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Posts Tagged ‘Embroiderers’ Guild’

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

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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.

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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.

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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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The theme for Liz’s Travelling Book was nature or architecture. Most of the previous entries were nature themed so I decided to choose architecture and I had just the piece to fit the theme – this exotic domed building in cross stitch:

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There wasn’t much to say about the technique so I decided to go for a rich background, smothering the page with shocking pink and turquoise Stewart Gill Byzantium metallic paints and using embossing paste to create a frame.

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On the facing page more shimmery paint, overprinting in gold, architectural details cut from magazines and the opening lines of Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’.

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Except that every time I read the first line my mind constantly wants to replace ‘decree’ with ‘erect’. I entirely blame my love for the ’80s band Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their song ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome‘!!

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Handwriting could be a lot neater but I think it’s got the Byzantine opulence I was looking for. Off to find more Frankie on YouTube and relive the discos of my youth…

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was an all day workshop with Brenda Scarman on goldwork. Our aim was to transfer into fabric and then stitch an ornate letter using different goldwork techniques. For me this was an ideal opportunity to use up some of the goldwork threads I’ve accumulated through eBay over the last few years! Just as very small selection…!

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I chose the letter O not because it was an easy shape, but  because I hope to stitch this for a birthday card for my mum, whose name is Olwen. And as it was an easy shape I lazily copied it free hand onto this gorgeous hand dyed silk.

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Couching some sort of thread I had round the outside of the outline.

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And the inside.

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Then the silver leather. There is a single layer of felt underneath to give it a slightly raised feel but I wanted it to stay inside the outline.

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The next technique we were shown was chip work. That was fun! I started with dense chip work leading away from the leather, and then started to gradually add silvery clear beads and the odd french knot in turquoise.

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Gradually I lessened the silver and increased the turquoise, introducing more french knots and bugle beads.

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It was my first attempt at goldwork (I don’t count the pearl purl work I did on some of my hand made jewellery a couple of years ago) and I really enjoyed it. Now all I have to do is to get it finished for my mum’s birthday.

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I will confess to using something I already had for the Travelling Book this month, but when I leafed through Eileen’s book and saw how much of it was inspired by gardens and the natural world, I immediately thought of the meadow grasses piece I stitched based on a piece of work from a Folio our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild borrowed from headquarters a couple of years ago.

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I photocopied the page from my sketch book with all the inspiration detail on it…

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And then tidied up the finished piece to go on the facing page.

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It’s really nice to be able to find a home for something you’ve stitched and love but have no immediate use for and also to have a bit of room to breathe this month rather than frantically stitching at the last moment!

I’ve also been enjoying upcycling jewellery. Each piece is different and I love looking at these broken down bits and working out how to make them wearable again.

The soft creamy rose pinks and faded greens of these patchwork and vintage lace covered earrings is so much nicer than the brash plastic cabochon I started off with.

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And it was lovely to sort through my sea glass collection to find some matching aqua coloured pieces to repair a bib necklace where some of the plastic decorative elements were missing. I didn’t realise quite how much I had amassed as it’s in different places according to where I collected it from!

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The central piece is from Polperro in Cornwall and most of the other pieces are from Seaham. It’s so nice to be able to showcase some of this beautiful glass. They’re both now in my Etsy shop and I hope they find new leases of life very soon!

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I did manage to finish the Travelling Book in time. Well, I was only an hour late to stitch club so that’s success for me! Those knots…

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So pleased with the effect of them en masse though.

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Done, dusted and passed on. Now for some fresh things to play with!

 

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Firstly, a quick update on the french knot marathon. It’s still trailing around with me and has gone from this:DSCN0222 to this:

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I’m focussing on finishing the shaped bits at the top first, while also adding gradually all the way round.

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting before Christmas was a lovely quiet laid back affair in the midst of the rush with wonderful food, courtesy of our Chair, Mary, and some steady stitching for name badges. We had some stamped calico to work from and I chose the rabbit/hare.

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I used some slubby thread in dark grey for his outline, couched down with a variegated stranded cotton, and a thick stranded silk for his coat, couched down in spirals with my favourite variegated metallic Madeira thread. Where there is an area too small to be included in the spirals I’m going to add something like eyelets or perhaps a woven spider’s web.

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Another piece on the go is an aside from our ‘Lush, Plush and Crush’ workshop with Josie Storey in the autumn. I cut a spiral from Bondaweb and stuck it to the velvet, added some gold markal stick and then some french knots for texture.

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This is destined to provide the upcycled centre for an vintage brooch.

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And there’s my “inspired by poetry” piece for the Travelling Book this month. Plenty to be going on with.

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Nobby the needlefelted snowman. DSCN0518.JPG

Back in September we were given matchboxes at our Embroiderers’ Guild AGM. These were to be decorated for our Christmas meeting in December. I knew exactly what I wanted to do – knit a miniature stocking but I struggled finding suitable wool and then time ran out on me.  So the night before the meeting I took a piece of crimson silk dupion to a pantomime rehearsal (it’s that time of year for our am-dram group) and embroidered it with snowflakes based on 6-armed back-stitched spiders webs embellished with french knots.

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It was a quick job to cover the matchbox when I got home.

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And then to gather some scraps of fleece and needle felt Nobby. A scrap of roving made his scarf.

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And not only did I just stab myself the once, I also was finished quickly. Nobby snuggled up in the matchbox…

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… and I managed to get to the meeting without frantically stitching at the last minute. Even better, I put him into the competition and he won!

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This was the intriguing title of our full day workshop with Josie Storey at Embroiderers’ Guild last Saturday, so armed with some very lush velvet and the usual sewing stuff I headed off without any real idea of what I was going to be doing!

The technique we were going to be playing with involved ironing prepainted bondaweb onto velvet and then using the stickiness to embellish with anything and everything to create a rich textured surface.

I started with some gorgeous Oliver Twists hand dyed velvet called ‘Stormy Seas’ and so I had to go for wave shapes,

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with silk waste, carrier rod strippings

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and scraps of painted melted plastic.

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By this point I’d decided this was going to be the next piece in my travelling book, so when I got home I layered it up with wadding and calico and quilted round the wave shapes with my sewing machine. From this:

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to this:

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No hand embroidery – yet…

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It’s our Embroiderers’ Guild AGM this weekend so the Travelling Books will resume their creative journeys. It occurred to me that I hadn’t shared the pages that other members had added to my sea-themed book and it was probably time to photograph them before the book set out again! This is Elaine’s double spread; the first one to be added after my sea glass.

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She called it ‘A Sea of Buttons’ and I love the bold textural treatment of those sandy North Sea waves.

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Vintage buttons have a real place in my heart too.

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I love the inspiration pages as much as the textile responses – it’s fascinating to see the how and why of the emergence of the art work. To me they are inseparable. Without a raison d’etre the textile work is no less beautiful but it has no depth and less interest.

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The inspiration picture obviously held wonderful memories for Elaine and that delight transfers to her piece. There’s something very special in being allowed a glimpse of someone else’s back story and her obvious pleasure in the piece she created for my book makes me smile every time I open it.

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This was the project at our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting before our summer break and it was exactly what I needed after a very hectic last week of work. Nothing like sitting quietly with the calming regularity of canvas stitches to restore your soul a little. At the end of the day I had managed to stitch most of the ‘hard landscaping’ of the paths in cushion stitch and ‘planted’ two and a half beds.

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Two in rice stitch…

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…and the half in eyelet stitch.

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I was enjoying myself so much I took it along to our theatre club panto script reading that evening to stitch the rest of the paths and do some more ‘planting’.

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It’s been the perfect project with which to unwind into the holidays.

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