Monday, 30 March 2009


The Weaving Industry
The second Hands-on session based on weaving, used the industrial landscape as a design source, using small wooden hand looms, picture frames, stiff cardboard or weaving sticks. 
Any materials could be used and could include wool, fleece, torn fabrics, embroidery threads, sticks, wire, beads, buttons  etc……..

This technique has been very popular with our members and a lot of work has already been completed, but the one thing I found difficult was keeping the weaving straight. 
I am told there is a knack and I’m sure I will get there in the end – with a lot of practice!!!

A selection of the pieces are shown below.

DSC04054 Choosing wools – we inherited a large box of wools of all kinds, which have been very useful for this project.

DSC04056  Just starting  -
Our only gentleman member with our student member who has continued with us after her YE membership.

Work in progress.

 DSC04101a Heather landscape

IMG_0354a The Old Mill

Look out for our next themed hands-on session which will be based on Coalminers and their ‘Butty Boxes’ or ‘Tommy Tins’ as they were known.

Saturday, 21 March 2009


For 2009 it was decided that the theme for these sessions would be Local Heritage to include Canal Barge Painting Designs, the Weaving Industry, Coalmining  and Seaside Saucy Postcards. 

The first  of the sessions was Barge painted designs – using stencils and print blocks which could be made by the members – based on the bright, bold colourful designs seen on canal barges. 
The outcome of this session was to create a design and make a bag (like the bags used to feed the horses who used to pull the boats); a small purse or a ‘dolly’ bag.

D101 E124 LS
    Getting ready to paint and print!!



      Bags with printed design on calico


    Bag with stencilled  design on calico

Look out for more of these sessions – the next one will be Weaving.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


For the past few years we have held 3 or 4 of these  sessions  as part of the Branch programme; usually run by Branch members.  
In 2008 we decided to follow a theme for the year, which was ‘Making Bags’.
We started with a session of painting and printing on different fabrics, using a variety of techniques – from Transfer printing, Markal rubbings; Wax resists with over painting; Roller printing and many more.
Below are some members concentrating very hard on  rubbings using Transfer Crayons and Markal oil sticks..

D78 E089 CLS c  

The second session covered the finished shape to be cut from these fabrics,  using sheer fabric overlays, layering up with padding for quilting,  if required and different stitch techniques.
The third session was for added embellishments – beads, ribbons, and other decoration and the final session included finishing off and cord making for handles, straps etc.

IMG_0362   IMG_0392 IMG_0390
Some photographs of members finished pieces are shown above.

We are continuing with themed sessions in 2009, which will be revealed with more photographs  in another article.

Monday, 9 March 2009


This full day workshop was run by Karen Hurrell, one of our branch members, the aim being to make beaded balls for a bracelet.
When I arrived at lunchtime, the hall was in total silence – I wondered if they had gone somewhere else, but NO they were all concentrating so hard they didn’t dare to speak in case their counting went wrong!!!!

As you probably realise from the above comment, I am not a beader – firstly I can’t see to thread those ‘so fine’ beading needles and I get frustrated if things don’t grow quickly enough for me. I love the look of beaded pieces – when someone else has made them, but they always look so complex
SO I had just gone along to this workshop to take photographs for this blog and, as I thought, to have a chat – OH NO!!!!!!!!! –no talking, it would put them off.

So I made their tea and then sat reading the Beading magazines that Karen had provided for members to see finished pieces, articles on beading and complicated patterns – which definitely confirmed my thoughts on beading – it is not for me.

However after all this negativity I must say that although you don’t achieve much even in quite a few hours, what is achieved is worth waiting for. I will just have to resort to buying pieces from other people. Maybe one of the students on this course might like to make me a very complicated and very long, multi-row necklace! !!!! I might have a long wait though.
Well done all of you – I am sure you and Karen were pleased with what had been achieved.

IMG_0373 Concentrating hard!!IMG_0374 Hands On IMG_0375 Work in progress

IMG_0381 Finished pieces

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Four of our Branch members – Sue Abbott, Karen Hurrell, Monica Selway and Marjorie Williams currently have work on display as part of the ‘One Step On’ group, whose exhibition is at the Chapel Gallery in Ormskirk until 4th April (closed Sundays and Mondays).    For further details see their Link in the list to the right of this page.
Their exhibition runs alongside the main exhibition called  
‘Inspired by Nature’  and this includes the work of Anthea Walsh whose work was shown in the March edition of Embroidery magazine.

Two pieces by Marjorie Williams are shown below -

Marjorie-One Step1       Forest Fire

Marjorie-One Step2   Bryggen

A necklace and earings by Karen Hurrell

IMG_0439   Summer Berries

Monica’s work includes the Blue Basket – shown below under Chairman’s Challenge.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


We had a very interesting one day workshop in October with Ann Christy making Textile Miniatures.
We started the day with some very simple and interesting design techniques which gave ideas for our pieces. 

Ann had brought along a variety of  her finished pieces which included cards, book covers and panels – all made using her technique of using up small scraps of fabric and thread and these helped us to focus on the balance and structure of our pieces.
Everyone worked very hard to make many small ‘Works of Art’ some of which had been embellished with beads, buttons, ribbons etc.
Photographs of some of the finished pieces  are shown below.

  DSC04100       DSC04099        IMG_0349