Saturday, March 14, 2009


Our Feature Presentations this week include an art to wear piece titled the Cordoba Bag, the Fabric Master - one of the 'hottest tools' on the market and the sumptuously illustrated book 'Embellish and Stitch'.

The Cordoba Bag by Maggie Grey was inspired by the Great Mosque at Cordoba, in particular the arches. The Great Mosque at Cordoba was founded in 785. The Roman Catholic cathedral and former mosque is situated in the Andalusian city of Cordoba and today houses the main church of the diocese of Cordoba in Spain.


A design board based on the structure was produced and then translated onto fabric and fibres.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

A needled background of wool felt was colored with walnut ink and embelllshed with silk fibres and chiffon. Cut out arches and stitched shapes, based on Moorish floral motifs, were overlaid onto the background. The arches on the bottom and the straps were produced using sewing machine software.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

The resulting piece is a stunningly detailed piece of wearable art!

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

For more ideas and inspiration please visit Maggie Grey's site
Workshop on the Web.

The Fabric Master is literally one of the "hottest tools" on the market! The art of distressing fabric with heated tools has become an integral part of Contemporary Art Quilting. Soldering tools such as the Fabric Master have given artists the freedom to produce intricate patterns that might otherwise have been impossible.

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Laurel Sage

A wonderful article titled 'Mastering the Fabric-Master' was written by Kathleen Laurel Sage for the UK based magazine 'Stitch with the Embroiderers Guild' - Issue 46, April/May 2007.

Synthetic fabrics including chiffon, organza and acrylic felt all work well for fabric distressing. Held like a pen, the Fabric Master uses heat to do all of the cutting, no pressure is required. The variety of tip shapes make it fun and exciting to use.

Books such as 'Embellish and Stitch' by Maggie Grey and Valerie Campbell-Harding, 'Hot Textiles' by Kim Thittichai and 'Fusing Fabric' by Margaret Beal all provide excellent reference material on using hot tools.

Author Margaret Beal

Author Kim Thittichai

The Fabric Master Kit includes one 18W tool, 7 interchangeable tips, one A4 cutting mat and one mini sample pack of fabric.

Solder on!

Our feature book is 'Embellish and Stitch' by Maggie Grey and Valerie Campbell-Harding.
This book concentrates on using embellishing techniques to produce a variety of effects and surfaces.

Authors Valerie Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey

Topics include Superior Surfaces, which examines the materials suitable for use with the embellisher machine, hand felting and texturing.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

The section on Heat Treatments explores ideas for using the heat tool with embellished and needled surfaces.

Photo Courtesy of Maggie Grey

Other topics include applying fabrics and fibres, texturing and trapping, couching, manipulating and weaving. Softcover - 55 pages with full color photographs.

* The Meade Design Group Team for their excellent work and continued advice.
* Sierra at Stampington for all of her help with the complimentary ads in Belle Armoire.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


OUR WEBSITE: The countdown has begun! Our new website is in the final stages and will be going live in the coming days. The tireless efforts of the Meade Design Group team are greatly appreciated!

OUR CUSTOMERS: Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst awaiting the arrival of our new site. We are more than pleased to help anyone who has enquiries or who would like to make a purchase in the interim. We'd love to hear from you - give us a call or send us an email.......

THE 'A' LIST - In Conversation with Artists and Authors: Support for The 'A' List has been phenomenal! We're extremely grateful to all who have been able to take time out of their hectic schedules to participate. Look for upcoming interviews with the talented ladies of Thr3Fold - Linda Kemshall, Laura Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls.

UPCOMING TUTORIALS: Stay tuned for 'Exploring the Fifth Wall'; a tutorial on creating Fabulous Floorcloths. A fashionable alternative to area rugs, contemporary custom floorcloths are a unique way to add a splash of color and design across a living space.

50'S MOD 48" x 36"
Photo by Running With Scissors Studio

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Maggie Grey is currently the editor of Workshop on the Web, an internet based magazine, and was previously editor of Embroidery magazine. In addition to this, she travels extensively, teaching embroidery and computer textile design. She has written many books, the latest being "Embellish and Stitch" and "From Image to Stitch". Maggie's work features both machine embroidery and the use of computer controlled machines. The Embellishing machine is a great new addiction. She loves mixed media techniques which include burning, moulding and melting. New materials are of great interest. Sketchbooks are important to her and she has had great fun writing the "Textile Translations: Mixed Media" book in order to share these delights.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

RUNNING WITH SCISSORS STUDIO - Morning person or night owl?
MAGGIE GREY - Morning - very early.

RWSS - Dogs, cats or ...........?
MAGGIE GREY - Both, but I can't have a dog just now as I travel too much. The cat does his best.

RWSS - Have you ever held a traditional 9-5 job?
MAGGIE GREY - Yeah - boring old insurance.

RWSS - Favorite place you've been or lived?
MAGGIE GREY - I love where I live in leafy Dorset, but if I couldn't live here I'd choose Vancouver.

RWSS - Best dessert?
MAGGIE GREY - Gobi - sorry, misread that - Creme Brulee.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

RWSS - Who's on your i-pod?
MAGGIE GREY - Neil Young, Elbow, Killers, Mark Knopfler, Duffy, Emmy-Lou Harris, Fleet Foxes, Stephen Fry's podcasts.

RWSS- What book have you read recently?
MAGGIE GREY- The Time-Traveller's Wife - for the third time.

RWSS - Favorite quote:
MAGGIE GREY - "Time for coffee" - Clive Grey.

RWSS - Do you do anything special for your birthday?
MAGGIE GREY - I'm not good at remembering it (Freudian, no doubt) so I'm often working away. That's good if Clive is with me, but not so good on my own. My choice would be a meal out with all the family.

RWSS - What inspires you?
MAGGIE GREY - Old surfaces, texture, landscape, figures, icons, paintings........

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

RWSS - Best advice you've ever received?
MAGGIE GREY - Val Campbell-Harding telling me I should write a book with her.

RWSS - Worst advice you've ever received?
MAGGIE GREY - 'Of course it's wise to keep your holding in commercial property'.

RWSS - What do you do to unwind?
MAGGIE GREY - Walk, draw, read, visit galleries, unplug phone.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

RWSS - If you had to choose another career what would it be?
MAGGIE GREY - Medicine.

RWSS - Are there any of your own pieces that you can't bear to part with?
MAGGIE GREY - Several - one that my grandaughter helped me with (she only charged $20) based on genetically modified fruit and veg - called 'The Genetics of the Fruit Bowl'. Several early Icon pieces. Plus my piece for the Cyber Fyber exhibition ' Binary Humanity'. There are also several pieces that I wish I hadn't sold and really miss.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Grey

Photo courtesy of Ellen Meder

RWSS - Best part of your day?
MAGGIE GREY - The bit where I get to do some stitching.

RWSS - I'd be lost without........
MAGGIE GREY - Clive (and Fiona who does all of our admin - without her we couldn't function). And possibly chocolate.

RWSS - What's on the horizon for........
MAGGIE GREY - I'm excited about our recent revamp of Workshop on the Web - our on-line workshop mag. ( Also exciting is working with Michael Wicks on more d4daisy books. We have some fabulous authors lined for this year and next.

RWSS - What would you like to be remembered for?
MAGGIE GREY - Being an OK mum, step-mum, grandmother and writing the odd book.

RWSS - What would you do with a few extra hours each day?
MAGGIE GREY - Are you offering some? I'd like to say something extraordinary but, in truth, I'd probably work.

RWSS - Any words of wisdom?
MAGGIE GREY - If it doesn't work, cut it up, weave it and stitch it on somewhere else.

We invite you to visit Maggie Grey's websites for more inspiration and fabulous ideas.

Available publications by Maggie Grey...

Maggie Grey and Jane Wild

Maggie Grey

Maggie Grey and Valerie Campbell-Harding

Maggie Grey

Maggie Grey and Jane Wild

Maggie Grey

Valerie Campbell-Harding and Maggie Grey