January – Nicola Jarvis

At the very well attended January meeting our new year’s blues were blown away by a very interesting, informative and well illustrated talk by Nicola Jarvis on the life and work of May Morris (the younger daughter of  the Arts & Crafts legend, William Morris).

Photographs below of our Chairman, Susan Fletcher, welcoming Nicola Jarvis to the meeting!


We were all struck by how May Morris had used both the natural world and the world in which she had been nurtured (with all its artistic influences) to create fantastic embroidery designs. Many of us were also envious of her possy of outworkers which then went on under her guidance to actually stitch some of the work. Nicola gave us a fascinating insight into the work and the world of a formidable  (& sometimes overlooked) very talented woman.

17 of us gathered the following day for a workshop with Nicola. Nicola has used the work of both William & May Morris to inspire her and has produced a sensational body of work based on bird designs using the Morris fabrics and motifs. (see below)

Nicola quickly set about allowing us to choose which bird we wanted to create. There were three designs to choose from, a sparrow, a robin and a bluebird.


The starting position for each was a plain piece of cloth with the printed pattern, this is the sparrow!


We all started work – with Nicola’s expert tuition (and RSN training and approach) the patterns almost stitched themselves (if only!!)

The Bluebirds learning how to stitch the head!!

The Bluebirds learning how to stitch the head!!


The day passed very quickly – with the bluebirds, robins and sparrows all being cajoled into various stages of completeness and their endearing personalities beginning to show  through! Hopefully at next month’s meeting we will be able to share the progress of our chosen designs. We floated away relaxed and calm. Watch this space!

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