Wednesday 18 August 2021

August Meeting - Our first as YES

Well, we made it and on Saturday, 14th August had a super start for YES at our first meeting and in our new venue. Thirty-one people attended with two visitors. Apologies were received from another ten who will be at the September meeting, consequently  we thought it best to postpone the choosing of the new logo until then.

It was lovely to see everyone again, including  those who are returning after a fairly long absence from the EG York branch. Though, thanks to Nicky, our Zoom meetings have been very good and kept us together nothing can quite compare with the real thing. We were also able to express our thanks properly to Sue, who on resigning after many years service stayed on the committee for another year during which her experience and inside knowledge were much appreciated.

The hall buzzed with talk and activity. Yes, there was activity as well as talk, and in the Show and Tell session we thoroughly enjoyed seeing a wide variety of extremely skilled and creative work. 

Just some of the items
 featured in the Show and Tell

The sale  of books from our library at the folk hall was very successful. Next month the regular sales table  will be back and we are grateful to Maggie and Angela who have offered to take responsibility for it.  Sally will be with us in September with books for borrowing and at this meeting Moira will be seeking volunteers for the tea rota.

After lunch members settled to stitch for an hour before refreshments were served and we said our goodbyes, looking forward to next time when we’ll have textile artist Justine Warner as guest speaker.

Friday 13 August 2021

A new start - starting tomorrow!

After so many months, firstly not meeting at all, and then meeting via zoom, followed by the collapse of the Embroiderers' Guild branch network, we are about to start meeting as York Embroiderers and Stitchers. This is a message from Chris, our Chair: 

Nearly there! So just a few practical points about the meeting on 14th August. 

We start at 11am and finish at 4pm. After  a brief welcome we’ll have a Show and Tell of work members have done since we last met. (If you prefer just to display your work of course that’s fine.) After breaking  for lunch at 12.30 it’s stitch and chat so please bring some work with you. 

At this meeting you can complete enrolment, and you’ll receive copies of the group’s constitution, our programme, and a YES information sheet. Members will also see the entries for our YES logo competition and vote for their choice.

There will be a sales table but for this month it will be books only. These are from the library we had at the folk hall. From September there will also be the  remaining library books for members to borrow. 

Takeaway drinks can be bought from the cafes in Haxby but tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided at the end of the afternoon. If you would like to have your lunch in the garden we recommend that you bring a suitable chair as there is limited outdoor  seating. 

Though not mandatory, at this stage  the hall management has requested that masks are worn when  moving around the hall. The hall will have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised appropriately.  

We are all looking forward very much to meeting again. 

Best wishes, and see you soon,


Tuesday 13 July 2021

July meeting roundup

At our last Zoom meeting on Saturday, 3rd July, after a plenary session in which she explained the current arrangements for the new group, Nicky then organised small breakout groups for members to  discuss the matters raised in the survey she  had previously emailed to everyone. There were many  helpful comments and suggestions put forward in the feedback from the groups and these will be used  by the committee to inform future planning and organisation. Those who didn’t take part in this meeting have been invited to email their response to the survey to Nicky.

The timing and pattern of the day, the frequency and type of speakers we have, what kind of  input we could receive from our own members and the effective use of social media were amongst the topics considered.  With a healthy bank balance it might be possible to have some outings too. A programme of speakers and activities is in place for the remainder of the year (click here for the programme page) and the committee can now start planning for the whole of 2022 bearing in mind the members’ suggestions. We’re very much looking forward to meeting in person on 14th August in our new home.  Don’t forget your show and tell, or even just show, work and your entry for our YES logo competition.

Friday 25 June 2021

July Meeting - Still on Zoom

Following the Government's announcement that lockdown wasn't going to be lifted on 21st June, we have had to change our plans. This is a message from our Chair. 

It’s very disappointing that we won’t after all be  meeting in person on 3rd July. We have all been looking forward to it very much. There will however be another Zoom meeting, but this time with a difference. We are keeping to the programme sent out in April, which means it’s your opportunity to think about what you hope to enjoy at future YES meetings and to share your ideas and suggestions with the other members in small groups. The results of these discussions will then be shared with the whole group. The topics for discussion  will now be sent to everyone via email before the meeting,  at which Nicky will explain the process and divide those attending into chat rooms for the discussion, to be followed by someone from each group in turn reporting its findings. I‘m afraid I can’t take part in what will no doubt be a very interesting and worthwhile meeting, but in any  case it would be Nicky who will be in control.

If you are already on our mailing list, you will soon be hearing from Nicky, who will send out the draft constitution for YES, and a list of the points for discussion for the July Zoom Meeting. 

A reminder that the August meeting will be on the 14th, and not on the first Saturday of the month which is Yorkshire Day and for which the hall was previously booked. Before lunch we’ll have Show and Tell beginning with Nicky. After lunch it’s stitch and chat, a book sale, enrolment, and formal copies of the programme and the constitution for everyone . Members will also be able to see the entries for a YES stitched logo and to vote for their favourite. Don’t forget to bring yours along! It’s going to be a busy day.

Very best wishes,


Tuesday 8 June 2021

June Meeting - Elizabeth Almond

Well Saturday, 5th June was the last in our very successful series of Zoom meetings. Many thanks must go to Nicky whose skill and efficiency in organising these has been much appreciated by members and speakers alike.

Liz Almond  was our speaker and with plenty of helpful images she guided us through the process of creating a textured calico garden, though the techniques demonstrated  need not be limited to gardens. From gardens to elephants and abstract patterns, she showed how the use of a wide variety of threads and yarns in various  shades of one colour can  produce a striking image. And as she said, we will undoubtedly already have all the threads needed. A mixture of flat stitches, textured knots (in particular her favourite colonial knot)  traditional stitches and couching is used, allowing for a  more creative and individual approach from that of the traditional calico garden which thirty-five years ago Liz had to make as part of  her City  and Guilds course. Never again she said! But three years ago when she reluctantly agreed to run a day workshop on the very thing she decided to take a more contemporary approach, and is pleased she did so.

For those who couldn’t join us on Saturday Nicky has recorded the talk. A PDF showing everything required for a textured stitch project is available from Liz at £6.50. If you would like to have one just let Nicky know and she will give her your details.

One more thing. Don’t forget about the competition for a YES logo, to be chosen by the members at the August meeting.

No, there’s another thing. Do think about volunteering to run the sales table which is a great asset for the members and which provides a welcome addition to our funds. There would be help with this, including the storage of some of the stock.

Wednesday 12 May 2021

May Meeting - Ann Pocklington

Our May meeting was a very lively Zoom presentation from Ann Pocklington.

Her talk was entitled Crinoline Ladies to Soldering Irons. The title didn't add that this was via a tale of the complete unravelling of her knitted dress when she was only little, a fiendish mathematical puzzle and a fascination with lichen. As you can imagine, this was a fun talk, which was also full of lots of information about techniques and possibilities.

Next month on 5th June, we have what will (hopefully) be our final Zoom meeting. This will be a talk from Elizabeth Almond

In July we will have our first 'in person' meeting as York Embroiderers and Stitchers at the Memorial Hall in Haxby, and in August we will be judging the competition for our new logo. The competition is open to all members. There are no limitations on size, the logo can be just YES or York Embroiderers and Stitchers. The only constraint is that stitch must be involved! So have a go!

The programme page has more details about all the forthcoming meetings - do have a look.

Friday 16 April 2021

April Competition Winner

Not without difficulty... the committee chose Denise's Twelve Days of Christmas as the winner of the April competition. 

The April competition is for the best piece worked to a commercial design.

Design by Larissa Holland

Denise worked the Twelve Days of Christmas Ornaments designed by Larissa Holland. Further details can be found by clicking on this link to Larissa's website.

Our next competition has a very broad and open remit - we would like members to submit a stitched design for our new group logo. Our group is called York Embroiderers and Stitchers, so our initials are YES. Your piece can be any size and in any medium. It must incorporate stitch, and it must show the name or initials of our group. That's it - the rest is up to you.  This will be our competition for August. Please bring your entry along to the August meeting, where the winner  will be selected by all members attending that meeting. If you can't attend, let Nicky know (see contacts page) and we can make arrangements to get your piece to the meeting. 

Wednesday 7 April 2021

April Meeting - Emily Harvey

Plans for our new group York Embroiderers and Stitchers are coming together, and at our Saturday Zoom meeting, Chris outlined some of the developments.

A new programme of events is being created, and details can be seen on the programme page. As a new group, we need a new logo. The competition to be judged at the August meeting is for such a logo. There are no rules, other than it must be in stitch! Either York Embroiderers and Stitchers or YES can be made into the logo.

Following news of these exciting developments, we had a zoom talk from Emily Harvey, a York based printmaker.

Emily spoke about her work, and the inspirations behind it. She showed how her work could have links with textiles, and talked about her residency at the Textile Archive of Bradford College. She is currently experimenting with making prints from pieces of woven rattan. The results are very striking, and could easily be translated into textile techniques. 

She is a member or York Printmakers, and they have an upcoming exhibition at the North York Moors centre in Danby from the 8th May 2021.

Next month we will have a Zoom talk from Ann Pocklington, on the subject 'Crinoline Ladies to Soldering Irons'.

Friday 26 March 2021

New Beginnings

We are very pleased that there has been such a lot of support for an independent York group in place of the York branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild and you will see from the above that we now have a name; York Embroiderers and Stitchers. This has the benefit of a very positive acronym, YES.  I shall resist the temptation to add an exclamation mark.

We also have a new home. Beginning in July we will meet at Haxby Memorial Hall from 11am until 3pm on the first Saturday of every month,with the exception of August, October and January 2022 when we’ll meet on the Saturday after

Haxby Memorial Hall will suit us very well. Plenty of space and parking in a good location, plus a garden for al fresco  lunch in the summer.

The first meeting will be for informal stitching and catching up with each other,  but it will also be an opportunity for the members to give their ideas and requests for future programmes and procedures,  and to offer their help in any way. We would also like volunteers for running workshops and /or giving short talks. Or even long(ish) ones! We’ve had some offers and will be chasing these up. We are confident that our finances will enable us to have some external speakers from time to time throughout the year.  

Further details, including subscriptions and an initial programme, will be sent to everyone after Monday’s committee meeting. We would like the group’s members to be involved in the creation of a full and varied programme for the next year, one which reflects their interests and aspirations. There will be more on this at our first meeting.

Many thanks from the committee for all the lovely messages we have received. We appreciate them very much indeed.

At our Zoom meeting on 3rd April we are to have Emily Harvey as the speaker. Her talk is on Print and Printmaking. 

This blog has also had a little facelift, which is a work in progress as the new group develops, but all the archives are still here.

Saturday 13 March 2021

Next month's speaker and the future of the group

A super speaker at last Saturday’s Zoom meeting. Alison Wake who is based in the Peak District, described  her work as ‘painting with yarn’. Her talk was perfectly structured for a Zoom presentation and was obviously much enjoyed. We’ve had lots of enthusiastic  feedback from members. She can be found on

We’ve also had lots of support for the creation of an independent embroidery and textile art group in the light of the recent Embroiderers’ Guild crisis and the consequent closing of all EG branches. Given the financial predicament in which the EG finds itself and the EG Trustees’ legal obligation to protect the charity, the closures were inevitable. However, the news came as shock, though on reflection not really a surprise. As well as the desire to have an independent stitch group there have been offers of help with activities such as running workshops and financial donations to help us get started which is immensely encouraging.

The committee is investigating possible venues for the group and looking at the various aspects of its organisation including subscriptions and a monthly programme. We’ll keep in touch as we go along.

Our next Zoom meeting will be on 3rd April when Emily Harvey will talk about print and print making.

Thursday 18 February 2021

March Meeting

 Our March meeting will be on Saturday 6th. As we are still in lockdown at the time of writing, this meeting will be via Zoom, and joining details will be emailed to members nearer the time. Our speaker will be Alison Wake. Click here to visit her website.

You may have seen that our Exhibition, planned for 2021 has, not surprisingly, been postponed until 2022. That doesn't mean that work has stopped though! Here is an image of some work in progress from Moira, for our Hedgerow theme.

Friday 5 February 2021

February meeting with Amy Butcher

 Hi everyone,

A reminder about our Zoom meeting on Saturday, 6th February at 2pm It has soon rolled round. We are delighted to be having Amy Butcher as our speaker and at our Zoom committee meeting yesterday Nicky told us about the super visuals Amy has prepared for her talk. Liz will co-host the meeting so that Nicky can assist with these.  Nicky will email the meeting ID and password for the meeting to you.  This meeting will be free to all those on the 2019/2020 membership list, plus new members.

We would like to continue to hold the April competition for the best piece of work from a commercial design. These can be done from a kit or something from a magazine, or a workshop etc. This  year we would like members to send Nicky a photo of their entry, or entries, to by 30th March at the latest. She will show them onscreen, without names, at the Zoom meeting on 3rd April. The committee will then choose the winning entry. Won’t be easy! 

Speaking of images, we would love to have images of members' work on the blog.
Send them to me please, at with your name and who took the photo. This latter is only for Diana’s records   because of copyright law. Don’t ask! 

The blog has been devoid of images for nearly the whole year, so to get the ball rolling, here are pictures of work by some of our members.

From Gina

From Moira

Also, don't forget that you can see work from other branches by checking out the links on the blog.

From Jacqs

The committee has made  the decision to cancel the exhibition for this year, and to hold it in June, 2022 instead.  Very disappointing, but under the circumstances not unexpected. We kept hoping but it became  obvious it just wasn’t realistic. We know that many members have produced work on  hedgerows so we will keep what is any case  a lovely theme, as well as the exhibition’s overall title, ‘Our Celebration of Stitch’ . And  we’ll book the Tithe Barn as before.

From Nicky

Finally, another reminder of the fortnightly  Zoom Social Stitchers sessions, next one on Monday, 8th February. These are proving increasingly popular, a great way to keep in touch with our fellow stitchers. Details will be emailed. 

Very best wishes to you all,


Tuesday 26 January 2021

February Meeting

 It was super to have so many members join in when we had our first Zoom meeting in January, and we are very much looking forward to the next one. On February 6th our speaker will be York textile artist Amy Butcher. Amy was a guest speaker a few years ago, since when she has had great success with her charming and beautifully executed work. So, see you all on the 6th.

As with the January meeting, joining details will be sent via email to members. For further information see our Programme Page, or our About Us page for contact details.