Summer School – dyeing all sorts!

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Some of the results of two days of dyeing!

What fun we had!  Liz Mullenger, ably assisted by Helen Sill had planned the Summer School so that we were able to try various techniques to transform plain white fabric into colourful works of art.  The first challenge was ice dyeing where we covered our fabric with ice cubes and then sprinkled procion dye powder over it in colours we liked. As the ice gradually melted, it took the dye through the fabric with magical results.

The second day we washed out the dye and were delighted with the results!





We tried flour paste resist, painting with dye onto fabric, and used soya wax to create a resist before painting the created spaces with dye.

The second day we mainly concentrated on the Shibori method of resist, followed by dyeing the pieces in Indigo dye.  Here are some of our beautiful handiwork.


As you can see we had a busy two days but we were very pleased with the results.


July meeting

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In July we were delighted to welcome back Sharon Hurst  who regaled us with a deeply personal talk on how how her professional interest in both textiles and painting had helped her survive very difficult times.

She has travelled to so many places sharing her expertise, and encouraging others in our wonderful artistic world. her latest triumph is a TV programme – how far and what circles Sharon has achieved!  Just two of Sharons amazing works of art.

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Pamela Smith Arts and Crafts Movement in Russia

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Pamela gave us a fascinating talk about the Arts and Crafts Movement in Russia.  Intrigue about the subject was awakened when her husband was sent to Moscow professionally with his work at the British Council. She was fascinated by the traditional even weave white linen with mostly red stitches.  Some centres recognised the beauty of these garments and household textiles,  and carried on the tradition.

Pamela explained that the fashion for huge exhibitions prompting elaborate structures, and the works exhibited there often ignored their rich history and tradition.

It seems that the beautiful “peasant ” works of technical artistry were over looked when it came to exporting their textiles, or selling to the emerging tourist industry.

Pamela told us about the museum in Halifax where the mayor who had worked in Russia and seen the beautiful traditional and practical embroidered garments wanted to display examples of Russian textiles.  A fellow councillor was about to visit Russia and was tasked to purchase examples to be displayed in their new museum.  On his return, his purchases proved to be a disappointing pile of tourist standard work.  Apparently they have mainly been consigned to the Museum store and not displayed.

For more information about Pamela’s research go to her site:



April Meeting- Michele Carragher

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For our April meeting  Liss in Stitches had the pleasure of Michele Carragher coming to speak about her work as an artist and embroiderer for film and TV.
Many will recognise her work from Elizabeth I, Game of Thrones as well as other productions. Her work amazed us all – the research, planning and execution of the most stunning hand embroidery.  Michele explained about the challenges of working on film and TV sets – getting used to tough deadlines and horrors of horrors the scenes being cut from the film!
We were equally delighted to have  48 visitors join us for the talk, including several students. Find out more about her stunning work at her website.

March Meeting – Helen Sill

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We had a most fascinating evening – no one wanted to go home!  Helen showed us many examples of Kantha which is basically using running stitches to make a  shape or pattern.  It was and maybe in some places still is a practical way of stitching together old saris to make warm bed covering.  In the west we have discovered it as a of embellishment.

Often a pattern is added to the shape. Here are some of Helens examples and our “work in progress”.  We had a great time and thank you Helen, one of our members, for showing us this fascinating technique from the Asian sub-continent.

Works in progress






Information for March meeting -Helen Sill Kantha Creatures

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Requirements List

  • Basic sewing kit – needles, pins etc.
  • Perle, DCM or Aurifil threads – (don’t buy anything specially)
  • 3 pieces of thin plain cotton fabric no bigger than A5 size (any colour) – these will be layered on top of each other and quilted together (top layer could be thinner fabric)
  • Pencil

February meeting – Wrapping Stones!

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A very enjoyable evening was had on Tuesday 19th February with an activity wrapping a stone run by members Liz and Ann. A stone was chosen and members then wrapped in handmade felt, stitched to hold in place and then embellished with beads, buttons and any other treasures they wanted to include. The activity was incredibly therapeutic and a real winner with all who took part.


We also brought to the meeting, pages we had done for the Fair Trade fortnight display in Petersfield.  Our contribution is going into One Tree Books and Mike has designed a fetching display.