The year is off to a good start. Gillian organised and presented an excellent tutorial on hand made rolled beads using paper, fabric and Tyvek and then felted beads.

Tyvek beads

Cutting the pre painted Tyvek, Gillian used Lumiere paints which have a lovely metallic quality.

The strips are rolled around a bamboo skewer and then fused/melted with a heat gun.

Paper and fabric beads, embellished with metallic threads and seed beads

Rolling strips of fabric or paper around a bamboo skewer and fastening with PVA glue. Embellished when dry.

Felt beads

Making the beads with wool tops, a jar (Pavlova Mix container works really well) some water with a few drops of detergent and some vigorous shaking.

Show and Tell

Janice made a series of postcards and found this chest to put them in. These were made in response to the fortnightly prompts.

Kerrie made a collage book / glue book in response to fortnightly prompts

Rhonda finished her book in a tin from the Christmas meeting.

Meg showed progress on a contemporary piece, painted and stitched piece in an online class


Presenting Works

May’s meeting was led by Jenny who took us through several considerations when thinking about how to present works for display, either in an exhibition or in your own home.

Some points to consider are:

  • Focusing attention on your work
  • Extending the feel of what you have created
  • Preserving the work – enemies of textiles are light, moisture and insects
  • Securely fastening all aspects of your piece  – safety and climate
  • Being mindful of the finish of the work – doesn’t mean the finish has to be traditional but purposeful. Be aware of all aspects – front, back, all around in 3D

We then discussed artworks people had brought along and how they might be presented. Some novel ideas were led lights and a wire lamp frame and a Les Mis guillotine, as well as some serious feedback. See below for some items subjected to the brainstorm of presentation ideas.

Claire’s roses also fulfilled the challenge topic of ‘twist’.

Thank you to Carmel who brought her design book along and took us through her process from photograph to finished and framed artwork.

Thank you Jenny for an interesting and informative workshop.


This meeting the focus was on fold. Looking at various ways that fabric could be folded and used in textile art.

Folds, tucks and pleats, left as is, couched down or maybe used as a canvas for some embroidery.

Cathedral window quilt blocks, good for scissor keepers, a decoration or made into a pincushion.

Squares folded and pinned onto a foam shape.

A cute little pine cone decoration.

Fabric bracelets

Made from a plastic ring cut from the top of a yoghurt container, wrapped in a strip of wadding, then enclosed in a strip of folded fabric and stitched down using either a thread that blends or contrasts.

A finished hat pin made with a bead  created last month.

Recycle, Reuse

Recycling, reusing and repurposing provided the focus for our recent meetings. The group was encouraged to look at how ‘rubbish’ or items that might go into the waste stream could be repurposed for art making. 

Janice showing us clever ways to use wrappers, plastic, bottle tops and other discarded items to make small hoops

Jo talked about ways to recycle old cans and metals 

Jenny demonstrated ways to create new fabrics from old with the embellishing machine.

The artisan book group also joining in the theme by reusing a box/tin as a cover/container for a concertina book.


The grand finale or our Christmas meeting. We celebrate with a shared lunch and the making of a small Christmas ornament. This year a simple Santa made with gifted leftover yarns, old string, a small wooden bead and a piece of paper towel roll.

Coloured by Nature

The past few months has seen the group experiment with ways of getting colour and texture onto fabric from plants in the form of natural / eco dyeing  and botanical contact printing, rusting, pounding of leaves and flowers and rubbings from trees and the landscape.

Botanical contact print

Pounding, taken from the Japanese technique of  Tataki zome / Hapa zome


Gathering up the necessary materials for eco dyeing

Unwrapping the bundles

Getting into rusting using the dip technique

Finished items, works in progress and experimental pieces – Some of the fabulous work from group members.

Leaf- August Challenge JoB

The theme for the March  meeting was mark making in nature. Great fun was had by the group as we assembled with our pencils, inks, crayons, pastels and anything else that we could use to put a mark on our cloth. Nature turned on a glorious sunny day that perfect for a gentle stroll. 

‘Rubbing’on the bark of the trees

A resting place to have a group conference and sharing the mark making of our walk.

Some of the work that was brought to the April meeting, all inspired by or referencing the walk along the river.

The theme for the GeeTAG group this year is earth. At a previous meeting members were shown how to create a simple flat doll shape and asked to bring them to the meeting ready to embellish or sculpt so as to create an Earth Goddess. As with many of our activities and projects there is often a bit of time between starting and finishing the project, however, hopefully there will finished dolls that appear throughout the year as show and tell.

These are simple dolls that started their life as flat ‘pancake or cookie cutter ‘ doll shapes. These dolls show a variety of ways to add limbs and sculpt to add further shape to the body.

Some simple sculpting to create a motherly pregnant shape for this earth mother, legs and arms made from wrapped wire.

 In various stages of production

Meg hard at work

Hilary, a visitor, came along prepared with many dolls to work on.

This year we are having a year long activity that is focussed on collage, design and responding to a fortnightly prompt. The works can be glued into a book or made as postcards or maybe both for some.

This goddess didn’t get to the meeting.

And sometimes we get to see some spectacular work. Marina has been working on this during the  Covid lockdown.

Beads and Buttons

It was fitting that we were able to celebrate our last meeting for the you with the glamour of beads and buttons. Laurene brought along a selection of the the very textural pieces that were heavily encrusted with a fabulous selection of beads, buttons and deconstructed jewellery and then gave an explanation of how to construct the pieces.

Beads sorted into colours

A piece in progress

More eye candy

Beaded Pieces  and Hand Made Beads from Gillian

Made Fabrics and Embroidery From Jenny

Bags From Carol

Embellished Traycloth from  Janice

Art Doll from Laurene

The focus activity for the meeting was embossing into velvet. A little research showed a couple of different techniques that required minimal products and equipment and would be simple to do.

A simple process of using a rubber stamp, placing the velvet right side onto the stamp, misting the back of the fabric with water and then pressing with a hot iron.

The stamps, open designs worked the best.

The next technique was to use Lumiere paint and acrylic paint on the stamp

Not as successful but possibly due to poor technique, more investigation and experimentation required.

Embossed velvet made into a small pouch for an amulet or talisman.

Sneak peek of the group entry for the upcoming exhibition, responding to 2020 lockdown stimulus – Covid.

Wild Gardens

What a fabulous time we had in this mini workshop with Gillian. Using the concept of a garden as a starting point and restricting our palette to a range of black and white media we spent the afternoon creating a variety of marks on paper. The next step is to investigate how these methods could adapted to fabric and stitch.

Gillian beginning her demonstration 

And then to work 

More Wild Gardens 

Some show and tell from Claire

Robyn sent in some photos of projects that she has been working  on