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.

9 November 2016

"Corners" session

On Monday last we held a "Corners" session.  It was a lovely occasion, with plenty of time to chat, learn a new idea or skill or just perfect a stitch.  Unfortunately the photographers in the group were busy running their own "corner", so there is no visual record.  Patricia was demonstrating various methods of couching, Sue S. making decorative "spider web" wheels, Eileen J. exploring lazy daisy stitch and I was showing all sorts of knot stitches.

We welcomed two new members and a visitor; a good meeting for getting to know us.

Susan had a table of books and embroidery kits for sale - sadly, a friend had died of breast cancer and her husband requested that her embroidery collection be offered for and a donation sent to Christies.  We were happy to have contributed £85 to this good cause.

The next meeting is our members' Christmas party, which should be a lot of fun.  There will be photographs next time!  J.

25 October 2016

Zodiac Day at Gawthorpe

Patricia and her group of volunteers were at Gawthorpe Hall again this month, stitching in the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth's Library.  Jenny Waterson, Learning Curator of the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Collection, and one of the House's volunteers sewed alongside them this time.

It was a fine day and there were lots of people visiting the Hall and most seemed to find their way into the Library. They showed lot of interest in their presence and the work to hand and many stayed to join in.  Patricia had prepared Zodiac Signs to be stitched with simple embroidery stitches.  The room was a buzz of conversation and busy fingers.  It was most encouraging for both Jenny and the Pendle members and everyone agreed it was a most enjoyable afternoon.

You can learn more about the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Collection at their website www.gawthorpetextiles.org.uk       J

6 October 2016

Fantastic Creatures

Wow!  Nikki Parmenter visited Pendle Branch on Monday to talk about her wonderful creations - fantastic is the only word for them!  No bling is too much for Nikki and what a wonderful effect it creates.  She not only raids the haberdashery stalls, but the DIY stores and novelty shops as well to use in her work.

This peacock has a base of chicken wire, bound and padded and then embellished with fused layers of organza, Funky Foam, sequins, beads.....anything goes.

Nikki holds her fabulous peacock
A gorgeous elephant sits alongside a Madonna

Nikki is an artist and much of her work features her drawings of classical mythology from Greece, India and Persia  as well as the Bible and more modern references, together with fabulous creatures of all sorts, which she transfers to acetate sheets and paints and cuts out to enhance to her work.

A hare and a butterfly alongside Nikki displaying a hanging 

Her themed hangings may contain related images from many sources and feature birds, animals, insects and flowers of all kinds.

Earth Mother Gaia with some of her creatures

The Owl shares a boat with the Pussycat in a sea hanging............

..... and an Egyptian queen floats among an abundance of water creatures

What a wonderful afternoon.  Nikki will be with us again for a workshop in February to share some of her secrets to making a Fabulous Fish - something to look forward to in the dark days of winter.   J

22 September 2016

Gardens of Gawthorpe Exhibition

We were back at Gawthorpe Hall last Friday for a private viewing of the exhibition Gardens of Gawthorpe.   This initiative by the Embroiderers' Guild involving local branches all over the country, marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot "Capability" Brown, Britain's most celebrated landscape gardener.  His "natural" landscapes, formed to enhance the grounds of some of our grandest "stately homes", often swept away whole villages, dammed rivers to make lakes etc., so although the end results are very beautiful, some people regard him as more of a vandal than a hero.

We have no examples of his gardens in the North West, so when Gawthorpe agreed to host an exhibition, their own gardens could be taken as inspiration if we wished, and the pieces are a mixture of embroideries based on his work and the grounds surrounding the Hall.

There were six branches from our area taking part, and a lot of  members came with guests to view the exhibition.  Tea, coffee and biscuits were provided on arrival and it was good to see old friends from other branches and meet new ones before we went into the Hall.

Admiring the work - (the man himself, bottom right on the left).

A big thank you to the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Collection and the National Trust for mounting this exhibition, which is a great showcase for the Embroiderers' Guild in general and our local branches in particular.  The exhibition continues until the 6th November when the Hall closes for the winter.  J

25 August 2016

Zodiac Embroidery at Gawthorpe

Last Saturday, 20th August, the second of our sewing events at Gawthorpe Hall took place, and the aim was to once again give people viewing the Hall a chance to see the Library and try their hand at embroidery, this time with Zodiac signs.

Pendle members Patricia, Val and Sue B. were on hand to demonstrate and encourage.  Unfortunately, no-one from the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Collection was available on this occasion, so it was not possible to have the Library open to the public, but all the same two keen sewers were able to come in and enjoy an afternoon of quiet stitching.

Photos by Val