Tuesday, 28 July 2009


The annual Regional summer school is always eagerly anticipated at Alston Hall in Longridge near Preston – a very comfortable residential college in lovely grounds with fantastic views across the Ribble Valley.  A central venue for the whole region with 42 members attending from as far afield as Carlisle to South Cheshire.

This year 6 of our members attended the 3 different courses on offer and as usual had a wonderful few days.
4 of us did the Printing Techniques course with Sue Chapman starting on the Thursday evening with dinner and finishing on Sunday with afternoon tea.  
1 member attended the ‘Flower Power’ course with Diane Bates  and 1 member attended the Hand Applique course with Lucy Smethurst.  These courses started on the Friday evening.

Needless to say, the food as usual was excellent – especially now with the new chef – some really great imaginative food.  Anyone would think we only go for the food – we don’t of course but it does help us to be extra creative!!!

Some pictures of work are attached – just hope I have the correct names for  all the pieces, but apologies if not.

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This is the start of a piece of Applique by Monica Selway – you don’t get a lot done very quickly if you want to make a good job of it  as it is such fine intricate work -  so we are looking forward to seeing a finished piece in some months time we hope.

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I think (and sincerely hope) that this piece belongs to Sue Tyldesley who attended the Flower Power course.  She wasn’t in the room when I took it, but I was assured it was hers!

The next pictures show some of the work done on the Printing Course – a tiring few days bent over print screens, cutting print blocks and experimenting with Procion printing.  We all went home with masses of work which will take us some time to turn into finished items I feel.

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This work was done by Pat Fisher - her designs were based on shapes in the funnel of a cruise ship.

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These pieces were created by Tracey Ramsey using a series of rubbing blocks to form the patterns.

My prints were on silk and old linen tablecloths which had previously had iron-on transfers applied many years ago by one of my family.   I foolishly promised Sue Chapman that I would make something from them to take to the Quilt Show in August – better get my skates on as I only have 4 weeks. 

Unfortunately Sue Abbott had to leave early so I hope to be able to show some of her pieces later, plus some of our finished work whenever that gets done!!

Sunday, 26 July 2009


This will be the last in the series of themed Hands-on sessions, this one based on SEASIDE POSTCARDS for Wakes Week – Blackpool and surrounding areas – the cards can be funny, cartoon, saucy, pictorial, seaside etc.
Keeping to the finished size of a postcard – they can have painted or printed backgrounds, be appliqued, quilted, machine or hand stitched, using Pelmet Vilene or some other form of stiffening.

Source information and materials will be available on the day.

The history of postcards is a fascinating one – started in Austria in 1869 and in Britain a year later they were at their peak of popularity before the First World War.
These cards are historically significant because they provide an insight into the social history of the world by depicting the fashions of the time, specific events including the First World War and the rise of industrialisation.

If you want to learn more before coming to the August meeting you can look up a lot of information and see a huge variety of cards on the internet.

The colour raffle for this month is AMBER


Pat Bean was another of our members who completed her City & Guilds course at Preston this year and she reports below -

I am originally from Yorkshire where I trained as a Home Economics /  Needlework teacher in Sheffield and moved to this area in 1968 to start work ,
I joined Parbold Embroidererers Guild 4 years ago after attending many short courses in as many  textile related areas as possible.  I realised  however that  I needed to learn some design techniques and so started the C& G courses at Preston  College.
I completed the Diploma in embroidery and textiles this year and my work was displayed in the college exhibition along with  other members of the Parbold Branch.

One of my pieces is an ivy branch with painted silk ruched through and layers of dyed kozo,  manipulated paper, 3D paint and beads.
This particular piece of work was chosen to be shown at the P.A.D. gallery in Preston ( The old post office next to the Harris Museum), which I had never heard of it until a month ago  and then found out that I had also won third prize .
They had displayed it as a mobile rather than the wall hanging  and I actually prefer this idea.     The inspiration for the work came from volcanic formations in New Zealand and the plants that grow in these inhospitable places.  However my garden is usually the main inspiration for my embroidery.
It  is really nice to have completed the course at college and to now have the time to develop the areas that I have really  enjoyed.

The pictures below were provided by Sue Chisnall.

This is Pat’s piece that won her a third prize at the P.A.D. Gallery.

A hat for Ascot perhaps!  Perhaps you could wear it to the next meeting Pat?


As you can see some lovely work from Pat and we now look forward to the first exhibition of the new group the students will be forming called ‘Natural Progression’.
Good luck to them all.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Update photo's from the Indigo day

As promised, I now have the photographs taken on the day by Karen Hurrell -

Stitching in some stones, beads, buttons etc. before dyeing; these will form the patterns in the dyed fabrics.

Sue Abbott mixing up the dye - helped by Magie

Don't recognise who this is, though it could be one of our 3 Sues(!)
She is obviously dyeing some fabric - with more drying on the washing line.

A very hot day as you can see, but very productive.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009


As reported in an earlier blog, 5 of our members attended a dyeing day with Magie at her home in Meltham, earlier this month and Sue Tyldesley reports -

On a beautiful hot day in July we set off in search of the Indigo dyeing workshop.We decided to find our own way off the motorway , but soon discovered things were not that simple...there are a series of parallel valleys with no links between!   We had a very attractive but rather long adventure through narrow lanes and round sharp corners but eventually found someone who could tell us the way and arrived 30 mins late !   Magie was very understanding and ran the whole day late for us.

The morning was spent looking at Magie's samples and then preparing our own.
I enjoyed working in the garden in the sunshine -folding material with my feet and tying plaits , pleats and other patterns.
Just before lunch we made our own individual indigo vat-a bit smelly and we used synthetic indigo, as indigo is one of the few products where the synthetic is exactly the same as the natural. We spent the afternoon dyeing our samples and taking great delight watching them turn from yellow through green to blue. Quite exciting to see what turned out and we were all very pleased.  I dyed some silk chiffon and fleece for felting as well as cotton and silk and bone beads.   I brought my vat home but unfortunately it was exhausted by the time I got home -just like me !

Magie was a wonderful host and teacher , made us feel very welcome and was very patient.   Her stock of African fabric and other items was also a delight to see.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would recommend it.
I've made the dyed pieces from an old  cotton blouse into a bag  and still have  the silk chiffon and fleece to experiment with.

Sue’s old cotton blouse with a stitched pattern of butterflies which she dyed in the vat  and has now made into a bag – you should never throw anything away!!!

A wonderful ‘Sunburst’ by Sue Abbott

Karen Hurrell told me that it took her ages to stitch this pattern before dyeing, but well worth the effort.

Tracey Ramsey’s collection of fabrics and some felt balls made from dyed fleece.

Sue Chisnall’s collection of dyed fabrics and threads.

I was very disappointed not to be able to go, but my husband had just had a knee replacement operation and needed to be transported to his physio class that day – so hopefully I can go next year when Magie will be running more workshop days.

We are now expecting great things from the 5 who attended and want to see more finished items from these wonderful fabrics.
Well done to them all – it was a baking hot day and I hope to have more photographs of them at work in the garden which I will post later.

Friday, 10 July 2009


As previously reported the Preston Threads exhibition at Platform Gallery in Clitheroe entitled 'Threads of Nature' is still on until the 18th of July and I have a few more pictures for you.

Margaret Walton's pieces displayed in the window look really good, but unfortunately of course we can see all the buildings as well. However as 'see through' pieces they work really well.

My structured 3D book.

I had a great experience on the Preview day, as my 'Falling Leaves' panel (shown on the previous blog) was sold - the first time I have sold at a Preview, so I am feeling rather pleased.


On Saturday 27th June, members of the branch met for a workshop day on Goldwork with Sue and Sarah.

Sue Chisnall, our Chairman reports - The Goldwork day was very good, attended by 8 members, including young Sarah – our only remaining YE member. We had a choice of patterns to work on, with Sue giving tuition on various processes, and Sarah assisting on an individual basis.
They had small packs for purchase along with goodies from their shop. We all enjoyed it , as the patterns were simple & clear, therefore easier to work on. Both tutors gave us tips on easier methods & I think we all learned a lot.

Photographs by John Clark.
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