Judy Joiner bead workshop

On 15 June nine members gathered to enjoy an in-house workshop called “An Introduction to Bead Embroidery” run by member Judy Joiner.

Judy had bought along examples of her work for our inspiration including brooches, pinwheels,  bracelets, a needlecase and scissor cases.

We were encouraged to make either a brooch or a pinwheel. We each started with a central cabochon and after  Judy had shown us how to anchor it with the first row of beads, we then added further rows of beads. Using various types and sizes resulted in some very different final effects.

Throughout the day Judy gave us demonstrations on  various  techniques. She included  information on the many different types and sizes  of beads,  showing us examples and outlining the difference between Japanese and Czech beads, Delica and Seed beads. We also learnt a useful tip of how to identify the size of your seed beads. Useful for when you have decanted them from the tube you originally bought them in.
Amongst the nine of us only 5 types of cabochons were used but the resulting  11 pieces were quite different. See the photo taken at the end of the workshop.

All in all a very satisfying workshop from which we all went home with an almost finished item !!
Thank you  Judy for agreeing to run this workshop and passing on your knowledge and enthusiasm for bead embroidery of with us.

Report and photos by Vernice C

Thank you Vernice!  Ros

Kirsty Whitlock – June 2015


Kirsty Whitlock was the speaker at our open meeting this month and her talk was entitled “My journey through stitch”.    Her interest in stitch started when she followed an NVQ in Art & Design at school and then she went on to DeMontfort University.  Encouraged by tutors there were many opportunities to experiment with a variety of techniques and paper became her favourite material.  In an attempt to keep costs to a minimum she used found papers and experimented with various types of vinegar and rusting.  An amusing project involved leaving paper in a cage with a gerbil to see its teeth marks in the paper.  Kirsty left university with a first class honours degree and now uses current affairs for inspiration with recycled and discarded materials.

In 2009 Kirsty was selected for the Graduate Showcase for the Embroiderers Guild and exhibited at Dublin and Harrogate.  In 2012 she was awarded an Embroiderers’ Guild Scholarship and visited schools to talk about her work.  On an Enterprise programme she was able to fund a Bernina sewing machine and got help with accommodation and setting up as self employed.  


Kirsty showed us a selection of her work explaining the story behind the projects, how she uses 3D and how the loose threads have now become her signature mark.  The full size “Meltdown Misery” is a mixture of photography and stitch and was inspired by the falling stock market at the time of the recession.

It is important to Kirsty to continue pushing the boundaries in all her work and encouraging young people by ensuring her skills are passed to the next generation.

In addition to the talk members enjoyed cakes for tea, the “work in progress” table and a visit from embroidery supplier “Gillsew”.

Report by Ros