Thursday, 2 October 2014

Historical costume

Our Guild recently held its AGM meeting at Malmesbury Town Hall.  Our meeting was over quickly and we were treated to a fascinating talk about their love and involvement with historical costume by Franchesca Caton and her husband Jon.

They took us on a whirlwind tour of beautiful historic houses where they visit, alongside hundreds of other enthusiasts, historians and designers to enjoy and display the beautiful costumes they have made.

Franchesca and Jon showed us how the ladies' dresses would have been worn, with each layer being tied on - no buttons or zips in the eighteenth century.  Franchesca is the seamstress, while Jon constructs the hardware - the stays (not corsets - an entirely different garment).

Jon and Franchesca - dressed beautifully for the occasion.

Examples of Franchesca's incredible sewing and embroidery skills.

Learning more about historical costume.

The back of Franchesca's incredible ensemble.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

National Celebration Day of Stitch

On Saturday 2nd August a few of us were at the Jackdaw cafe in Malmesbury Town Hall to promote the annual National Day of stitch.  The day is designed to introduce people to stitching for the first time or to enhance existing skills further.

Janet Casselden our Branch Chairman took along her lovely handmade textile doll that was inspired by the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph.  Some of our other members Carol and Mary were completing their needle felted birds that were started at one of our workshops. Joan was continuing with her latest needlework project.

We were situated at the front of the cafe in a good position to display our group banner.  This was completed as a team by all our members last year for all future events.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Summer Garden Party

Nicola Goodwill kindly hosted our annual summer garden party again, which was a lovely evening for those of you who could come along.  It was a glorious summers evening and really enjoyable.

We all contributed to a shared evening of supper, chat and experiencing the wonderful silks/ribbons/threads which were kindly bought along by Mulberry Silks (Patricia).  It was also a reason to celebrate as its been 10 years since our our group was originally founded.

There were some of us who managed to enter the annual competition - well done if you did - the theme was 'a container' of some kind.  We all voted and Carols' entry won.  She was very pleased to be chosen and given a voucher to join one of our workshops for FREE as a prize.

And finally - i  (Rachel) won the raffle :) i was quite pleased x

Monday, 21 July 2014

Poetry in Stitch Exhibition

Our members enjoyed creating and displaying a number of pieces using various
embroidery techniques and artistic methods. These  were appreciated by many visitors at our
recent Malmesbury Town Hall exhibition.  Here are a few examples of them.

Here is a small selection of the artists/makers pieces to show a variety of methods. 
From left to right they are as follows :-
Maris Cole , Mary Hills, Steph Whateley, Janet Casselden, Susan Sutton, Gilly Pain, Ursula Ackling, Joan Wigmore, Rachel Hatchard, Carol Bates, Mary Clarke, Heather Martin.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Poetry in Stitch

Please come and see the wonderful and creative work stitched, quilted and embroidered by our members.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

"Sketch to Design" Workshop with Sian Martin

We were asked to bring along a flower with beautiful petals and colour to learn how to find shapes in our flowers to create decorative floral patterns in our sketchbooks.

These are the sort of petal forms we were aiming for throughout the workshop.  We all had a fun workshop with Sian our tutor creating forms with flowers.

Starting off
Sian started us off by drawing petals without taking the pen off the paper followed by recreating the petal shapes in wire. Threads were then used to create smaller shapes and areas across the wire.

Here is one of our group concentrating hard to create a shape with wire, based on her drawing.  Her plant is a wonderful snakeshead frilliary - really nice choice.

The next process
Once our petals have been structured it is time for the next stage. This is when we dipped our petals in paper pulp and then dyed them.  Once they were dry we could then add stitching and beads to embelish.

Our creations - lifted from a sketchbook
Our aim was to create petal forms realistic or abstract - these could be used for decoration or in grander pieces of work.

Monday, 27 January 2014

"Tear, Layer, Stitch" Workshop with Alison Holt

We had a wonderful day on Saturday with Alison Holt. Her work is truly inspirational and she generously let us in on several of her techniques and tips. Those of us that were there thoroughly enjoyed the day. More examples of her work can be viewed at

A seascape by Alison for inspiration 
Starting off with a demo
We are started our day with a demonstration given by Alison on the basics of free machine embroidery.  She gave us a good overview of how to begin and progress.  Beginning with looking at inspiration and deciding on layers and colours.

Alison brought a wide selection of threads to help us choose just the right colour.

Here are some of our creations at various stages.

Monday, 20 January 2014

New Year, New Stitches

As we approach the end of the first month of the year, thoughts turn to our Summer Exhibition at Malmesbury Town Hall (20 June - 11 July).

Entitled Poetry in Stitch, the exhibition space has been booked for almost two years.  Malmesbury's Town Hall is a popular gallery space in the area and receives many visitors from the town, villages and beyond.

Members have been asked to create one or several pieces of textile art based on a poem or lines from a poem.  A meeting is being held next month to start to pull together ideas and support each other in preparing work including its presentation in a gallery space. 

If you would like more information about the exhibition, please return here as we'll post updates as the opening day approaches.

Happy New Year