Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hot Textiles - North Kent Embroiderers Guild June 27th - and feed dogs!!!

Newspaper decorated with painted Bondweb, silk fibres, glitter and transfer foil.

On Saturday I drove over to Meopham in Kent to teach one of my last one day workshops. The workshop was Hot Textiles, working with Bondaweb, Tyvek and Lutrdur/Vilene Spunbond. As some of you will know, I no longer take bookings for one day workshops, you can never get enough done. This workshop was booked 18 months ago. 
Having given a lecture to this group the previous Saturday in Gravesend, I knew I was in for a good day with plenty of fun and laughter. 

We started off painting up the Tyvek, Bondaweb and Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond.
When working with materials that distress with heat, it is important to know how to apply colour to them, most importantly, how thinly to apply the colour. If the paint is applied too thickly, the paint will form a barrier and form a resist to the heat.

The group painting up their products.

The Tyvek is always the first to dry - so we we experimented with that.

This is one of my samples, you need something to look at!! 75gm Tyvek painted with silver paint, once dry it was printed through an ink jet printer, distressed with an iron between baking parchment and decorated with gold transfer foil.

I, of course was so excited with what the students were doing with the Tyvek, I forgot to take photos . . .

I had better luck with the Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond. The group really enjoyed working with this versatile product. We didn't have time to get out the soldering irons but we did have fun with the heat guns.

Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond coloured with watered down acrylic and Inktensesticks. Inktense pencils or sticks are great for colouring Tyvek or Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond as it dries waterproof.

We looked at 'cutting' the Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond with heat guns.

And layering the cut strips . . .

A fabulous edge can be created with a heat gun, As long as the colours are muted, you can see the edges.

Layering up and then choosing the thread to stitch it all together.

Lovely colours, ready to be layered.

Layering and decorating Bondaweb was also popular with the group, such a simple process that can layered with all manner of delights.

Painted Bondaweb ironed onto gold polyester organza, decorated with silk fibres, transfer foil and glitter.

Newspaper decorated with painted Bondaweb and strips of torn fabric.

Black pelmet Vilene light decorated with painted Bondaweb, threads and sequins.

Black pelmet Vilene light decorated with painted Bondaweb, transfer foil, glitter and snips of polyester organza.

 Newspaper decorated with painted Bondaweb, transfer foil, glitter, snips of polyester organza and sequins . . .  in no particular order.
This Guild is very organised and good fun to be with - if you live in the area you fancy joining, and I would recommend it - this is their website.
 You can go to a meeting as a guest, have a look at their lecture timetable - they only have Maggie Grey lecturing on the 18th July. It will be very entertaining.


During workshops there is always chat amongst the group. We got onto the subject of sewing machines and feed dogs, and why feed dogs are called 'feed dogs'. We couldn't work it out between us - so I put it out to the Facebook community (the joy of the internet) and within 10 minutes we had several answers. The most succinct was from Jaqueline Duff-Turner - 

A dog is a device which transmits or prevents movement by clamping or releasing; e.g. A dog clutch which has castellated gears which match to transmit torque or if separated allow the power source to rotate but not the driven shaft. I guess in the case of the four motion feed on a sewing machine the logic would be that the foot clamps and releases the fabric against the toothed or serrated dogs which move it forward or back. Hope this helps.

It all makes sense now - I love having questions answered. There are always questions I can't answer when I am teaching, I love to find the answers and I find the Facebook community very helpful.
Have a great week and enjoy the sun. 


                                         25 days to go Jill - whoo hoo!!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Upcoming workshops and planning ahead!

Painted Bondaweb decorated with snips of polyester organza and hand stitch.
Hot Textiles workshop.

I am now back in the swing of things, I hadn't quite appreciated that the knee op would also affect my brain!!! It has taken a long time to get back to 'normal'.
I have been planning several trips, both here and New Zealand, and am looking at what is coming up.

There are a couple of spaces left on my workshop for the North Kent Guild in Meopham, Kent this weekend. (June 27th) The workshop is Hot Textiles. If you are interested do email



There are also a couple of spaces left on my workshop 'Colourworks' at The Bridge, Brighton the following weekend July 4th & 5th. We will take a look at colour theory (we all need it!) and then go on to tear, cut, curl, pleat and manipulate paper to create beautiful, colourful vessels, book covers or a wall piece.
phone 01273 687053


Looking ahead to 2016

Looking ahead to next year, I am finalising my dates for my 'tour' of the West Country. I will be teaching a design based workshop at Roseland Mew Studio on the 28th & 29th April and my newspaper and machine embroidery on water soluble fabric workshop for Sylvia McCann in Babbacombe, Torquay 5th - 7th May. I can take on extra workshop either side of theses dates. I will be choosing which workshops I teach at which venue very carefully, I don't want to overlap.
Do email me at if you are interested in booking me to teach a 2 or 3 day workshop.

Fancy a workshop using heat tools and sparkle? Then book me . . . .


Looking ahead to 2017

A sample from the 1 day the transfer printing workshop at Palmerston North.

Yes! I know it is a long way off - but long haul trips need a lot of planning. I have to book long trips around the shows and my monthly Experimental Textiles course.
I will be spending 6 weeks teaching in New Zealand - 3 weeks on the North Island and 3 weeks on the South. I have booked out from 10th April - 21st May 2017. I already have one booking for the first week on the North Island so it would make sense to 'do' the North Island from the 10th April 2017 and the South Island from the 1st of May 2017.
If any groups are interested in booking me, do contact me - 
There were various expressions of interest when I taught at the Quilt Symposium in Palmerston North in January - now I just need to start firming up dates and venues. It would be wonderful to see some of you girls again.

One of the happy students on my newspaper based course at Palmerston North.


So, that's enough seeing into the future, let's hope we all live that long . . . .

My next post will be after the weekend and my Hot Textiles workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the ladies last Saturday when I gave a lecture in Gravesend. They are great fun and very organised. I am looking forward to a day of organised chaos and more fun on Saturday. Whooo hooo!!!!

The sun is shining as I write this and it feels WARM - wow! Must hang some washing out . . . .

x x x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

ExTex 4 Weekend 1 June 13th & 14th

The girls getting stuck in.

We have started again - Experimental Textiles 4 has begun. There are 9 students in the group, Trisha, Karen, Caroline, Rosie, Anna, Jackie, Catherine, Joe and Nadia. They are a fabulous group, coming from all areas of the UK, Scotland, Manchester and North Yorkshire as well as the Birmingham area. We had a great time together over the weekend. In the first session we work on design formulae and isolate designs ready to make printing blocks in the next session.

We started off by painting 'The Journey'.

Building up the shapes and lines. The students are asked to paint a journey, it could be a walk on the moon, through an enchanted forest or taking the children to school. It doesn't have to be representational.

The 9 journeys all lined up.

Sections taken from the journeys.

The next design exercise was one I use called 'Expanded'.

And then the next exercise was 'flipping out'.

The next stage was to take 2 sections from each exercise.

Taking sections with 'L' shapes is very simple. Working with 'L' shapes is a great way of looking, deciding how much of one shape to leave out and which line to leave in.

Once the designs are isolated they are traced off using tracing paper.

The designs are then transferred onto cartridge paper or into a sketchbook with carbon paper. 

The transferred designs are then painted in 2 colours.
Playing with colour. It's good to work with different 2 colour combinations

Another way to use the designs is to flip and mirror them. This is really simple with carbon paper.

Some of the flipping and mirroring.

Anna taking a section . . .

Flipping and mirroring the design using carbon paper.

New designs are then created. I do love this technique. You can do this by scanning your design into your computer and flipping and mirroring in whichever photo/art program you use. 
But I like to do this the old fashioned way.

Our next session is in July - but before that there will be the first session of ExTeXtra, the continuation course for my ex students. July is going to be a very exciting month. 


This Saturday I will be delivering a lecture - Textile Travels - at Gravesend library for the North Kent Embroiderers Guild. It's good to be back at work.