The Grape Picker

One of the benefits of seeing members work as photographs is the ability to see the detail. Here we can take a close look at The Grape Picker by Teresa.

Teresa has kindly supplied an explanation of the many techniques involved.

The head and body were stump work – stuffed and moulded shapes.

The cotton on the face was dyed in cold tea and the hair embroidered in various shades of brown stranded cotton.

The cap was made from felt.

The hands were florists wire covered in flesh toned stranded cotton.

The Clothes were needle lace and this is them under construction.

The boots were made of leather cloth.

The basket was woven with gimp.

Stumpwork grapes covered in beads.

The branches are wire covered in stranded cotton with blanket stitch.

The leaves are stumpwork covered wire.

The tree trunks and the ground are all surface stitched in random chain stitch seeding etc.

But all of this was constructed on a background of calico. Here seen badly stretched but it shows the underlying structure of the background before the edging was applied.

The background was calico covered in:

Blue organza for the sky – overseen with seeding when the organza had split!

The landscape and border was made from silk rods. The autumn coloured silk rods were split apart, soaked in lukewarm water then ironed flat.  They still retained some gum when cut out and ironed onto the background but some decorative herringbone held the pieces in place.

My thanks to Teresa for sharing this content and images.

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Christmas Box Cards

Our November 2019 meeting was something a little different. Local craftswoman Cathy Powling came to tutor us in making these charming cards. Cathy brought along many examples of her cards and showed the range of her imagination for many occasions.

Cathy’s preferred medium is paper, so she shared the techniques involved whilst our discussions contemplated the possibilities using fabric, Lutrador, Pelmet Vilene or similar products to make the base. We also thought that fabric might be used for pattern, and other stitching & media ideas could be used for the pop-up elements.

With Christmas just a few weeks away it was the starting point for most of our cards and featured above are just some of our efforts. It was a productive afternoon as we enjoyed ourselves, learnt a new technique and went home with a finished product, but knowing how to do it better next time.

Stitchfest 2019

Stitchfest at Ardingly saw the launch of our Crystal Swan as she glided across our table accompanied by Young Embroiderers’ & members work.

Collective piece by members in 2019

She caused a great deal of interest and much praise, especially when Teresa explained the detailed construction process.

Our Alphabet Tiles continue to draw interest and clearly had given inspiration to other Guilds.

The show cases were a varied delight. It was a great opportunity to talk to fellow stitchers and share stories of creativity. I came away gaining ideas for future projects but had also shared my knowledge to encourage others.

This Funky Chicken was created by Margarita as an example of a YE project.
There were many sumptuous stalls to peruse and purchase from. These colourful threads from Weavers Bazaar were a particular favourite.

Many ladies were heard to say ” I’m not going to buy any more,” but we did.

Our thanks must go to the organisers who I hope had time to enjoy the exhibition as it was a long day – but a positive and encouraging event.

Let’s get stitching

The latest project from the Young Embroiderer’s has been to make a needle-case and pinwheel using decoration created with fabric transfer paints. The addition of simple stitches has added depth & interest.  A fun project with a simple idea led to many variations so that each member has expressed her personality. Some were completed this week and each member was given a set of needles & pins to get them started.IMG_20190323_120805251 We wait to see the more complex designs next meeting.

Stylish Drawstring Bags

Last term our Young Embroiderers got creative and working to their individual abilities made shoulder bags from denim jeans. Besides recycling this covered many facets of design and selection; the techniques  included creating their unique applique motifs, applying & hand stitching their design,  machine stitching their bag and liner to create this draw string bag. These two bags illustrated drew from the night sky for their inspiration.

Sussex Prairie Gardens

DSCF6510Braving the unreliable summer weather six of us met at the Sussex Prairie Gardens on 27th July. The 8 acres of gardens are planted in bold swathes of colour & texture and amongst the planting can be found a variety of interesting sculptures. DSCF6500A crocodile and giraffe were  seen but not captured on camera. Further inspiration was also found from the resident textile and mixed media artists Emma Taylor and Amanda Duke. Their work prompted discussion of the workshop sessions we have organised this past year.

DSCF6514The garden is currently exhibiting the longest strip of decorated denim which was draped along the fences, wrapped around a shed and entwined around a tree. DSCF6512Over 1 km long the decorated panels explain the ugly facts about the process of denim production.


How did I get here?

Our November meeting was an enjoyable afternoon with Anne Hellyer explaining how her city-scape art techniques have evolved.

     Anne was generous with her knowledge and imparted various ideas that we could explore. Several ladies purchased the assembled packs of painted fabric and we wait to see their efforts.

projects from the Anne Hellyer workshop

We look forward to meeting Anne again later in the year when she will be leading our Autumn workshop day on 17 November 2018.