Yesterday I had a great day out at Skipton Embroiderers Guild, not only did we have workshops in the morning (stitching doodle flowers and felting) and an inspiring speaker in the afternoon (Jackie Cardy with her beautiful embroidered felt) we also received our Travelling Sketchbooks back from our little groups!
Wow! What more can I say!!!…
It’s absolutely beautiful, I’m thrilled with it, the work my friends have done for me is stunning…
We all wrote a page or two about our inspiration and how we created our entry, mine tended to be pretty brief but some inspiration pages were as much works of art as the actual entry.
The first entry was from Jean Collingbourne, it’s the only one I had very briefly seen when we did the first swap, we were all a bit unsure of what was expected so we did show each other’s entries that month. I love this one and it made me laugh! Her inspiration was a trip up Snowdon on the Mountain Goat train. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales but there is actually a little train that chugs to within a hundred feet or so of the summit. Jane attached a couple of postcards (one written to me!) and even decorated the page with a pen drawing of a dry stone wall. The postcard shown in the photo is the one her embroidery is based on.
Jane painted silk noil with watercolours and then embroidered satin stitch and french knots to give the effect of the steep gullies of the side of the mountain, the effect is amazing. The bit that made me laugh was the red train button attached with a length of silk, I’ve got my own Mountain Goat train to chug up my Snowdon, I love it!
In April Sally McGonigle embroidered me a view of the Rockies in Canada, this is on my bucket list of places I want to visit so I loved seeing the photos she included. Sally visited the Rockies as part of her Honeymoon as she described in her inspiration page. From the photos she included I’m not surprised she struggled to find a favourite view!
Sally hand dyed fabrics and marbled papers to get the effect she wanted and then embroidered and couched the fabrics to create the beautiful scene. I love the way the colours and the textures just give that feeling of the cool, crisp views with glistening snow on the tops of the mountains. I also learnt a lot from this piece as I’ve bought a few ‘textiles’ recently, and wondered how to use them, this has given me lots of ideas on how to incorporate them into embroideries. Sally has run mini workshops on marbling at Guild meetings, now I can see how to use it!
In May Clare Hutchinson created TWO pieces for me!! She was inspired by a holiday to Mexico back in the 1970’s when she saw her first ‘real mountain’. The first piece was a fragment of Shibori embroidery. She spent a day at a workshop in Denton learning about indigo dying using shibori methods. This was some of what she made that day, the shibori shapes reminded her of mountain peaks. I love the simplicity of this piece.
The second piece Clare created is anything but simple, wow! This is the volcano Popocatepetl, complete with a plume of smoke! The beadwork is stunning, these are all stitched on by hand!!!! Clare says she doesn’t want to see another bead for a long time! I think that will be a shame as this is amazing!
In June, Jane Law created a beautiful embroidery of the contours of Mont Blanc. I love the word play on the inspiration page too, set off perfectly by the map behind. I wish I knew how to do that on the computer!
I love this embroidery, maps fascinate me, I can spend hours looking at contours and symbols on maps. When I was planning my entry for the international sketchbook I did recently I did seriously think about doing an embroidery based on maps but I couldn’t see how to do it. Jane’s entry has inspired me to look again at maps and embroidery. It’s beautifully embroidered in stem stitch and the colour changes work perfectly.
The final entry in my book is by Gail Marsh. I always followed Gail in the books as they were passed round, so I knew how exquisite her entries were, but gosh, this is just beautiful! Her inspiration is a gorgeous watercolour she painted from a photo taken on holiday on Spain, it spreads across one and a half pages, leaving a tempting glimpse of the embroidery overleaf.
The embroidery is from two different silk papers which Gail made herself, painted and then machine embroidered. It is gorgeous, the more you look at it the more detail you see. I love the grasses in the foreground made from silk filaments, they just look like they are blowing in a soft breeze.
This piece has inspired me to have a look at silk papers and also to try out machine embroidery as I love the effect on here.
I’m just overwhelmed with my book, I’m amazed at the work my friends put into their entries with hand painted, dyed, handmade papers and fabrics, beading and so much embroidery.
I will treasure my Sketchbook, what more can I say…