Sunday, 2 November 2014

15th October 2014: Karen Casper 'Fusing Old with New'

Karen is a big fan of up-cycling, particularly vintage lace & broken jewelry. She conveyed the importance of research & experimenting before embarking on her projects. What was also interesting was her desire for her pieces to be commercially successful from the outset & the importance of good photography which has meant her work is in demand by stylists for editorial & advertising work alone. The french bodice bedecked with images & memories was lovely but we all fell in love with Miss Coral ( the lace shawl) which even glowed in the dark. The structure & delicacy was lovely.

Friday, 31 October 2014

20th September 2014: Suzette Smart
Whilst our group was small we had a super Saturday with Suzette creating items from dissolve. In very simple terms creating a 'dissolve sandwich with added stitch' then adding water & 'fixing' over a cup or bowl. Suzette also brought her other detail stitch work which was amazing.


Friday, 29 August 2014

19 July: Nawal Gebreel- Textile Designer
Our final session of the year was innovative textile designer Nawel who specialises in fabric manipulation & print using sumptuous fabric & colours  to amazing effect. Using a variety of techniques including screen printing, hand pleating & manipulation, she also has been successful in selling her designs around the world. She guided us through her inspiration mainly the natural & geometric form , Japanese Shibori and paper folding techniques. Mesmerising.
18 June 2014 : Kate Dowty; 'Trial & Error' followed by workshop
A fun talk & separate workshop from Kate who had traveled from Dorset to join us. She expressed her work as a quilter not an embroidery & spent her early life as a graphic designer before turning her skills in to art. She enjoys the larger art form with all her work as wall art. Enjoying changing everyday fabrics she starts with a painted background & builds up the layers . I think we all saw the benefit of markel sticks, bleach & using a simple reverse pattern effect.  A number of us had an enjoyable workshop the following day leaving us with a number of projects to work up over the year.

21 May 2014 : Brenda King- Head of the Textile Society
Our speaker was Dr. Brenda King, Chair of the Textile Society - She took us on a visual journey around Leek and its surrounding churches, looking at embroidered altar pieces designed by 3 architects. The embroideries were carried out by Lady Elizabeth Wardle and the ladies from the Leek Embroidery School which she founded. She was the wife of Sir Thomas Wardle who developed a method for dyeing Tussah silk from India which she incorporated into some of the magnificent pieces. Dr. King is currently working on a book which will hopefully be published later this year.

April 2014 Sarah Thursfield: Seamstress
A very interesting & entertaining talk by Sarah  about "Linens", but it really was more like a journey through the centuries looking at the different shirt and chemise styles. Sarah actively supports some re-enactment events and has made many a costume for these. As most people who have an interest in sewing, she was taught by her Grandma at an early age and made her own doll's clothes. In 2001 she wrote "The Medieval Tailor's Assistant" to enable more people to make authentic costumes.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

19 March- Deborah O'Hare- 'Tales from the Scrap Bag'
A fascinating talk & ideas for work from literally the materials and fabrics that came  from a bag of bits & pieces- I am sure we all have plenty of these! Whilst Deborah's passion has developed along the patchwork route I think she really enjoyed the 'challenge' of talking to the embroidery ladies as oppose to patchworkers. She then talked us through how she adapted her work and the commercial links she has now has, as well as featuring in a series of publications.
textile artist

On the following day a number of ladies enjoyed Deborah's workshop on             ' Striped Pieced Landscape' where we followed a patchwork theme but created our own designs, with often not a straight edge in sight & incorporated some other different fabrics, which Deborah herself may explore. Our work & a note from Deborah is as below.

19 February - Maxine Bristow from the University of Chester

Whilst Maxine Bristow works in the Fine Arts Dept. at Chester University she is also working on her PhD. She talked passionately about her previous work and her current, new body of work.
Her previous exhibitions have included the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Salt Mills in Saltaire, a good website to visit is  One interesting aspect of her design is that she works on separate elements and has listed them in a way similar to an IKEA catalogue and she simply selects from this to make her next installation. She feels this format gives her the freedom of expression to explore her next body of work.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dress A Girl around the World

 I just thought I'd share details if this Charity with you all. Dress a Girl around the world UK is a charity that is based on the premise that every girl in the world should have a pretty dress ( and shorts for the boys).

Last year Gill Snowball and I decided to set up a project at the Visual Arts Cheshire and we ran a couple of  free workshops where people could come along and make a very simple pillowcase dress or shorts. Gill also provided pattern to make the dress and by the end of November the VAC Gallery received 200 dresses and shorts that were delivered to the coordinator in Bristol.

The dresses we made were sent to Kenya and pictures have seen appearing on their website. This little girl is wearing one of the dresses I made out of a (unused) pillowcase.

Its is a really satisfying and worthwhile thing to do and a great way of using up all your unwanted fabric and it would be a great thing to do as a group.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Exhibition & Textile Fair- a GREAT success

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped at the Exhibition on 15 March- visitors, stall holders, Exhibitors, volunteers, cake bakers etc etc. We hope you like what you saw & along the way we may have encouraged some new members. Well done to the following for the Best In Show competition:

1st  : Carol Stow:           Happiness is Togetherness                         ( needlefelted fleece)
2nd: Jill Brown:                My Eden Valley                                         ( mixed media map)
3rd: Leila Sutcliffe :            Seascape                                                ( stitchwork & media)


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Exhibition & Textile Fair
Saturday 15 March 2014
Chelford Village Hall SK11 9AS 10-4pm
Highlighting the exciting world of modern textiles & stitch, plus many traders stalls & refreshments.
£3 admission.
Join us for a workshop!

10.30: Dry needle felted & embroidered flowers for cards or small pictures- Angela Oswald
12.30: The use of printing blocks for printing on fabric, book covers or larger work- James Sharp
2pm: Pot Fairies: Fun Little fairies to sit on shelves, hang on branches, make & decorate-
                                                                                                                   Madeline Harper

15 January 2014  : Lesley Sutton- Stories of Cloth
A fascinating project revolving around 'creative reminiscences' relating to cloth & what it has /does mean to different cultures and the memories it creates for both individuals & groups. Lesley's community work across a spectrum of ethic groups provided some heart rendering stories. Some of our ladies brought in their small pieces of cloth & we listened intently to those stories too & why we had chosen to keep hold of our cloth. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

November Gill Roberts - Bespoke Corsets & Bridal Wear
We have all been watching too many TV period dramas to fully appreciate the history of the corset. Gill's talk was fascinating not only with regard to the corset's structure, but their influence on fashion & vice-versa plus their impact on the human form. From the Victorian maternity corset, through to the tight lacing which began when steel eyelets became available in 1828, to the development of the girdle in 1920s/30s ,to ultimately the burlesque/fashion/ fetish creations we see today.
Gill now makes bespoke corsets from the initial 150 pieces needed- a far cry from her original accountancy days!