Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Having a good look around!

Tina Francis Tapestry 2014

I've been concentrating on my Autumn designs over the last week and it seems crazy how fast this year is going, i seem to have almost kept to my blog schedule and have been thinking about the artists and makers who's blogs and sites I really look forward to reading and thought I would share them with you.

First off Kim Thittichai her blog can reached via her website and is a delightful mix of fantastic inspirational images and tales of her teaching travels.  There is a lot of inspiration here with colour and cake featuring in equal measure!  if you are thinking of taking one of Kims courses read through some of the blog posts to get a flavour of what they entail.

Carrying on with colourful inspiration Colouricious is a fantastic site to see what is new in the textile world and a great site for instructional "videos".  Whenever you have a wet Sunday afternoon take a trip to this site and watch quality artists showing you the latest techniques. Actually you don't really need a wet Sunday but I was just helping you out there!

The blog of my tapestry mentor Wendy Hope-Falkner of One Off Needlework always provides me with a sniff of country air and makes me smile.  Her kits are great especially if you want to start your kids young as she has a great range of small kits.

Staying with the Wendy theme, Wendy Ward of MIY Workshop writes about the classes she teaches at her workshop in Brighton and also fantastic sewing tips.  If you are just getting into sewing then a look at this site will leave you ready to buy the equipment needed and still have enough to buy the fabric to make a garment with.

I love a splash of colour on a Monday and so Bright Bazaar is a must visit for me. Always colourful, always inspirational and for me as a nosey parker always very interesting to see what people get up o at the weekend!

Finally a new site that has caught my eye this month is GD UK Style who pioneer eco interiors, I love the mix of style and artisan on this site its a great place to find something unusual and new.

I will write more about my fave shops in a few weeks which you may be able to go to now the summer is here.

Happy Stitching!   

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Loving all your work

Tina Francis Tapestry - Images courtesy "Purple Heather"

I love to meet up with fellow textile artists and se what they have been doing so it was with a happy heart that I set off to meet Birmingham Embroiderers Guild on Saturday 5th July at the Birmingham Library where they hold a regular stitching session on the first Saturday of each month for anyone interested in coming along and stitching.

The wealth of experience and expertise around that one table was fantastic from new comers to genuine experts in their field.  The atmosphere was one of sharing and I loved being able to watch people stitch and get some tips!

In March I was invited by Kim Thittichai to run a daily workshop on the Freudenburg Vilene education stand at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC.  The class took bubble wrap, waste tapestry canvas, Pelmet Vilene S80/239 and Bondaweb 902 to create a printed background that could be stitched into or further embellished at a later date. It was only a one hour workshop and the work produced in that time was rather stunning see here for the full round up.  

I always wonder what people will do with their workshop pieces and so I was really happy to meet Heather at the embroiderers group as she had brought along her finished pieces which were fantastic, there are some sections of her work at the top of this blog.  I really liked how Heather had used line so sympathetically which had given the pieces a pleasing rhythm, take a bit of time to look at the before and after shots of her work, just smashing.

Tina Francis Tapestry, copyright Purple Heather

Tina Francis Tapestry, copyright Purple Heather

As you can probably tell I was so very happy to see this work and am looking forward to meeting up with Birmingham Embroiderers Guild again at their Summer Party on 14th July. 

Now back to the tapestry stitching ready for The Handmade Fair all too soon on the horizon!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

More Connections - Flax Triangle!

Tina Francis Tapestry copyright 2014

So last time I was talking about the craft leyline that seems to be forming in London over the weekend 19th - 22nd September in London and this time more connections!!

I am a member of The Slow Textiles Group and last Friday we launched a pop up shop focussing on geometrics, the shop is part of the current programme which ends with the launch of the latest geometrics book.  It was a great way to meet other members of the group and also to speak to people who love textiles and especially geometrics. I use only second hand wool in my art work and wherever possible all kits components are sourced here in the UK, I am trying to do my bit but after meeting Zoe Mill Burt or Seeds of Fashion I think I need to try harder!

Seeds of Fashion aims to plant the seed, grow the seed, harvest the seed, process the crop and finally use the resulting fabric to create garments.  All well and good I hear you cry but this process is not happening far away it is happening here in the UK more precisley in and around the allotments and spare spaces of London town!  We no longer grow Flax here in the UK on a commercial level but it used to be everywhere now I am not sure of the history but its production seems to have petered out when we needed land for food in 1950s but hey read the blog and find out the facts.  It is a fantastic idea lets cut out the airmiles and grow the clothes we need here in the UK!  The crazy connection here is that the seeds used for the project came from Wild Fibres whose studio is right opposite mine in the Custard Factory Birmingham.  I am hoping to work with Wild Fibres in the future to create a tapestry from UK grown fibres more soon!

So with my head filled with Flax and its uses I struck up a conversation with Vicky Putler from Thorody.  Thorody make the most fantastic screen printed linen homewares and accessories, their linen is woven in the UK.  We talked about provenance of the fabric and Vicky explained that she had wanted to try and grow her own flax to make the linen they print on, hold on a minute grow your own flax (?) you can see where I am going here with connection number two!  A smaller link is that Thorody live where I used to in London!

So I travelled from Birmingham to London, met someone who lived where I used to live she prints onto linen but hankers after producing her own fabric from the seed she met someone who does just that in London who got the ball rolling with seeds and advice from a woman in Birmingham - that is a full triangle of connections!

Happy Stitching!