We started the day with Val Toombes explaining the 4 undyed silks in our packs - mulberry which was white, tussah not as white as mulberry, gum silk, and throw silk which was curly, soft, and shiny. We made silk sheets by thinly placing the 4 silk layers between 2 layers of bridal net, then wetted with water and after that textile medium. This was put to dry.
We then used a variety of dyed silks placed again between 2 layers of bridal net, wetted as above the put to dry. Some very interesting and colourful designs were achieved!
In the afternoon we blew up a balloon and after coating it with textile medium we made bowls by placing silks in layers across and around it resembling bad hair day wigs! We then took these home to dry and pop.
An enjoyable day for everyone!
Report by Diana K and photos by Jackie B
Thank you both for sharing your day with everyone.
Our speaker this month was Val Toombes. She enjoyed drawing and needlework classes as a teenager and made her own clothes at the age of 12.
In the early days whilst working aboard, Val’s husband bought her a knitting machine and she went on to design patterns. In 1992 she did a machine embroidery course at Farnham College where she became a Bernina fan. She then graduated on to the City & Guilds course at Godalming.
Val’s main interest is silk and she uses it to make paper, scarves, dresses, jackets as well as 3D vessels. She explained that she learnt to dye 10 different colourways for use in her work and loves strong vibrant colours.
Val brought along a selection of her work on display mannequins and passed smaller items around the room for members to look at.
Val enjoys exhibiting her work enters competitions regularly all over the world. She talked about a recent exciting occasion when her work was chosen to be shown in the World of Wearable Art in Wellington, New Zealand. Val also mentioned exhibiting at Ramster Hall near Chiddingfold in Surrey.
A group of members will attend a workshop given by Val so watch out for the posting.
Report and photos by Ros
Congratulations from us all, Lindsay!
On Sunday at the Fashion and Embroidery Show at the NEC, branch member Lindsay S was the Visitors' Choice winner in the 2019 Madeira competition.
This year the challenge was entitled GLIMPSES OF ROYALTY and entrants were asked to create a rich embroidered piece inspired by royals throughout history – they could choose to capture Harry and Meghan’s romance, the grandeur of Queen Elizabeth, or even a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt! With thousands of years of history to explore, there was a great choice and a wonderful selection of prizes to be won. It was supported by Stitch magazine with the Embroiderers’ Guild.
On behalf of all M&DEG members, congratulations Lindsay. You, and your work are amazing and a great inspiration to us all.
Nikki VW and Linda W also entered this competition and below is an image of Nikki's crown using recycled materials.
Thanks to Ann K and Nikki VW for photos
Very few of our speakers have had such a prestigious CV as Karen Nicol. Karen’s mother was a keen flower arranger and she was brought up with flowers everywhere. Flowers, animals and birds can be seen in the majority of Karen’s work.
Karen gained a 1st class BA at the Manchester College of Art and then went on to the Royal College of Art where she studied textiles. For many years she taught at the Royal College of Art and has been visiting speaker and artist in residence all over the world.
Karen kindly bought a wonderful selection of her work for us to look at.
Karen then went on to show us images of her work. A large number of them included animals, birds or flowers and ranged from dresses to bedding, table linen and even large animal rugs. She mentioned working for designers like Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran, Givenchy, Betty Jackson and John Rocha. In time Karen decided to expand her horizons and exhibit and accept commissions under her own name. She started with an exhibition in London and one in Italy with the theme of lace skirts but has subsequently exhibited all over the world. In 2015 Karen was awarded the Royal Designer for Industry.
To our amusement Karen told us that her favourite machine was a 47 year old Singer. She sources a lot of her materials from car boot sales and jumble sales and is always experimenting with unusual materials.
This was a truly inspirational talk which opened up a world I knew little about.
Apologies to Karen for the quality of some of these images which were taken from her presentation. I now know how to adjust the brightness on the projector!
Photos and report by Ros
Several years later he returned with a wife, Wendy, who made dolls and puppets and she asked Lydie to make clothes for them. One thing lead to another and Lydie ended up dressing puppets and dolls for various projects including Prince Charles, Princess Ann and Mark Phillips for Spitting Image and a large chicken for a Paxo advert. She also made dolls for Jim Henson based on his film Dark Crystal.
Lydie moved away so this initial career came to an end. She then went on to follow a Diploma in Stitched Textiles at Windsor and teach embroidery. She is currently a member of the South West Textile Group exhibiting all over the country.
Lydie was a very generous speaker as she showed us many examples of her work and explained in detail their construction. The "When I grow old I will wear purple" puppet and the "7 deadly sins" dolls were my favourites.
Report and photos by Ros
Linda Miller spent two days with branch members in early October teaching her technique of free machine embroidery. Here are some photos taken by Vernice during the event.
Here are some of the wonderful results.
Photos by Vernice and Ros
After the formal AGM our October speaker was Branch Member, Vernice Church. Last year Vernice was invited to go on a 19 day textile tour of India.
She started her talk by showing us a map of India and explained her journey starting in Delhi, moving on into Utter Pradesh, then Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat. Images of tuk tuks, motorbikes transporting families, unusual doors, windows, buildings, ladies in colourful saris and animals gave us an insight into a country with a completely different culture to our own. Many of the photos showed amazing textures, shapes and colours which could be used as inspiration for textile projects.
Vernice then showed us the various styles and techniques of the tribes in the different states she visited - Bandhani, Banjara, Shisha, Rabari, Sujani, Phulkari and Applique. They all used vibrant colours but each was very different.
The group tour started in Delhi, where they were shown the main sights, then moved south to Agra and one of the highlights of Vernice’s tour was an early morning visit to the Taj Mahal. They then continued to Jaipur, the pink city, where they had an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort, visited the Anokhi Hand Block Printing Museum, watched a cookery demonstration and attended a block printing workshop. There was a lot of retail therapy and Vernice showed us wonderful throws, books and souvenirs of her holiday. En route to Jodpur they visited the Chippa Community in the town of Bagru to see their Dying and Block Printing processes. Vernice concluded this first part of her talk by telling us about her visit to Jodpur, the blue city, where she visited the Mehrangarth Fort.
We now look forward to the second instalment of Vernice's trip when she visits Udaipur and then moves into Gujarat, the home of textiles in India.
Report and photos by Ros
We were offered a wonderful selection of Thai Ikat silk, cottons and hemp to use for our Thai bags. To start the workshop Jennifer explained the technique of reverse applique, gave us a detailed handout and suggested various designs we could consider for our bags.
Although we were using the same technique, each person had chosen their own design and different coloured materials so it was interesting to see the varied results.
Jennifer also showed us how to create braids and different types of prairie points to decorate our bags.
To end the day Jennifer showed us how to finish our bag with a lining and how to attach the braids.
Jennifer was a most generous and patient teacher and we thank you for a most enjoyable day.
Report and photos by Ros
Our September speaker was Jennifer Hughes and her talk was entitled “Culture at their fingertips – the Hill Tribe People of Thailand”. Jennifer trained as a Geography teacher, has an interest in needlework and lived for a number of years in Thailand. She has a wonderful selection of colourful garments and hats which she has collected over the years.
Jennifer explained that the Thai government recognises 6 different groups of Hill Tribe people and they all have their own distinctive individual style. They weave their own materials, usually hemp or dyed indigo cotton, on a backstrap loom attached to a tree or somewhere in the house and garments are then made up using the narrow cloth. At a very young age they are introduced to the various techniques and by the age of 7 or 8 children are expected to weave their own cloth. The garments and head dresses are decorated with stitching, seeds of wild grasses, dyed chicken feathers, and in the old days silver, but this has now been replaced by a lighter metal.
We were shown garments from the Akha tribe, the Mien, who are superb embroiderers, the Lisu, the Lahu and the Hmong.
Report and photos by Ros
Information in this blog is provided by branch members who have attended the meeting, workshop or event.
Marlborough & District Branch is a member of the Embroiderers' Guild, the UK's leading crafts association
* The Embroiderers' Guild website -https://embroiderersguild.com/
* The Guild Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/embroiderersguild/
* The Guild Pinterest pages - https://uk.pinterest.com/theembroiderers/
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