Tuesday, 4 February 2020

February meeting - Elaine Hughes

Our speaker at the February meeting was York based artist Elaine Hughes. She graduated from MMU with a degree in Embroidery. Over time her work has evolved to become paper based collages assembled with stitch.

Elaine Hughes - On the Beach at Night Alone (detail)
Her love of the 1930's 40's and 50's ephemera is reflected not only in her work, using found objects from those periods, but also in the style of her work and the name of her business 'Oh Golly Gosh'.

After graduation, Elaine took on a number of roles, but she stepped away from creating her own work. Eventually, it was entering the Embroiderers' Guild Page 17 Project with her piece 'On the Beach at Night Alone' from Walt Whitman, that re-established her creative practice and ultimately led to a studio in York.

Elaine Hughes - On the Beach at Night Alone (detail)

Elaine's very interesting talk considered her influences, her methods of creating her quirky artworks and her plans for the future. And . . . a piece of advice we can probably all relate to - never 'save' your best pieces of fabric for something 'special'. Use them now!

In other things . . .
Don't forget Young Embroiderers next meeting is on 18th February at the Viking loom. See the YE page for more details.

Morning stitch club is thriving - though please let the committee know if there is a topic you would like covered, or would be happy to demonstrate, to keep up the momentum. Next month Carol will be covering Initial designs, and Shirley will be continuing with Stumpwork.

Regional Day is 6th June at the Regen Centre in Riccall. Speakers to be announced at a later date.

A trip is planned to the Castle Museum, York. to have a behind the scenes look at some of the textiles. Proposed date is Monday 6th July. Please sign up to express an interest.

Friday, 24 January 2020

February Young Embroiderers meeting and a Library update

We now have finalised the details for the next meeting of the Young Embroiderers. 

This will be one session on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Time: 1pm - 3:45pm
Cost: £2.50 per child
Venue: Viking Loom York,  Wigginton Rd, Wigginton, York YO32 2RH, https://www.vikingloom.co.uk/acatalog/index.html

The session will be an opportunity to take part in the mark-making drawings for digital print (for those who didn't attend the last session)
a mini hedgerow leaf and flower badge stitch session.

Who can come along: Anyone - you do not need to be a member of Young Embroiderers - children under 8 need to be supervised with an adult for the session please!

Feel free to bring along school friends, brothers and sisters just let us know in advance who is coming along so we know if we need any extra helpers on the day.

If you are interested, or would like any further information, please could you email maria.york.embroidery@gmail.co.uk or  jgradyembroidery@gmail.com by Sunday 9th February.

Many thanks and appreciation for your continued support!

And . . . if you wonder what we've got in our library we now have an online catalogue. See the library tab, or click here. Books can be borrowed by York branch members.

Monday, 6 January 2020

January meeting - Sarah Jackson

Our speaker this month was Sarah Jackson who, as she explains in her talk, produces pieces of vintage and textile art under the guise of Winifred Taylor.

Khokhloma - Sarah Jackson
She talks enthusiastically about the path her life has taken, and how all these elements ultimately led to her interest in Folk Art and how this has fed into her creative practice. She speaks knowledgeably about the history of Folk Art and how it has developed and been held in esteem in the UK and also in other countries most specifically in Russia and Sweden.

Matryoshka -Sarah Jackson

The talk is full of interesting little nuggets of information - that we might have sat on the work of Enid Marx - that a deer's antlers are a symbol of fertility - that the Russian words for red and beautiful sound very similar. I think everyone present will have learned something new.

Vasilisa the Wise - Sarah Jackson
The talk was illustrated with examples of folk art through the centuries and also contemporary art works. We were also able to see (and touch!) examples of Folk Art from Sarah's collection, and examples of her own work. A very interesting talk.

In other things . . .

We have a new chairperson. Chris has agreed to take on the role. New committee members are still sought, so speak to a committee member if you might be interested.

Young Embroiderers will be running in the February half term. Again they will be led by Jess, but because of her other commitments, they will be on Monday and Tuesday this time. See the Young Embroiderers page for contact details for more information.

Stitch club is continuing next month. It begins at 10:15 - just turn up. Shirley will be leading a session on stumpwork, and Carol will be demonstrating uses of lutrador, tyvek and the like (there may be a small fee to cover costs of materials used). Offers from other members to demonstrate techniques would be very welcome.

Monday, 23 December 2019

December meeting - 40th Anniversary Christmas meeting

This month was a rather special meeting. It was the 40th anniversary of the branch, and we celebrated it with a three course Christmas lunch before the meeting proper.


After lunch we created little wreaths embellished with ribbons, beads, embroidery and in one inventive case, the greetings from the Christmas Cracker at lunch!

Christmas wreaths

After such strenuous efforts, and much chatting and reminiscing, we needed some more food, and instead of a Christmas cake, we had these gorgeous individual iced buns.

Celebratory buns

Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without a competition. This year the theme was 'A Christmas Card'

Sue announcing the winner

Members voted for their favourite card, and the winner was Nicky, with her very festive Christmas tree.

Nicky's winning card

There was also a raffle, and thanks were given by the members to the committee for organising such a lovely, celebratory day.

In other things. . .
Stitch club will resume in January. It will take the form of a 'Demo and Dabble'. Requirements are an old magazine which will be used as table protection from all the glue, metallic seed beads, thin metal (the inside of tomato puree tubes would be suitable) and a stitch kit including a pair of 'not best' scissors.
From February, Shirley will lead three months of Stumpwork demo and dabbling. Future sessions are being planned to cover goldwork and shadowwork. So if you've ever wondered, now is the time to come and learn - and be part of the branch as it goes forwards - perhaps for the next forty years!

Saturday, 23 November 2019

November meeting - Heather Cawte

Our speaker this month was Heather Cawte. Heather has been a member of this branch for several years, and is heavily involved in the Stamford Bridge Tapestry Project.

Heather's talk took us on the journey of her life, and the influences that shaped her creativity. Her involvement with the Tapestry project led ultimately to her studying for City and Guilds qualifications with Tracy Franklin and Julia Tristron at Stitchbusiness.

Heather's final project was inspired by hallucinations when she was seriously ill. I'm sure not everyone would hallucinate neon doughnuts - but this was the start of the design process which, she says, has transformed how she approaches her work. Samples, experimentation, analysis, evaluation and design development have now become the way forward. Heather explained how she used these tools (and the pitfalls she encountered along the way) to create her final piece for City and Guilds.

Heather Cawte Doughnut samples

Heather Cawte Doughnuts - only the box is 'real'
This was a very interesting talk, hearing how other people approach the design process.

In other things . . . 

Next month is the Christmas meeting - and 40th Anniversary meal.
Stitch club will be running in the morning from 10:00. The meal (which must be pre-booked) is at 12:00 for 12:30. The afternoon talk will include making a Christmas wreath. Please bring some Christmassy ribbon to wrap the basic wreath. Also bring a small sewing kit, and whatever glittery sparkly things you might have!

There will be a raffle. The theme of the Competition (there are prizes) is 'A Christmas Card'

Monday, 7 October 2019

October meeting - AGM and members' talks

The first part of our meeting today was the AGM. Sue and Shirley are standing down as joint chairs after many years of service. Currently there have been no nominations for their successor. If as a branch member you are in a position to consider taking on this vital role, please speak to any committee member.

Shirley and Sue have presented to the branch a banner and stand to advertise our presence at the external events we visit.

Shirley and Maria with the new publicity banners

The new programme for 2019/2020 was unveiled with many interesting speakers. See the Programme page for details of what is to come.

After the AGM, we had a series of talks from our members.
First up was our secretary Ingrid. She was a previous recipient of our bursary, and has just completed her MA, and is working towards a PhD.

Ingrid's visual diary
As part of her MA she spent this summer in Italy and kept a stitched visual diary of her time there.

Maria then talked about her time on the committee building a social media presence. She has also started up a Monthly stitch club at The Trafalgar Bay pub on Nunnery Lane in York. They meet on the second Monday of the month from 7:00pm onwards and all are welcome (not just branch members). Maria has also created our facebook presence, including making this visible to those not on Facebook. Click here to see it. The facebook page shows all upcoming events relating to the branch, and other related events and notices.

Moira talked about her development as a textile artist over the years; she studied Fashion and Embroidery in Edinburgh, and then became a teacher. In later years she became a founder member of the Ebor Group.

A detail from one of Moira's folding books

Moira particularly likes creating folding books where the whole image is only revealed slowly by the turning of the pages.

Celia rounded off the afternoon with a show and tell of her extensive collection of fans, explaining not just the materials used, but also the purposes of the fans - many were made as a vehicle for advertisements.

Some of Celia's fans
An interesting afternoon, and a change to our usual routine of having just one speaker.

In other things . . .

Do consider coming on to the committee. This is our 40th Anniversary year and it would be nice to see the branch go from strength to strength.

The Bowes museum trip has had to be postponed. Further details at a later date.

The Christmas meeting will begin with a lunch (which needs to be ordered in advance), followed by an afternoon making a Christmas wreath. Everything will be provided except the ribbon to wrap the wreath - please bring something along with you! The Christmas competition is for a Christmas card.

Several members have visited the Ropewalk Gallery in Barton on Humber to see the exhibition by Sue Stone. This is apparently well worth a visit. The exhibition continues until 20th October 2019.

York Textile Artists have an exhibition at the Marriott hotel on Tadcaster Road York, until the 21st October.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

September Meeting - Joanna O'Neill

Joanna has visited us before, with her small journal quilts, but she kindly agreed to step in at the last minute this month to talk about her larger quilts. Justine Warner, our original speaker, is currently in hospital, and we wish her all the best for a swift recovery.

We also had to cancel the workshop which Justine was going to run for us on Sunday, September 8. If you have not yet received your refund for this workshop, please see Lilian.

Joanna O'Neill (picture credit L Muir)
Joanna gave us a highly entertaining talk, explaining how she first got into creating wall hangings and bags because of Kaffe Fassett, whose knitting and needlepoint designs she enjoyed making. She was fortunate enough to study City and Guilds Stitched Textiles, up to Diploma level, under the direction of Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney. 

Joanna O'Neill (picture credit L Muir)
The phrase she uses to describe her work is “shabby riches”. She uses bleach, layers of net, painted Bondaweb, fabric paints, silk paints and stencils to create highly textured surfaces, drawing inspiration from the shapes she finds, for example, in memorial brasses or collections of keys.

Joanna O'Neill (picture credit L Muir)
A friend suggested a trip to the Festival of Quilts one year, and Joanna came home with lots of fat quarters, full of enthusiasm to try quilting for herself. Armed with a library book on quilting, she set out to make lap quilts, gradually improving until she could start exhibiting at quilt shows.

She was interested by the kind of comments the judges made on her pieces, and trained to become a quilt judge herself. She showed us a number of large quilted wallhangings from different shows and exhibitions, encouraging us to come and handle all but one (it was created initially with ink on white high-count cotton, which would quickly start to show marks from fingers). 

During this period she developed a technique of using Markal sticks with intricate, hand-cut stencils, and began to use free-motion machine embroidery alongside hand stitching. Her newest discovery has been InkTense pencils and blocks, which are made from inks.

Joanna O'Neill (picture credit L Muir)
Joanna is such an entertaining speaker, and very generous with her details of how she achieved particular effects. Everyone enjoyed looking at the quilts afterwards, and in particular, being able to handle them.

In other news . . .

The winner of the Ida Barber competition for best original design was Anthea Pawley.

Anthea Pawley's winning entry
Next meeting is our AGM with an earlier start time of 1:30pm, followed by short talks from members. Membership fees are due at this meeting. You may already have received an email from Lilian about this. The total payable this year is £54. This works out at £4.50 per month, which is very good value.

Please give your name to Ingrid if you would like to join the outing to Bowes Museum on Monday, October 21. The cost, including travel, is £35. We will be in The Cube, seeing pieces not generally available to the public.

Tickets are now available for the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show (November 28 to December 1), at a cost of £11.50. Please see Lilian.

Our December meeting will include a celebration meal for our 40th anniversary as a branch. The Folk Hall is catering this at a cost of £14.90 per person, but this will be paid for out of branch funds. Please let Ingrid know if you will be attending.

The afternoon activity will be making a Christmas wreath. Everything will be provided except for the ribbon to wrap around the wreath base, which you will need to bring along yourself.