Sunday, June 23, 2013

June - Stitch Night

The first meeting this month was a practical evening.  These are nice relaxing evenings and give members a chance to share what they are doing with each other, seek out advice when needed and spend time getting to know everyone.

We are now rapidly approaching our Summer exhibition at the North Pier Theatre in Blackpool and it is great to be able to see what work is being produced. Much of it is work in progress but it already looks like we will have a lot of superb pieces on display under our theme of ‘Time for Tea’



May began with a very successful workshop run by Liliane Taylor.

Liliane came to talk to us last year and it was evident that members very keen for her to do a workshop for us. This year we will be holding a joint exhibition with Lytham St Annes Branch at The North Pier Theatre, Blackpool and our branch theme is ‘Time for Tea’.

Liliane’s work lends itself perfectly to our theme and she named it ‘Everything Stops for Tea’. Sadly I missed the workshop as I was in Scotland on holiday. It was a very enjoyable and successful day. Several of our newer members who has never done anything like the techniques taught on the day were delighted with the workshop and the what they had produced.

These are two pieces produced at the workshop. There are more but as yet I haven’t managed to photograph them.



The Barrett Counterpane

At the end of the month (Bank Holiday Monday) we had Julian Abraham come to talk to us about the Barrett Counterpane. This is housed at the Quaker Tapestry Museum in Kendal. Julian is a researcher, writer and freelance curator. He has been associated with the Tapestry Centre for some years.

His talk was very interesting and illuminating into the history of the individual and and embroidered squares that make up the counterpane. He is currently writing a book about the counterpane. Most interesting were the clues and evidence that Julian has researched and explained about each embroidered square. The background to some is still ‘work in progress’.

Unfortunately not many members were present at the meeting, probably because it was  Spring Bank Holiday. They really missed a treat!


Nikki Parmenter came to talk to us this month.  She brought some astonishing work with her.   She is an artist and teachers and uses a wide variety of mixed media techniques to produce vibrant and intensely details pieces.

She uses symbolism and methodology of ancient and modern cultures as her sources of inspiration. Her most recent themes being Mandalas and The Same Sky.

She passed pieces of work round for close inspection and amazed us all by the amount and the enormity of some pieces that she had created as well as being a full time teacher and running a family.




This month we held our biennial Spring Clean. This was a very successful evening.  Everyone attending brought wrapped goodies to sell and items that they no longer needed.

One of the features of our Spring Clean is that any items not sold by the end of the evening must be retrieved by the person who donated them and taken home again. Suffice it say there was not much that had to be re-claimed by the end of the evening.

It always feels good to have opportunity to clear out unwanted items that could be very useful to someone else. The downside is that you each go home with as much if not more than you came with!! Hey Ho! 

Our speaker this month was Alice Colson. 
Unfortunately I missed this very interesting talk.  Alice designs fabrics and trimmings for interiors. Alice’s work was spotted at her BA (Hons) degree show at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.  An interesting feature of her work was the use of a Kay’s Practical Embroiderer.  These are very difficult to get hold of now but she has developed a very modern method of using them. 

Quite co-incidentally one of our members had one of these and discovered that the lady who created them had lived in a house just around the corner from the studio where our branch meets.

Alice’s work is well worth a look at.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Our speaker at the end of February was Christine Driver from Empress Mills. I had already heard Christine’s talk at Padiham’s branch meeting and enjoyed it even more the second time around.

Empress Mills is a family run firm and has been in existence for over 80 years producing yarns and threads. They are in Colne, Lancashire.

Christine had all laughing throughout the talk. She comes to the talk ably support by her son Charles and nephew William. They do all the heavy work bringing in an amazing range of threads and fabrics for us to look at closely. These are explained in great detail and passed round for close inspection.  It is a great treat to have a shop for the night at our meeting especially on a cold, dark winter’s day. A bit of retail therapy – did us all the world of good!!