Thursday, 5 September 2019

Coming up in October

Hayley Mills Styles is coming to give a workshop on "Mixed Media Textiles".
Hayley is a Yorkshire based artist who works with the traditional techniques of hand embroidery, applique, and patchwork, combining them with digitally embroidered drawings.

Requirement list for workshop:
A basic sewing kit
Any found objects that you would like to include on your piece of work

Hayley will bring calico fabric and threads

September's Meeting

The month of September signals the end of summer, the beginning of autumn and the start of the Grassington Embroiderers'  Guild new and exciting programme. Each year our programme secretary continues to book stimulating talks and workshops that bring fresh ideas to our own creative needlework. This means our branch members are exposed to the most up to date, innovative and contemporary needlework, inspiring us to create adventurous and ingenious pieces of work ourselves. Although we all embrace the quality of traditional stitch, it is a chance to incorporate traditional stitch into contemporary work that has hitherto been outside our comfort zone. This ideal is what makes the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild a creative textiles group and we continue to welcome new members ready to share their own experiences and expertise with us.

Our first meeting on September 4th, a talk by Jessica Grady, "Journey into the Unconventional" perfectly illustrated the ethos of our Branch as mentioned above. What inspiration Jess gave to us!
We were treated to the story of her personal journey into the world of textiles, illustrated with a fascinating  Powerpoint presentation and wonderful wonderful samples of her work.

Jessica explains " I am passionate about utilising mixed media and recycled materials such as painted metal washers, hand dyed plastic cotton buds, dyed sponges and stripped electric cables within my hand embroidery work. This juxtaposition of unusual media with traditional techniques invites the viewer to look closer - creating curiosity"

Photos from Jessica's website (used with Jessica's permission).

The talk was followed by a Jacob's Join lunch and the AGM. The committee members from last year were elected to continue for another year, but a further three members are to join the committee bringing new and fresh ideas to the table.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Coming up in September

We begin our September meeting with a talk "Journey into the Unconventional" by Jessica Grady. This will begin in the morning at 10:00am.
The talk is followed by a Jacob's Join and the AGM

July's Meeting

The end of June and the month of July has been a very busy period for our Guild. After last month's meeting we prepared and hosted the Grassington Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition at Church House in Grassington as part of the Grassington Festival Programme.
A huge variety of creative sewing was on view to the public for two days. We had national and international visitors that left very complimentary comments in our visitors book and spent considerable time chatting with our members about the variety of work and different techniques on display. In fact, as a member, it is wonderful to have a chance to see the talents of our members and to view work we have not seen at the workshops. It never ceases to amaze me how much talent we have in this small friendly Dales Group.

A second room at the exhibition was used to display the late Carol Brown's work. Carol was one of the founder members of our Guild and an inspiring and talented needlewoman. Her family decided to sell some of the items and the proceeds from the sale of these is to fund an annual Grassington Guild Needlework Award. 
During these two days we held drop-in stitch workshops to celebrate the National Day of Stitch. Those attending the stitch sessions took home a decorated needle case.

The July workshop was "Stump Work", a highly decorative technique of raised embroidery which became popular in Britain during the seventeenth century. Today we have numerous tutor books produced which have caused a revival in this technique. I picked up "Stumpwork, Historical and Contemporary Raised Embroiderery" by Muriel Best in a charity shop just before the workshop and gained a bit of insight into this detailed stitching. Two other good tutor books that I have managed to borrow are "Stumpwork Embroidery" Jane Nicholas and "A-Z Stumpwork" inspirations books. Both seem indispensible for coaching through some more of the intricacies of stumpwork techniques.

Alison Larkin was our tutor for this fascinating day of learning the basics of this wonderful craft. Alison provided a little kit for each participant and we tackled blackberries or dragonflies. Padding, wiring, tiny button hole stitch, beading, stem stitch, couching, stab stitch, stem stitch.............were just a few of the details named on the instructions! As a novice in this field of embroidery, Alison calmly led me through the labaryinth of stitch work and I completed my kit by the end of the day. What a thrill and I have since been shown the most exquisite stump work chest by one of our members. I do hope that with the introduction from Alison and guidance from the more experienced members of our group, YouTube and my newly purchased books, I will be able to create a special stumpwork piece to hand down to my family.

Our Annual Embroiderers' outing on 10th July will be to Hoghton Tower and Abakhan looking at all things fabric. August is our summer recess and we commence again in the Autumn.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Coming up in July

Alison Larkin is coming to Grassington Embroiderers' Guild to give a workshop on "Stump Work".
This embroidery builds on basic hand embroidery stitches to create gorgeous, 3D projects with strikingly realistic results.
Please bring your basic sewing kit to the workshop and a 6-8" hoop.

I have had the following message from Bradford School of Art. If any one is interested, follow the link.

I wondered if your members might be interested in our exciting new part-time textiles course? FdA Textiles Practice is a part-time level 5 course delivered via a unique blend of distance tutorials and weekend workshops 4-5 times per year at Bradford College. It has been designed specifically for learners balancing other work or family commitments. I hope you don't mind if I send you some further details for you to share with your members and wider network.

Thanks, Hannah Lamb (Programme Leader, Bradford School of Art)

June's Meeting: 'Pattern and Patchwork' with Betty Brown

Since writing the last blog, Grassington Embroiderers' Guild has been host to a bonanza of creative fabric work in our "Stitching in the Dales" three day workshops.
I had signed up for a course with Mary McIntosh and cannot speak more highly of her skills as a teacher and the preparation she had done for the three days. Each student had a large table to work on with an iron and the use of a central table full of items needed during the day.

By using bleach and a decolourant, screens, stamps and stencils, we created pattern fabric lengths from plain black cotton, linen and velvet.
Embellishing the designs with stitch, foils and organzas gave another dimension to the finished fabrics.

Instead of designing a length of fabric, I decided to design specifically for a gilet. Cutting an initial pattern out of waxed paper, applying bleach and decolourant to texured stamps, and finally using a paint brush to add further details, the finished fabric can be seen below. The next step is to embellish with stitch! I will try to remember to include a photo of the finished product!
It really was a fabulous few days of creativity and we can recommend the course to any one.

Upstairs the alternative workshop was taking place "Extract, Fragment and Remake" with Shelley Rhodes.
The finished work illustrated such attention to design detail and colour. What fabulous pieces!

We are already looking forward to next year's "Stitching in the Dales" as we know Jan has managed to book two more inspiring tutors!

This month's talk at Grassington Embroiderers' Guild was with Betty Brown and her love of "Pattern and Patchwork". With an emphasis on using recycled fabrics her approach to patchwork is a contrast to the work created with fat quarters.

Sadly I was unable to make this meeting and photos from members illustrate it was an excellent afternoon.

Don't forget June 22nd - 23rd is Grassington Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition at Church House Grassington. There will also be free needlework workshops during the day.

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.