Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Researching new products

What you can do with ribbon, or maybe this was stiffened paper.
(Image courtesy CHSI Stitches)
Blogger and BDEG member Ann Somerset Miles was privileged yesterday (23rd February) to attend the final day of 'CHSI Stitches' - the trade show at the NEC Birmingham for stockists of a huge range of creative products. As Ann said, "being the final day, the hall was relatively clear of crowds meaning it was easy to talk to those suppliers in the stitching and mixed media world whose products I wanted to earmark - and maybe purchase - when I return to the public show in March." 

A tutored workshop trialling new products.
(Image courtesy CHSI Stitches)
The public shows are organised by the same Company (ICHF Events), and I'll be making a beeline for 'Sewing For Pleasure'  which is on from 17th-20th March. A bonus is that one ticket also admits visitors to three other related shows: Hobbycrafts, Fashion & Embroidery and Cake International the latter not open on 17th). Click on the website above to buy tickets in advance. And if you're quick, and lucky, you can book into a short workshop when you will be guided through the use of new materials.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Welcome to our Blog

Members enjoy coffee and a chat before the speaker embarks
on a fascinating illustrated talk.
It's exactly two years since we set up a Blog under the auspices of a Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild whose name often did not surface. Older members new exactly who we were! Circumstances and times change, and we have found it sensible to adapt. 'Cherwell Valley' as we were until late in 2015 was not conducive as a branch name to internet 'search engines'. Which meant it did not accurately represent the area from which we actually draw our members. Our new name, 'Banbury & District', describes our location far better, and we can more easily canvas new members and visitors with this new name. In this day and age, no-one can totally ignore the internet, if survival as a group is of paramount importance. Which, in our case, it is.

So, for readers of this Blog, our increasingly wide catchment area encompasses the environs of Banbury, north Oxfordshire, north Gloucestershire, south Warwickshire, south-west Northamptonshire and west Buckinghamshire. Some members and friends travel further distances than this - a hot cup of tea or coffee will await you on your arrival. All are very welcome. (Here we are all creating small samples for a folded fabric book that will become one of a selection of examples showcasing different types of work.)

Our gatherings comprise a range of activities: from illustrated evening talks and practical sessions with speakers, to full-day tutored workshops, and a recent innovation entitled 'Sewing Days', held from 10.10am to 2.00pm, with each participant bringing a picnic lunch. (Members in this group are making notes at a workshop tutored by a textile artist who uses acrylic paints to create a base fabric prior to stitching.) 

Chatting about possibilities before getting down to work.
Our new 'Sewing Days' allow us to meet informally to work on the 'Broughton Project', or alternatively to work on our own stitching activities. An ideal time for experimenting or trialling new techniques. All very relaxed and perfect for anyone who might like to experience the friendly and welcoming nature of our Banbury & District group. Do join us - the next 'Sewing Day' is on Friday 26th February, 2016.

Above:  a settee within the Castle which will look even more
fantastic when displaying some of what we are creating,

Many of members' Broughton Project cushions are progressing well, others are still in their infancy. We are honoured to be exhibiting at Broughton Castle - some of us spent some considerable time there in the Autumn, discussing what was needed whilst taking hundreds of photographic images to be used as source material.  On the right, a rich and beautifully tactile completed cushion. Member Julia S. is already working on her second effort.)