The first Look.Draw.Stitch. weekend - January 2018.

A detail of one of Fiona's fab prints.

The first Look.Draw.Stitch weekend was a great success. 
I had met Fiona, Ann and Sidella last August when I was working on the Vlieseline stand at Festival of Quilts, NEC, Birmingham. They stopped to say hello and ask how I was getting on in my new home, here in Ireland. All three ladies are from Dublin and are deeply involved in the Irish Guild of Embroiderers. We had a good chat. They asked if I was doing any teaching in Ireland and I said I was thinking of running weekend workshops from home. We discussed it further and I asked if they thought if anyone would visit the back of beyond where I live in January? And they said Yes!! They would . . . and they did.

Fiona and Ann looking out. Fiona drew some of the landscape lines and Ann drew some of the stone shapes in the dry stone wall.

Sidella chose to draw Brachychiton or Bottle tree seeds that I have in a basket in my sitting room.

From a simple drawing you can take a section and create your own original design.

The ladies settling down and taking sections of their drawings with 'L' shapes. Isolating designs for their printing blocks.

Sidella's section of her drawing and her 2 printing blocks (one positive and one negative) from the design.

Trying out the blocks for the first time . . .

Ann trying our her first block in her work book.

I gave the ladies an A4 sketchbook/workbook each to keep all their drawings and tracings in. It is a also a good place to keep a record of your prints.

I love this block - such a sense of movement.

The second day of the weekend started a bit pink - it usually means we are going to get a bit of 'exciting' weather.

However - all was calm - until the evening . .

Fiona trying out her first prints, I loved how she kept over printing to build up rich colour.

I gave the ladies some cotton organdie to print on. It has a slightly 'open' weave which means if you lay paper of other fabric underneath it when you print - you get a 'ghost' print. This ghost print was just fabulous. Almost more beautiful than the 'proper' print.

One of Sidella's 'proper' prints.

I love this tangle of shapes and lines - random over printing.

Because I wanted to concentrate on my teaching over the weekend, I asked Teresa of the Old School B & B at Cross to cook and deliver the lunches for both days. It was wonderful not to have to think about it. Particularly as we had 2 different food allergies to deal with. Teresa is very experienced in cooking for different tastes and allergies. Teresa will be catering for all my workshops and the Kilbaha Summer School.

Gorgeous hot and tasty food.

The second day the ladies really got down to business, the ladies were obviously very experienced in printing. However they hadn't made printing blocks my way or used inspiration drawings in the way we did on this workshop. They loved taking time out of their busy days for two whole days of PLAY!!

A lovely messy table of colour.

The 'before' print . .

We started off printing on white cartridge paper to test the blocks.
Once the prints were dry, we washed the paper with dilute procion dye powder and water. It really lifts the prints. Fiona used a yellow wash on this print.

A couple of fabulous monoprints taken from the acetate sheet that Fiona was using as a paint reservoir .

And of course - there were stunning baby wipes.

Ann created several printing blocks based on my dry stone walls.
Aren't they fabulous?
Ann printing one of dry stone wall blocks in her workbook.

Fiona was quite prolific - this is the print of a random block she made.

I had hoped to get a bit of hand stitch into the weekend - but the ladies were so enjoying the printing - they didn't want to stop - it was their weekend after all. 
Being keen embroiderers I am quite they will be stitching into several of these gorgeous prints. One of the group who is due to go away on holiday this week has already emailed to say she would rather stay at home and develop her prints . . .

Another great print from Sidella.

The Irish Guild of Embroiderers have a website and a Facebook page. 
Do have a look at these links - there is some fabulous work on them.

I remembered to ask the ladies to sign my visitors book that was made for me by Mary Smith, one of ex ExTex students. It has the most amazingly textured cover. I love it.

The visitors book cover by Mary Smith.

Not only did the ladies write in the book, they also printed one of their printing blocks. What a great idea. Now all the groups that follow during the year can do the same.

Fiona, Ann and Sidella also left me a rather nice bottle of fizz (pink, my favourite) and a card. What a lovely surprise.

Thank you ladies. I hope to see you again. 

We had some great discussions round the table over the weekend. One of which was how useful a Scan & Cut machine would be to cut the printing blocks. Fiona, being quite a gadget fan, loves hers. Yes - you could easily cut your designs by machine - but I still prefer the 'hand cut' look. We agreed to differ on this point.
It was a fabulous and very lively weekend - these girls really know how to have fun. Thank you for being my first guests on my Look.Draw.Stitch.weekends.

The next one is in February, then April, May, June, August, September and October. Have a look here if you are interested.


Several students are getting back into the online workshops after the Christmas/New Year break. Transforming Transfer and On the Surface are still running and finish in the next couple of months. 
The next workshop to enrol will be Manipulating with Heat. This Workshop will start enrolling on February 16th and the videos will go live on March 9th and the workshop will be available to view for 6 months from then.

Transforming Transfer - samples by Gill Sugden.
Transforming Transfer - there is a big difference between ironing your painted papers onto a poly cotton mix fabric (left) and pure polyester fabric on the right. Such glorious colour. This workshop closes next month and will be available again later in the year.

On the Surface. 
A decorated Bondaweb sample by Kay Coombes

On The Surface closes on 6th April, so if you fancy playing on the workshop for a couple of months then have a look here.

I am so excited about Experimental Textiles Online. This course goes live on January 27/28. The students that have enrolled are getting all their kit ready to start. Teaching this course online has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. For students to be able to work through the course in their own time and have Skype sessions with me once a month will be wonderful. It doesn't matter where they are on the world - we can talk to each other - brilliant!
There is still time to enrol  - if you are tempted - have a look at the video and all the information here. Experimental Textiles Online
I can talk to you via email, Skype or phone if you need any further information.

So - exciting times ahead. 


Hello Jill. 13 sleeps till you arrive and 14 sleeps till I actually see you!! 
Hi Diana - hope you enjoy Craft4Crafters. x x x
Hello Tod - see you very soon. Sending love. x

 x x x 


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