Newsletters 2015

November 2015
The October meeting was a great success, with 23 members present as well as another welcome new member, Pamela.  Sue Bartlett, our speaker, arrived with Kathryn carrying numerous boxes of scrumptious hand-made books of all kinds to show us.  Poor Sue had a nasty cough and as the books were handed round for us to look at she found it difficult to make herself heard over the buzz of conversation they engendered!  Never mind, she could tell from the enthusiasm that we all enjoyed seeing them and examining the construction and colourful covers.  Eleven people signed up for her February workshop straight away.  If you were one of these, please could you bring your cheques to the next meeting, which of course is our last until February.  If you weren’t a the meeting don’t worry, there are still places available.

Brenda and Eileen excelled themselves on the Sales Table, raising a magnificent £70.60 for our funds, which I think must be a record. There were some interesting looking feathers being borne away; intriguing – I wonder how they are going to be used?!  There will be no Sales Table at the December meeting but I have been contacted by a lady from Read who is bringing some tapestry wools and silks from her late mother-in-law’s stash for us to browse through – if you would like anything, a donation to the British Heart Foundation would be gratefully received.

The Raffle too was a great success and raised £22 – Gold must be a particularly popular choice of colour.  It was won by Pat and Wendy.  Next month’s colour is LILAC

It really is lovely to have these extra two hours to relax and enjoy each other’s company and don’t forget we have a Jacob’s Join lunch for our Christmas social on 7th December; please bring a contribution - savoury, salad or sweet, all will be welcome.  I hope there will be a good entry for the Christmas competition for a cover or wrap for a notebook, journal or sketchbook; I have nearly finished mine.  Also please bring along your card for the Christmas Card Swap (hand-made if possible) if you would like to take part.  If you would prefer not to join in there is no pressure as no-one is left out - only those who contribute a card take one away.  There will be a quiz (an easy one this time!) and a mini workshop to make name badges, so please bring your sewing kit with you.  The badge material will be provided.

We have been contacted by one of the organizers of the Higham Craft Fair which is held at Easter each year, asking whether we would like to get involved.  They are hoping to have some “interactive” exhibits this year rather than all static displays and would like us to join in.  This would be a great opportunity for us to make ourselves known in the area so I have asked her to come and see us on the 7th to tell us what they have in mind.

Our visitors responded to a piece I put in the local “Village” free magazine and to seeing our programme on the notice board in the hall.  Just shows it pays to advertise!  To that end I had some labels made giving the Branch details, which I have stuck into the tri-fold cards Patricia was sent from Head Office for the National Day of Stitch.  I have separated the cards into bundles of eight – if you can distribute some, please take a bundle home with you.

Now I must really try to get my head round all the consultation documents sent from the Guild.  It would be nice to shove them to one side, but we must respond if we are to have any say in the Guild’s future, so that will be something we need to discuss as we sit and sew. Please do try to read them through again and write down your thoughts so that we can make some kind of coherent reply.

See you on 7th December!                                                           

October 2015
There were 21 members and a visitor present for another great meeting this month – and we also welcomed a new member, Beverley.  Our workshop leader, Gail Marsh, was kept busy untangling our fingers and thumbs, but must have been successful as I saw lots of lovely buttons.  I have since seen Gail who said how much she had enjoyed her afternoon with “a really lovely group”.

We raised an excellent £22.70 from the Sales Table – once again thanks to everyone who spent.  Brenda put out an urgent plea for some more things for the table, so please do have a look through your stash, books, magazines etc and see what you can contribute – one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure!  We also raised £16 from the Blue raffle, which was won by Margaret R and Dianne.  Next month’s raffle is GOLD.

Don’t forget the Table Fall project.  So far Kathryn has only received one square.  Just a reminder – 10 inch square of off-white or cream fabric, with a 6 inch square worked or applied in the centre, in any technique, to depict a landmark or scene local to Padiham or wherever you live.  Perhaps this would be a good project to work on in the Stitch and Chat sessions. 

Thank you to those who did such lovely work for the Chairman’s Challenge – the Regional “travelling book”.  Thanks also to Dianne who organized this project and has mounted the depictions of Gawthorpe; I shall be taking the pages to the Regional AGM on Saturday.

The new committee held its first meeting this month so there is a lot to tell you.  Firstly Christmas – not as far off as some of us might hope!  This year’s Competition is for a cover or wrap for a notebook, journal or sketchbook, any colour or technique.  We shall be continuing with the Christmas Card Swap for those who wish to join in – a reminder (and for our new members), anyone who wishes can bring a card, hand-made if at all possible, with the suggested wording “from all your friends at Padiham Branch”.  They are put in a bag and at the end of the meeting anyone who put a card in takes one home with them.  Don’t worry if you don’t want to join in; no-one is left out as only those who contribute a card take one away, but it is a nice way to mark our friendship.   The Jacob’s Join at the AGM was such a big success we thought you might like to have another one in December instead of the “seasonal nibbles” the Committee usually provide, so we will be asking you to contribute something savoury or sweet, or a salad.  There will also be a mini-workshop and a quiz; exercise for fingers and brains!

The committee decided not to participate in the Christmas Tree festival at the Unitarian Church, but if the church at Higham holds one we could take part there next year.

At the committee meeting it was proposed that we consider changing the name of our branch from “Padiham & District” to “Pendle”.  This seems to reflect our new location rather well and cover much of the area we live in.  The idea was greeted enthusiastically by the committee members, but of course the final decision is up to all the members.  Please could you let me have your vote by email or telephone as soon as possible so we can discuss the proposal further at our next meeting. 

 I hope you have found time to read the two documents from Guild HQ regarding their proposals for changes to the status of Branches and tiers of membership.  You will not be surprised to know that they have not only been causing concern in our Branch.  They are rather complex and it is quite difficult to fully understand what the implications might be for the Branches and Branch members.  The accompanying questionnaires are consequently equally difficult to understand and answer.  However, we should bear in mind that at the moment this is merely a consultation document and we have time to make our opinions heard before anything changes.  Sue and I are doing our best to get as much insight as we can so that we can discuss it next month.  I also hope that the subject will be discussed at the Regional AGM next Saturday.   

Finally, on to happier matters, our next meeting which is a talk by Sue Bartlett on her Mixed Media Books.  Some of you may have realised that Sue came with Kathryn as a visitor to the October meeting, so she will be a welcome and familiar face.   Sue is also leading a workshop for us in February, so you will have an opportunity to put your name on the list.

September 2015
We had a really lovely start to our new life at Higham Village Hall on 7th September.  I know a number of you were already familiar with the hall, but we all felt immediately at home there and I for one, am looking forward to the new 12 noon format. There were 21 members and one guest at the AGM, but enough food at the Jacob’s Join to feed twice that many!  Thank you everyone for your contributions. Thanks also to Kathryn who gave us an entertaining talk on the Blackpool Treasure Trove project – it stirred memories for many of our members and we wish the project the very best of luck.   

The AGM was very successful and our thanks went to Nan for her three years as our Chairman.  Your new Committee is as follows:
Sue Sissling             Chairman
Wendy Picton           Treasurer
Kathryn Thompson    Programme Secretary
Joan Welch              Secretary
We also now have a full complement of committee members in Dianne Derbyshire, Jill Myat, Glen Purchase, Louise Bulless, Patricia Barrett and Pamela Ward.

Despite all the eating and chatting and the busy programme we still managed to get in some retail therapy at the Sales Table, which raised £15.52.  The Dark Green raffle was won by Peter and raised £15.  The October colour is Blue.

We had a vote for the theme of the Bell Trophy next year and In the Forest was chosen.  We are likely to be busy with the Capability Brown project as well, but there is lots of time.  The Christmas competition will be announced in October.

Names were being taken for the Stumpwork Faces workshop on Saturday 24th October.  If you put your name down and have not yet paid, please bring your cheque / cash to the next meeting.  There are still some places left if you have not yet signed up - £15 for members and £20 for guests.

If you have not yet paid your Branch subscription, please make sure you bring that with you in October too.  We can’t register you as a Guild member until we have payment and if you are not registered you may not receive your copy of Contact which is due to be issued before too long.  £55 if Padiham is your main Branch, £25 if you are already registered with another Branch.

Now to the October meeting - the Hall will be open from 12 o’clock of course (don’t forget your sarnies!), but at 2 p.m. Gail Marsh, who many of you know already, is coming to give us a mini-workshop on Yorkshire Buttons.  Gail will bring kits with her, including wool fleece, but she requests that you bring:

 Small scissors for cutting thin card
 Sewing kit including tapestry needles
 Threads - can be cotton perle, crochet cotton or stranded embroidery floss
 Knitting needle or similar to use as stuffing tool.

July/August 2015
I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the summer break and had good holidays, despite the disappointing weather.  It seems a long time ago since we were enjoying our Summer Social.  Twenty-three members enjoyed a strawberry tea and scratched their brains over three fiendish quizzes.  Eileen H. proved herself a wizard at the incomprehensible (to most of us) Dingbats and Sue T. showed a slightly unhealthy knowledge of fast-food chain logos!  She has apparently also watched a lot of films, as together with Nan, Susan W. and Louise she also won the Film Quotes quiz.  Many congratulations to Carole who won the Bell Trophy for her lovely, serene seascape.  She was presented with her prize by Meg Starkey, our Region 2 representative, who was our guest.  There was a lovely display of work on show, so well done everyone who took part; choosing a favourite to vote for was difficult. There are pictures on our blogspot.

Brenda cleared out our cupboard of “old stock” from the Sales Table and some free treasures were borne away and the rest was removed as waste, so we are all set clean and fresh for our new home in Higham.  We passed on our usual “colour” raffle and the book kindly donated by Pamela was won by Maureen.  The raffle added a magnificent £28 to Branch funds; thanks to everyone for your support.  In September the Raffle colour will be Dark Green.

Dianne brought some images of Gawthorpe Hall as inspiration for our contribution to the North West Region’s Chairman’s Challenge – a travelling book representing each Branch’s area – and several members agreed to take part.  We have also been approached again by the regional organizer for the Capability Brown project who has secured Lytham Hall and Samlesbury Hall as exhibition venues.  If anyone is interested in taking part and wishes to act as organiser to liaise with her, please let me know.

On National Stitch Day Saturday, 1st August, Patricia and three other intrepid ladies, Wendy, Pamela and Sue S., spent the morning stitching in the foyer of Morrisons Supermarket in Ramsbottom.  It must have been rather chilly on a miserable, wet morning with the automatic doors opening and shutting, but they looked pretty cheerful on it and attracted a lot of interest from the shoppers.  Hopefully some will be inspired to pick up a needle and thread, or better still join our Branch.  There are nice pictures on our blogspot.  By the way, you may be interested to know that since it started our blog has been viewed in twelve different countries.  The United Kingdom and USA have had most views as you might expect, but we have also had visits from France, Germany, Canada, Poland, Ukraine, Thailand, Israel, Peru, Australia and Spain.

Our next meeting, on 7th September, is of course our AGM and will be held at our new venue, Higham Village Hall.  We are celebrating our new beginning by having a Jacob’s Join lunch together before the meeting, so please do come as close as you can to our new time of 12 noon.  Don’t forget though, we can’t go in earlier than that because of the Zumba class before us (unless of course you want to join that and stay on!!!).  After the meeting Kathryn is going to talk to us about the Blackpool Treasure Trove project she is involved with.

Our first Workshop of the “new year” will be held on Saturday, 24th October when Sue S. will be showing us how to make her delightful Stumpwork ladies.  The cost is £15 and the list will open at the September meeting.

June 2015
We were a select bunch at the June meeting, just sixteen – summer holidays must be kicking in.  Maybe it was just as well as we arrived at the Hall to find there was no power there or in the kitchen.  The thought of no cheering cuppa was almost too much to bear, but Alana fixed us up with a kettle in the small hall and Jill did sterling work transferring the tea making into there, so we were not left with our tongues hanging out after all!

Fortunately the lighting circuit was working and we also had an extension lead from the large hall to allow our speaker, Karen Casper, to set up her presentation, but unfortunately due to some mysterious technical shenanigans the laptop wouldn’t talk to the projector, so Karen valiantly made the best of it, holding up large photographs of her work and talking about her intricate embroideries and the professional photoshoots she organized.  There were also several pieces of her fantastical wearable art for us to admire, including one that glowed in the dark, which some of us were able to view by putting it in the storage cupboard!  As usual there are pictures on the blogspot.

Val and Lesley were the lucky winners of the Copper/Bronze raffle, which raised £13.  Patricia did a great job on the Sales Table and raised £27.80.  Many thanks as always to everyone who spent money.  This month we are doing something a bit different; Pamela has kindly donated a book, Fabric Surface Design by Cheryl Rezendes, published by Storey Publishing, which we will raffle.  It is so good Pamela bought it twice by mistake and would like the Branch to benefit!  We will have the Blue raffle later in the year.

Val outlined her Chairman’s Challenge for a regional version of travelling books to represent each
Branch in the North West Region.  Dianne has an idea for Padiham & District which she will tell us about at the next meeting.  Our own table fall project is similar but instead of in a book we are working 6” embroideries in the centre of 10” squares of off-white or cream calico.

We also had our June Saturday workshop with Gina Smith, which was enjoyed by all.  There are pictures on the blogspot.  I would like to make an appeal to anyone who has experience of blogspot – my photo album has gone mad and joined everything together so I was unable to caption the latest pictures.  Can anyone help me sort it out?  I would also like to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to the blog.  They would be very welcome to do so and it would make it more interesting to have other voices on it.

We now have confirmation that we can have Higham Village Hall from September.  Our meetings can now start at noon and give us two hours before the formal meeting for socializing and working on our own projects if we wish.  So many of you have expressed a wish for this and the Committee really hope you will take advantage of it.  We have also been allocated some cupboard space, so the Sales Table can continue.  We will have to clear the cupboard at the Unitarian Church before we leave in July; Brenda has agreed to take all the saleable stuff home, but anything else will need to be disposed of so we will be grateful to anyone who is willing to take a share for the dustbin – black plastic binliners will be provided!

As you know, July is the last meeting of the Branch year and the occasion of our usual Summer Social and Strawberry Tea, provided by the committee.  Don’t forget to bring your entries for Marine – as well as the Bell Trophy to hold for a year there is a cash prize to be won.  We will be joined by our new Region 2 Representative, Meg Starkey, and we hope to impress her with our work.  I will be testing your brains with a Film Quotes quiz as well – there will be chocolate to be won for that! 

May 2015
There were 19 of us at the last meeting to enjoy Sue Boardman’s talk Torn Apart & Stitched Up.  What a lovely, lively person she is.  I hope you enjoyed her work as much as I did – it just proved that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on materials to get a stunning result.  Susan, Eileen and Nan did a grand job modelling Sue’s wearable art.  An account of the meeting and lots of pictures are on our website, so do have a look at it.

Louise  and Eileen H. were the lucky winners of the Turquoise raffle, which raised £17.  Eileen J. was busy on the Sales Table and raised £18.70.  Many thanks as always for supporting all our fundraising ventures which are so important to the Branch.  This month’s raffle colour is Copper / Bronze – a lovely one to win.

The workshop with Gina Smith on 13th June has suddenly developed two vacancies.  If you missed out when the list first opened, now is your chance to join up.  Please contact me by email or telephone as soon as possible if you would like to go.  I will also be advertising it to other Branches, so it is definitely first come, first served.

Time is hurrying on towards our July Social and the Bell Trophy competition on the theme Marine, so do get your needles working if you haven’t done so already – the winner holds the trophy for the coming year and also gets prize money to spend, so we hope for a good showing.

It is hard to believe that we are already nearing the end of another Branch year, but September and the AGM will be here all too soon and we will be looking to appoint new committee members.  Both Nan, our Chairman, and Wendy, our Treasurer, will be stepping down at the end of their three years and we are also short of Ordinary members.  It is vital for the health and continuity of the Branch that members come forward to help.  Because we are such a new Branch we have only this year been able to get some overlap of new and established committee members and it is essential that we continue to build on this.  Please do consider volunteering.  It really isn’t too onerous, just three formal meetings a year, but as well as the Branch Officers we do also need people who can contribute new ideas and be relied upon to help out through the year.  If you think you could make a contribution to the life of the Branch, please speak to Nan, Wendy, Kathryn or me.  Thank you.

Now back to the fun part!  Our speaker on 1st June is Karen Casper with her talk entitled Fusing Old with New.  I saw some of her fantastical costumes at Gawthorpe and am very excited that she is coming to speak to us at Padiham.  You can see some of her amazing designs on her website
April 2015
A most enjoyable meeting last month with Gina Smith.  There were 23 members present and the list for Gina’s workshop on 13th June filled up immediately.  Gina has such a nice personality, her work is lovely and seems very achievable for us lesser mortals, so I am sure we will be in for a good day!  For those of you who booked but have not yet paid, we would like to collect your money on Monday if possible please.

The Natural raffle baskets looked full of lovely goodies and were won by Peter  and Margaret. The raffle raised £17 for our funds.  Our colour for May is Turquoise.  Brenda and Eileen were doing a roaring trade on the Sales Table and made the wonderful total of £44.28 – as always, thank you to them and to everyone who put their hands in their purses.

Val had been to the Guild AGM and brought the good news that the Guild subscriptions will stay the same for the coming year.  It had been a very lively meeting during which Christine Poole got an emotional standing ovation.  Val also urged us to use our vote about the changes to the Guild structure.  In her speech at the NW Regional Day she said that at the Council meeting the Special Resolution had been discussed and a shorter and clearer document was provided. Comments for and against were noted. The various Regional Chairs were asked to sign to say that they were happy to have it distributed to all regions. (This document was sent to me via email and forwarded to all members on-line; it is six pages long so forgive me for not sending paper copies to those who do not have computers.  If you really want to read it in detail please let me know and I will bring a copy for you on Monday.)  Val added that the CEO did stress that a Yes vote was imperative and that a No vote could lead to the Auditors and Bank both leaving us, and the Guild could fold.  She commented that she is “a member of the Guild, not just a sewing club so I report this to you and ask you to think carefully and then DO make a Proxy vote”.  Anyone who wishes to can bring their voting form to the meeting next week and I will post them all together.  No need to put the slips in separate envelopes.  Otherwise, feel free to post yours independently.

This Newsletter is a little later than usual as I had hoped to give you a definite answer on our proposed move to Higham Village Hall in the Autumn.  Unfortunately, Kathryn had not been able to speak to the Hall manager due to serious illness in her family.  Today though, Kathryn managed to speak to her in person and although she was understandably a little distracted, it is 99.9% certain that we will be able to have the Hall on Mondays, from 12 noon until 4 p.m. as we wished.  Kathryn has also made enquiries about possible storage space and this is being looked into.  I hope by the next Newsletter everything will be completely settled.  This is really good news for our group as it will enable us to spend more social time together as well as enjoying the formal side of our meetings.

At our next meeting on Monday 11th May we will be welcoming Sue Boardman whose talk is entitled Torn Apart & Stitched Up which sounds very intriguing.  Sue has asked for two tables in addition to a stand and the screen so it looks as though we will have lots of interesting things to look at – can’t wait!
March 2015
It seems ages since Wendy’s Beginning Goldwork meeting on 2nd March – and it will be ages until we meet again too, not until 13th April because of the way Easter falls.  There were twenty-one members and two guests busily stitching (and talking of course).  It was lovely to see Ann  again (she has become a grandma twice over since we last saw her and looks well on it!).  Louise, our other guest, decided there and then to join us – so a big welcome to her.  Wendy had worked very hard to make the afternoon a great success and had prepared lovely packs for those taking part.  Thanks to her careful preparation everyone seemed to progress at an astonishing rate; a few of us brought our own work, or in my case just relaxed and chatted!

There were two lovely baskets of Light Green stuff in the raffle, which raised £24 and was won by Eileen J and Susan W.  The Sales Table had lots of goodies and was very busy and Brenda raised £42.78, so once again well done and thank you everyone for your support.

So many of you have said how much you enjoyed this session and our Corners in February that the committee has been discussing how we might make these informal practicals a bigger part of our programme.  To this end Kathryn has been making some enquiries at Higham Village Hall to see if we could make it our permanent home.  As you know we held a very successful workshop there last October and on Saturday last a big group of us were there again for Sue Bennett’s Messing with Metal workshop.  As well as two tables of hand-stitchers there were about ten sewing machines plugged in on Saturday.  The heating is efficient and easy to control and the kitchen is clean and new with a good supply of crockery.  There are plenty of tables and chairs.  There is enough room to park eight or nine cars in the car park at the back of the hall as well as unrestricted parking on the road outside.   I drove through the village on a week-day to see what it was like and the road was still clear.

Kathryn has ascertained that the hall is free on Monday afternoons.  There is a Zumba class until 11.30 a.m. and a Bridge Club in the evening.  We could have the hall from 12 noon until our usual 4 p.m., which would give us two hours when we could do our own thing, share expertise and ideas or work on projects before the main meeting started at 2 p.m.  On days when an in-house mini-workshop has been scheduled into the programme this extra time would be a great advantage.  The hall cost us just £40 for a whole day so I am sure a very advantageous price could be negotiated for a part day.  We would propose to make the change from September.

Of course, this has to be a mutually agreeable change for the WHOLE of the group, so I would like you to consider the idea of moving our venue and what we might do with the extra two hours.  I am attaching a “voting” form for you to express your ideas.  Please return it to me as soon as possible so that we can discuss it further. I look forward to having your thoughts.

Now back to business.  Our next meeting is on Monday, 13th April.  The raffle colour for April is Natural.  We will be welcoming Gina Smith to talk about her Journeys with a Needle.  I met Gina when she was took one of the classes at Stitching in the Dales at Grassington Branch.  She is a lovely lady and I really liked her work.  Gina will be coming back to hold a Saturday Workshop in June on Architecture and Landscape in Hand Embroidery, so I will be opening the booking list for that.
February 2015
Twenty-one of us attended the February meeting and it was good to see everyone enjoying our Corners meeting.  It really seemed to go down well and is something we can do again some time.  Thank you to all the “teachers”, especially Carole who stepped in at short notice when Barbara had to attend a family funeral. 

We can now look forward to another practical meeting on 2nd March when Wendy will be help us to start Goldwork.  She is preparing packs for those who want them, if you did not have a chance to put your name down for one at the last meeting could you please contact Wendy  – there will be a small charge of £3.  To remind you briefly of the other requirements, you will need:  5 or 6 inch embroidery hoop; polyester thread to couch the gold; light colour thread for general sewing; needles (chenille, darning, crewel and beading); tweezers and a hands-free magnifier if you need it.  Other useful items would be Perle 8 to French Knots, Perle 12 for leaves, silks or stranded cottons – all to co-ordinate with the golds – although we may not reach that stage at the meeting.

The Purple/Mauve raffle did very well, raising £21, and was won by Pat H and Peter. Well done them and thank you all for taking part.  The colour for March is Light Green.  It was a testament to the success of the Corners that the Sales Table was unusually quiet and only took £8.50 – obviously no time to shop despite so many goodies on show!

The Saturday Workshop on 21st March Messing with Metal,  is now full and we have even attracted four visitors from Bolton and Liverpool Branches which is really good news. 

At the last meeting a list was opened for the NW Regional Day hosted by the Chelford + North Cheshire Branch from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Saturday, 25th April 2015.  The venue is the Hall Mark Hotel, Stanley Road, Handforth, Wilmslow SK9 3LD.  The cost is £25 per person to include morning and afternoon coffee/tea and your choice of lunch.  The application for tickets has to reach them by 11th April, so if you would like to go please do sign up and let me have your cheques.

Peter has sent me notice of an Antique Textile Fair to be held on Sunday, 1st March which may interest you.  It is to be held at the Mirage Centre, Owens Park off Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, Manchester and Peter has been told they usually have “embroidery transfers and other useful stuff”.

So far we have still not received Contact with its promise of more information on the changes to the Guild constitution.  Val's Bulletin for March is attached to this Newsletter and I was very sorry to read that she feels some Branches may be thinking about leaving the Guild.  I think we all need to keep cool heads and see what these changes will really mean to the ordinary members before even thinking about such a drastic step.

January 2015
Happy New Year everyone.  It was good to see so many members (24) at the December meeting and thanks to everyone who helped to make it such a great success.  There was a magnificent buffet, supplied by the Committee, quizzes and the Christmas card swap to send us off into the Christmas festivities very nicely. 

Congratulations to Sue T. who was presented with a cyclamen as a thank you for all her contribution to the Branch. 

Congratulations too to Glen, whose lovely picture of winter trees won the Winter Wonderland competition.  It was hard to choose as all the entries were so lovely and depicted this special time of year so well.   Lots of pictures on the blog.

Jill and I went to the Church to set up our Christmas tree for the festival and it looked very pretty, especially when the fairy lights were lit.  Thanks to everyone who made a star.  We received a nice letter from the organisers which I will put on the noticeboard.

Now to February and back to the serious business!  We are planning a members’ Corners session of Stitch Experiments.  Barbara, Eileen, Nan and I will be demonstrating a variety of different embroidery stitches for you to explore their potential.

Nan will be concentrating on French knots and Bullion knots, Barbara on various forms of Chain Stitch, Eileen will be making Woven Picots and I will be showing you Sorbello stitch and some other knotted stitches.  You will need to bring your sewing kit, with a good variety of needles, scissors and a 6” embroidery ring.  You will also need some fabric to stitch on (calico will do) and a selection of threads of various thicknesses.  We will have some materials with us too, so if everybody brings something it should be like the loaves and fishes, so don’t worry too much if you haven’t got a massive “stash”.  Our Raffle for February is Purple/Mauve. 

In March, Wendy will also be doing a practical workshop Beginning Goldwork..  Wendy will be making up kits for this workshop for £3 each – there will be a list at the February meeting for you to sign up if you want to take part so she knows how many kits she will need.  If you don’t want to join in, please do come to the meeting anyway and either bring your own work or continue with your stitch explorations.

There is still time to sign up for our next Saturday Workshop on 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.  If you have already signed up, please bring your fee (£12.50) with you to the February meeting.


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