26 October 2015

Stumpwork Faces

On Saturday a group of us attended a very enjoyable workshop with Sue Sissling.  We welcomed some members from the Lytham branch and all had good fun. 

We learnt how to make stump work faces. These are 3D faces which, by stuffing and stitch work, stand proud from the backing fabric. Sue brought some examples and a selection of books for inspiration and advice. Much needed !!  

A face taking shape

Even though we were mostly beginners we all managed to complete at least one face. No mean feat for a workshop day - as you know!The faces we made were all completely different, many shapes, sizes and colours and we were all surprised by how they developed and scarily took on a life of their own!

Hair and accessories add glamour!

I missed the list of requirements but Kathryn and Jill kindly supplied me with everything I needed and Sue brought a big stash for us to delve into. I think this illustrates the good fellowship you find in our group. We spent a good part of the day laughing and sewing - sharing each other's ideas and admiring each other's work.
One of our Lytham visitors gets down to some serious work!

Kathryn brought some frames to sell for our Branch funds and if you were lucky enough to get one they certainly enhanced your work.

All in all it was a great day with Sue and we all went home with a new skill.  S.

11 October 2015

Yorkshire Buttons

Our new regime of two hours of informal "stitch and chat" got off to an excellent start this month.  Nearly everyone made it early and we were able to hold a committee meeting while everyone chatted, shopped at our bring and buy sales table and had their lunch.  At 2 o'clock we got down to the real business of the afternoon, welcoming Gail Marsh to show us how to make Yorkshire Buttons.

These woven buttons, stuffed with sheep's wool were once made in their thousands until the invention of a machine to make the cloth buttons familiar to some of us older ladies from the days of wearing liberty bodices - was there ever a more inappropriately named garment?!

Gail busy keeping us on the right track.
Gail's sample boards were delightful, but hard to replicate and some of us were all fingers and thumbs (well, OK, I was all fingers and thumbs!) and Gail was kept busy keeping us on the straight and narrow.

The buttons are woven onto a piece of card with a 'tail' hanging down; threads are woven over and under until the whole card is covered, then the result is removed, the tail pulled up and the button stuffed as full as possible with wool.  The weaving gives them an attractive ribbed effect.

There was time to chat for those of us who had got the hang of it.  I was using my duties as secretary and official photographer as an excuse to abandon mine, but while I was away the fairies came and I returned to my table to find they (Wendy really) had put me back on track, so the least I could do was finish it!

Patricia concentrating, Louise and Glen not so much!
Another happy afternoon and can't wait to welcome Sue Bartlett next month to talk about her Mixed Media Books.

Chairman's Challenge

Val, our North West Region Chairman, has challenged the Branches to produce pages for a 'travelling book'.  Her plan is for us to depict some representative views of our local area.  Padiham & District decided to use Gawthorpe Hall as our inspiration using pictures Dianne has provided as a starting point.  Gawthorpe Hall is a jointly owned National Trust and Burnley Council property and home to the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth embroidery collection - a wonderful resource for our area and for all embroiderers.  Our Branch was started at the Hall - although only in the stable block sadly! - but due to flood damage during the very hard winter of 2010/11 we had to find another venue for our meetings while repair work was taking place, and never went back.  All of us have a soft spot for Gawthorpe, which was a happy family home for many generations.  These are the pictures used for inspiration and our members' work to interpret them.

Images of Gawthorpe
Members' embroideries