Thursday, June 23, 2016

June meeting, Bolton

A lovely summer evening, I drove over to Horwich with two guest members from Pendle branch to see Claire Wellesley Smith. She explained how she gained a degree in politics but always wanted to stitch. Gradually her direction changed and she became very involved with the community and its surroundings. She experimented with natural dyes and then encouraged the community to grow their own flowers and plants specifically to use their colour. Living in Bradford, this was quite an unusual challenge!!!!She encouraged her community to see the connection between the past and present, disasters like the textile mill fire in Bangladesh  and home. She brought along a quilt that had been stitched using traditional but local dyes. Claire has also written a book, Slow Stitch.
a slide which looked so interesting, slips of fabric, dyed with natural colours

 A close up of the quilt, mainly made of log cabin pieces.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Out and about Lancaster

So my final trip of my week. Sunday morning, my close friend Jean and I journeyed up to Barton Grange to see the Lancaster exhibition. Sue the Chair was there to welcome us. We had a brief look around and then went for lunch. On return I was able to offer Sue a comfort stop and then study the pieces in greater detail. I really was an EG reunion as members from Preston, Parbold and LSA all arrived. It was a very enjoyable afternoon , but sadly was only there for the weekend so if you have not been you have missed it. Maybe some of the work will be available at the NWR Day hosted by Lancaster next April.

Out and about Gawthorpe.

I had Friday to recover then on Saturday I went to Gawthorpe Hall. Patricia from Pendle branch had been asked to lead some demonstration stitch experiences. Three or four of us   arrived early and set up the Library in anticipation of visitors. Jenny had produced frames, fabric threads etc and Patricia had made some wonderful stitch samples. we did not have long to wait. I think I began with a lovely young girl Bea, who was left handed. She chose really bright coloured yarn but they were so thick , they were so   hard to thread. I kept teasing her but she was delightful. I don't think I lifted my head from the fabric, helping many visitors , of all ages male and female. {Sue took a photo of me before we started , nice in itself but does not tell the whole story!!!}
 A quick break for a snack and we continued. I was suddenly aware that Jenny was putting bits together and I looked at my watch, to see that it was after 4.00pm and we should have finished. my visitor was still keen to try another stitch , fly, French knots, bullions, Cretan, she tried them all. I do believe she will go home, buy a stitch book and learn some more.
I wish I could have spent more time actually absorbing the atmosphere. We were working in The Library , brimming full of Miss Rachaels personal collection. at least two walls were floor to ceiling crammed with textile books. my very short lunch break was upstairs in the private rooms, this time the flat in which Miss R actually lived. Quite an honour.

Out and about , Macclesfield

 Two days later, Thursday, and  at about 11.00am I was off to Macclesfield.  Not a bad journey, I had left extra time for delays and I found the church very easily. I was a bit apprehensive as I had to set up my laptop and projector for the first time. Luckily members were busy paying for their annual trip, voting for their Rose bowl and other activities. Hilary welcomed the members and gave out her notices with a special note of encouragement for the CBP. She made a plea that I have heard so often, for members to join the committee. I endorsed her comments and again repeat it, if you want a branch, it can only survive with a committee and if you have yet to serve then now is your chance.
I then gave the Collection talk. It is quite an eclectic mix of pieces but was very well received. Macclesfield Branch is 25 this year so some members go back a long way and some of my facts would be a trip down memory lane , but the" history" would be new to our more recent members. I must thank the members there for their many kind words and compliments. It does make this job more rewarding.
I was then asked to present the Rose Bowl to the worthy winner. Well done. I left as soon as feasibly possible but got caught up in one of the worst storms that I have ever experienced. My windscreen washers could not keep the screen clear, thunder and lightening made me remember my school science and the Faraday cage effect ,and I was so pleased to be home just before 5.00pm and felt a G and T was a worthy reward!!!

Out and about,Parbold

What a week, I seem to have driven miles but seen lots of members and some exquisite work. It began with an evening invitation to the Parbold exhibition last Tuesday. The roads were very busy with commuter traffic but once I arrived, the welcome was worth it. The exhibition is easy to find, just off Lord St and on till this weekend so I recommend a visit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Out and about, Pendle

The warm weather continued. I hadn't even unpacked from summer school and I was on my way to Pendle. We had been asked to be there for a 12.30 start . Eileen , one of our members was leading our group with a demo on shadow work. I have done this once or twice only so it was almost new to me. Sandra the day before had given me a piece of summer kimono material. It was translucent , rather like lace and had a design of bamboo within it. So I decided to try this. I herringboned the leaves and stalk and then added a black and white panda on to the front. Will let you know when it is finished. Sue our Chair also presented flowers to our hardworking sales table leader.

I love traditional hand stitching!!!!!

Summer school 2016

After a glorious week of sunshine , I was keeping my fingers crossed for the same for our weekend. I was not disappointed. My journey over to our new venue Waddow Hall was lovely. The trees were in full blossom and the fields full of crops. Sue and I met and we awaited our two tutors, Lynda Monk who was creating surfaces and Maggie Hickman Smith was painting gardens in stitch. It worked well as Sue had chosen the former and I was with Maggie. We helped our tutors to bring in their amazing amount of display and then awaited our fellow students.
It was good to meet up with old friends but this year we also welcomed quite a few new faces. The bar opened at 6.00pm and then dinner at 6.30. A really tasty hotpot which was spoken about for ages.
Maggie began her evening session with a slide show of embroiderers who had inspired her. Although we were going to be stitching very traditional pieces she does far more, having written the Get Plastered and Get Stuffed books. We then watched a demo and began our sample pieces. I began with Holbein stitch and then one single strand of thread to try dainty French knots. That was enough for the evening so we then adjourned to the bar,
After breakfast the work began. We painted our calico and continued to learn and practise a variety of stitches suited to certain flowers. This continued all day, interrupted by morning coffee, lunch afternoon tea and dinner. By about 9.30 pm , I had a fairly reasonable wisteria so my trip to the bar went without guilt.
We needed to pack our personal stuff on Sunday morning so our class started at 9.45. I worked on Cretan stitch to use in a sunflower and saw an oyster stitch, never seen before. Morning coffee and a roast dinner then a little more before we set up our show and tell. We visited each others rooms and then came back for a final few words. There was masses to see in Lyndas class and so little in ours but we really had worked hard and was was totally happy with my choice. Afternoon tea and our raffle finished the day. Well almost, we had another very special raffle, those who had worn the name badges provided put them into a hat and a lucky name was drawn, winning a free place to next years summer school. How? Why? As this was a new venture, venue ,time  etc we worked our figures on a minimum number but were able to fill all the bedrooms and therefore had some spare cash. Rather than dividing this amongst
What we could achieve!!!

A demo by Maggie

I wish this was mine!!!!

Another stitch to learn.

Above Lynda and below our class

 Samples from Lyndas students

My work for  the whole weekend!!!!

Our final de brief

Our Home for three days

members we thought this raffle would be {and was } very popular. Almost all students left assuring Sue and I that they would be back next year so do keep your eyes and ears open for more information.