Monday, 15 February 2016

Speed Stitching - it's a bit like Speed Dating!

Question: How do you create 40 pieces of  6" x 6" embroidery in 60 minutes?
Answer: 40 embroiderers and Speed Stitching !!!


The rules:

  • Three tables of Stitchers; 
  • A piece of 6" calico per person;  
  • A tin of scrap fabrics and a box of threads on each table; 
  • Every 20 minutes the fabrics and threads rotate onto the next table;
  • All work is collected at the end of the 60 minutes.


The aim is that all Stitchers in the room have access to all the colours and textures on offer and have very little time to think about their design - they just grab fabric and thread and sew! - oh, and no-one is allowed to take work home! - this creates the incentive to sew as fast as possible. Raw edges and experimental embroidery are welcomed (and don't forget your 1/2" seam allowance all around the calico).
This is how my design evolved. It's surprising how much sewing you can acheive in an hour and how much chatting you can do too!







These final stitched squares are to be pieced with this green linen to create a table cloth for an Embroiderers' Guild event later in this year.

It was a brilliant group activity. We had a room full of very happy, chatting embroiderers.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Liberty Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London


As you might have gathered from some of my previous posts, my textile chum and I have regular trips here, there and everywhere in search of the latest inspiration in pattern and cloth.
We both dabble in embroidery and felt-making. I have a background in patchwork and quilting and my chum is a tailoress.  Every now and again we come across an exhibition that enthrals and captivates us. The Liberty exhibition ticked all the boxes. The Fashion and Textile Museum's fabulously high ceilings and interchangeable space was arranged to display the pieces beautifully. Many of its previous textile exhibitions haven't been behind glass enabling visitors to see each garment up close. The Liberty Exhibition was no exception. You could see every stitch, texture and surface embellishment unhindered so the true beauty of the fabric shone through.
We were taken on a journey through time from the Court Dresses of the 1900's, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Swinging 60's through to Liberty in 2016.
Here is a just a flavour of the exhibition - enjoy.

1900-1910 Court Dress and Afternoon Dress, Spitalfields Silk Brocade
Early 1900's Kimono Style
Embroidered detail - Kimono Style garment
1910 -1920 A celebration and revival of the art of Smocking 
Smocking detail
Smocking detail and Dorset Buttons
1930-1940 Silk, Cotton.
Garments mainly made by dressmakers, but some are beginning to be commercially made.
1950's A revival in Art Nouveau patterns.
The Swinging 60's. Influence by the pattern of Art Deco.
Cotton, Cotton voile, Cotton Velveteen, wool, Tana Lawn.
1970's Nostalia. Tana Lawn
1970's - Silk, cotton, velveteen, wool.
1999 - Collaboration with Jimmy Choo
Liberty in 2016
 The photos capture the essence of the exhibition which finishes at the end of February 2016. I can definitely recommend a visit - especially for the Liberty fans out there.
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