10 October 2017

At our meeting on 2nd October Sarah Rakestraw from Golden Hinde brought a wide range of their supplies as well as lots of examples of goldwork done by her mother Sue and some of their students.

Sarah and chairman Sue 

Sarah told us about her business and how it grew from just a small supplier of goldwork items into the large array of goodies she had with her.

Sarah showed us some beautiful pieces and explained the stitches and techniques used.

Goldwork is not just used for ceremonial occasions but is used in a more contemporary way, but using the traditional techniques.  

We all enjoyed looking at all the pieces Sarah had brought with her and looking at the range of beginners kits we can choose from when she comes to the group on 24th February to do a workshop with us.  I'm sure it will be a super day.

4 October 2017

First Meeting of the New Branch Year

September saw us getting together for our AGM, the first meeting of our new Branch year.  It was good to see everyone after our Summer break and there was much to discuss as I am stepping down from the post of secretary after holding this position since the Branch began in 2011.  So there will be some changes, with a new 'blogger' (Dianne) taking over from me and a new voice for the Newsletter (Val), as well as others taking on various duties.

Kathryn had finished putting together the long-awaited table fall for us to use on special occasions.  Members had made embroidered squares depicting local scenes.  It looked great and we all gave Kathryn a big thank you for her hard work.  It will be good to have it to show off members' talents at exhibitions and other occasions.

Then I was overwhelmed to be presented with not one, not two, but three gifts,   First came a magnificent orchid with four stems -

then a voucher entitling me to a study day at Gawthorpe Hall to view items from the Gawthorpe Textiles Reserve Collection.  I hope to take this gift up some time in the Spring.  My embroidery mojo has been lacking of late, so I hope this will inspire me to take up needle and thread again.  

And as if that was not enough, I was given a parcel containing a lovely scarf, covered in cats - just right for me!  Last but not least a card signed by all our members, which I shall treasure for the many lovely comments it contained.

Then it was time for me to make some personal presentation of my own.  First was to Kathryn who, when she was Chairman of the NW Region, dreamed us into being.  Since that first idea and our beginnings in the stable block at Gawthorpe she has been by our side as, firstly, Treasurer then as Programme Secretary.  We are so lucky she stayed on as a member of the Branch and I have really appreciated her support.  She is such a lively presence and has made such a generous contribution, running workshops and talks for us at more than a bargain price!

Thank you Kathryn, a present from me!
Then I had great pleasure in presenting Val with a small gift to say thank you for all her support of the Branch as our first Chairman, then our Area 2 representative and currently a Chairman of the NW Region - but mainly for the support she has given me personally, both in the Branch and as a friend.  

I think I can safely say she was delighted - coincidentally this gift set of mugs and a tray decorated with cats was something she had recently bought for a friend because she liked it so much, so she was very pleased to find she had a set of her own! 

Well, this is my last blog before I hand over to Dianne, although I expect I shall be allowed to make a guest appearance from time to time.  Thank you for supporting our website and keep reading!  J.

8 August 2017

National Stitch Day 5th August 2017

Pendle Branch were invited to hold their National Stitch Day celebration at Towneley Hall in Burnley again this year.

Wedding car at the magnificent main entrance.
Not in the magnificent surroundings of The Great Hall this year, as there was a wedding party in the Hall, but a smaller room off the visitors' entrance and gift shop.  This turned out to be a good spot for attracting visitors, so all was well.  We were made very welcome with chairs and tables with fitted cloths set out for us.

The new Pendle banner came into its own to tell everyone who we are and there was a steady stream of visitors taking time to stop and chat and admire the work.

Eileen and Patricia answer the questions of some young visitors.

This year's theme was Butterflies.  Sue S's area, with bought butterfly and her lime green padded pebble enhanced with threads to add a rustic feel. The orange fabric is nearly ready for cutting out round the wired wings; on the pebble is a gold winged butterfly with glitter spots.  She has a blue one to start and the three will sit in/on the surface of the pebble when she has decorated each butterfly further.

Sue B and Christine working on their butterflies

Pamela at work on her piece. She had made a Lino cut and printed two designs onto fine pale pink fabric; she gave a few to visitors. She's working her design in pale turquoise.
Eileen's beautifully worked butterfly; her weaving is so neat and colouring wonderful.
She has been "hooked" on butterflies for weeks!

A busy but enjoyable day was had by all - well done ladies!  And thanks to Val and Sue for the photographs. J

29 July 2017

Dyeing at Parbold

Lesley and Alison had an enjoyable visit to one of our sister branches, Parbold, for a Dyeing workshop and Lesley sent these scrumptious pictures of their beautiful efforts.

The failures, but the ties dyed very well!

I dried the skeins open .. they dried quickly then I twisted it afterwards.
The pre-rinse pots.

A feast for the eyes!


16 July 2017

Summer Social

Had a brilliant day at our Summer social earlier this month.  Another delicious buffet (thank you Lord Sainsbury!) with extra strawberries and Kathryn's delicious vanilla mold.

There was a good display of entries for our Summer Bell Trophy competition "Land and Sea", and it was won by Carole.  The winner was in a dead heat with Patricia's lovely little picture, but a second ballot confirmed her win.

Sue congratulates Carole on her win.

The "upside-down raffle", organized by Kathryn, was next.

A tempting display of mystery parcels!
Lesley looks delighted with her pick - but will she be able to keep it?

Christine commits Sue T's prize to memory, just in case!

Shall I or shan't I - yes I think I will!

With the "upside-down" raffle decided to most people's satisfaction - on to the Rainbow raffle, with was won by Lesley, Alison and our visitor, Jennifer.  Alison was also the lucky winner of a beautiful embroidery book kindly donated by Sue S.

Our final pleasure was to present Jenny with a chrysanthemum plant as our 'helpful member'.  Jenny is a relatively new member, but has been a helpful and cheerful presence since the first so we were very happy to recognize her.

Finally, Eileen gave a very nice little speech to thank the committee for organizing such a lovely social occasion.

Now we are on holiday until September, when it all begins again.  Happy Summer everyone.  J

20 June 2017

Calico Gardens

A beautiful piece of stumpwork by Angie Burt

Calico Gardens was the theme of our workshop last Saturday with Angie Burt.  We were a select group of ten so it was a lovely relaxing day in good company.  Angie was so generous with her help and encouragement, as well as being a pleasure to be with.

Angie had brought a large selection of her exquisite pieces with her to encourage us, including this superb little box with a different scene on each face and an adorable mole emerging from the lid!

Angie in full flow!
A picture of concentration!

Work in progress
 We all made good progress and I don't think mine will turn into a UFO (unfinished object) this time as projects so often do!

All in all a lovely day. J.

16 June 2017

Two meetings with a Japanese flavour

Our last two meetings, in May and June, turned out to have some slight connection.  In May we were entertained by Katie Chaplin's interesting and informative talk on Mottainai.  This word expresses the concept of regret at waste and showed how clothing and other household textiles have been repaired and patched over the years until the original garment has practically become something completely different.  Her talk was illustrated by superb photographs of patched and darned kimonos, work trousers and quilts - turning them into objects of almost abstract art, with blocks of colour and pattern and beautiful darning stitch patterns.  She finished her talk with a demonstration of Furoshiki - the art of wrapping items in silk squares.  The same lovely square of silk was employed to wrap a gift, wrap some school books, carry home the shopping and, my favourite, carry two bottles of wine.  A most entertaining afternoon.

Then in June Harriet Lawton came along to talk to us about the Cataloguing Padiham project she became involved with at Gawthorpe last year.  She detailed her work from college to the present day with a series of interesting slides.  I said these two talks were loosely connected - well, her degree work was inspired by Kintsugi which is the ancient Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery using seams of gold powder mixed with resin or lacquer.  Their view is that a break is part of the object's history and its beauty is enhanced rather than diminished by its imperfection.  Harriet achieved this effect in stitch by encapsulating the broken object in fine fabric with gold stitching along the breaks.

From these beginnings she went on to explore water-jet collage where patterns and motifs are cut from the ceramic piece, and also using silk screen printing to make a whole new ceramic facsimile.  In this way she has made "memento" pieces to celebrate special events.

A memento piece - it looks so "real" it startles you to pick it up and feel it is feather-light!
Since graduating Harriet has been involved with a number of large scale exhibitions and displays.

The Cataloguing Padiham project Harriet undertook in conjunction with Gawthorpe Hall collected memories and impressions of Padiham from members of the public, which were written on labels and displayed at the Hall in 2016 ..........................

........... and this in turn has led to a collaboration with the Council in a plan to enhance the public environment in Padiham's streets.

Harriet, top right, talking to our members about her work
Thanks to Val and Sue for the photographs.  J