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Here in Victoria we are still restricted in meeting due to Covid-19. Our April meeting was Easter Saturday and a complete shut down so wasn’t held at all. For May our program was a ‘making cords’ round robin. The three cord techniques we were going to demonstrate and try were a braided cord using a recycled cardboard circle, a twisted cord made on the sewing machine using the bobbin winder and Effie Mitrofanis’ lovely wrapped cords from her book Threadwork.

The details all went out tour members to try at home. Thank you to Robyn for sending through photos and descriptions of her bobbin twisted cords.

1. Three sewing threads 2. Hand dyed silk ribbons. 3. 12 strand variegated silk thread, silver metallic thread, cotton and metal thread. 4. Gold and bronze braids with string.

And these are some of my braided cords:

And one of my ‘Effie’ wrapped cords. I must do more of these as they are very therapeutic. Effie has lots of possible combos and examples in her book to try.

We are waiting to see if we can meet together rather than apart for our June meeting on the 13th.

Thank you to Gillian and Carol for inspiring us with their fabric paper examples for our March meeting. We had a wonderfully relaxing and productive afternoon chatting and collaging a variety of paper and other items onto fabric to create pieces of fabric paper for further embellishment. Hopefully we will see these made into a variety of possibilities including these wonderful hanging birds:

Paper cloth birds

The application of this one simple techniques resulted in great diversity. Meg’s piece showing a progression as more strips were added.

Jenny created two quite different pieces.

Laurene’s variety of different items -top and Rhonda’s retro pirates and mermaids -below:

Gillian in progress -top and completed -bottom with the dark shadowing giving great effect.

Carol displaying her great compositional skills

Gail – top and Gillian – bottom using bright colour combos

And my quite subtle combos using a variety of tissue papers, teabags and dyed silk rod (requiring some more embellishment -possibly printing.)

Our group will be participating in the group challenge for our Embroiderer’s Guild exhibition in September. The theme for the challenge is “Something in the air”. For this we are creating LP or EP record covers of songs that reflect the theme. Below are some of the interpretations: Carol’s Space Oddity and Laurene’s Somewhere over the rainbow.

Record covers

Last month wings were made and today they reappeared as winged creatures:

Winged creatures
Winged

Some of Laurene’s book pages from her wonderful textile books:

Bookmaking

We now have a break for Easter Saturday and will be back in May for a cord making round robin.

Wings

Wings were the focus of the meeting this month. Gillian demonstrated the techniques for making stump work wings. Hopefully, there will be lots of Showa d tell next month.

The beginning of the wings, couching down the wire.

Same concept but using machine stitch

Work in progress

Show and Tell, fish from Laurene

Detail of Carol’s sea quilt.

It was great to see a good collection of fish and soft sculptures at our December meeting. 

Some other work 

Baskets from Jo

Reverse appliqué from Jenny

Lost in the Bush from Robyn Carey, third prize – other medium, seniors exhibition, GAS

Simple Soft Sculptures

Simple 3D or soft sculptures with our theme ‘From the Sea’ to inspire us. 

A mini workshop with a few tips and tricks on how to create a small soft sculpture. First up create your pattern. The idea was to start with a simple flat shape such as an image from a child’s colouring book.

Make the pattern and simplify some of the shapes.

If you are going to make multiple it is a good idea to make a card or plastic template to trace around. Trace around the shape and stitch on the line that you traced using a small stitch length (1.5) then cut away the seam allowance. This much easier and more accurate than adding a seam allowance, cutting out and then stitching.

If only making one you can stitch onto a paper tracing of the pattern, cut away the seam allowance and peel/rip the paper off.

Turn the sculpture to the right side

Stuff the sculpture and stitch the opening closed. This sea dragon has also been stitched around on the edges for extra reinforcement and texture.

You can also not worry about turning the shapes out. This crab head has the seam allowance on the outside, the edges also teased or fluffed for added interest.

A few tools that can make your life easier, from the top a selection of turning tools, artery forceps and stuffing forks, not essential but can be really helpful.

A bit of sculpting can change your flat shape and give your sculpture some personality. This fish is ready for decoration.

Some paint or decoration can also make it more interesting.

Fabulous Show and Tell

Janice came with some machine embroidered fish and jelly fish.

and some starfish

Some fish in the making from Meg

Gillian has been busy creating her unique fabric for her sculpture

A jelly fish from Lorene

And a piece of white stitching

Jill came with an artist book in progress

The cover

And some pages

Twining and Stitching

Our October meeting was a continuation of the twining and stitching demonstration by Kerrie last month. There were many pieces in progress as well as some people to teach twining who had missed the September meeting.

Jenny worked on twining some recycled fabric:

Twining

Carol’s twining was becoming a seashell, recycling a border cut from fabric in nautical colours.

Seashell in progress

Twining using tissue paper:

Twining with tissue paper

Some finished tiny vessels in tissue paper and fabric:

Rosalie trying a different technique of coiling:

And my works in progress. A hanging nest and a freeform basket based on tidal pools which will be further embellished:

Carol recently had a wonderful week at the TAFTA Geelong Forum and had brought her beautiful concertina book:

Natural dyeing and printing

Making twine with tissue paper or old dressmaking patterns is a simple process that creates surprisingly strong cordage. The same technique is also very useful for using up strips of fabric or even creating thicker cord from string or embroidery thread. The finished twine can be used for wrapping or a thread to couch down, however, I like it best for making simple pots or baskets.

These little pots except for one were made using twine made from dressmaking patterns, torn strips of calico or silk. The exception was made from repurposed window sashing cord.

A selection of materials to be use

First a demonstration and then the group were ready to start ‘twining’

The pots start with a coiled and stitched base

 once the base is a big as you want the twine is stacked and stitched on top of the base.

There was also some work from the group to admire. We all love a bit of show and tell.

Carol has already finished her piece using the ‘From the Sea’ theme. A fabulous concertina book with heaps of textile art and mixed media techniques.

Fabric and mixed media books from Jill.

Rhonda brought along some pieces featuring acrylic paint pouring