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, 23 October 2016

A Grand Day Out - The (Almost) Annual Trip

The Halifax Branch Trip this year took us westwards across the Pennines to Manchester. Safely negotiating our way out of Halifax (unlike last year, when we spent half an hour touring the highways and byways of Wheatley and Mixenden), and following a prize draw with lucky winners taking home prizes ranging from chocolate sewing kits to sequinned bottles of Babycham, our first stop was at Slattery's chocolate and bakery emporium, a wonderful place to spend a morning. 

Unfortunately we only had half an hour, so members had to forsake the little slice of heaven which is the Slattery Café, and make do with emptying the shelves of the amazing shop of its supplies of fantastic cream cakes, chocolate novelties, and cake decorating paraphernalia, not to mention the many foodie-type gifts. It was just as well we ordered the big coach! 
A quick trip round the M60 took us to Platt Hall, the Costume Gallery of the Manchester Art Gallery. Housed in a grand 18th Century house in extensive parkland, it is home to an exquisite collection of clothing ranging from 17C to the present day. 
A woman's bodice, and a close-up of the beautifully embroidered fabric

This is a child's jacket, embroidered and embellished with stump work. 

Examples of fine cut work decorating bonnets and tunics

 Some of the 17th century costumes on display

A pocket book with ribbon embroidery

The "spots" on this dress are made from beaten silver wire and are individually hand stitched onto the fabric, which was made in India

There is also an extensive collection of buttons at Platt Hall - 
look how small those linen buttons are! 

Examples of different kinds of Dorset buttons

The second cultural visit of the day was to The Whitworth, an award winning museum situated just up the road from Platt Hall. Feeling a bit peckish by now, many of us headed straight for the restaurant. Undaunted by the half hour wait for food, we enjoyed sitting in the glass-sided dining room, or on the patio, and enjoyed the surrounding wooded parkland and its many sculptures. The food was lovely too! 
The museum, despite holding thousands of textile pieces, has a disappointingly small number of them on display, although there was plenty of thought-provoking artwork to keep us busy. 
For a start, there was John Travolta!

Fabric of a kind - the beautifully sculpted robes of an effigy of 
Eleanor of Aquitaine

"Bear Work Wear" by Brian Griffiths

And finally, an artwork that I expect we could all replicate! 

The highlight of the return journey was a raffle for Kate Lycett's new book, "Lost Houses", which raised £55 for Overgate Hospice in memory of Halifax member Sheila Butterworth. 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

October Meeting - Chairmen's Challenges and an update on those Crazy Creatures!

What a busy weekend we had! As well as our meeting, where we learned from Margaret about fabric manipulation, we also provided the cakes and the tea-room manpower at the AGM at Scarcroft, on Saturday. The cakes were a huge hit and we made over £100 for Branch funds with donations for the cakes, and from our sales table. 
The October meeting was the deadline for our Chairman's Challenge, which this year had the title, "Forgotten Halifax". 
There were 6 entries, all brilliant and completely different from one another! We voted for our favourite with "small change", which was then donated to the Maurice Jagger Centre where we hold our meetings. 
Here are the photos of the entries - apologies for the reflections on those which are behind glass. 

This unusual perspective of the Piece Hall stairs is by Maureen

Vanessa came third with her montage 
including references to the town's sweet past 

 Margaret was in second place 
with her personal history attached to a shuttle.

The well-deserved winner was Janice, 
with her depiction of a factory girl at her loom. 
First prize was £30 so it's well worth entering! 

Next up are the completed "Crazy Creatures". I've NEVER seen so many finished items - what a popular workshop that was, with Annie Lancaster! 

...and one lonely caravan...
(cute though!)

Finally, here are a selection of pages from our "Branch Book", which was the challenge set by our Regional Chairman Pauline, at last year's AGM. 

Next year's challenge is to produce a piece of work that could be photographed and used on notelets that we could then sell to raise funds for the Region. 
Thinking caps on! 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

September Workshop - Crazy Creatures with Annie Lancaster

Annie Lancaster came along to Halifax in September to show members how to make her (a little bit scary!) Crazy Creatures, dolls made from oddments of fabrics, notions and haberdashery items. 

Here are photographs from the workshop, kindly taken by Anne B.