16 July 2017

Summer Social

Had a brilliant day at our Summer social earlier this month.  Another delicious buffet (thank you Lord Sainsbury!) with extra strawberries and Kathryn's delicious vanilla mold.

There was a good display of entries for our Summer Bell Trophy competition "Land and Sea", and it was won by Carole.  The winner was in a dead heat with Patricia's lovely little picture, but a second ballot confirmed her win.

Sue congratulates Carole on her win.

The "upside-down raffle", organized by Kathryn, was next.

A tempting display of mystery parcels!
Lesley looks delighted with her pick - but will she be able to keep it?

Christine commits Sue T's prize to memory, just in case!

Shall I or shan't I - yes I think I will!

With the "upside-down" raffle decided to most people's satisfaction - on to the Rainbow raffle, with was won by Lesley, Alison and our visitor, Jennifer.  Alison was also the lucky winner of a beautiful embroidery book kindly donated by Sue S.

Our final pleasure was to present Jenny with a chrysanthemum plant as our 'helpful member'.  Jenny is a relatively new member, but has been a helpful and cheerful presence since the first so we were very happy to recognize her.

Finally, Eileen gave a very nice little speech to thank the committee for organizing such a lovely social occasion.

Now we are on holiday until September, when it all begins again.  Happy Summer everyone.  J

20 June 2017

Calico Gardens

A beautiful piece of stumpwork by Angie Burt

Calico Gardens was the theme of our workshop last Saturday with Angie Burt.  We were a select group of ten so it was a lovely relaxing day in good company.  Angie was so generous with her help and encouragement, as well as being a pleasure to be with.

Angie had brought a large selection of her exquisite pieces with her to encourage us, including this superb little box with a different scene on each face and an adorable mole emerging from the lid!

Angie in full flow!
A picture of concentration!

Work in progress
 We all made good progress and I don't think mine will turn into a UFO (unfinished object) this time as projects so often do!

All in all a lovely day. J.

16 June 2017

Two meetings with a Japanese flavour

Our last two meetings, in May and June, turned out to have some slight connection.  In May we were entertained by Katie Chaplin's interesting and informative talk on Mottainai.  This word expresses the concept of regret at waste and showed how clothing and other household textiles have been repaired and patched over the years until the original garment has practically become something completely different.  Her talk was illustrated by superb photographs of patched and darned kimonos, work trousers and quilts - turning them into objects of almost abstract art, with blocks of colour and pattern and beautiful darning stitch patterns.  She finished her talk with a demonstration of Furoshiki - the art of wrapping items in silk squares.  The same lovely square of silk was employed to wrap a gift, wrap some school books, carry home the shopping and, my favourite, carry two bottles of wine.  A most entertaining afternoon.

Then in June Harriet Lawton came along to talk to us about the Cataloguing Padiham project she became involved with at Gawthorpe last year.  She detailed her work from college to the present day with a series of interesting slides.  I said these two talks were loosely connected - well, her degree work was inspired by Kintsugi which is the ancient Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery using seams of gold powder mixed with resin or lacquer.  Their view is that a break is part of the object's history and its beauty is enhanced rather than diminished by its imperfection.  Harriet achieved this effect in stitch by encapsulating the broken object in fine fabric with gold stitching along the breaks.

From these beginnings she went on to explore water-jet collage where patterns and motifs are cut from the ceramic piece, and also using silk screen printing to make a whole new ceramic facsimile.  In this way she has made "memento" pieces to celebrate special events.

A memento piece - it looks so "real" it startles you to pick it up and feel it is feather-light!
Since graduating Harriet has been involved with a number of large scale exhibitions and displays.

The Cataloguing Padiham project Harriet undertook in conjunction with Gawthorpe Hall collected memories and impressions of Padiham from members of the public, which were written on labels and displayed at the Hall in 2016 ..........................

........... and this in turn has led to a collaboration with the Council in a plan to enhance the public environment in Padiham's streets.

Harriet, top right, talking to our members about her work
Thanks to Val and Sue for the photographs.  J

8 June 2017

North West Summer School 2017

Last weekend I attended Summer School at Waddow Hall in Clitheroe. This year the two tutors were Nicola Jarvis, well known for her beautiful patterned birds in needlework, and Kim Thittichai, equally well known for her work on 'hot textiles' - multilayered pieces using iron on painted vilene, foils, mica, and other fabric that can be melted with a heat gun. She then prints and sews over these. I like both ....so which to choose?

In the end I decided on Kim because I thought it would give me a chance to use some techniques I haven't tried before .... and be a bit more inventive.  However I did buy one of Nicola's scrumptious kits to work later.

Kim brought a new product along she called "paint and bond" which is like bondaweb without the paper backing. You can use this to add paint and other surface finishes to material which you then embellish on top. Everyone got really involved and produced many samples using different techniques and products. I really liked using embossing powders, gold flakes and foils.

Most people were residential but because it is so close to home I travelled each day so making the weekend slightly cheaper.

I would certainly recommend giving Summer School a try if you enjoy taking some time out to sew or create in a lovely setting. Some people come with others from their Embroiderers' Guild branch.  I didn't know anyone at first and now I have met lovely people from all over the region.  Sue T.

I also won a prize of lovely organic handmade goodies on the raffle......miracle!!
Me sharing my Summer School experience with Pendle branch members

5 May 2017

Higham Village May Fair

Lesley, Sue B, Jenny and Patricia at Higham Village May Fair - with our new banner!

A group of Pendle members attended the Higham Village craft fair again this year, in its new format moved from Easter to May Bank Holiday.  Sue S gathered together a number of our ladies to man a stall over two days of the show and had arranged to have a new banner made to announce ourselves.

Eileen, Val, Patricia and Sue S with our display
The display created a lot of interest and a lot of leaflets were handed out - we hope to see some new members joining us.

There was a lot of interest from visitors - Eileen explains our Travelling Book project
Eileen, Patricia, Glen and Sue S.

Lesley had her own stall selling her lovely felt work - here she is wearing one of her wonderful creations.

This is a lovely winter scene which Sue T. submitted to Stitch magazine - it was accepted and here it is, top right, in the magazine's Gallery.  Well done Sue!

A very successful two days; thanks to Sue S and all the lovely ladies of Pendle EG who supported her.  J.

19 April 2017

Book Review

This week I thought I'd have a treat (instead of chocolate) and look at a book I bought recently. It has been advertised on both 'sewing corner’ shopping channel and in Stitch magazine but I managed to get it for a cheaper price from 'The Book People'.

I bought the book because I am interested in the American craft of 'penny mats’.  This craft is an interesting way of using scraps from clothing and I have visions of cushion covers made with the woollen cardies etc I accidentally felt on a regular basis!

The book is colourful and interesting; all the pictures and diagrams are clear and the text is interspaced with some funny (and profound) sayings. There are interesting sections about how to develop different stitches, textures and techniques to take you beyond their conventional use. I particularly like the way the author talks to you from the pages and explains the methods and techniques she used. I laughed out loud at her advice about purchasing an embellisher - you’ll have to read it to find out! At the back of the book there is the usual guide to stitches and some templates both of which are again very clear.

All in all I think it is one of the books that is well worth the money…….and you can’t always say that!!   Sue T.

9 April 2017

The Corset Unlaced

This was the title of our speaker's talk last Monday - intriguing!  Gillian Roberts brought a selection of her beautiful creations for us to admire and gave a fascinating and often hilarious slide-show of the history of corsets, from almost unbelievable metal corsets through wire and whale-bone to rubber and on to the outerwear glamour corsets of today.  There was a so-called "pretty" corset, just right for your maid-servant to wear for doing the housework!  And horrible medical images of the damage that "tight-lacing" could do to the internal organs.  Even without employing tight-lacing, it is little wonder that young ladies were prone to swooning and there was always a bottle of sal volatile in their reticule to revive them!  I am glad to live in an era when we can "let it all hang out" if we want to.

Gill makes beautiful dresses with embroidered corsets for brides and special-occasion wear.  My pictures do not do them justice so to see more have a look at her website www.belladonna-roses.co.uk .  The professional photograph show her exquisite embroidery to perfection.  J

More Mini-masterpieces

Promised some more of our Mini-masterpieces - so here they are!

Don't they look good on their tiny easels!   J

19 March 2017

Collages and Wire Sculptures

Artist Priscilla Jones paid us a visit at our last meeting to talk to us about her delicate collages and wire sculptures of domestic items.  There was a slight delay while the technology got sorted out, but luckily we had Sue B on hand to work it all out and we enjoyed slide presentation of Priscilla's work from the beginning of her degree course work, through its development to the work she is best known for today.

Priscilla started to work studying items of clothing and has created a lot of fascinating artwork using gloves.  She spent hours trawling through charity shops and amassed a huge collection of gloves for her work.


Priscilla's work is still evolving, but we know her best for her domestic collages of the equipment for afternoon tea!  They use layers of paper, cloth, paint and gesso to achieve their delicate effects.  She also became interested in 3D wire sculptures of tea pots, cups, spoons etc. as well as birds.  She uses cake decoration wire and attached fabric with beeswax, which sinks into the paper covering of the wire.

Priscilla Jones with some of her work.

A most enjoyable meeting. J

5 March 2017

Fabulous Workshop

Nikki Parmenter made a welcome return to Pendle in February to run a Fabulous Fish workshop, which certainly lived up to its name.  I didn't attend, but went along in the afternoon to be greeted by an roomful of enthusiastic and smiling embroiderers, proudly displaying their fabulous sea creatures (and a butterfly!!)  Many thanks to Sue S and Sue T who documented the day for me. J

Some of Nikki's samples - this is what you have to aim for ladies!

Now for Pendle's turn...

 Scraps of fabric under net being fused together with soldiering iron, before being cut into fish outline.

A fish taking shape under Brenda's guiding hands.

Eileen's exciting colour scheme taking shape.

Fiona's subtle colour scheme for a seahorse.

Glen's flying fish on a creative background

 Alison & Louise proudly display their seahorses.                       Lesley having fun!

Two more fabulous fish.......................................... and a butterfly from Wendy!