Gwen had also wanted to produce a brochure documenting her Connecting Threads project. In support of the project, I designed the printed brochure below, which was available at Turn the Page.
To coincide with the exhibition, the fair also offered a series of free workshops throughout the day. Gwen had agreed to run a workshop and I volunteered to help her.
We asked participants to make a journal with a cloth cover that they could personalise with recycled textiles and kantha (running) stitch.
The images below are examples I had made to demonstrate how the covers could be stitched.
The workshop was to last an hour, so Gwen prepared kits of pre-punched signatures and pre-cut denim covers. Scraps of fabric, leftover from the large hanging, were provided along with a selection of embroidery threads.
The participants soon got involved in the workshop. It was fortunate that we were the last workshop of the day as everyone was so engrossed that we ran over time…no-one seemed to mind though!
The idea was to make a greetings card using a mixture of paper and stitch to create a simple vase of flowers.
A mixture of patterned papers and text from old books were used to cut out simple flower and vase shapes. These were then glued to a greetings card and decorated using bold stitches using embroidery thread and embellished with buttons.
Here’s a small selection of the lovely pieces made…
I ran a workshop at the South East Essex Embroiderers’ Guild called ‘Altered books: threads of thought‘. I love stitching on paper and wanted to share the idea of stitching in an altered book with the embroiderers. Not everyone in the group was comfortable with the idea of tearing pages out of a book – but most were willing to give it a try.
For me, the benefit of using an old book is to give something unloved a new lease of life rather than thinking you are ‘ruining’ it. Also, by using a page that already has content already on it, either images or text, can be a useful prompt and helps to remove the fear of the blank page.
I gave the group a couple of themes to play with: the first was an embroidered colouring book idea and the second was to embroider a spirograph. Each person took the idea and developed it in their own way, using collage, stitch, maps and even mirrors.