Monday, 17 September 2018

September 2018

 For our September meeting, Robyn led us through a creative stitching exercise. There were three categories that we drew out of a hat, then used as inspiration to stitch onto fabric that we had brought. The categories included shape, two stitches, and either a positive or negative approach.

Above are  our works that we began creating on the day.

There may have only been  four of us on the day, but show and tell as always is worth a look see.

Sheila had made this book cover using last moth's activity presented by Wendy. The final stitched piece was inserted into another piece of fabric, which was then turned into the book cover.

The Embroiderer's Guild is displaying poppies for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. The display will be in the Gallery window in November. Sheila made one sheer fabric poppy using a stencil cutter to create the petals and beaded the center. The brighter red poppy was created using four Suffolk puffs, felt and french knots.

On an impulse buy, Jenny succumbed to  purchasing three yarn cakes from Lincraft while they were on sale. The crocheted squares above are from the Shepherd Baby Shawl Collection 1 book, and are being sewn together to form either a knee rug or baby blanket.

Quilt NSW is collaborating with Arterie Lifehouse to create a patchwork wall hanging for the State of the art building. Sheila has completed blocks from kits that were distributed by Quilt NSW.

Sheila's daily practice for August was to create a fun foam stamp every day. This flower shape was created with a single stamp printed multiple times. 

Our little group had another fun day, with a creative exercise, some oohing and arhing over pieces in the collection room, to stitching an chatting to visitors in the the Gallery. I wonder what we will get up to next month?

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

A Quilt Exhibition By Sheila

Last Sunday, our little group was proud to be at the opening of Sheila's exhibition of quilts at 
76 Queen Street Gallery. 

With a life-long interest in textiles, Sheila Beer’s work is focused on embroidery and quilting. She likes to create with a sense of fun and a lack of preciousness.   
She loves the process of creating and ‘stepping outside the box’, whether or not it results in a completed work. She freely employs a host of techniques including paper and paint, combining this with textile and stitch in new ways. Currently, Sheila’s preferred technique is to stitch small hand held works that can be combined to produce larger works. 
Sheila finds inspiration all around her and is especially inspired by artists who take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. She is also influenced by the art that nature itself creates. Her world is filled with inspiration and it is her hope that others may take something from her works and be inspired in turn.

Our Guild President Wendy Schmid , (also a Stitchers Plus member), opened the exhibition, and we all enjoyed afternoon tea to celebrate with Sheila. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with  the Australia Wide Six exhibition also on at 76 Queen Street Galleries. Both can be viewed until September 18th 2018.

We congratulate Sheila on an impressive body of works, and hope that you will all come for a visit to see them on reality.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

August 2018

Our August meeting was held in one of the workshop rooms at 76 Queen Street . There were six of us in attendance in Concord, and Susan once again joined us via Zoom.

Wendy led us through our activity for the day, giving us a task to cut a length of thread, feel it, drop it onto fabric, then couch it down. Then we had to stitch within the spaces that were formed. A fun, creative exercise  that had us all stitching for the remainder of the day

Above were the beginnings beginnings of our creations, while the photo below  shows them further into the day.

Show and tell is always a highlight for our group.

Jenny had finished another of her UFO's. This one dated back to 2016 and our group's two inch square challenge. Jenny had made squares of Tennerife lace for this challenge, using Perle 8 thread. The squares have been appliqued onto a navy linen square bag of Cental Asian influence that Jenny had made. Interlaced herringbone stitch has been used to create the lines, while small circles of vlysafixed fabric have been stitched over the joins with woven wheels.

This little book mark was made by Jenny. It began as a scrap of linen left over from working Christmas decorations, and was the perfect size for a book mark. A buttonholed edge was first worked to create the shape, then books were consulted for inspiration to create the remainder of the decoration. Four sided stitch, bullion knots and satin stitch were combined to form the design, with an added small needle lace edge to re-enforce corners, and a tassel to finish.

This little needle case was also made by Jenny. Made from another scrap of linen, it was begun as a small project to stitch on at a recent demonstration at 76 Queen Street Gallery. The  Retrospective exhibition of Laura Leverton and Christina Barton also provided some of the inspiration for the stitching, fitting into the idea to stitch rows of stitches separated by four sided stitch. A four sided stitch hem was added, along with a hand made twisted cord and toggle closure.

This gorgeous Zentangle design is by Sheila. A paint drip on watercolour paper, with added designs mostly from

Sheila's daily practice for August is to make sticky backed fun foam stamps. Some of the stamps have been pieced, while others have been marked with a pen or tooth pick. The foam is then attached to foam core as a mount, then the stamps have been used to make the above pages.

Annette has completed her pulled thread design that she found in a Needlecraft magazine many years ago, and is very pleased with the result. 28 count linen has been used with two strands of DMC coloured thread. The stitches chosen by the designer have worked very well in colour, which can be very difficult to achieve.

Margaret has taken some goldwork UFO's and created "Homage To Goldwork Tutors". The final piece includes pieces worked over the years in workshops that she has attended. The workshops have been conducted  by Pam Spiers, Avril Ambrose De Havilland, Mary Brown and Doris Gordon.

This lovely piece of redwork has also been finished by Margaret, and is now waiting to be made up into something. The piece has been worked in a workshop by Margaret Light.

Another of Margaret's pieces is this 'Corded Lily' design that came from a Gary Clarke workshop.

Robyn is in the process of making a needle case, inspired by a hem finish found on cloths at the Retrospective Exhibition of Laura Leverton and Christina Barton at 76 Queen Street Gallery.

Annette has made this baby cardigan in 4ply wool and added very old buttons. 

This little vest is the first crocheted garment that Annette has attempted. The vest is for a three year old, and has been worked in Cleckheaton Country 8ply 100% wool. The vest still needs to be stitched together, and Annette still needs to find some rather special buttons that she bought in Paris to finish the vest.

It was bright and warm meeting in the workshop rooms at Guild HQ. We managed to iron out more of our technology issues with Zoom, and managed with one lap top, one iPad, and one phone, which was an improvement on our last video conference. So please come back and join us next month as we continue creating, and overcoming the hurdles of technology.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

July 2018

Our group's monthly meeting for July was a little different. Six of us met at Guild Headquarters at 76 Queen Street , upstairs in the library, while two of us attended via technology. Susan had suggested a few times that we try this, and this month we did it! Susan had prearranged a meeting time with the Zoom platform of video conferencing, and as we all ironed out teething problems, we had six members in the library in Concord West, one in  Southern NSW, and one in the Central West of NSW! Welcome to a new age of creative meetings!

We only had 40 minutes of time and it went very quickly! There were teething problems to work out, like electronic feed back from all the devices so close to each other. In the end, we worked out to only have one lap top for the six of us at Guild Headquarters. Then we had to find where the camera was, and the microphone, so we could talk to the other two, show them close up what we had been doing, and have tours of both Donna's and Susan's new spaces. It was a very quick show and tell via technology.

Before the video meeting, Gerri led us through a little exercise of adding texture to some traced fabric animals.

After the video meeting, we held our normal show and tell.

Susan had finished her "Be Yourself" embroidery. Worked all in chain stitch in stranded cottons from her stash, Susan originally wanted a Raquel Ormella style embroidery, but it became much bigger and more 'Susan'.

Sheila had been making coin purses with furnishing fabric scraps. They have been decorated with buttonholed washers and stitching as learned in Jenny O'Sullivan's Summer School. The purse design is from a purse purchased at the Castlemaine Embroiderer's Guild Retrspective 2017.

 Sheila's quilt "Looking Up", was made for the 2018 Quilt NSW annual exhibition. The theme for the year was 'Southern Stars' . Made with polyester chiffon on polyester felt, holes were burned then stitched. The top was then backed with lurex and hand tied to form the quilt. The quilt represents the night sky in both summer and winter.

This is Annette's withdrawn thread book mark. It is hemmed down both side edges and fringed at each end. The book mark features interlacing, Italian hemstitch and ladder stitch.

Gerri followed a Simplicity pattern for dolls to put together a ballerina doll for her grand niece. As each piece was embellished, a living doll appeared. It is the result of both machine and hand stitching. Her name is Charlotte.

Jenny had turned her Pueblo Stitch fun from last month into a book mark . The stitch had called for two different threads, and Jenny had used a plain Perle 12 with a variegated crochet thread. The plain thread was used to work the hem and the head of the tassel, while the variegated was used in the tassel skirt.

Gerri has turned her Pueblo stitch exercise from last month into a place mat. A wandering style of small to large stitches using two threads at the same time was used to create the piece, which was later joined with other fabrics to form the place mat.

Jenny had completed another bobbin lace handkerchief edge. It was a repeat of an earlier pattern, this time in blue variegated Guttermann Sulky No 30 cotton. The pricking had been fixed to produce a square hankie, and a double thread of plain blue Guttermann Cotton was used along the edge to create a gimp. 

This bobbin lace book mark was also made by Jenny. Using a different colour of Guttermann Sulky No 30 Cotton, the book mark is a repeat of another one worked earlier this year. The pattern contains double eyed spiders which have proved to be a challenge for her to work. In the last attempt all the spiders were different, while in this attempt they have all managed to be the same. Jenny has made notes for herself on how to work them, but has yet to perfect these notes. Another bookmark is planned purely to make sure her notes are a good reference for later use.

This is Susan's first ever baby blanket, made for her grand niece. Worked in 8 ply wool, the blanket is Susan's own design using a wave pattern variation from a stitch dictionary. A border was added using rows of double crochet in each of the two colours, and finished with a row of reverse double crochet.

 Annette had made this striped cardigan for her 2 year old grandchild. Morris and Son's 8 ply yarn has been used with an old Paytons pattern. The cardigan still required buttons.

Our meeting this month was certainly a different one. Using technology and video conferencing may just become the norm for us as our members travel and wander. Follow us as we iron out all the hurdles in learning how to use it, and share with us all in our creativity.  

Friday, 6 July 2018

June - A Fifth Saturday Fun Day

Our second Fifth Saturday Fun Day was an outing to the Powerhouse Museum to see the exhibition 'Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear.'

Unfortunately, only two members were able to attend as it was a fabulous exhibition.  We encourage anyone with an interest in fashion, textiles or embroidery to attend.  The garments represented clothing from the 1700's to the present day.

We went through the exhibition oohing and aahing at various outfits and discussing construction techniques of the various garments.  Details that Robyn picked up and pointed out were matched with Sheila doing the same.

Most of the exhibition was taken in until towards the end where a welcome seat provided the chance to view short videos of the Reigning Men Ambassadors. Check some of them out here 

The gentlemen discussed their styles and also picked out some of their favorite outfits or suits.  With the viewing completed, Robyn and Sheila set back to the beginning to find their favorites.  And it was not an easy task.

One of Sheila's picks was a beautifully embroidered French coat and waistcoat.  The embroidery was extremely fine and exquisite, more refined than any embroidered coat seen before. 

Robyn took a liking to an Indian embroidered suit, perfect for the English colonials in the hot climate.  The jacket was embroidered, perhaps using a tambour, in a dark thread on a cream fabric.  A very stylish Indian design.

A Zoot suit from the 1930's caught the eye with a real sense of fun and wanting to dance and spin.  Also from the 1930's, a very elegant dinner jacket that was half white and half black.  Classy.

A Vivien Westwood suit consisted of a long coat and matching pants.  A series of stripes ran lengthwise down the front sides of the cream coat with a matching set of stripes crossing at shoulder to create a plaid.  Under the coat, a plaid shirt peaked out in pale colours.  A man dressed in this outfit would make many hearts swoon.

Perhaps the most stunningly simple article was a black woolen jacket with black silk detailing.  Lines of silk edged the jacket components as well as being used to emphasize angular design and shaping.  Absolutely stunning in it's simplicity.  The smallish jacket was made for the 'younger' man.

Fashion is alive and well for men.  Elongated necks, broad shoulders and narrow hips depict the perfect man.  Do make an effort to see this exhibition as you will not be disappointed.  

And we do have to giggle because there appears to be a direct reference to the Bridget Jones Diary movie where it is 'raining' men in a fight scene taking place in the rain.