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.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Charity Day Outcome

Representatives of Bridge the Gap, our chosen charity for 2018, attended our AGM and were presented with a cheque for £450 by Janet.

Marilyn, Jill Crossley, Fiona Barker and Janet

Sunday, September 30, 2018

AGM and Quaker Tapestry Talk and Workshop

                                                       A most welcome guest.

At our 2018 AGM on Friday 28th September the business was fairly swiftly dealt with. The worrying thing being that the Committee is much depleted and there is a lack of ladies ready to serve as officers.

After refreshments, the floor was taken by Bridget Guest our visiting speaker and workshop tutor. She is a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and her subject was the history and development of the Quaker Tapestry.

Her power point presentation was a fascinating mix of pictures, sound and personal input. The Quaker Tapestry was the inspiration of a Somerset lady, Anne Wynn-Wilson, who was studying the Bayeux Tapestry. In 1981 she had gathered together a team of people with the necessary skills and work was started on a series of 70 panels, united by the use of 7 selected stitches, worked on a specially woven woollen background cloth. She wanted the work to be contributory, especially by children, who were encouraged to draw designs and sew parts of the panels. News of the project spread round the world and some panels were created by Friends as far afield as Australia. The collection of panels was complete in 1996 and it is housed in Kendal, the Lake District (Westmorland) being where George Fox, the founder of Quakerism first started preaching.

Quakers have been behind so many aspects of life both in the past (prison reform, abolition of slavery, chocolate!) and more recently in fields like astrophysics, and the panels depict these many aspects in wonderful detail. As well as being a feast for the eyes, they are a rich source of information.

An example of a tapestry panel.

The workshop, on Saturday, was well attended and Bridget provided a kit and a mandala design, which she had created especially to use each of the 7 stitches as in the Tapestry. Particularly interesting to learn was the Quaker Stitch, which was invented by Anne Wynn-Wilson specifically for the lettering on the panels.

It was a well-structured class, in that a small section of the design could be completed using one of the stitches, before everyone moved on to learn the next stitch. We even had a Skype link-up at 2pm with a class taking place in Kendal and working on the same piece. We were pleased that both classes seemed to be at the same stage of progress! Most participants still have quite a bit of work to complete the design but it is unlikely that the pieces will remain UFOs for long.