Archive for the ‘Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild Meetings’ Category

That was the name of our talk by Quilt Artist Greta Fitchett, ably abetted by her husband Mike, also an artist, at our Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting on Saturday and it certainly was colourful!


The wobbly geometric quilt second from the left was inspired by the distorted reflection of skyscrapers in the  mirrored windows of a building in front of them, which is an idea I love and the Chinese temple with reflections next to it was a collaboration between her and her husband.


Sari silk strip applique features as vegetation at the bottom of the long landscape quilt on the left, and the colour palette of the one on the right really evokes its Venetian inspiration.


I love that temple reflection and the rich colours of the right hand quilt with motifs from Roman mosaics.


More Venetian inspiration on the left (millefiori from a Venetian bead) and in the centre, and Roman mosaic birds feature on the purple one.



The quilts are stunning from a distance but the photos really don’t do justice to the amount of surface decoration and embroidery. Buttons, beads, spangles, painted bondaweb, paint, hand and machine stitching with featured long wispy ends… Just love the detail!!


I’ve finished my second bunting letter – an R – from January’s meeting, but I was convinced that I’d photographed it on the main camera. I hadn’t, of course and now it’s been handed over, so none of my own stitching to show this week!

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If we have had a workshop of some sort at our Embroiderers’ Guild group, then at the next meeting there is a space available for people to bring their workshop pieces, whether finished or just continued, to show. It was fantastic to see what had happened to the stitch play pieces from my workshop in December.









Many thanks to everyone who brought along their work – glad you enjoyed it!

I’ve also been doing some more upcycling. First, I turned a single 1980s enamelled earring which looked like orange sherbet into a beaded brooch. I removed the post and then beaded it onto some hand dyed vintage cotton fabric with some matching pearlised opaque orange seed beads using peyote stitch.


Then I gathered the spare fabric over the back and ladder stitched it to the covered vilene circle onto which I’d already stitched the brooch back.


Then I could add the edging in a mixture of clear orange, opaque pale yellow and very pale lilac beads, to echo the colours in the swirl.


It’s not a terribly quick thing to stitch, but a lot of fun to do!

Among the oddments I scored from my Dad’s workshop last year were some bits of veneer that he had hand cut. This little piece is apple wood.


I wondered what would happen if I doodled on it in black pen…


…and then cut it into sections to fit in this vintage bracelet.


Measure twice, cut once…


Hold your breath and hope…


…and be pleasantly surprised at the result.



I’ve also added nuggets of sea glass and sea washed china to a selection of vintage pendants, brooches and rings.









They are all sitting in my Etsy shop now, waiting for loving homes!

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The theme for our January EG meeting was ’21st Birthday’ – ours, to be exact, and we plan to mark it with an exhibition later in the year. The activity was for us all to stitch a letter to be made up into bunting for the exhibition in the following style:


Liz had done a pile of lovely little counted work kits for us with the waste canvas all ready tacked onto the felt background and the promise that each letter should take no more than an hour to stitch.

It was a gorgeous little project, although anything counted tends to kill the atmosphere as you can’t count and chat at the same time! I ended up with a ‘T’ and had stitched it by the end of the session.


Then I trimmed the waste canvas closely,


damped it, and pulled the strands out.


I’ve got an ‘R’ to stitch next.

A friend has been giving me various odds and ends for upcycling as she clears her dad’s house, and some while ago, among the oddments was a vintage two-strand bead necklace with a damaged catch which was very much in her favourite colours but too short. I took it home and restrung it, interspersing the bigger glass beads with big copper coloured seed beads, which immediately made it longer while keeping the overall look.



I found a bright red plastic cabochon which fitted the top of the catch perfectly and used closed fly stitch, closely packed, to embroider a scattering of tiny leaves in autumnal browns on a piece of hand dyed brown silk.


Then I gathered up the silk over the cab, pulled it tight behind and stitched it securely before…


… sticking it into place on the catch. I was very happy with the way it turned out and Debbie seemed pleased with it too.



At the moment I’m researching and collecting natural dye stuffs and undyed linen, silk and wool to begin my first Dorian Gray project. Exciting!

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I learned a lot stitching the samples for the Stitch Play workshop and it wasn’t just adding new stitches to my repertoire.

I know that thread makes a significant difference to how the stitch looks and sits on the fabric, but I don’t often take the time to experiment. Usually, I start stitching, realise it isn’t right for the look I’m trying to achieve, and restitch it in the ‘right’ thread. The samples gave me the opportunity to really explore the different effects of different threads, especially the heavier threads which I tend to use less.

My first sample piece was based on the leaves and flowers pairs I stitched for Sandra and Val in the last round of Travelling Books. I liked the way the satin stitch worked up in the variegated thread and also the effect of the knotty Portuguese Stem Stitch.


After having worked some bigger shapes with multiple stitches used on each, I wanted to showcase smaller shapes with just a couple of stitches used but a different stitch to edge each one for my second sample piece.


I enjoyed using these wintry blues and am particularly pleased with the effect of the sheaf stitch around the edge of the central circle.

I thought it was also useful to label the samples with the name of the stitches used.


Two samples in, I started to look for shapes to include on the worksheet and found some lovely vase silhouettes.


Having worked on finding lots of different edging stitches for the spots piece, I went back to simple blanket and Berwick Stitches to hold the vase shapes down. Then I could go to town on linear stitches to create the bands across the vases. Chain Stitch is the only repeated stitch on this piece.


I really liked the effect of the four legged knot stitch (3rd row up from the bottom).


I looked at my three samples so far and sighed as I realised that once again, I’d stuck to my favourite green and blue palette and each one was stitched in shades of a single colour. I decided that for the last sample I was going to use rows of bright clashing colours. Yeah, right…


I simply couldn’t do it! But at least there are other colours than blue and green going on…

The Guilloche Stitch at the top is a composite stitch, with french knots, stem stitch top and bottom and a threaded thing going on down the middle. It’s a stitch I would never use normally, but it was perfect for the band going along the edge of the cup.


I love the feathered chain/chained feather stitch along the top of the mug and I also reused a few stitches from the vases sample. The raised chain band (5th row down) was worked in all six strands of a stranded cotton, as opposed to the perle on the first green vase (also 5th row down) and the effect is much richer and fuller.

I also found that using a heavier weight perle on the scroll stitch (2nd row down) than I did on the second green vase (also 2nd row down) helped it to sit better.


They were fun to stitch, but I was ready to return to something different by the time the workshop came round!

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First of all, Happy New Year to you all!  As promised, now the holiday period is out of the way, some more images of the stitch play workshop I ran at our December Embroiderers’ Guild meeting. I managed to stitch and mount four example pieces which between them showcase 48 different stitches, many of which were completely new to me.


I provided everyone with a two-page worksheet containing the instructions and sixteen simple shapes from leaves and flowers to a star, bird, Christmas tree, heart etc to use as the base for their stitch play.  The results were fabulous.


The background felt for Janet’s little robin was sparkly, which isn’t obvious in the photo, but made him look very festive!








Pauline combined the stitch play idea with a felt project she already had on the go.


All my pieces were stitched on light coloured felt so I could use a marker to keep my lines straight and equidistant, but pencil/markers don’t show up dark coloured felt so I made note of Sally’s use of guideline tacking stitches to keep her work level.









I admire the bravery of anyone, who like Christina, has a go at Rosette Chain Stitch, especially in stranded cotton!




Don’t know why this one insists on going sideways!



Mary was also working on a project which lent itself to the stitch play.


As a workshop it seemed to go down very well indeed. Pretty much everybody tried at least one stitch they hadn’t worked before/hadn’t worked for some time and everyone, from the most to the least experienced of us, was able to work and achieve at our own rate and ability level, which is what I had hoped would happen. :o)

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Our December meeting was held last Saturday and was an all day Stitch Play workshop sort of in the style of Sue Spargo which I led – hence why so much of my recent stitching has been under wraps! There are so many images of the work that came out of it that I’m going to leave you hanging until after Christmas for a report on the workshop and instead just show the results of our Christmas Challenge, which was set at the AGM in September to create a Christmas tote bag suitable either for an adult or a child.

We voted for our top five in each category by putting beads in a saucer.





The winner of the children’s bag section was Sally, with her intricate gingerbread house and biscuit button topped roof on the right in the photo.


Hazel’s bag (far left) is fitted with fairy lights in the middle of each star which actually light up!






The competition in the adult’s bag section was extremely close but Pauline’s Holly and the Ivy bag, on the left, won by a well-deserved whisker. I’m relieved that we had five votes because I could not have chosen just one.


If I’ve missed anybody’s bag, my apologies! I’ll leave you with a long shot of the Challenge Bags in the background and a glimpse of my table set up with materials and examples…


Have a fabulous Christmas!

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The lovely acorn tile black work design that I started at Guild a week last Saturday has grown steadily from this:

DSCN7322to this:


I’ve just got the interlaced border to complete and as I’m enjoying it, I’m in no hurry to finish!

One other very lovely thing that happened at last week’s meeting was that I received my prize for winning the Yorkshire and Humber Embroiderers’ Guild regional competition for a piece of embroidery to be made up into a card: this fabulous book.


For our July branch meeting we were asked to submit pieces of embroidery for the Regional Competition, the idea being that one piece would be selected from each branch and those pieces would go on to the regional AGM to select a final winner. I entered my North Cornwall Wallhanging, a piece of crazy patchwork that I pieced over several summer holidays in Cornwall and finally made up a few years ago into a hanging.


I’ve blogged about both the individual pieces and the making up and if you’re interested you can search ‘North Cornwall Wallhanging’ and find a load more posts and photos.

Anyway, to my utter amazement it was selected by Scunthorpe branch and taken off to the the regional AGM where it was chosen as the final winner. Apparently, because there is so much going on, instead of just having one design, they are going to choose different areas and do several. I know which bits are my favourites, so it will be interesting to see what other people choose!

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