Monday, 25 October 2010


The colour raffle this month is entitled ‘Misty Mornings’ – shades of grey, silvers etc.

Copy of Colour raffle 001

NOVEMBER MEETING – Saturday 13th

Our November meeting will be a talk by Lizzie Wall entitled ‘My Quilts and Other Animals’.
Lizzie will be bringing a collection of her miniature quilts which combine fabrics and free machining and which will be prior to the workshop on Applique Quilts that she will be running in March next year, so we hope to get lots of ideas to get us going.

Look forward to seeing you all there with up to date news on the Project Linus Group which we hope to start soon.

We hear that  both John Clark and his grand daughter Sarah Ruaux both had work exhibited at Alexandra Palace which will  also be on show in November at the Knit and Stitch Show in Harrogate.
Sarah was awarded the Young Embroiderers’ De Denne prize for her embroidered clogs which you will remember from our Open Day in May when they were on display. A picture of the clogs can be seen on the blog entry for May 12th.
I for one will try to get along to see their work – many congratulations to you both.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Unfortunately due to low booking numbers we have had to cancel the ‘Tassels and Braids’ workshop with Marge Quinn,  to be held on Saturday 6th November.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Our meeting on Saturday 9th October was well attended for the talk by Sheila Smith who told us about how felt originated thousands of years ago in Central Asia.  It was an important part of life for the Nomadic people who created tents made from long strips of felt which could be rolled up, bags and carpets, for easy transportation of their homes when the shepherds were  looking for new grazing areas.

Sheila had attended a symposium a few years ago in Hungary which included workshops on inlaid felt, run by women from Kirgizstan.   She had several samples of this technique, including 3 or 4 she had made herself, plus a lovely little traditional doll made by the women – picture below.


Sheila passed around many samples of her work, from the early thicker pieces to the very fine work she likes to create now.

She described the making of Nuno felt onto scrim or silk chiffon as a backing fabric and the use of prepared needlepunch felt which is available widely nowadays.

For those of us who like to recycle old knitwear, Sheila had made a bag from an old sweater – but warned that if you want it to shrink by washing in the machine, first make sure it is pure wool!  It can be very disappointing to open the washing machine to find the sweater has only partially shrunk due to a mixture of wool and acrylic fibres having been used.  Her warning was – read the label first!  All is not lost however as it can be attached to a layer of needle punch felt and worked on an embellishing machine – hers was a bag to be proud of.
(Note: On the other hand I had the terrible experience of washing my daughter’s sweater purchased in  American with the USA flag on the front, and which had been worn once – put it in with other washing at a cotton setting!!!   Need I say more – it would have fitted a small baby – wish I had had my embellisher then – could have made her a very nice bag!)

The photographs below show some examples of Sheila’s work.

Part of a waistcoat front using grey wool fibres, black silk chiffon and painted silk flowers.

Sample technique piece used as a demonstration at a show – hand punching knitting wools and fibres into a pre-felt backing.

Bags need to be made from a thicker felt and are made on a template the shape and size of the finished bag – a lot of hard work – I know I have tried this method!

Thank you Sheila for a very entertaining afternoon.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

October 9th – Talk by Sheila Smith

Sheila, a renowned feltmaker who teaches in the UK and abroad; writes regularly for magazines and is the author of several books; will be talking about the Contemporary Felt Scene, which will be the talk that was cancelled from last January due to bad weather – I think Sheila was snowed in, in deepest Yorkshire.
Those of you who know Sheila will know what a good tutor she is and we were all pleased with the end results of our labours at the day workshop she did in March – so can I suggest that all of those who attended, bring your finished (or otherwise!!) work to show Sheila and other members of the branch.

If you want to see the what Sheila does, her books on the subject are – Felt to Stitch; Embellish, Stitch and Felt and another written with Freda Walker – Feltmaking: the Whys and Wherefores.
She also has a website – Felt by Design.

  so will include browns, rusts, golds etc.

Colour raffle