Monday, February 11, 2019

9th February 2019 "Take a stitch and play with it"

A pleasing numbers of members showed up for the meeting which preceded the workshop and it was interesting to hear our Chairman's summary of the outcome of January's meeting and the positive suggestions for our way forward.
Ladies also passed on information about an upcoming exhibition at the Hodgson's Gallery, the BBC4 radio book of the week "Threads of History" and a reminder about the Branch Facebook page (Embroiderers's Guild Isle of Man)

Twelve ladies stayed on for the workshop. We started by watching U-tube tutorials on how to do various stitches, some of which were new to even the most accomplished members. Coral stitch was to prove very popular.

The 4" squares were also brought out to show what could be done with either single or multiple stitch types.

A very convivial atmosphere then developed as ladies set to with their own interpretations of the one stitch theme. There was a buzz of conversation and busyness.

After lunch we were joined by 6 Young Embroiderers' and some of their mothers, who all settled down to start work on their project using lazy-daisy stitch.

Samples of two of the adults' work can be seen below. The little bird is created using lines of coral stitch and a "hairy" thread. The abstract is in French knots and inspired by lichen.

Betty and Maureen K's work.

Monday, January 21, 2019

19th January 2019 An excellent start to the year

 Our decision to step outside the "norm" and hold our January meeting at Green's Restaurant in St John's, paid off. It was attended by 17 of our 29 members with four more sending in their suggestions about the future of the group. Discussion was very positive and constructive. 
Everyone appreciated being able to buy drinks, cakes and delicious lunches and we hope that Green's, who let us have their room for free, also benefited from our being there. Thank you, "Green's".
It also gave ladies the chance to stitch sociably at UFOs or their own endeavours, so a big success all round.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Our Christmas celebrations seem to be jinxed by the weather. Last year's was cancelled because of snow, this year it was a dreadful day - pouring rain and Storm Dierdre doing her best to blow down trees and people off their feet. 10 ladies braved it and, fortunately, our numbers were boosted by 6 Young Embroiderers and their mums.
We started with a contributory lunch, which, as usual, provided us with a wonderful, tasty and varied spread
Kits were provided to create a Nordic-style Christmas tree decoration and nearly everyone managed to finish and take home a hanging to go on their tree.

A Centenary Celebration 1918-2018

In Spring 2018 the Embroiderers' Guild IoM Branch was approached by the King William's College Masonic Lodge with a request to renovate and update their banner in time for their centenary. The work was undertaken by Helen and Jean and resulted in a nice donation for Branch Funds.

The pictures are lifted from the commemorative brochure, published by the Lodge.

The pictures are lifted from the commemorative booklet published by the Lodge.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

17th November 2018 - Talk and Workshop with Chris Eastham

The subject of Chris Eastham's talk was  "Perfection can be overrated". 

She had brought along about 30 examples of her quilts, which traced her work from her first, to her most recent creation (a Christmas tree "skirt")

She had embarked upon quilting as a rebellion against her mother's perfect-front-and-back embroidery and she detailed how it had been a steep learning curve, but fun!
Her talk and workshop were littered with words like "fudge, fiddle, adjust" and quotes like "better finish than perfect" or her tutor's description of a piece of her work as "naive quilting"

Chris was being far too modest, because, although she kept pointing out what she saw as faults, the result seemed intentional to us and the quilts were stunning. We did, however, get the point that, mistakes can be rescued and a piece does not need to be abandoned, if, in the end it isn't quite as it was meant to be!

Chris's quilts piled high.

And another pile!
So we embarked on the workshop - to create a pieced border for an existing piece of work - with a relaxed attitude. For some this was the "steep learning curve" but, for us, with expert guidance. Others were more experienced and the amount achieved in the day reflected this. Those wanting to turn the end result into a cushion have until next March to finish the piece!

A hive of industry
Nearly there! 
Way to go!

Monday, October 22, 2018

October 2018

The October workshop was tutored by our own Maureen K, who, despite having returned from a trip to India the day before, was well prepared and got us all stitching happily on one of 3 possible designs, based on Celtic knotwork.

One Maureen had prepared earlier

Most of us used tweed fabric and woollen threads, although other media were also used. The design was transferred from stitch-and-tear on the reverse, using a basic running stitch. Concentration was needed to remember that we were working back to front! Once the design was transferred, Maureen coached us in various surface stitches, which cover the design satisfyingly quickly.

The intention is for the finished panel to be used as the "flap" on a handbag, which Helen S will teach us how to make at a workshop next year.

Two ladies had to make an early departure
A bit more progress was made by 4pm!

Finished "Quaker Mandalas"

At least 3 of the mandalas from last month's workshop have been finished. Two of them are shown. The top one was sewn with stranded cotton, whilst the one below was sewn using the wools supplied. The colour scheme was based, by Bridget Guest, on the colours of a pansy.