Wednesday, 25 April 2007


During the month of April members of the Monday Club have being involved in a textile postcard challenge. Each finished postcard has been created by three members. Stage one was to produce a 6x4 inch base for the postcard. Most of us already had samples of techniques tried out at workshops and we ended up with a wide range of media from marbling, painted bondaweb and silk paintings to applique. The next stage was to pass this first stage on and receive a second that you had to alter, embroider or embellish. We were able to utilise all the techniques that we have experienced at workshops!!!!!!!!!! When this was completed we then passed the postcards on again for their final touches and finishing off.

top- string shadows on silk base, squared off lines in gutta, diagonal lines in appliglue and angelina applique, finished off with random free machine embroidery.

bottom - painted bondaweb base, painted black skeleton flower heads finished off with wool rovings flower heads, applique leaves and dragonfly motifs.

The first stages above are from left to right

Part of a silk painting that failed

Wet in wet silk painting

Marbling on paper

The same three bases after completion.

Lace and painted 'snowdrops' have been added. Applique leaves at the base

Dried flowers, couching, gold paint and embroidery complete this floral interpretation

Machine embroidery, angelina and organza have been embellished with beads and appliglue

Marbled silk crepe

Painted bondaweb on silk satin

Part of silk painting, spot the face!

A commercial stamp using gold ink. (anyone know what it means?) finished off with black beads

Fabric applique at base with silk and metallic shapes and beads to represent a tall summer flower

Knitted metal hair, black outlined features and embroidery around the edge finish off this striking face.

As you can see the results surpassed our initial expectations. The interpretation of each base varied dramatically and we were impressed that so many techniques had been applied.

The experience of the challenge has encouraged us to have another go but later in the year

Friday, 13 April 2007


7 of our members are also members of the Guild of Silk Painters and this is the banner they completed in 2005 for the Guild's biannual festival in St Albans. All the local groups of the Guild completed a banner that represented their county. So our starting point was to brainstorm everything that Cheshire brought to mind. The name on our banner is in the style of the American HOLLYWOOD sign as the name did orginate from emigrants from an area of Stockport called Hollywood. The green base is to represent the flat Cheshire plains and finally the hats represent the main industry of Stockport in the 19th century - hat making. This gave each member the opportunity to design and make a hat for the banner.

The banner was made from silk satin and this photograph shows Pauline Townsend , Maggie Britten and Rita Stansfield (left to right) coping with the large frame.

The text on the banner was a range of saying about hats. The saying were firstly written with a fading pen and then Pauline used a dark grey gutta with a fine nib.

Denise Hopper at work with the hair dryer on a more detailed part of the banner. This photograph shows the preliminary layout of the hats before they were attached with bondaweb.

The Cheshire Cat sitting pretty on the CHESHIRE name.

This top hat was designed and painted by Pauline Townsend. The others were by Annette Anderson - the range of small black bowlers, Denise Hopper - purple wide brimmed hat, Rita Stansfield - pale blue bonnet, Belinda Rodway - the CHESHIRE name and the hemming of the banner.

Margaret Steeden - brown hat with veil,

Maggie Britten - the red hat with feather

After the festival the banner was long term display in the Hat Works Museum, Stockport.

Monday, 2 April 2007


On Saturday 31st March 2007 we had a day's workshop on Nuno Felt lead by one of our members Pauline Coddington. Pauline is a felt maker and textile artist based in Hawk Green, Marple, Cheshire. Her company Hawk Green Felts offers a range of distinctively styled bags and greeting cards and she will undertake commissioned pieces as requested, including hangings, furnishings and designer fabrics.
'Nuno' is the Japanese word for woven cloth and therefore 'Nuno Felt' is a combination of felt with woven cloth. It is mainly used for producing lightweight fabrics with good draping quality, suitable for clothing.

The workshop was preceeded by a demonstration on the Friday evening when Pauline (above picture) explained the principles behind nuno felting and we were able to handle numerous samples of her work that utilised this process.
On the Saturday we were ready and set up by 10am and by 11am we were all rolling away. Most of us chose to make a sandwich grid design as our first sample. We sandwiched wool and other fibres such as silk tops, prefelt, lace and Angelina between two pieces of silk chiffon.

Click on picture to see the felt in detail.

The design above is a scarf that is at the rolling stage the ends of the grid pattern are easily seen around the rectangle as strands of wool. The trapped coloured wool and fibres are randomly placed inside the grid of naturally coloured wool which in turn are sandwiched between two layers of silk chiffon. The rolling and soaping of the fabric causes the wool fibres to shrink and push through the chiffon resulting in a dense wrinkled fabric.

Click on picture to see the felt in detail.

These two scarves have as the base a predyed blue silk chiffon scarf with strips of prefelt laid along the edges The random wool and fibres laid in the centre will eventually be felted through the chiffon.
Click on picture to see the felt in detail.

Most of these samples are not yet at the final stage. They still require to be put into hot water and thrown so as to complete the felting process.

Exhausted but happy! Members of Silk-n-Threads at 3.30pm who participated on the workshop. The concensus was that nuno felting was a young persons craft unless you are prepared to suffer aching backs and upper arms. Suppose it is more enjoyable than the gym!

THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES WERE COMPLETED THE NEXT DAY. The amount of shrinkage can be seen if you compare the size of the pieces as seen on the picture above of the group results. These three pieces are on the floor to the right of the picture.

Dyed silk chiffon was the base for the Fushia and Ocean pieces, on to which wool rovings and silk tops were laid. They both could be the basic for an embroidery. Watch this space.Fushia


Two layers of white silk chiffon trapping white and green wool rovings that formed a grid, you can see the ends of the rovings at each side of the square. In between the grid spaces green and pink wool and silk was placed. If you click on the picture you can clearly see the crinkling of the chiffon and the effect achieved when the wool has shrunk and come through the chiffon.

Sunday, 1 April 2007


We have just had confirmation that Silk-n-Threads have been invited to hold a two month exhibition at Tatton Park, Cheshire from the end of March to the end of May 2008 (Exact dates to follow). This prestigious venue will allow the group to display to a wider audience the beauty of silk painting. The theme for the exhibition is "The Year of the Garden".
Our blog will regularly update the progress of our preparation for this event.