Monday, September 10, 2012

North West Region Summer School

Several of our members attended Summer School in July at Alston Hall.

Kathryn, Barbara and Mary attended Janet Browne's course. They began by making a stitched sample of their houses and then progressed to designing and stitched a map of an area of their choice.  They really enjoyed the course and produced some really lovely pieces.   These are ‘work in progress’ so hopefully we will get to see the finished pieces.


Val, Seonaid, Judith, Jacqui and Ann all attended Sheila Smith’s course on Nuno felting. We also had a great time and really enjoyed making felt.  These are just a few samples to show the sort of pieces that we produced.

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felt19       P1160578

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Strawberry Tea

We had a very enjoyable evening at our Strawberry Tea. Not only did we we have our usual scrumptious eats (Strawberries, Scones, Meringues, Butter Tarts, Vanilla Terrine and more) but we also had our visit from Tracy Gill.  Tracy is the Learning Officer for the Rachel Kay Shuttleworth Collection at Gawthorpe Hall.

Tracy brought a superb range of lace samples from the collection to show us. She spoke briefly about each piece and explained the Inspired 2012 project that some of our members are planning to take part in. She wanted to give us plenty of time to take a close look at the pieces and to take photographs of any that we would like to use as inspiration for our pieces. 

We are not allowed to show any of the images of the pieces on show and can only use the photographs that we took for our own personal use for the project.  Hopefully we will be able to show photographs later in the year of the pieces that our members have produced.
We felt very privileged to be able to look at the pieces on display. 

We had a good turn out of members for the evening and some visitors as well.   We do hope that they enjoyed the evening and plan to visit us again very soon.

Anne Burrow is our speaker at our next meeting on July 30th speaking about ‘ Family Connections Through Textiles’ – knowing Anne it will be a very interesting talk. 


Tracy Gill from Gawthope Hall was planned to come to talk to us about the RKS (Rachel Kay Shuttleworth Project) and show us slides and lace pieces from the collection. Unfortunately she couldn’t make it that night so she sent me  a slide show presentation and some images to introduce the project and give everyone some idea of what we should have seen. This was a little taster for a future visit that was arranged for our Strawberry Tea in July.

At our Stitch and Chat night we made brooches using pieces of tartan that I had purchased from Loch Carron Weavers when I was on holiday in Scotland in May. They were very simple in construction, quick and easy and lots of fun. They certainly kept everyone very busy.

          brooches1   brooches5
 brooches2    brooches3
  brooches4      brooches6

May/ June Blackwork & Boutis

Our workshop planned for May doing Blackwork with Liz Almond had to be cancelled due to a shortage of  members available for the date planned. We do, however hope to sort out a date in the coming months when Liz can come to the workshop with us.
Liz had given us a talk in March and brought an amazing selection of pieces of her work to show us. What a talented lady.
Take a look at Liz’s website.     


In May Marie Lewis came to give a talk on Boutis. I was on holiday in Scotland and had to miss her talk. The members were much enthused by the pieces that Marie brought and found her talk very interesting.  Marie came back in June to do a workshop for us.   We al found it a very relaxing technique and had a really enjoyable day with Marie.


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Icing on the Cake

What a wonderful meeting we had on Saturday, April 21st with our guest speaker Maggie Grey.  ( do visit Maggie’s blog )

What a lovely lady who charmed and ‘WoW’ed us all with her talk  ‘Mixed Media for Stitch’.   Maggie brought an amazing collection of pieces of her work and was more than happy for us to pick them up and look very closely at them.   She talked us through numerous techniques to demonstrate how many of the textures and effects had been created and introduced us to many products that we may have heard of but never actually used. I am sue that many of us couldn’t wait to get home to start using the materials that we have put away somewhere that we bought at a show because we had seen it being used but them promptly confined it to a cupboard never to see light of day again!

I for one am going to start using the Kozo paper that has been lingering in a box for a couple of years and I am definitely going to be purchasing some soluble paper! I am also on the hunt now for a pasta machine and I am no doubt as our chairman said in her vote of thanks to Maggie that Ebay will have been very busy this weekend with people from our Region all trying to buy one!
What an inspiration Maggie is.

By good fortune Maggie’s new book has just arrived this week and we were able to clear her out of the stock that she brought with her.

In total we had about 50 people at the meeting, a good number of our own members and members from many branches in close proximity to Blackpool.  The whole place was buzzing. We serve tea and cakes and no one seemed in any kind of hurry to leave once Maggie had finished her talk.
We were also joined by Christine Poole, Chairman of the Guild.
I for one won’t forget the lovely time we had with Maggie and her able assistant  Clive.  What a treasure he is. He did a great job working the slideshow from the laptop and then selling books.
I almost forgot to say that Maggie managed all of this with a lovely smile on her face the whole time despite her right hand still being in pain and out of action. She handled it all brilliantly. A big thank you Maggie from all of us.

National AGM

The National AGM too place at the Southport Convention Centre at the end of March. Several of our members attended and we were delighted to see all of the postcards for ‘The Sporting Nations of the World’.  They were an awesome sight.

The AGM meeting was led very professionally by our two new presidents Jan Beany and Jean Littlejohn.

During this part of the day our own Kathryn Thompson was presented with an award by Jan Beany.

This was an acknowledgement for her all her hard work not only for the North West Region but also for organising the AGM. A well deserved award.  Well done Kathryn.

The raffle prizes were handmade bags filled with lots of goodies, just like our bags on Regional Day last year.

The afternoon speakers were excellent. Linda Barton was the first speaker ‘Spinning a Golden Yarn’ her account of the history of the Stephen Simpsons Goldwork  Company that used to be in Preston. She was most informative and very amusing.
The second Speaker was Bridget Guest who spoke about the Quaker Tapestry. Also  a very interesting, informative and amusing speaker.

I am sure that I speak for our members and say that it all went very well and was thoroughly enjoyable. I only went on the Saturday but I am reliably told that the Friday was also very enjoyable too!

Just a selection of postcards – there were too many boards and some were very difficult to photograph because of the space and the angle. Ours our there – can you spot them?

pc1  pc2
pc3      pc4
       pc5         pc6

Liz Almond–Blackwork

In March our speaker was Liz Almond who brought the most stunning display of Blackwork with her.  She told us all about her very interesting and inspiring ‘Blackwork Journey’   You can read much more about it here

She talked us through many of her pieces and handed them round for us to look at more closely. We learnt a lot about her sources of inspiration and the influences that brought her work to where it is today.  We were hoping to have a workshop in May with Liz but we are having to re-schedule as not enough members will be available to the date booked.   Hopefully she will be back with us in the very near future.

What a very talented and prolific lady she is!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Textiles of the Philippines

At our first meeting in February, Judith Rigg, one of our own members, talked to us about her time spent in the Philippines. She showed us some very interesting images of the country side as well as the more well known places such as Manilla, Banaue and Vigan.

The mode of transport used for touring the island was most intriguing and amusing – the Jeepney!

Highly decorated jeeps converted into buses.

We really got a good insight into life in Philippines. Judith showed us images of the countryside , the beaches and the towns and some of the difficulties encountered when travelling from place to place!
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Vigan 12river 05

She talked about the traditional clothing still worn on a regular basis, shopping and general aspects of the culture and way of life.

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She brought with her several interesting woven textiles that she collected whilst she was there as well as some embroidered pieces and other artefacts. She also talked about how the fabrics were dyed and woven.
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Vigan 15Vigan 14

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