Transfer printing with Avalon Embroiderers Guild April 22nd and 23rd and The Journey at St Ives 25th and 26th April.

Transfer printed acetate satin decorated with transfer printed applique. 

Apologies for the delay in this post - I am just catching up with the teaching I have been doing for the past week or so. These are the first two of seven workshops on my teaching tour of the West Country.

My first stop was Catcott in Wiltshire where I stayed with the very lovey Sue Anderson. The workshop was Transforming Transfer with the Avalon Embroiderers Guild. They are a fabulous group. Very friendly and helpful and they produced some fabulous work. This is their website with contact details. 
If you live in their area, they would be a great group to join, there is lots going on with something for everyone.

Transforming Transfer -
Transfer paints (disperse dyes) are painted onto copy paper. When dry they are ironed onto synthetic fabric. The dye forms a chemical bond with synthetic fabric and is immediately washable and colourfast.
 Painting the transfer paints (disperse dyes) onto copy paper.
While we waited for the painted to papers to dry, the group played with pre printed disperse dyed paper in the form of paper bags and cheap flower wrap.

                        Cut paper shapes ironed onto synthetic fabric.

A beautiful resist print using Physalis seed heads as the resist.
I find using a one colour print helps you see the definition of the seed head. 

Once the painted papers were dry, the group began to iron them onto a range of synthetic fabrics. The papers were torn, layered and used with resists.
You can usually get at least 3 prints form one piece of painted paper. If you keep overlapping your prints you get a very beautiful translucent effect.

Overlapped cut prints.
Overlapped torn prints.

Once the group had a good selection of fabrics, they chose two pieces, one to cut up and one to be used as a background.
Bondaweb was ironed onto the back of the fabric that was going to be used for the applique shapes. The backing paper is left on. It is a helpful guide to how hard you are pressing with the soldering iron. If you cut through the paper,  you are pressing too hard.

You can cut your applique shapes with scissors if preferred, but as the fabric is synthetic it can be cut with a soldering iron and you can achieve more intricate shapes.

Different examples of fabric decorated with applique.

If you are looking for a group to join, I can't recommend the Avalon Embroiderers Guild highly enough. I had a really good time - thank you Sue and the ladies of the Guild. 


Then it was off to St Ives to teach The Journey. Mararet Garood had arranged the workshop for her two textiles groups. These are private groups, not Guilds.
I hadn't been to St Ives for many years, it is still very beautiful, and the roads are still a nightmare. Margaret took me out a walk around the town on my first evening there. There was just enough light to take a few photos. Here is one of the harbour.
St Ives Harbour.

The Journey is the most satisfying workshop that I teach. What started off as an exercise to help my students with design in 1998 has now now been taught by me all over the UK and several times in Australia and New Zealand. It is also featured in my book Experimental Textiles. I teach the workshop exactly the same every time, and every time we get fabulous and different results. It is a formula for helping students create original designs. Once I am settled in Ireland next year I hope this will be the first of several workshops I will be teaching online.

Some of the group painting their Journeys.

We also had fun with a 'flipping out' exercise.
You can see some fo the Journies in the background.

Once the group had completed both exercises, we started to isolate designs with 'L' shapes. Once selected, the design can be traced off and transferred into a sketch book.

Taking a section and tracing the design.
Once the tracings had been made, we could start to make the printing blocks.
I make blocks using self adhesive foam for the design, stuck onto foam core board.

Here you can see the tracing. As the design is in black and white it is easier to see the positive and negative. You will get two printing blocks form one design. The positive/black and the negative/white.

Starting to print with the blocks.

Getting used to blocks, how much paint you need to apply, will they over print?

A few of the blocks with their first prints.

A happy Jo with her first overprints.

Some of the prints from the blocks made on the workshop.

 It was a great workshop and I was looked after soooo well. Thank you Margaret and your groups for looking after me so well and making me feel so welcome.

So - that's it so far. I now have four days off before I start teaching again. I will be teaching in Torquay and Honiton in Devon and Nailsworth in Goucestershire before I get home on the 12th May. Watch this space.

I hope you all have a great Bank Holiday Weekend.


Hello Jill, have a good one.
Hello Tod, Oh lovely one.
Hello Diana - Ha Ha, there is no escape!!!!
And Hello Denise if you are reading this.

x x x


  1. I love to,read your posts and the things you show. Those groups made great things.


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