Gallery of past work

Friday, 9 November 2012

Workshop with Angie Hughes

I had a great day on Tuesday on a workshop with Angie Hughes in Lockeridge, Wiltshire, organised by the Marlborough branch of the Embroiderers' Guild. Angie travels all around the country giving workshops of one kind or another. I have previously spent two lovely weekends on courses with her at Farncombe Estate in Worcestershire. This day was as good as I remember the others being.

Exploring Velvet piece - so far .....
The workshop this time was called Exploring Velvet and we spent the day spraying with Dye-na-flow paints, discharging and printing white cotton velvet to prepare a surface for transfer foils and later for stitching. It was great fun and  I learnt a lot and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It's always fun to spend a day doing something you really enjoy with like-minded people.

The new thing for me this time was discharging the Quink ink we sprayed over the fabric paints with household bleach. I'd read about it but had never tried it. The results were spectacular and quick. I get impatient if I have to wait for ages for things to dry or for processes to happen when I'm trying something new so I found the speed very beguiling.

Exploring Velvet piece - detail
There were some interesting effects, especially where the Quink ink was sprayed on darker and the under-sprayed colours were stronger. The increased colour contrasts some other members of the group achieved were particularly striking.

After that, Angie showed us how to foil small areas of our work onto Bondaweb or Mistyfuse and various other fabric glues. As I think you can see above, for me, this was the least pleasurable part of the day as I found it quite hard to achieve a satisfactory effect. I found the very strong shiny surface made by the foils rather bold in comparison with my coloured surface which had turned out quite gentle in colour. However, for some of the group, it was the best part of the day. I guess it's all just a matter of taste and it was good to revisit the technique.

Applying painted Bondaweb or strips of silk instead of the foils was suggested as an alternative way of finishing off my work. I think I will try this when I finish my piece ready for a 'show and tell' display at the Marlborough EG meeting in the New Year.

Angie often offers this as a two day course with machine embroidery of the piece on the second day. As we had only one day, we now have to complete our pieces at home by layering with organza and machine stitching over the top. I'll look forward to it and to seeing how my piece turns out in the end.

Angie Hughes in her workshop
- taken from her website
Angie is a most entertaining and lively tutor with loads of experience and she shared all her knowledge with us most generously. Lots more details of her courses and her work can be found on her websites: and

... and there is even a photo on her home page of her with a piece just like the one she demonstrated for us yesterday.

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