Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Summer Fun: Angie Hughes

The next post in our installment of Summer Fun features focuses on Angie Hughes, who has led a very enjoyable dayschool, Inspired By Klimt, for branch members.

2012-04-23 Angie Hughes Inspiration On Your Doorstep (2)
Some beautiful embroidery by Angie Hughes
Angie Hughes has a fabulous website which includes lots of online courses in topics such as 'Bedazzling Bowls' and 'Bondaweb Birchwood'.

She makes a charge for the courses, with prices ranging from £3.99 to £12.99. For the price you get a very detailed PDF download full of instructions and pictures. Angie also tells you all of the materials you need before you purchase the workshop, so you can work out if you have all the required supplies before you buy.

The 'Shimmering Landscapes' course is on sale at £6.99, and 'Bags of Klimt' is on sale at £7.99; this could be a good introduction to her online courses.

To take a look at the full range of courses, click here:

We hope that this has inspired you to make some beautifulshimmering masterpieces. Look out for next week's installment in our 'Summer Fun' series.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


On the 6th of July, Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild took part in CoCoMad in Cotteridge Park. This free festival was set up by the Friends of Cotteridge Park, to promote the park, raise some funds to carry on developing park facilities, and most importantly have fun!

While we are all used to the warm weather now, this was the first really sunny day we had had for a long while, so the park was full of people enjoying the music, food, and craft activities.


We were part of the Stitch and Beach marquee, with the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, Cotteridge Quilters, and the Scouts were on hand to provide tea, coffee and cakes.

Members had worked very hard over the past months to make lots of lovely items to sell, with the result that we had a really vibrant stall with lots of embroidered items.




We had a great time chatting to people about the Guild.


We also had a sewing table, so that people could join in and stitch with us. Adults and children alike had fun making flower brooches and sewing on binca.


The festival was really great fun, and we did well as a branch, with the raffle and sales raising money for our branch, and more importantly attracting new members.

All in all the festival was a great day out. Thank you to all branch members who helped out with putting it together, by being part of the organising committee, volunteering on the day, helping to make kits, donating materials, and making items for us to sell.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Summer Fun: C June Barnes

The first resource featured in our Summer Fun series is a website by a very talented embroiderer and quilter. C June Barnes uses colour, texture and dimension very strongly in her work.

Heart and Soul by C June Barnes

She has also produced a number of fact sheets which are available for free on her website here:

Topics include mosaic collage, graduation dyeing and image transfers, and provide lots of useful techniques that you might like to incorporate into your embroidery.

June also has lots of galleries of her work, which are very inspirational.

We hope that this has inspired you to pick up a needle and thread, or possibly dye some fabrics. Look out for next week's installment in our 'Summer Fun' series.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Summer Party 2013: Competition and Cakes

As well as enjoying a fabulous demonstration of Silk Painting with Margaret Dunning at our Summer Party, members also made some fabulously skilled entries for our summer competition, on the theme of 'Inspired By Nature'.

The winning entries were decided by members votes, and people were allowed to vote for as many entries as they wished.

The first place entry was this fabulous large machine embroidered picture of beautifully colourful 3D flowers by Margaret Richards:
Summer party photos Competition
Margaret Richards' winning entry
In second place was this beautiful wildflowers inspired embroidery, with hand stitched seed packet and beautiful letter, by Janet Lee:

Summer party photos Competition
Second place entry by Janet Lee
(Sorry about the shadows, it was a bright summer evening! Click the image to see a larger picture)

In third place was this fabulous hand stitched Kingfisher, demonstrating very skilled soft shading, by Janet Molloy:

Summer party photos Competition
Third place entry by Janet Molloy
As well as these three entries, we had lots of other entries that really demonstrate the high level of skill and breadth of interest among our talented branch members:

Summer party photos Competition
Bernadette's lovely 'Sampler' cushion
Summer party photos Competition
Clare's gorgeous Lichen vase
Summer party photos Competition
Heather's felted vessel, inspired by rocks on the Isle of Wight

Summer party photos Competition
A fabulous hand dyed and printed bag, possibly made by Betty

Summer party photos Competition
A beautiful flower picture, by Janet Wright
Summer party photos Competition
A fabulously textured machine embroidered landscape, by Angie Attwood

Summer party photos Competition
And this gorgeous toadstool and butterfly, created by a member
If I have misattributed any of the pieces (or if you know who stitched the butterfly!) could you please let me know at Thanks!

Thank you to all members who entered a piece of their work into the competition - they are all fabulous!

We also enjoyed some lovely cakes, made by members of the committee:

Summer party photos cake

Angela Rowles had originally planned to make all the cakes for the meeting, but unfortunately she broke her arm a few days before the party, and so was unable to finish baking. Committee members stepped into the breech, baking and buying cakes to make sure that there would be enough for everyone on the day.

We also gave Angela a bag from the CoCoMad stall that she had been admiring, to thank her for the hard work that she had put in in making cakes, and commiserate with her about her broken arm. She would like us to pass her thanks on to the branch members for the gift of the bag; with her arm in a cast, it is proving very helpful as it does not have any zips. This means that she can use it more easily! Get well soon Angela!

Summer Party 2013: Silk Painting with Margaret Dunning

On the 8th of July, Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild welcomed Margaret Dunning to our summer party to show us all her marvellous silk painting. Margaret demonstrated her technique for making beautiful hand painted landscapes:

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings

She shared with us some useful tricks for using gutta effectively to make a mountainous landscape like the one in the background here:

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings

As well as demonstrating silk painting, Margaret also showed us a very easy technique for microwave dyeing silk threads and fibres:

Summer party photos

As chair of the Guild of Silk Painters, Margaret is a talented silk painter, and she brought some other examples of her beautiful paintings to show us:

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings

We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot about how silk painting can be used to make effective backgrounds for further stitch, so thank you to Margaret for sharing her skills with us.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Fine Felts and Silk Papers

On the 29th of June, Birmingham Embroiderers Guild welcomed Bailey Curtis to lead a dayschool on fine felts and silk papers.

Bailey brought with her a sample of her embroidery where she had combined felt, silk paper nad machine stitching to great effect.

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 7

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 7

Bailey showed us lots of techniques, including how to separate and dye mawata silk caps, leading to some gorgeous colours.

Teasing out the caps:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 6

In the dye bath:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 6

Some finished caps:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 4

We also dyed some other fibres, including throwsters waste, and then incorporated our dyed throwsters waste into some felt:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool photos

Rolling the felt was quite hard work:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 4

But the end results were very nice:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 4

We made silk paper, both exploiting the properties of gummed silk:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 4

And using wallpaper paste on ungummed, dyed silk:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool pictures 2

We also experimented with nuno felting:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool photos

All in all, a good fun day was had by all:

Bailey Curtis Dayschool Pictures 4

Bailey Curtis Dayschool pictures 2

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

September Session Change: Kay Dennis

Hi All,

Just a note to say that, in a change from our published programme, Kay Dennis will be the speaker at our September session, on the 9th of September.

Kay was booked to speak at our summer party, but had to postpone because of an operation - we wish her well with a speedy recovery. Thank you also to Margaret Dunning for stepping in to speak at our Summer party - writeup coming soon.

There is no session in August, so we will see you on the 9th of September.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Summer Party Today!

It is our 2013 Summer Party today, at the Friends Meeting House in Cotteridge, starting at 7 for 7:30pm.

As well as a fabulous talk and demonstration of Silk Painting from Margaret Dunning, we will have a raffle with some great prizes, lots of lovely cakes, an exhibition of members work, and sale of lovely items including cushions, kits and greetings cards.

If you came and saw us at CoCoMAD on Saturday, you would be very welcome to join us - entry is £2 and that includes a drink and cake.

We hope to see you there!