Monday, 30 November 2009


The monthly colour raffle will be a much brighter and happier looking creature this month - THE CHRISTMAS TREE WORM (ugh!! - sounds awful but he is quite pretty) whose colours are red-orange; gold; white and navy blue. Please bring fabrics, threads, beads, buttons - anything you have, to make this a bumper Christmas prize!!

AND remember there will also be the General Raffle this month, so your purse would be handy too!!!!


We will be having a talk for our Christmas meeting by Liliane Taylor on "My life so far; how I became interested in textiles and some of my inspirations."

Liliane is a college tutor, who also sells her work world wide.

Her style involves using old textiles, (started before this was a popular thing), these she then patches, paints and embroiders.

One of our members who previously attended one of Liliane's talks remembers that "she was really funny, and very entertaining".

Should be a good afternoon so hope to see you all there.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


On Saturday 21st November, 12 members met for a workshop using photographs, postcards, text, fabrics and other bits and pieces, to create a variety of finished pieces.
These ranged from simple pictures, posters and pieces for framing, to family memory books, soft hangings and other small pieces.
As ever Anne had a variety of finished samples which she used as inspiration, and members had brought old family photographs, old letters, lace and postcards. These were used to create some amazing pieces of work, still to be completed of course - some of which are shown below.

Women at work!!

Sue Chisnall working on a Memory Book cover.

A busy afternoon!

Sue Tyldesley's 'Wedding Book'

Donna Eaton's 'Memory panel'.

Caroline Percy's panel.

Blackpool 'Poster' by Tracey Ramsey.

Memory Panel by Angela McLarnon.

'Cats' by Brenda Milligan.

We hope that these and more will be on show at our Open Day in May 2010.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sarah Ruaux – Young Embroiderer

Our YE member Sarah, who attends most of our meetings with her mum and grandad, told members in the branch newsletter that she wanted to be a shoe designer when she grows up (she is currently 11 years old) SO Grandad challenged her………………….

With his encouragement and the use of all his tools, she set about making herself a pair of clogs and Grandad assures me that he only advised and watched over her while she worked and did not actually do any of the work himself.

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She carved the wooden base to fit her foot, did all the metal studding and edging around the toes as well as the wonderful metal thread embroidery on leather for the front decorative flap.

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At our meeting on the 14th she had just completed this one clog and hoped to get the second one finished to wear to the Knit and Stitch show yesterday.  I do hope she made it and perhaps we can have a picture of her wearing them.

Watch this space – I am sure this young lady will go far.  We may even see her shoes on sale in years to come!!

Saturday 14th November - meeting

There was a good turn out for the Hands-on session about Finishing and Presenting work for exhibition –  intended to help with items being made for display or sale at our Open Day next May.

Sue and Tracey had divided up the afternoon into 3 sessions – the first, run by Sue on small brooches that could be included in the ‘Miners Tommy Tins’ which were demonstrated and started earlier in the year.
The brooches were made in bright colours from wired ribbons, old lace and beads and Sue is shown below wearing on of her creations.  She had  a wide variety of  very attractive pieces available for members to get ideas.

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Tracey led the second session and she had done a lot of research into work done by the Canal Boat women and children, who used embroidery to decorate their own and family clothes.   The work most associated with the canals is the ‘spidersweb’ belts worn for best by the boatmen.
These consisted of three or four rows of spidersweb wheels separated by lines of chain or feather stitching and had two buckles on one end with two straps at the other.  They were worn with the straps at one side of the waist.
To make the work easier, the stitching was done on checked tea towels so that the grid already woven into the fabric could be used by following the lines.  Usually 1 inch squares.
They used soft wool, silk floss or stranded embroidery thread for the stitching and colours were usually arranged to form diagonal stripes along the length of the belt.
When the stitching was finished the sides of the tea towel were neatly turned in and straps were sewn in at each end.

Below is a sample of the stitching worked by Tracey to make her very own belt – a beautiful piece of work following some very thorough research.   About 5 or 6 members got started on this on Saturday so we hope to see lots more pieces – not just belts but purses, bags, needlecases etc.
Tracey told us that she had gone to Preston Market and confused the man who ran a stall selling watch straps who, when she purchased two, couldn’t understand why she didn’t want them fitted to her watches!!!!!   They will never understand us embroiderers will they!

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Next came Monica Selway with a wide variety of items showing many ways of edging and finishing pieces of work, from bags, boxes, books, containers, hangings and many more.   Simple things like small decorative tassels on corners, beads or cords along an edge, folded ribbons etc.  Plus simple methods of displaying even the smallest items to make then attractive – decorated card and fabric backgrounds, presentation boxes etc.

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