We are a group of women (but men are welcome!) who have an interest in textile art and embroidery. We are of mixed abilities and there is no need for you to be able to sew to come and join us - there are no tests!
New members are always welcome - why not call in and join us as a guest for a few months?
Meeting fee for visitors is only £5.
Our meetings vary - we have talks and workshops, show and tell - we also have lots of weekend workshops and playdays. For details of what's coming up (and what's been and gone!) check out our programme below...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Regional Summer School 2014

This past weekend, four of our members (Wyn, Jane, Sue T and Mandy) attended the Regional Summer at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley. 
The agricultural college is set in extensive grounds in a lovely rural area, and within the complex are a beautiful walled garden, and lots of small zoo animals (meerkats, otters, monkeys, etc) as the college is a training centre for zoo keepers as well as for farmers. 

Wyn, Jane and Mandy took the course tutored by Janet Browne, which was mainly machine embroidery with some hand-embellishment. Janet makes beautiful maps and illustrations, mainly of personal journeys and observations, many including the area around her home in Addingham, Ilkley, or places that she has travelled to. Here are a few pieces of her work so that you can see what we were aspiring to! 

Janet emphasised that we should try to develop our own style, rather than emulating hers, so that our work would have our own identity. 
The technique used is a bit like reverse appliqué, with the work being stitched from the back and with the background pieces being added first, working forward to the front of the piece. 

First of all we unpacked our essentials

Then we all stitched a "simple" building to practice the techniques that Janet showed us
Jane chose her garden shed and greenhouse, she has yet to add the foreground details. 

Wyn made a row of beach huts with some festive bunting.

Mandy made a beach hut and added some hand embroidery to finish 
the piece off. 

Jane was rather warm and shocked Wyn into getting her camera out…

Mandy made a few more pieces (below); 
Wyn and Jane have works in progress.

This is Mandy Moo (Cakes)

This shows how to add "glass" to your piece

These are some fishy cupcakes, and below, the originals...

Sue T took the crewel work class run by Nicola Jarvis, a tutor from the Royal School of Needlework, which was based around William Morris-inspired birds.
This is the robin that Sue has been working on; she promises that it will be finished by our August meeting! 

We all had a smashing weekend, with lovely food, time for relaxation in the evenings (although we all carried on stitching whilst socialising!) and plenty of laughter! 

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Playday - Miniature Strip Quilts

July's Playday was to make miniature strip quilts inspired and including the words of a song or a poem. The quilts were hung from or attached to bobbins, reels, tiny hangers or kilt pins. 
As usual, members produced a wonderful and diverse range of pieces, all quite different from each other but equally inspiring. 


Margaret chose the poem The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, and for her colour scheme used cotton dyed in moorland colours, taking inspiration from a card which is pictured with her part-finished piece. 
And here is the finished quilt - seen from both ends of the road!

Catherine chose The Oak by Alfred Lord Tennyson. She printed the words and included lots of hand-stitching on her linen-based work.
Here is Catherine's finished quilt, with lots of lovely hand-stitching...

Davina, who is a musician, chose Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen and Yip Harberg, made famous of course by Judy Garland. She later added some embellishments to her multi-layered piece. 

Julie used a piece of driftwood as a the base for this multi-textured hanging inspired by the sea. It winds round the driftwood and is ingeniously fastened by a button which forms part of the piece.

Irene's piece, inspired by The Lake of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats, features a lot of beautiful handwritten inserts and maps as well as dyed cotton and sheer fabrics. The finished piece is much more substantial than the initial lay-out, 
as Irene found it to be a bit too fragile (!) and she has added a lovely glass bauble at the end, which contains tiny blossom.

Jane chose Warning by Jenny Joseph as her inspiration, taking the colour scheme from the words of the poem, "When I am old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat that doesn't go…" for her machine-stitched piece.
You can see on her finished item that she has added some hats, which are referred to in the poem. Jane's quilt has 3 strips instead of just one. She's also embellished the back of her piece with co-ordinating fabrics. 

Janice's piece, wrapped round a vintage-style cotton bobbin, featured many techniques - I think she started 4 hours before anyone else! Her multi-layered piece included hand stitching and beading.

Finally, here is Jan's piece - she had gone before I took the pictures at the Playday. She used the song, "Love Letters in the Sand" as her inspiration, and you can see that she has used lovely aqua tones for her quilt.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

July Meeting - Davina's Mystery Night & Summer Faith Supper

June brought our regular event, the biannual Faith Supper (which was lovely, as usual, with lots of home-made goodies) and the much-anticipated Mystery Night with Davina. 

First though, we had a presentation of awards from Regional Day for our successful competition entrants Janice and Margaret (see below post for close-up pictures of their entries) - Janice won the Maggie Judges Floral Trophy which is a sweet Moorcroft vase that Janice gets to keep for a year, and Margaret won 3rd prize in the Coats Anchor Award.
Here they are with our Chair, Wyn.

Davina got her glamorous assistant Zelda (AKA Margaret) to hand out envelopes to us all. They contained a piece of white fabric, two shades of  stranded cotton, and a piece of white ribbon; Davina then explained to us how to make "humbugs" which we could use a scissor charms or for any other purpose we could think of! Our instructions had been to bring a needle and white thread, and these were used to sew a design on the white fabric with the coloured cotton, and then to stitch up the seams of the humbug. 
Here are the results of our efforts (we didn't all quite finish in the allotted time, and as you can see, we are sharing the scissors...)