After welcomes, Helen Barnes was introduced to the group. Helen has grown up loving the textures and colours of fabric, stitch patterns and motifs used to create beautiful textiles. A passion that has grown with her through the years.
As an Art and Textiles teacher she continued her interest by studying City and Guilds Embroidery Part 1 and 2, and more recently she has been awarded an MA in Art and Design from the University of Leeds.
She has been fortunate enough to travel extensively, researching textiles in far reaching places and recently she has been investigating her own heritage of the North Country quilts.
Helen makes her own quilts usually about one metre square and she uses her own templates in the traditional fashion by folding paper (like a snowflake as we have done many times as children) or by using old pennies and half pennies, wine glasses ,plates and iron plates to design cables, feathers and flowers. Her designs are planned on paper and card, which she moves around until she is happy with the layout. She has made samples of 50 patterns, which she is hoping to put into a book. It seems the stitchers changed some of the general designs to make their own. Maybe there are still more out there!
After Helen left us we showed our Monthly Challenge pieces, which this month had to include a textured surface. Take a look below.
Margaret. G: April showers - although we have been very much without rain this month. April is usually a month of sunshine, showers, primroses and blossom. I have added clear glass beads to the single strand rain.
Kath R: The textured piece is just rough dry paint on linen. Then beads and threads were used for a dandelion clock.
Mel C: April – I used padded satin stitch, Casalguidi stitch, spiders’ web, French knots, fabric manipulation and edging stitch.
Ann: This month I was inspired by the trees. Not just because of their lovely fresh green leaves but their amazing bark, so I went out and took some bark rubbings. It was good fun. I then used some of the ideas to stitch my piece. I wrapped string with variegated perlé yarn and some with variegated slub yarns and couched them in place. I then wrapped beads in chiffon and stitched some of these between the yarns. I filled in other spaces with fly stitch, line stitch and French and bullion knots.
Kath H: I used a mini loom to weave wool pieces and then embroidered these with flowers, April showers and Spring lambs. Each piece is mounted on covered clothing tags.
Edwina: I still have some more to do on my piece but the original was from a Regional Day workshop run by Sandra Kendall. Sandra supplied the blue fabric ready stitched with the 'hole' in the middle and showed us how to make the tree trunks. These are wrapped threads. I love bluebell woods and the bluebells were out in April.
Irene has been making novelty pincushions: flowers, bees and bags for the church sale one day!
Kath R has made a vessel in sheers and dissolvable fabrics, which were then machine stitched together before the dissolvable fabric is almost washed away leaving some behind. The vessel is shaped over a bowl covered in cling film and Vaseline and then allowed to dry.
Mel C has also made a machine embroidered thread bowl and a scarf which she dyed using leaves as prints with iron as a mordant. This was an idea was from a workshop with Maggie Pearson.
Her stitched wheel was a project run on YouTube by Cathy Reavy, and was started in January as a stitch sampler. Three new stitches were added each week on a Thursday. Lots of the stitches she hadn’t tried before, so a bit of a learning curve.
She has also completed four more tags with Anne Brooke 52 tags.
Liz has cross stitched these designs for a couple of T-Shirts, she also used the same technique on sweat shirts in the past.
“I wondered about using a canvas style pattern on a sweat shirt but don't know if I'd need to use an interfacing to stiffen the design once completed due to using longer stitches. Can anyone help?”
We will also be taking part in a stitching activity. Information will be sent out to you in plenty of time before the zoom meeting. Until then keep safe and keep stitching.