Sunday, 24 February 2013

A measure of time.....

It's finished (well almost), just a few finishing touches to add and a trim. I'm really pleased with this piece and glad I managed to resurrect it from the land of unfinished embroidery. I've really enjoyed sitting by the fire on these chilly nights and sewing away. I also like the way it grew organically and is quite different from the plan I had originally sketched out. 

It reflects on the thoughts of too many things to do and not enough time to do them in, but also that I'm away a fair bit and do not always have the time to indulge some of my other passions. I am though more determined to make more time for my other indulgences and enjoy the progress and the final product of that time.

 A measure of time, 
copyright Tracy Bidwell February 2013
 Bird detail from: A measure of time, 
copyright Tracy Bidwell February 2013
 Detail from: A measure of time, 
copyright Tracy Bidwell February 2013

So what next you may wonder........Well I have lots of ideas and pieces of fabric waiting to be worked into and developed. But I have enjoyed the embroidery so much that I'm going to continue with it especially on these dark nights. I have this piece in progress, which is on a cyanotype print I did last summer when we had that one day of sun! So watch this space, I will post pictures of it's progress here or on Facebook.

My next project......

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Solihull and the embroiderers guild

Last March at the Fashion, embroidery and stitch show I met lots of lovely people and had great conversations with many of them. One lady who stopped by was Ann from the Solihull Embroiderers Guild, we had a lovely chat which then led to Ann asking if I could visit the guild and talk about my work. Now Ann is a very organised lady and the following years speakers are always booked way in advance, by the beginning of last April I was booked in for February 5th 2013!

Last week that date arrived and I enjoyed a lovely ride down on the train, reading my book, gathering my thoughts and looking at the gorgeous countryside as it whizzed past. Once in Birmingham I had to change trains to get to Solihull and took some snaps on the walk in between.

The side of Selfridges was amazing with its big aluminium discs and as I turned the corner a man was abseiling down it! 

 In contrast the lovely old Birmingham Moor Street station, with its iron girders and old style lamps and signage. I loved the little old train sitting at the platform here.

 The old seats with high backs, it was like stepping back in time at this station. If I'd have had more time between trains I would have explored a bit more.

My work spread out ready for the talks, it was really hard choosing which pieces to take, but I think I got the right mix in the end!

The guild meet in the local Methodist church hall on a Tuesday and have two meetings, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. It's a well attended group with at this particular meeting 40 ladies in the afternoon and 25 in the evening. I was asked to speak for about an hour at each session after the general announcements were made. 

The talks went very well with lots of lovely comments and feedback afterwards as people came to look at the work in more detail. Particular hits were my drawing sheets and prints from the minute detail, big impact project, my embroidered dress panels from the 2nd year fashion project where I looked at birds and Art Deco. Also my cyanotypes and needle felt clock that I have worked on since I graduated. 

I loved the whole experience and all those crits and presentations Claire and the other tutors made us do really stood me in good stead! 

I was very well looked after and in between each talk I was taken to a lovely ladies house for cups of tea and dinner. We talked about all sorts of things (even though I was slightly croaky after the talk), including some of the courses she has been on and showed me some of her beautiful work. As well as the guild gaining some inspiration from what do, I did too by looking at some of the projects my hosts had completed. 

Ann and the Solihull Embroiderers Guild are a lovely group of people and very hospitable and I'd like to thank them for inviting me to talk to them and for looking after me so well. They produce some gorgeous embroidery projects and if you go the Fashion, Embroidery and stitch show this year look out for some of their work on the guild's stand.