Tuesday, 23 March 2021

The future of our branch

Following recent events at the Embroiderers' Guild Head Office and the consequent closure of guild branches, with the funds being appropriated by HO we find ourselves having to make some decisions.

We have decided to continue as an independent group, and some of our sister branches have got themselves organised and made the move already. Currently we are sorting out a constitution and various other bits and bobs, not least of which is our new name - a topic of hot debate! Starting as a completely new group without our funds is a bit of a challenge even with a start up grant from HO - not sure when that's going to appear. So we won't disappear but continue in a new guise and hopefully transition this blog to our new identity. Watch this space for updates!

Friday, 12 March 2021

Quilt Museum and Helen Barnes

Here's a link to the Quilters' Guild at the Quilt museum. Helen Barnes, one of our members, is the current winner of the Amy Emms Bursary. You can check out Helen's blog here.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Cas Holmes Zoom

 We had a lovely afternoon last week when Cas Holmes visited us via Zoom. It would have been lovely to see her in person with her work but we had the next best thing.

She chatted to us about her 40 Yards Ongoing project.

Cas sketches are made on old books, new book and made books and are based on what she sees around her on her walks and bike rides in the locality or places she visits.

thoughts inevitably turned to the lockdown and how it has affected us all. During the first lockdown Cas hadn't realised the extent of panic buying that had started in supermarkets and was unable to lay her hands on flour - this lead to a piece of work called 'Where has all the flour gone'. It brought to light the greed and poor behaviour of some people which contrasted with the kindness and help she received form neighbours in her flourless period.

Pathways and routeways are a haven for wildlife and can be found alongside new builds. Cas depicts these habitats in her work, but look carefully and you can see a discarded coffee cup or wrapper lurking among the dandelions.

What will we have to say about recent times when we look back and reflect on what has happened and consider how the landscape on our doorstep has become more meaningful and immediate in our confinement. What have we noticed we hadn't before and how might we use this in our work.

There's an interesting article on Cas you can read here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Museum of London

Here's an interesting read from the Museum of London's Anna Laviniere, a trainee collections manager. Her work involves researching, cataloguing and preserving objects in the collection. She has been remaking some of the embroidery pieces to understand more about them in particular a 1577 embroidered Bible cover said to have been to be crafted by Queen Elizabeth I. If you click on the link above there's a free little project to make a Tudor rose similar to the one a t the centre of the cover.


The materials used are thought to be silver -gilt thread, silver purl and small amounts of silk inlaid and couched work. The free pattern (and instructions) uses cotton and stitches to make an updates version, but no doubt you could try the techniques in the original if you have some goldwork supplies to hand. It looks like a nice project for a lockdown afternoon.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

A Little Fabric Book

We have some very talented people in our Branch! Jackie has been busy this January and keeping herself occupied during lockdown by making this fabulous little book; it's full of inspirational quotes by a diverse group of people including Sir Captain Tom who sadly died this week. Spend a little time looking at her lovely work and take inspiration from the thoughtful quotes which are particularly appropriate in the current circumstances. 

There's more photos of what we've been up to with various challenges on out Instagram page - our 4" square challenge, #52tagshannemade and a couple of us are doing Cathy Reavy's Stitch Wheel too.

Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Stitching round up!

Well, here we are in lockdown again; I hope everyone is keeping well in these difficult times and now there's a vaccine there's light at the end of the tunnel, it just seems to be a very long tunnel. So, we have been busy stitching. There are more photos on our Instagram page but here's a little sample of what we've been up to.

A few of us have been doing Anne Brooke's #52tagshannemade - it's been great and I'm really enjoying it; here's a few photos of the first three challenges. Anne has great videos for each tag on You Tube and for her other projects, here's the link: Anne Brooke

It's not the only thing we've been doing, the 4 inch square challenge we have been doing as a branch is still ongoing with various people catching up with each months colour at different times! I'm being super organised and have planned all the colours and started on several that need hand stitching - I'm way more organised than normal and I'm not quite sure why. We've done white, rust, red and blue so far. Even if you're not a member and would like to follow along the details of the challenges are on the Branch Challenge tab - anything goes really, it's great for trying out new techniques, using up scraps and it could run alongside Anne's project!

There's also a nice sideline in birds going on too!

Anne Kelly Book Review

Selvedge has a review of Anne Kelly's book, it looks fabulous - I'm very tempted!
Here's the link for the review: Selvedge review
Here's the link for Anne's Blog: Anne Kelly

Sunday, 3 January 2021

2021 Anne Brooke project

You may have been following Anne and her 2020 stitch projects, well here's the new one for 2021.
A tag a week for the year; you can follow on Instagram - #52tagshannemade or on her FaceBook page and of course she has videos on her You Tube channel. Looks like another lovely follow along.

Monday, 14 December 2020

Pippa Foulds RSN Talk

Today we were really pleased to be able to have a talk by Pippa Foulds (RSN) via Google Meet. 17 of us made it despite a Google outage which seemed to affect some of us – shouting at laptops ensued when emails and the internet disappeared, but we eventually made it!

Pippa’s love of needlework started at a young age and continued through her school years and career as a solicitor. At the Knit and Stitch she visited the Royal School of Needlework stand and from that took Tracy Franklin’s course in Durham.

Her journey through to the RSN Diploma encompassed crewel work, silk shading, canvas work, goldwork, blackwork, whitework, stumpwork – you name it Pippa’s done it! Part of her qualification as a future tutor involved conservation too.

Pippa has a particular interest in historical 16th/17thC embroidery but since completing her Diploma is branching out into more contemporary work requiring a little less precision.

You may have seen the White Walker embroidery Game of Thrones – many RSN embroiderers worked on the piece and Pippa contributed one of the shields

Pippa has gone on to create a corsage for the queen and became head broiderer at York minster.

She is now working on a degree at Bradford in contemporary textiles.

We had an enjoyable afternoon listening to Pippa tell us about her embroidery journey and it was lovely to be able to have something that resembled a normal meeting even with fickle technology.

A few screen shots (apologies for the quality) of Pippa's talk.

Pippa's pieces from her RSN qualification

Conservation before and after

GoT White Walker

Fit for the Queen

York Minster

Some contemporary work

Monday, 16 November 2020


We now have an Instagram page - I'm getting there slowly with photos as I had to  individually upload photos from the FaceBook page and it drove me up the wall! Hopefully I'll be organised enough to do the Blog, Instagram and FaceBook all in one go next time. Please follow us - you can spot us quickly by our profile pic.