Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Rust Dyeing Joanna Henson

This month was an experimental session on rust dyeing led by one of our members Joanna Henson. Joanna had been busy out and about collecting larger rusty items that we could use to make interesting marks as well as our smaller items we had brought ourselves.
Joanna suggested several ways of making the marks by either
applying the rust object to the material and applying pressure while flat, or wrapping material around the object and tying tightly. The material needed to be kept moist to encourage rusting.

 We were then given several ways or combinations of ways of activating the rusting process, by using salt water, tea, spray cleaner or vinegar. Nice and messy and great fun!
 Once the objects were wrapped and the rust activated it was a case of waiting from one to several days depending on the colour wanted and the print so they were prepared ready to be taken home for the rusting to continue  working.
Joanna had kindly rust dyed a batch of material at home and it was already washed and ready to stitch into. We were amazed at the range and shades of the marks from pale yellows to dark rich oranges. There were amazing patterns in the rust marks just asking for some stitch and beads.

 Most members stitched by hand but one visitor decided to machine stitch

 Some members decided to use their stitched piece to make a card.

 Members went home with a bowlful of wrapped rusty items, a stitched piece and looking forward with excitement to unwrapping their rusted pieces when they felt the rusting was complete.
Thank you to Joanna for organizing the day and leading us through the process and suggesting ways to us of how we might use the rusted prints.
It was a fun day and we are all looking forward to our results!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Crazy Patchwork Stella Adams- Schofield January meeting 2018

This month we welcomed Stella Adams-Schofield to lead a workshop on crazy patchwork. Stella started the workshop with an interesting power point presentation on the history of crazy patchwork. 
She explained that we were going to build up a pattern of textile pieces in a random manner and then work embroidery on the surface.
She brought two very different pieces with her which you can see below and a piece in progress on which she demonstrated some of the processes.

We started by cutting some shapes and building up a pattern from the centre out. We stabilised the pieces by hemming to the base material. You can see from the pictures below how we all developed a different colour scheme and textures. There was silence in the room as we all concentrated on where we were going to position our pieces!

Stella then suggested a variety of ways of embroidering the piece. We could embroider along the seam, over the seam,across braids positioned on the seam and in the middle of the pieces. As to the stitches the world was our oyster and we could use any combination of stitches we liked. She also suggested stand alone stitches like bullion roses, spider web wheels and picots to give texture and also to cover any "lumpy joins".

Most members finished the piecing and a few started the embroidery which they then took home to finish and hopefully bring to the next meeting.
It was a very enjoyable meeting and a few of the members had acquired a totally new process from scratch. 
Thank you to Stella for informing us of the history of the process, inspiring us to have a go and supporting us as we worked.  

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Meeting 2017

This was our last meeting before Christmas and so we all arrived with our contribution to the Jacob's Join, a dandy bird for the competition and a present for Secret Santa. The morning was bitterly cold and it had been a severe overnight frost making everywhere look very Christmassy.
View from the upstairs window
 We used the upstairs room which is warmer than our usual room and more cosy.
Our first task was to make a party hat for our Jacob's Join and you can see some of the efforts below which caused much hilarity in the making and trying on.

 The entries for the competition featuring Dandy Birds were set out and numbered. We then voted for our favourite which was very difficult as they were all so good.

There was a wonderful spread of food set out in the kitchen and it was hard to choose what to eat as it all looked so good, so we tended to have a little bit of everything!
Once we had eaten our fill and caught up on news it was time to draw the Secret Santa.
 We then wished everyone a Happy Christmas and set off for our homes full of food,Christmas good cheer and our present from the Secret Santa. It was a good day and thanks go to Joanna for organizing it.
 Happy Christmas to all our members!