12 May 2016

The Quaker Tapestry

Last Monday we were treated to an illustrated talk about the wonderful Quaker Tapestry.  This unique work, designed by Ann Wyn-Wilson, tells the story of the Quakers and their beliefs in a series of 77 framed panels of colourful embroidery.

The idea came from a young boy who was tired of "colouring in" and wanted to do something more interesting.  Ann had studied the Bayeaux Tapestry for her City & Guilds course and decided to make an embroidery inspired by this great work with each panel echoing its design with a border top and bottom.   The embroidery is very colourful, using woollen threads - all the early history panels use authentic natural dyes; chemical dyes came later in the story.  Ann even invented a new stitch, which has been recognized as such by the Royal School of Needlework, which gives a smooth line to curves.  This is particularly important as there is a lot of text on the panels.  A calligrapher even designed a special font for the tapestry.

The tapestry took 15 years to complete and in the end over 4,000 men, women and children in 15 countries had worked on it to celebrate their Quaker story and beliefs.

If you want to see this wonderful work for yourself look at the Quaker Tapestry website www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk or better still visit their inspiring exhibition at the Friends Meeting House in Stramongate, Kendal, where there are around half of the panels on display.   J.

4 May 2016

The Young Farmers Show, Gisburn Auction Mart 24th April 2016

Following an enquiry at our stall at the Higham Easter Art & Craft Exhibition, Lesley, one of our members, volunteered to go along to the Young Farmers Show to judge the craft categories.  This is her account of the day:

"I had a lovely time judging the Young Farmers Crafts.  They sent me an information letter prior to the event, which turned out to be regional competition with six groups involved.  The winners would go through to the national finals.  I was elected to judge the sewing section.  

The themes of the show was Lancashire and The Future.  My section had three elements, junior bags, intermediate doorstops and small quilts no bigger than one metre by one metre for the senior section.  The rules for judging were similar to the WI and very specific and each entry had to be accompanied by a story board not bigger than A3.

I was made very welcome and was given a steward to help me, which was a lovely touch.  I had taken a pad and pen but was given a clipboard with prepared sheets on them.  I wrote a note of encouragement for each entrant; that was a personal choice because whatever the standard everyone had put their heart and soul into the work.  I was given a meal voucher for a hot lunch in the cafe.  There was a big selection, beautifully cooked and served in farmers' size portions, with puddings and huge beaker of coffee or tea of course.  Suffice it to say I didn't need anything else all day!!

Now I must confess vanity prevailed!  I wore my lovely thick felted waistcoat that I made last year in Dunblane - well it was in a chilly auction mart!  Plus a felted bag of course!

I admit to being a might full of trepidation when I received the specific rules and regulations, but it was a really great experience and I am glad I volunteered."

Lesley sent me lots of photographs, and here are some of them from the sewing section.  Wish there was room to show you some of the other terrific entries in other categories - woodwork, cooking, flower arranging.....................what talented young people, they should all be proud of themselves. J

Bags from the talented junior section.

Loved these doorstops - particularly the handsome ram!

Senior Section Mini Quilts