Newsletters 2016

Hope you all enjoyed the last meeting – there was certainly a good buzz around the room and some laughter as we tried to get our heads round some new stitches. There were 20 of us there, including two very welcome new members Alison and Louise W, as well as a visitor. Good too to have a visit from Christine Poole and her husband who dropped in to meet us. For those of you who have not met her before, Christine used to be Chairman of the Guild Trustees. For those of you who had not been able to see the sewinginpendle blog, Louise B had put it on to a loop on her laptop and it was playing in the hall during the meeting – hope you got a moment to take a look. That kind of technology is beyond me so I am full of admiration – thank you Louise.

We had a very successful Silver raffle, which raised £25 and was won by Alison (beginners' luck?), and the Sales Table brought in £12.02. The next Raffle is BLUE. The booking list opened for the February Workshop “Fabulous Fish” with Nikki Parmenter and seven people have already signed up. It will be available again at the December meeting, or contact me if you want to be added to the list.

There is a lot to tell you about the December meeting. It was decided not to have a Christmas competition this year – hopefully you are all too busy working on your squares for the Branch table fall!! Following the success of the “Everyone for Themselves” raffle at the AGM, we will be holding another one. If you want to join in please bring a sewing-related prize, ready gift wrapped. You then buy a £1 ticket as you hand it in. We will also be running the Christmas card swap as usual. If you want to join in, just bring a card (handmade is nice) with a general greeting – perhaps “Happy Christmas from all your friends at Pendle EG”. These will be put in a bag and everyone who brought one will take one home.

Thanks to all your wonderful fundraising over the year the Committee has decided we deserve a treat and so we will be having a finger buffet lunch paid for by the Branch – so no need to bring your lunch! In another exciting move the Committee decided to award two bursaries of £50 each. The idea is for it to be spent on something embroidery related – towards materials for a project, a special workshop, books etc. Your only obligation will be to present a Show-and-Tell at the next Christmas party in 2017.

We will then be finishing the meeting with a visit from Stephen Watson. Some of you will have already met him and know he is great fun and he makes his origami look so easy.

So this is the programme:
LUNCH 1.15 P.M.

Seems a long gap between meetings this time. The October meeting was a good one and Nikki Parmenter's work was spectacular, but unfortunately we had a very small number of members present – just thirteen – although we did have two visitors. I hope you have looked at the pictures on the blog. Nikki is giving a workshop next February entitled Fabulous Fish which I hope will be well supported and successful. The booking list will open in November.

There are still a few membership fees outstanding, so if that means you please bring yours to the next meeting. I am happy to say that we have another two new members – welcome Sue B and Alison K. Alison was one of our visitors in October and her friend, Louise is also planning to join us.

The Book Auction was held but, because there were so few of us, sadly it was a bit of a flop with just two books sold; just £9 for branch funds. The books are currently with me and we will have another auction in the New Year. The Natural raffle raised £13 and was won by Beryl and new member Sue B, in November the colour is Silver. Thanks to everyone who spent money on the Sales Table and helped to raise a magnificent £33.

I am still living in hope that someone will come forward to shadow me as Secretary. The Branch really does need everyone to play their part in order to thrive and be successful, and not least to feed in some fresh ideas. Please do think about it and talk to me. It would also be very helpful to have someone shadowing Wendy as Treasurer, particularly at the moment as she is unwell herself and also has to give her husband a lot of support. A helping hand to assist me to cover for her during this difficult time would be most welcome.

We have had a slight change of programme for November. Kathryn is going away, so we have decided to move her What will you make of what you are given? to February and so the November meeting will be Around Each Corner. We last did one of these “corners” session in February 2015 (is it really that long ago!!) and it was a big success. This time Sue S will be exploring woven spiders' webs, Patricia couching, Eileen J lazy daisy and I shall be looking at various knots. Please bring some calico to work on, embroidery threads, a variety of needles, thimble if you use one, scissors and a 6” embroidery ring. There will be extra threads and fabric available, so don't worry too much but sometimes it is nice to work with your own favourites.

This year has flown by and although it is hard to believe, it will soon by our final meeting of the year; we have some exciting things in store for you in December. More details at the November meeting!


What lovely weather we have been having – why did it wait so long? It was nice to see everyone at the AGM after our Summer break and thanks to everyone who came and paid up their subscriptions – if that didn't include you, please make sure you bring your subs to the meeting on 3rd October. The Guild has announced that, due to their upheavals, they will not be issuing membership cards this year, so please keep your old one. If you don't have it and are going somewhere where you think you will need it, I believe you can download a proof of membership from their website. If you have forgotten your membership number, ask me.

We gained two new members at the AGM, Christine and Beryl  – welcome both of you. Our brews are also secure as Jenny kindly volunteered to take care of vital supplies for us! Unfortunately my plea for someone to shadow me with a view to taking over as secretary next September did not do so well. The job could easily be split to spread the load; secretary and membership secretary for instance. Please do consider it and talk to me if you think you could do this essential job.

There were two lovely bags of Red “stuff” for the raffle, which raised £18 and was won by Christine (beginners' luck?) and Wendy. The sales table was also busy, raising £31. As ever, thanks to everyone for supporting these two valuable money-spinners. In October we will be holding the promised Book Auction and the raffle colour is Natural.

Val has requested that any leaves made on National Stitch Day be taken to the North West AGM in October. I shall be going, so if you have a leaf for Val, please bring it to the meeting. Has anyone taken up Val's latest challenge, Endless Landscape? If so, bring that along too and I will take it to the AGM. Also, could I please borrow your Travelling Book for a presentation to Skipton Branch in November – they are going to have a go in the New Year so it would be nice to show them as many as possible to inspire them.

There are still a few places left on the October workshop (Saturday 29th) Tantalising Textures with Sandra Wallace. The booking form will be available at the meeting, or contact me and I will add your name.

Last Friday a number of us went to Gawthorpe for a private view of the Gardens of Gawthorpe exhibition (the “Capability” Brown project). There were lots of people there from the six branches taking part and we met in the cafe for tea, coffee and biscuits before going over to the Hall. The embroideries looked lovely in their new exhibition room, which is beautifully lighted. Val has worked very hard to make this project a success, so thank you to her and also to Dianne for acting as liaison with Jenny Waterson on our behalf. Do go and see it – it is an excellent showcase for the Guild. It continues until 6th November, when the Hall closes for the winter. There are pictures on our own website – as you know!

I am looking forward to seeing Nikki Parmenter's exciting work at the next meeting and to her Fabulous Fish workshop next February.

It seems a long time since our last meeting. We had a lovely spread at the Jacob's Join and a most enjoyable day. Congratulations to Pamela P for winning the Bell Trophy for her book cover on the theme of In the Forest. Next year's theme is Land and Sea, so get the thinking caps on.

Kathryn's 'Everyone for Themselves' raffle was a big success, with a lot of swapping going on. As well as being a lot of fun it raised £18 for Branch funds. The Yellow raffle also raised £18 and was won by Pamela Wand Sue B. The September raffle is RED.

It was sad to say goodbye to Jill and we all wish her well in her new home down in London. A card and begonia were presented to her to express our good wishes. We will miss her for many reasons, not least because she took care of the refreshments for us! If anyone is willing to take this on please let me or Sue S know.

After much searching Sue S managed to get approval for a group to stitch at Towneley Hall on National Stitch Day. A group of members was made very welcome and spent a happy day in the magnificent surroundings of the Great Hall. It was a great contrast to last year, among the trolleys at Morrisons! There are pictures on our website.

We have a busy programme for 2016/17 starting with the AGM on 5th September. Please remember that membership fees are due then and bring your cheques and completed membership forms. After the business part of the meeting, Kathryn will give a short talk on Women of Lakia. We will also be holding another Book Auction. We have some lovely books, donated by Nan when she moved house, so bring your purses with you!

On 3rd October Nikki Parmenter is coming to talk about her Experimental Textiles. Have a look at her website – her colourful, heavily embellished 3D pieces are absolutely scrumptious! She will be returning in February to hold a Saturday workshop entitled Fabulous Fish.

Also in October (Saturday 29th) we will be holding our first workshop of the new year when Sandra Wallace makes a return visit with Tantalising Textures. She visited us in March and we were all impressed with her beautiful work, so now is your chance to make something gorgeous as well. The booking list will open at the September meeting.

When the programmes were printed there was no detail available for the June workshop. Now I can confirm that on Saturday, 17th June there will be a workshop on Calico Gardens with Angie Burt. Please update your programme.

We had such an enjoyable meeting on 6th June with plenty of time to sew and chat. Eileen had brought some lovely examples of shadow-work for us to see and worked so hard and patiently to put all 23 of us and three visitors on the straight and narrow. After she had sorted my fingers from my thumbs I even managed to finish my piece! And how very lovely it was to honour Brenda for all her hard work with a bouquet and card with love and good wishes from all of us. Since the Table first started she has raised over £1,500.

We raised £20 from the Variegated raffle, which was won by a delighted Lesley. The committee wondered if the colour raffle had run its course and asked for opinions and other fundraising suggestions from the members, but it is still popular so will continue. The Sales Table did well also, making £40. Brenda is willing to carry on running the Sales Table with the help of Eileen and Patricia, so that will continue to make its valuable contribution to our finances. Please don't bring any new stock in July as we don't have room to store it over the Summer break, but it will be very welcome in September.

Have you finished your In the Forest entry for the Bell Trophy? Don't forget there is a small prize as well as the honour of holding the trophy for the year! Suggestions for next year's Bell Trophy were circulated at the meeting and Land and Sea was voted top.

Patricia held the first of her drop-in sewing session in the library at Gawthorpe on Saturday, 18th June. She was assisted by Sue S, Sue B, Wendy and Val and they had a very happy, busy day with lots of interest from the visitors. There are pictures on the website – do have a look. Patricia will be looking for more helpers for her next session on 20th August when they will be stitching Zodiac signs.

Sue is also trying to find a venue for National Stitch Day (6th August) and would like to hear from anyone who would has any ideas or would like to sit and sew on the day. It is hoped to sew leaves of all kinds this year so that eventually they can be put together with those from other NW branches. You can talk to her at the meeting or email her.

Following the success of her Chairman's Challenge for a regional Travelling Book, Val has issued another one for an Endless Landscape. You have the details and I hope some of you will be inspired to take part. It could be another great resource for all NW branches to use.

Of course, July is our Summer Social and we are planning another Jacob's Join. Please bring something savoury or sweet to add to the spread. We plan to eat at about 1.30 p.m. We will also be judging the Bell Trophy and hope that instead of spiriting their work away afterwards we will have time for all the entrants to reveal themselves and tell us a bit about themselves and their work. We will be having our usual raffle (YELLOW), but Kathryn is also planning an “Everyone for Themselves” raffle as well. As I understand it it goes like this – anyone who wishes to join in should bring a gift-wrapped, sewing related, gift and pay a £1 entry fee. The first name out of the hat has first choice of the anonymous parcels – however, the second one drawn may choose a wrapped parcel, or if they like the first one's prize better they can demand it! Sounds interesting – Kathryn will tell us more, but of course the more people who take part the better.


Is it me, or does it seem a long time since our last meeting when Jane Chattell and her husband treated us to a glimpse into the history and artistry of the Quaker Tapestry? It was most interesting to hear the stories behind the panels and examine the design and working of this wonderful embroidery. If you haven't been to Kendal to see the exhibition for yourself, it is highly recommended.

There were nineteen members at the meeting, as well as two visitors, including a returning one. I really hope we can convert some of our many visitors this year into new members in the Autumn. The Indigo raffle raised £17 for Branch funds, but I am sorry to say I missed who won and my SOS has yielded no information – who are you? Do let me know! Colour for June is VARIEGATED. The Sales table was looking magnificent and earned us £43 – thank you Eileen for running it single-handed this month.

Val gave us a brief update on the Guild AGM which was held in Manchester this year and was a big success. There has been consternation about the membership's total rejection of their plans, but the meeting ended in a positive manner with many of the Guild's ideas made much clearer. I am sure I am not alone in thinking that the consultation documents were so difficult to understand and to reply to that a negative result was made almost inevitable. The AGM voted for a rise in the Guild subscription for the coming year - £3. Quite a jump, but apparently very necessary. Our committee will be discussing Branch subscriptions and all our own plans for the new Branch year at their next meeting so that we can send you off from the July social with all the information you need for our return in September.

There are still some places left for the Casalguidi Workshop with Wyn Ingham next Saturday, 4th June. If you haven't booked and would like to go please contact me .

Now to plans for our next meeting. Eileen will be showing us her lovely shadow-work and how to do it. She would like to start as early as possible so give plenty of time for sewing. If you can be there for 12.30 p.m. that would be great, although I am sure you will be able to catch up – I certainly hope so as the whole of committee will be scurrying through the agenda to come and join you!

Just to remind you, you will need to bring:

6”, 8” or 9” square of transparent fabric (organza or voile)
Hoop or frame to fit
Mixture of coloured threads (stranded, fine purle, flower threads, variegated)
FriXion pen (for tracing pattern (vanishes on heating by hair dryer or iron; available from Ryman, WHS etc.))
Usual sewing equipment

Eileen will bring designs to trace, spare fabric etc. so don't panic.


We are grateful to Val for stepping into Marge Quinn's place last month. It was our first attempt to use the technology in the Hall and unfortunately it was not compatible so she deserves a special thank you for making the best of it. It must have been nerve-wracking as it was the first time Val had presented this talk, but despite the fact most of us could barely see the screen of laptop, the history was most interesting and I had many comments afterwards about what a nice afternoon it had been. Thanks again Val!

As well as eighteen members at the meeting, we had five visitors – one returning for a second look, three others as a result of seeing us at the Higham Exhibition, and a special visit from our NW Region Rep., Meg Starkey. In addition we were delighted to welcome Jenny S. and Sue B. as new members.

We had a very successful four days at the Higham Art & Craft Exhibition over Easter. Thank you to everyone who donated work, which made a lovely display and was much admired. Thanks also to everyone who took a turn on the rota and who all did a great job of talking to visitors to our stall.

The Silver raffle raised £20 and was won by one of our guests, and second prize by Val. May's raffle is INDIGO. We also held a very successful Book Auction and raised a magnificent £50. If members are interested we could hold a Book Auction perhaps three times a year – I am sure we all have embroidery and craft books on our shelves we no longer use. The Sales Table did its usual good work and raised £29.81. Brenda is always in need of new stock and would be most grateful for anything you have for sale. Lesley would also be grateful for donations of wool, braids, ribbons, buttons etc. for a housebound friend who makes warm muffs for local care home residents.

The deadline for entries for our Capability Brown project exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall is fast approaching. Dianne will need work to be brought to the July meeting, or individuals must take their work to the Hall before 31st July. If you are still in need of inspiration, Jenny Waterson has organized a Garden Walk on Thursday, 5th May. Meet at the Stable Yard for tea and biscuits and then the Ranger will conduct the walk from 11 – 12 p.m. You will need suitable footwear for the wet areas. The Hall reopened on 20th April and the Stitch Your Brain exhibition is on, so there will be time afterwards to go in – free for NT members and Friends. On 1st July the Cataloguing Padiham exhibition starts, and then the Capability Brown exhibition is on from 16th September until the Hall closes on 30th October.

Sue, Dianne and I went to the Regional Day, hosted by Bolton Branch, last Saturday. Haigh Hall is in a wonderful setting on the hills high above Wigan. There were traders and demonstrations to enjoy as well as some beautiful embroidery to admire and a talk by Julia Triston, creator of the Bra-Ra Dress! There are pictures on our website.

Next meeting is SECOND Monday because of Bank Holiday and our speaker will tell us about the Stories Behind the Quaker Tapestry.

See you on 9th May 


What a riot of colour and texture we enjoyed with Sandra Wallace at our last meeting! Her combination of felted and beaded pieces was sumptuous. Twenty members and five visitors enjoyed Sandra's description of the travels which inspired her work. I think I overheard a request to Kathryn that she book Sandra for a workshop sometime, so that's something to look forward to.

We had two raffles again this month; the Orange raffle showed some originality with a pack of Terry Chocolate Oranges, a mango body wash and a packet of citrus tea among the offerings. Sue S. was one lucky winner and Andrea the other. The book, The Art of Annemieke Mein was kindly donated by Louise and was also won by Andrea. The raffle made £26 and the book another £14 – so thank you all so much. Our April raffle is SILVER. The Sales Table did a roaring trade and raised an amazing £52.50 – is this a record? I think it must be. There was also £6 in contributions towards refreshments, so once again thank you all.

Val was pleased to announce that the Summer School at Waddow Hall, Waddington is filling up, but there were a few places left on Maggie Smith's course. She also mentioned that it is possible to attend as a non-resident at around £174; contact Val if you are interested.

Patricia had exciting news about Jenny Waterson's proposals to hold sewing sessions in the Library at Gawthorpe on 18th June, 20th August and 15th October. All materials will be provided. If you interested in taking part, please contact Patricia.

My spare bedroom is full of bags and parcels of work donated for display at the Higham Exhibition at Higham School and I have had a lovely time looking through it all – thanks to you all. Sue and are are going to start setting up on Thursday afternoon and the Exhibition starts at 11 a.m. on Friday. It is open on each of the four days of Easter from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. so I do hope you will try to look in on us.

Marge Quinn is our speaker in April and in a slight change to the programme she will be talking about Braids and Braiding. As you may know, Marge has been very ill and although she is now much better, she is in a wheelchair so her husband will be bringing her. Can I ask you please to ensure that a space is left for his car as close to the back door as possible? Thank you.

See you on 4th April  


Twenty-two members and three guests enjoyed a visit from Wyn Ingham at the February meeting. Wyn kept us laughing with tales of her family as we looked at the exquisite and interesting lace she has collected. Her many aunts have been a constant inspiration to her with their eccentricities and their different skills. Wyn returns in June for a Saturday workshop to show us the basics of Casalguidi embroidery and the booking list will open in April.

Val, in her guise as our NW Regional Chair, braved the journey from Bolton with a bad back to give us a quick resumé of a recent Council meeting in Birmingham. She was not at liberty to tell us much but the results of the Consultation were discussed and we were pleased to learn that the suggestions have been roundly rejected by the members. The Trustees are having to think again, as they have no Plan B! We are promised more information in the next Contact – whenever that is.

The Multi Media Books Workshop with Sue Bartlett was a big success and a most enjoyable way to spend a cold, wet February Saturday. There were some lovely covers on show and we started learning about the binding so hopefully they will now have been turned into books. A rarity for me, I actually finished mine (although not to Sue’s standard). Can anyone else bring theirs to the March meeting for show?

The Regional Day, hosted by Bolton Branch, is on 23rd April. I have circulated the entry forms for the various Competitions to everyone. I am sorry to say that only Sue and I have booked to go to the Regional Day so if you want to make an entry, please bring it to the April meeting so we can take it along. If you would like to go there may still be time to get a ticket, please contact me.

New raffle tickets and baskets were bought to replace the ones we lost in December, but then the originals were found buried at the bottom of the cupboard, so we are now set for years! The raffle (White) raised £17 and was won by Maureen and Andrea. The March raffle is Orange. In January I won a book from a competition in Contact and put that up for raffle too, raising £28 – Eileen J. was the lucky winner. There was also £17 from the sales table. Thanks to everyone who took part and also to those who contributed towards the refreshments. This new idea only applies to tea and coffee made individually before the main meeting as it goes through teabags at a great rate – Jill’s mammoth teapot-full in the afternoon is free as usual.

Our next project is the Higham Arts and Crafts Exhibition over Easter. Thank you to everyone who offered to help with the stewarding – we have names for all the eight sessions, but anyone who was not at the meeting, or who now finds they could be free for a few hours, please contact me. All you need to do is be available to sit and sew and talk to any interested visitors. There were also some offers of work to put in our display, please bring it with you to the MARCH meeting (next week). Work from anyone who has anything they could lend would be welcome. It would be nice to include our Travelling Books for people to browse through, so if you took part in this project, please could you also bring your book with you in March.

Phoenix Textile Group (which includes some of our members) has an exhibition Field to Fabric at Helmshore Textile Mill throughout March which should be well worth a visit.

I am looking forward to welcoming Sandra Wallace to our next meeting to talk to us about her Textural Embroidery. I have Googled her work and it looks beautiful.

See you on 7th March


Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the 50th edition of our Newsletter.  I do hope no-one was unfortunate enough to be caught by the flooding.  It must be a terrible thing to see your home ruined and it seems worse when these things happen in the Christmas season.

2016 looks like being a busy and exciting year for our Branch.  In addition to our involvement with the Capability Brown exhibition at Gawthorpe, in conjunction with Bolton Branch, we have been invited to take part in the Higham Arts & Crafts Exhibition at Easter.  Then, as well as all our usual activities and the Summer competition, there is news of another project at Gawthorpe called Cataloguing Padiham – phew!

The Christmas Social was another lovely occasion and 23 of us enjoyed a lavish Jacob’s Join lunch.  There was a fine display of book covers in the competition, showing all sorts of beautiful ideas and techniques.  I was very flattered to be the winner with my little notebook.  Eileen Johnson was presented with a miniature rose plant as a thank-you for all many ways she has helped in the Branch over the past year.  The quiz was nice and simple this time, so all the choccy prizes were won and nobody left with brain-ache! 

Our raffle tickets and the baskets we use to hold the prizes were missing from our cupboard, so we had to extemporise with home-made tickets and a colander to present the Lilac prize!   But it was a great success anyway and raised £24.  The lucky winner was Patricia.  We had a welcome visitor, Jenny, who brought her late mother-in-law’s huge stash of threads for us to delve into.  They proved very popular and and our donations to the British Heart Foundation amounted to £47.15, which was gratefully received.  Jenny enjoyed her visit and we hope to welcome her again as a new member.  We all sewed name badges while we chatted (including Jenny so that must be a positive sign) – if you were not at the meeting I have a few “blanks” left I can hand out.

Our first focus will be on the Higham Exhibition from Friday 25th to Monday 28th March, and we will be asking for volunteers to come along to man a display. talk to visitors and sit and stitch.  Each of the four days will be split into two 2½ hour slots, plus a bit of extra time on the Friday and Monday to set up and take down, with a couple of people at each session.  We will also be asking for as many people as possible to loan one or two pieces of work to make a nice show.  As well as something new to the Exhibition, which has been running for 46 years, it is a great opportunity for us to make ourselves known and perhaps gain some new members.  Easter is not an easy time with church and family commitments for many, but I hope you will think about volunteering a few hours of your time.

Wyn Ingham will be showing us her lovely Casalguidi work at the February meeting and she will also be leading a workshop in June.   Appropriately enough for this whitework technique, our raffle colour is WHITE.  The February workshop (on Saturday 20th February) is Mixed Media Books with Sue Bartlett.  There are still some places left so if you would like to come along please give me a call.

See you on 1st February

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