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MAKE Felt Pouting Trout
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MAKE YOUR OWN:
ISSUE 156 JULY/AUGUST 2016
TRANSLUCENT STITCHED DESIGN
PLUS PAINTING BY FABRIC
VINTAGE FINDS REWORKED TOP TEXTILE TIPS NEW SEASON NAUTICAL PRINTS
Freestyle Lace BY CAROL QUARINI
Issue 156 | JULY/AUGUST 2016
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For me, detail is everything. I pay attention to it, am intrigued by it, think about it and deliver it; detail governs the way my brain works. It would seem that I have a partner in detail in Isobel Moore, our cover star this issue. Not only can you see the intricate detail of her work on our stunning cover, but in her feature on page 50 she describes how when she is given a theme to work to, she pulls it apart and looks at it from all different angles before producing unexpected results. When challenged to make a competition piece on the theme of ‘Spring’ – instead of your archetypical daffodils and blossom, Isobel presented a mechanical coil wrapped in machine embroidered cord. The depth of detail, design and consideration that goes into each piece of her work makes hers a very interesting story and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy. We fell in love with Melissa Zexter’s embroidered photography as soon as we laid eyes on it - her exquisite blend of personally taken photographs combined with delicate embroidery is deliciously compelling and beautiful to view. We hope you’re as captivated as we are with her feature on page 60 Do you ever feel like you could do with a few textile tips? Perhaps some tried and tested techniques that make the creative process just that little bit easier? Well, look no further! South African artist Danielle Clough is a true creative genius and while we’ll be seeing much more of her in this year’s Be Inspired (brace yourself, it’s going to be amazing!), this issue she gives us the benefit of years of experience and offers up gems of advice for all craft enthusiasts – cut page 34 out and stick it on your fridge folks! I love a vintage find – I recently discovered
Can you believe this is a photo? See
(and went giddy over) a 50’s camel coloured cashmere and wool A-line Audrey Hepburn style skirt in a charity shop for £3.50 – so when I came across Ali Ferguson and her retro reworkings, I couldn’t wait to learn more about her creative process and ideas. I totally subscribe to her love of “the thought that an old piece of clothing is implanted with stories of the wearer of that piece of table linen holds the secrets of a household” and I’m sure you will too; head on over to page 41 to be inspired by her retelling of the old and used. We have projects aplenty this issue for you to get your creative teeth into – make your own felt pouting trout, create a pillow top that pops, paint with fabric or design your own translucent stitched design – there’s no shortage of inspiration in this jam-packed issue. Enjoy! Be Creative – inspired by enthusiasts
I LOVE Ali’s work! See page 41
Isobel Moore’s wonderful detail 0n page 50
Contents ON THE COVER
7 Competition 9 Inspire 16 Gallery 20 The Making of Diana Springall 22 Subscribe to Workbox 24 A Sailor's Farewell 27 Stitchers Inc's Maiden Voyage 28 Freestyle Lace 34 TEXTILE TIPS: An Informal Guide to Embroidery 35 HOW TO: Translucent Stitched Design
39 SWATCH: Our Favourite Fabrics 41 A Creative Process 48 PROJECT: Painting by Fabric 50 Intricate Detail 58 PROJECT: Pouting Trout 60 Embroidered Photography 66 PROJECT: Pillow Pop 70 Back Issues
72 EXHIBITION: Newe Worke 74 EXHIBITION: The Swansea Festival of Stitch 78 Whatâ€™s On 82 Creative Bloggers Facebook: Becreativewithworkboxmagazine Twitter: @WorkboxMagazine Pinterest: WorkboxMagazine
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Projects to try this issueâ€Ś
66 Due to a digital error, the bottom two images on page 45 of our May/June issue belong to Ailish Henderson and were wrongly featured in Maria Walkerâ€™s article. We apologise for any inconvenience and confusion this may have caused.
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Contributors Ali Ferguson
Ali is an artist, a collector of 'treasures' and a compulsive hand stitcher. She combines these passions in making one-oﬀ wall pieces inspired by the everyday. www.aliferguson.co.uk
Carol is a textile artist whose work references lace. She makes bobbin and needle lace, which she often incorporates into silk paper or displays with associated photographic images. www.carolquarini.com
EDITORIAL Call: 01395 233247 Editor: Mary Bennellick firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Amber Balkwill email@example.com Art Editor: Peter Frost firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVERTISING Call: 01395 233247 Advertising Director: Paul Veysey email@example.com Advertising Manager: Bev Ward firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTIONS Subs Manager: Elsa Hutchings email@example.com +44 (0)1395 233247 EVENTS firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNTS email@example.com ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS TO: Mary Bennellick firstname.lastname@example.org
Isobel Moore is a textile artist and tutor specialising in machine embroidery. She loves working with colour and pattern, and is a champion of the repurposed and recycled. www.threadnoodle.co.uk
After graduating from her studies in art direction and graphic design in 2010, the 28 year old from South Africa has turned her love of sewing into a career as an embroiderer. www.danielleclough.com
PUBLISHER Managing Director: Paul Veysey River Media Devon Ltd. 8 Woodbury Business Park Exeter, Devon, EX5 1AY +44 (0)1395 233247 email@example.com PRINTING Pensord, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA DISTRIBUTION COMAG Specialist Tavistock Works, Tavistock Road West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 7QX
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Melissa exhibits her embroidered photographs in the United States and Europe and her work has been published and reviewed in numerous publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her work can be seen at www.melissazexter.com
Helena is a self taught Bristolian disabled mixed media textile artist based in a studio in Bavaria, Germany. She has sold and exhibited her work in the UK and Germany. www.pinterest.com/hclulee
Amber Balkwill, Mary Bennellick, Anne Glynis Davies, Chris Gray, Liz Harding, Gillian Harris, Ailish Henderson, Miriam Shone, Diana Springall, Ryan Walsh, Alexandra Waylett
Copyright All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © 2016 River Media Devon Ltd. Disclaimer Whilst every care is taken to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or omission caused by error or negligence in the printing of an advert or other information. All artwork is accepted on strict condition that permission has been given for use in this publication. Adverts are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are fair and accurate. Workbox does not oﬃcially endorse any advertising material included within this publication. The views presented in Workbox magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher, River Media Devon Ltd.
WIN 3 TEXTILE BOOKS WORTH OVER £35!
Complete Feltmaking This exciting book covers all aspects of feltmaking, from making simple ﬂat felt to felting 3D shapes, as well as felting knitted work, needle felting and some slightly more advanced techniques such as cobweb felting.
Half Yard Home Sewing superstar Debbie Shore, has designed 31 gorgeous home accessories that can be made using half a yard of fabric or less. The projects are divided into accessories for the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Bedroom, with a special section for picnics. Clear step by step instructions and beautiful photography make it easy to create desirable projects from a tablecloth, magazine box, chair slip, napkins, napkin ring, oven mitt, apron, tea cosy, cafe curtain and jewellery roll, to a picnic place mat, bread bag and bottle bag, and more.
Next Steps in Machine Quilting Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs Natalia Bonner is back with a follow-up to her wildly successful first book that boasts 50 new modern, sophisticated designs that encourage quilters of all skill levels to stretch their skills on a home sewing machine. A variety of simpler straight-line and free-motion motifs invite beginners to dive in, whilst designs that modernise more traditional patterns will challenge intermediate and advanced sewists.
HOW TO ENTER:
Tell us why you love Be Creative with Workbox! All entries via: www.creativewithworkbox.com Entries will be drawn on 19th July 2016. Winners will be notified by email. See our website for Terms and Conditions. UK Entrants only.
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Birds of a feather ﬂock together Discounted subscriptions for groups, guilds and friends Got a group of ten or more stitching buddies? We offer a group subscription at just £3.50 per copy, based on a minimum order of 10 (UK only) saving £1.45 off the cover price!
GET YOUR GROUP SUBSCRIPTION TODAY!
Available direct from Workbox on 01395 233247 or www.creativewithworkbox.com
Ribbon and trimming heaven! Choose from this stunning collection and more at raystitch.co.uk
I Be Creative with WORKBOX 9
NEWS… Quilt groups and textile groups throughout the UK can now enjoy two new curated collections of items from The Quilter’s Guild delivered right to their doors. The two Travelling Trunks are themed around ‘Textile Traditions’ and ‘Textile Treasures’ and can be borrowed for just £70 per trunk for Guild members/ Affiliated Groups, and £100 per trunk for non-Guild members/groups. For groups compiling their programmes for 201617 and beyond, they offer a fascinating and cost-effective way to add a historic dimension to their appreciation of quilting. The ‘Textile Treasures’ collection contains treasured objects from the 19th and 20th centuries that have been kept and preserved for some reason – whether through a family connection, for reasons of nostalgia or because the fabrics have been treasured in spite of the item being unfinished. The ‘Textile Traditions’ collection contains a range of objects that represent the wide variety and development of styles and types of patchwork and quilting
5 MINUTES WITH...
Photography by The Quilters' Guild Collection
TEXTILE TREASURES DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOOR
from the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore examples of mosaic patchwork, whole cloth quilting from different geographical areas and typical late Victorian styles. “The Travelling Trunks can be hired by groups for meetings or area days, and are a great way to find out more about the history of patchwork and quilting by accessing historic pieces from our handling collection” says curator, Heather Audin. The items in the suitcase all have labels and can be used in a ‘show and tell’ format, or arranged to form a small exhibition featuring hanging pieces and some smaller samples displayed flat on a table. The Travelling Trunks have been made possible by a grant from Museum
See more of Carols work on page 28
CAROL QUARINI We get Carol's thoughts on films, ﬂavour and fires…
If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why? It would have to be Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, she’s always been my favourite character because of her amazing power and her fabulous gothic dress sense.
Would you describe your style as vintage or modern? Probably a bit of both, especially when thinking about lace. I love intricate vintage lace but am amazed at the clever and beautiful way artists are developing it in a modern way.
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Development Yorkshire who supports museums across Yorkshire to manage their resources, look after their collections and provide services to their audiences in ways that meet or exceed recognised standards within the museum sector. To make a booking for your group, please email the curator at curator@ quiltersguild.org.uk. A booking form and information sheet will be sent to you which must be returned to secure your booking. All bookings are subject to availability and allocated on a first come first served basis. Visit www.quiltersguild.org.uk for more information.
The big outdoors or a cosy fireside? A nice long walk in the countryside followed by tea at a cosy fireside would be ideal.
What’s your favourite flavour of ice cream? Vanilla – I’ve never understood why people use vanilla to mean boring and uninteresting – I love the taste and the smell.
What was the last film you went to see at the cinema? The Revenant - I enjoyed the scenery but the rest was hard going!
This exciting new book covers all aspects of feltmaking, from making simple flat felt to felting 3D shapes, as well as felting knitted work, needle felting and some slightly more advanced techniques such as cobweb felting. Each technique is carefully explained in detail with step-by-step instructions and accompanied by several projects to keep you constantly inspired. With Complete Feltmaking, any crafter can learn the art of creating felt with a little fleece, water and soap.
WE LOVE: Once you’ve become comfortable with basic techniques, you can graduate onto more complex felting techniques in the advanced chapter.
A copy of this book on page 7
pavilionbooks.com RRP Price: £9.99
when you spend £25
online at www.myfabrics.co.uk use code workbox0316 Only one coupon per order and per person. Cannot be combined with other coupons. Valid until 31.08.2016
Fabulous Foxes Everyone's favourite woodland creature is the star of this issue's fab finds
WORKYOURSELF ORTAKE ITTO A PROFESSIONAL FRAMER ANDWHY?"
1. A foxy box to hide all your sewing accessories. £37 redberryapple.co.uk 2. Make your own softie fox – a great project to do with any small people in your life. £16.99 notonthehighstreet.com
Ask the Artists “DOYOU PREFERTO FRAMEYOUR
3. This gorgeous print has got us feeling all foxy and bursting with project ideas! £10.89/m myfabrics.co.uk
Go here! The Textile Bazaar 2016 This year, the Textile Bazaar will be held at Hellens Manor in Much Marcle, a rural gem set in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside near Ledbury. This year’s event will be held on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th June. There will be lots of stands selling an eclectic mix of African, Chinese and Indian ethnic textiles, plus designer makers selling their beautiful handmade clothes and lots of other textile goodies for sale. Also on offer will be the popular creative mini workshops, one with Viv Arthur from Art Van Go, using various printing techniques with shimmering fabric paints
and all their lovely art materials including dyes, paints, paper, sketchbooks and lots of other textile related things will be available to buy. Workshop two is with Helen McKenna, making a lovely antique style brooch, using old lace, beads and other bits and pieces. Both workshops are £6 each to include all materials, please book with Bailey on 01453 823375, firstname.lastname@example.org This year, we are lucky to have acclaimed textile artist Carole Waller giving a lecture on her own work of painting on fabric. “I’m no walking canvas” will give the background of Carole’s work and she will also show some of the lovely garments made from the silk painted with dyes - they are stunning! The lecture on Wednesday 29th is at 6.00pm and tickets are £4. Please book with Bailey, details above. Come and have a browse around the Bazaar and beautiful house and gardens for just a £1 entrance fee which goes to charity. www.hellensmanor.com
"I have never used a professional framer as I tend not to frame my textile work. I usually plan how I will hang a piece as an integral part of the design. I am very lucky as my husband has a wood and metal workshop and the skill to transfer my rather vague ideas into a workable design and finished ‘frame’. Recently, this has been museum style display cases and old looking drawers. For my more commercial work, I buy frames off the shelf to help keep pricing down!" Ali Ferguson, featured on page 41 “I really wanted to make my own frames so each piece would be finished holistically with the frame a true extension of the ideas illustrated in the main body of the piece. However, practicality whispered in my ear and convinced me that, since my embroidered portraits take around a year to finish, the additional time required to design and then build a frame would not be cost-effective. Also, equipping my studio with all the tools I'd need to make well-finished frames would be expensive. So, for now, professional frames are the way to go.” Ruth Miller; look out for Ruth in an upcoming issue. “I prefer to take my work to a professional framer. There is an art and precision to framing. I opt to select the frame and then have an expert frame it. I have been working with the same framer for years and I trust his input. I am the first to admit that I am not an expert when it comes to making perfect straight lines! Ideally, I would like to make art that doesn’t need framing, but framing is the best way to protect and exhibit my embroidered photographs.” Melissa Zexter, featured on page 60
I Be Creative with WORKBOX 11
READ ME CLICK HERE!
Ray Stitch is an online fabric boutique as well as a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop in Islington. The well-stocked website sells a wide range of beautiful printed and plain fabrics alongside a full range of high quality tools and accessories and an impressive range of gorgeous buttons, ribbons and trims. FAVOURITE FEATURE: The buttons page; we are loving the adorable cloth covered cat buttons! raystitch.co.uk
by Heather Bostic Make a distinctive statement with eyecatching modern designs - choose from 25 different pillow projects to decorate your home. Pull out your favourite fabrics and have fun stitching up something new to adorn your bed or favourite chair. Popular blogger and modern stitcher, Heather Bostic, brings you a sensational selection of pillow projects. Try different techniques like paper-piecing, quilting, embroidery, and appliqué.
The great ideas from over 20 designers that offer something for everyone at any skill level. Published by searchpress.com RRP Price: £10.99
Have a go at making a cushion from this book on page 66 1
Chris Gray's Creative Crushes Textile blogger Chris Gray tells us about the 5 things she just can’t creatively live without at the moment 1) My absolute 'go to' for almost everything I do these days is Brusho Spray! Acrylic based, it is great for both fabrics and papers. A little while ago I did an article on Brusho Sprays – you can find it here – www.empressmills.co.uk/usingbrusho-sprays-on-fabric 2) I'm loving the new 'Lewis & Irene' Bluebell Wood fabrics and will be using them in a few projects very soon indeed! www.empressmills.co.uk 3) I do a LOT of beading and get a very sore finger because I've always hated using a thimble. BUT…I found this amazing 'Medieval Thimble' in Andover Museum – it works and I can wear it for ages. Problem solved! www.westair-reproductions.com
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4) Every morning at about 11a.m, I sit down with a pot of 'special tea' and a pain au chocolat or a croissant. I love Dammann teas – there are so many to choose from. Tea makes my world go round! www.dammann.fr or you can get some of them on Amazon.co.uk
5) Where would I be without my printing blocks?! I have a huge collection and love every single one of them. Other folk get to play with them at my printing and stitching workshops too! www.colouricious.com To find out the Be Creative team’s Creative Crushes, visit our blog on www.mrxstitch.com/category/ discover/creative-crushes
Read more about Chris and her blog on page 82
Creative Comments The latest tweets, posts and comments from our lovely Be Creative readers…
This cute mini tape measure is a lovely gift for any crafter and is a great practical item to have in your handbag. £3.75 redberryapple.co.uk Amazingly realistic, these chocolate fabric scissors make the most novel and creative gift. Yum! £11.95 schokolat.co.uk
READER O15F%FER! OFF at
schokolat.co. this code: C uk with WWB15 valid until 31 .8.16
Personalise a message on a little vintage style spool; just remove the needle charm and unroll the ribbon to read the message. A modern message in a bottle. £20 notonthehighstreet.com
Our hand-picked goodies, fresh from the net
Wrap gifts in style with this hand drawn gift wrap for prezzies that are sew special! £4 (one sheet and one tag) notonthehighstreet.com
Please note – all products were available and prices correct at time of print.
“I think the May/June 16 issue is the best yet! As soon as it arrived, I stopped what I was doing and made one of Alice Fox's Eco books, many of which I had seen before. I didn't hand stitch as I was in a hurry, so machine stitched lines, and didn't have enough bulldog clips, so it is in my book press now, gently pressing! Sally, by email “Thank you for the latest edition of Be Creative. I was thrilled to see the picture of Julie Sarloutte's piece, and to see that she will be featured in a future edition. Wonderful, topical and modern hand embroidery. I realise that machine embroidery is the trend, but I am concerned that those of us who prefer hand embroidery are becoming an endangered species. I find hand embroidery peaceful and contemplative and do not want to move to a machine. I do want to see new and contemporary ways of using hand embroidery and do so hope you will continue to include features like this.” Jan, by email “It’s the best magazine ever and getting better – 155 was the best one yet!” Liz, by telephone
Put a ring on it – a button ring to be precise! Chic and sweet. £60 charlottebezzantjewellery.bigcartel.com
Clare Gage’s signature hand-applied stitch detail is recreated in porcelain to make this gorgeous vase, which is perfect for fresh ﬂowers from the garden or a bouquet on a special occasion. claregage.com £38
“Love the magazine and the annual too. The subjects covered are so wide ranging and probably like many, I read an article think, “I would like to do that”, then realise I find it difficult enough to find the time to finish everything I start anyway! Perhaps you could sell a subscription for an 8th day of the week just for stitching.” Barbara, by email
This funky retro printed cushion will add a touch of class to any seating area. £45 notonthehighstreet.com
“I do all sorts of crafts, hand pieced patchwork, embroidery, knitting and bobbin lace. The fact that your magazine has often featured lace is what first got my attention. I'm 47 and have only been doing lace for 12 or so years but finding contemporary magazines featuring lace was a delight. I'm currently working on a lace wedding garter for a friend’s future daughter-in-law; by the time I've finished it in the next month, I'll have spent over 40hrs working lace to make about 30 inches of lace to make one garter! I like funky and modern lace creations but sometimes traditional is also nice. I look forward to getting home from work and finding your magazine waiting for me!” Rachel, by email
I Be Creative with WORKBOX 13
out and about with ailish Hello..
Win win! Press photoshoot at my exhibition, trying to avoid joining in with the ballerinas!
Last time, we touched on hoarding – so here are my tips on what to hoard and what not to hoard.
Congratulations to Helen Walsh, Chris Gnarra and Jane Charles who each one a won a copy of Sue Rangeley’s book, Embroidered Originals in last issue’s competition!
To be in with a chance to win a fabulous book bundle this issue, turn to page 7
Obviously it does depend a lot on personal preference, but here are a few of my favourites:
Hand made boards to store lots of inspiration, stop the clutter!
• ‘Pretty’ pictures from home/lifestyle/food magazines. Notice that they don’t always have to be textile art related! I am forever stealing the Sunday supplement magazines from my family. • Plastics, such as wrappers. Fear the day a packet leaves the house without my inspection! I use these in collages and to melt and distort with my heat gun and iron. I teach a class on this. • Clothes; before a charity shop, they hit me first! • Envelopes. Okay, so there are not too many hand written letters filling my letterbox up anymore. However, the brown and white paper off most envelopes makes great scrap booking material. If you are happenstance to the rare privilege of an actual hand written letter/envelope, all the better! The wording can make a great backdrop to any collage.
It helps to have an organised workspace with boxes and shelves
My first solo exhibition at The Customs House in the North East of England went very well and I had an interview with the press at my exhibition opening. It turned into a rather comedic time, as a ballet group decided to use my exhibition floor as a practice space (and yes, I was a tad jealous!) so there I was, stepping over ten year olds doing a dance production of ‘The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas’ while trying to present my work to the journalist! Talking about exhibitions, I am looking forward to visiting the Summer Exhibition 2016 at The Royal Academy in London, opening June 13th. “But surely this is fine art?” you may say. True, however textile art is subtly getting its share in the limelight; lots of the works are textural and form great inspiration. Maybe you will remember Emily Tull who was featured in Issue 153? She had a piece of her work in this exhibition a few years ago, so there’s hope for us all! I will tell you about my visit soon!
Exhibition set up at The Customs House
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2 Trod Dishes by Charlotte Morrison
Go here! OVERLOOKED – AN EXHIBITION OF THE NORTH YORK MOORS Yorkshire based ceramicist Charlotte Morrison and textile artist Agnis Smallwood are proud to present 'Overlooked', an exhibition focusing on the North York Moors, at the Inspired by... gallery at The Moors National Park Centre in Danby, from Thursday 30 June – Tuesday 19 July 2016. Agnis and Charlotte met at Cumbria Institute of the Arts whilst studying for their degree in Contemporary Applied Arts. They have remained good friends since their graduation in 2009 and meet regularly to discuss their work and give each other guidance and support; invaluable as working as makers can sometimes be a lonely process! They have spoken for some time about a joint venture and felt that as they are both currently working on projects reflecting the landscape, that the time was right for this exhibition, 'Overlooked'. For more information about the exhibition, visit the Inspired by... gallery page of The Moors National Park Centre in Danby: www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/inspiredby
Textile masterpieces we just had to share…
Sunflowers, after Van Gogh (2011) 80cm x 63cm. The more you look, the more you see in Jane Perkin’s fantastic reworking of the classic painting. See more of her stunning pieces in this year’s Be Inspired Annual. www.bluebowerbird.co.uk
What A Racket Danielle Clough My, oh my, we love this girl and her work! www.danielleclough.com
Face to Face 1 Stewart Kelly Ink and machine embroidery on paper. Read Stewartâ€™s exclusive interview with Be Creative in an upcoming issue. www.stewartkellyartist.com
Weâ€™ve fallen in love with Ali Scottâ€™s gorgeous felt landscapes. www.aliscottfeltartist.co.uk
INSPIRATIONS life stories
A LIFE OF ‘POVERTY AND SIN’: THE MAKING OF DIANA SPRINGALL Robert McCaffrey gives us the inside view on the inimitable life and work of Diana Springall
extile artist Diana Springall has established herself as a beloved British textile artist and textile art enthusiast. She still works on commissions in her spacious workshop in the Kent countryside and collects and encourages other artist’s work. Artists she has championed and whose work you will find in her private collection include Alice Kettle, Jean Littlejohn, Audrey Walker and Karen Nicol. Springall’s own work is held by the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as the Embroiderers’ Guild, and to date, she has authored five books on the subject of embroidery. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a former chairman of the Embroiderers Guild and the Society of Designer craftsmen. However, the artist’s life was not the lifestyle choice Springall’s parents expected of their daughter. Born in 1938 in Shimla, the summer capital of British ruled India, Springall grew up rarely seeing her parents, instead living under the charge of her nanny. She and her brother began smoking to fit in before being caught when plumes of smoke were seen rising from the herbaceous borders. She hasn’t smoked since but has instead, and much to her parents’ consternation, picked up another bohemian vice; a passion for art. After fleeing India on a troop ship when British rule came to an end in 1947, the family relocated to Britain and Springall was sent to boarding school for her first taste of formal education. She attended three schools; Edinburgh then Hastings, before settling at Hawkhurst. Despite the upheaval and radical gear changes, Springall thrived at Hawkhurst and learnt to be self reliant and independent. Her father, who had been in the senior ranks of the Indian civil service, expected his daughter would aspire to be a nurse or a secretary. When
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she expressed an interest in doing an extra year to complete her Art A Level and put together her portfolio for Art School, he was reluctant and suggested “he wasn’t at all sure about spending another year to educate me, he‘s already wasted the other years, I was clearly not bright”. Springall explains that her mother who could embroider but couldn’t boil an egg, held a similar view. Between them, they believed the pursuit of art could only lead to a life of ‘poverty and sin’. Perhaps the colonial upbringing coupled with a boarding school education inspired the rebel in Springall. Against her parent’s desires, she pushed on and was offered a place studying fine art at Goldsmiths. The deal brokered with her parents and essential at that time, was that Springall would go on to study to qualify as a teacher ‘just in case’. Springall joined Goldsmiths in what could be considered the golden age of Textile art. In 1954, The University placed the subject of embroidery on a par with painting, sculpture and illustration. Gaining equal status as an art form made it a more academic, respectable subject and made it easier for students like Springall, who arrived in 1956, to incorporate textiles into their work without appearing quaint or crafty. Springall was at Goldsmiths to study painting but took evening classes with artist, writer and teacher Constance Parker. Describing Parker, Springall calls her “very much the Queen Bee” and paints a picture of a dominant course leader, highly critical of students work and a major force in reshaping the perception of embroidery at that time. Springall, who is also often described as an ‘artist-writer-teacher’, says the comparisons end there. Whereas Parkers’ regime would involve total adherence to strict rules, Springall is more relaxed. Also, Parker herself was not as prolific an artist as Springall; in that sense
INSPIRATIONS life stories
“SPRINGALL JOINED GOLDSMITHS IN WHAT COULD BE CONSIDERED THE GOLDEN AGE OF TEXTILE ART. IN 1954, THE UNIVERSITY PLACED THE SUBJECT OF EMBROIDERY ON A PAR WITH PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND ILLUSTRATION.” very few people even come close. Karen Nicol, the leading contemporary textile and embroidery artist and winner of the 2015 Beryl Dean Award, said of Springall’s work, “Diana brings an artist’s eye and informed sophistication to embroidery that is very special and transcends time and fashions in the craft. She is a true artist/designer who uses textiles as her medium, not allowing the process to dictate and inhibit the work of art.” This high praise from one artist to another, demonstrates the significant contribution Springall has made and continues to make. In recent years, Springall has continued to produce work but concedes she is less inclined to use a step ladder than she once was. She delivers popular talks on the subject of textile art and artists and has been a mentor and judge in the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery. Her experience as chairman of The Embroiderers Guild,
guarantees she has a strong informed opinion on the ongoing state of British embroidery. Much of Springall’s time is now taken up in pursuit of the creation of a permanent home for the textile arts she holds so dear. A prodigious letter writer, she has written to all the major British museums encouraging, cajoling and pressing them to exhibit textile arts and treat the art form as they would any other art form. The ultimate goal is for a venue to exist in London where visitors can see textile arts through the ages and where modern textile artists can exhibit their work. The boxed up works held by the likes of the V&A can finally see the light of day and be celebrated. Diana Springall gave up smoking when she was five but shows no signs of giving up her artistic endeavours. As an artist, a teacher and an ambassador for the Textile Art community, she is second to none. BC
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A SAILOR’S FAREWELL Miriam Shone describes a Whitby Community Stitch Project at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum
Top: The Sailor’s Farewell, community textile piece; Bottom: A Sailor’s Farewell, ©Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby
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arly in 2016, work began at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in Whitby to launch an exciting collaborative stitching project. This project would gather together fifty local stitchers to create a piece of textile art reflecting the themes of the museum’s 2016 exhibition, ‘Wives and Sweethearts: A Sailor’s Farewell’. In the exhibition, the lives of 18th century naval wives and sweethearts are explored through a range of artefacts, costumes and images, with particular focus on the lives of Elizabeth Cook and Elizabeth Bligh. As examples of embroidery as a popular pastime are included in the exhibition, an embroidery project with local Whitby women seemed appropriate. An 18th century print, ‘The Sailor’s Farewell,’ is a central feature of the exhibition and shows a young woman saying goodbye to her departing husband; we can imagine the difficult months to come as the woman carries on her life without him. This charming and engaging image seemed ideal to reproduce in stitch with its range of textures and details. As Community Liaison Officer at the museum, I was interested in generating a community project which could encompass the breadth and variety of our local stitchers. The project was to include Whitby women and the resulting piece would be an expression of the creativity of our local community. I enlisted the help of a local Whitby textile artist, Judith Clarke, a member of the Guisborough Embroiderers Guild, the Contemporary Quilters Specialist Group and the Quilters Guild. It was decided that the print would be divided into squares which could be stitched using a wide variety of techniques and then sewn back together. I visited
local Whitby stitching groups, which included The Whitby U3A Embroiderers, The Ammonite Quilters, The Queen Bee Quilters, Newholme Creative Stitchers and Whitby WI. At these meetings, I asked for volunteers to stitch the squares. I also recruited other women from our team of Museum volunteers, a local secondary school and friends of the museum. Altogether there were fifty people who wanted to be involved in the project. We divided the image into 63 x 7cm squares, first tracing an A1 copy of the image then cutting both the tracing and print into pieces. The tracings were then transferred onto squares of bluedyed calico.
On February 20th 2015, all the women who had volunteered were invited to the museum to choose a square of the image, to collect their square of fabric and to have a close look at the original print. Everyone was encouraged to approach the sewing of their square using whatever methods and materials seemed appropriate and to feel free to be as creative as they liked. Colours and proportions should remain true to the original but each person would bring something of themselves to their square. Our stitchers were given a month to complete the piece with a deadline of 20th March 2015. Soon, beautifully stitched squares
began to arrive at the museum. Many people brought their pieces in person and were able to look at the growing body of work. I carefully photographed, documented and checked the pieces against my list and by the deadline we had 60 of the 63 squares! We now were able to lay out the squares and the beautiful image began to appear. We divided these squares between three: Judith Clarke, Liz Petherick and myself, and began the task of piecing them together. When all the pieces were finally stitched together, they were sewn onto a backing and edged ready for framing. This has been an exciting and enriching community project, celebrating the enthusiasm and creativity of Whitby people. At the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, we are delighted with the beautiful work of textile art which reflects our wonderful local community. The piece is now on display in the Captain Cook Memorial Museum where visitors will be able to see it along with the print and we are hoping to tour the piece next year when the current exhibition closes. BC For more information visit: www.cookmuseumwhitby.co.uk
Top right: Judith Clarke cuts the print into squares; Centre: Stitching the pieces together; Bottom row left to right: Three of the stitched squares showing different techniques; Stitching the pieces together
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OUR MAIDEN VOYAGE We can't wait to visit the first exhibition by contemporary textile group, Stitchers Inc
titches Inc, a contemporary textile group of eight members, was formed two years ago. We meet monthly and are mentored by textile artist and tutor Alexandra Waylett. Alex lives in Colchester and teaches innovative machine embroidery techniques and design throughout Essex and Suffolk. She encourages individual creativity by ongoing sketch book work, painting and sampling for the development of personal ideas and design, as well as encouraging all to produce group textile pieces that gel together coherently with aesthetic and tactile appeal. Over the last few years, we have developed ideas with a diverse range of skills and personal styles that are showcased in our first exhibition, aptly called ‘Our Maiden Voyage’. The theme is the British Coast, showing a wide variety of machine and hand embroidery. Vessels and bowls, a wrapped cord display, individual seascapes as well as a wonderful array of sales items and cards will be on view and available to purchase. On 14th August, there will be a ‘Meet the Artists’ day. On that day, Alex will also be teaching a ‘Glitter Landscapes’ workshop in the studio next to Gallery 50 where the exhibition will be held. We are an enthusiastic, committed group, starting off on an embroidery adventure and having an exciting time in the process. BC
For further information about Stitchers Inc and the exhibition email: email@example.com Exhibition will run from the 3 – 31 August with the exceptions of Mondays when it is closed. Open bank holiday Mondays. Location: Gallery 50, 1st Floor, Craft Arena, Barleylands Craft Village, Billericay, CM11 2UD For times and directions: 01268 523780
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Carol Quarini throws away the confines of traditional lace making and experiments with a method far more freeing, with beautiful results 28
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reestyle lace means different things to different people, but I use the term for the bobbin lace I make without a pattern, using many different types of threads. Traditional bobbin lace is made on a pattern known as a pricking, which is pierced with all the holes needed to make the lace before the work starts. I define my lace as freestyle because I do not use this predetermined pattern. I began making freestyle lace by experimenting with simple Torchon lace patterns, which are based on a grid and consist of fairly geometric shapes. Initially, I started using different weights and colours of threads and mixing them together within the constraints of the pattern. This allowed me to blend colours and to contrast areas of flat, dense, thin, woven threads with thick, lumpy areas of fabric as well as making raised loops of thicker threads. In this way, my designs became more three-dimensional than traditional flat lace.
I used this technique to make a series of pieces based on Italian roof tiles from photographs I had taken during a summer holiday. In some, I just linked the main square shapes of the design to form the tiles and in others, worked an area of lace incorporating solid and open areas to represent the roof patterns. The geometric shapes lent themselves well to this depiction of tiles and their patterning in rich terracotta, brown and orange threads. www.creativewithworkbox.com
Clockwise from far left: Italian roof tiles, Carol Quarini, 1997, Bobbin lace 9 x 12 cm; Italian roof tiles, Carol Quarini, 1997, Bobbin lace 6 x 10 cm; Inspiration for Italian roof tiles.
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CREATIONS lace Clockwise from far left: Family Tree (detail), Carol Quarini, 2007, bobbin lace 3 x 7 cm;
Stomacher necklace (detail), Carol Quarini, 1999, bobbin lace 30 cm diameter; He wishes for the cloths of heaven (detail), Carol Quarini, 2008, bobbin lace 3 x 7cm;
Shell Purse (detail), Carol Quarini, 2001, bobbin lace 6 x 10 cm; Inspiration for Shell Purse.
Having moved away from traditional lacemaking threads, I then started experimenting with the patterns themselves. Still using the basic Torchon grids, I removed the geometric designs and patterns from them and just hung bobbins in pairs in the usual way along the top of the grid. I then worked areas of cloth stitch and net stitch at random using the grid of pinholes on the pattern, but without having to use them all. Using these techniques, I made embellishments for small silk bags and purses in pink, cream and yellow, several of them including pearls, tiny beads and scraps of fabric. The inspiration for this lace came from seashells, but rather than being based on the objects themselves, these pieces used the colourways taken from the shells to produce subtly coloured lace. Having used simple grids, with no predetermined patterns, I realised that in the same way as I did not need a pattern, I did not need a grid system of pinholes either. I then experimented with no pricking at all, just a plain piece of card with a hand drawn design on it. This allowed me to work more freely and to anchor the lace with pins when I needed them during the making process. Since then, I have drawn patterns for my free lace on paper, but I always back them with card, as it helps to hold the pins in place while I construct the lace.
Working with no predetermined pattern allows me to add different colours and weights of thread as and when I need them in the design. Also, because I do not have to use a grid, I can make lace of any shape and change the design as the work progresses. This freedom means that each piece is unique, because I make decisions as the work progresses, rather than fixing the design beforehand. It does have the disadvantage that it is difficult to replicate pieces, but part of the joy of this way of working is the knowledge that each piece is a one-off design. An advantage of my freestyle technique is that I can combine different threads and stitches together and produce interesting and subtle colour and texture combinations. An example is the necklace I made based on an eighteenth-century stomacher in the Embroiderersâ€™ Guild collection. This triangular shaped dress front is embroidered with green and yellow floss silks and gold metal thread. I based the shapes of the separate pieces that go to make up the necklace on the shape of the historical piece, and used the green and gold palette as the inspiration for the colours I used as well. Ending each with a tassel allowed me to tie off the threads in a decorative way.
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Stomacher necklace (detail), Carol Quarini, 1999, bobbin lace 30 cm diameter;
Stomacher necklace, Carol Quarini, 1999, bobbin lace 30 cm diameter.
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This page: Yellow silk bag (details), Carol Quarini, 2012, bobbin lace 6 x 10 cm All work and photographs copyright Carol Quarini
Working in this style, without a predetermined pattern, requires concentration and constant decision making. If a certain colour combination is just not working or a highlight is too bright for the effect I want, I have to undo the work and change it. Another problem is keeping the design open, as it is easy for all the threads to be pulled together into one woven area, which removes the lacelike quality of the work. Although this can be remedied by adding new threads to the side of the work by hooking them through the existing lace and working at an angle to the main piece, solid areas of work are best kept to small areas.
“I REALISED THAT IN THE SAME WAY AS I DID NOT NEED A PATTERN, I DID NOT NEED A GRID SYSTEM OF PINHOLES EITHER”
Once I have made my free lace shapes, I often combine them to make a larger piece. The sections that go to make up the ‘stomacher’ necklace are all linked together by using a looped cord as the base for the necklace to which all the pieces are attached. I also use handmade silk paper to link lace motifs together. An example is a series of hangings I made in silk paper to represent W B Yeats’ poem ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ which celebrates the cloths of “night and light and the half-light”. I made three silk paper cloths, one for each of the elements Yeats quotes; blue for night, golden for light, and grey-brown for the half light. Each ‘cloth’ contains lace embellishments of the appropriate colour to represent its ethereal spirit. Embedding lace into silk paper also makes tying off the loose ends easier as they are secured between the silk fibres. However, its great advantage is that the lace can be hung in the air and seen from both sides, so that as well as being made using free techniques, it also appears to be floating free, just like the style it is made in. BC www.carolquarini.com
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BE CREATIVE how to
TEXTILE TIPS: An informal guide to embroidery by an accidental professional Danielle Clough gives us the benefit of years of trial and error, resulting in these top tips Let’s start by saying, that I have no idea what the 'right way' to do something is. I am self-taught in my style that I have called "just wing it". What I do know is what I have discovered through trial and (mostly), error. It’s through experimenting and making mistakes that I have found a few short cuts that make up my some of these techniques.
Embrace the lazy!
When you feel there is some menial part of a project that you dread doing, this is your mind telling you there is a better way, so, embrace your lazy! For me, tacking the edges of the fabric so that it doesn't
fray is so tedious, but the fraying drives me mental, so I embrace and tape the edges! Using a 30mm masking tape, stick it along the edge of your fabric half way through the length of your tape. Fold the tape over the edge. Masking tape is great because you can write notes to yourself, like what colours you are using or 'You look great in those slacks.’
Hardware stores are your friend
Despite being full of burly men grunting at each other, they are a haven for your sewing needs. Bulldog clips, glue guns and an array of adhesives - whether it’s a problem you need to solve, or perhaps you just want to see some grunting blokes, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how inspiring a rack of tools can be. On that note - clamps and bulldog clips - in fact, clamps of all sizes are invaluable and worth stocking up on! When framing or mounting a piece, these are going to change the game! This is how I mount lace into hoops for displays. I use a clear drying wood glue and clamp the fabric while stretched in the display hoop, assuring the fabric dries taught. Talking about hoops, use the plastic ones with a ridge in the middle to keep the fabric from slipping.
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Have a lot of them. We all know friends and family will use your precious fabric-only scissors to cut hair, wire and any other obscure blunting object they can find. Label your scissors that are for fabric AND THEN HIDE THEM. Even add a threat to your label. Mine says 'Fabric or eternal damnation'.
Don't compare yourself to other people If you are using a pattern, photocopy it in black and white and throw away the colour chart. Choose colours that make you happy.
Lets talk about the thread to the threader
Because I embroider at different sizes and on a variety of surfaces, I have slowly learnt from trial and excruciating error what works for me, and when it comes to thread, I don't discriminate. Do the same; try it all. Double up wool, and split the embroidery floss. Just remember, when it comes to embroidery, anything with flex is going to make life difficult, so say no to the stretch.
And last but most certainly not least, be good to your eyes
Remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look at something 20 metres away. Your eyes are a muscle and need to exercise. Even though we don't sew and do situps at the same time (although I'm sure there’s a crafting Jane Fonda out there) we can exercise the eyes! They are your most precious tool. BC
Look out for Danielle's marvellous work in this year's Be Inspired…
BE CREATIVE how to
Make your own
TRANSLUCENT STITCHED DESIGN By Anne Glynis Davies
Fragile, translucent qualities of nature can inspire us in terms of stitch. In this free-machine embroidery project, water soluble plastic film makes the perfect medium for creating a fine, translucent stitched design reminiscent of the veins on a skeleton leaf. You then have the option to turn your stitched piece into a window hanger to let soft light filter through to highlight all your beautiful stitching!
YOU WILL NEED: Heavyweight water soluble plastic film: cut into two sheets measuring 40cm (15”) x 40cm (15”) An embroidery hoop – 20cm (8”) A selection of silk tops – dyed or undyed Yarns Machine embroidery threads: • Multi-coloured 12wt 100% Cotton • 1 colour 40wt 100% Rayon • 1 colour 40wt 60% Viscose 40% Metallised Polyester Bobbinfil An open toe quilting foot or a darning foot Sewing needle size: 90/14 (Metallic) and 100/16 A small pair of embroidery scissors Wire or ribbon for a hanger Twigs
A: To create the Machine Embroidered Design 1. Trace the design printed in the magazine onto a piece of water soluble plastic film using a ballpoint pen. (Alternatively, download a copyright-free image from the internet – the design should fit onto an A4 sheet of paper). 2. Lay out silk tops and lengths of yarns on top of a second sheet of water-soluble plastic film. 3. Sandwich the fibres and yarns between the first and second sheets of water soluble film – note: the first sheet should be on top with the leaf design facing you. 4. Place the sandwich into an embroidery hoop ready for machining. Make sure the film is stretched taught. 5. Attach the quilting or darning foot to your sewing machine and lower the feed dog teeth. Insert a bobbin wound with Bobbinfil and thread the machine with
a multi-coloured embroidery thread. Replace the general purpose sewing needle with a heavier needle (100/16). Set your stitch length and stitch width to '0'. Note: on some machines the stitch length can only be set to 0.2. 6. Lower the presser foot to engage the top tension. Turn the balance wheel to lower needle and catch the bobbin thread; draw bobbin thread to the top. Lay the bobbin thread and top thread behind the needle and hold in your left hand, and use your other hand to hold the hoop. Make 3 or 4 stitches to lock threads and release ends. Cut off loose thread ends with embroidery scissors. 7. Outline the entire design using straight stitching. Use both hands to guide the hoop as you stitch. You will need to reposition the embroidery hoop at intervals to complete all areas of the design.
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BE CREATIVE how to
8. Raise the presser foot and trim any loose threads. 9. Select the rayon embroidery thread. Use further free-machine straight stitching following steps 5-7 to fill in the design. Aim for the stitches to lie at a 45° angle so that light reflects from the surface of the piece, giving your stitching life and richness. 10. Select the metallic thread for your third and final colour. Replace the 100/16 needle with a 90/14 Metallic needle. Use further free-machine straight stitching following steps 5 - 8 to fill in the design. Aim for the stitches to lie at a 45° angle, but in the opposite direction to that used for the rayon thread, so that light reflects from the surface of the design. 11. Remove the water soluble sandwich from the embroidery hoop.
B: Dissolve the Water Soluble Plastic Film 1. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to dissolve the water soluble plastic film. Your piece will take on an organic shape as the film dissolves, but that is all part of the creative process. 2. Wash your item by hand in warm water to remove any traces of the water soluble fabric. Rinse thoroughly. 3. Leave to dry flat.
C: To Make a Twig Hanger 1. Cut a twig(s) approximately 30cm/12” in length. 2. Stitch your embroidered piece to the twig(s) by hand. 3. Twist a length of wire or ribbon around the twig(s) to make a hanger. 4. Hang your design up at the window and let the soft daylight highlight all of your delicate stitching.
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BE CREATIVE how to
Helpful Hints for stitching in freemachine mode: The more you depress the foot pedal, the greater the number of needle hits and therefore, the more stitches will be formed. Quick movement of the hoop and soft foot pedal pressure will result in bigger stitches. Slow movement and heavier pressure on the foot pedal will lead to small, dense stitching. You may want to try a sample of stitching on a separate piece of water soluble fabric to get an idea of how dense the stitches need to be for the design to hold together once the film has been dissolved.
You may need to adjust the upper thread tension when stitching with different thread weights. Stitch on scrap cloth and follow your sewing machine manufacturer's guide on lowering or raising the top tension. Be aware that atmospheric conditions such as dampness and heat can affect the behaviour of thread, particularly cotton and silk. If it is cool and damp, thread seems to absorb moisture, making it "fatter" and the upper thread tension is then tighter so you will need to lower it a bit. Don't lock yourself into one setting and think it will be correct all the time; adjust the tension to accommodate any changes in conditions on a day-to-day basis.
About the Artist
Anne is a freelance textiles and multimedia artist, author and teacher based in Cheshire, England. Free-machine embroidery, felt-making and dyeing are the big cornerstones in her work and many of her finished pieces are inspired by nature. She has many years of experience in teaching textile design in both the further and adult education sectors. To read more about Anne visit: artandlovely.blogspot.co.uk anneglynisdavies.com
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OUR FAVOURITE FABRICS THIS ISSUE… ✄ 2
1 Whether you’re planning a trip to the seaside this summer or not, our pick of these new season nautical prints will have you humming “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…”
1. MO Sea View Life Belts Red £5.75 per half metre www.fabricinspirations.co.uk 2. Blue Ship Fabric, Sailing Ships by Timeless Treasures, Blue Nautical Cotton Fabric £5.50 per half metre www.fabricandribbon.co.uk 3. Printed Canvas - Anchors Away £12.50 per metre www.plushaddict.co.uk 4. Fishline Packed House Sardines Navy £12 per metre www.frumble.co.uk 5. Timeless Treasures Patchwork Fabric Crabs £3.65 per quarter metre www.thesewingstudio.co.uk 6. MO Sea View Sail Boats £5.75 per half METRE www.fabricinspirations.co.uk 7. SB Sevenberry Sailing Symbols Light Blue £4.50 per half metre www.fabricinspirations.co.uk 8. Nautical Treasure Waves Navy £12 per metre www.frumble.co.uk
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CREATIONS thinking vintage
A CREATIVE PROCESS
From mind maps to vintage titbits, Ali Fergusonâ€™s work is as inspiring as her creative process
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CREATIONS thinking vintage
“I LOVE THE THOUGHT THAT AN OLD PIECE OF CLOTHING IS IMPLANTED WITH STORIES OF THE WEARER OR THAT PIECE OF TABLE LINEN HOLDS THE SECRETS OF A HOUSEHOLD”
Previous page: Patchwood Sampler, 54 x 34cm. Hand stitched wood with vintage haberdashery
This page: Gillie’s Shirt from HiStories Uncovered. Deconstructed shirt with fabric, paper and plaster, machine and hand stitch Opposite page top to bottom: Patchwood Sampler detail;
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CREATIONS thinking vintage
am an artist living on the edge of a village just outside Edinburgh. I start each day by walking my dog Annie across the fields, along the old railway and through the woods. I so appreciate having this beautiful landscape on my doorstep, but I rarely feel the urge to try and capture it in fabrics and threads! Give me a tatty gent's collar or a collection of old letters however, and I am instantly captivated and reaching for my sketchpad. I draw my inspiration from the everyday; everyday people and everyday things. I am fascinated by people and their stories, particularly of their home and working lives, and strive to translate these into stitched textile and mixed media wall pieces that have their own story to tell. My creativity is sparked by little snippets of daily life. Something heard in conversation perhaps, or a well-worn treasure that comes into my hands. Often, it is simply a random thought or observation that peaks my interest and gets my creative wheels whirring. As I happily spend much of my day working on my own, there are a great many random thoughts to choose from! Whatever the inspiration, I start any piece of textile work by drawing a mind map. I always do this on the back of an old envelope or torn piece of paper. If I try working straight into my sketchbook, I immediately get side tracked. I start
fretting that my writing isn’t neat enough or the layout isn’t “arty” enough and I find myself editing my thoughts before getting them down on paper. Not so with an old ripped envelope! I find that creating a mind map allows one thought to lead to another. It takes me in unexpected directions and lets me explore a subject from many different angles. It leads me way beyond the obvious and often helps me uncover an underlying emotion. For me, this is a key ingredient to an interesting and absorbing project; there needs to be an emotional attachment. After jotting down everything that comes to mind, I’ll take a step back and look at the overall picture I have created before sifting through and making sense of it. Words or phrases will jump out at me. Maybe I have used them several times or maybe they just really resonate and excite me. I’ll then start extracting these key elements by highlighting them in colour, underlining phrases, circling words and making lists of ideas I would like to pursue. This process will normally lead to further mind maps and suggestions for areas of research. Something will suggest my colour palette and the materials and techniques I wish to explore and use. I love the next stage of researching, gathering materials and sampling. It can take days or even weeks. Having done this, I’ll then bring all of my
Above: Patchwood Sampler detail Below: From HiStories Uncovered. Vintage shirt collars and deconstructed shirt cuffs with fabric, paper and haberdashery. Machine and hand stitch.
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CREATIONS thinking vintage
information together and organize it into a sketchbook. This helps me to order it and the very act of collating information and sticking it onto my pages brings forward ideas for how to proceed. The sketchbook then becomes my record of thoughts, ideas, research, experiments and processes and can inspire many pieces of work. From this point onwards, I tend to work things out as I go along and allow my pieces to grow organically. I rarely have my finished outcome in mind (let alone on paper) before I start. I use collage techniques where I layer, patch and piece my materials together with machine and hand stitch. For me, the machine stitching is mostly functional (I am not a particularly accomplished machine stitcher) and hand stitching is very personal act of leaving your mark with needle and thread. It is a slow, thoughtful process! Wherever possible, I use old materials that have a bit of a history in themselves. This can literally be old pieces of fabric, paper or even wood. I believe that materials that have been used and worn carry their own stories. I love the thought that an old piece of clothing is implanted with stories of the wearer or that a piece of table linen holds the secrets of a household. I can best illustrate my design process by explaining the inspiration for, and the thinking behind, some of my current work. “To The Creel” is a series of three small pieces made in 2014 as a response to an exhibition with Edge: textile artists, Scotland. The exhibition theme was “Between Myth & Ledgend”. I was giving this title some thought when, rather randomly, a doll came into my possession. She was dressed as an East Lothian fishwife, in beautifully handmade clothes, right down to a pair of hand knitted socks. She was handed to me with the words, “her name is Maggie, after 'Half Hung Maggie”'. With a bit of research I discovered the legend of Maggie Dickson, the Musselburgh fishwife who was hung in Edinburgh in 1723 and who miraculously revived as her body was carted home – hence the name “Half Hung Maggie”. However, rather than the drama of the tale, it was the lives of the fishwives that I uncovered during my research that captivated me. During my process of mind mapping, words and phrases resonated with me such as 'identity', 'strength' and 'community'. The navy and white striped aprons and skirts worn by the women,
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Detail from Dear Sister, from To The Creel, 31 x 22.5cm. Hand-stitched textile fragments sewn into a wood and perspex hand crafted display case.
strongly related to their identity and that of the community. The stripes were key, leading me to consider line and lineage. I have a collection of postcards that came from a fishing family. On sifting through these, I found several sent home by the men in the family while they were away at sea. Dated in the early 1900s, they are the equivalent of a daily text message or phone call home, reporting on the important events of the day – the weather, the herring, health and finances. My vision became “fragments” of skirts and aprons, carrying the stories of the wearer, pieced together with hand stitch and conservation pins; similar in some ways to archeologists discovering shards of broken pottery and piecing them together to reveal clues to the domestic lives of communities past. My colour palette would be navy and white with highlights of red (as this was the colour of the stripes in the dress aprons) and I would use “poor” fabrics – vintage ticking, calico with cotton lawn, to give transparency for layering. One of the pieces was based on the legend of Maggie Dickson while the other two were inspired
by the postcards from brother to sister and husband to wife. The finished pieces are displayed in old museum type display cases, which my husband and I designed and made. The inspiration for my “Patchwood Samplers” came about as I reflected on one project that I led during my many years of working creatively with parents in Family Support projects. I mostly worked with groups of women, exploring the issues affecting their daily lives through textile projects. However, when I was asked to work in a similar way with a group of men, I was thrown. My mind immediately discounted using fabric and stitch and I came up with a project using wood instead. During my first session with the men, they passed over my new idea, choosing to work on the same project as the women. I was quite fascinated at how I had unthinkingly fallen into stereotyping. I had assumed that while the women worked with fabrics, needles and thread, the men would prefer to work with wood, saws and sandpaper. This line of thinking led me into
CREATIONS thinking vintage
Previous page: Patchwood Sampler, 30 x 19cm. Hand stitched wood with vintage haberdashery
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CREATIONS thinking vintage
Clockwise from top: Inside The Purple Thread Shed my studio near Edinburgh; Gillie’s Shirt detail; I collect old 'treasures' with their own story to tell; Patchwood Sampler detail; Ali drilling wooden 'patches' before stitching her Patchwood Samplers. Corset detail
creating embroidered patchwork samplers from patches of wood instead of fabric. I use fragments of old haberdashery and other materials that are found hidden away in the bottom of drawers; commonplace items that were used by our mothers and grandmothers as they went about their daily chores. They eked out the budget, making things last a little longer or look a little prettier while keeping their families clothed and warm. In my mind, wood represents the physical structure of the house and many of the functional items within it. In my samplers, the thread and the stitches weave their way between the layers of wood and domestic materials, bringing together the different functions and roles of a household. From initially making two Patchwood
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Samplers for an exhibition at Unit Twelve in Staffordshire, these have grown and developed into what is now my more commercial range of work for galleries and exhibitions. I am looking forward to exhibiting opportunities throughout 2016 with Edge: textile artists, Scotland. I am currently
revisiting old mind maps and sketchbooks and working on new ideas for “To The Creel” and “HiStories Uncovered”. The beauty of taking time to work on a really good sketchbook is that they can inspire for years to come. As well as creating stitched wall pieces, I teach a program of textile related workshops from my studio, The Purple Thread Shed, near Edinburgh. I will also be teaching my Patchwood Samplers workshops in a number of venues in the UK. BC You can find out more about workshops and exhibitions at my website www.aliferguson.co.uk Or do stop by and say hello on my Facebook page. The Purple Thread Shed – Ali Ferguson
IN THE NEXT ISSUE TEXTILE & NEEDLECRAFT CREATIONS, INSPIRATIONS & INNOVATIONS
Tantalizing TEXTILE ART
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ISSUE ON SALE 12 AUGUST 2016
Painting by Fabric Helena Clulee reveals her inspirations and techniques for painting with fabric
y inspiration comes from what I see around me, texture and colour being my thing. Nature, the food on my plate, fashion, textures, literature, colours, the TV, PC, the art masters, galleries, people, ideas I hear and see, all contribute in some way to my next project. I use anything that comes to hand to create my art, always asking the one and only question I have, "What if....?" I conceive ideas from what I see in front of me and my imagination does the rest! I use rough drawings and mood boards to bring my ideas together and I have found my sketch pad becoming a more important tool to collect and develop these ideas. My peerless watercolours which are tucked safely flat in my sketchpad, along with my water pens, PITT pens and a camera, are constantly at hand. I never see my learning as departmentalised or finished. I am continually experimenting bringing any ideas together. The result is I see my ideas constantly evolving. I like inspiring people too and being inspired. Ideas are like swapping your favourite toys with your best friend. It can be contagious and so fulfilling. I never worry about what other people think I just have a go and see what happens.
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Through a sequence of events in my life, I find myself today in a country where I barely speak the language; I am unable to physically work but positively have a wonderful mixed media studio to work in. Life in Bavaria is subtly segregated between men and women and their defined life roles. Women support each other in creative groups by meeting at local evening classes, one of which for me was a bi-monthly quilting group. Unable to speak a word, sewing machine in hand I turned up to discover that creativity transcended any barriers. It was at one of these meetings that I was inspired by a lady demonstrating a Noriko Endo landscape technique, unknown to me, but maybe known to some as 'confetti quilting'. She used small off cuts of any sized waste material; she sliced them and placed them in separate containers. To my artistic background, it was like looking at a palette of 'dry paint' colours. Over a period of time, I had also collected every piece of discarded or cut off material from not only my projects, but other people's too. I couldn't wait to go home and experiment. My experimentation lead to the fibre piece called 'Fans'.
WHAT YOU DO
1. Match the backing material of choice with the batting, glue side down, heat the centre with an iron. Leave the frame edge un-heated. 2. On the batting, decide on the dimensions and shapes from your picture and where they will be placed. You can use thread placed on top of your canvas to create outlines that can be removed when filled in with the colour. 3. Use the pots of colour selected from your palette to 'paint' the picture placing the pieces of material with an even thickness on top of your 'canvas' or batting within the lines you have created. (Do not be tempted to glue the sliced material down to the batting). How the material is placed and the direction in which it is placed will make a difference to the overall effect too. You need enough thickness of the coloured material to cover the batting but not too much in places otherwise the finished effect becomes lumpy. It will be difficult to free sew. If you make a mistake, use your fingers or tweezers to remove the colour and replace if required. 4. Once you are happy with the 'painting', now place the black netting on top. Keep the netting as stretched and flat as possible. Pin as many times as necessary to hold everything in place to enable the project to be rolled up when using the sewing machine. Please note that once the netting has been placed, itâ€™s very difficult to remove it without lifting the loose material and messing up the design. I did try other colours of netting. It didn't work. The
About the Artist
Today I am a self-taught mixed media artist. My art education finished at school when I was 18 years old completing an A Level Art course, although recently I finished a correspondence course in Graphic Design. I am based temporarily in Bavaria, Germany, but I am originally from Bristol, UK. My creative streak covers clothes, quilting, fibre art, bobbin lace, jewellery, painting, drawing, paper, art journaling and scrapbooking. You can see further examples of my work on www.pinterest.com/hclulee
brain makes the black netting disappear revealing the colours underneath. Other colours of netting lost the form of the picture and dominated the effect. 5. Decide on how you are going to sew your piece. Darn all over? Define and quilt areas to emphasis shape and form? For example, in 'Fans', the hats were given form and texture by sewing lines in the direction of the shape. The background was darned in free form stitch. The essential thing is to make sure that enough of each area is sewn to stop the material moving underneath, holding it in place underneath the black netting. I used different colours of cotton to closely match each area of the painting. The coloured sewing cotton therefore did not interfere with the picture. 6. Cut off any batting that is not required and discard. Fold over the backing material with the netting tucked inside. If you need to cut off any excess netting, do so. Make another fold as a hem from the raw edge which is placed up to the edge of the picture to create a neat finished frame. Secure the frame by using hemming stitch or straight stitch with the machine. 7. Embellishing your project is optional. The shapes can be accented by using embroidery, lace, netting, beads, etc dependent on the picture. These are sewn separately on the project until you have the effect and balance you want. If you do not like them in the end or they are in the wrong place, they can be simply removed. Happy sewing! BC
A picture of your choice. The picture can be as simple as you like or complicated with lots of details - it can have suggestions of colour e.g a sunset or strong shapes like a party scene. Backing material plus a minimum of 10 cm all around the finished size i.e cotton fabric. The extra 10 cm is the frame. To make your frame allowance, add one centimetre (seam allowance) and double the number required for the width of the frame. e.g. A frame width of 6 cm = 1 + 12 = 13 cm extra all around. Medium weight batting (with glue) the required size for your picture - this will be your 'canvas'. Self-healing cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler. Waste material in the required colours to fit your project Fine black thin netting, larger than your finished project. Long flower pins or similar - (the length is important here). Various different coloured threads that compliment the choice of material colours. A sewing machine with a standard foot and a darning foot. Embellishments (optional) - e.g. braiding, buttons, beads, trimmings, ribbons - whatever is required for the finished piece which will depend on its subject.
• The size of your finished project. The piece 'Fans' was 43 x 56 cm (22 x 17 inches) with a 4 cm (1.5 inch) border. Simple pictures can have a smaller overall finished size. There is a balance; if the picture is too small, the details can be lost, but you don't want it too large either - you may not have enough scrap material! • Plain or patterned material very thinly sliced in containers. To thinly slice the material - select strips or pieces that are any length but no more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) across. Place the strip on a cutting mat. Use a sharp rotary cutter moving quickly backwards and forwards across the width. You will have a pile of colour. Keep the colours separate in bowls, plastic cups etc, to create your palette. If you require shades of colour you can mix the colours from the pots to create a new colour. Add black to a colour to create a darker shade or white for a paler colour. Materials with patterns on them are just as effective too. www.creativewithworkbox.com
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INTRICATE DETAIL Isobel Moore looks at things from every angle and delivers the unexpected with detail and panache
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“WHEN I ENTER A COMPETITION, I LIKE TO TEST THE BOUNDARIES, CHALLENGE EXPECTATIONS, AND MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH”
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‘ve felt the urge to create all my life, whether it was building Lego, attempting to knit or crochet (still can’t do either!) or simply colouring and doodling. I first learnt to use a sewing machine at my grandmother’s house. She had a fantastic little workroom halfway up the stairs; a tiny space crammed with fabric remnants and threads, and a cupboard with felt-tip pens and pencils. She would let me use anything and everything, and was always very encouraging. My first sewing machine was an ancient black and gold Singer with an external motor attachment, which had once been my mother’s. It lasted me until well after my college days, and I still have it, although it’s been long superseded by my trusty Bernina. Despite my early obsession with sewing and creating, I don’t remember making anything significant or particularly wonderful. I first used my sewing machine to tighten my jeans, or change skirts from knee-length A-line into straight miniskirts (I was a teenager)! When I was older, I made endless pairs of cotton trousers in jolly colours. I didn’t do textiles or art at school or college, but followed my interest in plant science and studied horticulture instead. This led to a
residential volunteering placement with the charity Thrive, which prompted me to study for my PGCE and begin teaching in primary school. Yet throughout this time, I still dabbled in all things textile. I taught myself silkpainting, among other things, and earnt a bit of pocket money selling cards and mini appliqué wall-hangings. When I left teaching, I worked as a legal secretary, but I was secretly hoping to find a way to develop a new, long-term career for myself using my creativity. With more time to devote to my own pursuits, I took a number of courses at my local Adult Education college. A beginners’ felt-making class gave me a definite 'a-ha!' moment, but it was when I learnt the rudiments of machine embroidery that I realised I’d 'found my thing'. So, I took the bold step of leaving work and enrolled in a summer school at Missenden Abbey, where I took my first City & Guilds course with Pam Watts. One thing led to another, and I continued studying with Pam at the Abbey for almost 10 years, eventually completing my City & Guilds Diploma. As I did so, the planets aligned and my local Adult Education College advertised for a machine embroidery tutor – so I dug out my PGCE certificate and applied!
Prevoius page: My favourite seascape Left: Close up detail
Above: The Spring
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Going straight from City & Guilds into teaching meant that it took me a while to discover my own style and way of working. I’m something of a magpie - for ideas and knowledge as well as fabric, threads and beads. I have books of scribbled notes and doodles, half-baked ideas and grand plans, plenty of resources and a brand new studio in which to work – but it usually takes a very short deadline and an element of competition to stir me into actually starting a piece! When I enter a competition, I like to test the boundaries, challenge expectations, and also make people laugh. My first competition was with my local Embroiderers’ Guild branch. The title was “Spring”, so naturally, many entries featured embroidered daffodils and blossom. Not mine. After a long search on Freegle, I found what I wanted – a suspension coil from a truck! I cleaned, primed and painted it, then wrapped it in about 50 metres of machine-embroidered cord. It didn’t win, sadly, but my ‘Spring’ proved very popular, and I still use it as a demonstration piece.
The following year’s competition, “Water”, prompted the inevitable ponds, waterfalls and so on. My grand notion was to make a piece using a shower head, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the right hardware. I ended up stitching a multitude of very fine beaded cords, each over a metre long and ending in a water-droplet shaped bead pendant, and suspending them from a wire ring. My most recognised competition piece won the Tunbridge Wells Embroiderers’ Guild President’s Cup, under the title “Flotsam and Jetsam”. It comprises two fish, stitched entirely on water-soluble fabric around copper wire armatures, with assorted recycled bits and pieces – broken jewellery, seashells, ring-pulls, washers and so on - stitched in place. Their tails are made from blue plastic freezer bags! They feature in Kim Thittichai’s latest book “Recycled Textiles,” and I was doubly thrilled when the publishers chose to use a detail shot for the cover. Just as important in its own way was my entry for the National Embroiderers’ Guild competition “Tree Rhythms”. It didn’t
win, but the work-in-progress pictures I posted on my Facebook page have been shared and liked all over the world. They also massively increased visitor numbers to my page and website - and ultimately to my being asked to write this! The Tree Rhythms piece sparked my interest in stitching circular pieces on watersoluble fabric, using a lampshade ring as an armature. I made my purple circle in memory of our Embroiderers’ Guild branch chairman, Fay Simmonds, whose favourite colour was purple. The design is based on Australian aboriginal imagery and features a central copper embellishment, since I was teaching that particular technique at the time. An article describing the making and inspiration appeared in the e-magazine 'threads.in-fusion', produced by Dale Rollerson in Australia. They say what goes around comes around, and in 2015, I was back at Missenden Abbey Summer School – but this time as a tutor. Every year, we go camping in Brittany, and I love its unique combination of wildness, white sand, wide skies and the warmth of a French
Left: A green bowl made from wire (City & Guilds Diploma piece)
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summer. This inspired my three-day Celtic Coastlines course, creating seascapes from a collaged paper background with added silks, cottons and scrim – all my favourite colours and textures! I think my work will always oscillate between this natural, muted palette with texture and detail from recycled papers and unbleached scrim and linen, and something altogether brighter and bolder. I love all ethnic textiles, such as printed Indian cottons and silk, and I have a small but growing collection of traditional woven straps and ribbons; some bought on a long-ago visit to Canada, and others brought back by my mother from her more recent travels in Asia and South
America. I can’t wait to see the traditional Sami costumes and embroidery on my upcoming trip to Norway! This year is definitely one of new beginnings for me. We’ve recently converted our garage to create a studio space, so I finally have all my materials and inspiration in one place, not scattered all over the house. I’m also teaching further weekend courses in machine embroidery at Missenden Abbey, giving my inaugural talk to an Embroiderers’ Guild branch (in Canterbury) and running my first privatelybooked workshop - a two-day course for a textile group in Oxford, making the Flotsam and Jetsam fish. BC
Left: Purple circular piece
Right: The Tree Rhythms circular piece
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Pouting Trout Inspired by the salty sea air, I made these fantasy felt fish while watching the boats bob off the coast of England, although I don’t advise needle felting on a rocking boat! Hang these colourful fish from a piece of dried driftwood to keep to the seaside theme By Gillian Harris
Merino wool tops: 30g of pale lime, orange and pale blue. Small amounts of purple, dark red, lime, burgundy, olive green, turquoise, pale turquoise, black, white, yellow, pale pink, coral, magenta and cerise Selection of felting needles 3 foam fish shapes (optional) Fancy braid or ribbon Piece of driftwood Needle and thread
Finished size: Each fish approx. 20cm (8in) long
1. Start with a large felting needle. For the orange fish, begin by making a basic oval shape for the body. Remember that fibres condense and mat together as you are needle felting, so the shape will shrink just as in other forms of felt making. Spend some time on the body, constantly turning and refining the shape. Use several different shades of the same colour over the top of one another to add depth and shading. 2. Next, working directly onto dense foam, make a flat fish-tail shape with the same colour as the body. Trim if required and attach this to the main body of the fish. Fan the tail end slightly. 3. Now make the fins. Make two smaller fin shapes and one larger and longer one for the top fin. Trim to shape with some small scissors
if necessary. Pin the fins into position to get them looking correct before needle felting onto the fish. 4. Using a fine needle, attach the pattern detail using the picture as reference. First, crisscross the pale blue lines on the body, then wrap and attach black and white stripes at the top of the tail. Make pink stripes fan down the tail, then add the coloured spots. Finally, add two eyes in blue with a small pink centre and outline in burgundy. 5. To make the lips for the fish, use larger needles to make an oval shape in dark red fleece. Once you have the right shape, attach it at the front of the fish by needling around the edges. When it is fixed, start to push the needle in more along the centre line and indent the felt to form two lips. Keep stabbing until they are firmly in place and well outlined. 6. Repeat for the other two
fish, using different colours and patterns – use the picture as reference or just use your imagination! 7. With a needle and thread, stitch a piece of cord or ribbon to the top fin of each fish. Make each hanging cord a slightly different length so that the fish float at different heights. Attach the cords to convenient points on the driftwood or similar, then bring all three pieces to the centre above and tie off. Hang the mobile from a small hook fixed in the ceiling. BC
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Extracted from Complete Feltmaking by Gillian Harris, published by Collins & Brown. Photograph by Mark Winwood. You can buy Gillian's Felting kits, wools and equipment online at www.gilliangladrag.co.uk or by calling 01306 898144 or by visiting her shop : The Gilliangladrag Fluff-a-torium at 20 West Street, Dorking RH4 1BL
INNOVATIONS mixing media
Brooklyn based artist, Melissa Zexter, enhances her already exquisite photography with stunning embroidery – we asked her how and why…
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INNOVATIONS mixing media
Left: Playa Rocha
INNOVATIONS mixing media
Right: Girl on Bed
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INNOVATIONS mixing media
Melissa, for our readers who donâ€™t know you, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work. I am originally from Bristol, a tiny town in Rhode Island (the smallest state in the USA), but have lived in Brooklyn, New York, for more than half my life. I love photography. I love to sew. I love to swim. I have two children and I teach photography in New York City. I have been combining embroidery with photography for many, many years. I have exhibited my photographs in the United States and internationally for many years. You have a BFA and an MFA in photography; when did you realise you wanted to combine this skill and passion with embroidery? I have been combining embroidery and photography since 1999. Prior to combining the two different mediums, I worked with a variety of mixed media photographic techniques. During an artist residency in the Catskill Mountains, New York, I came upon a display of threads in a hardware store. I selected a few and quite spontaneously started embroidering pictures onto handmade paper that I made. At this point, I had minimal sewing experience, but loved the process so much that soon after I began to embroider onto my photographs that featured anonymous figures. I immediately loved the artistic meeting of photography and embroidery, of technology and handwork.
Please describe your creative process â€“ do you take a photograph first and then embroider over it, or do you start with an idea for a piece and take it from there? Do you embroider directly on to the photograph or do you print it on to fabric first? Firstly, there is no fabric involved. I take and print all of my photographs; the black and white photographs are silver gelatin prints that I print in my darkroom and the colour photographs are digital prints. The subjects of my embroidered photographs are most often women and girls. Although more recently, my subject matter has included a variety of landscapes. My first goal is to make a strong photo that can stand alone without the thread. Once I print my photos, I visualize an image or pattern that could work with the specific picture. The imagined sewing pattern often grows and changes once I get started. Depending on the piece, sometimes I sketch out my idea beforehand, while other times, I just begin to stitch onto the photograph with no planned ending. The challenge is often in working towards the unknown. Recently, I find myself being more interested in making the sewing more threedimensional. I have been layering the sewing and using a looser sewing method as that seems to add a more multi layered effect to the photograph.
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INNOVATIONS mixing media
Do you prefer to use hand or machine embroidery? Any preferred methods or materials you like to use? I prefer to use hand embroidery. I am working on delicate paper and much of my work incorporates curved lines, reverse sewing, and spontaneous patterns. Machine sewing looks too uniform for me and there is too much of a risk in tearing the photograph. Apart from the obvious combination in mediums, what do you think makes your work individual and unique? I think what makes my work unique is that I use my own photographs. I have no interest in using appropriated or found images. Sewing gives me time to slow down and look at and meditate on one quality image. I spend a lot of time selecting photographs that are appropriate to sew on. Not every image is meant to be sewn on. There are many photographs that I can’t imagine touching with thread, but that I do like untouched. The stitching serves as a deeper link to that person or place photographed. In the past two decades, photography has become more and more immediate. Digital photography has sped up looking at images – we have access to our recorded images immediately. The process and experience of art making has always been an integral part of photography for me. I sometimes feel that there is too much to look at, and too many photographs out there, and it’s nice to just sit with one picture and spend time studying and looking at it. How do you feel embroidery enhances your photography? The thread serves as a connection between myself and the person or place that I have photographed. The originals have been modified and are given a different kind of meaning through the sewing. I always think of the photograph as something from the past and the thread as a reaction to time. The thread makes the photograph more personal to me and allows me to meditate on the image. Combining the two mediums (photography and sewing) allows me to reinvent the photograph; to visually react to a person or a place in a way that language cannot. What would you like viewers to feel when they look at your work? Many of these pieces explore memory and personal experience while manipulating the generic qualities of the photographic print. The ambiguous photographs of women and bodies are personalized with detailed maps of personal significance. The thread’s function is a tool of physical connection. We are inundated with thousands of photographs each day – through television, billboards, web images, images we take on our phones, cameras. Sewing gives one time to slow down and look at and meditate on one quality image. I’d like the viewer to slow down and look carefully. Thank you for giving us an insight into your exquisite work. BC Readers can find my work on my website www.melissazexter.com or on my blog melissazexter.wordpress.com
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Clockwise from top: Willows; Silver Surf; Blizzard Lovers; Snow Shore.
INNOVATIONS mixing media
“I LOVE THE ARTISTIC MEETING OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND EMBROIDERY, OF TECHNOLOGY AND HANDWORK”
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Pillow Pop Bursting with colour, this pillow top by Ryan Walsh utilizes an easy raw-edge appliquĂŠ process that assures you of a one-of-akind piece. Plan out your colour scheme, or use this as a scrap-busting project
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Pillow Pop ISBN: 9781607054788
Popular blogger and modern sewist Heather Bostic brings you a sensational selection of pillow projects. Pull out your favorite fabrics and have fun stitching up something new to adorn your bed or favorite chair.
Order your copy online at
www.searchpress.com free p&p in the UK on orders over £10!
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Applique fabrics: scraps totalling 1/2 yard Foundation fabric: /8 yard linen or linen blend Border: ¼ yard Lightweight double-sided fusible webbing: ¾ yard Muslin: 23˝ × 23˝ Batting: 23˝ × 23˝ Pressing cloth: to protect your iron from sticky adhesive Backing: 1/2 yard for envelope closure, or see Pillow Pillow form: 20˝ × 20˝ Make circle template patterns measuring 1, 3, and 4 inch diameter. All seam allowances are ¼˝ Cutting • Foundation fabric: Cut 1 square 20˝ × 20˝ • Border: Cut 2 strips 11/2˝ × 20˝ • Cut 2 strips 21/2˝ × 22˝ Finished size: 21˝ × 21˝
Creating the Appliqué Design Most double-sided fusible webbing has 3 layers: an adhesive layer between 2 layers of nonstick paper. 1. You will create the appliqué design starting from the centre. Choose 5 fabrics for the flower centre, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the fabric, wrong side down, to the fusible webbing. Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron. 2. Using the 1˝ circle template, mark the paper side of the 5 fused fabrics you chose for the centre flower, and cut on the marked line. 3. Find the centre of the foundation fabric by folding it in half, pressing, and unfolding. Lay a ruler along the crease line and mark 10˝ from the edge with a pencil or fabric pen. 4. Remove the paper backing from a 1˝ appliqué circle to expose the webbing; place the appliqué over the centre mark. Fuse, following manufacturer’s instructions and using a pressing cloth to protect your iron. 5. Nest and fuse 4 more 1˝ circles around the first circle. To
create a nesting edge, overlap the circles, trace the outline of the bottom circle onto the top circle, and trim the top circle along the line. 6. Continue to build your design outward by randomly nesting and fusing circle appliqués. I used more than 80 circles in my design. Stop adding appliqué circles ¼˝ from the edge of the foundation.
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Attaching the Borders 1. Sew the 11/2˝ × 20˝ border strips to the top and the bottom. Press the seams toward the border. 2. Sew the 11/2˝ × 22˝ borders to the sides. Press the seams toward the border. Quilting and Finishing 1. Secure the appliqué circles to the foundation by stitching 1/8˝ from their outside edges. 2. Layer and baste the muslin, batting and pillow top. 3. Select and create a closure for the pillow back, using Pillow Construction Techniques, (see page 69). BC www.patchworksquared.com www.ryanwalshquilts.com
Be creative… Circle template patterns
About the Artist
Ryan is a self-taught quilter and quilt designer who enjoys giving a modern twist to classic quilt designs. He is a licensed funeral director in the Catskill Mountain region of New York. A busy dad of three, the majority of his quilting adventures occur in the late hours of the night after his children are in bed. Quilting helps satisfy his never ending need to be creative. Ryan’s work combines traditional piecing methods with free-style construction techniques. As a way to challenge his ability, he participates in online bees and quilt related swaps. He’s contributed patterns to several quilting books and magazines.
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Pillow Construction Techniques Envelope Backing 1. Cut 2 rectangles from backing fabric 1/2˝ longer than the finished pillow size and 3˝ wider than half the finished size, or as specified in the project. 2. Hem a long side of each rectangle: Turn under 1/2˝, press, turn under 1/2˝ again, and press. Topstitch 1/8˝ from the folded edge and again 1/4˝ from the folded edge. 3. Place a backing piece on the pillow top, right sides together, aligning raw edges and pin. Sew with a 1/2˝ seam allowance,
or use seam allowance specified for the project. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Trim seams at the corners. 4. Place the second backing piece on the pillow top as shown, pin, and sew. The overlapping area in the middle will be reinforced because it gets sewn twice. Trim seams at the corners. 5. Turn right side out through the envelope opening, pushing out the corners. Insert a pillow form.
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126 Talking Textiles – East, Bolton Embroiderers’ Guild, Tapestry, Fantastic Fans, Maria Walker
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131 Contemporary Lace, Mining a Golden Seam, Angora Wool Dress, Sally Sparks’ Atlantic Adventure
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133 Limited Stock Travels in India, Making an Irish Dance Dress, Free Motion Embroidery, Chameleon: Images to Inspire
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140 Interview with Naseem Darbey, Into the Weave with 45 Southside, Gail Critchlow Quilting, A Hanging for the Mayor
141 The Great Tapestry of Scotland, Fabulous Felt by Chantal Seddon, The Motion of Stitching with Michala Gyetvai
142 Sally Sparks Travels to Bhutan, Embroidered Art by Lindsay Taylor, Ophelia After Millais by Ann Holden
143 Travels to Bhutan: Part 2, The Hare by Richard Box, One in a Minion, In a 17th Century Garden, Trish Burr Interview
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147 Flower Power – Monica Crescini, Mad as a Hatter – Heather Wilson, Thread Painting, Lace at Waddesdon
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149 Texture, Surface and Pattern with Sue Hotchkis, Print your own fabrics, Reinventing cross stitch, Di van Niekerk project
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Liz Harding gives us a sneak peek at The Brunel Broderers latest exhibition at Newark Park
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“Newe Worke” is the way the building of Newark Park, Gloucestershire, in the sixteenth century was described by Sir Nicholas Poyntz, and is also the title for the latest exhibition by the Brunel Broderers. Members have been inspired by the house, its contents and grounds to produce their latest collection of work. This will be shown in both house and grounds during June and July 2016. The collection will be situated within a number of the rooms as well as around the grounds and in the gallery. The Brunel Broderers are a group of nine artists living in the south west of England with a reputation for their innovative textile practice which encompasses a diverse range of approaches to materials, methodologies and concepts. Each member‘s work reveals
a personal response to aspects of Newark Park. Several of the Broderers are fascinated by the history of the house. Stephanie has been thinking about those who have lived and more specifically worked in the house. Evidence of this work is apparent in the wear on the steps leading to the kitchens made by generations of servants. Through knitting, darning and filming, she makes references to the ephemeral nature of the lives of these unknown people. Carla has something different to say about service. She has been researching links between the owners of the house and slavery. She refers to the peacock feather as a symbol of freedom and outside she is presenting an installation of a car park space which refers to the motor car as a modern symbol of slavery. Carolyn is thinking about history
Left to right: Kestrel close up by Louise Watson; carla2; work by Julie Heaton
related to the house as a hunting lodge and her work is around ideas of medieval hunting. Julie makes a historical connection with a Stuart stump work casket. She is fascinated with concepts of frailty and damage and this seventeenth century artefact is in a delicate state. Her contemporary facsimile of it is made with the sewing machine. She will contrast this box which would have been made by a young girl, with a machine stitched image of a computer game, a modern activity for a young girl or boy. Others are interested in what is seen in the house and grounds today. Louise references the birds and their feathers found around the estate with machine and hand stitched imagery. Liz Hewitt’s continuing interest in leaves and their potential for eco-dyeing will feature in work for
the grounds and gallery. For the house, she is making a Kantha style quilt using symbols representing the history of Newark Park. Liz Harding is inspired by the large east window of eighteenth century painted glass as well as the cabinet of blue and green glass on the second floor landing. Her characteristic use of transparent fabric and rich colour is being interpreted in a screen, featuring fragments of pattern taken from some of the house textiles. Linda is also inspired by the many textiles to be seen in the house, particularly the Kelim on the dining room table. Stories will feature during the exhibition with story tellers telling tales about the house (details of when this will happen will appear on the Newark Park web site as well as on the Brunel Broderers blog).
For Corinne, the house suggests stories and hidden secrets. Her work for the show uses the inspiration of nineteenth century fairy stories, in particular ‘The Wild Swans’ by Anderson and ‘The Twelve Brothers’ by Grimm. Artists showing work in this exhibition are: Linda Babb, Liz Harding, Julie Heaton, Liz Hewitt, Carla Mines, Corinne Renow-Clarke, Carolyn Sibbald, Louise Watson and Stephanie Wooster. The artists will be stewarding on Wednesdays and at weekends and will be happy to talk about their work. As well as storytelling, there will be a silk painting workshop. Dates and details of these events as well as regular updates of the progress of work for the exhibition can be found on the group's blog. BC Brunelbroderers.blogspot.co.uk
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The Swansea Festival of Stitch
A celebration of textiles, art and stitch in the special seaside city of Swansea from the 5th – 19th August.
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Come and enjoy our textile extravaganza and celebrate the diversity, colour and beauty in all forms of stitch. The Festival will draw in members of the public along with our local and national creative artists. As members of a successful exhibiting group, Itchy Fingers Textiles, in 2015 we were working towards our 2016 exhibition ‘Threads of the Unexpected’, and this led to the concept of the Festival and the inspiration of Children’s Literature as the Festival theme. All exhibitions are open throughout the Festival fortnight. The Exhibition Centres are within the City Centre with the exception of Ceri Richards Gallery at Taliesin, which can be reached by bus, car or a seaside stroll along the Promenade. The Big Pink Button Trail will guide visitors around the centres. The Village of Llarregub, created by Itchy Fingers Textiles, will be the starting point at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Outside the building you will notice the dressed bollards; this is the local schools project depicting their favourite literary character and is the start of the Textile Street Art trail. The Big Pink Buttons will lead you to the display at Adelaide Street Green where Gower Swansea College students have their display entitled ‘The Invisible String’. Opposite is Swansea Museum which hosts ContexArt’s exhibition ‘Telling Tales’. In the grounds of the museum, ‘The Secret Garden’ has been created by the ladies from Stitching B, from the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Continue following the Big Pink Button to the Maritime Quarter, you will see Penclawdd Patchers interpretation of ‘The Owl & the Pussycat’ inside the Tram Shed. Nearby, the ‘Fabulous Fishes’ bunting created by ContexArt will bedeck the Helwick Lightship. Following the Big Pink Button trail, you will arrive at the National Waterfront Museum of Wales which hosts Swansea Quilters interpretation of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ where you can follow the yellow brick road and admire an eye-catching array of quilts. Looking onto the courtyard is Linden Piece Makers depiction of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and Swansea Quilters construction of ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ is in the courtyard.
Left to right: Work to Ali Scott; Llareggub village; The Emerald City Swansea Quilters
The Big Pink Buttons will lead you through Wind Street where you will see 3D fabric structures in front of Swansea Castle. Coming through Castle Square, you can read stories from around the world, created by the multi-cultural membership of Swansea Bay Regional Equality Council. Strolling up Princess Way, decorated with colourful bunting made by the ladies from A Good Yarn and Llys Elba Lounge, the Big Pink Buttons will lead you to Tapestri Bistro and Gallery. The courtyard greets you with the ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, created by adult mental health patients as they pass through Cefn Coed Hospital on their road to recovery. Inside Tapestri, The Wednesday Stitchers are showing their eye-catching exhibition of ‘Alice in Swansea’. On route to The Grand Theatre following the Big Pink Buttons, you will pass through the centre of Swansea. Upstairs on the Balcony and in the White Room, Stitches Coven will have their stunning exhibition ‘Once upon a Time’. In the garden you will find their interpretation of ‘The Peacock’. Heading to the Big Pink Buttons will bring you to the Swansea Prison’s display of Welsh Flags carrying messages to loved ones. The spectacle of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ will transform the main
entrance of the Civic Centre bringing you into the Embroiderer’s Guild exhibition of ‘Children’s Stories’. The Big Pink Buttons progress along the Promenade and Mumbles Road to Ceri Richards Gallery at the Taliesin, where Itchy Fingers Textiles present ‘Stitch & Mix’, inspired by Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Gallery hosts their exhibition of ‘Threads of the Unexpected’, a tribute to Roald Dahl. We have brought a selection of well-known textile artists to Swansea Museum to run six workshops, on 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th and 18th August. The website www. swanseafestivalofstitch.co.uk gives full details. Amanda Hislop, Becky Adams, Bethan Ash, Mandy Nash,
Sheila Davies and Smith & Jones Knits, give a wide variety of choice. The weekend of the 13th and 14th August enables access to free taster sessions at our marquee, The Little Shop of Skills. There will be 13 techniques on offer from Sashiko to knitting, available daily from 10–12 and 2 – 4, bookable at the marquee. On the Museum Green on the 13th and 14th August we are proud to present the cream of Welsh Textile Makers at our Makers Market, open both days 10am-4pm. The website gives full details of their products. Our aim is for the Festival to be a biennial event and to make Swansea a centre of textile excellence. BC www.swanseafestivalofstitch.co.uk
I Be Creative with WORKBOX 75
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EXHIBITIONS AND OTHER FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Embroiderers’ Guild NOTICEBOARD Open now until 17th July 2016 THE ARTFUL CRAFT OF EMBROIDERED GARDENS (EG REGIONAL EVENT) Standen House and Gardens, West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4NE An opportunity to see a display of unique and specially created work based around the typically English scene of landscapes and stately gardens. This is one of the exhibitions by members of the Embroiderers' Guild from the East Surrey, East Sussex and Brighton branches, as part of the Tercentenary Capability Brown Festival. Tel: 01342 323029 Free admission. Open 11am – 4pm. Open now until 30th September 2016 CORNWALL & PLYMOUTH EG EXHIBITION Mount Edgcumbe House, Cornwall, (near Plymouth) Cornwall and Plymouth EG branches have combined to exhibit at Mount Edgcumbe House, Cornwall, (near Plymouth) as part of the Capability Brown celebration. House open Sundays to Thursdays and Bank Holidays, 11am – 4pm. House admission prices apply, to a beautiful historic house and wonderful grounds. Group visits available. 15 June - 16 July 2016 Yorkshire and the Humber Region of the Embroiderers' Guild Ripon Cathedral Minster Road, Ripon, HG4 1QT An exhibition of embroidered work using a wide range of techniques and materials produced by members of the Embroiderers' Guild from the Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East Region of all ages on the theme of Waterways. Free entry. Tel: 01765 603583 Visit the Cathedral websitewww.riponcathedral.org.uk to confirm opening times. For any other information contact – email@example.com 18 June - 10 September 2016 EXQUISITE THREADS Yorkshire and the Humber Region of the
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Bankfield Museum, Boothtown Road, Halifax, HX3 6HG An exhibition of embroidered treasures from the National Embroiderers' Guild, Calderdale Museums' collections and the Yorkshire and the Humber Region of the Embroiderers' Guild. Open Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holidays 10am – 4pm. Free entry. Further details from:-
Tickets in advance £15 Adults (£16 on the door), £5.00 children (12+) & students, under 12’s free with an accompanying adult. Hot & cold lunch options at £7.70 can be booked in advance. Free parking & good disability access. For further information & tickets contact The Organiser, Caroline Walford via Hertsbranch@ gmail.com
www.calderdale.gov.uk/museums firstname.lastname@example.org 29 June 2016 GLOSSOP & DISTRICT BRANCH OF THE EMBROIDERERS’ GUILD Glossop Cricket & Bowling Club, North Road, Glossop SK13 7AS Enjoy an afternoon playing with some of the more unusual materials available for textile artists. Learn different ways of adding colour and texture. Suitable for all abilities, materials provided. Meeting time 1pm – 3pm Entrance fee: Members £2, visitors £3. Refreshments included. Contact: 0161 430 4724
2 July 2016
1 – 3 July 2016
THE GUISBOROUGH AND DISTRICT BRANCH OF THE EMBROIDERERS’ GUILD
SMOCKING BRANCH EG EXHIBITION Display of work by members of the Smocking Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild as part of Beccles town Charter weekend festival. Open: 10am - 5pm Contact Details: email@example.com www.smocking.org.uk 2 July 2016
FESTIVAL OF TEXTILES, THREADS & STITCHES The Discovery Centre, Oaklands College, Hatfield Road, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 0JA Hertfordshire Branch of the Embroiderers Guild are organising a major textile event in conjunction with Oaklands College in St Albans This is a large and special art event covering all forms of textile, thread & stitch with major organisations such as the WI, Textile Society, Quilters Guild, Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, Felters, and knitters joining in too. We also have two leading textile speakers, alongside a number of exhibitions and very wellknown national traders attending. This is an opportunity for people of all ages to come along, and we are including students, children etc, and are catering for them by providing art parties. Open 9.30 – 4pm
Sunnyfield House, Westgate, Guisborough TS14 6BA Monthly meeting starts at 1.45pm. Guest speaker Nona Jenkins – American Quilts – The Underground Railway. Visitors are welcome whether non-stitchers, beginners or more experienced stitchers. For more information please call 01642 314860. 5 – 23rd July 2016 STRING OF PEARLS The Round Tower, 2 Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB This exhibition by Frome and District Branch of the Embroiderers Guild celebrates their 30th anniversary. The exhibition is open Monday – Saturday (incl) from 10am – 4pm. Further information available from 01373 830612 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 27 July 2016 GLOSSOP & DISTRICT BRANCH OF THE EMBROIDERERS’ GUILD Glossop Cricket & Bowling Club, North Road, Glossop SK13 7AS Melanie Kay will be talking about recycling unexpected materials, and using hand and machine embroidery. Meeting time 1pm to 3pm. Entrance fee: Members £2, visitors £3. Refreshments included. Tel: 0161 430 4724
20 - 21 August 2016 KALEIDOSCOPE A celebration of colour through flowers, quilts and embroidery in St Peter’s Church, Empingham, Rutland, LE15 8PN. Entry by donation, children free. Quilts by Wing Quilters, Embroidery by Rutland and Stamford Embroiders Guild. Open 10am – 5pm. Info and tickets: email@example.com, or call 01780 460354 6 - 18 September 2016 "ONE TIME, ONE PLACE" WORCESTER EMBROIDERERS GUILD Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, HR8 1DW (H ‘art week 10th-18th September) 10am – 5pm each day. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chichester Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is holding its biennial embroidery exhibition this autumn. Tuesday to Saturday 10am until 4.30pm & Sunday (until 3.30pm). Members of the guild will be on hand at the exhibition to answer any questions. Unique gifts & cards will be on sale. FREE Admission. (The Chichester Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is 30 years old this year. It has an enthusiastic membership of over 110. Members come from the Chichester area, Midhurst, Bognor Regis, Surrey & Hampshire).
Quilters’ Guild of The British Isles AND Quilt Groups NOTICEBOARD
17 September - 12 November 2016 CELEBRATING CAPABILITY BROWN – A STITCHED LEGACY
9 July 2016 QUILTERS GUILD OF THE BRITISH ISLES & QUILT GROUPS JOINT REGIONAL DAY
Park Lane Gallery, Macclesfield Silk Museum, SK11 6TJ
Speakers: Shirley Bloomfield, Baltimore with an English Twist and Betty Ball, My Favourite American Quilter - Katie pm
A display of unique and specially created work by members of Glossop and Macclesfield branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild on the theme of landscapes and gardens. This exhibition is part of the Capability Brown Tercentenary Festival. Open Monday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm. Admission £2. Tel: 0161 430 4724 30 September - 2 October 2016 AIREDALE BRANCH EG 25TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION Mercure Bankfield Hotel, Bradford Road, Bingley, BD16 1TU Airedale Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild is holding a 25th Anniversary Exhibition. 10am –4pm each day. Free admission.
Traders, competition - Pillowslip dresses or Britches for Boys, open Show and Tell Open 9:45 am - 3:00 pm Further Details: Jane Rogers 01284 767312 email@example.com 24 September 2016 SURREY REGIONAL DAY - QUILTERS GUILD REGION 2 The Old Barn, Church Road, Great Bookham, Surrey, KT23 3PQ Traders, Raffle, demonstration. Disabled access and free parking Speakers: Julia Gahagan and Anja Townrow. A4 Challenge entitled Terry Wogan – aspects of life (bring on the day) Open: 9.30am – 4pm. Tickets: Guild members £16, non members £20 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 - 20 November 2016 TEXTILE TREASURES Oxmarket Galleries (off East Street), Chichester, PO19 1YH
Events Nationwide Open now until 30 June 2016 MIX3D STITCH AND FRIENDS Textiles, Mixed Media, Drawing and Painting Cornerstone Gallery, Christ The Cornerstone Church, 300 Saxon Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES Jane Charles, Yvonne Elliott and Hilary Grayson collaborate together as Mix3d Stitch. For Bucks Open Studios in 2016 we have put together an exciting exhibition at the Cornerstone gallery in central Milton Keynes. After a very successful debut Bucks Open Studio in 2015 we are back with a vengeance
and a more few creative friends which adds drawing, sculpture and painting to the textile mix. Our inspiration comes from a variety of areas as ever, playing with technique, diverse themes and conceptual ideas. The gallery space is light, bright and very high its gently curved walls will create a dramatic display we hope, very different from last year’s domestic setting! Open: 10am - 7pm Contact Details: email@example.com. Tel: 07941 547433 www.facebook.com/ mix3dstitch/ Open now until 30 June 2016 ENCORE Shevington Library. Gathurst Lane, Shevington, Wigan WN6 8HA Retrospective exhibition and sale of work by Natural Progression Textile Group. Opening hours vary, please check website for details. Disabled access to library. No parking on site, however local parking is available. Website: wigan.gov.uk Tel: 01257 252618 8 June - 11 July 2016 BRUNEL BRODERERS “NEW WORKE” Newark Park, Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7PZ This exhibition by a well-respected group of contemporary textile artists is inspired by Newark Park’s buildings, estate and history. The work is situated within a number of the rooms, around the grounds and in the exhibition room. Open 11am-5pm. Admission - £8.40 National Trust entrance fee, exhibition free. nationaltrust.org.uk/newark-park brunelbroderers.blogspot.co.uk 8 June – 31 July 2016 "POETIC LICENCE" Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire DE6 5HT A textile exhibition inspired by words by Meniscus Textile Artists. Each artist has been inspired by a variety of sources - poetry, songs, famous quotations and play on words. The public will be able to meet members of Meniscus most weekends to answer any questions or just say hello. Open Wed - Sun 1pm – 5pm. Tel: 01283 585337 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sudbury-hall-andthe-national-museum-of-childhood 25 June 2016 CREATIVE ADVENTURES WITH TEXTILES (CATS) NEW GROUP Centre on Gracious Street, Chapel Street, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8DT We are a new group who are interested in textiles and stitch, our intention is to meet to develop our skills and pass them on to others. Our monthly meetings will concentrate on a particular skill e.g.
I Be Creative with WORKBOX 79
Patchwork & Quilting, bag making, machine stitching, hand stitching, knitting and mixed media etc. We welcome anyone along to the group from beginners to skilled textile stitcher’s. Please visit on our first meeting, followed by monthly meeting on the fourth Saturday of each month. Open: 1pm - 5pm. Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07731507156 29 – 30 June 2016 HELLENS MANOR TEXTILE BAZAAR 2016 Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, Nr Ledbury HR8 2LY Wednesday June 29th, 10 am – 6 pm & Thursday 30th, 10 am –5 pm. Individual designer clothes and fantastic collectable World Textiles for sale at this wonderful house and gardens. Talk at 6.30 pm on 29th by internationally acclaimed textile artist Carole Waller – “I’m No Walking Canvas”, Carole’s adventure into painted textiles, tickets £4. Tea, coffee, cakes plus a lovely salad lunch available. Textile Workshops available. Entry to bazaar £1. Information & to book please contact email@example.com Tel: 01453 823375 1 July - 30 July 2016 "SKY, WATER, STONE" Unravel, 355 Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, Huddersfield HD8 8RP An exhibition of embroidery and mixed media by Jenny Robson inspired by a close look at our landscape. Open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5pm. Free admission For more details phone 0148 767502 or see www.unravelcrafts.co.uk 1 July – 13 July 2016 TRAVELLER’S TALES Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, IPI7 ISR Textile Art Group Suffolk are holding their annual exhibition, open daily from 10am to 5pm. Admission to the exhibition is free and different artists will be present each day to welcome visitors and discuss their inspirational sources and methods. There will be many stories told through the medium of textiles resulting in a display of contemporary, exciting and innovative work. For all who are interested in the arts this is a chance to view the work of this talented group and to enjoy the ambience of Snape Maltings.
2 – 3 July 2016 LEVENS QUILTERS 25TH ANNIVERSARY QUILT SHOW Heaves Hotel, Levens,LA8 8EF (near Kendal, Cumbria) This is a biannual event with many quilts on display, traders, tombola, sales table of handmade craft good, a different raffle on each day for a local charity. Refreshments are available, plenty of free parking and disabled Access. Admission £2.50, under 16s free. 4 miles from junction 36, M6 motorway. Open 10am - 4pm each day. http://www.heaveshotel.com/ 2 - 24 July 2016 FRAMING SPACE II West Ox Arts Gallery, Town Hall, Market Square, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2JH Recent work by the liminal group of textile artists, whose work has its origins in handmade lace Free admission. Opening times: Tues - Sat 11.30am - 4.30pm, Sunday 2 - 4pm. For more information call 01993 850137 www.westoxarts.com Ramp and lift for wheelchair access. Travel by car or use bus No 18 from Oxford City Centre 9 July – 25 Sept 2016 “HAVE NEEDLE, WILL TRAVEL” by Mary Hart. A solo exhibition of unique pieces of textile art inspired by the diverse landscapes Mary sees in her local environment and as she travels the world. 78 Derngate, Northampton. NN1 1UH Open Tues – Sun 10am to 5pm. Gallery admission is free. Parking at St. John’s car park: free at weekends, 2 hours free on weekdays. www.derngate.org.uk Tel: 01604 230166 www.maryharttextileart.com Tel: 01858 880485 11th July - 30 July 2016 A TEXTILE EXHIBITION '7 IN THEIR ELEMENT' Venue Greyfriars Art Space, 43 St James Street, King's Lynn Norfolk PE30 5BZ. Open (excluding Sundays) 10 am – 4 pm Free admission with disabled access. For further information contact Pam Pols 01553 672653 or 07527191817 15 July - 28 July 2016 SHORELINE The Old Town Quarry, South Road, Weston Super Mare, BS23 2LU
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The exhibition will illustrate the memories of marks made by the ebb and flow of the tide against the shoreline and the results of our beach-combing, impressions of the coastal landscape and tales of times gone by. Each piece will reflect the tranquility felt, as you walk mindfully along a beach, listening to the rhythm of the tide, observing the beauty of the shoreline, calming your mind. 19 July – 23 July 2016 TAKING TEXTILES FURTHER EXHIBITION Berkhamsted Upstairs Gallery, 268 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 1AQ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Taking Textiles Further is a group led by Janet Edmonds and is for textile artists who wish to further develop their own personal creativity within a design led context. This is the second exhibition by the group and will showcase their new work. 30 July – 31 July 2016 TEXTILE JOURNEYS "The Old School" Church Street, Minster, Nr Ramsgate, Kent CT12 4BX 10 am - 5pm Textile Journeys, an exhibition of Embroidery and Machine Embroidery work by City & Guilds students completing Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Certificate courses, as well as textile art by students completing non accredited courses. Admission £1.00 Tea and coffee and home made cakes available. For further information please contact Barbara Inchley on 01843 847705 1 August – 25 September 2016 FREESTYLE EMBROIDERY & TEXTILE ART GROUP EXHIBTION Burgh House Museum New End Square, Hampstead, London NW3 1LT North London University of the Third Age’s Freestyle Embroidery and Textile Art group is having an exhibition in August and September of this year, at Burgh House Museum in Hampstead. The exhibition and museum are open Weds – Fri and Sundays from 12 – 5pm and entrance is free. You can find out more about Burgh House Museum and how to get there at www.burghhouse.org.uk August 15 -20 2016 CHESIL EMBROIDERERS
Contact No. 0117 9858439
Upwey Stitchers and Royal Manor Workshops joint exhibition at Weymouth Bay Methodist Church, 32 Melcombe Avenue, Weymouth, DT4 7TH
Walks along beaches collecting shells,
Open: Monday - Saturday 10 am – 4 pm
Free admission Opening times: 10am – 4.30pm
driftwood, rusty bits and other treasures have been taken as inspiration for this exhibition by contemporary quilter & embroiderer Liz Hewitt and experimental weaver Deborah Pawle, with guest artists - Dominic Hewitt of Needlevision photography and ceramist, Elizabeth Matthews.
30 August – 24 September 2016 TAKING TEXTILES FURTHER EXHIBITION
Admission: Free Refreshments available at the Church.
Berkhamsted Upstairs Gallery, 268 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 1AQ
Details: Tel 01305 770140 or seagullrussell@ btinternet.com
10 am - 4 pm Taking Textiles Further is a group led by Janet Edmonds and is for textile artists who wish to further develop their own personal creativity within a design led context. This is the second exhibition by the group and will showcase their new work.
5 – 20 August 2016 “FRAGMENTS AND CONNECTIONS” At the Maeldune Heritage Centre, Plume Building, St Peter’s Tower, Market Hill, Maldon, Essex CM9 4PZ An exhibition of embroidery and stitched textiles by the Night & Day Textile Group.
1 – 11 September 2016 THREADS OF OUR LIVES BY CHRISTINE HEATH
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 4 pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission free.
St James Gallery, Seamer Road , Scarborough YO12 4DT Contemporary textile hangings - based on the extreme weather patterns. Tel: 01723 341466 Open: Thursdays - Saturdays 10am - 4pm, Sunday 2pm - 4pm.
Telephone 01621 851628. 16 – 28 August 2016 A THIMBLEFUL OF MEMORIES - MALVERN MAKERS EXHIBITION An exhibition by Malvern Makers, a group of eight mixed media textile artists. Their individual interpretations demonstrate skills in both traditional and contemporary textile techniques: applique, hand and machine embroidery, gold leaf, gold work, patchwork, hand and machine quilting, and stump-work. Admission is free and there is parking nearby in the town. Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 01905 427494 or 01684 562551 Please note: visitors with limited mobility may have difficulty with access due to stairs. Open: 10am - 4pm
19 August – 21 August 2016 MAJYK SCRAPS EXHIBITION 2016 "INS & OUTS"
9 September 2016
Moat House Farm, Rendham Road, Carlton, Saxmundham, Suffolk, East Anglia, IP17 2QN
All Saints Parish Church Martock TA12 6JL
12:00 am Textile Art Exhibition featuring new work, sales table and traders. Tea and cake in the Garden Room. Entrance £2.00 - proceeds to East Anglian Association for the Blind & the Macular Society. For further details contact Moat House Farm Studios, 01728 602228 or email@example.com
EXETER QUILTERS EXHIBITION The Mint Methodist Church, Fore St, Exeter EX4 3AT Open 10am - 5.30pm (Thur/Fri) 10am - 3pm (Sat). Admission £2.00 Raffle Quilt, Sales table, Trader, Light Refreshments. Disabled Access and limited parking. No general parking but on Matford Park and Ride Route and city centre car parks. Further information from Pam Smith 01626 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Open 9am -5pm. Free entry, quilt raffle, sales table, traders & refreshments. In aid of the Macmillan Nurses Yeovil District Hospital. Contact: Kay 07778268051 12 September – 2 October 2016 TEXTILE EXPRESSIONS EXHIBITION Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0AN We are a London based group of 10 artists, who use embroidery, quilting and mixed media.
26 – 27 August 2016 OUSE VALLEY QUILTERS' BIENNIAL EXHIBITION
18 - 20 August 2016
QUILT EXHIBITION BY STANCHESTER & ASH PURPLE PATCHERS
Ouse Valley Quilters’ biennial exhibition will be held at Ringmer Community College, Lewes Road, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5RB. Open 10am – 4pm. Admission £3 (accompanied children free). Display of work; refreshments; traders; tombola; sales tables and raffle in aid of Kangaroos (a charity enriching young disabled people’s lives) and Macmillan Cancer Support. Free parking. For further details contact Penny Jones on 01323 890925 or visit www.ousevalleyquilters.org Contact Details: email@example.com Tel: 01323890925
Open: Mon – Fri 9:30am – 4:30pm, Sat 9:30am – 2:30pm 15 – 17 September 2016 DURHAM QUILTERS’ EXHIBITION Carrville Methodist Church, High Street, Carrville. Durham DH1 1BQ. Opening times: Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 10am to 9pm & Saturday 10am to 4pm. Exhibition of quilts, demonstrations (come and have a go) raffle, tombola & sales. Admission £3.50 to include refreshments, children under 16 accompanied - free. Contacts: Val Bryson 01388 710640 Ann Diggory 0191 5848708
To submit your event go to www.creativewithworkbox.com/events The listings in this magazine have been collated in good faith. River Media Devon Ltd make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but it cannot be held responsible for any incorrect information, any loss or damage arising from any errors or inaccuracies or cancellations of events that may be contained within these pages. Readers please note: It is a good idea to check dates and times of opening etc, before going to an exhibition or event. Please send your event information for the September/October 2016 issue (Published August 12th) to reach us by mid July. Please include all relevant dates, opening times, venue and contact telephone numbers. We try to ensure that all events, of which we are given notice, are included, but cannot guarantee that your listing will be printed. If you have any good photographs to accompany the listing, please email these in with your copy. Please send all events information to firstname.lastname@example.org and mark subject ‘What’s On’, or go to www.creativewithworkbox.com/events and then your event will appear online on our site as well as in the Be Creative with Workbox Magazine. Additionally, you can contact us on: 01395 233247
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TEXTILE BUTTERFLY Chris Gray tells us about the challenges of working from home and the joys of blogging 'Textile Butterﬂy' was born in September 2008 during a period of downtime in my working life. I had been surfing around other people's blogs for a while and really enjoyed reading about their exploits and looking at the lovely photos that were included, so I decided to take the plunge and start my own. Despite being a bit nervous about it in the beginning, I have never looked back and can't remember what life was like before my blog journey began! Working alone at home can make you feel very isolated and being part of an online community was a great help with that. It was like having people around offering encouragement and advice and eight years on, I am still in contact with many of those who I ‘met’ back in 2008. I have always been fascinated by all things ancient and 'tribal' and had been working on a theme for quite a while, so, a start was made by showing some of the 'Tribal Cloth' pieces that were going to be part of a solo exhibition due to be mounted the following year. This was going to be a major body of work, so there would have plenty to show over the coming months. My passion is doing over-the-top embroidery and showing pictures of lots of experiments and samples. Closeup photos were frequent, but finished pieces only appeared ‘in bits’ as I didn't want to spoil the show! It certainly was lovely to have such positive comments and plenty of encouragement along the way and, as the blog habit grew, so did
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my confidence in what I was doing. It's a big step to go from paid employment to self-employment, but 'Textile Butterfly' became a window that the world could look in through and gradually I became better known. It certainly was wonderful to meet a number of blog ‘friends’ at my first Festival of Quilts show in 2011! The tribal theme has continued over the years and my first book, “Stitching Magic”, was published at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Harrogate in 2013. As I worked through the pieces for the show and the book, my blog friends came along for the ride too. Lots and lots of sumptuous, brightly coloured, richly stitched and heavily beaded samples mounted up. My fingers got very sore, but I was very happy! It was a bit difficult to keep finished pieces under wraps, but I managed to use enough close-up pictures to keep the blog full of colour and interest. I do try to do at least one blog post a week – unless
we're away somewhere and poor or lack of internet access prevents posting. Both the show and the book were a great success and the blog certainly played its part. Many ladies who follow 'Textile Butterfly' turned up at my stand in order to see the pieces in the flesh and one lady refused to leave unless she could purchase a ‘Wall Pocket’ (that was planned to be kept as a sample). Oh the trials of a textile blogger! The other part that my blog has played in my creative life is the way in which it has promoted my teaching work. Many requests to write magazine articles and teach workshops have come along because people have seen my work online. Over twenty projects and articles have been written since 2012. In fact, I am rarely without one or the other on the go! I have been booked to teach a number of workshops and summer schools and when work is done on samples and projects for these, they are posted as
time goes along. This gives people an idea of what they can make or learn and organisers find it especially helpful to fill spaces. Blogging has also (literally) taken me half way around the world. Because my work was seen and liked, I was asked to teach on board a cruise ship and have ended up in quite a few exotic places. Photos taken while away then appear online and feed into my work later on. Sketchbooks are carried with me and pages get shown as they are done. These are always well handled at workshops and talks â€“ people love sketchbooks and my new book making workshops are becoming very popular indeed. Both my website and blog are currently being updated. It's time for some new backgrounds and colours now that there are new workshops and downloadable projects to introduce! Working samples will of course appear as and when they are done and the lovely comments from blog buddies will help me along the way. There have been a few conversations lately about how blog activity has diminished in favour of other places like Facebook. I have noticed this too but, like many of my online friends, I will be continuing to blog as I love being part of that community. I'm on a mission to get people stitching, so 'Textile Butterfly' will be around for a long time yet! BC www.chris-gray-textile-art.blogspot.com www.mabonarts.co.uk email@example.com
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Big features for beautiful results.
Combined sewing and embroidery machine has some big features for beautiful results.
Embroidery only machine with colour display to preview your designs in full colour.
• 160mm x 260mm Embroidery area • 138 built-in embroidery patterns • Colour LCD touch screen • Square Feed Drive System for super smooth sewing • Fully automatic thread tension • ICAPS for uniform stitches across varying fabric thicknesses • Multi-directional feed - for larger decorative stitches • Pivot function - ideal for quilting and appliqués
• 160mm x 260mm embroidery area • 138 built-in embroidery patterns • Colour LCD touch screen • Auto needle threader • Quick-set bobbin • 11 built-in fonts
Fea spotli ture ght
On 5 lin -screen es o editi f zoom text edi ng inclu ting, des , re repo sizing, r enhanc o s com itioning tating, ed binin g de and sign s