Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Competition entries for Regional Day

If you are entering the competition at the Regional Day in Worcester on the 22nd of June, and need your piece insured you have to send your name, branch and email address, phone number, title of exhibit and value for insurance to Jacky Shail (Worcester Branch) by the 1st of June at the latest - email by the 27th of June for the email address to send to, or see here for Worcester's contact details.

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.

Spaces on Nuno Felting Workshop in Leamington

The Leamington branch of the Guild have contacted us to invite Birmingham members  to a dayschool on Saturday June 8th with Val Hughes on Nuno Felting. They have 8 places left and are wondering if any of our branch members would be interested in attending.  Members are also welcome to attend the Friday evening talk on June 7th.

They hold their meetings at St Mary's Church Centre, St Mary's Road, Leamington Spa CV31 1JW.

Talks are 7.15pm - 9.00pmadmission 4.00 (no need to book a place)

Workshops 10.00am - 4.00pmfee £25.00

Please see below for a brief description of the talk and workshop.
If any members are interested, could you please email:, and I (Heather) will pass your details on to Jenny Archer, the workshop secretary for EG Leamington & District Branch
Friday 7th June – talk
Val Hughes The Anne Boleyn Collection

A welcome return from the felt maker Val Hughes who entertained us on her last visit with her ‘Water, Snow and Ice’ collection of wonderful wearable art. This time, at members’ request, Val is bringing her Anne Boleyn collection and will tell us the story behind its conception. This collection of costume/wearable art is inspired by the mysterious and enigmatic figure of Anne Boleyn. It currently consists of ten pieces which utilise mixed media, felt making and free machine embroidery techniques. The lecture covers the theoretical and practical side of its creation.
Saturday 8th June – workshop
Val Hughes Nuno Felting

Brief Outline
Learn how to apply merino wool tops to an open weave cloth, silk chiffon, synthetic chiffon, cotton scrim and muslim. Explore different layout techniques and multiple ways to create different textures.
The day is intended as a taster/sampling session, however, Val can easily accommodate those with more experience.

It is hoped you will go away with a broad knowledge of techniques and be inspired to develop your work further.
Val plans to begin the day showing samples of some of her nuno felt including single layer, double layer and incorporation of felts etc.
The day will then be spent sampling including techniques from the above as well as colour, textures and layouts.
Following our sampling, a brief  'show and tell' session will take place, so that participants can share knowledge, experiences, ideas and outcomes with each other.
Requirement list
  • Merino wool tops, at least 100g
  • Cotton scrim, muslin, silk chiffon, synthetic chiffon or a mixture (enough for sampling) Each cloth gives a different effect.
  • Threads, lace, ribbons, knitting wools, anything you might like to try to incorporate in your work.
  • Spray bottle for water.
  • Olive oil soap or a mild washing up liquid
  • A rolling pin or a piece of dowel rod.
  • Bubble wrap (bubbles must be evident and not under a layer of plastic) - Alternatively, a cane mat, bamboo mat or beach mat at least 18 inches x 12 inches
  • Old piece of net curtain, enough to cover your bubble wrap or cane mat.
  • Two old towels.
  • Scissors
  • Note book, pencil/pen.
Val will bring some bamboo mats, fibres, bubble wrap and fabric for those who wish to purchase from her.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn artworks stolen

Embroidery created by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn has been stolen when they were leading an event at at a school in Lincolnshire - see this article for more details:

Petition against the Reclassification of Crafts as Manufacture

There is a Government proposal to reclassify crafts as part of the manufacturing industry, and as craftspeople I think we would all agree that crafts have far more in common with the Arts than manufacture!

If you agree, please would you consider signing this petition to ask the Government to rethink:

This issue has been taken up by the main Embroiderers' Guild (see their News article), and the more signatures on the petition, the more likely this is to get noticed.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Opening the Kimono with Marion Plumb

In April, Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild welcomed our own member Marion Plumb to share her gorgeous collection of kimono with us. Marion has travelled to Japan and is very knowledgeable about these complex and beautiful garments.

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (46)

While talking us through the various methods for making the fabric for a kimono, including dyeing, weaving, painting and embroidery, Marion shared with us some beautiful examples from her collection

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (7)

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (2)

She brought with her some of the tools used in their creation, including this stencil for printing:
Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (19)

A screen for printing, and the very fine thread used for creating the cloth
Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (44)

The fabrics are beautiful with rich detailing, including this lovely embroidery on a wedding kimono:
Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (39)

Marion was very generous and let us try some of the kimono on:
Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (42)

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (37)

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (35)

It was a fabulous evening, and we're very grateful to Marion for sharing her lovely collection and her stories with us.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

May 2013 Members Session

Just a reminder that this month's Branch meeting is a Members Session, where we will be making items to sell at CoCoMad. If you already have a project on the go, you're welcome to bring that to work on, or if not, we will be making lavender hearts to sell.

Lavender by wsmith on Flickr
If you'd like to make a lavender heart, please could you bring:
  • Sewing kit (needles, pins, scissors, fabric marker/pencil)
  • Some embroidery threads
  • Scraps of ribbon or lace
  • Some buttons or beads to decorate your heart
  • Cotton Fabric (optional - we have lots of lovely pieces left over from kits, but feel free to bring fabric if there is some you would like to use
If you own a pair of pinking shears, we would be most grateful if you could bring them!
Pinking Shears
Pinking Shears by s__i on Flickr

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fine Felts and Silk papers with Bailey Curtis

Our next Dayschool, on June the 29th, is Fine Felts and Silk Papers with Bailey Curtis.
Borderland by Bailey Curtis
This one-day workshop will give you an idea how to use silk in a different way.
If you are an embroiderer, quilter, or textile artist you will know that there are many different types of silk fibre. What are they and how do you use them?
Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with the various types of silk and find out what they need to produce silk papers at home
Please bring the following: 
  • Any silk fibres or threads that you have tucked away in the cupboard
  • A packet of supermarket own brand J cloths
  • A good pair of rubber gloves
  • An apron
  • A notepad and pen
  • A cat-litter type tray if you have one
  • A plastic bag to take home wet things
Bailey will bring a selection of silk fibres for you to buy at cost price, so don’t worry if you have no silk of your own.

There are still some places available on this dayschool, so if you would like to join, please see Margaret at the next meeting, or email Places cost £25 and pre-booking is essential.