Thursday, 28 March 2013

New West Midlands Regional Newsletter

The West Midlands Region of the Embroiderers' Guild have published a newsletter with details about recent activities and future plans.

To view it, click here.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Felt Making - An Ancient Art with Melanie Bermingham

For our March meeting, Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild welcomed Melanie Bermingham to speak about the history of felt making. She brought loads of fabulous samples of felt with her, both her own creations and pieces she has picked up on her extensive travels through countries that have a long history of making felt.

Melanie brought a range of hats and hair pieces, many based on her extensive research into the felt making practices of several ancient civilisations. She spoke about these people, really bringing the items to life with her tales of how they were worn and what they could have meant to the wearer.

Mongolian Mat


Melanie has travelled extensively in Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and other felt making regions, and has collected some lovely contemporary examples of felt making from these countries, which she shared with us. Mongolian felt making is characterised by white felt with patterned stitching.


Felts produced in Kyrgyzstan are often more coloured, like these white on brown appliques, which use both the positive and negative to make a pair of pieces.


As well as her extensive research into felt making, Melanie is an accomplished felt maker in her own right, and brought many of her beautiful felted items to show us, including these lovely vessels...

A hat


A scarf


...and scarves.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. Melanie runs a number of interesting looking courses at her studio, The Felt Studio @Ridware Arts, which is not too far away, about 9 miles north of Lichfield - see for details.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Reminder - Angie Hughes Requirements List

Hi all, just a reminder that the requirements list for Angie Hughes' dayschool next weekend is here:

If you're going, see you there!

Small Klimt Bag, by Angie Hughes

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Story in Stitch competition

If you're interested in entering something for the competition at the West Midlands Regional Day this year, but are a bit stuck for inspiration, here are some thoughts.

The theme is 'A Story in Stitch', so are there any stories that have inspired you?

How about fairy tales, like this absolutely gorgeous piece of Hansel and Gretel Embroidery:
Follow The Breadcrums - by Sushicandy
Or maybe a haiku; one inspired this delicate tree:
By Twitchyfingers on Craftster
Maybe a quote from your favourite novel?

Audania1 created this Hunger Games inspired Hoopla
How about your favourite song lyrics?
Eleanor Rigby quote, by DearBluebird on Craftster
Or maybe your own personal family story?

Annette Emms Image Transfer Workshop
Annette Emms' family photographs
Hopefully this has given you some things to think about, we'd love to see what you come up with for the competition.

Monday, 18 March 2013

West Midlands Regional Day 2013

This year's West Midlands Regional day is on Saturday the 22nd of June, and will be hosted by the Worcester branch of the Guild, at Worcester Warriors Sixways Stadium. It looks set to be a fantastic day, with two speakers; Althea Mackenzie, curator of the Wade Costume Collection at Berrington Hall, and Alice Kettle, prestigious embroiderer, who will be giving the Madeira Lecture, 'Stories of Stitch'.
They have planned for a number of traders to attend, including Art Van Go (With Lynda Monk demonstrating), 21st Century Yarns, Janice Williams Goldwork and the Embroiderers' Guild Bookshop. There will be a draw for a Bernina 330 sewing machine, provided by Frank Nutt, a raffle, and a display of items from the Staffordshire Hoard entries.
The theme for the competition this year, sponsored by Coats, is 'A Story In Stitch', see below for details.
Tickets cost £25, including a cold fork buffet lunch and coffee. Unfortunately no other food is able to be eaten on the premises, this is due to the requirements of the venue. The branch worked hard to reduce this cost as much as possible, while finding an excellent venue in which to host this fabulous day out. Hopefully the two speakers, as well as the other excellent attractions will more than make up for the increased cost this year.
The buffet is either poached fillet of salmon, or glazed honey roast ham, or goats cheese & red onion tartlet (vegetarian option), with a range of salads, hot new potatoes, and bread rolls. There are either profiteroles & hot chocolate sauce or creamy lemon delice for dessert, and a cash bar serving both alcoholic and soft drinks is available.

If you are interested in attending, could you please bring payment (£25, either cash or cheque) to the next Branch meeting in April - booking forms and payment are required by the Worcester branch by 30th April at the latest.

Members will probably arrange car sharing closer to the time.

It looks set to be a fun day out; we hope to see you there!

Competition entries should be no larger than A3 portrait or landscape (including frame) for 2D entries, or no larger than 38cm high by 30cm long by 30cm wide (including display frame) for 3D entries.
Members are able to submit notes on inspiration, sources, techniques, etc on an A6 landscape card in Tahoma font, but no name please.
Members who would like to exhibit a competition entry need to send their name, branch, email address, phone number, title of exhibit and value for insurance purposes to Jacky Shail by the 1st of June at the latest - email by the 24th of June for the email address to send to, or see your Branch secretary, who will have entry forms to be submitted.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Possible Trip to see 'Visual Delights' by the Living Threads Group

Reading Flair machine embroidery magazine this weekend, I discovered a very interesting looking exhibition by the Living Threads group:

Flair Article about the Exhibition

Popular Patchwork article about the exhibition

The exhibition is on in early April, in Long Eaton, which is between Nottingham and Derby, and I am planning to go and see it. Exhibitions are always more interesting if you go with like minded folk, so I would like to see if any other members (or friends!) are interested in going on Saturday the 6th of April.

The exhibition costs £3.50, and includes catalogue and parking. There's also a textile artists shop, and demonstrations on site.

If we were to travel by Train, I suggest that we meet at New Street and catch the train together, then get a taxi (or two!) to the venue, as it is about a mile and a half from the station. The route is a direct line from Birmingham to Long Eaton and the train fare is about £15.50 return, plus a couple of pounds each for the taxi.

Alternatively, if some people are willing to drive, we might be able to arrange lifts from mutually convenient locations, and share the cost of petrol.

To help me organise it, I'd be grateful if anyone who is interested could go and fill in this short poll:

Living Threads Exhibition Survey

Thank you!