Sunday, 7 May 2017

April Meeting

Well, I did remember to take my camera for photographs this month but then I got tied up with making teas and missed the opportunity to take any.

Our speaker this month was our own member Janet Lewthwaite who has had an amazing life in embroidery.  She learnt under the tutelage of Beryl Dean so you can imagine the wonderful work she produces, especially ecclesiastical embroideries.  She told us some amusing stories of lessons in the local college and how one piece of her work was copied by 'Penelope' after it had been on display at an exhibition.

The Christmas trees are still coming in and we have now started on a new venture.  Laureen has devised another 'Mystery Stitchery' for us to work on.  We each pay £2 for a set of instructions which is for just part of the finished article.  Each month we buy the next set of instructions and working at home so no one else can see, we gradually work towards a finished piece.  The trick is, you don't know what the finished piece is going to be.  A number of members took their first instructions so it will be interesting to see next year, what we have all finished up with.

The exhibition at Nunnington Hall in November/December looks as though it will be really good so check out the dates and come and see us.  On some dates there will be workshops for children to make a felt snowman with kits costing £1 (adults can join in too).  On all the dates there will be members stitching and talking to visitors.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

March Meeting

I was away last month so was not able to do a blog as I didn't see our speaker but from what I hear, Phillipa Joad was excellent and gave a very enjoyable talk as well as bringing lots of things to see and buy.
The same could be said of this months speaker, Katie Chaplin.  Many of you will know her company Japancrafts and Katie gave us a wonderful talk about some of the many different types of textiles that are produced in Japan.  She also brought lots of samples for us to pass around and look closely at as well as feel the textures.  Afterwards, we were able to indulge ourselves at her sales table which was full of the most tempting fabrics and threads.
There was a lot more decorated labels brought in for passing round at venues and exhibitions and several people have finished their christmas trees for the exhibition at the end of the year at Nunnington Hall.

We have welcomed two new members recently and we had a visitor this month who will consider joining us so as a branch we are managing to keep our numbers at least static.  Participation in Guild events is quite high for a branch our size, we have four members going to the AGM in Edinburgh and nine attending the Regional Day.  Several go regularly now to either the Summer School or Stitching in the Dales - or both!

These are some of the Christmas trees ready for framing.

Some of the items brought by Katie for us to look at.

A beautiful Japanese wedding kimono that Katie brought for us to look at.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

January Meeting

We are all back now after the Christmas break and ready to get into the swing of stitching again.

Looking forward to our exhibition at Nunnington Hall in November/December we are preparing to make a piece of work based on a Christmas Tree.  We have our templates and instructions and Val and Angela had prepared some samples to give us ideas.  I didn't photograph them as we want you all to come and see them at Nunnington.

We have also been doing some little cards to hand out to people interested in joining the Guild.  Laureen gave us this idea which uses up old embroideries that you don't mind cutting up and bits and pieces that you have trimmed off pieces of work.  On the back we have stuck information about the branch and who to contact.  Everyone will have a few of these to hand out and the rest will be used at exhibitions and events.

Colleen did these using some fabric scraps and buttons.

These were all on the radiators for the glue to dry.

There was interesting work going on around the room as this was a members meeting and we didn't have a speaker.  Some had brought in previous work for us to look at.

Colleen brought in these wonderful boxes.  They are made from cheese boxes that she begged from her local deli.

You could try doing a 'Guess the number of french knots' competition with this one.

This one is so colourful.

Liz has been continuing her workshops learning how to use her new sewing machine.

This has been created by Cath Featherstone who runs the Bandroom Beaders group and does workshops around the area.  Next one is in Pickering at the Memorial Hall if you are interested.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

November Meeting

As usual I forgot not only my camera but my phone as well so no photographs this month which is a shame as the work on display was so beautiful.  Our speaker was Serena Partridge and her talk was 'Follies of Fashion'.  She works mostly in miniature making beautiful shoes and gloves and fashion items of the past but most of them are exaggerated in some way.  Gloves are massively long, dress crinolines are incredibly wide and wigs enormously high supported by extra long handled parasols. All these items are beautifully embroidered and hand stitched together.  Serena uses fine leathers for the gloves and shoes and tissue paper for stockings.  A really fascinating talk I cannot recommend her enough and hopefully another member of the branch will have some photographs I can post.

Next month, December, is our Christmas Lunch, once again at the Crossways Hotel in Pickering.  We are all looking forward to it as it never fails to be a lovely meal and friendly staff.  Merry Christmas to everyone who reads our blog and a Happy New Year for 2017.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Opus Anglicanum exhibition

I was very keen to see the Opus Anglicanum exhibition at the V&A in London and my daughter was keen to see the 'So You Want a Revolution' exhibition covering the years 1966-70.  At the same time, there is another exhibition on about the history of underwear so we decided to make a day of it and see all three.
We set off on the 6.53am train from Malton arriving in London at 9.45am giving us plenty of time to get to the V&A for our first exhibition at 11am.  We saw the underwear first as this was the smallest of the three and we really enjoyed it considering it was more of a time filler for us.  There are plenty of exhibits to look at covering both mens and womens underwear.  We then had a nice lunch in the cafe and headed a few minutes early for our 1.30pm slot at the Opus Anglicanum.
I cannot stress how amazing this exhibition was.  They have collected embroideries from all over Europe, including the Bologna Cope and the Toledo Cope along with many others.  The lighting is necessarily low which makes some of the descriptions hard to read, especially after about an hour of it but I would have still liked to have seen more information about the saints and popes that were represented in the embroideries.  My daughter and I did enjoy trying to identify them but there were a few we didn't know (especially the popes).  I am nit picking a bit as the work is out of this world.  I have never seen such fine stitching, so fine you actually struggled to see it at all.  It is amazing how well preserved these pieces are.
We then moved on from medieval days to 1966.  You were given a headset of recorded music and it was amusing to see people of a certain age nodding away to the sound.  To be fair, most of the younger people were nodding too.  This set of rooms was very busy after the first two but it was really interesting.  Lots of comments like 'I remember that' going around and I said to my daughter that I didn't want to admit to how many of the LP covers on display (and there were a lot) had either been in our collection or were still there.  After a bit of retail therapy in the gift shop we left the museum at 5pm and headed back to Kings Cross for our train at 6.30.  I have to say that York station was appalling with lots of groups of people who had been out drinking in York during the day and were heading home.  There was quite a security guard presence though and the connection is quite tight so we didn't have to wait long.
Altogether a really enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

September Meeting and AGM

Today was our AGM and my last one as chair.  Everyone welcomed Angela as our new Chair with Val as secretary and I am sure all the members will give them both as much support as they have given me.  I have enjoyed my 5 years in the 'hot seat' but am ready for a rest now.

We welcomed 4 new members this week, although I think we shall have at least one old member not renewing this year so our numbers won't increase much.  It is always good to have new members with new ideas and lots of new stitching to look at.

The Rose Bowl was judged by Eileen Gibson, who was a member of the Branch when it first started and who is now returning to us.  There were nine entries, all beautifully done and the one chosen was by Laureen Hancock who embroidered the number 25 in numerous stitches and very fine thread. She now has the pleasure of looking after the crystal rose bowl for the next year.

As we were celebrating our 25th anniversary, we had a buffet lunch supplied by the members and it was delicious.  Although there looked to be a lot of it, we certainly made good inroads into it.

In the afternoon, Janet Coe gave us a talk about the Branch and it's beginnings.  She brought a lot of smiles to the faces of long standing members and a lot of 'Oh, I remember that' comments.

Moira had made a lovely cake with 25 on the top and we cut it after the talk and had a piece each with our tea.  Unfortunately, I was too late to take a photograph of it, it had gone by the time I got my camera out.

These two photographs show all the nine entries in our competition.  The subject was 'silver' and the piece had to be 6"x 4" in size.

This is the winner.  Unfortunately the photograph does not do it justice, it is difficult to see all the many stitches.

Friday, 26 August 2016

American Beadwork

I have just come back from a holiday to some of the National Parks in America.  It was a coach holiday and we covered about 3,500 miles altogether and I have seen some amazing sights.  I think I now have about six years worth of inspiration for embroidery but I don't know how much I shall get done.
We stopped one day at a tiny town called Afton where a Lancastrian and his Iranian wife run a tiny cafe and home made chocolate shop.  It is about the only 'English' style tearoom I have ever seen in America.  During the winter when they are blocked in with snow and don't have many customers, the lady (I don't remember her name) makes beautiful beadwork necklaces, bracelets, etc.  Some are designs that are in magazines and some are based on more traditional Native American designs.  I thought one or two people may be interested so I took a few photographs.

The chocolate was good too!