What a delightful afternoon for our June meeting, listening to a talk by Lara Sparks. Judging by the numbers of questions and the throng round Lara’s display table, Lara’s talk was enjoyed very much by members.
Lara told us about a world that most of us know next to nothing about, which is the world of embroidery designers working in the fashion industry. Lara worked in various roles, for example designing and providing the prototypes of embroidery designs for high-end fashion houses making wedding dresses. She recounted one disaster when, after two weeks of stitching the embellishment on a very expensive wedding dress, the sewing machine had a hissy fit and sputtered oil onto the white silk. Oops. Then Lara had a stint of doing embroidery designs for women’s and men’s fashions, as well as designing for children’s clothing. Now she works on embroidered cushions, lampshades and home furnishings and exhibits with the Sussex Guild of Craftsmen (the next exhibition is this coming weekend, Sat 16th-Sun 17th at Parham House).
The drawing and design skills learnt during Lara’s art-college training have stood her in good stead. At one stage she was having to come up with one, sometimes two designs per day, not only drawn but also stitched.
See some of Lara’s work below here, with kind permission by Lara to include images of her work on our website. There is great enthusiasm to invite Lara to run a workshop for the branch. If a date is arranged for this, then Ann will let everyone know in the newsletter. To see more of Lara’s work, go to her website: http://www.larasparks-embroidery.co.uk/
Look at this gorgeousness that was made by Lea Dishott on the recent workshop with Isobel Moore. The workshop was machine embroidered swirls, using fabric, printed paper with a light colour-wash, ribbons, braids and bits and bobs. Wonderful. It sounds like a fabulous workshop that was really enjoyed by everyone. If anyone else would like to send me a photo of your work from the workshop then it would be good to see some more.
Here are some more ‘works in progress’ from the day. It would be lovely to show some of the finished pieces if anyone would like to send them in.
The April workshop group spent the day making quilts for Charity Quilt Day (photos by Linda Hoddy). Linda wrote: ‘We made dignity quilts for Worthing Hospital which are used in A&E, High Dependency and various other departments. They are used instead of clinical NHS bedcoverings to make sad family times more comfortable’.
This week we had a fascinating talk from Jennifer Hughes, who shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the textiles of Burma. Jennifer brought a wonderful collection of textiles with her to illustrate her talk, some of which she modelled for us. Great hilarity was caused by her demonstration of how and why men and women tie the wrap-around ‘longhi’ in different ways (don’t ask!)
There were some wonderful little snippets of information. For example, every man in Burma has to be a monk for a period of time, so every family has a connection to the monastery, and religion is closely woven into the fabric of society. Another little snippet was where the term ‘white elephant’ comes from. Apparently pale-coloured elephants were prized, but a ruler could cause frustration and embarrassment by giving someone a white elephant. The elephant would take great time and expense to care for, but the recipient could never get rid of it as it was a gift from the ruler.
At our March meeting, members enjoyed a fantastic talk by Isobel Moore, who shared some of her wonderful machine-embroidered textile art with us. Her work (and her talk) were so well-liked that the forthcoming workshop on the 26th April booked up almost immediately. Don’t despair though, if you go on the waiting list then you may just squeeze in if there’s a cancellation.
Look what the Workshop Group made this month. Pam Bennett wrote: ‘Here is a photo of my finished zippy bag from our last workshop. Hope to make a couple more for Christmas presents. Thanks to Wendy for an excellent day’.
It would be good to add more photos if anyone has them.
P.S. I am trying to get my head round a different way of sending new posts to people who have subscribed via the link on the Home Page. If you receive spaghetti instead of something sensible, please let me know!
At the February meeting, we were treated to an interesting talk by member Ruth Walker, who talked us through her ‘textile journey’. Ruth brought with her a beautiful collection of her work, including machine-embroidered bowls, pictures and bags. By her own confession Ruth has quite a ‘thing’ about bags, and they are such a good vehicle for displaying a range of techniques. Ruth also showed us a wonderful range of designs based on peacocks. Some years ago she was treated to a magnificent display by a peacock who shook his tail-feathers at her and ‘strutted his stuff’, and peacocks have featured in her work ever since. Thanks to Ruth.
We had a whole-day meeting this month, so there was plenty of time to ‘sit and sew’, and to see what people are working on. Jill showed people the results of a recent embellishing course she has been on, and demonstrated how she makes background fabrics using scraps and threads (don’t forget that the branch has an embellisher that you can rent for just £5 a month). And thanks for the encouraging feedback on the website everyone. Do keep sending in the photos – we are starting to build up a good range in the ‘gallery’.
Is anyone else planning to take part in the Embroiderers Guild 100 Hearts project? The plan is for members to stitch hearts in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The guild will exhibit them across the country in groups of 100, and I think they’ll be at Ally Pally too.
I’m planning to make one, in memory of two great-uncles who died in the First World War, one on a troopship and one in the battlefield in Flanders. If anyone else from Worthing Tuesday is doing one, it would be good to photograph them together before they go off.