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...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Group Outing - Gawthorpe Hall, with retail therapy en-(circuitous)route...

26 of our members and guests set out on Saturday morning for our now annual "Sheila Butterworth Memorial Outing". Due to illness during the week, Wyn thought it wise to drive herself, taking Irene for company, which made for a much more peaceful coach journey than expected...(I'm only joking! We missed you!)
Our first stop, after some imaginative route planning by Brian's sat-nav, which tried to take us on the unmade road past the wind-farm at Wainstalls, was at Empress Mills at Colne. We had a very happy hour browsing the many nooks and crannies at this family-run enterprise, which are stocked from floor to ceiling with fabrics, threads, dyes, wadding, ribbons, and every other haberdashery item you can think of. With talks from Christine on lovely new products as well as detailed descriptions of some of the threads that they make or supply, it was a difficult job rounding members up to stick to our schedule!

The Empress Mills team pictured at Ally Pally earlier this week

Our next stop was nearby at Patchwork Chicks at Barrowford. As we only had time for a brief "shop", some members said that they would return for a further visit to this shop full of lovely quilting fabrics and notions. 

Patchwork Chicks

After grabbing a sandwich in Barrowford (some of us weren't as organised as others!) we returned to the coach for the 15 minute journey to Gawthorpe Hall at Padiham. Here we were met by Textile Curator Rachel Terry who gave us an informative talk about the items on display from the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Collection which is held at the hall, which was her family home. "Miss Rachel" collected textiles throughout her life, as well as being an accomplished needlewoman, lacemaker and tutor herself, and the collection is VERY extensive and holds some fine pieces. Each piece in the collection has hand-written notes and is graded on its merits. We split into two groups, giving the other half a chance to look around the rest of the Hall, or call at the Courtyard cafe for some delicious cake. 

Soldier's quilt made from over 9000 tiny pieces of uniform!

Contemporary pieces by former artist in residence, Bella May Leonard

Our group just before leaving with Gawthorpe Hall in the background

Amazingly the weather was fine and mild, and even more amazingly, we managed to find a direct route home and arrived back slightly ahead of schedule! 


  1. What a wonderful way to remember a lovely lady. I am sure you all miss her. I was very envious of your visit to Gawthorpe too. I am always telling everyone down here what a fantastic collection they have got.

  2. Thanks Hazel, we had a lovely day, and yes, the embroideries at Gawthorpe are stunning. The curator's talk was really interesting too.