Thursday, 30 December 2010

JANUARY colour raffle



JANUARY MEETING–Talk by Ann Christy on Sketchbooks

Ann’s talk is about her collection of sketchbooks and her experience as a distance learner taking a City & Guilds level 2 course in Creative Sketchbooks.  

She starts with her early interest in drawing and painting, going back 20 - 30 years or more, showing some of those earlier pieces and demonstrating how she has developed her style to the sort of sketchbook work that she does now.

The pictures below show some of her sketchbook pages.


sketch book 4

sketch book 5

Sunday, 19 December 2010


To our amazement here on the coast we had a fall of about 10” (25cm) of snow on Friday night and now on Sunday afternoon it is still here much to our amazement – never known this to happen  before, certainly not in the last 10 years we have lived here.

Thought you might like to see what our garden looks like – if you would like to mail me any pics you might have, I will get them onto the blog as soon as I can.

P1010444A rather damp sit down here!!!

Love the patterns made by the frozen snow on the branches.

Our holly tree devoid of berries – eaten by the blackbirds.

This looks a bit of a ‘cool’ hotel!

Our pots look a bit swamped here – it just shows how deep the snow is.
Hope it all disappears by next Friday – going to our daughter’s for Christmas.

Have a good holiday – Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Monday, 13 December 2010

KIMONO – an entertainment

A very different extended meeting  for December was well received by all members who attended. A fascinating talk, demonstration and hands-on session with Katie Chaplin on all things Japanese.

First of all Katie demonstrated ‘dressing a Kimono’ on a mannequin called Dolly!  The layers of silk wrapped and tied onto the body was quite amazing – I think I counted 15 in all and some are shown in the photographs below.  Most of these are used to ‘fill out’ the body to give a straight look and Katie started off with a white cotton base garment; padding around the waist to thicken (not many Westerners would need this I think!).P1010360     P1010361 
The next layer in pink, had long falling sleeves to signify that the wearer is looking for a husband.  Yet more layers to fill out the waist area, then came the Kimono itself – mostly green and orange.

P1010363      P1010366
The Kimono Katie used was 45 years old – hand painted with some couched gold on the flowers of the front panel.
Mostly worn by girls at their coming of age at 20 and at New Year.  They must be worn with the front crossed left over right as the Western way of women’s dress – right over left – in Japan, is only worn that way on a corpse!!!

P1010367P1010372   The OBI that Katie used was gold thread woven into a heavy silk.
This gets wrapped around the middle, tied at the back and folded to form a bird (Little Sparrow) at the back.

P1010374 P1010376

P1010386   P1010388
Finally a fan is tucked into the front of the Obi and wooden shoes are worn with split toe white cotton socks.

Katie then performed the traditional Japanese tea ceremony – very calming and carried out in complete silence.

After a lunch break we then re-gathered for a ‘hands-on’ go at Furoshiki gift wrapping using fabric squares, which can be used to wrap almost anything.  Some pictures are shown below.



Some of our members with a collection of the work.  I think some people might be wrapping their presents a bit differently this Christmas!! 
A big thank you to Katie for a fascinating and very different meeting.


Katie, who has studied both in UK and Japan, uses vintage Japanese fabrics to create a variety of textile pieces, as well as doing talks and workshops – more information from her website

Friday, 3 December 2010

December meeting – Saturday 11th

A talk, demonstration and hands-on session with Katie Chaplin entitled ‘Kimono Dressing, Tea Ceremony and Furoshiki- Gift Wrapping’.
Information on Katie’s Kimonos can be seen on and I have taken the following passage from that site – sounds interesting.

Few images of Japanese culture are as evocative as an elegant lady in a beautiful silk kimono. Although rarely worn nowadays, a symbol of refinement, sophistication and taste.
Yet 'kimono' translates simply as 'clothing', and was the everyday attire of all Japanese people for centuries.
In modern Japan you will still see the occasional old lady who has never worn anything except kimono, but most people only wear their national costume on special occasions e.g. Weddings, New Year celebrations etc., their clothing revealing much about their social status, lifestyles and tastes.
There are many types of kimono and many ways of wearing each type. Each nuance has meaning which can be 'read' by others. Young, unmarried women wear bright, gaudy furisode with sleeves reaching to their ankles. This shows they are old enough to marry, but are still eligible and looking for a suitable bachelor.

This will be a special extended meeting starting at 11a.m for 11.30 and you will need to bring your packed lunch.  Visitors welcome but the charge for this special event will be £5.50.  Branch members normal entrance fee.

Let’s hope the weather is kind to us so we can all get along to enjoy both the talk and demonstration and make it a special festive occasion.  Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 25 November 2010



WINTER WHITE – but also a little grey perhaps.


THANK YOU to everyone who came – we raised enough from the entry fee, raffle, sales and cash donations  to get us started and we received enough fabrics, wools etc., to give everyone something to take away and start stitching, so we now look forward to seeing the results of our labours – hopefully pictures later.  Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way.

I should point out that this project group will be open to anyone who wants to join in and is not restricted to Parbold EG members – so tell any of your friends who either like to knit or stitch. 

I have made up some fabric packs from the bits that were left after the coffee morning and these will be available for members to take if they would like to join in with the project – I will have them at the December meeting and anyone who has fabrics, wools or threads that they would like to donate, can bring them to any of our monthly meetings.
AND hopefully we will have a show and tell table at the  meetings – so get stitching!!

From next February we hope to meet every now and then to see how we are getting on, exchange ideas, hints and tips – more information on this will be available later so watch this space. 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Now I know what the title meant – a wonderful array of wall hangings – all based on ‘magical’ animals from children’s books, written by a friend, were shown by Elizabeth Wall at  our meeting last Saturday.   An absolute riot of colour and mix of fabrics were the basis of the work.  Lizzie, an art teacher and embroiderer, drew the animals in pencil and then searched her massive collection of mixed fabrics as part of the process of creating the hangings.
They ranged from the Owls, Dolphins and Fish seen below to Butterflies, a Chameleon Bear, Birds, the Allerton Oak made for the Year of Culture in 2008, to a Banner for her husband’s teaching union and a wonderful Church vestment  which was just one of a set she had been commissioned to make – certainly the most sumptuous I have ever seen.

A very inspirational talk and display of work which was very much appreciated by the large number of members who attended.




In March 2011 Lizzie will be taking a workshop for us and we have a choice of either the Tree or the Owl which are shown below.  Anyone interested in taking part should let Karen Hurrell know which of these you prefer, so that Lizzie can bring the correct choice of fabrics.  Members were already putting names on the list for this course after the talk, so I suggest getting in early on this one – it is obviously going to be popular.  I just love the Owl – my favourite bird, but I also have ‘a thing’ about trees, so what to do!!!???



Thursday, 4 November 2010


A coffee morning with bring and buy stall, raffle and coffee and biscuits is to be held on the 20th at my home commencing 10.45. 

We would love to see you and if you don’t know my address please phone for directions – my number is on the Parbold programme and in the Regional Journal.

The aim is to raise funds to purchase materials for the Project Linus working group we hope to start and you will be most welcome to come along –  just for coffee and a chat, donations of materials or raffle prizes and maybe to purchase one or two bits for Chistmas.
If you can’t make it but would like to make a donation of any kind I will be at our monthly meeting on the 13th so will see you there.

Monday, 25 October 2010


The colour raffle this month is entitled ‘Misty Mornings’ – shades of grey, silvers etc.

Copy of Colour raffle 001

NOVEMBER MEETING – Saturday 13th

Our November meeting will be a talk by Lizzie Wall entitled ‘My Quilts and Other Animals’.
Lizzie will be bringing a collection of her miniature quilts which combine fabrics and free machining and which will be prior to the workshop on Applique Quilts that she will be running in March next year, so we hope to get lots of ideas to get us going.

Look forward to seeing you all there with up to date news on the Project Linus Group which we hope to start soon.

We hear that  both John Clark and his grand daughter Sarah Ruaux both had work exhibited at Alexandra Palace which will  also be on show in November at the Knit and Stitch Show in Harrogate.
Sarah was awarded the Young Embroiderers’ De Denne prize for her embroidered clogs which you will remember from our Open Day in May when they were on display. A picture of the clogs can be seen on the blog entry for May 12th.
I for one will try to get along to see their work – many congratulations to you both.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


Unfortunately due to low booking numbers we have had to cancel the ‘Tassels and Braids’ workshop with Marge Quinn,  to be held on Saturday 6th November.

Monday, 11 October 2010


Our meeting on Saturday 9th October was well attended for the talk by Sheila Smith who told us about how felt originated thousands of years ago in Central Asia.  It was an important part of life for the Nomadic people who created tents made from long strips of felt which could be rolled up, bags and carpets, for easy transportation of their homes when the shepherds were  looking for new grazing areas.

Sheila had attended a symposium a few years ago in Hungary which included workshops on inlaid felt, run by women from Kirgizstan.   She had several samples of this technique, including 3 or 4 she had made herself, plus a lovely little traditional doll made by the women – picture below.


Sheila passed around many samples of her work, from the early thicker pieces to the very fine work she likes to create now.

She described the making of Nuno felt onto scrim or silk chiffon as a backing fabric and the use of prepared needlepunch felt which is available widely nowadays.

For those of us who like to recycle old knitwear, Sheila had made a bag from an old sweater – but warned that if you want it to shrink by washing in the machine, first make sure it is pure wool!  It can be very disappointing to open the washing machine to find the sweater has only partially shrunk due to a mixture of wool and acrylic fibres having been used.  Her warning was – read the label first!  All is not lost however as it can be attached to a layer of needle punch felt and worked on an embellishing machine – hers was a bag to be proud of.
(Note: On the other hand I had the terrible experience of washing my daughter’s sweater purchased in  American with the USA flag on the front, and which had been worn once – put it in with other washing at a cotton setting!!!   Need I say more – it would have fitted a small baby – wish I had had my embellisher then – could have made her a very nice bag!)

The photographs below show some examples of Sheila’s work.

Part of a waistcoat front using grey wool fibres, black silk chiffon and painted silk flowers.

Sample technique piece used as a demonstration at a show – hand punching knitting wools and fibres into a pre-felt backing.

Bags need to be made from a thicker felt and are made on a template the shape and size of the finished bag – a lot of hard work – I know I have tried this method!

Thank you Sheila for a very entertaining afternoon.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

October 9th – Talk by Sheila Smith

Sheila, a renowned feltmaker who teaches in the UK and abroad; writes regularly for magazines and is the author of several books; will be talking about the Contemporary Felt Scene, which will be the talk that was cancelled from last January due to bad weather – I think Sheila was snowed in, in deepest Yorkshire.
Those of you who know Sheila will know what a good tutor she is and we were all pleased with the end results of our labours at the day workshop she did in March – so can I suggest that all of those who attended, bring your finished (or otherwise!!) work to show Sheila and other members of the branch.

If you want to see the what Sheila does, her books on the subject are – Felt to Stitch; Embellish, Stitch and Felt and another written with Freda Walker – Feltmaking: the Whys and Wherefores.
She also has a website – Felt by Design.

  so will include browns, rusts, golds etc.

Colour raffle

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Passion and enthusiasm personified by Elizabeth Almond during the BLACKWORK COURSE swept all who attended along with her. It was a rattling success. The structure of the day was well thought out and the content was illustrated by a plethora of her work displayed for everyone to drool over.

The morning started with a history of  blackwork, from its introduction into English fashion by Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’S first wife, through the developing stages to present day practise. Liz then went on to categorise the materials and threads which can be used , which saved a great deal of trial and error on our part by telling us of her own failures and successes. Experience is always better than reading manufacturers’ blurb, which can be sparing with the truth.

Technique and method followed. At this point Liz asked if we were getting bored. Shell shocked more like. A well prepared pack was then given to each member containing patterns and instructions for three works along with threads and materials to make them, including the correct needle! The fun then began as we tentatively selected our nemesis.

Actually it was clearly explained and much easier than first thought, so the room ,after a noisy start dissolved into silence. Liz told us to call out if we needed help, but the genius of the woman was at your side before you even realised you had a problem.
All our work developed differently, and any member of the Parbold Branch could pick out the work belonging to specific individuals, from the “exquisite” to the “well tried”.
A voice from the depth of the kitchen called “Hey, it’s raining!” This was the cry to return to the hum drum present day .
A great deal of effort went into making the day a success, from assisting Pick fords, to tea making and clearing away, and thanks go to all backstage staff.

Carole Sams

Brenda Jackson

Pat Barends

Sue Chisnall

Many thanks to June Talbot for her report and to Karen Hurrell for the photographs.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I have just noticed that I missed one new addition from our list of new committee members - Kay Kellaway - sorry Kay - you are of course very welcome.

Monday, 13 September 2010


On Saturday 18th September there will be a full day workshop with Liz Almond on Blackwork.
Commencing at 10a.m the charge for the day will be £22 for members and £25 for visitors – this will include fabric, threads and designs.
Refreshments will be provided – please bring a packed lunch.

There are still a few places left so contact Karen Hurrell if you are interested – visitors most welcome.

AGM and TALK – Saturday 11th September

The year of our Open Day saw the end of the 3 year term of our joint Chairmen Sue and Tracey and as a closing event it proved to be very successful, both in visitors attending and increasing our income for the year, which was very much needed due to high increased costs.

Both Sue and Tracey and other members of the committee who retired this year were thanked wholeheartedly by the 25 members who attended and new members to the committee were introduced – Ann Baldwin, Caroline Percy, and Carole Sams.  All other  members remain on committee for another year.

The Chairmans’ challenge for a ‘Folded Book’ had 7 entries – judged by the outgoing Chairmen, the winner being Audrey Gore and runner up Marjorie Williams.  Pictures of some of the entries are shown below.

‘Geometry’ by Audrey Gore

‘Machine Stitches’ by Marjorie Williams

P1010160 P1010156 P1010159 P1010153
Some of the other entries.

AFTER THE AGM official business, we followed on with a most interesting talk with a show and tell of the Project Linus quilt   project.  Lesley Mercer the Lancashire area organiser seemed to have an endless supply of quilts, from mini ones (20” square) for premature babies, up to much larger ones (40” square) for teenagers.  All in bright colours and patterns, stitched by hand or machine and as well as quilts, or comforters there were knitted blankets in soft colours.
Originally targeting paediatric cancer patients, Project Linus has broadened its focus towards seriously ill, abused or traumatised children – in need of a ‘big  hug’  and Lancashire is one of the most productive regions with over 1200 items donated in the last few years.
The quilts on show  had all been produced by volunteers, either individually or in groups and would eventually be donated to hospitals, hospices, Dr. Barnardo’s, care homes etc., in and around Lancashire.

Some of our members at the end of the meeting, were quite keen to ‘get something started’ not as part of the Guild, but as an individual group and anyone who is interested should contact me, preferably by e.mail or phone (you will all have my contact details on your membership card).  When we know who is interested then we can go about setting up a meeting with Lesley to get organised.

However – to the quilts – I have only shown parts so that you get an idea of the detail.  I am no patchworker but love hand or machine quilting so if there is any, please excuse the incorrect terminology!!
There were whole cloth quilts; pieced and patched; some with hand embroidered panels attached and as you will see in lovely bright child friendly colours -

P1010164 Whole clothP1010180 Whole clothP1010179 Pieced

P1010168 Whole cloth

P1010167 Pieced

P1010173 Pieced 2x4

P1010171 Hand embroidered

P1010177 Machined panel