Sunday, 23 March 2014

Richly Stitched Metals at The Great Escape 2014

Metal and embroidery by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
Richly Stitched by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

About a dozen tutors, both local, national and international, and a couple of hundred keen embroiderers’ met this weekend at Orewa near Auckland to have a fabulous time stitching, eating, chatting and walking on the beach for the annual ‘Embroiderers Great Escape’
I had been invited by the kind invitation of the Great Escape committee to join in and get people using their sewing machines with metal shims and fabrics.
Jo Dixey was teaching appliqué with landscape, Alison Coles was over from Aussie teaching beautifully fine goldwork, other tutors were teaching printing, sashiko, Indian embroidery, lace braids and counted thread work.
Alison Coles gave an enthusiastic and passionate talk after the formal dinner showing images of her epic Italian tour, chasing just about every display of goldwork and other embroidery Italy had to offer. I suspect we all want to go now, though I doubt I have the cheeky and bold personality to talk my way in to the out of the way places she did!

The aim of my course was for everyone to get a feel for the metals and how to manipulate them and some of the techniques for creating effects with stitch, using lovely velvets as our backing to add richness to the projects.
Here are lots of pictures of our weekend. If Carole, Rosemary, Gillian, Gina, Olivia, Patricia, Meg, Fiona, Deborah, Jenny, Pat or Liz send me images of pieces when they are completed, I will add them to this post.

I am always happy to see samples being made and added to workbooks for future reference –they can be invaluable. I know that at least one set of the samples will be added into a City and Guilds folder.

All hard at work

Samples to be added to a handmade sample book

Additions to C&G coursework
Another method to create a lovely sampler, which is also a finished piece, is to make small individual samples then attach them to another backing fabric and couch a big twist of fabric or cord between the samples, this both draws the samples together and separates them, so that the original small pieces don’t have to be thought out and matched up beforehand.  
Big smiles, even after being forced to make cords and hand couch them down!
I think that I had my youngest ever ‘participant’ – at 9 weeks old, Kate was a welcome, and amazingly quiet, addition to the group let her mum also get on with lots of stitching!
Amazing what you can do in between feeding babies!

The third option was to create a simple design with areas into which the different techniques could be added as I introduced them, concluding in a piece which used lots of techniques but had been designed as a whole piece in advance. 

Coming on really well, and where was that slight oops? I'll never tell.

Don't close your eyes when machining - never a good plan.

What only 3 complete pieces so far? (There's always one quick worker)

Another prolific stitcher - a sample cloth and a piece all pretty much complete.

Just a few more twists of stainless steel fabric, stitching and beads to go. The background had been made with bondaweb and tyvek - perfect for finishing this weekend.

During the weekend everyone got on really well, and was able to take home work which was needing just final flourishes using the beads or threads that you didn’t bring but know you have ‘just the right one’ in your stash at home. 
Here is how some of them went home:

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched With Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden

Richly Stitched with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden


Well done all – participants and organisers alike.


Maggi said...

Fantastic results.

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meg said...

Thanks for posting these images, Alysn. It was such a fun weekend and you were such a patient and inspiring teacher. I have beaded one side completely (baby knitting has been cast aside as I work on something far more thrilling), and I have decided on how I want it mounted. My embroidery ladies love all of the shiny things on this embroidery and want to come and raid my husband's workshop! Thank you again for a great weekend.