Thursday 31 December 2020

We're back!!!!!

I'm very pleased to say that meetings of the York branch will be resuming in 2021.

We have a full programme for the year; for details click here.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the first two meetings of the year will be via Zoom. The venue for the following meetings will be announced here and via our facebook page, with joining details for zoom meetings (if needed) being emailed to members.

Our first speaker of the year is Ailish Henderson. Ailish has visited us before. This talk is entitled: Journey through a BA

If you'd like further details, please contact us, using the details on the About Us page.

Wednesday 23 September 2020

September Update - Sadly meetings cancelled until 2021

The covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the opportunity to hold monthly branch meetings. Behind the scenes, the committee is still working hard. This is an update from our chairperson Chris:

The committee met on a lovely  afternoon in Sue's beautiful garden. As well as being good to  see each other, and the tea  and cake, and the chat, it was a very productive meeting and we got a lot of business done. 

It's sad but hardly surprising that all our meetings for the rest of the year have been cancelled. We hope to resume in January and followers of the blog will by now have seen what an  excellent  programme  we shall have. 

With the resignation of Sue from the committee, and our Programme Secretary Gina and our Treasurer Lilian resigning with effect from October, we have three places and two roles to fill.  Jacqs and  Liz  have volunteered to take these roles on and will be duly nominated. Their names and any other nominations will be put to a vote, which  will have to take place using email or post. We don't have to hold an AGM but we do have to have an election for any new committee members. Ingrid will be emailing everyone with the details and I shall contact those members not online. 

We decided that because we have missed so many meetings we would like to reduce the individual subscription to the branch by £10. More on this to members from Ingrid via email and from me where necessary in the old-fashioned way. We agreed to offer a textile student bursary in 2021, and this will be advertised via social  media eg Instagram.

Our next committee meeting will be via Zoom. Hmm, must look around the house for  a suitably impressive background. Or a tidy one at any rate.


As a PS, the sale of goods belonging to Barbara Douglas (see previous post), due to take place on Sunday 27th September has been cancelled.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

Latest News

We are still not certain when meetings will be able to resume, but we do have a full programme ready for the remainder of this year, and next year. Click here, or on the 'Programme 20-21' tab for full details,

Sadly, one of our long-standing branch members, Barbara Douglas, died in February. She was also a member of Ryedale branch, and they have arranged to have a sale of her textile materials. Update: 23rd Sept. No doubt due to the increase in restrictions due to the pandemic, this sale has now been cancelled.

Apparently, there is quite a quantity of items (I'm sure we can all relate to that!) and it is hoped that a good sum of money can be raised to support the charities mentioned. 

Sunday 2 August 2020

2021 Exhibition

A message from our Chair

I'm very pleased to confirm that our  exhibition in 2021 will once again be held in the stunning Tithe Barn at Upper Poppleton on 25th, 26th and 27th June.  It's a perfect  spot with a pretty garden and good parking. Many of you have produced work reflecting the exhibition's theme, Hedgerows, which has given lots of scope for individual artistic interpretation, not least with four seasons to consider. We're hoping, nay expecting, lots of entries along with other pieces, some of which may well  have been produced during lockdown. And of course there will be a number of meetings before entry time when no doubt our speakers will inspire work which could be exhibited.

You'll recall that the banner for the exhibition will  be the word hedgerows spelt out in appliqu├ęd  and/ or embroidered letters. Maria provided templates for these and some have already been completed. When we meet again these can be viewed and  members can choose one of the remaining letters to complete.

Pictures from our last exhibition there in 2018 can be seen on the Exhibition page, or click here

We have no new information from the Folk Hall as to when our meetings might resume, but we'll keep you posted. In the meantime very best wishes to everyone.

Saturday 18 July 2020

Another Update

The Committee have been working towards meetings re-starting. It has become apparent though that it will not be possible to have a September 2020 meeting as our chair comments:

Dear Members,

It was very much hoped that we would be able to resume our meetings in September, however after considering the information received  from the Folk Hall with regard to their working towards a gradual re-opening from September, this meeting will not now take place. I consulted the other committee members and we all agreed that because of the likely restrictions we could not offer members the pleasant, sociable, and relaxed experience which characterises our regular meetings. This would include Stitch Club and the following day's workshop. We want everyone to come back and have a really enjoyable day and so we are aiming to meet in  October, giving considerably more time for the situation to improve.

We have unfortunately missed some excellent speakers this year however Gina has managed to book a number of them for next year. The October speaker will be Helen Barnes  and we will also have our AGM which we will try to keep as brief as we can and give Helen plenty of time to give her talk, 'Textiles From My Travels'.  We also aim to have Stitch Club, and if possible the sales table and the library. In the meantime details about the Folk Hall banner and the 'Hedgerows' project for our exhibition in 2021 will be sent to you, and we can all keep stitching.

Very best wishes to everyone,


Wednesday 3 June 2020

Covid 19 update

Sadly, in the light of the current pandemic, the June and July meetings have been cancelled. We don't have an August meeting, so the soonest we might meet again as a branch is in September, as Chris our Chairperson outlines in the following words.

It's been a very difficult ten weeks but things are now easing and our old life is in sight, if not exactly soon. We have been giving some consideration as to when we might be able to resume our meetings and it seems reasonable to aim for September which is a full three months away. We have missed some really good speakers but luckily Gina has been able to book a number of them for next year.

In September the speaker will be Anne Brooke, there'll be the morning's stitching to look forward to as well, and of course quite simply meeting each other again which will be lovely. Celia has suggested that we have an exhibition of work you have produced during lockdown and what a coincidence, the competition is for the best original design.  No doubt along with de-cluttered cupboards, immaculate gardens and longer hair (and shorter tempers?) there'll be lots of interesting and impressive pieces. I'll be keeping in touch with the Folk Hall where planning for re-opening is taking place. We'll keep everyone informed, and in the meantime I send love and best wishes.  I'm looking forward very much to our being together again.

June and July Meetings cancelled

Sadly the meetings for June and July have had to be cancelled. The situation will be reviewed before the September meeting. Further details will be posted here.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

April Meeting - cancelled

UPDATE: The May meeting has also been cancelled.

Perhaps not unexpectedly, we have made the decision to cancel our April meeting and social. We will be in touch about the May meeting at a later date.

Friday 13 March 2020

March meeting - Tori Riley

Our speaker this month was Tori Riley, her talk was on traditional and Indonesian batik.

Batik fabric

Tori grew up in Jakarta, and later studied at the Batik institute, so she was able to speak very knowledgeably about the different styles and techniques of batik.

Batik fabric and stamp
She also brought a delightful collection of different fabrics to show the variations in style and type of fabric used. These included pattern books made from copper stamps, and the corresponding fabric.

Embellished fabric
This sample has a raised gold design added after the dyeing has been completed.

Her collection even included wooden masks which had been decorated using the same wax resist techniques, to produce highly intricate pieces.

This was a very interesting talk, and having the opportunity to handle all the samples of different types of batik and ask questions, made for a very informative and sociable afternoon.

In other things . . .

The travelling book has gone missing. It was last seen in a hessian bag. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, please let one of the committee members know.

Regional day is on the 6th June. Further details in the Regional Handbook.

The library now gets Embroidery magazine - available to borrow. We also have a book missing. Embroidered Landscapes by Judy Wilford. Please return it if you have it.

The trip to the Castle Museum with a behind the scenes session with the curator will be on Monday 6th July at 2:00pm. Please sign up if you would like to go.

Please Note the April meeting has now been cancelled. At the April meeting, the competition theme is 'Best Commercial design' which means any piece worked to a commercial design. (And it doesn't have to have been completed in the past year!)

Sue would like help with designing the banner which is being made to hang in the Folk Hall.

Sign up for Elizabeth Almond's Kogin darning workshop in June, will open at the April meeting.

Stitch club in April will continue with stumpwork with Shirley (requirements as for last month) and Josie will be working with paper moulds.
To take part with Josie, you need:
Toilet paper
Spray Starch
Shapes to press the paper in to - Rubber stamps, Print blocks, heavy lace etc
Fabric - canvas etc to fix to
Paints - rub on and spray paint
And importantly, something to take the things home on!

Wednesday 4 March 2020

Stitch club requirements

Update . . . The stumpwork session will not be taking place tomorrow (Saturday March 7th).

Carol's Initial design will be going ahead as planned, and the sit and sew group will also go ahead as normal.

If you're coming to the morning session this Saturday 7th March, and want to take part in Stitch Club with Carol where the theme is Initial Designs, this is what you need to bring . . .

Carol Coleman - Initial Designs
Several square pieces of paper 8” – 12”
Paper scissors
Craft knife and cutting mat (if you have them)
Freezer paper (if you have it)
Back-up supplies of requirements will be available

If you wish to try out your design on fabric to make a small quilted sample, bring some fabric and backing and batting (wadding) together with sewing/embroidery supplies.

Paints will be available if you wish to use them to apply your design as a painted stencil transfer onto fabric.

If you're doing stumpwork with Shirley, the session is not going ahead on March 7th.

Usual sewing kit with 9/10 size needles
6" embroidery ring
Fine water soluble pen or pencil
Small piece of brown / tan/ beige felt

Stranded cotton in selection of greens and Browns, ALSO berry colours or reds and purples

Paper covered cake wires if you have them- I will have some if not.

Stitch Club starts at 10:00.

And if you're staying for the afternoon talk, the speaker is Victoria Riley, talking about traditional and Indonesian batik. See the programme page for more details.

And don't forget, we put information out on our facebook page throughout the month.

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,

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 or 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.