Thursday, 19 June 2014

Revise, Refresh, Revive

My friend, Maria, and I have set up a Facebook Group which we have called Revise, Refresh, Revive and we are using it to work through certain books that we both have with the idea of creating pieces that will remind us of some of the more simple techniques. We have both found that it is quite an excellent way of reviewing and refreshing ourselves and our work. Our projects at the moment are from the Machine Embroidery Workbook, produced for the Embroiderers' Guild by Maggie Grey and Val Campbell-Harding in 1998. Chapter One encourages the user to remind themselves about the importance of cleaning the sewing machine - something we are all guilty of ignoring due to our eagerness to start the next project, the use the correct size needle and thread for each piece too, to get the best results.

Chapter Two takes the embroiderer onto projects and the first are so simple, but when approached again with a different view, produce some exciting pieces. It suggests that fabric shapes are cut from various toning fabrics, with bondaweb applied to the back of each and then machine stitched to a background with just rows of straight stitch. 

The second project is similar but calls for a change of shape and the use of utility stitches on the machine. It also suggest that the thread colour and type is changed, shiny and matt.

I've used a brown cotton and a red rayon thread on this, with two different zig-zag patterns used and it's very interesting how it changes the colour effect of the fabrics used. Why not give it a try and join us on Facebook.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Embroidery & Textile Exhibition
The Village Hall, Holt Lane, Bishops Caundle, Dorset DT9 5NG
24 May to 8 June - 10.00 to 16.00 - refreshments and comfort facilities

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


I've been so lucky to have been away on a four day creative holiday with two friends, Ann and Maria, to the wonderful Kingcombe centre which is part of the Dorset Wildlife Trust set up. Our course was using the embellishing machine with Sandra Coleridge at the helm.

First session was using pre-felt, which I can't say I'm a great fan of but I can see it's uses. We were then encouraged to do some fancy hand stitching on our work.

My next effort was a lot more pleasing for me and my first attempt at a landscape, which is a surprising change for me - much of my work is abstract or shape orientated, rarely what I would call a 'picture'.

I have since cut the black away from this and mounted it on to a canvas board - it has certainly enhanced it, I feel and now it's ready for the forthcoming exhibition.

I must also show you the beautiful pieces created by my friends - I do have their permission to share.

We had wonderful views, accommodation and a lovely chef cooking for us - three course breakfast, lunch and evening meal! Expanding waistlines are the only downside. We can't wait to go again.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Be Creative

Along with continuing to finish and prepare pieces for the forthcoming Blackmore Vale Exhibition as part of Dorset Art Weeks, I've been playing along with Myfanwy Hart and her Facebook group 'Be Creative' - membership of this group is by invitation. Myfanwy places prompts to get your creative juices flowing once a month, over a 'long weekend' period and often extended further into the following week. Here are just a few of her 'Prompts'

Draw around your hands and doodle inside
Chose a piece of fabric and threads and stitch 9 cross stitches, add another 9 cross stitches and wait for next prompt - work in progress; I've still to add my next session of cross stitches

Take a suduko puzzle and colour 1 - 4 in colour A, 5 - 7 in colour B, and 8 - 9 in colour C
There is also an opportunity to take part in a postcard swap - mine ready to go
Finally, just a little bit of fun I found on Pinterest!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Activities This Week

Our branch of the Embroiderers' Guild will be hosting the South West Region AGM in October and we are asking our members to make small pieces of embroidery to be mounted onto card and presented as calendar gifts to the visitors from other branches.  I volunteered to stitch/make five and have completed them and laced them onto the card........ 

There has also been some more work on the embellished piece. I've removed the 'beginnings' of a tree, stitched automatic machine patterns onto the background, trying to find stitches that look like leaves, ferns, bamboo etc. Then I've added a tiger from a digitized pattern on the Pfaff and finished off with some more embellising of fibres, threads and wool. He'll look better once framed and will need a double mount - title Endangered, Extinct.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gold work, Embellisher and Spring!

Some of the bits and pieces I've been working on over the past few weeks/days. In January our branch of the Embroiderers' Guild had a workshop on gold work ..... but I was unwell and missed it; but, once feeling better, I started some myself and based the design on a stained glass window from the cathedral in Reims, France. This was a design project I did for my City & Guilds and it's been invaluable; I keep going back to it.
Blue Window - unfinished!
 This past Monday at West Country Embroiderers' we did another gold work workshop led by Llinos Spriggs - she encouraged to use the centre as a focal point and gave us a few pointers to 'update' the technique.
I've also been lucky enough t0 get myself a new embellishing machine - this one has 12 needles as opposed to the previous one which only had five.  Playing around with wool tops and fancy wool and also on the second one with pieces of torn polyester headscarves (all found in charity shops). Not sure about the second of the two; it's going to need a lot of machine and hand embroidery but it has potential.
Forest Floor

Tiger Jungle
It also looks like spring is coming to the village! ;-)
wild flowers

the lane into the village

my best boy! Woof!


Friday, 7 March 2014

Life's Ups and Downs

Been absent for a while ........... had two nasty falls; first time I fell over in the mud due to all the rain and flooding in Somerset. Second time, I fell over in the High Street of Yeovil, again because of the rain and slippery footpaths. Each time I had one leg out in front of me and the other bent up, under and sort of behind. Luckily the second time two young shop assistants came and helped me up. I was out shopping with my husband but he was in a different place to me when I fell; thank goodness for mobile phones. I could barely walk, would not of been able to drive home and couldn't bend the leg for a week. I got around with my trusty walking stick - must have sprained/strained/torn my thigh muscle. But very pleased to say I'm up and running again.

Life's ups - well I've treated myself to a new sewing machine - a Pfaff Creative Performance with the software and embroidery unit. This doesn't mean that I'll give up my normal sort of textile work, but it does open up new possibilities - my first efforts.

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