19 April 2017

Book Review

This week I thought I'd have a treat (instead of chocolate) and look at a book I bought recently. It has been advertised on both 'sewing corner’ shopping channel and in Stitch magazine but I managed to get it for a cheaper price from 'The Book People'.

I bought the book because I am interested in the American craft of 'penny mats’.  This craft is an interesting way of using scraps from clothing and I have visions of cushion covers made with the woollen cardies etc I accidentally felt on a regular basis!

The book is colourful and interesting; all the pictures and diagrams are clear and the text is interspaced with some funny (and profound) sayings. There are interesting sections about how to develop different stitches, textures and techniques to take you beyond their conventional use. I particularly like the way the author talks to you from the pages and explains the methods and techniques she used. I laughed out loud at her advice about purchasing an embellisher - you’ll have to read it to find out! At the back of the book there is the usual guide to stitches and some templates both of which are again very clear.

All in all I think it is one of the books that is well worth the money…….and you can’t always say that!!   Sue T.

9 April 2017

The Corset Unlaced

This was the title of our speaker's talk last Monday - intriguing!  Gillian Roberts brought a selection of her beautiful creations for us to admire and gave a fascinating and often hilarious slide-show of the history of corsets, from almost unbelievable metal corsets through wire and whale-bone to rubber and on to the outerwear glamour corsets of today.  There was a so-called "pretty" corset, just right for your maid-servant to wear for doing the housework!  And horrible medical images of the damage that "tight-lacing" could do to the internal organs.  Even without employing tight-lacing, it is little wonder that young ladies were prone to swooning and there was always a bottle of sal volatile in their reticule to revive them!  I am glad to live in an era when we can "let it all hang out" if we want to.

Gill makes beautiful dresses with embroidered corsets for brides and special-occasion wear.  My pictures do not do them justice so to see more have a look at her website www.belladonna-roses.co.uk .  The professional photograph show her exquisite embroidery to perfection.  J

More Mini-masterpieces

Promised some more of our Mini-masterpieces - so here they are!

Don't they look good on their tiny easels!   J

19 March 2017

Collages and Wire Sculptures

Artist Priscilla Jones paid us a visit at our last meeting to talk to us about her delicate collages and wire sculptures of domestic items.  There was a slight delay while the technology got sorted out, but luckily we had Sue B on hand to work it all out and we enjoyed slide presentation of Priscilla's work from the beginning of her degree course work, through its development to the work she is best known for today.

Priscilla started to work studying items of clothing and has created a lot of fascinating artwork using gloves.  She spent hours trawling through charity shops and amassed a huge collection of gloves for her work.


Priscilla's work is still evolving, but we know her best for her domestic collages of the equipment for afternoon tea!  They use layers of paper, cloth, paint and gesso to achieve their delicate effects.  She also became interested in 3D wire sculptures of tea pots, cups, spoons etc. as well as birds.  She uses cake decoration wire and attached fabric with beeswax, which sinks into the paper covering of the wire.

Priscilla Jones with some of her work.

A most enjoyable meeting. J

5 March 2017

Fabulous Workshop

Nikki Parmenter made a welcome return to Pendle in February to run a Fabulous Fish workshop, which certainly lived up to its name.  I didn't attend, but went along in the afternoon to be greeted by an roomful of enthusiastic and smiling embroiderers, proudly displaying their fabulous sea creatures (and a butterfly!!)  Many thanks to Sue S and Sue T who documented the day for me. J

Some of Nikki's samples - this is what you have to aim for ladies!

Now for Pendle's turn...

 Scraps of fabric under net being fused together with soldiering iron, before being cut into fish outline.

A fish taking shape under Brenda's guiding hands.

Eileen's exciting colour scheme taking shape.

Fiona's subtle colour scheme for a seahorse.

Glen's flying fish on a creative background

 Alison & Louise proudly display their seahorses.                       Lesley having fun!

Two more fabulous fish.......................................... and a butterfly from Wendy!

15 February 2017

Teabag Miniatures

It was good to see everyone at our first meeting of 2017 - it seemed a very long time since our Christmas party so there was a lot to catch up on.  Just as well we decided to have a mini-workshop so there was plenty of time to chat.

Kathryn had arranged a session she called "What will you make of what you are given?" and came prepared with lots of odds and ends.  We each had a teabag (yes, you did read that correctly) which had been dried and mounted on some Bondaweb, and we were encouraged to make a miniature masterpiece to be displayed on a tiny easel.  Apparently sewing on teabags is A Thing!

I had hoped to photograph a mini art display, but it wasn't to be as we were so busy catching up with administration after our long break, but Sue T has send me a short comment and a picture of her own masterpiece.  Hopefully we can have a bigger display at the March meeting.

Mini masterpieces
Fab workshop yesterday ....quite a challenge to work on a teabag ! But everyone was very enthusiastic and produced amazing ' mini masterpieces'. There was quietness and concentration at first followed by much chatting and laughter as we shared our developing pieces. A big thank you to Kathryn who again produced an interesting workshop and shared her stash with such generosity. I would love to see inside her store. The mini easels were a treat and again a testament to Kathryn's detective skills. A great session 😊  Sue T.


8 December 2016

Christmas Social

Monday was our last meeting of the year, so we had a party.  Thanks to all our successful fundraising over the year we were able to treat our members to a buffet instead of our usual Jacob's Join, so no work involved!


We also had another Everyone for Themselves  raffle, which caused a lot of merriment and some groans.  Glen was briefly the delighted owner of a very nice decorated notebook, which I took from her and almost ruined a lovely friendship.  However, my own pleasure was very short-lived as a couple of moments later I lost it to Sue T. in return for a blue inspiration pack!  Another notebook must have changed hands five or six times before it settled on a final lucky owner.  Who thought up this fiendish idea?

What's she got?  And will she keep it?!
We then had a very entertaining talk and practical session from Stephen Watson, a self-confessed Origami Nerd.  He had brought a wonderful display of his work with him, some of which took your breath away.  An expensive looking necklace and earrings set turned out to be made from gold wrapping paper, and a very nice silver bangle from the inside of a crisp packet!  He talked about how origami has grown in recent years, after needing to be "rescued" by some enthusiasts like himself. Now it is used in all sorts of ways from architectural models to medical applications - even NASA has used origami to save space in satellites; once in orbit the solar panels open out from their neat folds into an enormous size.

Stephen's amazing paper creations on display

We made a box, a (very loud) cracker which really got our attention, and a place-name decoration in the form of a shirt.  Then, by special request, Stephen showed the easy way to fold a t-shirt......I know, I know, it's a bit sad, but all us women were enthralled and ironing chores just got a lot easier.

We ended with the raffle draw, and a new venture - two bursaries of £50 were drawn and the lucky winners will have to spend their prize on some kind of embroidery-related activity or project and give us a Show and Tell next Christmas.  Sue S was one winner and Glen was the other, so I think she has now forgiven and forgotten her lost notebook.

Our final delightful task was to present Sue B. with a cyclamen plant to thank her for her contributions to the life of the Branch since she joined us this year.  She has been so helpful and has attended every one of the Gawthorpe stitching days, as well as the National Stitch Day at
Towneley Hall.

So, now for a break - see you in 2017!


Thanks to Sue S for additional photos.