seam and SIT

The countdown is on for this year’s Stroud International Textiles (SIT) Select Festival 21 April – 28 May, the annual flagship event organised by Lizzi Walton to promote contemporary textiles and applied arts/crafts. It seems fitting for seam collective to take this opportunity to thank Lizzi for her hard work and support to our members.

This year it’s the turn of Gill Hewitt and Carole Waller to step into the limelight.

Gill will be exhibiting her innovative development of non woven needle-punched textiles. The finished artwork being similar to a tapestry, although non woven, it is exquisitely textured.


Gill creates her artwork in layers from a carefully sourced palette of fibres and fabrics, assembling each individual piece in a painterly way, before blending it using the needle punch machine.

“My needle punch was especially designed for me.  It has a bed of around 2,000 needles that combine the collage of textures and layers into one.  I can achieve different effects by using an assortment of needles and adjusting the machine speed.

I have been working with the needle punch for over a decade now and my working techniques continue to evolve through experimentation.  I like to use natural materials such as silk, cotton and wool much of which I hand dye or digitally print using my own photographic images.  I also use a polyester voile that catches the light and is good for building layers.

There is no waste in the making process – I save even the smallest cut-offs for use on more intricate pieces such as Portraits.

The overall effect created embodies a sense of spontaneity in which colour, contrast and richness of texture evoke depth and perspective in the artwork.

I often find inspiration from within the structure and rhythms of nature. I am particularly interested in the way that light and shadow exist in the moment.  I try to capture the delight and energy of that transient moment.”

This fascinating process makes a visit to Victoria Works well worth a visit, where you can meet Gill, who exhibits as a guest of Anna Simson on 5 – 6 and 12 – 13 May at Studio 21, Victoria Works Studios, London Road, Chalford GL6 8HN.

seam’s newest member, Carole Waller, will be running a two-day workshop turning Colour into Cloth, during this year’s festival, Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 May. A rare opportunity to learn from an industry specialist.

The course will experiment with putting colour into cloth – using mark making tools of your choice and natural fabrics – bring your paintbrushes, twigs, flowers and anything you would like to play with.

Experiment with different fabrics and mark making on the first day and build on that the second day for further exploration or to make something specific on the second day.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 19.35.22

Carole will talk about the beauty and efficacy of Procion P dyes – which she uses to produce washable cloth with a deep sense of visual space. She will help you find ways to manifest your own individual ideas and passions about cloth and colour – from subtle to vibrant – as Carole is keen to explore individual ideas and projects with you.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 19.28.20

Expect to explore and learn new ways to work with colour on fabric during this specialist workshop, which includes a delicious organic lunch. Book your place here.

Select Festival 2016 – welcome page, featuring shift dresses by Anna Glasbrook, Angie Parker and Anna Gravelle

We first joined forces with Lizzi in 2015 when we exhibited shiftWorks at the SIT Select Showcase at Cheltenham Town Hall, and again in 2016 when our shiftWorks shift dresses were shown in a shop trail through the centre of Stroud as part of the SIT Select Festival. Huge thanks to Lizzi for the opportunity to make so many brilliant connections during these events. It was a double whammy for seam member Angie Parker at the SIT Select Showcase who picked up the Best New Business Award and benefitted from the expert mentoring skills of Christian & Dodds’, Andy Christian.

I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and being inspired by new connections at this year’s festival in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds and the Stroud Valleys. Visit the SIT website for booking information and details about all the artists involved in this year’s events.

Angie Parker