Newsletters 2017


Our July meeting seems a long time ago, and now we are coming up to the first meeting of the new Branch year. Hope you have all enjoyed the break, although we could have done with some rather more summer-like weather to enjoy. Our last meeting, the Summer Social was a great occasion once again. We enjoyed another delicious buffet and there was plenty of time to chat and look at the Bell Trophy entries for our competition Land and Sea. There was a dead heat in the voting between two equally attractive pieces by Carole  and Patricia, but after the second vote the trophy was awarded to Carole. Well done everyone who entered, there were some lovely pieces on display, and what a shame there were not two trophies!

There were 21 members at the meeting, plus Jennifer for her third visit – we hope to welcome her as a permanent member in September. A slimmed down Sales Table nevertheless took £9.45. The RAINBOW raffle was well supported and raised £20 and Alison, Lesley and Jennifer were the lucky winners. Sue S had kindly donated a lovely book by Diana Springall to be raffled; it raised £15 and was borne away by a delighted Alison.

Once more Kathryn had organized an Everyone for Themselves raffle which resulted in much laughter as prizes were opened and we attempted to shield our loot from covetous eyes. Jenny drew the last ticket and there was much indecision as she debated between her prize and two others, but then her dilemma was solved when one of her “victims” she said she would rather like the book Jenny had won, so the transaction was done and we all breathed a sight of relief!

We were also delighted to present Jenny with a chrysanthemum plant in appreciation for all her cheerful help over the year. Lots of pictures of the day on the website.

The list for Kathryn's Build a Better Bag workshop on Saturday, 14th October opened and closed again immediately with a full membership. If you booked, please bring your money next time or to the October meeting (2nd October) at the latest.

Our next meeting is the AGM on 4th September. I am sending out the Agenda and 2016 Minutes with this Newsletter. If you are unable to attend, please send me your apologies, and also the names any volunteers or nominees (with their permission of course) for the Committee to either Sue S or myself.

Also attached is a letter from headquarters offering a £2 discount on their fee for 2017/18 if subscriptions are paid before 30th September, bringing the full subs down to £56. If you can bring your money / cheques to the AGM please do so, but otherwise send a cheque direct to Wendy – her address is on the letter. If Pendle is not your main Branch you should get this discount through them and just pay your £23 Pendle subs. There is also a facility to pay by BACS, but I don't think that will trouble any of us, but please let Wendy know if that is what you have done.

Well, this is my very last Newsletter – the 66th I have written. I have enjoyed doing it over the years, but it is time for a fresh voice. I look forward to joining you as an ordinary member now.

See you on 4th September


We welcomed Harriet Lawton to our meeting in May. Harriet was involved with the Cataloguing Gawthorpe project last year which culminated in an exhibition at the Hall. Strangely, her work loosely echoed Katie Chaplin's talk in May, as her early pieces were inspired by kintsugi which is the centuries old Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. She encapsulated the broken pieces in thin fabric and stitched gold thread between the shards. From there she went on to explore water-jet cutting, cutting motifs from ceramic plates, and then replicating china using silkscreen printing.

There were 23 members at the meeting, and Jennifer paid her second visit; together we raised £18 with the Mauve raffle (won by Nan) and £47.65 from the Sales Table. The raffle colour for July is a free-for-all - RAINBOW.

Sue outlined some of the changes that will take place from September when I step down from the post of Secretary, but there are still details to be sorted out and I know she still hopes to hear from more of you about how you can help.

Ten of us enjoyed the lovely Calico Gardens workshop last Saturday, producing our own pale imitations of Angie Burt's exquisite work. She was so cheerful and helpful and we had a thoroughly enjoyable day. You can see pictures on our website. Our next workshop is on Saturday, 14th October with our own Kathryn Thompson, and is entitled Build a Better Bag. The workshop list will open at the July meeting.

Val collected the Capability Brown work for the exhibition at Fairfield Mill in Sedbergh – it started on 17th June and will run until 30th July. If you are planning a day out it should be very interesting, with work from branches all over the North West.

July is our special Summer Social and we have treats in store. Following the success of the Christmas meeting we will begin with a buffet lunch (at around 1.15 p.m.), once again paid for by the Branch, so no need to bring anything. The Summer Competition, Land and Sea, will be judged. with the winner holding the Bell Trophy for a year as well as claiming a prize. We will also be holding another of the most enjoyable “everyone for themselves” raffles. To take part just bring a gift wrapped prize (embroidery related) and buy a ticket for £1. I think Kathryn might have another surprise up her sleeve as well, so it should be a busy and enjoyable afternoon to send us off on our summer break.

See you on 3rd July.

Katie Chaplain gave 19 members and a visitor an entertaining talk about mottainai at our May meeting. This is the Japanese concept of regret at waste and we were shown wonderful examples of the way in which clothes and other household textiles are repaired and recycled until it is hard to say which was the original material. She ended with a demonstration of furoshiki – the wrapping of gifts in a silk scarf. I was particularly impressed by the bottle carrier that emerged!

The Bronze/Copper raffle raised £16 for Branch funds and was won by Val and our visitor, Jennifer. The colour in June is MAUVE. The sales table raised £23.10 – thank you everyone. Don't forget, Brenda is always looking for good quality items for the table, which is such an important contributor to our Branch income.

The are still places on the Calico Gardens workshop on Saturday 17th June. Angie will be supplying kits at £5 so there is no long list of requirements to worry about – just bring an 8” embroidery ring, your scissors and thimble, and your lunch of course.

Fairfield Mill in Sedbergh has expressed an interest in hosting an exhibition of the Capability Brown work from various regions in the North and Val has asked for those who exhibited at Gawthorpe to loan their work again for this event. She has a very limited time to put it all in place so please bring your Capability Brown pieces to the June meeting – thank you.

IMPORTANT: Sue and members of the committee are having a special get together before the main June meeting to discuss how to manage the post of Secretary, which becomes vacant in September. It is important that the committee then discuss their conclusions with as many of the membership as possible and she has asked that you please arrive no later than 1 p.m to allow time for a full discussion before the speaker arrives.

There are a few days left of the exhibition by Ribble Creative Stitchers, A Kaleidoscope of Stitch, at Howarth Art Gallery in Accrington which runs until 4th June. Opening times are Tuesday to Friday 12 noon – 4.45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 12 noon – 4.15 p.m.

Finally, our speaker is Harriet Lawton who was the artist leading the Cataloguing Padiham project at Gawthorpe in 2016. Her talk is entitled Cataloguing Gawthorpe.

See you on 5th June

Another lovely turn-out for our April meeting – 23 members, and we were visited by Christine Poole and her husband David. David has presented us with a disc containing photographs of the exhibitions they have attended over the year – something we can all enjoy during a meeting in the new season perhaps.

Val gave us a brief account of the Guild AGM in Edinburgh. 120 members attended and we were all complimented on the Capability Brown exhibitions, of which there were more than 40 over the year. The Guild is still struggling financially, and the subscription will be raised to £35 for 2017/2018,but the move to Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury will save money in the future. Keeping the collection at Hampton Court cost £75,000 per annum, £35,000 in Richmond and this will now reduce to £15,000 per annum when the set-up is complete, as well as giving the Guild a much more public face.

The list has opened for our next workshop, Calico Gardens with Angie Burt on Saturday 17th June. There are still places and the list will be available at the May meeting. If you have already put your name down but not yet paid, please bring your money to the meeting.

Once again Brenda and Eileen did us proud on the Sales Table and raised £66.60. The Yellow raffle raised £16 and was won by Glen and Jenny. May's raffle is BRONZE/COPPER – a nice one to win!

After all the business we settled down to enjoy a most entertaining talk by Gillian Roberts on The Corset Unlaced. Her illustrated talk had us alternately laughing and gasping in horror – how lucky we are to be able to “let it all hang out” these days! It was bad enough to think of ladies of leisure being so tightly confined, but the idea of doing your housework in one of those instruments of torture was extraordinary. Then she showed us diagrams of the effects of so-called “tight lacing”, and pictures of people who still practise this as a fetish – OMG!! Enough of the horrors – we also got to enjoy Gillian's own beautiful work close up. If you want to see more, her website is and shows her exquisite embroidery in great detail.

Don't forget the deadline for your contribution to the table fall is the July meeting, and that is also the day for judging our annual competition – Land and Sea. So get your needles busy.

The May speaker is Katie Chaplin who will be talking to us about Mottainai and doing a demonstration of Furoshiki, which I believe is wrapping with fabric. I looked up mottainai and found it is the concept of regret at waste – so we shall see; intriguing!

There were 27 of us at the March meeting, including new member Fiona and old friend Sue Bartlett visiting from Blackpool. It was particularly good to welcome Dianne back after her long stay in Australia.

We then settled down for Priscilla Jones' talk My Work. It looked for a while as though technology was going to win as we struggled to get the laptop and the memory stick to talk to each other, but with Sue B's help it ended up with Technology 0 Humans 1 in extra time! We were then able to enjoy Priscilla's presentation of her lovely work, from her earliest college pieces to the present day. There was also a fascinating display of her more recent work Рcollages and wire sculptures of cups, spoons, pieces of cake, birds etc. It was interesting to hear how she achieves her delicately coloured collages using calico, paint, gesso and appliqu̩ techniques.

There was a fine display of Fabulous Fish and Mini Masterpieces – thank you to everyone who brought theirs in for us to admire – Sue T's fine fish swimming about on its illuminated stand was a particular favourite! Our next workshop, Calico Gardens with Angie Burt, is on Saturday 17th June and the list will be opening at the April meeting.

We thought the Sales Table did well last month, but Brenda and Eileen excelled themselves in March with an amazing £110.66 raised! The Black/White raffle made £20 and was won by Christine and Louise W. The April raffle is YELLOW.

Higham are holding their annual Fair over the Spring Bank Holiday, 29th and 30th April and
1st May, in a change to their usual Easter formula and have invited us to take part. Sue S has been recruiting members to man a stall in the school on the Sunday and Monday. Rather than an exhibition, the idea this year is to sit and sew and display a few items of your own work. She would like to hear from you if you are willing to come along for a few hours.

At the meeting I made another plea for someone to shadow me so that I can step down as Secretary in September. I have done this job since the branch was formed and I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to its success, but it is time for a change. To keep our Branch growing and lively we need fresh enthusiasm and new ideas. To make the job more manageable I have analysed everything I do and divided it into three distinct new roles; Secretary, Membership Secretary and Assistant Treasurer (to assist Wendy and, hopefully, to eventually take over the Treasurer's role). Job descriptions were handed out, but if you were not at the meeting and would like to consider taking one of these roles I will have some copies available at the April meeting. This is an excellent opportunity to learn what's involved before taking over completely. So please do consider taking on one of these jobs and making a valuable contribution to the continued success of our branch.

Gillian Roberts is our speaker on 3rd April with her talk, The Corset Unlaced. Sounds intriguing and I shall look forward to it and to seeing you all.

After what seemed like an endless gap between December's and February's meetings,
March is already upon us. The first meeting of the New Year was very lively with 24 members and a visitor taking part in Kathryn's What will you do with what you have been given workshop. Lots of time to catch up with friends and work Mini Masterpieces on tea bags – apparently it is A Thing! Thank you Kathryn for putting in so much effort for us and judging by the volume of chat everyone enjoyed themselves. We had no time for a show and tell, so although Sue T sent me a picture of hers for the blog, it would be lovely if you could bring your finished masterpiece with you on 6th March for us all to admire.

We did very well with fundraising too. The Green raffle raised £23 and was won by Lesley and Louise B. The March raffle is Black/White. The Sales Table excelled itself – everyone must have been in need of retail therapy – and raised a magnificent £61.70. Brenda and Eileen, you are stars. In addition we did a re-run of the Book Auction which this time raised £34. So thanks to all of you and to Nan for donating the books. The committee discussed the success of the Christmas social and with our healthy bank balance we agreed there could well be another delicious finger buffet coming along in July.

The Fabulous Fish workshop took place on Saturday and everyone had a great time. I will be putting lots of pictures on the blog shortly, but it would be so nice to see all the sea life in person, so please could any participants bring theirs along on 6th March? Our next workshop isn't until June but should be another goodie – Calico Gardens with Angie Burt.

A couple of reminders and prompts – The Table Fall: This project has taken rather a back seat, and we would very much like to get it finished. Kathryn has set a deadline for the squares to be brought to the JULY MEETING. Just to refresh your memories, we are looking for 10” squares with a 6” central embroidery on cream or off-white calico. You can do anything that is pertinent to where you live in the area. We already have some local landmarks, witches etc. and others from more distant members. Kathryn has volunteered to make the cloth and mount these squares and also work “Pendle Embroiderers” on it. Please do have a go.

Second prompt is a reminder of the Summer Competition: Land and Sea to be awarded at the July Social. Any technique, any item, just what inspires you from the title. There is a prize for the winner!

Our March meeting will a time to relax and listen to Priscilla Jones talking about My Work. You may be familiar with her work as she has exhibited at The Platform Gallery in Clitheroe on a number of occasions. If you Google Priscilla Jones Embroidery you will find lots of images of her quirky collages and 3D mixed media wire sculptures of domestic items – should be fun.

It seems a long, long time since our December meeting and even Christmas and New Year are becoming a distant memory, but I hope you all had a happy time. Our December meeting was a great success and a lot of fun. 26 members, including new member Tori and a visitor enjoyed the buffet and Stephen Watson's entertaining talk and demonstration. His wonderful display of origami was amazing, way above our expertise of course, but at least we can all fold our t-shirts neatly now!

The Everyone for Themselves raffle was once again a great success. We raised £26 and I hope not too many beautiful friendships were ruined as the prizes swapped hands! The Blue raffle raised £13 and there were enough goodies to award three prizes, which were won by Glen, Beryl and Christine. The February raffle colour is Green.

The was our first year awarding bursaries and the two lucky winners were Sue S and Glen. Congratulations to them and we shall look forward to hearing how they spent their £50 at the Christmas 2017 meeting.

There are still places available for Fabulous Fish, the February Workshop (Saturday, 25th February) with Nikki Parmenter. Please let me know if you want to come along. Will those of you who have already booked but not paid, please be sure to bring your fees to the February meeting.

Brenda has asked for more quality goodies for the Sales Table, so do please think of her when you are sorting through your stash. Magazines are always very popular. Please bear in mind though that we have very limited storage space and we will be asking anyone who brings a large amount of fabric or quantities of books or magazines to take home anything that is unsold on the day – so little and often should perhaps be the rule.

Tickets for the Regional Day in Lancaster on 22nd April are now available to order and I will be collecting names at the February meeting. Tickets are £25 to include refreshments and lunch. I will also be taking names for copies of the North West Region Journal. This is always full of information and pictures of what is going on in our Region and at £1 is an excellent bargain.

Our February meeting is the practical with Kathryn “What Will You Do With What You Are Given?” which was postponed from last November. She asks that you bring the usual sewing kit with small scissors and selection of hand sewing needles. And, if you want to, but it is by no means essential, a tiny charm or button or other focal feature but tiny really does mean tiny! Kathryn will bring plenty of everything in the way of threads and other stuff as well as mini canvases and easels to buy for £1.

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