Newsletters 2014


Hope it is not too late to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.  The December social was a lovely, happy afternoon with lots of gorgeous grub as well – just my luck to have missed the fun.  Thank you for my card; I so much enjoyed seeing all your names on it.

There were some lovely entries to the Christmas competition which was won by Glen Purchase with her piece “Seven Swans a-Swimming”.  Glen also won the Grey Raffle, along with FlorenceFebruary’s Raffle colour is GREEN.  The ‘Sweet Shop’ quiz was won by Susan – congratulations.

Jill was thanked and presented with a plant as a small token of our appreciation for all her hard work keeping us fed and watered during the year.

There are still places on Patricia Barrett’s workshop, “That Darn Stitch!” on 22nd March, so please sign up – it looks as though it is going to be a lot of fun.  If you have booked but not paid, please bring your money in February.  Shelagh has found a alternative venue for the workshop which, as well as being cheaper, we hope will prove warmer and more convenient.  It is at Greenbrook Methodist Church Hall, Greenbrook Road, Lowerhouse, Burnley BB12 6DP.  There is parking and it is in a fairly central location for all our members.

The Christmas Tree Festival was a great success, with about 40 organisations involved.  Shelagh would like to thank Dianne and Suzanne who volunteered their trees, Sue and Jill who came along to help dress our tree and to everyone who made decorations.  Brenda deserves special mention for her enormous ribbon covered lantern that got a lot of attention.  The organisers seem to be keen for us to come again, so we will have to get our thinking caps on later in the year to decide our theme.

Don’t forget to bring your completed Guild HQ Questionnaires to the meeting.  They should be sealed in a plain envelope.  You can of course post them yourself if you wish.

Now for the fun stuff, starting on 3rd February with what I hope will be a very easy and social mini-workshop – Paper Beads.  Not too much concentration needed and so there should be plenty of time to chat and catch up with the news.  The first four items on the list of requirements are vital; the last three would be nice if you have them, but don’t buy specially.  I will bring everything else.

12” ruler
Small Glue stick (Pritt or similar)
Black felt tip could be useful
Gold marker pen if you have one
Clear nail varnish if you have some           

I am looking forward to seeing you all again after what seems like a very long break.

See you on 3rd February


 What a fantastic turnout at the January meeting - 27 of our 31 members, plus two guests!  I must admit to having been rather overwhelmed at first, but soon felt better when everyone got busy rolling and sticking their paper beads.  There were some lovely results and I have had reports that no magazine or brochure is safe in several households!

Nan was very sorry to announce that Kate Spencer is in hospital having undergone an operation for a brain tumour.  Everyone at the meeting signed a card to send her our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

There is just time for you to visit Clitheroe to see Glen Purchase’s lovely exhibition at the Platform Gallery.  A piece of her work was voted visitors’ choice in an exhibition at the Castle last summer and her prize was an exhibition of her own – good news, bad news!  She has been working very hard to get it together and all her worries have proved unfounded as it has been a marvellous success, with lots of sales.  The exhibition ends on Saturday, 22nd February.

All the places on Patricia Barrett’s workshop on Saturday, 22nd March, “That Darn Stitch!” have now been filled, which is great news.  If you have booked, don’t forget that it is going to be at our new experimental venue at Greenbrook Methodist Church Hall, Greenbrook Road, Lowerhouse, Burnley BB12 6DP. 

If you still want to take part in the Guild HQ Survey but forgot to bring yours to the February meeting, I have not yet posted them so there is still time to include yours.  Bring it along, in a sealed, plain envelope, to the March meeting.

Exciting news, Sue Towers has set up a blog for us on
Early days of course, but there is a blog and a picture to look at.  Do have a look – I have made a shortcut to put it on my desk-top to keep it handy.  Thanks and well done to Sue.

The details of the raffle and sales table takings for December weren’t to hand in time for the January newsletter; they were Raffle £18 and the Sales Table £46.02.  In February contributions to the Green raffle yielded three prizes and took £24.  It was won by Margaret Lambert, Jennifer Isherwood and Mrs Thompson (Kathryn’s mother-in-law).  The Sales Table once again did marvellous work and raised £45.60.  Thank you to everyone who spent so generously, this income really is our life-blood.  The Raffle for March is Navy Blue.  As usual any contributions to the Sales Table would be warmly received.

An alteration to our programme – please make a note:  the date of the workshop on ‘Yubinuki Thimbles’ that Kathryn agreed to run for us has been changed from Saturday, 14th June to Saturday, 17th May, which seems to suit more people.  The booking list will open in March.

Now to our March meeting – as well as running our March Workshop, Patricia Barrett is going to speak to us on ‘Travels and Textiles’, so I think we can look forward to a colourful afternoon.

See you on 3rd March! 

MARCH 2014 

There were 25 members, include two new ones, Sue Sissling and Eileen Howe, at the March meeting and Carole arrived wearing a pretty new necklace – yes, you guessed it – paper beads!  We were treated to a trip round the world by Patricia Barrett.  She has taught and travelled in Yemen, South America, The Bahamas, Turkey, Syria, Russia, Tanzania......the list goes on.  She kept us all laughing and amazed at her experiences.   There were lots of souvenirs and embroideries to admire too.  Now the lucky ones who booked on her workshop later this month are looking forward to another jolly day in her company.

Shelagh gave us a quick preview of some of the goodies she has set up for the 2014/15 programme – talks by some interesting and innovative textile artists as well as mini-workshops run by our talented members -3D felted brooches, beaded tassels, goldwork and covered beads.  Shelagh also made a plea for cards to present to our speakers; please let her know if you can help.

Monica Selway, the NW Regional Chairman, is looking for embroideries and stewards for the exhibition at The Storey in Lancaster in May.  Please contact Val Coleshaw or Monica for more information if you can help or have work to enter.

New member Eileen must have thought we had arranged a special welcome for her as she won the Green raffle together with Hilary Crabtree.  The raffle raised £20.  The April raffle colour is Turquoise. The Sales Table raised £17.50 and Brenda made an urgent appeal for more goods to sell. 

The booking list opened for Kathryn’s workshop on Yubinuki Thimbles (17th May).  Kathryn can only take 12 people, so don’t forget to sign up at the next meeting if you want to secure a place.

Time is treading on towards our Summer competition, The Bell Trophy.  The theme is THREE to celebrate Padiham & District Branch’s third anniversary.  Judging takes place at the June Summer Social and we hope for a good entry, so get your brains and needles working.

This project is already running in a number of Guild Branches and was briefly discussed at the March meeting and I am now going to expand on the idea a bit more to give you more information.

Think carefully before you join as it is a long(ish) term commitment.  I would hope to have groups of 4 or 5 people, so this means a commitment to do a small piece of work each month, and also attend the meetings in order to pass it on and get your next book, for 4 or 5 months.  If it was really impossible to get to a meeting you would be expected to make arrangements for someone else to do this for you.

Blackpool Branch has decided that each person decides a theme for her book.  This is a lovely idea and when the book is complete it will give each owner an interesting reference to the different ways a theme can be interpreted.  I have drawn up a list of suggested ideas for themes just to get your brains started, but anything goes.  Just remember not to be too personal though as everyone has to find source material for their piece, so ‘Summer Holidays’ or ‘In the Town’ are better than ‘The Seychelles’ or ‘Accrington’!

 I shall be taking names of those who would like to make the first ‘journey’ at the April meeting and hope to have the groups up and running by May.  When you sign up it would be very helpful if you could add your chosen theme alongside your name.  This way I can balance out the themes between the groups – for instance if four people choose ‘Flowers’ it would not be good to have all of them in the same group.

The notes below will explain how the scheme works:

·                     Each member of the group is given an A5 spiral-bound sketchbook.  There will be a small charge – probably £2.
·                     Each person identifies her book – perhaps decorate the cover or  even make a cover for it if you like.  Write full name, address inside and your chosen theme boldly on the first page.
·                     Each person then completes a 2-page spread – left-hand page the source their inspiration (perhaps a photo, magazine picture, postcard), right-hand side a resolved sample.
·                     The worked piece need not be fully finished; it need not even fit the whole page.
·                     It can be hand-stitched, machine stitched, or mixed media.
·                     On the left-hand side of the page, try to include some comments about your inspiration and a little about the technique you used.
·                     At the next meeting the book is passed on to the next person in the group, who then has a month to make their contribution.  In exchange you will also receive a book.  You will always hand a book on to the same person, and receive one from the same person. 
·                     When working in someone else’s book, don’t forget to include your name and the date on the page, something about what inspired you and the technique used to create the piece.
·                     Bear in mind what is on the previous page when mounting your piece and leave a free page in between if necessary.
·                     At the end of the ‘journey’ all the books will all be back with their owners to keep as an inspiration and souvenir of their branch friends. 
·                     Any blank pages left in the book could be used to continue to build up your own ideas on the theme, leaving you with plenty of inspiring material for future work.

If you want to see how it works before you sign up, or cannot commit at the moment, there will be more opportunities to join in.  I would hope to take more names after the first exchange of books, that is in the 3rd month.  Also if you would like to go on another ‘journey’  with a new theme and group when yours finishes, you can do that too.  Or you can drop out for a while and sign up again later.

I hope this project will prove to be both interesting and fun.  It is going strong in lots of other Branches and has proved very popular, stimulating a lot of interest and ideas and creating a bond between Branch members.  Many Branches have also used the books as publicity for their group – who doesn’t like leafing through sketchbooks given a chance?

In case you are stuck, just a few ideas to set the juices flowing:
Flowers (perhaps choose a particular initial letter)
Trees (leaves, bark)
Architecture (windows, doorways, arches, chimneys)
Seashore (shells, seaweed)
Summer Holidays (funfairs, landmarks, the beach or pool)
Rocks and minerals
In the Country (drystone walls, landscapes, animals)

We welcome Heather Wilson to the April meeting to show us her “Mad Hats & Beautiful Things”.
See you on 7th April!

APRIL 2014

There was another good turnout at the last meeting, and we had two visitors, Pamela Ward and Barbara Milne, who, I am delighted to say, have both decided to join us. 

Our speaker, Heather Wilson, kept us entertained with her Indian travels and her Mad Hats and Beautiful Things.  I obviously don’t shop in the right places as no-one ever offers to take me to Mustique or to a Maharaja’s Birthday Party – with or without strings attached!  Next month Patricia Jones is going to talk to us about her approach to smocking Not Just for Dresses.

Brenda told us that Frances Britnell has been generously donating goods to the Sales Table – what a star she is!  I sent a card from all of us to thank her.  The Sales Table always needs new stuff to sell so do look out any surplus you have.  Last month the Table raised £35.70 – well done everyone.  Val took the Turquoise Raffle and collected £23 – it was won by Nan and Eileen Howe.

NATIONAL AGM AT ST NEOTS:  Val had attended the Guild National AGM and gave us a brief overview of her visit and an enjoyable weekend.  She reported that Neil Hitchin had retired and Gill Durey is Acting Treasurer.  Andrew Salmon (ex Twisted Threads) has become a Trustee.  Two branches have unfortunately folded, but the good news is that two more have started.  “Contact” still needs an editor and magazine sales are down – an important part of the Guild’s revenue.  The Power of Five sewing courses are doing well.  It was concerning to hear that the Guild just has two years to run on the lease of its new HQ in Walton-on-Thames and that finances are still a concern.  We were also disappointed to hear that the AGM had voted for a £3 increase in the Guild fees for 2014/15.  Val is taking over as Chair of the North West Region in the Autumn and she reported that seven of the eleven Regional Chairs are new in 2014/15!  The National competition for next year is All that Glistens.

NW REGIONAL DAY AT ROCHDALENan and I attended the Regional Day last Sunday – perhaps I should have said, only just attended, as we managed to get thoroughly lost.  Fortunately we had left plenty of time.  When we set off home we found it almost a completely straight road, so goodness knows how we managed to get so confused!  It was a busy day with two speakers, traders, various competitions to look at and vote for, a bag raffle and generous buffet lunch.  The morning speaker was Gillian Lonergan of the Co-operative Heritage Trust talking about the embroidered banners that were so important to the movement.  She was highly delighted when someone in the audience piped up “my mum and gran worked on that one!” as information on individuals is hard to come by.  The Regional competition for next year is Under the Sea.

The afternoon speaker was Anne Brooke who kept us all laughing with her on her journey through art, teaching and textiles.  Her appliquéd pictures and vessels feature stylised seed heads and incorporate printed paper, maps etc. and use muted natural colours – lovely!  She also had a lot of lovely workbooks to look at.  Do look at her website if you can – the pictures in the blog are gorgeous. 

There is a free event at Gawthorpe Hall on Saturday, 17th May 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m called Posting to the Past.  It aims to recreate or re-imagine the embroidered postcards that were sent by troops during WW1.  There are a few free tickets left although there is a charge for entry to the Hall unless you are a member of the National Trust.  There may be a small charge for materials if you decide to take your work home with you. 

Also on Saturday, 17th May is our own workshop on Japanese Yubinuki Thimbles.  There are still some places left and the list will be available at the meeting on 12th May, or you can ring me to book a place.  Only requirement is a pair of scissors, Kathryn will be supplying everything else.  This workshop will be held at the Greenbrook Methodist Church Hall, Greenbrook Road, Lowerhouse, Burnley BB12 6DP and not our usual venue. 

Don’t forget THREE  our Summer competition for The Bell Trophy.  We are hoping for a good entry.  Judging takes place at the July Summer Social and there is a trophy and cash prize to be won!

TRAVELLING BOOKS:  Twelve people have signed up for the first journey and the books have arrived and two groups have been sorted out.  I will be distributing the books, with information, at the May meeting.  I really hope this will develop into an ongoing project – if you didn’t sign up this time there will be another opportunity in June when you have had a chance to see how it works.

PADIHAM BLOG:  Unfortunately Sue Towers has had to pull out of keeping up the Padiham blogspot due to ill-health.    If anyone would like to volunteer to set this up again and run it, please let me know. 

Just a final reminder that the next meeting is on Monday, 12th May avoiding the Bank Holiday – and that the Raffle colour is SILVER.  See you then.

                                    MAY 2014        
Our May meeting was disrupted by the clash with the Bank Holiday and we arrived to find this was not the only disruption, with workmen and cars everywhere.  However, once inside we were relatively peaceful.  Back to normal next month and no more Bank Holiday clashes.

This month’s speaker was Patricia Jones, an obsessive smocker!  Anything that stands still gets smocked in her house!  She had a lovely variety of work for us to admire, from the classic smocked children’s clothes, through Christmas tree baubles, pictures and even smocked copper jewellery.  Her latest venture has been free-standing smocked birds – I told you nothing is safe!  I will certainly never look at smocking in quite the same way again.

Val is still looking for stewards for the Tied by Stitch exhibition in Lancaster, 26th May to 19th June.  If you would like to volunteer she would be very glad to hear from you.

We had news of Kate Spencer, who as you know underwent an operation for a brain tumour three months ago.  After a bad setback in her recovery she is home at last, although she has a long road to travel to full health.  We all wish her well.  Sue Towers has also had an operation which has gone well and a card was sent to her too.  We hope to see her amongst us again soon.

We have two groups for the first journey of the Travelling Books and they were distributed at the meeting.  The first exchange will be at the June meeting – very exciting.  If you are taking part and for any reason you cannot be at the meeting, please contact someone in your group to help.  If all else fails give me a call and I will try to sort something out.  If you didn’t join this time and like the look of what is going on, there will be another chance to join a journey in July.

Kathryn’s Thimbles workshop took place last Saturday at Greenbrook Methodist Church.  We were a very elite group in the end, just five people.  It made for a very jolly day, but would not have sustainable if Kathryn had not been ‘in-house’ and also kind enough to waive her fee.  She had worked hard for the workshop, providing little kits for us, so thank you once again Kathryn.  We hope for more support for the workshops in the coming year.

Brenda reported that Frances Britnell was thrilled with the card we sent her to thank her for supporting our Sales Table.  Brenda was disappointed to have very modest sales this month, just £12.11, and as usual asks for more stuff to sell.

The gorgeous Silver Raffle was organized by Val and took £19 and I was very happy to win it together with Glen Purchase.  Next month’s raffle will be BLUE.

Another reminder about THREE,  our Summer competition for The Bell Trophy.  Time is getting short and we are hoping for a good entry.  Judging will take place at the July Summer Social.

Look forward to seeing you all on 2nd June, when our speaker is Elizabeth Tatman who will be talking about Costumes in the Past.   See you then!

JUNE 2014  

We were taken on a journey down fashion memory lane at our June meeting.  Elizabeth Tatman arrived with a large number of clothes of different periods, some we remembered our mothers wearing and others ourselves!  Elizabeth is wardrobe mistress for the busy and successful Little Theatre in Bolton.  She not only makes a lot of the ‘period’ costumes, but also has a large collection of vintage clothing which has been donated over the years.  Sharp-eyed theatre-goers keep her on her toes, spotting not only anachronistic details like zips in Regency gowns, but also too-frequent outings for the same dress!

The two groups involved with the first journey of the Travelling Books made their first exchange this month and there was great excitement to get see what had been done and get the new project.  By the way, don’t forget to sign and date the piece you have put in someone else’s book, it will make it so nice to look back on.  As always, if for any reason you cannot be at the meeting, please contact someone in your group to help.  If all else fails give me a call and I will try to sort something out.  Anyone who didn’t join this first journey and  would like to now they have seen what it entails will get their chance, as a new list will be opening this month. 

We will also be entering the Christmas Tree Festival again this year and have Stars as our theme, in blue and gold.  The pattern will be available at the July meeting.  Staying on the Christmas theme, hopefully it will be too warm to be thinking about it for a while yet, but the subject for our Christmas competition this year is going to be Winter Wonderland

There were so many lovely contributions to the Blue raffle that we were able to make three prizes, so thank you everyone.  The lucky winners were Sue Sissling, Wendy Picton and Suzanne Kendall and the raffle raised £18.  Next month’s raffle colour will be VARIEGATED.

Despite neither Brenda or Barbara being at the meeting to run the formal Sales Table, a donation of fabric proved very popular and raised £14.20.

Our new programme is complete and we have some interesting and exciting things lined up for the new year.  However, we have a problem in that we have no home for our Saturday workshops, the first of which is planned for 25th October, when Suzanne Kendall is going to show us how to make her beautiful Beaded Tassels.   Greenbrook Methodist Church Hall is unavailable, and in any case proved unpopular, and so far I have been unable to find another venue.  If anyone knows of a room that might be suitable, please let me know urgently.  It should be reasonably priced, light, have a number of power points and access to a kitchen.  Ideally it should also have easy parking and be reasonably close to our usual Monday meeting place.

Our July meeting is our Summer Social and Strawberry Tea, and of course judging for the Bell Trophy, so don’t forget to bring your entries.  The voting will be very democratic, one woman, one vote, in a secret ballot!

See you on 7th July.

JULY 2014

The bunting was on display for the July Summer Social.  It was a very happy day, and 23 members and a guest had lots of time to chat and eat strawberries, vanilla cream and home-made cake and biscuits. We were also pleased to welcome Monica Selway, Chairman of the North West Region to share the afternoon with us.  Monica was one of the first to give us a talk when we were an embryo group at Gawthorpe so she must have been delighted to see how we had grown.  It wasn’t all relaxation though, there was a little work to be done – ‘tabloid’ headlines tacked to the wall revealed the exploits of some nursery rhyme characters in a light-hearted quiz.  Patricia was the winner with 24 answers out of 25, closely followed by Carole and Pamela with 23 each.  Small prizes of DMC embroidery threads were accompanied by the appropriate poems on their colours by the American embroiderer and poet, Stephen Beal, from his collection The Very Stuff: Poems on Color, Thread and the Habits of Women.

The main event of course was the judging of the Bell Trophy.  Our theme this year was Three and there were some delightful entries but the winner by an overwhelming majority of votes was Glen Purchase, with a lovely embroidery of three leaping fish.  We voted for next year’s theme and the winning suggestion was Marine.

The booking form opened for the Beaded Tassel workshop on 25th October and there are already a number of people signed up.  In response to my plea in last month’s Newsletter Jill suggested Higham Village Hall as a workshop venue, and Nan and I went to see it last week.  Some of you may already be familiar with this hall as it is a popular venue for other stitchers and craft workers.  The hall is lovely and light, with modern heating and power plugs.  The kitchen is clean and nice, but it is apparently going to be refitted over the summer, so will be brand new when we see it.  There is a small car park with flat entrance at the back of the hall and unrestricted parking in the road outside.  Almost best of all it is very reasonably priced which will take away much of the stress of filling the workshops.  Travel instructions will accompany the requirements list, but it is very easy to find and less than 2 miles from the Unitarian Church.

The second exchange of Travelling Books took place at the meeting which was exciting and gave us the opportunity to put them out on a table for everyone to see.  It really is fun to see how each person has interpreted the themes and there is already some lovely work in them.  They will have completed their journey in December so there will be another chance then to display them to everyone.

I made a mistake in the last Newsletter and told you the raffle colour was variegated – for once I am glad that no one listens to me as it was really white, so that was the colour won by Sue Towers and Lesley Best.  We raised £21, so thank you everyone.  The colour in September really is Variegated (and I have put my contribution back in my bag ready!)

Brenda also made sales of £12.45.  There won’t be a Sales Table in September, so please do not bring anything with you for sale.  BUT we are very short of things to sell, so please do bring your contributions in October.

It just remains for me to wish you all a lovely, warm, relaxing summer.  There will be another Newsletter before our first meeting on 1st September when I hope everyone will be refreshed and ready to start a new sewing year.

Happy holidays.


I hope you have all had a good summer break and are eager to start a new year of sewing. 

The AGM is our first event.  This will be a round-up of the year and a look forward to the next.  Fees are due, so please bring your subscription form and cheque with you.  If you have  booked for Suzanne’s Beaded Tassel workshop, please also bring your fee with you (£12.50 for members and £15 for visitors).  There is a requirements list to collect, as well as directions to our new venue at Higham Village Hall.

We will not be having a Sales Table at the September meeting, but in October Brenda would be happy to have your contributions as stocks are getting very low.  September’s raffle really will be Variegated!

I hope you have been working on your stars for the Christmas Tree festival.  I have to confess I have not done any more yet – but I will!  If anyone missed getting a pattern in July I will have some copies with me at the meeting.  The Christmas competition (Winter Wonderland) is something to be thinking about too.

I have been working with Val to re-launch the website that Sue started.  Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to use the same ‘address’, so we have started from scratch at .  Do please have a look at it, bearing in mind it is in course of development and will improve. 

As usual, we will be swapping our Travelling Books – if for any reason you can’t come to the meeting, please make every effort to ensure the you can swap your book.  A second ‘journey’ is starting this September as well – just five of us this time.  The first set of books will be complete in December when there will be time to display them and really enjoy looking at what everyone has done.  If you want to join in this exciting project some time in the future, there will be plenty of opportunities.

We will be welcoming Claire Ketteman from Skipton Branch to our AGM.  After the business part has concluded, she is going to give us an illustrated talk about the StArt project Skipton was involved with to celebrate Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.  The artist Jackie Lunn was commissioned to work with them and they produced a felted hanging depicting the route of the Tour, surrounded by embroideries depicting various aspects of the Yorkshire countryside.  If you would like to have a preview of this project have a look at the Skipton website starting with the archive for February this year. 

See you on 1st September!


It was so lovely to see everyone at the AGM after the long summer break.  It was a busy meeting with lots of subscription cheques coming in and bookings for the Tassels workshop.  If you have not yet paid your subs, or booked but not paid for the workshop, please bring your money to the October meeting.

The business meeting was quite short, but we have our committee in place for the coming year.  A big thank you to Brenda, Jennifer and Sue T. who have all been on the committee since the beginning and have now stood down.  Nan was on holiday so Val took the meeting on her behalf and reminded us all that the success of the Branch depends on the involvement of its members.  She urged everyone to assess their talents and strengths and consider how they might use them to help.  Both the Chairman and Treasurer complete three years on the committee next year, and although I was re-elected for a further three year term, I would really like to think that there was someone willing to shadow me and take over as Secretary before then.  If you are interested and would like to know what’s involved, please talk to me.  Don’t be shy, you would have lots of support.

It was a pleasure to welcome Claire from Skipton Branch to the meeting.  She talked to us about the StArt project to celebrate the Tour de France in the Dales, and as well as her detailed slide show we were able to see and admire the hanging and all the embroideries for ourselves.  It was a really ambitious project and all those who contributed are to be congratulated.  They are now looking for a permanent home for the hanging which definitely deserves to be seen by the wider audience.
Brenda was in need of help to run the Sales Table as, sorry to say, Barbara J. has decided not to join us this year.  I am happy to say that Eileen J. and Patricia have come forward, so we should see the table as a permanent fixture even when Brenda is unable to attend – great for our finances!  If you have any contributions please bring them to the October meeting as stock is getting low.

The raffle was a success as usual and took £18.  It was won by Wendy and Peter, a visitor.  I have been loading the newsletters on to our new website and was amazed how often the raffle has been won by a visitor.  Perhaps we should use it as a selling point!  Sue S. has just introduced the idea of the colour raffle to Skipton Branch and her first month was a resounding success; it really is something that appeals to the magpie in all embroiderers!  Our colour in October is PINK.

Frances has been thinking of us again and sent a beautiful bag for sale.  Rather than put it on the table we wanted to make sure it reached its potential so it was decided to offer it as the raffle prize in December instead of our usual colour.  Frances really is a good friend to us and we miss seeing her.

I have been having fun working on our blogspot and have added pages to hold the newsletters and started a photo album.  Could anyone who has completed a picture based on Patricia’s That Darn Stitch! workshop please bring it to the October meeting – I would love to add them to the album.  I was amazed to see how many times the site has been viewed – not all of them could have been me tinkering with it!  In fact it is not just the UK; in the time it has been running it has been viewed 13 times in the USA and 5 times in Poland

The North West Region AGM is being held on Saturday, 18th October at the Best Western Country Hotel, Bowgreave Drive, Garstang PR3 1YE and is open to everyone.  If you are planning to go, please let me know so I can give the Secretary some idea of numbers.  Monica is the retiring Chairman, to be succeeded by Val.  Registration is at 10.00 a.m. for a prompt 10.30 a.m. start.  Tea and coffee will be available and you can also book a light lunch.  It is a good opportunity to meet people from other Branches and there will be a chance to look at the entries for the Broderers’ prize (Journal Cover), Summer School work and a selection of Travelling Books.  If anyone is going to the AGM and can contribute the book they are currently working on it would be appreciated it – but please ask the owner first.  Barton Grange Garden Centre is also just down the road and if you don’t already know about it, it is well worth a visit while you are in the area.

Now to our October meeting – we will be making Needlefelt brooches with Lesley.  She can supply needles and wool for a nominal fee, but you will need to bring a car sponge (the firm sort you can get from bargain outlets such as Poundland).  If you already have dry felting equipment of your own bring it along of course.  She will be demonstrating a poppy, but feel free to bring your own ideas, inspiring pictures, etc.

See you on 6th October!

                                                                          OCTOBER 2014

Another month gone by – it seems to have been very full of Guild matters.  First of course was our October meeting, led by Lesley, where she demonstrated dry felting.  There were 24 of us having fun prodding away and producing a variety of brooches and animals – sheep were very popular!  Thanks to Lesley for a great afternoon which she carried off beautifully despite being unwell.  There are pictures and an account of the day on our blogspot.

On Saturday 18th Barbara, Jean and I attended the NW Region AGM in Garstang.  Val is now our Regional Chair and Meg Starkey from Rochdale has taken on her post as Area 2 representative (our area).  Hopefully Meg will come to meet us in due course.

Sandra McFarlane, Chelford Branch, won the Broderers' Prize with a beautifully worked picture of an iris.  There were also some impressive Travelling Books on display.

Last Saturday we held our first workshop of the season, Beaded Tassels with Suzanne Kendall.  It was good to see Suzanne again, and we were all impressed with the new workshop venue, Higham Village Hall.  It was clean, warm and light; just ideal.  Despite a lot of grumbles and difficulty threading needles with uncooperative thread we all had a very jolly and social day – and even ended up with some tassels!  Pictures on our blogspot.

Our next workshop is on Saturday, 21st March, “Messing with Metal” with Sue Bennett.  March may seems a long way off, but with the Christmas and New Year break coming up it will soon be upon us and we want to get as many people as possible involved.  This should be a fun workshop suitable for hand and machine sewers - at the Village Hall we have power sockets!  If you are planning to take part, remember not to throw away any foil sweet papers etc. over Christmas as they can all be added to your stash to be transformed into jewelled embroideries with Sue’s help.

Congratulations to Skipton EG Branch who won two awards at the 2014 Craven Community Champion Awards.  They won the Arts & Culture Award and the Civic Achievement Award for their work involving members of the public, community groups, schools and Guild members in the StArt Tour de France Grand Depart cloth project.  I will bring the programme along to the November meeting so you can have a look – they were in great company and have done very well to come out on top.

Peter  and Andrea  joined the Branch at the October meeting – welcome to them.  The raffle earned £23 and lucky Peter won it again together with Sue T.  He was very coy about what he was planning to make with all that Pink stuff!  The November raffle colour is YELLOW.   The Sales Table also did a roaring trade and took £29.20.  As usual, thanks to everyone who bought tickets and goodies.

At our November meeting Sheila Sturrock will be talking to us about Victorian Greetings Cards and showing us some from her collection, so I look forward to seeing you all on 3rd November.  Don’t forget to bring your Travelling Books to swap for the final journey – I look forward to seeing the finished books on display in December.  The new journey (Wendy, Glen, Kathryn and Joan) will get underway this month.


It was good to see so many (24) at our October meeting for Sheila Sturrock’s interesting talk on the history of 19th century greetings cards.  It was a pity the slides did not do full justice to the subject but the variety of techniques and sentiments was very surprising – especially the rude or insulting Valentines!  Not just a phenomenon of our century after all!  She also had a few embroidered cards from the Great War on show which were beautiful and so poignant. 

The lucky winners of the Yellow raffle were Wendy and Andrea, and the raffle raised £19.  The sales table did well too, raising £26.91 for our funds.  Many thanks as always for your support.  In December we will not be having a colour raffle, but instead will be raffling the embroidered bag given to us by our friend Frances. 

We had some sad news about Frances this week: her husband, who has been ill for a long time, died just over a week ago.  A condolence card has been sent from the Branch.  We also heard that Jean Littlejohn’s husband has died.  Jean, together with Jan Beaney, is Joint President of the Embroiderers’ Guild and an internationally famous embroiderer.

There is a lot to tell you about our December Social.  The committee will be providing festive nibbles as usual, and of course the big event will be the competition, Winter Wonderland.  We are hoping for lots of entries, so don’t be shy.  Please do not identify your entry on the front as the voting will be blind by numbered ballot. 

We are also holding our usual Christmas card swap.  For the sake of our newer members this is how it works; if you wish to take part, please bring a hand-made card – all the cards are pooled and then everyone who brought one can draw one out to take home.  Please put some kind of  general greeting inside (such as “Happy Christmas from all your friends at Padiham & District EG”).  It is a good idea to write something on the envelope so you don’t get your own back by mistake.

The first journey of the Travelling Books has been completed and the books will be on show at the meeting – there has been a fascinating variety of responses to the themes so I am sure you will find them interesting. 

Unitarian Church Christmas Tree Festival – Jill is organizing our entry for this event.  Please bring any stars you have made to the meeting for her.  As the trees have to be up early this year (5th December), there won’t be much time to mop up stragglers, so please don’t forget.

Do sign up for our next Workshop on Saturday 21st March -  “Messing with Metal” with Sue Bennett.  This should be a really interesting and fun workshop, suitable for hand and machine sewers.  The list will be at the meeting and there are pictures of Sue’s work to show you what you are aiming to achieve.  Tomato puree tubes, cut open and washed hold a treasure inside!  You might also like to start saving any interesting foil sweet wrappers over Christmas.

We have received an email from a Mrs Starkie who has a Lowery metal needlework stand fully adjustable with side clamp, and a plastic adjustable floor embroidery stand for sale at a reasonable price.  If anyone is interested, please contact Mrs Starkie direct on 01254 231982.

See you on 1st December – bring your thinking caps, there will be a quiz!

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