Jessie Chorley at the Guild

My place had been booked for months for this ‘Embroidered Handkerchief’ workshop. I was so excited. I love Jessie’s style of work. She incorporates found objects, re-purposed and vintage textiles, story telling, printing, and plenty of hand stitching.

By Jessie Chorley
Jessie Chorley
By Jessie Chorley
By Jessie Chorley
I have been following Jessie Chorley’s work for a number of years now and have been lucky to attend many of her weekend classes at Hope and Elvis – all truly wonderful.  This workshop was nearer my home and with my girlfriends at the Hertfordshire Embroiderers’ Guild.
I had offered to be hostess for the day (involves keeping the tea flowing throughout the day and providing lunch for the tutor) which kept me rather busy, so I spent more time thinking about my sewing than actually doing much of it. Which was quite nice.  I hadn’t really spent a day like this before. It offered me the opportunity to revisit the same piece of work throughout the day, audition threads, fabrics and ideas, until I was very content with my choices and started sewing (quite late in the day). I also stitched a pin onto the back of one of Jessie’s heart buttons and adding it to my apron. I love it!
Work By Jessie Chorley
Having met Jessie before, I knew that she loved vintage everything. A perfect excuse to raid my vintage linens and vintage china to make her lunch special.
By the end of the day, many of the faster stitchers had completed a tremendous amount of work. I am always stunned at the Show and Tell. Each person has been given the same guidance from Jessie and yet each has created such different pieces.
Our Show and Tell
It was a wonderful day. I haven’t been on any form of workshop for quite a few months and I really have missed doing them.
As a quilter in my previous life, I used to attend and teach a great deal of patchwork and quilting workshops. Each class (or rather the quilters) were rather driven to achieve something substantial or an objective – like a quilt top – by the end of the day (quite a lot of sewing). Since I have moved into hand embroidery, I am more content with the design elements of carefully positioned coloured threads and fabric scraps – ‘slow-stitching’ – and have enjoyed my workshops more as a result. Just giving myself ‘permission’, the time to think, has made a huge difference to my work. I now go home with my mind buzzing and several more projects developing.
I forgot to mention, Jessie gave us each a gift at the start of the day – some pieces of her new printed fabrics. They are so yummy.
Goody bag
She had also brought some goodies for sale. Some of her printed tea towels gave home with me.
Jessie’s new book is out 15th August 2015. More photos of it to follow in a later post. I have had a sneak preview and it’s a purchase I would definitely recommend.
The brand new book By Jessie Chorley

Game of Thrones – The Embroidery of Michele Carragher

I’ve been a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones for many years and have taken a keen interest in the show’s costumes. I knew very little about the creative mind behind them until I stumbled upon an opportunity to meet London based Michele Carragher, the Embroiderer on a Game of Thrones.

Specialising in hand embroidery and surface design, her work is breath taking. She layers detail on detail, bead work, fabric painting, brocade, thread, applique and then adds textile manipulation to create exquisite pieces of art.

Game of Thrones - Michele Carragher
Michele Carragher

Game of Thrones – House Stark

Michele’s embroidery is incorporated into garments, cloaks in addition to the  iconic collars from Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
A large piece of cloth is stitched with lots of hand embroidery before being cut away and assembled into a finished collar.
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
Each collar has it’s own emblem. The Fish Crest from House Stark is embellished on this piece.
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar
Game of Thrones Embroidered Collar

Markmaking

Michele’s work also utilises techniques and skills gained whist working in textile restoration.
The starting point for the following designs is lightweight organza and muslin fabrics. Hand drawn lines mark the way ready for the application of embroidery and bead work.  The finished garment is then layered  and appliqued with the cut away designs.
Game of Thrones Embroidery
This embroidery appears on the dress of  Myrcella Baratheon in Season 5
Game of Thrones Embroidery

Embroidery Short Cuts

Patterned and pre-embellished fabrics, lace and brocades are used as a starting point for some of her pieces.  Michele explained that this is sometimes taken as a shortcut for selected garments which are unlikely be seen up close on camera.  Each fabric is further embellished with even more bead work and embroidery.
Game of Thrones Embroidery

Daenerys Targaryen

Each character has  garments themed around their own personality. This includes the choice of  colour and the type of technique used to create the design. This piece was made for Daenerys Targaryen and includes her iconic Dragon scales.
Game of Thrones Embroidery
Game of Thrones Embroidery

Game of Thrones and the White Walker

If you’ve enjoyed this gorgeous Stitchery and want to see more embroidery from Game of Thrones, check out Michele’s website.
There’s also a detailed blog post about the White Walker and the Hardhome Embroidery.

A Vintage Weekend away in Manchester

To have family who are as bonkers about vintage as I am is wonderful. So to have a weekend away, mixing family time with not one but two vintage shows was a true delight.
Being in Manchester I of course had to start my stay with a curry on the famous Curry Mile – So nice!

The next day was shopping time. Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was heaving with stalls and shoppers. I have been to vintage fairs before but never in a university city. So many students buying vintage! They have very good taste. We came home with goodies including a vintage Levi jacket and a small leather case that might end up as a new sewing box.

Shopping galore!
Homemade cake on vintage china
The following day was my first ever visit to the Textile Society’s Antique Textile Fair in Manchester, (organised by Decorative Fairs) and I was not disappointed. The range of goods for sale was everything from buttons to hats, quilts to hair pins. My only two problems were not having enough money or a large enough suitcase to take it all home with me! Next year I think I will be better prepared and take my car (don’t let me husband know). The whole selling space was one big bag full of inspiration – colour, textures, pattern, worn & aged and everything had a former life (which I love – if only the pieces could talk!).

 

 

 

 

 

By the end of the day I had bought a coverlet top from County Antrim in Ireland, lots of small quilted pieces and a huge safety pin. I had talked to some wonderfully knowledgeable people and made some new friends. A truly, perfect day.