Sunday, 19 June 2011

hand sewing

not thrilling, but spare moments in the last few days catching the interlining in along the seam allowances.

listening to audio books and even watching pattern design videos without words whilst doing it!

Friday, 17 June 2011


of a metal sort going into secret project no 2 today.

Sorry for the crypticness lately! hard to post about something you are not meant to reveal yet but have got to the point where you need to spend every waking moment on!

but you can use your imagination.

PS Blogger if you don't mind, I would prefer you didn't keep adding extra spaces! I can add my own thank you.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sounding board

On Thursday's my friend Pat comes round for a while. While she is here, she often helps me get my head full of ideas into a bit of focus to what I really do want. Most times this is without her saying a word! I start to tell her what I have been doing and we head to my studio. Then, as I explain to her what I have been thinking, suddenly I am able to see in my head what will be best. Or while I am fiddling with something to show her what I mean, I work out how I will actually be able to accomplish it. and a lot of times I get further ideas... meaning I dig around in piles and cupboards for just that thing which will finish off a look.

Here is the idea that got refined while Pat watched and nodded in the right places.

Thanks Pat. You are a good listener!

Sometimes when my son is here, he gets subjected to the same treatment. But he isn't always aware that all he needs to do is listen! If he is in a can-be-bothered mood, he can give some good visual advice. when he is in a can't-be-bothered wish you hadn't asked. ;-)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Secret project

As I said, I finished the main part of Secret Project no.1 the other day. I am working on something to go with it, but it isn't crucial.

I deliberated quite a bit about Secret Project no.2, but finally settled on a design a few weeks ago. I had some natural coloured silk twill and a box of Dylon machine dyes I had hoped to change it with. I had already bought some lining; the nearest to what I could get to the blue on the box. However, when I opened the box ready to do it...well it said not to use it on silk. At that point it was do it or don't do it. So I did it anyway! I figured I was still open to the results to lead me for how I would develop the design so even if it had holes, I wouldn't mind.

Well, I am so glad I did it. I absolutly love the colour! It is almost a periwinkle blue and there is a subtle shine from the silk that catches your breath! and then to top it off, you could not get a better match for the lining if you tried. (the light is shining off the part next to the silk, but the darker section behind is more like the true colour. Well, I know people don't see the lining, but for me it makes me more confident if I have lining that isn't just making do.

And here is the amazing thing. Today I cut out the skirt, and the parts for the bodice and even started sewing things together. Some of the reason I managed to do so much today is because at least 3 filling up my head sorts of things are done now. It does help to focus if you have room in your head!

done things
-took down the TVCQ exhibition from the museum yesterday - done.
-5 out of 9 students submitted drafting folders which I marked and then the college internal verifier agreed with the marks. All 5 got distinctions for those units! - done
-a decision on major headachey issues over a particular matter with one of my group looks like it is going to turn out for the best. - done

I need to find out how to insert a tick. I love to tick things off a list, don't you?

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TV offcuts May meeting

Amongst the silence in May the sewing group also had a meeting. We meet at the community centre on the last Saturday of each month from 12:30 - 5:00pm.
Because it was a bank holiday weekend, there was only a handful of us. But actually we were all very productive.

Sheila put linings in curtains she was making.

Gill G was making a pattern off of a favourite shirt.

Gabrielle whipped out this top

and worked on an unusual pattern that took some figuring out.

Gill C was making a dress from Japanese themed fabric her husband had bought for her.

I was working on Secret Project no.1 (still) At the meeting I was hemming the sleeves. In fact this past Friday I finally finished the whole thing! At one point I realised it would have been better if I had interlined it, so I ended up finding a way to do it after the fact.
I am working on an accessory now.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Design day at college

So, all that was just a start on catching up on things that went on in May when I rather ran out of time for posting.

During the days I have been working on the Secret photos to speak of except maybe this?
A jacket that has lost it's sleeve - I am still trying to get a jacket toile to fit. So I finally decided to remove one sleeve from this. The hang was right even though the shoulders need taking in and down 1 inch. So, if I ever fix it, I am going to need to take the sleeve off anyway at the shoulder. So I took it off and sorted the alteration and then traced it off to use for a pattern for the jacket. At this point in the progress of these projects, I think I am going to decide that high summer is not the best time for jackets that I have run out of time to make!!

another Saturday was taken up with a full day of design work with the students in the C+G course. There were so many Bank holidays scheduled during the actual course time that we were in danger of needing to meet right into August! So, we had to sessions in one on the Saturday.

Here is a little of the work that was going on.


a collection of experiments by Francis

 combining rubbing patterns

 applying the designs to the craft - fashion
more design work by helena

Sunday, 12 June 2011

TVCQ workshop and private view

We had a couple workshops at the Museum during half term. Mine was swamped with families! But the one the next day only had one child.At our workshop, we had strips of felt to make a weaving.

Here are some of the works of art. Some liked a minimal look, some liked strings hanging off.

This little girl decided she wanted the hanging strips looped back on themselves. Yes! someone who thinks outside the box!

We also had an interactive activity where people could poke bits of fabric into a foam base and create their own pattern.

It has been popular, especially with the children of group members who were waiting while mums chatted!

We also had a selection of samples people could touch and get an idea of how some of the art has been made. It was popular as well.

So, there you have to whole exhibition experience. Sadly, yesterday was the last day for the exhibition. We will be taking the work down on Tuesday. It was also the last day for the Museum to be open in the current venue. There will not be space for a gallery at the library where the Museum is moving. unfortunately for the majority of the exhibit the museum artefacts were being packed up. So, there wasn't opportunity to compare the work with the artefact which inspired it.

We were able to hold a private view on the 4th of June. The Museum employees and volunteers were also invited. At the private view and through the week we had quite a bit of interest from other galleries who wanted to have us show work. We are hoping this exhibit will be shown next year at the National Needlework Archive in Newbury. This is good because it is open for a longer period during the week.
photo by Nigel Bird
The Mayor of Bracknell attended our private view. We meet in the Birch Hill Community Centre which is in her constituency.

Watch this space and go to the group blog where more photos of the private view and for further information of what is going on!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

TVCQ exhibition - 6

I showed a few of the pieces to the right of the door in the first post. Since I went with my husband to the exhibition on Wednesday, I was able to get a few better photos.
This a general photo of the whole area. You can't see Clare's piece with the wings or Gaynor's with the mangle as they are behind the pillar and Marion's ghost dress is nearer the door.

So a reminder: Marion's ghost dress
Chris' shoes
Delia's samplers
Sheila's cyanotype shoes

Next is
Clare's 'wings' - Clare was inspired by angels in the stained glass window of one of the churches in Slough. She used various contemporary versions of goldwork and embroidery techniques to create the centre portion to fit with the wooden wings she had been gifted.

and Geraldine's People's Cathedral - Geraldine came to the reveal meeting with the central square completed. She had ideas for the surround, but had only been able to complete that much along with her C+G course. So, we all persuaded her it WAS good enough to go in as it was. And then she went home and by the next morning had added the surround that it has now. It is beautiful!

As I said, the Gaynor's mangle piece is on the other side of the pillar above the interactive area. This is a better photo and with detail. I tried to get it so you could read it, but it might not be very clear.

On this side you can see Linda's piece inspired by a mammoth tooth in the museum collection. She used photos printed onto fabric combined with fabrics with a bit of an ancient feel.

The installation piece below is Vicki's work using silk paper techniques.
She was inspired by a photo of the Salvage Kid whose job was to collect paper from being wasted in the war. Some of the salvage was from bombed letterboxes.
The piece is very poignant as you are encouraged to consider what may have happened in lives of people whose letters didn't reach their destination.

Today is the final day of the show. The museum is closing as well. Due to funding cuts they have had to move. They will be in a small room in the Central Library, so no room for galleries.

However, we have hopes for the show to go to other places! I won't say till the agreement is final, but we are excited about it!

Friday, 10 June 2011

TVCQ exhibition - 5

Today I will start with the 3D pieces.

Annie was inspired by Slough as a town itself and depicted it as a recepticle. In the inside of her bowl is a patchwork map of the town with the railway and the roads that lead into Slough. The outside represents the variety of cultures that make up Slough.

Next in the centre is my piece. I haven't got a photo on the reveal day, but you saw it in my lounge. Here is a photo showing both sides. I was inspired by the little doll corsets, but wanted to enlarge it to make it unrestrictive and flexible, with even the colours of stitching showing that fashionable toys are for all children rather than the wealthy whose parents would have been able to afford corsets for their dolls.

Next, a photo of the back corner of the gallery. There is a portion of the wall that is set out from the wall I was showing yesterday.

The piece on that wall is by Christine who was inspired by the irons in the museum collection...even one called Fairy Prince! The irons brought back memories of her grandfather's kitchen.

In the corner is a 3D suspended piece by Margaret R. She saw the Taplow vase in the museum which is in many pieces, but is displayed in such a way as to let the mind fill in the gaps. She liked the openness of the vase displayed that way and wanted to represent it through repeated drawings of the vase displayed in an implied vase shape.

The back wall is filled with work by Jane G.

Jane saw a bottle and book in the museum relating to an embrocation. In researching the salve, she discovered it was said to be helpful to both humans and horses! She was able to obtain her own copy of the book and used some of the illustrations to create a series. The muslin over the pages and the red stitching give quite a feel of wounds and bandages.

In front of Jane's work is another 3D installation by Ros. Ros saw some of the old tins the museum had and created some with a political twist. Bandages, Salve and Polish in the style of old healing potions these offer universal cures for what is wrong in the world!
Tomorrow the rest of the items that are in the alcove are to the right of the door when you enter the room.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

TVCQ exhibition - 4

More from our exhibition. To read more of the stories look at the catalogue here.

The first corner you see when you walk in the door of the gallery.

Jane E's piece about the comets was shown the other day.

Next in the corner is Margaret C's installation. Margaret was inspired by another of the artworks in the Slough high street. She printed sky birds onto mull and rolled it into 2 tubes. She found the best way to show all the way around was to put in front of a reflective surface. The sky birds are printed at the back as well.

Here is the full wall that faces you when you come in the door.

So next is Kate F's piece about Herschel's telescope. There is a model in the museum collection. Kate often works structures into her pieces. However she said she struggled this time - thus the title Herschel's Nightmare!

Somehow I missed out getting a close photo of Mary's piece at the reveal, but here it is at the museum. She was inspired by the variety of architectural structures at the Slough Trading Estate. The combination of roof shapes and piping really work well together.

Sheena also thought about the trading estate, but from a political perspective. So there is a hint of the buildings but with economical references and the word Slough stitched repeatedly.

Elaine was inspired by the artefacts of Horlicks items in the museum collection. In her research, she discovered alot of information about Horlicks tablets and recorded it in a visual way in this piece.

Merete was looking at the Mars factory and found that there is a place online where you can design your own M+M's! So, here is her version of M+M's with the sun, sand and sea elements which often show up in her work.

Carol was thinking about the manufacturing as well - the manufacture of bricks that Slough was known for. She depicted the layers of history through the variety of bricks shown in the piece.

Tomorrow I will put in the 3D pieces in the centre. You can see Annie's in front of these pieces in the photo of the full wall.