threads or sizes, and using the legs to couch down a thicker thread/wool. We'd love to see what you can do with the stitches!

Next month, Marilyn has very kindly agreed to do a sheet about Boullion and French Knots. If you'd like to do a sheet for members, please see Janet M at a session.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Chairman's Report to Regions 2012

Hi all,

Christine Poole, the Chairman of the Embroiderers Guild, has produced a report for members, updating us on progress and activities within the Guild - click here to read it.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Portrait of a Lady Event at Daventry Townswomen's Guild

We've received a message about an event being held by Daventry Townswomen's Guild, who are holding an open day on 20th October and Lucy Addlington from the History Wardrobe is to be one of the speakers. The
y have already had bookings from other Embroiderers' Guilds, and wondered of any of our  members may be interested in this 18th century presentation 'Portrait of a Lady'
For more information, leaflets etc. log onto

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

September 2012 Guild Meeting

I hope you've all had a lovely relaxing summer, with plenty of time for sewing. Our Autumn programme starts again next Monday (the 10th of September) with a members session called "Then, Now and Yet to Be". This is an opportunity for all of our members (and any visitors!) to share their embroidery with us.

It would be lovely if you could bring some examples of your embroidery; something you stitched a while ago, something you have stitched recently or a current work in progress, and some of your future plans, possibly samples, sketches, or just ideas!

Everyone is welcome to come along, no need to book, and don't worry if you've not got any embroidery you can share, it'd be lovely to see you!