Tuesday, 16 December 2014

December Meeting - Rachel Terry

Our December meeting was our Christmas meeting and had a bit of a party atmosphere. We had a lovely speaker - Rachel Terry - who makes rag rugs, but instead of just listening to her talk, where she gave us a history of rag rugging, we also got to have a go ourselves.

Busy at work (and chatting and eating cake)

Naturally, we didn't have time to make a rug each - especially as there was a mid afternoon break for some very lovely Christmas cakes - but we did have a go at using the proddy technique with a split peg to create a corsage each.

Some of the corsages under construction
We were mostly engrossed in our task, but also had time for plenty of chat, (it was a social event) and of course, Rachel was a very good tutor, coming round and demonstrating how to complete our corsages. We also had time to vote to choose the winner of the 'Round Robin' Christmas competition.

Round Robin entries
The winning entry was this lovely robin complete with nesting box made by Pauline.

Pauline's winning Robin

Other things
Preparations for our exhibition next summer are getting underway. There is a new tab at the top of the blog, where all the information about the exhibition will appear. In the meantime, there was a request for donations of fabrics and threads in 'Spring' colours to be brought to the January meeting. These will then be bagged up in to attractive 'project' bags to be sold as fundraising items at the exhibtion.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

An Early Christmas Present

Our speaker next November (yes, nearly a year away) Elizabeth Almond has been in touch with Dulcie and has shared one of her designs with us. It's a lovely blackwork design, suitable for using over the festive season.
Simplicity - Elizabeth Almond
The design is now available as a free download directly from her Blackwork Journey website and the direct link can be found by clicking here.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

November meeting - Karen Parry

The talk today was by Karen Parry who works for Entaco which of course, most of us hadn't heard of, but when she explained that it was also John James, sewing needles and Aero and Millward knitting needles, then we knew where she was coming from!

Karen gave us a quick history of the manufacture of sewing needles, how the business had grown from a cottage industry based in and around Redditch to an international company that now exports to over 50 countries. The process has remained largely unchanged for over 100 years.

The needle making process, as detailed on the John James website

She talked us through all the different sorts of hand sewing needles which were available, and when to use substitutes to get better results. There was lots more interesting detail about the difficulties in making needles, especially beading needles. Open heart surgery got a mention unexpectedly! And best of all Karen brought goody bags full of information about all the different types of needles available - and the opportunity to undertake some retail therapy if we desired. A very interesting talk where we learned that the needle isn't such a humble thing after all.

Other things

Suggestions are still wanted for a destination for the proposed Branch Outing next summer. This should be related to stitch in some way.

Young Embroiderers met over two mornings last week. The results were impressive - little bags made from sequin waste. A request was put out for volunteers to help at the sessions. They run during four school holidays - February half term, Easter, Summer and October half term - for a Wednesday and Thursday morning each time. If you could offer your help please contact Diane or Judith.

Questionnaires about the direction the branch should take in the future were available for completion to be given back at the next meeting. Opinions on what format the bursary should take in future are also still sought and should be sent to Kath.

The library is back in business, though it has moved to the other side of the room! Next month (December meeting) it will be possible to return books, in fact there is a plea to return books if you have been 'looking after them' while the library situation was resolved. The library will be open as usual for borrowing books at the January meeting.

June Exhibition:

  • Shirley has opened her list of Children's book titles to be turned into book covers for visitors to guess at the exhibition.
  • A request was made for about 20 volunteers, each prepared to do something towards helping with the organisation of the exhibition. Stevie is collecting names!

At the Regional AGM last month the Leeds branch won the competition. Our seaside themed piece will be part of next summer's exhibition. Additions to it are welcome before then.

The following events were announced, each one involving some of our members. (Click on the links for more details)
Carol and Sandra at Ryedale Folk Museum
Decora at the Blue Light Gallery in Masham
Hippystitch having a Christmas Extravaganza and being part of York Makers Fair.

And Finally.... The next meeting is the Christmas meeting.
We will be having a guest tutor. Please bring the usual sewing kit including scissors.
A gift for the Bran Tub (wrapped and sewing related) would be welcome. There will be a raffle with the prizes provided by members of the committee.
The competition theme is 'Round Robin'.
Stitch club will proceed as usual in the morning but lunch will be at the slightly earlier time of 12.00 and the afternoon meeting will start at 1.30 (rather than the usual 2.00). There will be a tea and cake break during the afternoon session.
I'm hoping that covers everything.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Workshop - Saturday 18th October

Looking for a great idea for a Christmas Present? Come along to Pauline Tywman's workshop on Saturday 18th October at Huntington Village Hall - cost £17. Spaces are available for guests. Please contact Dulcie on 07890 299034 to book a place.

Pauline is going to show how to make a cover for a mobile phone which will also adapt to suit kindles, Ipads  and book covers. 
The session will be from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. Tea/coffee and nibbles are provided. Bring a mug and a packed lunch. 

Pelmet Vilene (iron is best) I will bring some (if using plain, bring bondaweb)
Fabrics in colours of your choice (scraps can be used)
Fabrics in contrasting colours (for lining)
Hand stitching threads
Machine Stitching threads (metallic if you like)
Embellishments. Beads, sequins, fancy threads for couching etc...
Press stud
Sewing machine (I will bring mine for anyone to use)
Extension lead

Huntington Memorial Hall

46, Strensall Rd, Huntington, York,
North Yorkshire
YO32 9SH.          

01904 750258 ‎ · www.hmh.org.uk 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

October Meeting - Meridith Towne & AGM

Our October talk was full of intrigue. It was given by Meridith Towne who is the little girl to the right in the photo.

Meridith grew up to take a degree in archaeology and she is now a Costume Historian and Dressmaker. Her talk 'Romance in the Raj' followed the exploits of Marjorie and her 'Fishing' expedition to India to 'catch' a husband during the late Edwardian era.

Marjorie and the Man she 'caught'.

Marjorie made a very good catch - and Meridith gave a very good talk outlining the trials and tribulations of several weeks at sea travelling to India, discarding knickers along the way, and then finding a suitable husband whilst coping with the restrictions and social conventions of the time. The talk looks at the fashions over twenty years, both in India and back home, and Meridith brings examples of the costumes that would have been worn which, together with her gifts for humour and story-telling, really bring the talk to life. And of course, there's a twist in the tale at the end of the talk - but I couldn't possibly say what it is!

Other Matters
The triennial branch exhibition will be next year - June 18th to 21st. Branch members have been invited to make an entry for the visitors competition. The entry must take the form of a dust jacket for a book. The cover must depict (in as cryptic form as desired) a well known children's book. The definition for 'well known' is that Shirley must have heard of it!! She will be opening a list next month - titles are on a first come first served basis, so if you've got a really excellent idea, make sure you're on the list!

The branch bursary scheme has not attracted any applicants for the last two years. In light of this, it is proposed that the money ring-fenced to fund this bursary should be applied differently. There was a discussion during the meeting of possible options. To allow the committee to consider all suggestions, please make your suggestion (even if you raised it at the meeting) in writing to Kath (her email address is on the About Us page) before the next meeting.

There will be two 'pop-up' shops (or sales tables in old speak) at the next branch meeting. Jo will be selling items for papercrafts, and Helen will be selling recycled and vintage craft materials and threads. 10% of takings will be donated to branch funds.

It is hoped to run a branch outing next year. Please let any committee member know if you have ideas for a good (stitch related) day out.

Tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate (20th - 23rd November) will be available at the November branch meeting at the discounted price of £10 per ticket.

The AGM was held before the branch meeting. There are spaces for another couple of people to be on the Committee. Committee meetings are held in the morning before the branch meeting. Please consider if you could help in some way, and contact a committee member for more details.

And finally...
held over from last month, the winner of the name badge competition was

Keen readers will remember that she also won the Christmas competition. This Christmas the Competition theme is 'Round Robin'. There are prizes to be won - Anne won a Hobbycraft voucher for her name badge - What are you waiting for?????

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

September meeting - Ruth Brown

The Speaker at this month's meeting was Ruth Brown of Stone Creek Textiles.
Ruth's talk was illustrated with examples of the textile techniques she has explored since she moved away from working in IT.
She was first captivated by the effects that could be achieved by painting and manipulating dyes on silk (her business used to be called Stone Creek Silks but she has branched out since then). She moved on to working with Indigo and shibori, then blue prints, or cyanotypes, on fabrics.

'Ivy' One of Ruth's cyanotypes
She researched the subject thoroughly and discovered that there was very little written on the technique aimed specifically at textile artists, so she wrote the book! That was then followed by a book on Digital Imagery on Fabrics, drawing on her years of experience in IT.
Ruth then talked about Stone Creek itself - an open wilderness at the edge of the Humber estuary - and how she has a barn which has been converted into a workshop space where she teaches many of her techniques.
Ruth had also brought along examples of her work and it was lovely to be able to see these techniques at close hand.

Other things...
The theme for the Christmas Competition has been announced as 'Round Robin'. This can be interpreted in many ways and I believe there are prizes!

Moira was awarded the Ida Barber trophy this year. The judging of the badge competition to make a name badge incorporating a City of York EG badge (see the July post for more details) has been held over until next month - so there's still time to make a competition entry.

The Regional AGM is on the 11th October. Further contributions for the secret stitching project to be unveiled at the AGM were requested - bring them to the branch meeting/AGM on the 4th October.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The New Programme for 2014 - 15

Perhaps there should be a drum roll at this point.....The Programme of Speakers and members' days for 2014-15 had been unveiled and is now available by clicking on the tab above.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

July Meeting - The Fulford Tapestry

The Speaker at this month's meeting was Mary Ann Dearlove, one of the embroiderers involved in stitching The Fulford Tapestry.

Details taken from the tapestry

Mary Ann brought the entire tapestry with her and it took up most of the stage. The pictures show just some of the tiny details which make up the overall work which depicts the Battle of Fulford in 1066. This is the 'forgotten' battle which took place before the more famous Battles of Hastings and Stamford Bridge at a small river ford on the edge of York.

More gory details!

Apparently, so many dead bodies fell into the ford at the site of the battle that the ford became known as the 'Foul Ford' which over time became corrupted to 'Fulford'. We don't just do embroidery at Embroiderers' Guild meetings!

Mary Ann also talked knowledgeably about the stitches - mainly stem stitch, laid stitch and open buttonhole (for the chain mail) - and the learning curve when sourcing the best wool yarns and natural dyes to create the vibrant colours used in the tapestry.

It took a small group of dedicated embroiderers nearly seven years to stitch the tapestry; fund raising is now being undertaken to  create a display stand for the tapestry and it is in search of a permanent home. Finding a venue is proving quite a challenge. To read more about the tapestry and the vast amount of time and research which has gone into the making click here. A very interesting talk.

Other Things (in no particular order)
At the September meeting in addition to the Ida Barber Trophy (awarded for the best original design) there will be a competition - with prize(s) as yet unspecified - for the best name brooch made using the York Embroiderers' Guild badge as its centrepiece.

Name badges are really helpful to the committee, so please try and make one.

Subscriptions are due in September. Subscription is made up of two parts. The major part which will be £30 goes directly to Embroiderers' Guild Headquarters to support the charitable aims of the Guild. The branch subs will be £10. This money goes towards the costs of the monthly meetings and includes room hire and the cost of the speakers (who are generally excellent - scroll back through the blog to see what a wide range of topics we have covered this year). Unfortunately, it isn't possible to be a member of the branch without also being a member of the Guild. The treasurer asked if we could remember to bring our cheque books and pay by cheque, as this makes banking easier.

The Regional AGM is on 11th October 2014 in Scarcroft. The current branch project needs to be completed in time for the AGM. More bodies (stitched and embroidered) are needed to go with the beach huts. These should be finished and brought to the September meeting and hopefully a working party will get everything together for October. I think there is an element of surprise to this project, so I will post photos when the 'Grand Reveal' happens.

It was proposed and accepted that the Branch AGM will take place in October not just this year, but in subsequent years.

Next year - 2015 - is exhibition year. Our triennial exhibition will be held in the Guildhall in York in June 2015. Dates are still being finalised. Fundraising ideas to help towards the cost of staging this exhibition are needed.

If I got this right, there are still places available on the Residential Summer School this July. Details are in the Regional Handbook or at this link on the Guild website.

And last, but not least, the Chairman's Award was won this year by Celia. The criteria was to use the Die Cutter and incorporate these cut shapes into a finished piece. Celia was inspired by a visit to the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds.

Celia's winning piece

Next year's theme is still to be announced.

Monday, 9 June 2014

June meeting - Julia Triston

Julia's talk was entitled 'Identity and Intimacy' and was a look at the influences behind and development of her work.
She talked about how her travels to places such as India and Peru had influenced her use of colour and how the idea of upcycling or reusing textiles had a major bearing on her work.
She began to consider gender and identity and the difference between the 'ideal' and 'real' woman. This resulted in a series of dresses made from bras and bunting made from knickers.

Julia with 'Push my Button' - 100 metres of knicker bunting

Needless to say, not all the components were her own, as she appealed to friends, family and the wider public including celebrities for donations towards her creations. The interest created in her work led to her having an hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Further images can be found here on her website.

Julia had brought delicate sketchbooks for us to look at and more recent pieces of work including smaller stitched pieces concentrating on the seams and evidence of wear of original garments which had been deconstructed and re-assembled. It was a very enjoyable and interesting talk which gave us a real understanding of the themes and influences which run through her work.

Other things:
The library will be back to 'normal' next month, so if you are 'looking after' books it will be ok to bring them to the next meeting.

There was a reminder that it is the 'Chairman's competition' next month (see the Programme page for details) and in September, in addition to the Ida Barber trophy being awarded, there will be a separate competition for 'best' name badge incorporating the York Embroiderers' Guild badge.

The July meeting is on 5th July which is the day of the 'Grand Depart' for the Tour de France and cyclists will be making their way from Leeds via Harewood and Skipton up to Swaledale and finishing in Harrogate. It is likely (ie definite I would imagine!) that other traffic in these areas will be disrupted, so plan your journey to our meeting with this in mind.

The North West region of the Embroiderers' Guild is having an exhibition Tied by Stitch at Lancaster's Storey Gallery from 26th May to 21st June.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

May Meeting - Claire Spooner

Today's talk had been billed as 'In miniature' but it turned out that it should have read 'Millinery in Miniature' as our speaker today, Claire Spooner makes bespoke millinery.
She also has an extensive collection of historical hats and it was a 'miniature' look at the history of hat making and styles that was the subject of the talk.

Claire with some of the many hats from her collection
Claire brought hats from the mid 19th century to the late 20th century and explained how the style of hat changed over time as the overall body silhouette changed with new fashions. As a practising milliner she was also extremely knowledgeable on construction techniques used within the hats and how this then helped the hat 'sit' correctly on the wearer's head. We learned (among many other interesting things) that Plumassier was a real word and was a skilled profession. This was a really informative yet light-hearted talk with Claire modelling many of the hats she had brought along.

Other announcements
The date of the branch AGM has been moved to the October meeting and will now take place at 1.30pm on Saturday 4th October 2014. (This is so important it also has its own separate blog post!)

The branch library is being rehoused into a new storage space at the Folk Hall. While this changeover is in progress, please keep any books you have borrowed at home.

Sue gave a report of the Embroiderers' Guild AGM at Wyboston and Kath gave a report of her recent meeting with Terry Murphy. Both these reports should be available to read if required.

The beach scene is progressing very nicely. Beach huts are nearly finished, but more people are needed. As a guide to scale, the logo on front of the branch programme should be used as the size of the head of the stitched people.

Sue is organising tickets for Regional day. This clashes with our June meeting. If you would like a ticket, contact Sue (phone number on the printed programme).

Stitch Club, our morning workshop will, from September, run alongside two more formal classes.
The first is a 5 session introduction to goldwork, the second is a series of masterclasses of crewel work filling stitches. Sheila G has further details.

If you want to knit a bike for the Tour de France coming through Yorkshire, the next meeting is at the bike shop in Micklegate 2-4pm on 10th May.

Textile Experimental Group has an exhibition at West Ayton Village Hall 10th and 11th May.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

City of York branch revised AGM date

The date of the branch AGM has been moved (again). It will now be immediately before the October meeting on Saturday 4th October 2014, starting at 1.30pm.
As there is no longer an AGM in September, the September meeting will start at the usual time of 2.00pm

Sunday, 6 April 2014

April Meeting - Ailish Henderson

Ailish Henderson, a textile artist from Gateshead, gave a very interesting talk about how she came to textiles from a fine art background. She was introduced to stitch by Julia Triston and studied for her City and Guilds with Julia and Tracy Franklin. She is now studying for a BA and teaching textiles.
She encouraged us to be more active in our observation of the world around us and to use this as a basis for introducing a personal story into our work.

Some of her work has recently been displayed in the 'In Dreams' exhibition at the Customs House in South Tyneside, where she took the personal themes of age and dreams to depict the emotions of life and to consider 'Where do you wear your story?'.

Child's dress - keeping her life in her pocket

A young woman's shirt wearing her heart on her sleeve
Two of Ailish's pieces from the exhibition which she brought to show us, with images taken from her blog.

Other Things
A reminder that the pieces being made for the Regional Competition need to be brought to the May meeting.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Folk Hall refurbishment - Storage solutions needed!

We wish to alert you to the fact that important decisions need to be made at our next meeting on Saturday 5th April. We have been informed that as a result of the refurbishment of the Folk Hall, our storage space is going to be severely curtailed. We will only have sufficient room to store the absolute essentials we require for meetings. This will not include the library or the sales table stock, the screens and exhibition equipment, and various other sundries we have stored there. If you are unable to be present at the meeting and have strong opinions or good ideas, please contact any member of the committee by email.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

March Meeting - Rachel Lombard

We were especially pleased to welcome Rachel Lombard as our speaker this month as she had to cancel her original booking last year.

Rachel firmly believes that everyone has creative ability of some kind or another. Telling us of her initial, thwarted desire to study patchwork and quilting, Rachel related how she reluctantly took a creative embroidery course, and has never looked back!

It was a delight to see inside Rachel's sketch books, and she emphasised the importance of recording the journey from concept to stitch, and also the value of evaluating ones work along the way, and to reflect on completion.

As well as a most informative presentation, Rachel delighted us with an extensive display of her work.


more mirrors, boxes, albums and sketchbooks.

Other Things

Yorkshire Branch at Leeds have invited us to celebrate their 80th birthday with them, and have invited us to their meeting at St Columba's Church, Headingley , Leeds on  June 28th. We have been asked to RSVP, so if you would like to go please could you let Stevie Rodgers know. the meeting begins at 11.30, includes lunch, and the afternoon speaker is our very own Diana Barrett.

Details of the Region Summer School and application forms are available from Stevie.

Ryedale Branch has an Exhibition In the Band Room, Farndale on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April.  10.00am - 4.00pm.

The dates for York Open Studios this year are  4th,5th, 6th April and 12th, 13th April. Further details - www.yorkopenstudios.co.uk

Monday, 24 February 2014

(Lack of) Catering at the March meeting

We're sorry to have to announce that we have been advised by the staff at the Folk Hall that, because of the current refurbishment being undertaken at the venue, it will not possible to provide a catered lunch on March 1st. However, in a change to their usual policy, it will be acceptable to bring a Packed Lunch and eat it at the Folk Hall. Tea and Coffee should be available. For those who arrive without a packed lunch and are really hungry it is usually possible to buy food from the shops in the village. Morning Stitch Club and the afternoon meeting should be unaffected by the refurbishments.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

February Meeting - Alice Fox

The Talk at the February meeting was given by Alice Fox and described her experiences during her Artist's Residency at Spurn Point and her newer work which has developed from her initial excitement in discovering and making marks in the natural environment.

Alice at work (image taken from her blog)
Of course, she explained it all much better than I can and her blog is full of examples of her work. Alice's talk was illustrated with many images and video of her time at Spurn Point and highlighted the unpredictability of the weather there. You obviously need many layers of thermals and waterproofs for a residency during a Yorkshire summer!

Throughout the talk Alice's enthusiasm, in discovering marks in the landscape and then creating marks on fabric and paper using found objects, shone through. Not surprisingly, these Coastal Perspectives have fed through into her more recent work finding inspiration in the streets of Saltaire and beyond. Alice brought along examples of her collographs presented as concertina books, sketch books and stitched pieces so we could see up close how she successfully integrates her found images into finished pieces. A really interesting and inspiring talk.

Other things

Booking for a dayschool with Jo Wilson to make altered books will open at next month's meeting.

The sales table raised over £100 to send to the Sreepur project 

Tracy Franklin has been shortlisted for the Embroiderers' Guild Beryl Dean Education Award

NELLI The New Earswick Less Loneliness Initiative is having a Hobby Craft Fair at the Folk Hall on 12th April and the branch will be having a stall. Volunteers are sought to help on the day.

There was an announcement from the committee about a branch entry into the Regional Competition. Shirley mentioned riding a carousel at the seaside. I'm intrigued but non the wiser. Further details at next month's meeting.......

Sunday, 5 January 2014

January Meeting - Cluny Chapman

Happy New Year.

The speaker at this month's meeting was Cluny Chapman - textile artist, York Minster broderer, owner of Highfield Textiles and member of our branch.
Her talk 'Generations - a family history of textiles' linked the history of embroidery over the past 150 years with her own family's involvement with textiles over this time...
from the sampler stitched by her great great aunt...
Sampler dating from 1879
...to the costumes designed in London by her great grandfather...
Design including the caption 'Lampshade' !
...and her grandmother's involvement with the Needlework Development Scheme...

...leading on to her mother's work including a major commission for the Guildhall of the Glazier's Company in London...

...and Cluny's own work including her exquisitely embroidered wedding dress...

...and showing how she is now passing on her skills to her own children.

Many of the textiles which featured in Cluny's talk have now been passed down to her and she was able to bring a wide selection of garments including dresses, Christening gowns, and some exquisite embroidery for us to ooh and aah over after the talk. A really interesting and enjoyable afternoon.

Other things:

The morning Stitch Club next month will include more developments of ATCs and Josie will be showing how to make raised work faces.

Gina Smith announced her exhibition 'Journeys with a Needle' is now at Helmsley Arts Centre having previously been at Dales Countryside Museum

Bookings for Ruth Brown's Cyanotype Printing workshop on 8th March will open at the February meeting.