April 2018 – Maggie Grey

For our April Meeting we welcomed an old friend, Maggie Grey (& her husband, Clive, whose infallible memory proved to be a great asset at times!)

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Maggie’s talk was entitled “Long Diaries, Tall Stories & Travellers’ Tales” and Maggie talked us through many many slides of her work under this title, and also very generously shared top tips and techniques with us. It was a thoroughly entertaining afternoon.

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Some of the participants on Ruth Smith’s folded secrets workshop last month very kindly brought their work to show us – such beautifully constructed thread holders/memorabilia wallets, I really hope that they are used as they are too beautiful to squirrel away!

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March 2018 – Ruth Smith, Chinese Festival Costumes

The speaker for our March meeting was Ruth Smith, a well respected expert in the textile and embroidery traditions of China. Along with Gina Corrigan, and other colleagues, Ruth has travelled extensively in China exploring and documenting the traditional embroidery, most notably in the Guizhou province, a remote and mountainous area that has only recently been connected by modern transport links to the wider world, and opened up to tourism too.IMG_2687

The photographs of the festival costumes were incredible and Ruth spoke very knowledgeably and fascinatingly about the various villages’ traditional outfits, showing us the many different articles of clothing that comprised each costume (including some very elaborate hair!) and explaining in detail the embroidery involved, all of the the processes and the techniques used.

Her photographs were exquisite, but for me the afternoon was rounded off in a breath-taking manner with the many many examples of exquisite work that Ruth had brought with her that she has amassed on her travels. Having seen it all on the projector screen being able to closely examine the various samples was a delight – although I have to confess that I could hardly see some of the individual stitches because they were so tiny. It was truly, truly awe-inspiring work.

 

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February 2018 – Carol Naylor

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Carol Naylor and Kay Ashby (our chairwoman).

February’s meeting was brightened up by Carol Naylor’s talk entitled “A Passion for Colour”. After a brief introduction (aimed at those who hadn’t heard Carol speak before) Carol took us through her work from the 1970’s up to the present day in different colours. In each of the colours (red, purple, blue, green etc!) Carol had included not only her own work but also work by other textile artists, ceramicists, enamelers, sculptors to show how they had also been inspired by colour and a love of landscape.  Carol also treated us to some of her original photographs, sketches and the finished piece of work – so that we could fully appreciate the “design journey”.

It was a fascinating afternoon – and as you can see from the photographs below, our members were queuing up afterwards to get a closer look at Carol’s work and to speak to her in person.

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Everyone was keen to get a look at Carol’s work!

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and to be able to examine it in detail

A lovely afternoon – thank you.

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January 2018 – Lesley Parker

To start 2018 off we were treated to a fascinating talk by Lesley Parker entitled ‘A Working Woman’s Wardrobe’. Lesley explained that she would be focussing on the mid-Georgian period and more specifically on the period between 1714 and 1811. She started her talk fully clothed, dressed in the everyday garments worn by the ‘working woman’ and, during the next hour slowly undressed with the help of Suzie Luke, whilst explaining the purpose and construction of each garment!

Lesley’s interest is in the authentic reproduction of clothing made during this period and she passed around a number of items, from traditional red felt cloaks and fitted jackets to pinafores and linen undergarments, for us all to admire the stitching, the fabric and the weight. She showed off her green, knitted stockings, explaining that men usually wore white, and talked about the effects of the mechanisation of the production and printing of cloth. One of the many slides on screen showed the scraps of coloured and patterned cloth left with babies at the Foundling Hospital so that they could be identified, later, if their mothers were able to take them home.

Handling the many items Lesley talked about gave us all an appreciation of the care that had gone into making the reproduced garments and also of the original value of items of clothing owned by the ordinary working woman 300 years ago.

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December 2017 – Christmas Party

Our Christmas Party was thoroughly well planned, even down to  the seasonal dusting of snow and freezing temperatures outside.  Many brave and hardy members made it to the Village Hall to enjoy a very convivial feast together.

Thank you to the Committee and their band of helpers for arranging such a lovely festive occasion. We look forward to seeing how the members respond to the Young Embroiderers’ challenge of making something using the array of materials in the Christmas stocking on each table; including Christmas fabrics, glitz, sequins and the ubiquitous stuffing.. roll on January!

Happy Christmas and all good wishes for 2018.

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November 2017 – Wendy Dolan

It was a pleasure to welcome Wendy Dolan back. She had brought with her copies of her latest book entitled ‘Layer, Paint and Stitch’ and based her talk around this theme. She showed us how layering various strips of white and off-white fabric onto a backing piece, before stitching and then painting it, provided a pleasing multi toned and textured background on which to stitch a design, using both hand and machine embroidery She handed round samples of her work at different stages, showing how the paint was absorbed by the layered fabrics in different ways.
Wendy also treated us to slides of some of her commissions. There were murmurs of astonished appreciation at seeing the delicate and intricate machine embroidered lace on her daughter’s wedding dress. She then moved on to show us the detailed and colourful Millennium wall hanging she had created for Ashridge Management Development College, which depicted historical features in and around the college, and finally two large stage curtains designed specifically for two of the Royal Caribbean cruise liners.
All in all, hers was a most enjoyable talk and a number of lucky members were looking forward to her workshop the following day.
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October 2017 – AGM

October means it is time for the AGM, and this year saw a big change over in the membership of the committee.
Our new committee lined up for a photo call:
Left to right: Jan Gallaway – Committee Member, Suzanne Madden – Treasurer, Angela Easton – Secretary, Chris Grant – Committee Member, Rona Doyle – Committee Member, Tessa Most – Committee Member, Kay Ashby Chairman.
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There was a warm welcome to them all.
We heard that Christine Tebbitt (our outgoing Treasurer), had won the Aurifil “Stitch One Colour” individual challenge held at the Regional AGM last month. Here she is with her winning entry, together with our out going Secretary Jan Brooks-Kibble who is holding an exquisite embroidered folder also made by Christine. Together they have contributed years of service to the Guild which is greatly appreciated.

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Some of the other entries to the “Stitch One Colour” individual challenge held at the Regional AGM last month are shown below – as ever our branch demonstrates a wonderful array of talent, and it is heartening to see so many members taking an active part in proceedings, long may it continue (everyone is good enough – no excuses!)
Thanks are also due to Susan Fletcher, our retiring chairman, for her stewardship and hard work, she has given a lot to the branch over the last few years and we look forward to welcoming her back into the body of the hall (rather than watching her up at the front) for a well deserved rest! Thank you also to everyone who contributes in so many different ways to the branch – it wouldn’t be such a vibrant welcoming branch without each and every one of you.

Kay Ashby took over as Chairman and then moved straight into “speaker mode”.

She showed what can be achieved with a series of simple techniques through a number of delightful samples in Kay’s signature colour palette!
Definitely an occasion when there was something for everyone, no matter how much or how little experience they have.
The new programme for 2017/2018 is now available on the Calendar tab of this website – I hope you agree that yet again we are in for a wonderful year, you definitely need to take care when booking holidays so as not to miss anything!
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