Sunday, 19 April 2020

Uniform Bags

Thanks to everyone who has been helping with the Uniform bags. These have been going into Newcross and are very much appreciated.  We should have enough this week to supply to other people who have asked for them as well.  This is the thanks from the Trust - showing our lovely member Saskia who is delivering all the bags that Roberta is co-ordinating and collecting.

I never thought pump bags would be a "war effort" but its good to be helping in some small way, I just have to keep reminding myself not to do embroidery on them. (Elise)

Monday, 23 March 2020

Smartypants awards - we are home but we are not alone.

Smartypants awards for carrying on stitching in uncertain times. 

This week Helene has been working on her blackwork.  I have always thought blackwork looks very stylish - what a lovely pattern as well. Congratulations Helene on another great job. 

Another floral pincushion from Linda  and Debbie has finished her piece from Suzettes workshop.  Congratulations to both for finishing beautiful pieces. Its great to see what people are working on. 

These two are done by Joy. She told me "The Persian garden I did when I was about 14 I think. Jude will spot the pots and realise that I have not moved on very much!  The cockerels were from the 60s I guess. It’s about 36” x 18” and hangs on my workshop wall."  I love the funky chickens Joy.

Thanks to Helene for sending me a picture of her completed cross stitch. Sadly its in a format I cant work out how to load on here but to see it please pop over to the Facebook page.


Friday, 20 March 2020

We are home but not alone

Dear All 

Many of us now find ourselves at home for the foreseeable future. But we are lucky in that we don’t have to be bored! If you are part of the Travelling Books you have your lists and can carry on making them,  ready to go in when we get back.  Or catch up if you are a little behind. I will post updates of which swop we are on.  We have just done swop 21 so til the beginning of next month is swop 22.  If you dont have your list please contact Roberta who will help you.

The Chairs Challenge for this year is “Twenty”.   Feel free to make a start on that. You can do 2020, The Roaring Twenties, 2020 Vision, 20 buttons etc etc. You impress me every year with your creativity so knock yourselves out. You can make it any size, any material etc and the deadline is October. so plenty of time to have ideas, do lots of stitching. 

There are lots of online stitching events happening on Facebook so keep an eye out for those. 

It has also been suggested to me that we have a monthly theme for people to work on. Let me know if you would like me to do this? 

Plus we ALL have WIPs, UFOs, PHDs or any other name for “started not finished projects”.  If you finish a project email me a photo and I will post on our Facebook page and on here, and  I will give my new Smartypants award for anyone completing a project 😀

We may be at home but we are not alone. Keep calm and stitch on.

Monday, 16 March 2020


Following on from the new measures introduced today by the Government, the Committee have agreed that we must shut our Branch down effectively immediately. This is for the foreseeable future until such time as it is safe to reopen. This applies to all workshops and lectures. Regional Day is postponed. Please bear with us as there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to sort things out. we will post updates as we have them. The safety of our members and visitors is our paramount concern at this time. Please stay safe and well and we hope to see you when we can.
Elise Stewart - Branch Chair.


Saturday, 7 March 2020

Additional liz cooksey photos

This was one of the best workshops ever. Brilliant day was had by all . here are some additional photos. Although some  not finished they still looked lovely . The first few pieces were Liz's. The rest were made by the group. Liz was so generous providing us with everything we needed. Its amazing what you can do with bits of paper and fabric and wire. It was inspirational.
Beautiful inspirational work by liz

great pictures

A lovely inspirational piece

These collection boxes were lovely

Followed by our work.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Liz Cooksey Stories in the round

We had a great day with Liz, who was most instructive and generous with her ideas and tuition.

We were shown many techniques using wire, fabric, paper to create the many different elements in order to design our own piece.

Liz had also prepared a small kit of wire shapes, all wrapped up in tissue, in order for us to get straight into the making, it was like Christmas again. 

And so we got to work and many different items were created with Liz helping us all along the way.

In the afternoon Liz showed how we might compose our pieces and many ways of holding them together in order to display them.

Again Liz was on hand to show us any further ideas as needed by individuals.

The results speak for themselves.

Everyone had a great day and it is hoped Liz can return in the future. Many thanks to Liz Cooksey all round.

(words and images thanks to Roberta) 

Monday, 10 February 2020

Suzette Smart - Textile books workshop

In January Suzette Smart did a return visit to help us make the gorgeous fabric books we saw in her lecture. She started with showing us how to paint bondaweb to give us some interesting shapes to work with.

Someone got a bit carried away during the drying process! 

The next step was to paint "dabs" to make a tree shape and to tear our first shapes up to make them more interesting. 

Smartie pants prize to Saskia who got this piece finished in time for the Feb lecture!

Cutting up calico to make the book base 

Lots of design work going on 

Keeping your cool when your machine has a hissy fit for no reason!
 Lots of concentration - people were so quiet!

 There was the option to machine or hand stitch over the bondaweb shapes.

 Suzette showed us how to make a tree or some thistles with an easy technique

Then adding stitch

 Suzettes work showing how you can add a pocket or text

 Scraps of fabric work well too - most didnt have time to do this on the day

Saskia's with stitch added
 I have worked with Suzette before so she helped me with a more complicated technique using gesso bondaweb and ink. (no that is not a "dead spider" but some lace edging dipped in ink)
 Just bondaweb and stitch can be amazingly effective

Margarets front page

Adding photo

love this piece with just the bondaweb - doesn't it make you itch to stitch it?

 Collaboration is always good. Lorraine making artful use of my left over "dog chewed edging" (it was washed!)

 Janet did her own unique thing
 With her usual colour palette (i spy a cheeky green in there)

building up the detail
Thistles with bondaweb and stitch

 Adding some pieces of fabric

It was a fabulose day and Suzette was a great teacher. She is leading our residential next year (2021) using a refresher of these techniques, adding some more and making a bird house or a box. Lots for everyone to get stuck into and looks to be a whole load of fun!