Monday, 21 October 2013

Machine Embroidered Brooch–Workshop

Last Wednesday I taught a workshop at Alston Hall on my machine embroidered brooches. I have taught the workshop to several local groups of the Embroiderers’ Guild but this is the first time I have taught it at Alston Hall.

It was a very enjoyable day. The ladies attending were a lovely group and worked with great enthusiasm all day. They produced some lovely brooches. Some finished and started a second brooch but most had only the very last little touches to add for completion.


Well done ladies – they are really nice.  Wear with pride!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Inspired by Lace

Today I went with 2 friends to visit the ‘Inspired’ exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, Lancashire.  I have a piece in the exhibition but I was really keen to see all the other exhibits.
They were really good.

About 12 months ago we had a visit from Tracey Gill, who then worked at Gawthorpe Hall, and she brought some lovely examples of Lace from the Rachel Kay Shuttleworth collection, for us to use as inspiration for their current exhibition.

The exhibition finishes at the end of October but if you happen to be in the vicinity I can recommend it. The property is run by the National Trust and apart from being able to look round the house at the living accommodation you also get to see the current selections of beautiful pieces from the the RKS Collection. They are also a delight to see.

My piece was inspired by Bebilla flowers from an Armenian Sampler. The central flowers have been made using the Bebilla technique (self taught) and placed on a drawn thread worked central strip. I have also used a tatting technique to produce the two outer vertical lines of random flowers and hyperbolic tatting to create the variegated floral ruffles. It has all been worked onto a piece of even weave fabric.

We are not allowed to take photographs of the exhibited pieces but if you have the current copy of Workbox you will find an article about the exhibition by Val Coleslaw of Bolton Branch.  There are images of the pieces entered by their members.

We are also not allowed to reproduce any of the images that we used as our sources of inspiration. 

My master piece.   If the previous project is anything to go by, when the exhibition is taken down, some pieces will be selected to become part of the RKS collection.  Watch this space!!!

Flower Fest-Ann Christy

Inspiring Talk

Last night was our our first branch meeting after the summer break at Blackpool Embroiderers’ Guild.

We had possibly the best speaker we have ever had. Lizzie Wall.
Lizzie brought some beautiful pieces of work to show us and regaled us with very funny, interesting, well researched, stories about each piece.

Her more recent works are her ecclesiastical pieces. She has produced some jaw dropping Chasubles that we were able to look at very closely. She has a background in art, design and embroidery and this shines through in all of her work.

I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. If you are a member of a branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild I can well recommend her. She is a speaker at the AGM for Scotland later this month.

Some of Lizzie’s work (with kind permission from her to use them from her website)
the sower-chasubleallerton-oakhope-treenut-bannertails in orchid garden

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Our Joint Exhibition ‘More Tea Vicar’!

The exhibition is up and going very well on the North Pier, Blackpool.  The visitor numbers are good and we are receiving lots of very nice comments about our work and a number of people have shown an interest in coming to some of meetings in the near future.

There is a great atmosphere on the Pier, lots of hustle and bustle, lots of people about really enjoying themselves.

The Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Eddie Collett and his wife Heather opened our exhibition yesterday afternoon. Following their visit this report was placed on the ‘Visit Fylde Coast’ website. Our thanks to those involved in reporting our exhibition.

And now for some images of the exhibits.



Friday, 26 July 2013

Exhibition - North Pier Theatre - North Pier - Blackpool

I don't know where time seems to have gone since I last posted. So much for telling myself that I was going to make a concerted effort to work on my blog and keep it up to date.

For the whole of May we were in Scotland visiting Islay, Ardnamurchan, Isle of Sky, Mull and Bute.  We did self catering until we left Skye and then we did B&B. Our last stay was at a lovely little farmhouse just north of Dumfries. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that Chris Bonington and his wife were staying there too. Breakfast with Bonington - what a delightful surprise, a really lovely man and his wife was very nice too.

The weather was appalling for most of the time we were away apart from on Tuesdays!!! What is that all about? The winds were ferocious!  We did 12 sailings and despite the strong winds the crossings were fine. Much to my surprise. However after we left Bute and arrived back on the mainland the rest of the boats were cancelled that day due to incredibly high winds. We visited Cuzean Castle and it was miracle that were weren't lifted off our feet and blown over the cliff.

Last week in June and first week In July we stayed in Threlkeld, just outside Keswick. This is a very popular little hamlet with us as we stay there 3 times a year. When my husband first retired 4 years ago he planned to finish doing the Wainwright walks. He had 78 to do and now he is down to 7!!!   He does the high level walk and I do the low level ones. I really do not want to damage my hips or my knees. It is so easy to do. I have done a lot of the Wainwright walks over the years but I have no ambition to complete the ones I have missed. I get a lot of pleasure being there and admiring the magnificent views.

I am now trying hard to get my pieces of work finished for our exhibition next month. Blackpool Branch  of the Embroiderers' Guild (my branch) are having a joint exhibition with Lytham St Annes Branch at the North Pier Theatre on the North Pier Blackpool on the 9th 10th and 11th of August. (same weekend as the Blackpool Air Show and the Festival of Quilts at the NEC) no contest there then!!!

All details below.  I hope that some of you will be able to come and see our exhibition.
The images on the poster are our postcards - 'welcoming the athletes of the world' for the Olympics. Each branch was given a country and ours was Grenada - the Spice Islands.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Preston Threads Exhibiting at the NEC

We are exhibiting again, this time at the NEC from March 21st – 24th, in the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show.


Our work this time was developed from observing and recording something of interest over a period of time. We referred to this as ‘site specific’. It was suggested by our mentor at the time Linda Westerman. 

My area of interest was water. I thought initially that I would make observations of the beach where I live, just 3 minutes walk away.  I took lots of photographs of water in different places and eventually decided on the Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye.  These are quite magical. We visited them on a beautiful, warm, sunny day last May. 

I worked on lots of sketching, painting and stitching ideas. I attended a couple of workshops with Shelley Rhodes on Collagraph Printing and decided to base my work on the print plates that I created. When I was at Shelley’s workshop I printed my designs on paper. When I got back home I like the designs so much that I didn’t want to make any changes to them so I decided to work some more on fabric. I had to work out my own way of creating a satisfactory print as I do not have a printing press of my own.

My method worked successfully enough for me and from the fabric prints  I created the following 3 pieces.

                     ‘The Fairy Pools’
            Fairy Pools-med  
                      ‘Watery Cascade’
            Watery Cascade-med
                         ‘Crystal Clear’    

     Crystal Clear-med

These are on show at the above exhibition. Unfortunately I won’t be at the show. I would really like to have been there as it would have been a great opportunity to meet some of you.  Hopefully we will be there again next year.

The first two pieces are not for sale but ‘Crystal Clear’ is.  My husband really likes ‘Fairy Pools’ and I really like ‘Watery Cascade’.

Enjoy the show if you are going and do please come back and let me know your thoughts on the work from our group. There are some really lovely pieces of work.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Preston Threads at EventCity

Preston Threads are exhibiting their work on colour from September 13th - 15th at Event City.
Linda Bellingham is said to be opening the event. (See poster below for more details).
I will be stewarding on Friday so if you are there do come and say hello.


Our exhibition is called 'Coloured Threads'. We were each given a colour at random to work with. Mine was yellow. definitely not a colour I would have chosen. We created some pieces using our colour and also a sketchbook in that colour. I have great difficulty deciding what to do until a trip to Madeira last October where we stayed in a lovely apartment in the midst of a banana plantation. So much yellow it was breath taking!  So my pieces and my sketchbook have all been inspired by those beautiful leaves.
These were on display in April this year at Aintree.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Preston Threads–Aintree 26th-28th 2012

ICHF Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

We have been at Aintree Racecourse today putting up our exhibition ‘Coloured Threads’.

The show starts tomorrow (Thursday) and runs until Saturday.
I will be there stewarding all day tomorrow so if you are there please do come and say hello. (Stand G04 – Preston Threads). We are right at the back of the venue.  We have been working with Linda Westerman as our mentor and it was she who suggested this theme.

Here is a little taster of what you will see in our display.  We each started with a colour selected at random, made a collection of items and then worked into a sketch book. We used work produced in our sketchbooks to make decisions about what we would create for the display.  The sketchbooks are also on display. My colour was yellow. Not my favourite and certainly no one that I work with normally so somewhat out of my comfort zone on that one!

sk1     jp2
     sr1            pf1
mf1       cc1
ma1      ac1

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The Icing on the Cake

On Saturday, at Blackpool Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild we had Maggie Grey as our guest speaker.   (Do take a look at Maggie’s blog)

What an absolute delight. Her talk was really interesting, inspiring and very funny.  She brought lots of pieces of her work for us to handle and inspect. As we looked at the images Maggie was able to explain the range of techniques used and introduce us to a variety of materials.  I now know what to do with the Kozo paper that has been residing in at draw in my workroom for the last couple of years at least!!!

The Chairman of the Guild, Christine Poole, also joined us. We had around 50 people at the talk, many of our own members and members of other branches from Area 1 in the North West Region.

Maggie was ably assisted by her husband Clive and he did a great job selling books. Maggie brought copies of her newest book ‘Dissolvable Delights’. It is a delight and is available from d4daisy .

The room was buzzing with enthusiasm for Maggie’s work.
We finished the afternoon off with tea and cakes.
An afternoon of treats!!!!!

Maggie-and-Christine    mg6