Sunday, August 4, 2019

Evening Meeting and Charity Day 26th and 27th July 2019

Reggie, the peacock
Friday evening turned out to be quite a full meeting with three speakers!  The first was Lynn Taggart, a representative from St. John Ambulance Brigade which was to be the recipient of money raised from the charity day on SaturdayShe explained the work of the organisation and how the funds raised would be spent.
Pat Kelly then showed the video which had been made by students of the Isle of Man University College. The video followed the fashion students who, in a fortnight, had designed and made a magnificent collection of really creative clothing out of old woollen blankets!  The fashion show was part of the North Atlantic Wool conference which Pat had organised on the island in 2017.  We all agreed how amazingly creative the students had been.
Pat had also brought along some of the wools and garments she had collected  from Iceland, which she had visited when it had previously hosted the annual North Atlantic Wool Conference before coming to the Isle of Man.
We also had a special guest from the North West Region, the Chair, Sue Chisnall, who was on holiday in the Isle of Man with friends, but took the opportunity to combine it with visiting our Branch.  Sue explained the work and experiences of the North West Region and of the Guild as a whole, as she attended council meetings at HQ.  She explained that we, on the Island, are doing quite well in comparison to some branches who are really struggling with declining numbers, even if we think we aren't!

the travelling book
Sue had also brought along the Travelling Book which her predecessor as Chair of the NW region had started, and she expressed the hope that we might be persuaded to complete a page or two.   She also brought ‘Reggie’ for us to see.  ‘Reggie’, so named because he had come about from the NW Region’s AGM when paisley shaped motifs had been given to attendees, who then embellished them using a wide variety of techniques and which were then put together to form the tail of ‘Reggie’ the peacock!

As usual, the Charity Day was a success and Janet Williams has provided the following pictures and report.

On Saturday 27th July we held the 9th Charity Day in memory of my late sister, Jean O'Neil, who was a member of the Guild. This year it was a fundraiser for St John Ambulance as Jean and I had been cadets in our youth and the organisation does tremendous work in the community.

The day was very well attended and many of the kits were bought. It was lovely to listen to lots of chat while our imaginations flew and we decided where to put buttons, what stitch to use and where and what colour would go where on our  Mandalas. We were also pleased to welcome our Regional Chair for the Guild, Sue, plus NW Guild member, Caroline. They are members of Parbold Branch and came to join us for the workshop and enjoyed it.

I would like to send my thanks to them, to my daughter Rachael for running the raffle and sales table, to Adele for her wonderful supplies and very generous donation and to everyone who attended or sent donations, thank you so much.

To everyone who contributed to the lunch, thank you, it was lovely!

We raised £400 in total, which is amazing. This includes a cheque from Haldane Fisher, which paid for the hire of the hall plus a donation. We are so grateful for their continued support.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

28th and 29th June 2019 SASHIKO

The Friday evening branch meeting was well attended as befitted the interest in hearing about Stella Jelski’s adventurous foreign travels and seeing all the glorious textile souvenirs she has collected en route. 
Stella concentrated on just a few of the countries she has visited, namely Laos, Thailand, Peru and Japan.  Some of Stella’s experiences were quite hair raising!  For instance moving hotel from a very shabby, dirty hotel to a more modern looking one (arranged by themselves and not their incompetent personal tour guide!) only to have a maid knock on all their doors in the evening to liberally douse the rooms and beds (which had straw mattresses!) with anti-cockroach treatment!  On that same trip, Stella regaled us with the tale of how, once they had reached their final destination, which had taken days, the return journey took just  one day!  However, the travel method was by river, in a very flimsy, canoe-type vessel with the three of them sitting one behind the other with their suitcases in between and the boat powered by an outboard!  Toilet stops were a whole other experience!
But despite these adversities Stella managed to collect a wonderful array of textile pieces from each country.  There were some glorious woven, embroidered and knitted pieces from Peru – as well as Alpaca fur hats and cushions, which were coveted by all!  Stella said that Peru was a particularly magical trip.  Then there were beautifully woven silk scarves from Thailand.  There, Stella had even enrolled on a weaving course and she showed us the sample she had made, which was very intricate.  The course also included dyeing the silk.  There were other wonderful objects such as jewellery, little pots and hand-made paper items from Japan and Thailand.

All in all, I think we were all impressed with Stella’s fortitude and humour – as well as coveting all the beautiful objects she had collected.

Saturday's workshop with Sheila Huxley was also well attended.

Getting down to it!

We were provided with a kit each containing two pieces of the traditional dark blue (indigo) material, the special needles(with nice big eyes!) and the soft white thread. Sheila instructed us how to lay out a grid and measure out the sashiko patterns. Once this was accomplished, we were able to start stitching. "Just a simple running stitch" BUT each stitch should be the size of a grain of rice, the gap between half the length of the stitch and, where lines intersect, the stitches must not cross over...

A sample of Sheila's lovely, traditional design
Sheila had also brought along some different ways of using sashiko to produce decorative and useful items.

It was a relaxing and pleasant way to spend a Saturday and, for once, most of us had something nearing completion to take away.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

22nd June Celebrating Stitch Day

Our venue at Mount Murray Golf Club was large and airily well-lit. The 14 ladies, who turned up were made most welcome and the club was very accommodating.
We were very pleased to see two newcomers and one returnee.

Ladies brought along an assortment of pieces to work on. Two were continuing on the portraits started on the Sue Stone workshop.

         PREVIEW for the JEAN O'NEILL CHARITY DAY on 27th JULY

As usual, Janet Williams will be producing a kit, this time for a "mille fiori" project. All proceeds from the day will go towards the island's St John Ambulance.

The kit comes in various colour-ways and gives you all you need to complete this delightful embroidery.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Advance Notice - National Stitch Day

Social Stitching at the House of Manannan 13th June 2019

HOM provided a lovely room for the stitchers. It was disappointingly attended considering that social stitching was what lots of members had asked for!

The select group was visited by a  couple of American ladies, who were very interested - but unlikely to become new members!

There was a variety of work in progress: cord making, cross stitching, UFO completion (SueStone's and Helen's workshops). There were also our 4" squares to look at.

Some discussion about the National Stitch Day on 22nd June took place. This will be held at Mount Murray Golf Club from 10.30 -12.30.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

18th May. Bag construction Workshop and YE

A study in concentration!

Helen had prepared very clear guidelines on constructing a bag, using a previously embroidered piece (Maureen's workshop) on the flap. The creation of continuous bias binding from a square of fabric, was a particularly informative exercise.
Only Janet managed to finish but most of us had completed the lined and pocketed body of the bag with D rings ready to receive the eventual strap.

Unique bags - would cost a bomb in a designer boutique!!

Meanwhile the Young Embroiderers joined us after lunch. They made a good start on a cross-stitch cover for a needle case, which they will complete on another occasion.

Next Stage

Some completed pieces from Lis Binns' workshop. Well done, Helen - come on the rest of you!!