Friday, 29 May 2009


13 June 2009

We will again hold a morning session from 11.30 where you can continue with your Buttie Boxes and trinkets, your Encaustic Waxed fabrics or your Rainbow Squares.  Help will be on hand for those who need it.

Our afternoon speaker is June Corner whose talk is titled "Curiosity Corner"
June is an avid collector with a multitude of interests and previously entertained us with a talk about her collection of old-fashioned underwear.
This time she will be talking about "Items we used to use many years ago - and in many cases thankfully!"

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Well I did promise you some more Encaustic pieces and here they are from our second workshop day with Sue Tyldesley – some members who had attended the first day returned for another go and some new ones.  Don’t think you will spot the difference, but I think I improved a bit though I still need to practice!!
Titles courtesy of me, so apologies to those of you who do not agree but they were what was discussed  on the day when we looked at everyone’s work and what we all saw in them, though some were not the actual intention of the maker!!

‘Unintended Fish’ by Marjorie Williams.Audrey
‘Green Landscape’ by Audrey Gore.Kathleen
A wonderful ‘Winter Scene’ by Kathleen Slinger.Sue Chisnall
‘Fantasy Landscape’ by Sue Chisnall.Brenda M
‘Tree Roots’ by Brenda Milligan
‘Abstract Pathway’ by Tracey Ramsey Ann B
‘Sea Horses’ by Anne BaldwinBrenda J
’Field Flowers’ by Brenda Jackson

How about a vote for your favourite, or perhaps you can come up with alternative titles – just use the ‘Comments’ button.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


This month’s meeting was a talk by Magie Relph on African Indigo Dyed fabrics. She brought with her a wonderful array of pieces which demonstrated the many techniques and these were admired greatly by the members who later spent some time purchasing items from her shop!
We now look forward to seeing some of the things made from all these fabrics, beads and braids ladies – remember they are not for stashing away in your ever growing pile of goodies, they are for using, so do let us see what you make and we will show the finished items on the blog – sometime in the not too distant future we hope!!

Magie gave us an outline to the history of Indigo which comes from a plant that is native to every continent apart from Australia and Antarctica.
We of course used WOAD many years ago, but we were told that there is a thin stick of an Indigo plant with a few leaves, growing in Yorkshire (Magie’s garden) and quite a bit more in the garden of a friend in Macclesfield. She hopes that in years to come she might have enough to produce her own dye!!

Magie had researched the history of Indigo which went back to well before Egyptian times and was prized by Pharoahs and Kings.
The solid blocks of dye were brought back to Europe by the pre-industrial revolution trading companies before synthetic Indigo was put on the market in 1897. It was even purer than the plant dye.
It became the dye of the working people (blue collar workers) and was used to dye the denim for Jeans.

Magie showed some fascinating slides and then demonstrated the African process of tie-dyeing a ‘Sunburst’ pattern – first you take your shoes off and sit on the floor (could be difficult for some).

IMG_0567a Then you put your heel into the point of a square of damp cloth, folded into four.

IMG_0568a Then holding the fabric in your left hand, about half way down the fabric, you pull small folds from the right to the left side – with me so far??

IMG_0570a Then removing your heel from the point you use a piece of thread to tie up towards the point, from the bottom of the folded area.
When that has been done you scrunch up the remaining fabric and tie at random with more thread.

IMG_0571a If you have followed that, the resulting piece will look like this!!

IMG_0569a After dyeing and drying – opening up is the fun part when you discover how well you followed these instructions. Magie had dyed this piece in an almost spent vat of dye to give this resulting pale finish.

Such an exciting talk that 5 members have decided to do one of her workshops this summer. There may be photo’s later.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


This annual event was held  on April 26th, organised jointly by the Cumberland and Keswick branches,  at Rheged near Penrith – a wonderful venue with lots to see as well as the two branch exhibitions; two competition displays; traders tables and space for lunch – all on the top floor.  Congratulations must go to these two branches for a great choice of venue and smooth running of the event.

We also had two excellent speakers – in the morning Shirley McKeand entertained and amused us with her down to earth observations from first hand experience of training and working in haute couture in London.  Shirley was immaculately turned out as always in one of her own ‘creations’ – an example to us all!

The afternoon speaker was Maggie Grey, well known for the books she has written under her own name and with the late Val Campbell Harding.  She enthralled us all with an excellent slide show (aided and abetted by her husband), and again a very down to earth approach in her talk. 
A wonderful display of her very innovative work was on show for us to see at first hand what she does.  Very inspiring, making a lot of us want to go home and try out some of her techniques straight away – but I’m sure that like me, most of us went home to cook the tea!! 

There are always two competitions held at Region Day – one following a theme chosen by members – this year ‘Myths and Legends’ and  judged by the members who attend.  Unfortunately no-one from the branch won a prize in this category.

The second competition is the Coats Anchor Open competition for a piece of work completed in the previous two years, following a subject of the members choice and their own design.

I was thrilled to get the third prize for my piece  in this category, entitled ’Recycling Grandma’s Linen Chest’ – based on three generations of stitching in my family and using a collection of old, worn, torn, damaged, and faded tablecloths, bed linen, lace, curtains etc., to create a 4ft x 8” wide hanging.  (Sorry can’t do metric, which somewhat gives my age away!!)  The whole piece and a detail are shown below.
I won a very nice bag of Coats Anchor threads.


I have belonged to the branch for almost 9 years and in that time I know that several members have won prizes in both these competitions, but this year we only had two members who entered, so it would be great next year to see a few more entries – the themed competition is ‘Buildings and Architecture’ so why not have a go?  Remember it’s not the winning (though that is very nice) but the taking part!!

Sunday, 3 May 2009


Last year the Branch produced a whole rainbow of coloured squares  based on Wild Flowers, and these were shown at the North West Region AGM in Preston last October to launch the project for the Region. 
Below you can see everyone choosing their favourite colour and the completed set of 116 squares is shown in our Blog header above.

D81 E130 LS

This year we have no choice in colours as every branch had a randomly chosen colour and ours was GREEN. This has inspired ‘The Rain Forest’ as our topic and we are getting some really good completed squares being handed in already.  A few are shown below.

Parbold 011   Parbold 014
Pat Bean                                                   Sue ChisnallParbold 015  Parbold 016
Sandra Kedzlie                                        John Clark

Gill Porter     
More will be shown as they come in.