Monday, 5 November 2018

November Meeting - Sally Stone

Our speaker this month was Sally Stone, and her talk was about how she became involved in Yarnstorming in Rowntree Park.

She gave us a very interesting history of how Yarnstorming or yarnbombing has developed - decorating public places with knitting, and how she got interested in extreme knitting as a result.

Sally extreme knitting (image from her website)

Sally started small, with a yarn bomb of her local post box during the 2012 London Olympics, but wanted to take this further and approached Rowntree Park in York to see if they would stage further events.

With the help of the local community, and the sponsorship of several local stores, Sally and her friends have created amongst other things, displays for the Tour de Yorkshire in 2014



Followed by Fantasy Fish in 2016,





And Brilliant Birds in 2017.


Sally outlined how she approached these projects, creating a set of objectives which included how to get local support, and what purpose the finished yarnbomb would be put to. In these cases, the fish and birds were sold to raise money for charity. It was very interesting to hear how the projects have developed over the years, and the learning curve that has resulted - including how to mount giant poppies on tennis court fencing, and create giant flowers (as a hint - plastic mesh was involved!).



In other things . . .

The next meeting is the Christmas meeting. Start time 1:30pm
We will be making small leaf shaped brooches. Materials will be provided, but please bring a basic sewing kit (needles, scissors, sewing thread) and fabric marker or biro. Also bring stranded cotton in autumn shades and small beads for embellishment if you have them.

There will be a morning stitch club including the altered books, and the sales table as usual, but the library will not be open.

The theme for the competition is 'A White Christmas'. There will also be a bran tub and a raffle.

Monday, 15 October 2018

October Meeting - AGM and Dot Seddon

Our speaker this month was Dot Seddon. She fascinated us with her variety of mostly woven tapestry work, though she does some felting as well.

In other things . . .

At the AGM, Ingrid was elected as our new secretary, taking over from Heather. Maria has also been elected to the committee.

After much discussion, it was decided that members would pay £4 at the door every afternoon, which would also include the Stitch Club and morning fees.

The theme for the Christmas Competition (to be judged at the 1st December meeting) is A White Christmas.

The programme for 2019 has been announced and can be seen by clicking on the tab at the top of the page, or clicking here



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

September Meeting - Cluny Chapman

Our speaker this month was Cluny Chapman. Her talk was on the history of blackwork and whitework. Cluny is an exceptionally skilled embroiderer and her talk included examples of pieces of work that she has made. Cluny was taught embroidery by her mother, Ann Mary Johnstone, who herself amassed a collection of historical embroidery over many years, and was also an accomplished embroiderer.

Detail of whitework in Cluny's collection

Cluny's talk covered the history of blackwork, and the changes in style and fashions over the years from Tudor times. Whitework and blackwork are both techniques taught at the Royal School of Needlework, and we saw contemporary examples of both.

When the talk moved on to whitework, we were able to see actual examples from 17th century onwards, and discover the changes in fashion. There were even examples of 'recycling' where 17th century work had been inserted into 18th century work - a trend which was apparent in many samples.

Upcycling

The talk was very interesting covering not just techniques, but social history from Tudor times to modern day, and being able to see actual worked examples, and marvel at the fineness of the work was wonderful.

In other things . . .

The exhibition in June was very successful. There are some pictures on the Exhibition page.
The Visitors' Choice for the favourite post card was announced as Shirley's puffins.



Stitch club will be starting up in October, where the theme will be Altered Books. This is being led by Pauline.

Moira won the Ida Barber trophy for best original design with an embroidered book full of birds.



A reminder that October is the AGM and the meeting will start at 1:30. Volunteers are needed to stand for committee positions including Chair, Secretary and 'general' committee members.


Saturday, 9 June 2018

June Meeting - Jessica Grady

Our speaker this month was Jessica Grady. She is a talented Embroidery artist and designer, but is known to many of us as a York branch member and leader of our Young Embroiderers' Group.

image taken from Jess's website

It was a delight to see her work and how she is carving out a career in textiles since graduating from Norwich University of the Arts in 2014.

Jess's work could be summed up in a single word as 'Colourful'. She creates wonderfully textured surfaces incorporating many recycled objects - elastic band, cotton buds, coffee pods (especially the pink ones). Plastic straws are welded together then stamped out to create sequins.

Stamped out straws
There appears to be very little that cannot feature in her work somewhere.

Bag ties

Her inspiration is the surface texture found in nature - bark, barnacles and coral have all provided her with a rich design source.

 Jess talked us through her years at university, showing sketchbooks she created then, and how this work is still being used today to create repeat patterns for printed fabrics. She talked about work placements where she created designs for sale, and mentioned some of the pitfalls along the way as well as her successes.

Image from Jess's website
One of her successes this year is being selected as the Under 30's Embroiderers' Guild Scholar, which means her work will be on show at all the Knitting and Stitching shows this Autumn. Separately she has been invited to exhibit at this year's Festival of Quilts as a guest exhibitor with the Art Textiles: Made in Britain group.
It was a really interesting talk about starting up a career in Embroidery and as a branch we all wish her every success.

In other things . . .

Our branch exhibition runs from Friday 22nd June to Sunday 24th June at the Tithe Barn, Nether Poppleton, York. See the exhibition page for more details.



This is a reminder that the July meeting will be at Huntington Community Centre. It will be our 'Celebration of Stitch' day and will be open to the public. Bring something to work on. Note that the meeting will be from 10:00am to 1:00pm only.

Volunteers are still needed to stand for committee positions in October at the AGM.








Wednesday, 9 May 2018

May Meeting - Lynn Haith

The speaker at this month's meeting was Lynn Haith. Normally, at this point, I would add a link to the speaker's website or blog, but she doesn't have one yet. This also meant that we had no idea what to expect about the talk. The title 'The Antithesis of Serendipity' was impressive, but still not very specific.

It turns out we were in for a treat, as Lynn was talking about the box that she made for her City and Guilds Diploma in Design and Craft Stitched Textiles (Embroidery). This wasn't just any old box though. This was an embroidered bookcase more than a metre tall and incorporated the most ingenious techniques. These are just some of the elements which were included.

The roof was made up of stylised digitised peacock feathers.

Lynn Haith - The Antithesis of Serendipity - roof detail

The 'lid' was actually a double door, which was framed with embroidered pillars.

Lynn Haith. One of the doors featuring eminent Victorians

The interior of the box held exquisite hand made books containing all the research which had gone into making the box. It also held some very special treasures which you can see just the start of in the image below

Lynn Haith. Part of the interior of the box

I would hate to spoil the surprise, but it's unlikely that the blancmange curve will ever feature in any other Embroiderers' Guild talk that we have.
Further details can be found from Wikipedia here


The use of conducting fabric to create the final unexpected surprise was just the icing on the cake (or maybe that should be blancmange). This was an inspiring talk, and it was wonderful to be able to view close up such wonderfully inventive work executed to an incredibly high standard.


In other things . . .

Our July meeting will be at Huntington Community Centre from 10:00am to 1:00pm and will form part of the National Day of Stitch. (The June meeting is still at the Methodist Church)

More information about the exhibition has been added to the Exhibition Page.


This is just a taste of some of the works that will be in the exhibition

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

April meeting - Captain Rummage from the Cone Exchange

Our speaker this month was billed as Captain Rummage from the Cone Exchange. Many of us were unsure what the talk would be about. It turned out to be a highly entertaining and amusing talk, that showed how just a small request can grow into a major community project.

The original Angel
(image taken from Cone Exchange website)
 It started with a cone of thread in a teabag manufacturing part of Betty's and Taylor's factory in Harrogate. The cone turned in to an angel, which then grew into a host of angels. These angels were then sold and the proceeds used to provide equipment for an afterschool gardening club. And this idea of using industrial waste for crafting just grew. The Cone Exchange was created. Items which could be recycled such as spectacles or old mobile phones could be collected by community groups and then exchanged for vouchers to 'spend' on cones and other waste items - selvedges of ribbons, unwanted boxes, hessian sacks from coffee beans (this is Taylor's after all). Other businesses got involved and the products available for recycling grew. Lids from buckets of animal feed were converted into butterfly bunting. All that was needed was a little ingenuity to see how these items could be used.

The butterfly made from the lid of a bucket of animal feed
(image taken from the Cone Exchange website)
And so workshops were started, and the whole project just snowballed. There is now a scrap store where anyone can buy these items. Details of opening times and more can be found here.

The talk was very entertaining and thought provoking. A real treat.

In other news . . .

The Easter competition which was for the best piece made from a commercial design was won by Sharon for her exquisite embroidery of a little bird.



The design was taken from Trish Burr's book 'Colour Confidence in Embroidery'.


Regional Day will be on June 9th, with speakers Serena Partridge and Nicola Jarvis.

Young Embroiderers met over Easter and created a collection of flowers which will be displayed in York later in the year.


Exhibition entry forms are available now from Sheila.

Do remember to wear a name badge to the next meeting!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

. . . Another programme update

Because of the bad weather, the March meeting on Saturday 3rd has been cancelled. Lynda Kinnard's talk and workshop will be rescheduled for a later date.
And don't forget, the April meeting with Chris Powell from the Cone Exchange will be in the Methodist Hall. It will also be the judging of the Easter Competition for the best commercial design. Maybe something to work on this weekend if you're snowed in?