Monday 30 April 2012

Stitching, Baking and Cleaning

After my dithery Wednesday last week it was full-on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
There was lots of teaching, lots of cleaning and lots of baking. As well as teaching bookmaking last week I was also at Bee Crafty in Huntingdon teaching the ladies how to make tassels, cords and these beads... all on their sewing machines.

And these were some of the beautiful results. I'm back at Bee Crafty in a few weeks (18th May) making embroidered books so if you fancy joining us give them a call as I think there are still some places left. It's worth it for the homemade cake and biscuits!

The extra cleaning and baking was all to do with our Embroiderer's Guild. We had a social evening on Friday and our speaker was the lovely Fiona Wilson. Fiona was staying with me on Friday night and as the dog has picked this week to go for a full-on moult it necessitated lots of extra vacuuming and washing of floors. And there were cheesecakes to be made for the Guild supper that we provided too. But it was all worth it as Fiona gave a really entertaining talk on how she progresses from design ideas to realising them in stitch, with lots of beautiful examples of her work too... do click the links to visit her website and blog and see for yourself.

And then on Saturday Fiona ran a workshop. I don't often attend workshops as a student these days so it was a real treat. We started with some drawing exercises to free us up and get us thinking about drawing and mark making in different ways. (Yes, I know mine look like scribble... but that is the point!)

We then played around with different threads and different tension settings on our machines to see how many different types of marks we could make with stitch.

Not the sort of workshop where you come away with a finished project...

But one where I came away inspired to develop ideas...

and to think about new ways to approach my own work

Not only was it an excellent talk and workshop but it was fun getting to know Fiona too who was a delightful guest even when I presented her with a jar of homemade jam for breakfast on Saturday that she opened to discover a thick layer of mould on the surface! I've admired her work ever since I saw it at the knitting and stitching show a couple of years ago so it was lovely to spend some time with her... and I treated myself to one of her lovely prints on a wooden block.

There have also been lots of books of one description or another over the past few days too... but I think I'll save those for another post!


  1. She must have been a special guest to get that extra serving of mould with her jam!! ;o) xxx

  2. You have no idea how relieved I am to hear you admit to mouldy jam!

    I do love the tassels you make. Life needs more tassels.

  3. Gina, seems as if you are definitely well over the jet lag!

    Your spun beads remind me of butterflies in waiting. Maybe there is some way to incorporate that notion into something or other?

    I also really like the photos of the machine embroidery exploring possibilities of varying threads and tension settings.

    It is always so much fun to visit over here!

  4. I love those beads and tassels and the print you bought.
    Fiona's workshop sounds very interesting and you have a super collection of machine made markings to inspire future pieces.

  5. I get worn out just reading what you do! I am so pleased that you have had such fun even if there was mould involved. Did she take it off or did you give her a different jar?

  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend Gina. Well, except for the mouldy bits -- that would have been a little stressful LOL!

  7. Sounds like you had a good weekend. It wasn't only the jam that was mouldy the weather wasn't great either!

  8. Love the journey from sktch to stitch, glad you found time to do it.
    Mouldy jam - was it fermenting too?! (That's my specialism!)

  9. The workshop with Fiona looks very interesting and inspiring. It is always interesting to get another perspective.

  10. It was great to spend time with you last week - it was great fun and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

    I am glad the day went well with Fiona - her work looks stunning!

  11. Lovely beads & tassels!

  12. Thank you Gina for such a lovely post about my visit. You were a super hostess and looked after me wonderfully - can't believe you are berating yourself about the jam especially when you take the time to make home made stuff!! Thanks again - Fiona


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