Stitching Delights in Melbourne

I had a few days in Melbourne recently, and had to share with you some delightful stitching experiences.

The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria – open day

It happened that the Guild was having an open day at Embroidery House in Malvern, so how could I resist?

Embroidery House 1 VicEmbroidery House 2 VicEmbroidery House 3 VicEmbroidery House 4 Vic

I’m sure that embroiderers anywhere would be thrilled to have such a wonderful creative environment!  Once I had overcome my envy, I was made very welcome by President Anne and other members, and joined the throng of visitors to admire the demonstrations of different machine and hand embroidery techniques.  As seems to be the case with embroiderers everywhere, members were busy generously sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge, and here is just a small sample:

Machine embroidery  Embroidery House 7 Vic

 

Embroidery House 6 Vic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 5 Vic

Sandra Warren Smith introduced me to the delights of Lefkara Embroidery, which is a traditional embroidery technique from Cyprus also known as Lefkara Lace, or Lefkaritika.  Mmm, will have to investigate this one further, starting here.

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 9 VicSandra told me that books on this technique are few and far between, so here is one by Androula Hadjiyiasemi.  I will be checking our own Guild’s library, plus those talented members who do Hardanger and all kinds of drawn thread, needlelace etc..

 

 

 

 

 

I had to tear myself away, but not before buying a couple of things from the book sale (you can never have too many embroidery books).   On the way out, I noticed that even the doorplates have embroidery, sigh.   If you’d like to find out more about The Embroiderers Guild,Victoria, Australia, click here.

Embroidery House 8 Vic


Then it was on to the National Gallery of Victoria, for the exhibition Exquisite Threads: English Embroidery 1600s – 1900s, showcasing examples of English domestic and professional embroidery from the NGV’s own collection, plus from private collectors, the National Gallery of Australia, the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission, and members of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria.  Non-flash photography allowed, yippee!

Exquisite Threads 3Exquisite Threads 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used for apprentice embroiderers to learn stitches, as recording of stitches and patterns for domestic embroidery, then an important part of the education of young women, samplers in the exhibition dated from 1692 to 1932.

Exquisite Threads 5

Sorry about the quality of my photo of this Wessex embroidery sampler, completed by Margaret Foster in 1932, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to digress into mentioning our Guild’s classes on WESSEX STITCHERY with Annette Dziedzic.

Wessex Stitchery

Please note that the dates have been changed for this class, now on 11 and 25 July, with preparation on 6 July, but keep checking our web site here any time you would like to check out our classes schedule.  I hear that Robyn Duncan, our Classes Co-ordinator, already has an exciting list of internal and external tutors coming up for 2016.

But back to the exhibition.

Exquisite Threads 1Exquisite Threads 2

 

 

Here we have a Privy Councillor’s uniform from 1939, and an ecclesiastical cope made in 1853.

 

 

 

 

Exquisite Threads 6 Exquisite Threads 7 Exquisite Threads 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A waistcoat from the 1770’s, an evening cape circa 1924, and a pelisse and dress circa 1818.

 

Exquisite Threads 9 Writing box, circa 1665

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to bits with the book from the exhibition, which gives background details of the items, embroidery history from different periods, and close-up photographs showing beautiful detail.  I believe that this exhibition will not be touring, but will be on at the NGV International until 12 July, so if you can get there, it’s well worth a visit – see the details here.


Then I had to go back to the NGV International, to see A Golden Age of China, Quianlong Emperor, 1736-1795.  On loan from the Palace Museum, Beijing, it included a selection of magnificent items from the collections of this emperor, and it was truly wonderful to be able to see both front and back of silk embroidered robes.

Emperor’s ceremonial court robe Qing dynasty, Quianlong period 1736-95 silk satin The Palace Museum, Beijing (Gu42311)

No photos were allowed in this exhibition, but once again the book gives excellent information and photography.  Sadly, this exhibition finished on 21 June, but you can see more information here.


You thought I was finished?  No way, read on…

Then it was off to the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition, at Rippon Lea House and Gardens, the National Trust property that is used as Aunt Prudence’s house in the TV series.  People who are especially interested in the costumes for this series, based on the novels by Kerry Greenwood, will know that Marion Boyce, costume designer, and Every Cloud Productions, use collected vintage items to re-create the fashion fantasies of the late 1920’s.

Miss Fisher 1Miss Fisher 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 3Miss Fisher 5Miss Fisher 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 4

Fans of the TV show will recognise these outfits from the latest series.  There was also a behind the scenes workroom exhibit, showing how costumes were constructed, and genuine 1920’s accessories, part of Marion Boyce’s personal collection.

Miss Fisher 7Miss Fisher 8

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, of course there is a book with detailed descriptions and gorgeous photos.  But then it was time for afternoon tea, still in 1920’s character, in the stable building.

Miss Fisher 9

You’re in luck if you need time to get to this one, as it’s on until 30 September 2015, and will tour to other cities.  For more information, click here.


And the WW1 Centenary Exhibition, on at the Melbourne Museum until 16 August, details here.

IWM 1More uniform goldwork.

 

 

 

 

IWM 2Would you believe this is made of paper?

IWM 4IWM 3

Ambulance officer uniform, and detail


Finally, the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, open all year, including the museum beneath, details here.

Shrine 1

There are textiles everywhere, including this copy of the Battle of Britain lace, circa 1942-47.

Shrine 2 Battle of Britain LaceShrine 3 Battle of Britain Lace

I’m sure I could have found more stitching delights, but only had a few days, and needed to come home for a rest!

Gail

Classes and Creativity

Pat Bootland‘s recent class, Box Construction, was popular for members looking for a way to display small pieces of embroidery.  Of course, Pat came prepared to give us plenty of inspiration in the form of her own sample boxes, plus books and magazines that the Library helpers had kindly found for the class:

PatPootland Box Class

Box 1 Pat Bootland Box 2 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

Box 4 Pat Bootland Box 3 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

Box 6 Pat BootlandBox 7 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box 8 Pat Bootland

 

Class members (especially me) appreciated that in week 2 Pat helped us to sort out any “technical difficulties” we had found since week 1!

 

 

 

 

Not all boxes were finished by the end of the second class, so here are just a couple:

Box 1 by Dorothy Brann

 

Dorothy Brann used her lovely Hardanger sample

 

Box 2 by Dorothy Brann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box 1 by Sarah Kimmorley

 

 

Here is the first of Sarah Kimmorley‘s Canvaswork samples to create Christmas box gifts.

Box 2 by Sarah KimmorleyAnd who wouldn’t want to receive such a lovely gift?


The Creative Group meeting in May was playing with Dorset Buttons with a Difference.  Once again, Library volunteers had produced some books and magazines, Pat Bootland and Fran Novitski had organised supplies and samples, and there was plenty of work in progress:

Dorset buttons with a difference 1

Dorset buttons with a difference 2 Dorset buttons with a difference 3

Dorset buttons with a difference 4Dorset buttons with a difference 5


Last but not least, our School Holiday Program was once again full of fun and stitching activity.  Felties were not the only projects on offer, but I managed to photograph these:

Feltie budgie by Ada Feltie frog by Sam Feltie penguin by Maddy


Sweet budgie was made by Ada, frog with bling by Sam, and stylish penguin by Maddy.  It’s hard to believe, but the next school holidays will be upon us soon, and Lel Whitbread as usual has planning under control.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to be a Guild member to join our classes, although there are Member and Non-member class fees.  You can check for any of our upcoming classes/workshops here, and Special Interest Groups here.  Or check our What’s on at a glance page any time, visitors are always welcome.

Happy, and creative, stitching.

Gail

Diana’s Story Box

Hi again

As promised here’s the second box stitched by Diana Churchill. It’s quite a large box and covered in delightful detail.

Here’s the first side…

Side 1 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

and again from a different angle….

Detail 1 of Side 1 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

Now to side 2……

Side 2 of Large Embroidered Box sticthed by Diana Churchill

Side 3….

Side 3 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

and side 4

Side 4 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

And for those of you who love to look close up at the stitching and motifs here are some cute details…..

Detail 1 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 2 of Large Embroidered Box  stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 3 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 4 of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

and last but not least here’s the lid…

Lid of Large Embroidered Box stitched by Diana Churchill

Doesn’t it just make you smile and want to be a little kid again??!

Thank you Diana for sharing your awesome boxes and also Stewart (Bath) for the great photos.

Enjoy!

Carmen

Diana’s Flower Box

Hi everyone

This is a quick post to show you a small elegant box beautifully embroidered by Diana Churchill.

It’s also a taster for a larger and more elaborate box stitched by Diana that I’m going to show you in the next post.

Here’s the eye candy…

Small Box with Flowers stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 1 of Small Box with flowers stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 2 of Small Box with Flowers by Diana Churchill

Detail 3 of Small Box with Flowers stitched by Diana Churchill

Detail 4 of Small Box with Flowers stitched by Diana Churchill

Don’t you just love the palette of variegated colours that Diana’s used? I do!

Take care

Carmen

Bird Cage

Hi everyone

I’ve just been looking through the awesome program of workshops & classes for the Embroiderers’ Guild of America’s Seminar 2015. It’ll take place from 28 October to 1 November in San Antonio, Texas.

One of the classes that caught my eye was a Bird Cage by Australian designer Gary Clarke. In the class notes it’s described as a needle accessory disguised as a grand Victorian 3D bird cage.

As it’s Australia Day later this month it’s great to be able to feature an Australian designer. We can do this because the super talented Jillian Bath has stitched this piece and her husband Stewart has taken some fantastic photos. There are some great close-ups of the needlework for those of you who love a really good look at the detail.

So here’s the eye candy

Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 1 of Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 2 of Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 3 of Bird cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 4 of Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Deatil 5 of Bird cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 6 of Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 7 of bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 8 of Bird Cage stitched by Jillian Bath

Exquisite isn’t it? Thank you Jillian & Stewart for sharing the beauty of this design with us.

If you’d like to read more about the EGA’s Seminar 2015 then go to their website here.

Take care

Carmen

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

As a treat for the start of the New Year here’s an update of the following galleries for you.

Blackwork

Canvaswork

Contemporary Creative Embroidery

Crewel & Surface Stitchery

Cross Stitch

Fibre & Yarn

Hardanger

Samplers

Seasonal

Enjoy!

Carmen

Siennese Illuminated Treasure

Hi everyone

I hope you’re really enjoying the lead up to Christmas.

In this post we’re sharing an inspiring piece that celebrates Goldwork and Stumpwork embroidery. It’s an Alison Cole design called a Siennese Illuminated Treasure and it’s been stitched by Fran Novitski.

Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

When I studied the photos I could just imagine this gorgeous box being tucked away in the saddlebags of the Three Wise Men on their way to the Nativity. What do you think?

Here’s some wonderful eye candy for you thanks to Stewart Bath’s photographs:

Detail 1 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 2 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 3 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 4 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 5 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 6 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Detail 7 of Siennese Illuminated Treasure stitched by Fran Novitski

Thank you Fran for sharing this exquisite treasure with us and Stewart for the great photos.

Enjoy!

Carmen

News Update

Hi everyone

Just a heads up to let you know that I’ve updated the following galleries:

Canvaswork

Contemporary Creative Embroidery

Crazy Quilting

Cross Stitch

Landscapes and Scenes

Needlelace

Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching

Young Stitchers

The new additions are at the top of each gallery page.

And here’s a preview of a small sample of the photos uploaded:

Octagonal Box Lid with Needlelace & Goldwork

Detail 3 of Octagonal Box Lid with Needlelace and Goldwork stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Stumpwork Butterfly stitched by Jillian Bath

Embroidered landscape

Spring in the Forest stitched by Betty Matthews

Embroidered box

Side 2 of Oriental Box by Marjorie Gilby

Ribbon embroidery flowers

Detail of Ribbon Embroidery Flowers by Mary Bowron

Historical Embroidery Books

In a couple of recent posts Mary Corbett in her Needle ‘N Thread blog listed a number of great historical embroidery books that are available online and are in the public domain. You can find them here and here. The latter post includes a great Hardanger book.

Bye for now

Carmen

 

Looking Over Shoulders 6

Hello everyone

Just in case some of you are feeling withdrawal symptoms because there are no Guild meetings this week here’s a ‘looking over shoulders’ post. These are photos I took with my iPad at the last couple of evening meetings.

Monica Andrew had us all laughing as she declared that she loved to torture fabric aka this biscornu in progress – it’s been needlefelted, embellished and machine embroidered

Red Biscornu in progress by Monica Andrew   Lili Bradley really caught everyone’s attention with this barbed wire made out of twine. She gave it a modern twist  when she arranged it with the crochet hearts she was making ….

Barbed wire  crochet hearts by Lili Bradley

Janet Pearce was also doing crochet – a baby’s shawl

Crochet in progress by Janet Pearce

Elvi McCann was racing to finish this Hardanger music box cover – she’s making it for one of her grandsons to give to his Mum for Mother’s Day.

Hardanger Music Box Lid in progress by Elvi McCann

Next to her Sharon Burrell was stitching this Hardanger angel

Finished Hardanger Angel by Sharon Burrell

When Sharon finished the angel she picked up her cross stitch panel showing a retro day at the races. The panel’s too big to capture in one photo so here it is in segments:

Races x stitch 5 by Sharon BurrellRaces x stitch 4 by Sharon BurrellRaces x stitch 3 by Sharon BurrellRace x stitch 2 by Sharon BurrellRaces X stitch panel 1 by Sharon Burrell

On another table Cathy Fetherston had two pieces on the go……

this Hardanger and Blackwork combo

Hardanger and Blackwork in progress by Cathy Fetherston

and this Blackwork piece

Blackwork in progress by Cathy Fetherston

I was tempted to run away with Cathy’s biscornu pincushion

Blackwork Biscornu stitched by Catherine Fetherston

Meanwhile Kerry Neale was stitching this blackwork leaf….

Blackwork Leaf in progress by Kerry Neale

While next to her Eleni Holloway was creating a cute sheep in the same technique…

Blackwork Sheep in progress by Eleni Holloway

In contrast Susan Douds was embroidering this stitchery with a real pop of colour

Surface stitchery by Suzanne

You’ve seen Pat Bootland’s piper in an earlier Looking over Shoulders so here’s another peep at the progress she’s making

Piper in progress by Pat Bootland

Ditto Jenny Balderson’s crewel work…….here’s the design element she was working on last time

Crewel work in progess 2 by Jenny Balderson

and here’s the bit she’s working on now

crewel work in progress by Jenny Balderson

Robyn Duncan was busy developing a knot garden design for the more advanced Young Stitchers to do

Knot garden in progress by Robyn Duncan

and Hazel Hunt was working away at this lovely surface stitching

Surface stitch in progress by Hazel Hunt

Beside her Jillian Farrer was also stitching a burst of colour

Surface Stitching in progress by Jillian Farrer

Leonie Hunt’s delicate Australian wildflower cross stitch is emerging from her hoop

Wildflower x stitch in progress by Leonie Hunt

Susan Lelbach is learning blackwork and was practising Holbein (or Double Running Stitch) – one of the foundation stitches for Blackwork.

Blackwork in progress by Susan Lelbach

Not too far away Susan Coates was also doing Blackwork

Blackwork in progress by Susan Coates

and so was Sarah Kimmorley

Blackwork Heart in progress by Sarah Kimmorley

After patiently working away at the Diana Lampe design that her Mum had started Rosie Collis was just adding the last couple of stitches!

Diane Lampe design in progress by Rosie

Enjoy!

Carmen

Weekend Wonderfuls 4

Hi everyone

Yesterday I called in to the Guild to catch up with the activities of the Creative and Paper Arts Groups. These two groups have decided to hold their activities on the same day with Creative in the morning and Paper Arts in the afternoon. They’re also co-ordinating the theme for the day and yesterday it was hearts.

You may want to get a long cool drink or a cuppa because this post is a bit of a marathon – there was so much going on. And even with all these photos I still only managed to get about 40 percent of the activity! What I didn’t capture was the laughter, chat, heads together playing with stitches and beads, comparing notes…….these two groups have really worked out how to mix serious technical learning and practice with fun company, lots of conversation and shared experience.

Beaded Stitches

The technique explored by the Creative Group was beaded stitches and the idea was to learn about the technique and then create a beaded heart or use it to embellish some other piece of stitching. By way of background members were encouraged to look at the beaded stitches that Sharon Boggon is featuring on her Pintangle blog.

Annette Dziedzic led the session and shared her knowledge about beaded stitches and had a wide range of books from the library spread out on tables as reference material. Some of the new books were getting people excited about the creative possibilities.

Sharon Boggon added lots of really useful tips and showed the various kinds of tools that were available including some tiny needles.

Then the fun part – looking at what everyone was doing – here’s a selection of photos taken with my iPad. Don’t forget to click on the photos if you want to get a more detailed look.

Sharon Boggon was working on this contemporary piece featuring a textured surface:

 Contemporary Embroidery in Progress by Sharon Boggon

Here’s a closer look:

Closer View of Contemporary Embroidery by Sharon Boggon

I also took a sneak peek at some other pieces that she had on the table:

Crazy Patchwork by Sharon Boggon

….and again a closer look:

Close up of Crazy Patchwork by Sharon Boggon

and look what else was hiding under some fabric – this exquisite contemporary whitework:

Embellished Contemporary Whitework by Sharon Boggon

Dorothy Rudling was stitching away with her usual flair. There were these vibrant beaded  flowers:

Dorothy Rudling Beaded Flowers

and this heart was in progress:

Dorothy Rudling Beaded Flowers with stitched Heart in progress

Christine Bailey was experimenting with stitches and beads on this crazy quilt block:

Crazy Patchwork Square in Progress by Christine Bailey

I thought these panels of flowers in different styles were very effective – what do you think?

Fran Novitski was also adding to her crazy quilt blocks:

Crazy Patchwork Block 1 by Fran Novitski

Crazy Patchwork Block 2 by Fran Novitski

Ditto Pat Bootland:

Crazy Quilt Block 2 by Pat Bootland

Crazy Quilt Block 1 by Pat Bootland

The compositional elements of crazy quilting are quite fascinating and it’s really interesting to see how different individuals balance and emphasise colour, shape and embellishment.

Not far away Jillian Bath was using Beaded Shell Chain Stitch which she’d researched on TAST 97 and 98 the night before. She was using bugle beads and varying the length of stitches to see what effect it had:

Beaded Shell Chain Stitch by Jillian Bath

Beside her Pearl Moysenko was starting these delicate beaded flowers:

Beaded embroidery flowers by Pearl Moysenko

Meanwhile Louise Willey was developing the foundation stitching for a wallhanging that’s going to include heirloom pieces from her family.

Louise Willey - stitched lines foundation for Wallhanging

And Helen Hardie was stitching beaded flowers on sequin waste:

Sequin Waste with Beaded Flowers

Jan Hure was adding a section of embroidery to her piece from a 2013 Creative Group session on entrapment:

Embedded Object Embroidery by Jan Hure

Working out all the objects entrapped between the layers of fabric is quite a challenge!

Jan had brought along some examples of beaded work she’d done to share with everyone. There was this elegant scissorskeep:

Beaded Scissorkeep by Jan Hure

Do you remember that here in October last year there was a post full of eye candy from an etui that Pat Bootland had designed and created? Well Jan has created one too. If you haven’t seen the earlier post an etui is a small ornamental box for holding embroidery tools like needles, thimbles etc.

Here it is all folded up:

Etui by Jan Hure

Here are the four sides:

Side 1 of Etui by Jan Hure

Side 2 of Etui by Jan Hure

Side 3 of Etui by Jan Hure

Side 4 of Etui by Jan Hure

Ande here’s the etui opened out:

Folded out Etui by Jan Hure

Awesome non?

Now to share the love on this very special and beautiful crazy quilt stitched by Annette Dziedzic to celebrate six generations of women in her family:

Family History Photo Quilt in Crazy Patchwork by Annette Dziedzic

Here’s her daughter Anna who has embroidered some of the detail on this block:

Crazy Quilt Block 1 by Annette Dziedzic

This is our Annette at 18:

Crazy Quilt Block 2 by Annette Dziedzic

Annette’s Mum – part of this block is a piece of vintage enbroidery stitched by Olive:

Crazy Quilt Block 3 by Annette Dziedzic

And these are the three older generations of the family – the baby in this photo is Annette’s Mum:

Crazy Quilt Block 5 by Annette Dziedzic

Crazy Quilt Block 4 by Annette Dziedzic

Crazy Quilt Block 6 by Annette Dziedzic

Very moving and a really engaging way to show family history and tell a story.

I could have run away with these two notebooks. This one is a design by Joyce Weeks:

Notebook Cover by Joyce Weeks

and this purple cutie belongs to Pearl Moyseyenko:

Purple Notebook with Beaded Flowers

Paper Arts Group

I stayed just for the beginning of this session when Suzanne Clarke and Patricia Flower were demonstrating how to use scrumbled tissue to create a heart. They’ve also recommended that everyone keep a journal over the year to record their experiences in this group.

Here are a couple of journal pages Suzanne had prepared:

Suzanne Clarke - page from Journal 1

Isn’t that sumptuous beadwork just the business?

Suzanne Clarke - Journal Page 2

And here is Patricia’s colourful start to her journal – it gives a real sense of energy and sparkiness:

Patricia Fowler Journal 1

Patricia Fowler Journal 2

Journal 3 by Patricia Fowler

Journal 4 by Pat Fowler

Enjoy!