9 December 2014

Christmas Tree Festival

Jill and I went to set up our Christmas tree at the Unitarian Church last week.  There we a good number of organizations taking part and it will look so pretty when all the trees are up and the lights are on.  Our theme this year was stars of any design in blue and gold.  What a lovely variety we got.  Our next-door neighbours were Phoenix Textile Artists.

There were leaflets by the tree, so here's hoping we attract some new members in the New Year.

Happy Christmas everyone!

All lit up

3 December 2014

Christmas Social 2014

We had a great turn-out for our Christmas Social last Monday.  It was the occasion of our Christmas competition, which had the theme of Winter Wonderland.  There was a lovely selection of work on show and it made it hard to choose the winner, but Glen came out on top with her lovely picture of winter trees.   The sparkles you can see are beads and sequins sewn on by hand - a true labour of love!  More pictures in the Photo Album.
Glen's winning entry

Everyone had to put their thinking caps on for a couple of quizzes, but they didn’t fool the bright sparks among us for long and prizes were won!. 

The committee had provided a wonderful spread of festive “nibbles” for everyone to enjoy – delicious!  Sue S. took this tempting shot.

The first Travelling Books have completed their journey and were on display.  There was a wonderful variety of work and it was so interesting to see how each person had interpreted the chosen theme. 

The meeting finished with our usual Christmas card swap – everyone brings a hand-made card and then takes one home with them. 

No more meetings until February, but by then we will all be keen to get sewing again and have planned a practical session.  

Happy Christmas!



5 November 2014

Victorian Greetings Cards

Our speaker on Monday, Sheila Sturrock, treated us to a history of 19th century greetings cards, starting with Valentine cards.  They were big business and from quite simple, hand-made affairs, became bedecked with all kinds of flowers, paper lace, embossing and scraps.  We were surprised to find that not all of them were of the loving 'hearts and flowers' type and the insulting or rude ones we see in the shops today had nothing on some of them!  The girls who made the cards were employed in good conditions and although they worked long hours, had plenty of breaks.  The pay was good as well, depending on the level of their skill.  The invention of an envelope folding machine also revolutionised the kinds of cards that could be sent and many of them had 3D elements as well as moving parts.  Suddenly the market for Valentines disappeared and the makers had to find ways to branch out and Christmas cards became popular in a small way, certainly it would have been hard then to imagine the big business it is today.  They tended to use up materials all ready in stock, so they were not always very appropriate to Christmas and had some very dubious greetings as well.  In among the unseasonal flowers were the occasional dead birds and other horrors!  Sheila also brought a small selection of Word War I embroidered greetings cards for us to see.  A very entertaining afternoon.
Embroidered cards

26 October 2014

Saturday Workshop - Beaded Tassels

Had a great workshop yesterday at our new workshop venue, Higham Village Hall.  It worked really well - light, warm and well equipped and a really good price too.  Workshops are always a great way to get to know people and of course to learn something new.  I learnt two things yesterday - 1. how to make a beaded tassel and 2. that I will probably not be making another one!!

The class of 2014 concentrating!

Our unfinished tassels
 I also learnt that not everything marked as Beading Thread is what it seems!  With needles so fine and thread ready to untwist at the slightest provocation there was plenty of puffing and blowing among the chatting and laughter.

Suzanne, our tutor, was endlessly patient with us and the beads were so pretty that beading almost seemed like something I could take up......but maybe not quite.  However, I did get mine finished later that evening, just don't look to closely at it!
Later - my finished tassel in its new role as a scissor-keeper!

There are more pictures in the Photo Album.

8 October 2014

Dry-felting workshop

We had a fun meeting this week. Lesley demonstrated dry-felting and showed us lots of inspiring examples to get us going. We all had a felting needle and sponge and she provided plenty of fleece in all colours of the rainbow, so it was not long before we were all prodding away.  The technique was easy and fun, with not too many stabbed fingers and gave us plenty of time to chat.

Lesley demonstrating at her table full of goodies.

Below are the results of our efforts - not bad for what was for most people, a first attempt.  I finished my flower brooch at home with a few embroidery stitches and will wear it next month.  Hope to see some others on display too.

These are Lesley's 

...and these are ours!

26 September 2014

A fascinating workshop

Had an email from a friend at East Kent EG telling me about a recent workshop they had with Kim Thittichai which I must share with you.  Kim blogged on 22nd September and there are lots of brilliant photos and a description of the technique they used.   The link is www.hot-textiles.blogspot.com   Kim is always great fun to spend time with and it is only a pity that she lives in Brighton - sooo far away from Lancashire!  However, she does write books so perhaps I will be moved to try something at home. J

9 September 2014

New additions

Two new additions this morning.  The photo album contains a few pictures taken at our July social this year.  This is something we hope to develop over the months - if I remember to take my camera each time!  Also added is another Embroiderers' Guild Branch link - East Kent is a long way from us, but it was my Branch for 9 years and I still keep in touch.  If you are ever on holiday in the area......Canterbury is close by and the resorts of Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate have wonderful beaches.....you would be sure of a warm welcome.   End of  travelogue!  J

5 September 2014

Looking back at our Branch history

Have at last worked out how to put items on the various pages - it is so easy I just don't know why it caused me so much grief!  Thought it would be nice to record the history of the branch, so will be publishing the old newsletters from 2011 and then copies of the current newsletters as they are written.  Hope you will find them interesting.  J

3 September 2014

Just received this lovely picture of the StArt quilt I can share with you.  The photograph is by Enid Pyrah.

The border picture that got the most oohhs and aahhs was the little sheepdog puppy, fifth down on the right.  This was sewn by our joint Skipton / Padiham member, Sue who also did the cyclist just above it.

The red dots mark towns and villages on the route and if you look really carefully you see the exquisite little labels Jill made!  The little metal cycles were all made by Claire, with wheels by the Brownies and the large orange dot on the left is an exquisite little 3D rucksack! You can see why we were so impressed.

First day of term.......

Well, not quite, but first day of Padiham & District's new year.  Summer may be over, but autumn has its compensations, not least looking forward to our new programme and seeing everyone again after the August break.  We hold our AGM in September so the first meeting is always hectic, but we relax after the main business and listen to a speaker.  This year Claire, from our sister Branch at Skipton, came along to give us an illustrated talk about the StArt project to celebrate Le Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire this summer. They had been involved with ladies from the Asian community in Skipton in the making of a story-cloth showing the history their journey from Pakistan to England, which inspired them.  The textile artist Jackie Lunn was commissioned to work with them and with some generous funding and their own efforts she helped them design and make a quilt illustrating the route of the Tour.  The map itself was felted and then quilted into a painted background and the whole cloth surrounded by embroidered squares depicting aspects of their area.  These were worked by their own members and also members of Grassington Branch.  Other members of the wider community were involved as well, including the Brownies who made bright yellow wheels for the bicycles.  The whole quilt is delightful and has created a lot of interest, especially when it was displayed in the window of their branch of Fat Face on the main street during the Tour itself.

After enjoying the photographs it was lovely to see (and feel!) the quilt up close.  Quilting the felted area had the effect of turning it into a relief map and it was fun to see all the different aspects of the Yorkshire Dales that the embroiderers had chosen for their squares.  Almost most impressive of all were the labels of the names of the towns, which had been worked in the tiniest cross-stitch by Jill, their Chairman!  They were so neat and tiny I thought at first they had been printed, but no! What an inspiring project - congratulations!

25 August 2014

Well, this is the nearest I can get - GMT.  There doesn't seem to be an option for Daylight Saving, so if you think I am up early, just add an hour! J
Well, I'm glad to say the links now work, but my next mystery is how to set the clock to British Summertime instead of  Pacific Daylight time.  This project is certainly stirring up the grey matter!  J
Calamity - have just discovered that my links don't work.  Have checked the addresses and don't know why, so have deleted them until I can find out.  Sorry about that!  J

24 August 2014

Just added links to some other Guild sites which might be of interest.  I always like to follow what is going on at Bolton and Skipton (my other "local" Branch) and there is more general information of interest to anyone in the Region and the country as a whole on the other two sites.  J

22 August 2014

Just added two buttons to the blog.  I am quite impressed with myself.  Take a look at our programme for the coming year.  I hope to add newsletters soon and eventually, a gallery.  Wish me luck!

21 August 2014

Padiham members displaying our new banner.  We had packs of fabric and instructions to work a letter in any technique we liked.  The basic colours were red and white.  Then the results were stitched together by Sue (well done you!) to make a cheerful welcome to our Branch.
This post followed our first meeting of 2014 in February and was posted by one of our members, Sue:
Well, it was a fantastic start to the new year of stitching. We had an almost full turn out and our green colour raffle yielded 3 big baskets of sewing goodies each won by a very thrilled member. Our secretary, Joan, made a welcome return following an enforced absence and even led the session from her special chair to make paper beads. Members enthusiastically cut, glued and rolled a striking collection of beads. I could see beads of all colours, some even looking like semi precious stones... Fab!! Mine looked more like the gravel from outside, all mismatched shapes and sizes ... Note to self... Must be neater when working! ha ha! But we could all see a good use for the in our work or as one member said " we'll that's Christmas sorted .. Earrings all round!!"  .... 
Our next meeting is in March followed by a workshop day ... 'That darn stitch!' . Please look at the NW Region Embroiderers' Guild website for details of our programme.
New members are always welcome so..........keep stitching!
This blog was posted on our old site in March 2014:
March already and a great meeting. Patricia Barrett one of our members gave a talk about her experiences travelling and teaching all over the world. There were plenty of laughs and lots of souvenirs to look at. Pat is holding a workshop for us on the 22nd of  March and those of us canny enough to book on to it before Christmas are really looking forward to a day of laughing and stitching Some of you will remember Pat's workshop ' that darn stitch' from summer school last year and know we are in for a great time.
We enrolled 2 new members, Sue and Eileen one of whom went on to win our colour raffle! What a great welcome!
This is my first attempt at re-launching Padiham & District Branch blog.  Bear with me and I will be back to you later!