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...

Saturday, 6 June 2015

It's a Small World - Branch Challenge 2014-15

While we had Sally Darlington at our disposal (see previous post) we made her judge our Branch Challenge. 
There were even prizes - £30 for the winner, £20 for the runner-up, and £10 for third place. 
The title was "It's a Small World", and it had to fit (widthways at least!) into a standard petri dish. If you weren't aware, a petri dish is only 9cm in diameter, so it is amazing to see what some of our members have managed to cram in there! 

As our winner, Sally chose the entry by the ridiculously talented Anne Brooke, 
who made a pixie house out of felt, 
embellished with hand-embroidery, and with tiny pin trees. 

What's even more annoying is that Anne made this within about a week of the challenge being announced last September, while the rest of us were still finishing them off about an hour before the meeting! 

In second place Sally chose this piece by Jane Clayton, whose small world was a personal reflection of the difficulties sometimes caused for her by her own skin. 

The lid of Jane's dish is printed and embroidered, and the inside is a felted epidermis. You can feel Jane's pain, looking at this piece of work. 

In third place Sally chose this piece by Jo Sykes; a typically Pennine scene of a mill and hills, appliqued and painted and then decorated with hand embroidery. 

Now have a look at the other entries and see if you agree with Sally's decisions!

Val filled her dish with rings embroidered in variegated cotton, 
all stitched together and laid on a translucent background.

Hilary made an underwater scene complete with a treasure chest,
 overflowing with beaded treasures! 

Maureen stitched this intricate peacock with a great use of perspective. 
His "eyes" are highlighted with metallic threads.

The title of Jenny's dish is "Walk on Haworth Moor", 
the background is painted with acrylics 
and details are added with hand-stitching. 

Joan's amazingly detailed cross-stitch scene depicts the small 
world of horse racing. Look at the tiny horses! 

Sue set the scene for "Mary, Mary" with a garland of paper flowers! 
Mary is a little hand-made doll in her hand-embroidered flower garden. 

Janice's tree, mainly stitched in French knots, 
shows the passing of the seasons from Spring to Winter.

Mandy's dish, also in French knots, is literally a depiction of a small world. 
The other countries are on the reverse side. 

Sue's knot garden is just that - the whole surface of her piece is 
covered with tiny exquisite French knots. 

Davina's dish contains a trip around the world with lots of pieces of art, decorated with embroidery and symbols typical of the country in question.  

This is just to show you that it did in fact all fit in ingeniously into the dish! 

Margaret's piece was a poignant reminder of the fragility of life, 
with her evocation of the sea of poppies outside the Tower of London. 

Irene's enchanting under sea scene is embellished with all sorts! 
Shells, beads, stitch, net, sequins, all in shimmery light-catching colours. 

Rona's was another symphony in French knots, evoked by the verse, 
"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows", which she had stitched on the top side of her piece. 

This is the under side of the lid and the bottom of Rona's piece - so much work! 

Hilary has depicted a microscopic small world in her piece, "Bacillus Anthracis Embroderous". I think we've all caught it! 

Rachael's wind-swept tree on the banks of a river 
is couched onto a subtly shaded painted background 
with a hand-embroidered reed-bed in the foreground. 

Jackie demonstrated some of her beautiful needle-lace in her dish 
with this fantastic butterfly 
on a background embellished with herringbone stitch and French knots.

Wyn's was a small circular world, with tiny hand-made felt houses and trees
attached to the background with blanket stitch and decorated with French knots. 

Liz's design would certainly have won the prize for how much you could feasibly fit into a petri dish with this brilliant merry-go-round! 

Another great use of perspective - Sarah's houses are machine stitched and she has even sewn some onto the narrow ribbon around the inside of the rim! 

Catherine's manipulated fabric  bacteria look a bit too realistic for my liking! 

So there you are! Another really diverse collection of work 
by our talented members. 

If you're a visitor to our blog, 
why not leave us a comment with your own "Judge's Decision"?


  1. I cannot believe how many people participated and how on earth did you decide who the winners were?

  2. Hazel, the winners were decided by our guest speaker. I think there were so many entries because it was such a great idea by Wyn, our Chair, and 9cm seems quite manageable! (Until you're trying to cover it in French knots...)

  3. what a brilliant idea - and what an ingenious variety of responses to the challenge, they all deserve prizes - i hope you will be exhibiting them somewhere

    i hope you won't mind me spreading the word with a link on our own branch blog, Hertstitch

  4. Brilliant and so inspirational. Everyone a winner ;0).
    Trish, member of herts e.g.

  5. Brilliant and so inspirational. Everyone a winner ;0).
    Trish, member of herts e.g.