Thursday, 3 December 2015

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Summer School with Gwen Hedley

A few years back when I was studying my City  Guilds Diploma we had to profile six textile artists.  Gwen Hedley was amongst my choices and she was most co-operative and enlightening; I learnt a great deal from her work.  So, when we were searching for a tutor for our annual Summer School, her name was mentioned.

The title of the workshop days was 'Creative Connections' ... the days were to be spent exploring a wide variety of ways to 'connect' the pieces of fabric, etc.

Gwen began by showing us a slide show illustrating a  variety of different ways which she had used to link, layer and join her textiles.  She had used  unusual items and encouraged us to do likewise.

Amongst the 'connections' were eyelets, cocktail sticks, staples, pipe cleaners, paper fasteners, match sticks, computer resisters - and the list goes on and on.

Perhaps we may have used some of these items before but Gwen showed us how they could be linked with stitch to make attractive pieces of work.  The embroidery element enhanced the mundane!

We show below a number of photographs of our work to illustrate an enlightening and thought-provoking three days:

My examples show the use of sticks and wooden rods as well as cocktail sticks and pins. I have also added teabags, eyelets and computer parts.

Ann decided to 'link' her vast collection of railway tickets.

Jane built up a larger piece which was influenced by the sea as she intended to include it in a book she was giving to her brother who is a keen sailor andgoing on a long voyage soon.

Carol's pieces were so precisely embroidered and colourful.

Helen linked and linked and linked and linked - making a very long example of connections!

And of course lime green colour was included!

Ursula, as normal, put us all to shame; most of us produced four or five pieces - she produced a book full!

Janyce preferred to make lots of little examples and will, no doubt, put them together in an interesting way.

Noreen used vibrant colours within her examples and intended to mount them in a book which Gwen (a member who sadly died at the end of last year) made.  It was quite refreshing to see that many of Gwen's materials were utilised during this Summer School.

Such an array of different fabrics, papers, stationery and household items were used in the three days that it was quite absorbing.  

We all became 'hooked'!

Gwen was a superb teacher in that she circled the room providing encouragement and guidance on an individual basis.

The ideas flowed and there was plenty of ideas for future work.

We also had a delightful little girl as an honorary member on our third day - Jasmine who was Ann's grand-daughter.

We were very impressed with her textile skills - obviously has had a good tutor!
Ann was fulfilling the philosophy of our group.

Thank you Gwen for such a wonderful Summer School

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Summary at end of Summer Term.

Well, it has been a little while I have updated the blog with our activities, so this is a summary of the last weeks of our term.

  1. Following on from the tutorial given by Jacky, I did actually complete my cushion.  Very different colours for me plus added hand embroidery.
It had been a while since we lost our oldest member, Gwen, but her family invited us to view an exhibition of her work at her home and to collect/disposed of her craft materials. The Sunday afternoon was quite emotional as Gwen had been a very active member of 4S; participating in all our activities until virtually her last week. So the contents were packed (squeezed!) into five cars and brought to the hall on the following Monday afternoon.  We were all amazed at the quantity! The hall was full!  However, a home was found for a great amount of the materials with our ladies donated monies which will be sent to Cancer Research UK.  Thank you Gwen.

June/July saw us working on a variety of projects:
 Several members were adding texture and stitch to the pieces started at the Cas Holmes workshop.The panels above belong to Shirley.
This is a composition made by Ann for her daughter. It is a parody on Alice in Wonderland's tea party. The detail is superb and everything has meaningful memories for the family.  What a treasure!

 The photograph does not do this justice - perhaps if you zone in.  Jane using hand embroidery stitches using a variety of different types of thread, to add more texture to a project which was begun during Maggie Smith's 'Get Plastered' days.
 Carol is continuing to add more detail with fabrics and stitch to her landscape.

  This is Mary's wildlife book. Love the thrush! The production of these little books were taught to us by Frances Pickering - must finish mine!

I believe this is Noreen's book which she is adding to.

Ann was revisiting her piece which was started with Cas Holmes.

These are just a few of the many pieces which are being created by our members.

July 27th,28th and 29th will see us at a different venue as it is time for our Summer School.  We have invited Gwen Hedley and the workshop is called 'Creative Connections'.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

'New' Patchwork

For the past two weeks we have been occupied with 'Cathedral window' patchwork.  Jacky had discovered a different, quicker way to achieve it and she was willing to pass this on to the members.

This method involves no hand sewing and is therefore done by the sewing machine.

 You require a background fabric onto which the pieces are sewn.  Eight (or more if you wish to make a larger piece) 13" squares of fabric and the same amount of a contrast fabric cut to 2 3/8" squares.

The larger squares are made up into triangular 'pockets' and turned the right side out.  They are then pressed to form squares which are double the fabric.

These are then stitched together along the diagonal corners as shown in the photograph.

Small triangular flaps appear now and their edges may be manipulated over the tiny, contrast fabrics squares to form the 'windows'.

The edges are machine sewn in place.

Most ladies present on that afternoon had a go with this quick technique and felt that it had great potential.

I thought that it could become quite dimensional if just the tips of the triangles were sewn in place over the tiny squares!

Rosemary brought in her finished books to show us.
This cover was made from the background she stitched during the workshop with Angie Hughes. It has lots of bling!

It is absolutely delightful - a great many beautiful images of underwater creatures including mermaids and lobsters!

Within another book she had made 'delicious' pages full of various techniques she had practiced over the last months with the group.This page shows some canvas work.

Here is another book which is just as delightful as the others.  I believe this one was started when Francis Pickering visited 4S and taught a two day workshop.

Here is just a glimpse of the inside pages.

All pages are painted and some elements of these are enhanced with stitch, beads, etc,

Don't we have some talented ladies among us?

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Cas Holmes' visit to 4S

This post will have a great many photographs as I wanted to record as much as possible of the group's creations during the Workshops given by Cas Holmes recently.

Cas travels by public transport to her Workshops so arrives with just two suitcases.... however one of them must belong to Mary Poppins as it contained all these samples plus her art materials! There was so much.

We began the Saturday by stitching oddments of fabrics together with hand embroidery stitches and heavy threads.  We were then encouraged to

print with this onto plain backgrounds.

Cas demonstrated using really basic equipment - bin bags, acrylic paint, newspaper, etc. saying 'Always use what you have at hand!' She even used a jammy dodger biscuit as a stamp!!!!!

 She was really struck with the vast amount of Cow Parsley in bloom near our village hall and picked a few stalks to use during the workshop......

This was copied by most of the members:

using various natural fibre fabrics and different coloured paint.

It was intriguing to see the various impressions - some printed over others, as well as just small parts of the larger 'print block' i.e. flower heads only or stems.

We were encouraged to make lots of pieces.

It was then time for the next stage of our compositions!

A mixture of cellulose paste was made and Cas demonstrated how we could assemble our various printed pieces into one panel....
 We doused our pieces with the paste and then set about arranging our printed fragments - plus other pieces of fabrics into one   ....   this took some time!  Especially those like myself who can never make a decision - whilst others, like Ursula, who created several panels!

Cas wandered around the room to each of us - not exactly guiding us with our designs but encouraging us discuss how we 'felt' about our piece.  It was interesting to verbalise the process!

We left our creations to dry over night and came back in the morning ready to add to them.

The following day saw several of us altering the pieces radically and even starting another.

However day two was spent adding stitch and evaluating the whole process.  Cas made us think and talk about the design and development of our project - something we seem have rarely done before but will repeat in the future.  Being friends for some years now, we were very comfortable in doing so.

Here we are at the end of Cas' workshops with our creations:

On the Monday meeting following we agreed that we would repeat the 'workshop' later in the term as
 we found it had a lot of potential.
Before end this post, I must show you Mary's wall hanging:
 she has been working on this for some time. She has joined all the various printed pieces of fabrics made during Clive's workshops in January and made am absolutely stunning embroidery.