Sunday, 20 August 2023

 August 19th - Miniature Landscapes with Linda Bell

A large number of our members spent a lovely day yesterday making miniature landscapes with added wooden houses. The day was led by one of our members , Linda Bell. Thank you Linda

Here are some of our finished and work in progress masterpieces.

Sunday, 16 July 2023

 July 15th Print, stitch and a pasta machine - Lindsay Fellows

We spent a very pleasant day yesterday, preparing backgrounds, making a printing 'plate' and then printing. Unfortunately we didn't get time to stitch but that will be our homework.

Using the starting point of the four seasons we prepared backgrounds which were sandwiched between two pieces of Bondaweb. This actually took longer than we thought, choosing the strips of fabric and then creating four landscape backgrounds.

Lindsay then showed us how to prepare our printing plates. We drew our design on to the inside of a Tetra pack , this was then etched using a bradawl . Ink was then rubbed into the surface and we ran a test on a piece of cotton fabric . A sandwich of fleece fabric, cotton , the printing plate and another piece of fleece were pinned together and put through a pasta making machine. It was quite a work out !!!!


When we were satisfied with our prints we then went on to printing on to our backgrounds. Here are some of the results

Lindsay finally showed us how to embelish our printed pieces, with snippets of fabrics and threads before finally adding the piece to a background before stitching  Here are a couple of Lindsay's pieces that she is working on.


Thank you Lindsay for a lovely day. We had better get stitching !!!

Monday, 26 June 2023


 Anne Brooke - Vintage Postcards

We had a fantastic lecture from this well-known embroiderer, who has become an internet sensation with her Sew4Soul, 52 Tags, 52 Flags and her Wobble Gobs. she is known globally and is one of the loveliest people you could meet.

Anne talked about her life as a teacher, and how she got into blogging on YouTube and Kofi.

We then had a brilliant day sewing Vintage Postcards, as seen above.

Anne provided the postcards, all collected over the years, and we set to making our own tutored by Anne in a funny, engaging, informative and brilliantly taught way!
nothing was too much trouble and Anne had provided many items to help us achieve great results.

These were the two Anne finished in the day as she showed us the processes and we all finished with a wonderful postcard as a fabulous reminder of a most successful day.

If you want to find out more about Anne and her wonderful projects, look her up, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Margaret McQuillen - My Ecclesiastical Embroidery

Margaret started her embroidery journey when she completed her City & Guilds in 1995 and her first ecclesiastical embroidery was for her brother-in-law in Looe. Margaret made a stole for him and there were various technical logistics to work out, such as the sizing, the Celtic cross design, the threads to use, as well as the balance of colours and different fabrics needed.

This led to her first altar-piece for a church near Truro and again it was important to use the colours and designs that reflected the church itself. Margaret then started taking commissions for ministers and churches nearer home, a wedding stole for St Michael's in Tettenhall, as well as a larger piece for the church in memory of a friend's husband. Margaret has found silk dupion works well for altar cloths and the mixed silk packs for the details. St Cuthbert's Cross was not the easiest design to stitch!

The altar piece was sewn in three pieces and had to be hemmed in situ, as it was too big to be stitched anywhere else!

Lockdown meant that churches were closed and Margaret looked to other projects, many masks, lots of rabbits, a memory bear out of a uniform for her grandson, as well as indigo dyeing, lampshades, Japanese Boro work, and joining in with the Tags and the Flags on-line with Anne Brooke, who we are looking forward to welcoming to our group in May this year.

As lockdown ceased, more commissions came in from St Benedict's in Wombourne, St Paul's in Pendeford, as well as churches farther afield such as the Peak District. It has been a busy six months with 21 ecclesiastical items being finished during this time.

 You can see that Margaret often uses the shape of the dove design to reflect the shape of the flames to further enhance the balance and design of the pieces.

A clever use of an embroidery stitch on the machine produces a realistic text for the Bible design. 

 Celtic designs are beautiful but very complicated to make sure they are stitched the correct way. Many other biblical designs are used to reflect the communion table in her work, as you can see from the images here.

Margaret enjoys the challenge of this work, as well as making a significant contribution to many churches and minsters around this country and hopes to continue this work for many years to come. Please contact her for further details.


Monday, 20 February 2023

Jo Hill Workshop - February 18th

 Several members had a very enjoyable day with Jo Hill, machine stitching, some were very new to this technique and Jo provided an enjoyable and well taught day as seen by the work produced by the members. 

I am sure you will agree a good day had by all!


Thursday, 26 January 2023

 Lord Mayors visit to see the Commonwealth panels on display at the Rep Theatre, Birmingham  18th January

Several  of our members took part in the production of panels representing all the Commonwealth countries that took part in the Games last summer.

After they had been on display at the athletes village at Birmingham University during the Games, they are now on display at the Rep Theatre in Birmingham.

Here are a few images of the panels on display being shown to the Lord Mayor and showing some of our members who were involved.

Our thanks to Gill Gregory and Anne Haigh from Birmingham Embroidery and Textile group, who coordinated the panels and event.