We are a group of women (but men are welcome!) who have an interest in textile art and embroidery. We are of mixed abilities and there is no need for you to be able to sew to come and join us - there are no tests!
New members are always welcome - why not call in and join us as a guest for a few months?
Meeting fee for visitors is only £5.
Our meetings vary - we have talks and workshops, show and tell - we also have lots of weekend workshops and playdays. For details of what's coming up (and what's been and gone!) check out our programme below...

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Inbetweeners - Gold(i)works and the one bear

Some very different pieces of work from our members this time. 

Sue Tebbutt has been perfecting her goldwork techniques on two different pieces of work. 

Firstly, this printed panel which she bought from Beyond Measure in Todmorden. 
"They come printed in different colours 
but this yellow made me think of covering it up with goldwork"

Sue has also finished another piece of goldwork, this time using the advanced  technique of Or Nué. 
Or Nué (or shaded gold) is a form of goldwork embroidery using couching where different coloured silk threads are stitched over the metallic base of gold threads to form patterns or designs. The finished product is deliberately stitched so that the metal shows. 
Sue's design measures 7cm in diameter, including the goldwork border. 


Abigail Ledder has been on a workshop at Fabberdashery in Halifax and has made this fabulous tiny "Bear in a Teacup".

February Playday - Hello Again Dolly

Following on from the February Meeting's talk from our talented doll-making members, Saturday's Playday continued the theme and members worked on a varied assortment of dolls.






February Meeting - "Hello Dolly" with Wendy Aldred, Lesley Tingle and Jo Sykes

As I was not able to attend the February meeting, the following text and photographs have been shamelessly cribbed from fellow member Liz Barraclough's blog at bizzymitts.com 
Thanks Liz! 

When ‘An Evening of Dolls’ appeared on our Embroiderer’s Guild program, I must admit the prospect didn’t enthrall me. However, what a fascinating night it turned out to be! Below are a couple of member Wendy Aldred’s creations.


  


Wendy talked about how her techniques have evolved since making her first dolls. Her construction is pretty technical from how she wires the fingers, creates the features and adds the stuffing. ‘When you think you’ve done enough, add more!’ A flat screwdriver with a notch cut in the end makes a good stuffing tool. A knitting needle does not. Some of the dolls’ outfits are made from fabric off-cuts from the Royal Opera House where Wendy’s daughter once worked on the costumes and we handled a sample of goat hair that apparently is good for dolls too.

Next we had Lesley Tingle talk about her dolls and how she uses her antique notions and embroidery samples (like the stitched felt below) in dressing them. The antique textile fair in Manchester is a great place for treasures like hair slides, buttons and braids for jackets.

  


Lesley extensively researches art dolls and brought a selection of books and dolls from her collection, like these in a primitive style below. For anyone also interested in art dolls she recommends (firstly being very careful of dubious websites!) looking at the exquisite work of Antoinette Cely, whose dolls are so realistic they look almost human; and for superb doll-making resources, to see Patti Culea.



Below are dolls by yet another talented member, Jo Sykes. How adorable are those boots?


Other members brought their creations too. Margaret Walton’s doll won an award for creativity in one of the Guild’s regional competitions.



Some of us brought along the crazy creatures we made on a guild workshop with Raggedy Annie. Mine here are about as near to a doll as I’ll ever get.



The talks were followed by the monthly raffle. This time the theme was checks, and as you can see, there were prizes in abundance! 

January Meeting - Saima Kaur

Our January speaker was the engaging Saima Kaur, who currently lives in Hebden Bridge and is a prolific stitcher and maker of colour-popping embroideries inspired by Indian culture and Saima's travels in Asia. Saima's family originate in the Punjab and came to the UK to work in the textile industry. When travelling in India, Saima found herself drawn to the most "Indian-y" looking fabrics and objects, for example this Gujurati beadwork. 
This colourful hanging is an example of Phulkari which is an embroidery technique from the Punjab region (divided between India and Pakistan) and is in a typically geometric design.
Saima likes to stitch pieces which have particular meaning to her. This piece reflects her Indian heritage.
She has embraced the Punjabi tradition of "storytelling quilts" and made this one based on a visit to the circus. 
Following the birth of her daughter, Saima made an heirloom quilt. She explained the meaning behind it and both she and we were quite emotional by the time she'd finished. 
In order to make herself "do something" with her sewing skills, Saima set herself three challenges. 
They were : 
1. To make something for a friend
2. To make something for someone who was not a friend - Saima made a hanging for a café where the staff had been kind to her daughter.
3. To do a craft fair. 
Having completed those challenges and put herself "out there", Saima continues to push herself and is making items to sell. 

If you would like to contact Saima to come and speak to your group, her e-mail address is saimakaur@outlook.com
She is on Instagram as @sewsaima



Thursday, 18 January 2018

November Workshop - Jessica Aldred - An Introduction to Goldwork

We are lucky enough at Halifax to have among our talented members Jessica Aldred, who is an RSN scholar who has resettled in the area.
In November she ran a workshop for members on an introduction to Goldwork, featuring Neil the Snail. 


Members were able to buy everything they needed from Jessica to start work on their very own "Neils", and by the end of the day they were well underway. 


Lesley soon finished hers


Followed soon after by Davina


And by the December meeting we had a positive escargatoire of snails 
adorning frames, boxes and bags.


If you would like to contact Jessica to find out about her classes and availability, you can do so via her website, http://www.bespokeneedlework.com

November Meeting - Harriet Lawton

Our November meeting was a return engagement for Harriet Lawton. It is a few  years since Harriet first came to speak to us, we were her first "proper" engagement and it was great to see how much further she has travelled in her textile journey since then. 
In 2014 when she last came to see us, Harriet had just taken on the tenancy of a studio at The Artworks in Halifax, and started teaching there straight away. She had also successfully gained a placement in Madrid in the "Art Across Borders" scheme where she was working within the education system but also had time to pursue her own interests. Carrying out collage and stitch with a textile art group and schools groups in Madrid gave her a collection of work designed by Spanish students. On Harriet's return to the UK, she gained a commission for an Art Installation at Wakefield 1, which was based on items from Wakefield Museum. Harriet picked things from the museum that were damaged (you may remember her interest in Kintsugi, the Japanese art of restoring broken items and making them more beautiful by the inclusion of gold in their repair)


Harriet designed a collection of printed fabrics based on those objects, to hang behind them.

 

She also used water jets to cut sections from plates and other 3D objects. 


As well as running her own workshops in drawing, painting, screen printing, sculpture and textile work, Harriet also runs workshops at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Hepworth Gallery, and for Manchester City Art Galleries. 
She has been the artist in residence at the Great Northern Craft Fair, where she designed a series of screen prints based on drawings made by visitors of the objects on display, and has subsequently produced scarves, household linens, and commission pieces such as plates for weddings. 

In 2016 Harriet was commissioned by Gawthorpe Hall to do a piece of work and run workshops involving both the Hall and the nearby town of Padiham. For this, she took inspiration from the labels written at the hall by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth, the founder of the collection, using them as the starting point for different kinds of labels and prints. 


Harriet continued with her work in laser-cutting plates which she found in local charity shops.


She has now been commissioned to continue her work in Padiham town centre on a larger scale - this is still ongoing. 
We can't wait for Harriet's next visit to find out where her artistic journey is taking her - when she was at school, she was a student of our Programme Secretary, Margaret, so we are claiming her as our own! 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Workshop - Rachael Singleton - A Natural Selection

This month's workshop with Rachael Singleton was print and stitch based. The workshop started off with members foraging for leaves, grasses and feathers to make prints using Gelli plates and acetate sheets. This was a first for many of those taking part in the workshop. 
The morning session was taken up with making as many prints as possible; printing from the Gelli plate, then from the items which had been inked, then using the "ghost" prints that were left on the plate when the items had been removed. 


We printed on different papers - lining paper, teabag paper, tissue paper, newspaper and vintage books and maps - and on fabrics such as linen, calico, net and gauze. 



After a well-earned lunch break, Rachael showed members how to use their prints to create effective collages or smaller pieces such as bookmarks and cards. Nothing was wasted! 
These are their pieces en-route to completion. 

Rona's colourful maple leaf prints

Wyn's diptych of coastal themed prints and textures

Maureen's bold feather print collage

Abigail's prints, some of them already outlined in stitch

Janice's collage with detail stitched from the reverse 
- and is that a cannabis leaf?!

Mandy's collage of feathers, stitching and French dictionary excerpts

The start of Kathryn's collage, and a great leaf print

Margaret W's feather-based triptych including print and actual feathers...

Sue's striking green and purple prints of ferns and grasses

Margaret C's amazing leaf prints

Eleanor's huge paper collage using newsprint

Eleanor's first attempt at free-machining - pretty impressive!

Davina's stitched collage on a textured background

Rachael's website is titled "Folio and Fibre" and you can view it by following the link at the right-hand side of this page.