Saturday 7 November 2015

November meeting - Elizabeth Almond

The speaker today was Liz Almond. She explained her love of Blackwork, showing us the first piece she did around her City and Guild years. Revisiting the subject years later Liz created designs which she sent off to various magazines where they generated interest. 

A selection of Liz's work
Liz set up a teaching embroidery website "Blackwork Journey" and has Facebook pages and Pinterest, contacting people all over the world.

She has been influenced by Mosque and Temple designs and the use of geometric Islam patterns. She shared many pieces of advice on "How to do" and "How not to do". She particularly emphasized the importance of fastening off ends to make the back of the work as neat as the front.

Liz shared her story of "The Box of Delights" - chocolates done in coloured Blackwork, with designs in bite-sized pieces.
Her prolific output and her obvious love for her work gave us delight too!

In other news . . .

The Christmas meeting has a requirements list as follows.

Postcard about 6x4" 
Piece of coloured fabric
Embroidery ring about 8/9"
Threads and spangly bits
Felt tip or dissolvable pen
A hard table mat
Needles etc

I don't know what it is we're making, but it sounds intriguing! Don't forget your 'Christmas Parcel' competition entry. And just a reminder that the December meeting starts at the earlier time of 1:30pm

Monday 5 October 2015

October Meeting - Isobel Hall and AGM

Our speaker this month was Isobel Hall, experimental mixed media textile artist.
One of Isobel's bowls (image from her website)

She brought with her some of her exquisite collection of books, bags and boxes, created using an innovative range of fabrics. These fabrics included cocoon strippings, PVA, and her own 'scrimmy paper', which were then manipulated and embellished.

Rose Vase (image from Isobel's website)

Isobel's theme for this new body of work, is The Briar Rose, and her collection is to be exhibited at the Knitting and Stitching Shows this autumn. She explained some of the techniques she uses to create the rich surfaces, and many of our members were able to try out these techniques at the workshop she gave the next day, before she bundled everything back in to her car to set up at Alexander Palace. Closer to home, we should be able to see her work at Harrogate in November.

In other things....

The next Young Embroiderers meetings will be on the 28th and 29th October. The theme will be 3d vegetables! For contact details, see the Young Embroiderers page 

The Programme for 2016 has been announced, and can be seen in full on the Programme page

Members are encouraged to make work for the Capablility Brown exhibitions next year. As a reminder, we will be linking with the Ryedale and Hull branches to put on an exhibition at Scampston Hall near Malton. The gardens are open this year until the end of October, and Embroiderers' Guild members may have one free entry, on production of their valid membership card. (The gardens are closed on Mondays).

We had a sneak preview of our entry for the Regional Challenge which will be unveiled at the Regional AGM next Saturday (10th October) at Scarcroft Village Hall. Coffee is served from 10:30, with the event starting at 11:00.

AGM news

Kath gave a resume of the last year (which I won't repeat here - you can read all about what we've done over the last year in the blog!), and thanked all the committee for their work over the year, especially Dulcie, Pauline and Sheila who are standing down this year. She welcomed Gillian and Caroline on to the Committee, and added that there was still a need for more committee members - so if you could volunteer your services, please speak to any committee member for more details.

The other announcement at the AGM concerned the Bursary. This was set up several years ago, using money raised from our triennial exhibitions, to support the development of an embroidery student whose home residence was in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Despite our best efforts and contact with all relevant colleges, there have been no applicants for the past three years. It has been decided that the scope of the bursary will now change, and members of Embroiderers' Guild branches in the Yorkshire and Humber region may apply for the bursary, to help towards the cost of a relevant embroidery course. Details will appear on the Bursary page shortly. The first award will be made in October 2016, and entries must be submitted by March 2016.

Saturday 5 September 2015

September Meeting - Hannah Lamb

Our speaker this afternoon was Hannah Lamb. She'd already given a workshop this morning to branch members, so we had plenty of opportunity to talk with her about her work.
Hannah originates from semi-rural Buckinghamshire, but now lives and works in West Yorkshire. Her work, since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan in 2001, has been an exploration of re-cycling and re-purposing, capturing experiences and finding a sense of place.

Work for Hannah's solo exhibition 'In Search of the Green' at The Bowery in Leeds.
Image from her website
Her very interesting talk took us through her life - from growing up in a household where collecting found objects and re-purposing them was usual - to her graduation, and on to discovering the cyanotype process which features in her work. She attended a workshop with Ruth Brown of Stone Creek Silk and was also inspired by the eco-printing techniques pioneered by India Flint.
More recent work again includes embroidery and has been inspired by textile archives both at Bradford College where she lectures, and at Sunny Bank Mills where her work will be in a new exhibition opening in late October.

In other things....

Annual subscriptions were due today. See the About Us tab above for more details.

Jose G won the Ida Barber trophy for best original design. On accepting her prize, she encouraged all branch members to enter the competitions. This leads nicely to the theme of the next competition which is at the December meeting. The theme is 'A Christmas Parcel' where it's the outside of the parcel that counts.

Dulcie gave us a taste of next year's programme which will include new speakers, a trip to Manchester to coincide with the Embroiderers' Guild AGM and a talk on the story of the Embroiderers' Guild collection. All will be revealed here when details are finalised shortly.

Celia outlined the Guild's participation in the 300th anniversary Capability Brown celebrations. We will be joining with the Hull and Ryedale branches to put on an exhibition in the newly restored Conservatory at Scampston Hall near Malton.

Conservatory at Scampston Hall
Members are invited to visit the gardens to get inspiration as work will be in response to the landscape at Scampston Hall. The gardens are open to the public until the end of October. Embroiderers' Guild members may have one free entry to the gardens on production of their valid membership card - a wonderful opportunity to get some late summer inspiration.

Despite wide publicity, there were no applications for the Student bursary which the branch offers. In view of this, the committee will consider other options for the use of the money, and will report back to members.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND HELP WANTED. Yes, I put it in big letters. There has been a big request for new committee members. Several currently serving committee members are standing down at the AGM next month and replacements are needed. Many hands do make light work. The branch has lots of ideas for things to do in the coming year, but does need help to make this happen. Please contact Kath if you can help in any way. And if making cups of tea and coffee is your forte (which I'm sure it is), Judith would love to hear from you.
It is also time for election of Chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber region. Pauline Heywood has said she is happy to stand for a second term, but signed nominations for other candidates can be made.

As next month's meeting includes the AGM, for those attending the morning session, lunch will be available at the earlier time of 12.00. The AGM will commence at 1.30.

Saturday 1 August 2015

Embroiderers' Guild National Celebration of Stitch is Today

This is what it says on the Embroiderers' Guild website, and I couldn't have put it better myself:

Following the success of the National Celebration of Stitch in 2014, some of our Branches will again be holding events around the country on or around 1st August 2015 to raise awareness in the local area of their branch, the delights of stitching, textiles and embroidery.

Events in Yorkshire can be found by clicking on this link. Many of the events are taking place today, the 1st August, but others are happening later in the month.

Do check with the venue before travelling to get further details. Admission charges may apply in some cases.

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Exhibition Book Cover Competition Answers

As promised ..... the answers to the book cover competition at our recent exhibition, together with images of just some of the entries.





There are more images from the exhibition on our exhibition page. Click here, or on the 2015 Exhibition Tab above.

Saturday 4 July 2015

July Meeting - Jane Smith

Our speaker today was Jane Smith who gave a very interesting talk about her developing love of Japanese embroidery and how she has, over many years, mastered the traditional techniques and is now branching out to create her own designs.

Jane Smith

The piece above shows the shading effects that can be achieved by careful laying of the flat silk thread while stitching.

Jane Smith - braids
These braids are in fact fine embroidery stitched to give the impression of braids and are one of the stages which must be mastered to achieve a full repertoire of Japanese embroidery skills.

Jane Smith
This piece layered up stitching to give a more three dimensional effect and to allow the colours underneath to just show through, to add to the feeling of depth.

Jane brought the 'exam' pieces she stitched for each stage of her training, together with embroidered obis and fabric samples. Click on the link above to see more images of the exquisite work.

Other things
The exhibition was a success. The prize for best book cover was won by Christine Addley and Roberta Harte's piece based on war won the best in show. Answers to the book cover competition will appear as a separate blog post.

Bookings for workshops with Isobel Hall, Hannah Lamb and Helen Young were taken. Hannah Lamb's workshop will now be at Hartrigg Oaks, not the Folk Hall.

1st August has been designated 'Big Stitch' day, and events will be taking place at the Quilt museum, Hobbycraft and the Castle Museum in York, and at St John's church in Market Weighton. Events start at 10.00am

There were proposals for branch outings in 2016 to The Bayeux tapestry, Macclesfield Silk Museum, and the AGM in Manchester.

At the Embroiderers' Guild EGM, the Special Resolution the Vision for the Guild was passed, with 89% of the votes cast being in favour. Further details can be found from the Embroiderers' Guild main website, and logging in to the Members' Room  Then looking at the first item - Constitutional Change.

Our branch is also rising to the challenge of being more 'outward facing' and will be participating in several projects, including the Big Stitch mentioned above, and also contributing to the celebration of  Capability Browns 300th anniversary - a national event, and introducing a mentoring scheme to keep traditional embroidery skills alive.

Attention was drawn to the National members' competition where the theme this year is 'Looking Through'. Again, full details can be found from the Members' Room pages of the main Embroiderers' Guild website. Closing date for entries is January 29th 2016. There are prizes!!

Our branch competition this month was for the Chairman's Award. This year the theme was 'A piece of jewellery' and was won by Isobel G.

Isobel's winning necklace

At the September meeting the competition is the Ida Barber trophy for the best original design.

Sue requested that any pieces of embroidery which are being stitched for the Regional AGM, should be brought (completed) to the September meeting so that they can be combined to create our entry.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Exhibition Events

Preparations for our Triennial Exhibition at the York Guildhall from this Friday 19th June until Sunday are well underway, and a programme of events has now been finalised.

Click on the image to get a larger version!
Workshops are for adults, they cost £6 each and include all materials. Booking takes place on the day on a 'first come, first served' basis.
More information about the exhibition, and how to get to the Guildhall can be found by clicking on the '2015 Exhibition' tab above.

Thursday 11 June 2015

June Meeting - Gillian Travis

This month’s meeting was incredibly busy. It began with members bringing their work for display in the exhibition at the end of the month. Lots of work was delivered and it promises to be a great exhibition. The exhibition will be officially opened at 11:00am on Friday 19th by the Lady Mayoress.

Click on the '2015 Exhibition' tab above for more details

The meeting proper then began with a talk from Terry Murphy, CEO of the Embroiderers’ Guild. He detailed the proposed changes to the constitution of the Guild and reminded members they were all eligible to vote at the EGM, by proxy if required. Proxy votes have to be with the Guild no later than 17th June.

He then went on to talk about some of the ways the Guild was planning to develop in the future to become a more outward facing organisation in line with its charitable objectives. This includes exciting new projects to celebrate the work of Capability Brown and developing new partnerships with organisations such as the National Trust. He reflected on the success of the Big Stitch event at the Ashmolean and mentioned the world’s longest embroidery which is currently in the British Library.

The world's longest embroidery in the British Library in London

And then we had our advertised speaker Gillian Travis.
We were treated to an illustrated display of her work and her travels which included quite small expeditions – cycling from St Malo to Spain or from Munich to Hull, and then more far flung journeys to Lithuania, Sweden, Austria, Spain (again) Majorca, Amsterdam, Lyon, Lanzarote, Morocco, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Israel . . .

Each of these journeys gave inspiration for her quilt works, which include painted and printed fabrics, applique, machine stitch, felt making, foundation piecing. Her output is prolific – she admits she works very quickly and has many ideas for new pieces.

Gillian Travis - Counterchange Pears (detail)
She then went on to talk about her visits to India (funded in part by a Quilter’s Guild bursary) and Sri Lanka and how this led to her working with local people to create Flower Kits for sale in the UK using her techniques and ethically sourced materials, and also her work with the Stitching Project in Pushkar to create Kantha style scarves from old and unwanted silk saris.  

Gillian Travis - At the Market in Amman (detail)
There's also a new book out soon! Quite a whirlwind of a talk - involving much more detail than I've put here and Gillian brought many of her quilts with her so we could have a close look at the many techniques she has mastered and uses sympathetically in her work.

Other Things...Exhibition Related
If York branch members still have work to deliver for the exhibition, it can be delivered to one of the following collection points:
Wetherby and the surrounding areas to Kath
West of York, Rufforth and Acomb areas to Diane
East of York to Sue
Central and North of York to Judith.
Please deliver the work by Wednesday 17th at the latest – contact information can be found on the printed branch programme. 

Raffle prizes would be welcome on set up day.

There was also a request for more volunteers to steward on the Saturday. Please contact Dulcie if you are able to help.

If branch members are able to help with set up, just turn up at the Guildhall at 9.00am on Thursday 18th. You will be most welcome!

More Other Things..
The Competition next month is The Chairman's Award and this year the theme is 'A Piece of Jewellery'

Bookings for workshops with Isobel Hall and Hannah Lamb can be made next month (see the printed programme for more details).

In September Roberta will be starting informal stitch workshops at the morning session.

New committee members are being sought for the new branch year in October. Please consider offering your services if you can.

March Meeting 2 - Members' Day

Our second March meeting (because of Easter falling on our normal meeting day), was designated as a members' day to prepare for the forthcoming Exhibition to be held in York Guildhall in June. Following the normal business meeting, members were reminded how to complete the form to submit work, and how best to pack that work both to protect and identify it.

Then the fun began! Dulcie had arranged the room into different areas for different activities, each of which was led by a kind "volunteer". Members started off in the area they had previously signed up for, but then were free to wander round and experience others.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Exhibition Time

Our Triennial Exhibition is at York Guildhall from 19th - 21st June 2015

Further information including how to get to the Guildhall is available by clicking on the '2015 Exhibition' tab above

Sunday 8 March 2015

March Meeting - Chris Gray

Our speaker this month was Chris Gray. She brought with her many fine examples of traditional embroidery from Eastern Europe and further east in to Asia. Her talk 'Stitching Magic' was an introduction to the meaning and symbolism behind this embroidery and how this has influenced her work.

Traditional embroidery

She brought embroidered covers which would be placed over bedding to ward off evil spirits. She showed us how the same symbols, especially fertility symbols, were used in many cultures. We saw exquisitely embroidered dress bodices incorporating shisha mirrors, coins and cowrie shells.

Chris's collection is becoming more precious as, in places like Afghanistan, this traditional style is becoming rarer.

Chris is also inspired by the embroidery she collects to make her own work including protective covers which really don't look like a pair of knickers unless you happen to be looking at them out of the corner of your eye, as Chris joyfully related the tale of an onlooker being very perturbed by what she thought she was seeing!

Chris Gray - detail of large panel
 Chris explained some of her techniques - including how to turn wallpaper lining paper into something that looks like leather.
Chris Gray
 She uses traditional printing blocks and then embellishes, inspired by her collection of traditional embroidery.
Chris Gray
 She has also started making smaller pieces of work, including small book forms which she can keep in CD cases. The thinking being (she says) that she can maybe have a greater chance of working through all the ideas she has in her head if she works to a smaller scale.

Chris Gray
From the evident joy she gets from stitching and sharing her work, it seems unlikely that she will run out of ideas, but will continue to stitch to make a statement as she feels embroidery enriches lives.

Other things

Exhibition plans are progressing.
There was a request for easels or music stands to display work on at the exhibition.
Stevie is creating the list of stewarding for the exhibition. Please let her know if you can help with this important aspect of the exhibition.
Next month's meeting is at the end of March and will be making things for the exhibition. See the previous post for more details.
If you are 'upcycling' an item for the exhibition, take a 'before' photo to go with the finished item.
Stitched items for the exhbition raffle are welcomed. Chris Gray donated one of the small hanging squares similar to those pictured above, which was much appreciated.

New books have been added to the library including titles on Art Quilting, Crewel work, Applique and fabric collage.

Young Embroiderers next session is over Easter - the 8th and 9th April.

The Easter competition next month (28th March) awards a prize for the best work from a commercial design, so remember to bring your entries.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Member's Day March 28th

Are you ready for member’s day on Saturday March 28th?

There will be 4 zones to experiment and explore. The attached is a starter for the day. Take a look and choose an area that you would like to explore. When you come to the meeting on Saturday  7th March there will be an area where you can sign up to an activity.

Looking forward to a great day


Wednesday 11 February 2015

February Meeting - Karen Casper

Our speaker for this month's meeting, Karen Casper works under the name of Tulle and Candyfloss. Karen is a great advocate for using the upcycled and the decayed to give it a new identity.
She brought some excellent examples of her work, created as she completed her degree and masters, which as she said, she started from nothing, having left school with few qualifications.

Karen's work in a fashion shoot on her website
Karen's work has been inspired by several themes, including lace and undersea coral. She enjoys researching her subject thoroughly before starting work on a piece, and brought along lots of sketchbooks, full not only of design ideas but also stitch and fabric samples as she works towards resolving a piece. 

Miss Coral

Her coral inspired pieces use glow in the dark threads from Madeira (she was a Madeira sponsored student throughout her studies) and wire to give shape to the finished piece.

Karen styles photo shoots for all her creations and her striking images on social media have given her a worldwide audience. Her lace inspired pieces have been exhibited in Calais and Latvia and her work is being commissioned as unique, hand crafted headpieces.

She refuses to be pigeon-holed, and enjoys being artist, designer and tutor - and a sharer of her exquisitely detailed stitched pieces many of which she brought along for us to marvel over.

Other things

Preparations for the June exhibition are progressing. There will be themed exhibitions including 'Make do and mend', 'Magna Carta' and 'Best dressed doll' and also a general exhibition of work - everyone is encouraged to enter work for the exhibition.

Stitched pieces which can be donated as raffle prizes would be welcome as would handling samples.

There has been a request for purple fabric for the Regional Competition.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

January Meeting - Alison Larkin

Happy New Year to Our Members New and Old and to all Our Followers

We started off the New Year with a visit from a Georgian lady, alias Alison Larkin from Hull

Alison in period costume

Alison began with a brief account of the historical context of the period covered, 1714-1830 (or 1837 if one includes William IV in the "Long Eighteenth Century"). Of special note was the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class, together with the growth of the British  Empire and her trading companies. Of importance to costume in particular was the development in printing, and the publication of fashion journals and fashion plates.

Alison illustrated both men and women's costume from the the early and later parts of the period, including the exaggerated Court Mantua (and revealed the secret of how they passed through doors in such a wide garment), up to the clothing worn by the Misses Bennett and the handsome Mr Darcy. The embroidery on all of the costume, of both sexes, was exquisite.

We went on to hear about the project which led Alison to research this period. She is completing a replica of an unfinished waistcoat, embroidered by Elizabeth, the wife of Captain James Cook, which she was making for him during his third and final voyage from which he never returned. The waistcoat, embroidered on tapa (bark) cloth is now displayed in Sydney, and Alison had been granted funding to visit Australia last year in order to conduct her own research. The waistcoat is now almost complete and will be on display at the Captain Cook Museum in Grape Lane, Whitby, from February 16th until October 31st this year.

We were also treated to examples of Alison's miniature embroidery. The photos below just do not do it justice. 

Other Things

Kath is holding a meeting for all those interested in helping in any way with the exhibition. It is to be held at the Folk Hall on Saturday 17th January at 10.00am, and will be as brief as possible! Many hands make light work!

There was a 25% response to the questionnaire given out to members at the November meeting. These replies contained some excellent comments and suggestions which the committee will work their way through in order of priority.

A letter was read out to the meeting from the CEO Terry Murphy, outlining suggestions for changes to  be made to the Guild in order to make it more sustainable. The full details will be in your next issue of Contact due out at the end of the month. Please read carefully and make any comments to Kath or Shirley who will be attending this year's AGM, where the proposals will be voted on (preferably in writing or Email).

Finally, thank you to all those who bought contributions for variety packs to be sold at the Exhibition. In February we will be collecting any donations in Summer colours