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