Thursday, 30 January 2014

First meeting of the new year

We met yesterday and were delighted to be joined for the first time by most of our new members. I'm sure I speak for the whole group when is say that it's really exciting to have so many talented people joining us. Everyone's work is so different and we all learn so much from each other, so I think its going to be great year!

We had quite bit of business to discuss.  Margaret collected our half yearly subscriptions and gave us a summary of our financial situation, which it's is nice to know is looking very comfortable!

We discussed some of the details about the exhibition we are having next September at Heartlands. Margaret is going to contact them to confirm a few details, such as how early they will be able to produce an advertising flyer, because we would like to start to distribute them in good time.

Jane Hawkins has found a good source of reasonably priced clips for hanging our work and is going to order them. Chris her husband has kindly agreed to fix these all onto our work nearer the time! But it was decided that we should have focussed meeting in the near future to start our exhibition planning.

I was able to get some feedback from the others about the work I have been doing on this blog - and to explain the problems I have had with learning this Blogger software. But I'm slowly getting my head around it and hope to do some more changes shortly in response to your ideas yesterday. Thanks for your patience with me.

The "old" members brought along their finished pieces and some work in progress - and here is our recent output is shown below.

Have a good month with your stitching Maids!

Regards, Chris

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Architectural Structure...

Whilst Carolyn and I were studying our City & Guilds Course we were often inspired by Kandinsky, I used him many time in my sketch book. Recently we had an open day for Beyond Patchwork, we showed some of our course work which meant we got to look through our sketch books and that prompted me to revisit some of the work.
My course work was based on West Chiverton Mine nr. Truro so the perfect topic for architecture, below are a few sketch book pages and fabric samples that I've developed from my course work...

sketch book work and fabric sample
pen and fabric sample inspired by Kandinsky line
pen and fabric sample inspired this stitched sample
My finished piece...overlaid Mine stencil, transfer dyed fabric, organza, free machine quilting, couching.

West Chiverton Mine meets Kandinsky
Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A few behind but making a start!?!?!

So, its been a while (4 months??) and I am behind with my squares, there is no denying it.  Since moving to London I have been somewhat preoccupied by other things (not least out little building project - see

But tonight I made a start in the right direction (I may even get a sketchbook out a little later - don't get excited though - and sketch out some ideas for the other squares I am missing!).  Simon is having to do lots of materials testing at the moment and since I saw Do Ho Suh Staircase III (see here), I wanted to have a go at reproducing some of Simon's work in voiles.  As this also ties in rather nicely with the Architectural Forms' theme I figured I could make it once and we could both make use of it!!

This is my first attempt at a scaled down sample; I had never used voile and soldering irons like this before - to burn holes in it yes but never for anything 'accurate' (and I currently use that word loosely!).  The bigger cube is 10x10cm the smaller one 5x5cm.  I believe the final one will be 20x20cm, unless of  course Simon decides that he totally loves this and wants to make a pavilion out of it!  I definitely need to improve my technique, the small cube is supposed to be cut out of one of the faces but only after hashing it together did I work out how I should have done it!

Needless to say, this first sample I am pretty pleased with, the effect of the double layers and light works brilliantly; now I need to work on accuracy and how to make even smaller cubes that can be placed inside others, or attached to others, or cut through others (and on and on...)

So I haven't totally forgotten my Maids' its just taking me a while to get back into the swing of it all!!

Next I need to do:
Museum Trip
Favourite Book
 - any others I've not been told about!?!?

             - Becca

Cauliflower teapot

Dear Maids,
in my campaign to catch up with my Textile Maids projects I have at last finished my piece in response to our visit to Truro Museum.

I'm afraid I have been getting side-tracked by trying to refresh this blog but have found the software rather clumsy to use, so apologies to you all for  the half finished attempt to work on this. At the moment it's clearly not quite right but I hope you can all live with it until we meet up at the end of the month? chris

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Museum Challenge...

Jane mentioned about the wonderful mineral collection in an earlier post, so with my connection to an engine house and mining in Cornwall, it only seemed right that I go down that road for our Truro Museum challenge.

I photographed a lot of the minerals, but when I looked at the Vivianite sample I could see many of the techniques I love to use, pin-tucks, French knots and texture.
This sample came from Wheal Jane, Kea which is in the same area as West Chiverton. The description said... long needles of blackish vivianite associated with tiny globules of cronstedtite needles and golden brown cocoxenite.

Working through my samples to replicate the background colours, I found Magnum papers along with painted and distressed Tyvek worked perfectly (in the call of duty my dear mum ate the ice cream and saved the papers).

sketch book work
Hand dyed and rusted fabrics, voiles, organza, silk waste, painted and distressed Tyvek, distorted pin-tucks, French knots, distorted French knots, free machine quilting.
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Decay - at long last

Dear Reader
At very long last I have completed my decay challenge from way back in the summer and am pleased to say that although I was so unsure of what to do with it I have turned out something that I really like. Decay only really meant one thing to me as a very keen gardener and that was decaying vegetation-leaves in particular. I regularly harvest the nicely shaped fallen leaves in my garden and had a little stash of them to turn to. Of course they had become very brittle but a couple of coats of acrylic wax gave them the necessary body to work with. I started out by rusting a piece of hessian which went green instead of the expected rusty colour! Not to worry. I laid that down as a base and placed an old map that had been bonded to a chiffon scarf and soaked so that the backing paper rubbed off to distress it, on top. Over this map I laid the map cover, a page from an old school text book and several leaves, both real and cut out from rough grey paper. I then gave the whole thing a good coat of wallpaper glue to fix it together for sewing and when dry a wash with some thin acrylic paint to 'stain' everything a dirty brown as if they had all been trampled into the forest floor. To finish I laid some grey organza over and free machined around the shapes and following the leaf veins. You may notice that I used some gold thread for some of the work, this is to suggest that although the leaves are dying and the paper rotting there is life there too. As anyone who has a compost heap knows - and I have long thought that compost is the finest material known to man- that seemingly dead and decaying product gives glorious life to seeds and cuttings. Circle of life Man!

I hope you like it, anyway thanks for reading my post
toodle oo