June Meeting

A bit late this month! However this evening we are welcoming Caroline Bell showing us Eco Printing. Unfortunately she is unable to run the workshop on Saturday but is re- scheduled for September 22nd. Many thanks to Margaret Beal for stepping in to run her Burning Issues workshop instead. Sign in at the meeting.
Don't forget your items for the Hearts project and Show and Tell.
Also you can book for the visit to the Knitting & Stitching Show.

Tibetan Rugs, Designs and Natural Dyes with Alain Rouveure

On Monday 21 May 2018, Alain Rouveure, accompanied by Krishna and Raju Lama, came to talk to us about the work he does in Nepal, helping Tibetan refugees.

Alain first visited Nepal in 1979, when he took a year out to travel in south east Asia. He took time to meet the people and became emotionally and culturally involved with them. He met up with very skilled craftsmen in rug and carpet making and encouraged them to develop their skills using traditional methods. Instead of catering for the tourist market, he helped to set up workshops where good quality, natural products could be produced.

This has involved using natural dyes gathered from plant material in the local countryside and hand spinning good quality yarn. This process, of course, makes every product unique. His workshop also provides a kindergarten for the children of workers so that families can stay together and he does not allow any child labour. Alain returned to the UK to set up a gallery in the Cotswolds, to sell the rugs and carpets as well as other artisan products.

He brought examples of the work that the craftspeople produce, including brightly coloured scarves and hats.

Over the years Alain has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Tibetan refugees, by encouraging basic social work in rural communities and sponsoring children through education. He has also set up the Alain Rouveure Nepal Fund to provide health and education to vulnerable children. He travels to Nepal twice a year to oversee his projects.

Many thanks Alain, for a fascinating talk and a insight into your inspirational connection with Tibetan refugees, whose lives have been improved through your passion and support.


As usual, before Alain's talk, we had notices and members were then invited to 'show and tell'. As you can see from the picture below, we have produced a wide variety of embroidery and everyone's work was greatly admired.

May Meeting

A trip overseas this evening to see the beautiful traditional textiles of Tibet being produced by refugees living in Nepal.
A chance to book for 'Introductory Eco Printing' on 23rd June, our final workshop before the summer break  and reserve your place on the trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show.
And much more - a meeting not to be missed!

Silk Painting Workshop with Helen Mortimer

On Saturday 21 April 2018 we met up at Goodworth Clatford Village Club for a silk painting workshop with Helen Mortimer. Helen had come to speak to us on the previous Monday so we were all very excited about trying out her techniques for ourselves.

She started by introducing us to the products she uses and the effects that can be created by using wet and dry silk.

We started by stretching the silk over wooden frames and then experimented by adding colour. Helen then showed us how adding salt to the silk would concentrate the colour as the silk dried. We started to work and were delighted with the emerging designs. She then showed us how a drop of alcohol would disperse the colour.

Of course the time soon whizzed by and by lunchtime we all had a few pieces ready to be steam-fixed. Fortunately Helen had brought a steamer with her, so we ate our lunch with the steamer gently gurgling in the background!

In the afternoon we worked on patterns and were shown how to use gutta as a resist.
Many thanks Helen, for a super workshop.  We are all delighted with the designs we managed to produce, as you can see from our smiling faces.

Silk Roots with Helen Mortimer

Helen Mortimer came to talk to us on Monday 16 April 2018.

She started by telling us about her background. She studied at Amersham Art College and then spent three years at Portsmouth University taking a Fine Arts degree, where she specialised in silk painting.

She developed a love of colour and has found great pleasure in drawing and painting architecture, including towns and buildings such as churches.

Helen took a break from her work to raise a family but her love of art remained strong and she went on to study for her PGCE.

Helen introduced us to the types of silk she uses: Ponge 5 and Habotai 8. She showed us how to prepare the silk for both wet and dry painting and the differences between the various types of silk dyes. Helen then went on to demonstrate how to work with both methods and the effects that can be created by applying salt and alcohol to the surface. She explained how gutta works and then how to fix the silk dyes to make them fast.

Thank you Helen for a very enjoyable, informative and inspiring talk. It was fascinating to watch your demonstrations and to see how the colours can be manipulated to such wonderful effect. We are all looking forward to the workshop you are running for us this Saturday, when we can try out all the various techniques for ourselves.

April Meeting

A busy month ahead. Firstly, at the meeting, Helen Mortimer will talk about painting on silk and then on Saturday 21st she will lead a workshop on how to fix silk paints.
There will be lots of things to sign up for as well as the Workshop:-
Helping to man the stall at the Farmers' Market in Andover on 20th May and 17th June
Stitch day at Weyhill on Sunday 13th May
Coach Trip to the Kitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace on Sunday 14th October
With updates on other activities in the area, a meeting not to be missed!

Materials and Techniques with Angie Hughes

Angie Hughes came to talk to us on Monday 19 March 2018. She brought lots of examples of her work to show us and pieces were passed round during her talk so that we could see the details and intricacies of her work.

The first embroidery she showed us was of a poem stitched onto a background of curtain interlining that had been painstakingly worked on to look like cobbles. It had been made for the Ledbury Poetry Festival in 2000. Angie explained how she achieved such a wonderful effect.

Angie then told us of the techniques she uses in her work, including funky foam printing and machine embroidery. She enjoys using whip stitch and cable stitch and introduced us to Wonderfil spaghetti thread. She also uses freezer paper to block out sections of a design so that different colours can be applied to the same surface.

An example of Angie's vivid imagination was demonstrated in the sample to the right. It is made from a Ferrero Rocher wrapper, turned into a checkerboard and then embroidered further.
Angie then went on to talk about working on black and white velvet. She uses spray paints, ink and bleach to create a magical effect. Her artwork is enhanced with the application of stencils, foiling, bondaweb and organza. Afterwards she adds machine embroidery.

Thank you so much Angie for coming to talk to us. Your talk was very informative and enjoyable, and it was a pleasure to be able to examine the details of your work in the pieces that were passed round.