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.
On her table Judy showed us many variations of the "covered box". So many sizes, shapes, functions and colours. She set the bar high and certainly gave us all so much to strive for.
Judy gave us lots of instruction (collective and individual) and encouragement and slowly box construction progressed. Some boxes were almost complete by the close of play.
It was a thoroughly informative and enjoyable day. Well done and thank you Judy.
Report and photos by Linda W
Thank you Linda, 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
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
As I love hand stitching I was particularly looking forward to this workshop with Kathleen.
She started by showing us work from four different textile artists who used hand stitching. One was well known to us, Emily Jo Gibbs but the other three were new names - Magdalena Godowa, Kimika Hara and Natasza Niedziolka. Below you will see details of their websites.
Before us on the table Kathleen had displayed various fruit and vegetables which she had cut open to show their insides and we were asked to choose one. The challenge was then to replicate the fruit either adding appliqued materials or just hand stitch. Below you will see the amazing results.
Kathleen has another interesting sideline which she told us about briefly at the end of the day. She makes truly amazing little people under the name of Murgatroyd & Bean. I know my grandchildren would adore to hear the tales and to see these people so I do hope she publishes the stories one day.
Thank you to Kathleen and her friend for a most enjoyable day.
Report & photos by Ros
On Monday we had an “in house” printing workshop led by Ann Smith.
Ann started the day with a demonstration of preparing acetate sheets and gelli plates with acrylic paint ready for printing. We started printing on paper and in the afternoon we printed on various fabrics - cottons, linen, silk and organza. We used stencils and various mark making tools to make patterns on the printing plates and some people even added their own glitz to bring sparkle to their designs and some started collage.
Ann was very generous by letting us use her materials which gave us the opportunity of experimenting with different tools and techniques.
The day went very quickly and Ann concluded by giving everybody a couple of luggage labels for printing and we were asked to finish them at home ready for our exhibition in the summer.
For the last 10 minutes we all went round to look at each other’s work and it was interesting to see the choice of colours, some very pale and subtle while others were very bold and bright. When discussing the individual designs Ann used a card mount to identify sections which could be developed further. This was a very useful tip which I am sure we will use in the future.
It was fun day - we came hope with loads of paper and fabric designs and we thank Ann very much for leading the day and sharing her knowledge.
Report and photos by Ros
A group of MDEG members recently spent a most enjoyable two days taking part in Alexandra's workshop.
She introduced the workshop by showing us some of her own stunning bags and cushions. Day one involved creating a multilayered piece of fabric which we then machine embroidered with up to three different thread colours. Alexandra demonstrated each stage, then allowed us time to complete it before showing us the next stage of construction.
Many of us choose to buy a bag making kit containing fabric layers, template and bag clasp. Other students chose to make a fabric sample for a cushion, or to embellish a project of their own. Alex brought along a dazzling array of decorative fabrics for us to dip into. The hard art was deciding which to choose!
We appreciated that Alex spent time with each of us, advising on fabrics and colour combinations, plus offering ample help for those new to machine embroidery. We all progressed well on the day one and by the end of the day, most students were well on their way to completing a decorated fabric square.
With many workshops, embroidery techniques are tried out, yet the samples can end up confined in a drawer once they are taken home. However on day two, Alex carefully guided us through the stages of cutting, sewing and constructing a bag. By the end of the day we had all completed a beautiful bag, or a stunning panel of our own. The bags were each unique, colourful and stunning. Thank you Alex for such an enjoyable workshop. I'm sure that we will all have a go at making more bags in the future.
Report and photos by Jackie Bagg.
Thank you so much Jackie - your help is much appreciated and your photos were great! Ros
Vivienne Prideaux organised an indigo dyeing workshop earlier this year and kindly agreed to return to help us again. We now have our own indigo vat which Ann S is keeping at her house so watch this space, lots of hours of fun ahead.
We dyed a variety of fabrics and threads using samples created in March with resist. During the morning Vivienne suggested we prepare some shibori samples and Maria made an interesting resist using screws - I wonder how it will turn out? We returned home with our samples and told to wait as long as possible before washing out. Below are some photos taken during the day including one of Tiger who was very interested in what was going on. Good job he did not go too near the vat! Thank you Ann for a super day.
Report and photos by Ros (and Vernice!)
Illustrative pictures using silk organza and hand stitch
It took me about 18 months to decide to join the Embroiderers Guild, because I was intimidated by the amazing work I saw on line. However, when a friend showed me the pieces she had made at a workshop I realised I was missing opportunities to learn and improve. Now I sign up for as many workshops as I can, so that I can broaden my repertoire and gain confidence in my own ability.
When I first read the description for the Emily Jo Gibbs workshop, my doubts came back, because I cannot draw, and that seemed to be fundamental for this workshop. By the next meeting I had changed my mind - I realised that it didn't matter if I didn't produce a masterpiece, and I might learn despite that.
On the day of the workshop, as I looked at Emily's beautiful work, my heart sank. Her portraits, made from layers of silk organza embellished with simple stitches, are stunning, and their apparent simplicity belies the artistic skill that goes into making them. I knew I couldn't ever come close to making something similar. Then I saw a geometric piece and I relaxed, because I knew I could do that.
Emily's teaching style is relaxed and generous, and she doesn't hesitate in sharing her techniques to help everyone achieve something they can be proud of. She took us through the stages of creating our own pieces, starting with the geometric piece. We could then move on to something more complex (except for me, I chickened out and stayed within my comfort zone). Emily is undoubtedly a gifted teacher, and her gentle encouragement made us all very happy with what we achieved (even me), and I loved seeing everyone's work at the end of the day, and admiring the skill within the group.
I won't be winning any prizes for my piece, but that doesn't matter because I got to spend the day with a lovely group of warm, generous and supportive women, and I went home wearing a smile. Great value for £30!
Thank you so much Tricia J for sharing your thoughts and comments about the workshop.
Thank you Vernice for the photos.
The day after Anna McDowell's interesting talk about the history of Dorset buttons she kindly taught a group of Guild members the various techniques to enable us to create our own buttons.
Everybody was given a pack which included the metal ring, thread and the instructions to make a Dorset "cartwheel" button. I was surprised to learn that you used one length of thread and, to begin with, I found 3 1/2 yards quite difficult to handle without getting into knots! Our second button was the Daisy pattern which was worked on a larger metal ring but this had a staggering 5 1/2 yards. We all managed with some results better than others! The final button we were shown was called the "singleton" and for a group of embroiderers this button opened up a great opportunity to express ourselves.
By the end of the day, everybody had at least two buttons and some speedy people even had three!
Thank you Anna for a most enjoyable day.
Report 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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