Wednesday, 23 August 2017

“Quilters will surely be fascinated by the stunningly beautiful quilt and cushion that my lovely friend (Clare Boomer) has made to support ‘PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide’ - a cause that sadly touches so many people. Clare has explained how anyone can support her endeavours. (Regrettably, only UK entries are possible.) Please consider doing so. (Ann Somerset Miles)

Here's Clare's story behind the making of this very special quilt and accompanying cushion:

Seven months and a new sewing machine later….

I’m delighted to say I’ve finished my quilt and a second prize cushion and am now ready to start the Big Quilt Raffle!
I hope you’ll support me in my bid to raise £1000 for @Papyrus prevention of young suicide.
Tickets cost £2 each, and the draw will take place on 8 December, 2017.
It’s really easy to buy raffle tickets online. Just visit and follow the instructions. You can also learn more about what motivated me to raise money for this fantastic charity.
Alternatively you can buy tickets from me in person or, if you’re in the Banbury area, you can buy them from Sharlyn Interiors in Bloxham (@Sharlyn Interiors) and GTS Sewing Machines (@gts sewing machines ltd) in Mewburn Rd, Banbury.
Many thanks to @Bethan Dennick for the great photos!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

BDEG Migration

For readers of my 'Inspirational Sparks' blog who have not yet come across what was a personally owned blog with an entity of its own ('Stitching Matters') or the reason for its migration: we are a group of dedicated mixed-media stitchers (affiliated to the Embroiderers' Guild) and all passionate about stitch, within both traditional and modern textile art. Some of our members are highly experienced, professional stitchers, others are exploring various techniques for the first time. All are welcome. Details of where we meet can be found at the end of this post.

Members are particularly supportive in providing short accounts of meetings and workshops. Even though we are a small rural branch (covering a wide area), the our speakers and tutors cover a wide range of topics, which encompass a great variety of techniques.

On 16th March, 2017, Maria Boyle entranced us with her talk on 'Lichen - Exporing Colour'. Maria was formerly a member of our group when we were Cherwell Valley Embroiderers Guild but left when she felt the urge to study for degrees and obtain honours initially at our local college and then later at De Montfort university. By her own admission she is obsessed with colours and textures. 

She uses a mixture of hand sewing, knitting, dyeing and painting to make the most fabulous lengths of cloth with wonderfully sensual textures. She explained that she uses an embellisher now in preference to hand embellishing, which she’d also done in the past and found to be time consuming and tedious. Maria is part Swedish and showed us work she had created with inspiration from forests she used to visit in Northern Sweden. We were entertained with a nice Power Point presentation and there was friendly collaboration with the technology to get things organised and running smoothly. An event much enjoyed by all of us there.  Written by Veronica Purdey.

All of us were totally absorbed by new techniques

Written by Hannah Thompson: "I have heard it said that to grow you must put yourself outside of your comfort zone – I and several others did just that on March 25th when the very knowledgeable and infinitely patient Lorna Bateman came to Broughton to teach her amazing techniques to form interesting insects in 3D form.  She brought with her a very tempting range of kits, threads, beads and needles which naturally we couldn’t resist.  More importantly, she patiently instructed and helped all of us achieve some very life like insects, using what I would call ‘correct and proper’ embroidery techniques.   I am a mostly self-taught embroiderer who tends to work in a very free style so using a hoop with extremely taught fabric was all new to me.  I now know why the screw on my hoop has a slot for a screwdriver and that the tension (of my thread) is far less consistent and often as high as the tension in the rest of my body – another lesson there I feel.  But the hints, tips and tricks I learnt that day will remain with me along with a true appreciation of fine embroidery and stump work.  
A huge thanks to Lorna my embroidery will be better and neater from now on – I promise!"

Speaker Lynda Monk (Centre) with BDEG Chair Ann Lowe (right) and
Margaret Slorach (left) who organised the 
Lynda Monk gave a very instructive and lively talk on her very varied techniques of melted fabric ‘Creative Surfaces’. To a layman the effect was very similar to leather and was used for making book covers, to a very tiny bodice that would have been worn many centuries ago. She used fabrics such as Polyester velvet and Kunin felt as her base fabrics and with the help of Bondaweb, Tyvek and Foils she created fabulous works of art with walnut ink and or acrylic paints, Brusho, silk paints or Procian dyes to embellish the surfaces. Then blast with heat from an iron or heat gun to melt away the fabric to reveal textured effects.

Just like leather
Lynda has written a number of books, the first being 'Stitching the Textured Surface' in collaboration with Carol McFee in 2008, followed by 'Fabulous Surfaces' which concentrated on the use of dress-makers' tissue paper found in patterns from Charity shops. Then 'Exploring Creative Surfaces' in 2012 using cotton scrim and Tyvek to create three dimensional designs. Her latest book 'Beautiful Bonded Surfaces' is coming out in May 2017. The talk was even more enlivened by us all being given an A4 sheet of paper: Lynda instructed us how to fold it into a very handy little photo holder, or "Granny's Boasting Book". She had some lovely examples of these made from an A3 sheet of her work.

Having a marvellous time.
We ended the talk by Lynda inviting us all to have a go at making our own surfaces using her pre- cut and very efficiently planned mini workshop using black Kunin Felt and Tyvek pre- inked with procian Dye. Bonded with an iron with the foil and Bondaweb sandwiched in between, we all created our own surfaces! Needless to say many of us signed up for Lynda's workshop with us on 10th. June, this summer. It should be a very exciting day. Written by Deborah Horn.

We meet at St Mary’s Church Hall, Wykham Lane, Broughton, Banbury, OX15 5DT (Wykham Lane is 3 miles west of Banbury, just off the B4035 Shipston Road. Suffice it to say, this blog is the one I (Ann Somerset Miles) write professionally on behalf of many organisations. It too is owned by me. Although I am still a member of  BDEG (Banbury & District Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild), I am no longer a part of the Committee, but support the Branch, and the Guild in general.