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!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Regional Summer School

The first warm weekend of the summer and we were all heading towards Bishop Burton to shut ourselves away to embroider.  I joined Val, Moira and Christina on the Libby Smith workshop 'Rolling Landscapes' and we were quickly underway dyeing small strips of fabric to make our landscapes.  It was a bit tricky rinsing them out in the tiny washbasins in our bedroom en-suites but we all seemed to manage without painting the walls as well.

Saturday was spent layering up our landscape and starting to stitch.  The day was interspersed with trips to the canteen to feed the body and walks round the gardens to feed the mind.  As usual, the food was excellent and there was plenty of it.  It is always good to meet members from other branches and to chat as well as work.  Sunday after lunch we did a final trip round each others classrooms to look at the work done and it was all beautiful.  Maggie Smith's group had been doing tiny flowers and trees in the most delicate of stitching, Pippa Foulds group had also been doing fine stitch work using the white on white technique of Mountmellick embroidery.  Jan Dowson's group made some lovely patched works using antique fabrics and ephemera to produce lovely memory pieces.

Here are some photographs of the work done on Libby's workshop.

This lady finished hers in the weekend.  Wisely she made it very narrow and not too long so that she didn't have quite as much stitching to do as the rest of us.

This is the tutors work.  You can see it better on her website. They are beautifully detailed with paint and stitch.

This is the finished one rolled up.

Monday, 27 June 2016

June Meeting

A lovely sunny day and we had fewer members here today, maybe they were all gardening.  We welcomed one visitor and Jackie gave us another Make and Take session making fabric flowers.  Our visitor was ahead of us as she had shortened the dress she was wearing and used the excess fabric to make a flower which she had stitched to the shoulder.  It looked really good.

Our speaker today was Julia Burns who runs a company called Red Hen.  She produces a range of gift cards and writing sets and also sells limited edition prints of her designs.  You can purchase her goods in shops like John Lewis and Harrods.  The really interesting thing is, all her designs are made using potato prints!  She demonstrated cutting a potato and printing with it and described how she produced the more complicated designs.  We were also given an insight into the world of business and trying to get onto the ladder with your own products.

This is one of her designs the original Red Hen which she printed today.  You get three different prints by not recharging the paint.  The comb, wattle and legs are hand painted on afterwards.

Some of Julia's designs and products.  Several of us couldn't resist buying these notecards.

Moira has been travelling the country looking at the Capability Brown exhibitions and she gave us a brief overview of the ones she had seen.  Not to be missed if you get the chance is Ickworth in Norfolk and Leyburn.  Although this one has now finished at Leyburn, we believe it is going on elsewhere so if anyone knows anything can they let us know.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Patchwork Day

We had another patchwork day for beginners this Saturday.  Although we are now nearer to intermediate than beginners and some have shot ahead to be nearly experts.

Today Jackie designed a bag for us to do using half square triangles.  Everyone got underway quickly and was soon stitching away.  Several people forgot to bring things with them but none so spectacularly as me who forgot her sewing machine.  Fortunately, Jackie had brought hers and I was able to sew with everyone else.

Here are some of the panels we made which will go on to make our bags.

This is Moira's hand dyed fabric.

Angela managed to get front and back done.  She enjoys Tatting so this bag is to keep it tidy.

Janet had these amazing fabrics which really looked good once they were joined together.

Cath chose plain colours but they really looked good together.

This is my bag well under way.

Liz had these lovely indian design fabrics that are looking amazing together.

Everyone's thanks to Jackie who did a sterling job keeping us all on track.

Regional Day

Sorry this is a bit late but I have just worked out how to download the photographs from my phone to my computer.  I am very impressed with myself that I have worked out OneDrive.

We had a very good day at Riccall as always.  There was plenty of shopping, good speakers and good food.  Anthea Godfrey and Liz Smith, two of the Guilds Trustees, gave us an update on the Guild and what is happening around the country.  Our morning speaker was Lizzie Wall who gave a lively talk about her work in applique.  She showed us lots of pieces of her work including two magnificent chasubles one of which is photographed below.

The model is her son-in-law who had been commandeered into helping.

In the afternoon we heard Stuart Hilliard, runner up in the first Sewing Bee series.  He was very amusing and kept us all in fits of laughter in the afternoon.

The competitions were well subscribed to and I have to report a success for our branch in the Coats Anchor award for 'Religion in Yorkhshire'.  Mavis Renshaw's entry of a Green Man won first prize and she was delighted.

Some of the work on display in the competitions.

The Hare at the back was the winning entry for the cup.

The foxgloves at the front won the Floral Alphabet competition.

Some of the young embroiderers' entries.

The framed picture at the back was the winning entry for the Coates Anchor award.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

May Meeting

I know this is a bit late but I was away last week in Berlin and am just catching up with myself.  I can recommend Berlin for a city break there is loads to do and it is a lovely modern city.

Our speaker for May had to cancel and so one of our members, Christina Hampshire, stepped in to breach the gap and gave a very enjoyable talk about 'Why I Do What I Do'.

She told us all about how she started embroidery and how she spent many years working on her own until she discovered the Guild and met up with lots of like minded people to work with.

It is always good to see the work that other members do and everyone enjoyed talking to Christina about techniques and materials used.

Here is some of her work.

Work done with the Castle Embroidery Group in Harrogate.

Christina's 'Tree Rythmns' entry which received a Highly Commended award.  This can be seen at the Bankfield exhibition and the other piece at Ripon.

Work based on architecture.

Inspiration for stitch from knitting patterns.
Story boards.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Stitching in the Dales

Just to let everyone know that the Stitching in the Dales was as good as ever and we all had a very enjoyable couple of days stitching away.  Both classes were full and thanks go to Carol and Gina for sharing their expertise and to everyone who organised the event and provided food, etc.

I have taken a few photo's (I remembered my camera this time) and start off with the view from my bedroom window at the B&B that I stayed in.

These next few are from Carol Coleman's workshop Earth's Beauty.

The next pictures are from Gina's workshop which was creating landscapes.

Some lovely work and ideas.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

April Meeting, Scampston Hall and Guild AGM

The Guild AGM, held in Manchester this year was a very good day.  We had two inspiring speakers in Susie Vickery and Sian Martin.  The venue was smart and close to the railway station and the lunch was excellent.  The timings this year were spot on and we finished promptly at 4pm.  The Guild is still having problems recruiting new members and finances are a struggle but the profile and the image of the Guild is leaping ahead with new ventures into collaborations with other partners.An increase in subscription fees was approved which will go some way to help the finances.

The exhibition at Scampston Hall is now in place and what a lovely display it makes.  It is in the conservatory which is not a huge space but the work fitted in very well.  Look out for a press report in the Malton Gazette and Herald, hopefully week commencing 9th May.  It has be good to work with other branches and we have all said that it would be nice to get together again either as a meeting or another exhibition - or maybe both!  If you get chance to visit Scampston do go, it is a lovely garden and there is a very nice tea room and our exhibition of course.

A good meeting in April although the weather is still a bit cold up here.  We have managed to reunite nearly everyone with their work from the exhibition and we made a good profit for the branch funds.  Thanks to everyone who helped.
Angela has started a monthly newsletter which everyone enjoyed and thought a good idea.
The travelling journal has another double page spread completed and has moved on to its next writer which is Christine who is planning to do something on blackwork.
Our speaker was Pauline Cameron who keeps alpaca's.  Regrettably she did not bring one with her but she did bring lots of photographs for us to look at.  She also brought some of the wool she makes from the fleece of the animals and demonstrated spinning it.  The sweater she was wearing was knitted with her own wool and it was beautifully soft.
I didn't get any photographs of the alpaca's she owns but here is one of some that I took in Peru a few years ago.

These were amazingly sensible about crossing the road, they waited at the kerb and all went together.

Monday, 11 April 2016


We have just had a wonderful exhibition at Farndale.  Once again the daffodils were at their best and although the ground was more like a mud bath, it didn't deter either the walkers or the embroidery enthusiasts.  Lots of people came especially to see our work and several said that they had been looking out for it as they had enjoyed it so much in the past. It wouldn't have been the success it was without all the stitching from the members and the work from those who manned the rooms on the day. Here are photographs of most of the work on display.

These little fellows were the star of the show.  22 members each made one of these birds from a Stitch magazine pattern and as you can see, each one is different.

These are Colleen's 'comforter's' made up from the work she did for her City and Guilds many years ago.  The remains of each piece from round the dolls she has made into a book.  They look a bit like forensic body drawings!

Janet's beautiful hardanger.

Christine on the bag tombola.

These next three pictures are items from our 'Make and Take' sessions in Branch meetings.

Work from Regional and National competitions.

2015 Rosebowl competition 'Winter'.

Imelda's lovely beadwork

2014 Rosebowl competition 'A Book Cover'

Janet's beautiful ecclesiastical goldwork.