Overlocker Workshop

Nine of us gathered today with the intention of learning to love our overlocker instead of seeing it as ‘the monster sat in the corner’. After showing us samples of what can be achieved with an overlocker our tutor, Ann Kingdon, began by encouraging us to become familiar with threading the machine, not easy, but we were all fairly confident with this by lunchtime. Later we tried basic overlooking on different weights and types of fabrics, getting the tension correct was a challenge but we made progress and gradually moved on to rolled hemming, flat locking, pin tucks and other processes which can be produced on an over locker 

Ann Kingdon was a very competent, encouraging and patient tutor. Not only did she have a class of total or near novices but we had a variety of different makes of machine which made the day even more challenging for her.

Thank you very much Ann for such a useful day. We all learned a lot and feel more confident about using our over lockers now and perhaps even fond of them!  

Thank you Christine Hill for the report and Kay Francis for the photos

Jenny Adin-Christie – November 2014 Meeting 

Ros is travelling in India so Christine Hill has stood in for her. Thanks, Christine

Today the members enjoyed a fascinating and most informative talk by Jenny Adin-Christie entitled “Preserving the Past / Creating the Future”. Jenny began stitching as a young girl and was fortunate to be encouraged by both her family and school to take up a career in embroidery. She was offered a three year course at the Royal School of Needlework. This proved to be a very intensive course; working very long hours during the week and often weekends too with only four weeks holiday per year. The course, or apprenticeship as it was known, included gold work, Jacobean crewel work, silk shading, white work, traditional appliqué and ‘both sides alike’ embroidery used for military banners. The students were expected to research and produce their own designs. At the end of the course Jenny was offered a full time job carrying out commission work and teaching.

The excellent slides Jenny showed included details of some of the commissions carried out by the RSN – the coronation robes of Her Majesty the Queen, an eighteen foot silk velvet train heavily embroidered with gold work using eighteen different solid gold threads, a new pelmet and curtains for the Royal Opera House which involved stitching gold work designs onto half inch thick curtain velvet and a Jubilee Woolsack for the Royal Chelsea Hospital. These projects demonstrate the level the students are expected to attain by the end of the course.

Jenny is particularly fond of white work which she teaches in Australia and New Zealand as well as running regular courses in France and showed us slides of her own work as well as that of some of her students. She also brought samples of her stump work pictures, absolutely stunning work.

Jenny has also been involved in restoration and conservation projects which she described to us.

Although Jenny became freelance some six years ago she can still be called on to be part of a RSN team to work on an important project and as a result became involved in the making of the Carrickmacross lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding  dress. A team of seventy worked on the lace for long hours, day and night.

It was a wonderful talk and we could have continued listening for much longer had there been time.

Jenny’s website can be found here:    www.jennyadin-christieembroidery.co.uk

Knitting & Stitch Show – October 2014

Unfortunately this year we did not have sufficient people to organise a Guild coach to Ally Pally so several of us went by ourselves.  Vernice and I went on Thursday and she has kindly shared some of her photos so the rest of you can have a taste of some of the amazing pieces on display.  Click on the images for details.
Thank you Vernice!

Report by Ros

Wiltshire Breast Feeding Art Competition – October 2014

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This was an art competition organised by Wiltshire Council Health & Social Care Department to promote breastfeeding in anti-natal clinics.

It was open to all age groups and in all art mediums. The eleven finalists had used water colour, pastel, photography, collage , crayon and machine embroidery.   

I wanted to create a layered look using fine organza fabric and achieved the different tones of blue by cutting away one or two of the layers. The ‘frame’ was created by using vermicelli stitching and then a fine velvet ribbon as a straight line to contrast with the curves of the stitching and the image of the mother and baby.  The canvas background was painted with acrylic paint in an abstract mottled effect so that the image did not appear too ‘flat’.

The exhibition of the 11 finalists is to be shown in libraries around Wiltshire over the next few months.    As soon as I know where these will be we will let you know.

Report by Lindsay

Kath Danswan – October 2014

October is the time for our Annual General Meeting and after the election of officers and the general business we sat back and listened to member Kath Danswan talk about her background and experiences abroad.

Kath did City & Guild courses and a HNC in Stitch Textiles and in 2006 self published a book entitled “Beautiful bowls and colourful creatures”.  She told us about her visits to California, Australia and the well know Quilt Show at Houston. Kath talked to groups and organised workshops where she taught her bowl technique and her colourful insects.  She kindly brought a selection of her work for members to enjoy. 
Thank you Kath for sharing your travels.

The next meeting of the Guild will be held on Monday 3 November when the speaker will be Jenny Adin-Christie and her talk will be entitled “Preserving the Past/Creating the Future”. 

Reported by Ros

Jennie Rayment workshop – “Suduko with Texture” – September 2014

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I was not sure what to expect the following day for Jennie Rayment’s “Suduko with Texture” workshop.  If we laughed as much as we did yesterday how would we ever be able to complete the project?


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I must say the day was one of the best workshops I have attended.  Jennie’s instructions were first class, she demonstrated each stage of the 9 square suduko twice so those wanting to rush ahead could do so whilst those who wanted to take more time were not left behind.  Each square showed a different technique and Jennie told us the aim was to finish the project in the workshop and I think most of the group achieved this.  I would like to add some embroidery and beads to my work but this can be done in due course. This workshop helped me considerably with my current module of City & Guilds as I had to learn about fabric manipulationand also  research Jennie Rayment as a textile artist.

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Everybody was focused all day with little time for chat but we ended the session with a super joke from Jennie which stills makes me giggle two days later. 

Thank you Jennie for being so generous with your techniques and a fun workshop.

Report by Ros




Jennie Rayment – September 2014

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This was the first time since I joined the Embroidery Guild when I spent most of the monthly talk in fits of laughter.  The name, Jennie Rayment, was known to me but I did not realise that she was such a wit and raconteur.  Jennie’s talk was entitled “Trials & Tribulations of the Travelling Nipper & Tucker” so I might have guessed we were in for fun.  Jennie travels the world talking to groups, attending conferences and shows and giving workshops showing her fabric manipulation in the form of tucks, pleats & various textures a number of which are transformed into quilts.  She has written a several books and has a regular slot on the Create & Craft TV channel.

Jennie told us hilarious stories about her travels whilst displaying really beautiful quilts which show her techniques.  They included various incidents at airports, the challenge of buying a pair of tights in the USA and the time she caught her skirt in her hotel bedroom.  The grand finale of the afternoon was Jennie transforming into a Bunny Girl serving a tray of drinks.

The next meeting of the Guild will be on Monday 6 October when the Branch AGM will be followed by a Show & Tell and member Kath Danswan’s talk will be entitled “Travels with a Needle”.  The doors will open at 13.30 and the meeting will start at 14.00.

Reported by Ros





Isobel Hall workshop – July 2014

We all had a lovely time getting messy. Isobel shared lots of techniques with us starting with PVA coloured with brusho and made into sheets which could then be used in a variety of ways. We also used moulding paste and many other products some of which were really surprising  especially the embossed toilet paper. Isobel is always really generous with her own supplies and passes on her expertise.  A really enjoyable workshop.

Reported by Kath
Photos Vernice & Kath

Art in Action – July 2014

Our annual outing this year was to Art in Action at Waterperry House near Oxford. 

It was my second visit and I must say I enjoyed it as much this time as last however it was a very warm day.  At Art in Action there is something to interest everybody with work from a selection of the best artists, craftspeople and designers on display.  Unfortunately most of the prices were beyond our reach but it was so exciting to browse and add things to our wish list.
There were 20 stands in the textile marquee and here is a selection of our favourites.
Sara Fordy – surface pattern using indigo.  Lovely selection of shibori dyeing and several of us had this super sofa on our wish list.

Amanda Wright – lives in St David’s with her husband, David a ceramicist. They have their own gallery in Goats Street.   Amanda uses coloured yarns on canvas with a bonded backing. Her themes are taken from the natural world focusing on the local environment and the bird life.
Carol Naylor – creates landscape designs on canvas using the machine.  Some stitching is done on the top, some from the reverse using thicker threads in the bobbin.
Roanna Wells – takes photograph image (crowd formations) and using black thread and  seed stitch, replicates the image on calico.  In Roanna’s current project she uses a photo of a crowd standing by hairpin bend.  Good eye sight!
Harriet Riddell – I first saw Harriet at Alexander Place last year and immediately recognised her very distinctive work.  She draws portraits using free machine embroidery on her machine.  Recently she has visited India and exhibited several pieces of work done on the streets.
My grateful thanks to Vernice for sharing some of her photos

Reported by Ros

Robina Orchard – July 2014

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For our July meeting on Monday we had a very interesting talk by a member of our Guild, Robina Orchard.  

Robina has an art back ground and has followed City & Guild courses. Living in the Andover area and more recently near Devizes she has created and organised community projects and she showed us examples of this and her own work.


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Over a ten year period she created and helped stitch the Test Valley tapestry after which she was asked to make a cover for a stool showing the client’s house.  Eventually this ended up as a 6’ x 4’ wall hanging and took 365 hours to embroider.  While living in the same area she won a competition to create a tea towel which has sold all over the world.  Community projects in Luggeshall, Weyhill and an alter frontal at Amport were also undertaken. 

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In 2006 Robina moved to the Devizes area and was asked to design and co-ordinate the creation of two alter frontals, kneelers and vestments for St Mary the Virgin in Potterne to commemorate their 750yr birthday.  The design was taken from light shining through the stain glass windows. Robina was keen to involve the whole community and she read a poem which had been written by a partially sighted lady who was unable to assist with the embroidery. Thank you Robina for a most enjoyable talk.

There will be no Guild meeting in August, the next meeting will be on Monday 1 September when Jennie Rayment will give us a talk entitled “Trials & Tribulations of the Travelling ‘Nipper & Tucker’”.  

Reported by Ros