Friday, 29 July 2016

Capability Brown: A Stitched Legacy

Capability Brown: A Stitched Legacy

After nearly twelve months of hard work we have finally collected in members' work for our forthcoming Capability Brown exhibition at Park Lane Gallery, The Silk Museum, Macclesfield. The joint exhibition with Macclesfield branch is due to open on 17th September 2016. Here is a' sneak peak' of some of our work.

Congratulations to all our talented members!

Belinda Rodway

Judi Brown

Sheila Conchie

Christine Bardsley

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Staircase House

Staircase House

Staircase House is a Grade 2 listed property in central Stockport destined for collapse until, following a severe fire in 1995, funds were raised to allow its restoration.  

Furnishing the house included the commission of a grand tester bed which, of course, required bed hangings in the style of the 16th century.  In 2005 local volunteers were asked to help to embroider the hangings - over 50 volunteers turned up to the first meeting, from beginners to experienced teachers, which enabled several projects to be started.  The group took the name: Staircase Stitchers.  You can read a little more about them here:

The motifs on the bed hangings are slips.  A slip is a design usually stitched in canvaswork, cut out and applied to a woven background.  This meant that all the volunteers could contribute and their names are indeed stitched at the foot of the hangings.

Beautiful work, beautifully made.  Oh, to have been involved.....

Other projects in the house are this fabulous stumpwork mirror and sampler:

We are very fortunate to have this house and embroideries to hand - if you haven't already visited, please do so!
When I posted this I had no idea that our member Belinda Rodway had actually stitched one of the slips on the bed hangings - I hadn't spotted her name at the foot of the hangings.  Well done Belinda!

July meeting - Melanie Kay

Melanie is a Manchester based textile artist who is a former EG sponsored student.  She came to talk to us about her work and her innovative use of non-traditional materials.  Some of her work has involved the use of beer cans :-

As well as embroidery, lots of other techniques are used to decorate the cans including printing, sanding and punching.  The beer cans are more difficult to identify in some of her larger works such as this wonderful lampshade, in which even the fringes are made from cans:-

This piece of work originally formed a table top, underneath glass - when held up to the light it has the appearance of lace!

We are very much looking forward to seeing her next body of work.  Mel's talk was as entertaining as it was interesting and was very much enjoyed by the members and by the visitors who had travelled especially to listen to her.

If you would like to find out more about Mel, to look at her work and read her blog then go to:

Thursday, 7 July 2016

A Play Day at the June meeting

The June meeting was an opportunity for our members and visitors to see and experiment with a number of products and techniques which can be incorporated in embroidery.

Belinda showed us how to use Angelina fibres which can be layered, trapped or bonded, or even used to construct your own fabric.  Judi demonstrated the use of Markal oil paintsticks for stencilling, rubbing or drawing and Xpandaprint was also on hand for creating a 3D effect.


Chris Harris brought along her hand felting equipment and attracted lots of interest.  She also demonstrated on the branch's embellishing machine, available for members to hire.  Ann demonstrated how to use Tyvek and shrink polyester for creating textured surfaces, and Sheila encouraged us all to experiment with painted Bondaweb.

There were plenty of books available for inspiration and ideas but Ann is taking a quiet moment with a cup of coffee:-

Members had been asked to bring along any unwanted samples or unfinished pieces of work which could be sold in aid of branch funds.  These created a lot of interest, and there were some inspirational pieces on the table.

A very busy meeting but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves - if you do use one of these products then please bring your work along to our meetings so that everyone can admire it!

The Radclyffe bed at Ordsall Hall

In 2015 Ordsall Hall in Salford raised funds by offering the opportunity for supporters to have their name embroidered on a bedspread to be displayed on the Radclyffe bed.  The bed, heavily carved with many animals, was made in the 16th century and can now be seen proudly wearing its embroidered bedspread.

As part of a project by the Guild's North West Region some of our members contributed towards the embroidery on the bedspread  - the photo isn't easy to read as the Hall is quite dark - but the members are Christine Bardsley, Ann Cornes, Chris Harris, Pat Manchee.

The bedspread is a beautiful achievement in a very historic setting, and well worth the effort of a visit.