April 2016 – Lara Sparks “Show & Tell”

The April meeting had a very lively morning session with over 40 members in attendance. There were three groups :-

  • a regional challenge workshop
  • a group working on a piece for the Novium museum’s exhibition on George Murray
  • independent stitchers!

It seemed to be a busy and productive morning.

Lara Sparks arrived to give the afternoon talk – we knew we were in for a treat when we saw the sheer body of work which she very kindly brought to show us. Before the talk started Lara transformed the area in front of the stage with a dazzling array of her work; cushions, cards, pictures, lamps and lampshades etc. You can see a glimpse in the photograph below.


Lara’s talk was fascinating and told of her various stages and re-incarnations, from studying at Loughborough, to bridal embroidery, children’s and woman’s wear embroidery design through  home interiors and up to her more pictorial machine embroidery. It was beautifully illustrated with photographs and we had a gorgeous afternoon. I was fascinated to learn how the design of embroidery for clothing starts life as a piece of embroidery on a mock up of a piece of clothing, sold by an agent to a customer who then uses the design as he/she sees fit – even turning it into  design for fabric rather than using it as an embroidery. Lara told us many amusing episodes of her professional life – the afternoon passed all too quickly.


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