Friday, 19 January 2018

January meeting - Pearl Loves Paisley

Our speaker this month was Justine Warner. Her first foray into textiles after moving to Sheriff Hutton involved stitching into men's ties, and then adding some pearl embellishments, hence the name she uses - Pearl Loves Paisley.

Celandines in Spring
 (image taken from Justine's website)
Justine initially used ties because they were to hand, when she wanted to make something to enter into her local village show. This piece was a cushion, and the talk illustrated her creative development from this early piece to the framed textile landscapes she creates today.

Incoming Storm Applecross Scotland
 (detail - image taken from Justine's website)
Justine talked about the elements she incorporates into her pieces, including felting, free machine embroidery and found items such as bark and feathers. We were treated to many handling samples which were enthusiastically passed round the audience. She then went on to detail her forthcoming classes and exhibitions. It was a very interesting and well received talk.

In other things . . .

First Aiders are needed for our branch exhibition in June. If you can help in this way, please let the committee know

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

December Meeting - Christmas

The December meeting is a 'Members' Day' when we get a chance at the afternoon meeting to work on a little project, and chat with other members.

This year the theme was Shisha.

One of our visitors, Carol, had brought some beautiful embellished cushion covers, which included Shisha work, and these were widely admired before we started on our own creations.




We only had a short amount of time, so these are some of the 'works in progress' achieved on the day.




There was also cake, a raffle and a bran tub.

Kath won the Christmas competition, by popular vote. This year the theme was 'A piece of jewellery'.


In other news . . . 

The speaker in January will be Justine Warner.

In April 2018 and May 2018, the Folk Hall will be closed completely, and our meetings will be at New Earswick Methodist church. We have been advised that parking will still be available at the Folk Hall

The Embroiderers' Guild is running a major project called 100 Hearts War Stories (click here for details). Details have also been emailed out by Heather to branch members. If we have your email address, but you haven't received the email, please check your junk/spam box.

The Chairman's Challenge for the Region will involve each branch in the region making a sampler of 2" squares. Further details next year.

Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

November meeting - Corinne Young

Our speaker this month was Corinne Young. She was known to some of our members already, as she was one of the tutors at this year's Regional Summer School.

Her talk was a journey through her textile career, starting with gaining a degree in Textile Design from Bradford College, where her tutor was Diane Bates. After graduating, Corinne exhibited with the Society of Designer Craftsmen at the Mall Galleries in London, and as a direct result was commissioned to make several large hangings for the opening of Lord of the Rings the musical.

Passion flower (image taken from Corinne's website)
Corinne then started to make smaller more commercial pieces and revisited the botanical studies she had made as part of her degree work. This passion flower was an early piece. Corinne talked about the techniques and materials she uses to create the 3D elements in her work.

Further developments included these butterflies

Butterfly specimens (image taken from Corinne's website)

More recently her work has been fully three dimensional creating perfect little pots of auriculas.

Auricula theatre (image taken from Corinne's website)

Much of her work fits well in a domestic setting, and her home has been used for many photo shoots,  culminating recently with an article in the September edition of Country Living.  This has brought her intricately stitched pieces to a much wider audience, and it was a pleasure to be able to see these pieces up close.

In other news . . .

Next month is the Christmas Meeting. The theme is Shisha stitching. Please bring a usual sewing kit, and, if you have it, cotton perle threads, beads and sequins. Small wrapped sewing related gifts for the Bran Tub will be welcome. There will also be a raffle. The Christmas competition is for a piece of jewellery.

Jess Grady led a Young Embroiderers session over half term.


More pictures and further details can be seen on the Young Embroiderers page either by clicking here, or on the tab at the top of the page.

Our branch Triennial exhibition will be held 22nd - 24th June 2018, at the Tithe Barn in Poppleton, York. Further details will be published nearer the time. See the tab at the top of the page - 2018 Exhibition.

Friday, 13 October 2017

October meeting - AGM and Members' Reflections

Our meeting on Saturday, October 7 was our AGM. We welcomed two new committee members: Lilian Muir (treasurer) and Heather Cawte (secretary), and we awarded a bursary to Jess Grady.

Following this, we had a very interesting selection of short talks by members. Eight brave souls spoke for 5-10 minutes on an embroidery subject of their choice.

Jose Gledhill spoke about inspirational City & Guilds tutor, Jean Bowe. She read out a poem found by Jean’s husband after her death, a very witty look at City & Guilds from a student’s point of view. She couldn’t tell us who had written it, as there was no name on it.

The following speaker, Sheila Wade - who was sitting next to Jose - announced that she knew exactly who had written the poem, as it was hers! It would be lovely to be able to publish it here or on our Facebook page. Sheila spoke about how she became interested in modern embroidery through the TV series by Diana Springall, especially the projects from Julia Caprara and Jan Beaney.

Nikki Brown shared some beautiful pieces with us, which she had chosen because they reminded her of particular friends.

Pauline Twyman showed us her dolls in hoops, and told us about the Dolly Birds group and the Basic Babes competition.

Celia Ankers brought along some of the distressed and unfinished pieces of church embroidery she has rescued over the years. She is known in many churches now as “the lady who won’t let you throw anything away”! These are some of her treasures.







Josie Storey illustrated her fascination with the stitching and textiles produced by ethnic groups such as Native Americans, showing us pieces inspired by a visit to the Hancock Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Jackie Shearman brought along a display about her glove making, which she has enjoyed ever since learning it during her time at Bath College.

Finally, Jean Graves told us about the Fair Trade movement, and what she learned from her trip to Vietnam, to look at the projects producing items for the Traidcraft catalogue.


Everybody enjoyed the speakers, and asked if we could repeat this kind of afternoon in future. It proved that we not only have a huge pool of knowledge and skills in our branch, but that these are on a huge variety of subjects.

(And I must add my thanks to Heather for providing the words for this blogpost, and Pauline for the images, as I wasn't able to be at the meeting. It looks like I missed a real treat.)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

AGM early meeting start

Hello! This is just a little reminder that, as the October meeting includes the AGM, we will be starting a little earlier than usual at 1:30pm 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

September meeting - Kay Dennis

Our speaker this month on the topic of Stumpwork was Kay Dennis. Or more accurately, our speakers this month were 'Team Dennis' as Kay's husband Michael is also an avid Stumpworker (if that's a word) and he spoke about how he became involved in this traditional and very intricate technique.

Detail of Kay's work
Kay learned to embroider as a child, and then a set of circumstances and ill health led her to discovering needlelace and bobbin lace. She then discovered the work of Barbara and Roy Hirst and, in her words, became one of their groupies. The Embroiderers' Guild website has a video showing both Kay's and Barbara and Roy's work. Click here to see it.  Michael became involved as he began making frames for Kay's and her students' work, and eventually became chair of the Guild of Needlelaces, by which time he was getting involved in completing the stitch challenges set by the Guild.

The talk covered the history of Stumpwork - raised embroidery - and how the faces and hands of the embroidered people were created, in addition to the needlelace used for clothing.


Over the years Kay has added more techniques to her repertoire, and paints completed leaves with silk paint to get the required tonal variations. Blackberries are beaded, and puff paste is used to create texture.

Sometimes the commissions Kay undertakes are particularly challenging and this Humpty Dumpty (Humpty Stumpy?) took many hours of work.


Kay and Michael's talk was very interesting, and amusing, especially her anecdotes about the nights spent at Lytes Cary Manor (home to a particularly fine stumpwork mirror) when she was teaching workshops. I might adopt her revised spelling from now on!

In other things . . .

Help is needed in the following ways

New committee members - as some existing committee members will be standing down at the branch AGM next month.

A new leader for Young Embroiderers, as Diane is reluctantly having to step down as leader after many years.

York branch is hosting the Regional AGM on 14th October at Scarcroft Village Hall. This means we need cakes, and people to help on the day. Please volunteer. We only have to take our turn once every fifteen years, so now is your chance!

Get in touch with Sue or Shirley if you can help at all.

And finally,

This month saw the awarding of the Ida Barber trophy. Ida Barber was one of the founder members of the York branch and was its chair for six years. She was also a Minster Broderer, and she specialised in crewelwork. She was a very encouraging person and was very keen for embroidery not to be seen as elitist, and several members spoke of how their love of embroidery was developed by Ida. Ida instigated a competition for the 'Best Original Design' awarded annually. This year it was won by Jane Hare for her hare.

Jane's winning hare




Monday, 31 July 2017

July meeting - Members' day and the Big Stitch

This month's meeting was different from most meetings in as much as we didn't have a speaker or a business meeting. What we did have as usual was a coming together of members and visitors who have a love of, or interest in, Stitch.
We spent the day working on our own projects ( or in some cases - mine included - talking about what we were doing, but not actually doing much of it ).
I took a few photos to give a flavour of the range of work that was happening.

Daisies by Jose

Part of the Stamford Bridge Tapestry project, stitched by Sharon

Fabric dyeing with resist by Pauline

A selection of very fine bugs stitched by Shirley

Detail of the Blackwork piece stitched by Isobel,
 which won the prize for the best piece of Blackwork
There is no meeting in August, but we will be back at the Folk Hall on 2nd September.