Friday, 3 May 2019

Coming up in mid May and June

All the places are now fully booked for the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild, "Stitching in the Dales".
"Extract, Fragment and Remake" with Shelley Rhodes
"Life is a Bleach" with Mary McIntosh

June 5th
Stitch morning, followed by a talk "Pattern and Patchwork" by Betty Brown.
Betty studied art at Chelsea and Camberwell and graduated with a B.A. in 1986. Alongside drawing and painting she also works extensively in textiles and has a longstanding interest in pattern and surface design and a special interest in recycling fabrics and materials.

June 23rd and 24th
Grassington Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition, Church House, Grassington. Small workshops for the public as a celebration of National Stitch Day.

May's Meeting: "Eco Printing" with Jane Hare

Last month I spoke about Jane Hare's talk "Collaborating with Nature" holding the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild spellbound, but her workshop this week was truly riveting and her preparation unprecedented. She is a tutor of the highest quality and attention to detail in her preparation for our course was unbelievable. We can only suggest that more Guilds book her for this workshop. I know all the 14 ladies partaking on Thursday will endorse this. A very, very big thank you Jane for a wonderful inspirational action packed learning experience.
First we were coached on how to eco print recycled wool blankets using a vinegar mordant/boiling method. Participants arrived with containers of foliage and began to arrange them on strips of  wool cut and provided by Jane.

 These were wound up tightly on a plastic tube, tied and placed in the boiling pan.

  A range of dark subtle colours and soft leaf images were the designs created on our samples.
 While the woolen samples were in the boling pot, we were introduced to eco printing on paper

 The samples were sandwiched between two tiles, tied up and placed in a steamer.
 The final prints were so varied and will make beautiful handmade cards when embelished with stitch.

 While the paper samples were in the steamer, Jane explained how to eco print a silk scarf.

Each scarf was so individual. While we were waiting for the scarves to steam the next project was given to us! We were to make concertina note books and make a cover with a paper eco print provided by Jane.

All the above in 5 hours! What a fantastic day and what a learning experience for me! It was my first introduction to a "mordant", and the science of fixing an organic dye on to paper and fabric. Jane's workshop has certainly inspired me to continue with eco printing at home and I shall look forward to experimenting with foliage and fabrics this summer.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Coming up in May

A workshop on "Eco Printing" by Jane Hare
After this month's wonderful talk, Jane is coming back to teach us a few of her skills. The workshop is now fully booked. We are all looking forward to a very interesting day.

All those booked on the course will need to bring the following:

"Participants to bring along non waxy leaves they want to try out, those high in tannin usually work well. I have found the following leaves in my locality give reliable prints - Blackberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Geranium, Geum, Acer (red), Rose, Heuchra (dark leaved), Alchemilla Mollis, Physocarpus and Cotinus.  I would avoid Eucalyptus, Fern and Ivy.  

Obviously it will depend on how we are getting along with Spring by Mayday but there should be something in the hedgerow.  I have some leaves I dried at the end of last year which I can bring along if it looks like folks might be struggling.  A friendly florist is usually quite happy to let you have their rose leaf and other interesting trimmings.  Rose leaves in particular will keep for a week or so before you use them, others can be picked the day before or on the morning.  If the rose leaves look as they are flagging then cover them in water to keep them hydrated. This can be poured away on the morning before travelling.

Onion skins and red cabbage are also good to try - one red cabbage will be sufficient for the whole class as it goes along way.  With regards to other leaves, it’s always good to experiment!  

All the fabric and paper will be provided and prepared ready to print. I will provide notes of the methodology and recipes on the day. 

Participants may wish to also bring an apron, notebook and pen and plastic bags to take home wet papers and fabrics".

On May 15/16/17 Grassington Embroiderers' Guild are hosting "Stitching in the Dales". The tutors will be:

  • Shelley Rhodes "Extract, Fragment and Remake", this is now fully booked.
  • Mary McIntosh "Life is a Bleach", there is one space left on this.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

April's Meeting: "Collaborating with Nature" a talk by Jane Hare

I must begin the Blog this month with some sad news. Carol Brown, one of the founder members of the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild, slipped away peacefully on the 15th March after her battle with cancer. Carol was a proud and deserved recipient of a Trustee Award, and I know this acknowledgement from the Embroiderers' Guild gave her and the family a few hours of pleasure at this very difficult time. She will be sadly missed in Grassington. We send our deepest sympathy to Carol's family at this time.

"Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow"

We will be remembering Carol with an exhibition of her needlework displayed in Church House, Grassington on June 23rd/24th as part of our annual exhibition and contribution to Grassington Festival.

On a much brighter note, a second member of the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild will receive a Trustee Award which will be presented at our monthly meeting, as yet to be arranged. What an honour for two of our members to be considered as worthy applicants.

The recipient is Sheila Gudgeon, who has been a member at Grassington for well over twenty years. She has been Chairman of the group and her name appears year after year on the committee member list. When I was elected as secretary it was committee member (tea lady), Sheila, with her quiet composed character that guided us in the right direction through those initial meetings. She checked we had covered matters of importance in a very unobtrusive way. It was not until I had begun to record the history of our branch that I realised that Sheila and one other member, were the next longstanding members of our group after Carol. In my initial year, I noticed it was Sheila who left last having completed washing all the cups up in the kitchen and it was Sheila who helped to tidy the room so we could leave it as we found it. Although Carol's and Sheila's contribution to the Branch were quite contrasting, I would certainly have been lost without the help and advice I received from both of them. Both are very worthy recipients.

Yesterday we had a super talk from Jane Hare.

Jane explained, "I was taught to stitch at a very early age but my real interest in textile art began when I inherited my mother's tin of embroidery threads. With the help of a bursary from the City of York Embroiderers' Guild, I completed a four year City & Guilds Diploma in Embroidery Craft and Design during which time, I explored the natural environment through stitch, looking in some depth at trees, leaves and bark. This is where my passion for working in collaboration with nature began; creating beautifully printed papers and fabrics using leaves foraged from the garden and local hedgerows."

Jane's slide presentation illustrated with fabric samples held us spellbound all afternoon. A fabulous introduction to "Collaborating with Nature".

For those who did not catch the title:
Wild Colour by Jenny Dean was suggested as a good reference point for natural dying.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Coming up in April

Grassington Embroiderers' Guild have a Stitch Morning starting at 10:00. Ladies bring along something you are working on and we can chat and sew together.
A talk by Jane Hare on "Collaborating with Nature" begins at 1:30.

March's Meeting: "Mini Weaving" with Joan Murray

A big congratulations from all our members here at Grassington to Carol Brown who was awarded one of the prestigeous Embroiderers' Guild Trustee Awards on February 18th at her home. Thirty years ago, Carol Brown with three other friends set up the Grassington District Embroiderers Guild. Carol has been a steadfast and committed member and there have been times when our branch would not have survived without her.

This month's workshop on mini weaving was extremely popular and we managed to squeeze 17 participants around the table. Joan Murray gave us a brief introduction about herself and how she had graduated from Belfast College of Art and went on to specialise in weaving at Winchester School of art. She illustrated her talk with samples of her wonderful weaving and then got us all started on mini looms.

Joan had wonderful fine intricate samples to show us.
The colourful and textured mini weaving samples created at the workshop were all so varied.

Joan is a lecturer at Craven College and we all hope her students realise how lucky they are to have such a dynamic and inovative teacher. She inspired our group of ladies who were certainly interested in spending more time on weaving workshops. We are hoping that Joan will run some day courses at the College for mature students as an extension to the course she ran today.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Coming up in March

A workshop on "Mini Weaving" with Joan Murray.

We still have a few places left for this workshop. Those that have signed up, please bring an assortment of yarns, different textures and colours, and big-eyed needles. It should be an interesting day!