Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I am pleased to report that 12 members of the Branch attended the Regional Day in Blackpool on the 16th April on a pleasant sunny day with lots to see and do and lots of old friends to meet up with  from across the Region.  A well organised day with good food choices, wonderful displays of work and some yummy things to buy from the traders.     Thanks to both Blackpool and Lytham branches – don’t forget it will be our turn next year (with Preston branch) so hope you all made notes!! 
It was a great pleasure to have Pauline Hannon, one of our Branch members,  with us as the newly appointed National Chairman.

This report comes from a new(ish) member  of the Branch – Carol - who had not attended one before – these are a few of her thoughts.

Saturday was the first regional day I attended and it was a really good day.  On arrival raffle tickets were purchased and I thought the idea of putting your tickets against the prizes you wanted to win,  a really good one. 
After that I had a wander around the other rooms, particularly enjoying  the display of wonderful work by the host branches with some fabulous pieces to admire; there were some exceptionally small pieces of beadwork and a really good display of postcards.  Being a doll maker myself it was lovely to see ‘Maurice the Elf’ and the ‘Buxom Babe’ on show.

The competitions were in a separate room and there were an impressive variety of interpretations of the theme ‘Lights Fantastic’ for the Rosebowl competition; a wide range of skills utilized in the Coats competition and a lovely selection of work from the YE.  
The only problem with this was that every time I went to the room it was full of people and I didn’t think the lighting did the pieces justice. 

The trade stands were in the sports hall and as with most attendees I had to indulge in some retail therapy and admire the skilled demonstrators working away with untold patience answering questions as they went.

Paddy Killer gave a quite interesting talk in the afternoon giving us a resume of her career with examples of her work over the years.  She is a very talented lady and it was fascinating to see how her work had changed and developed.

In all it was a well organized friendly day that I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the displays of work from the talented guild members.

A FESTIVAL QUILT by Monica Selway

Monica Selway, a founder member of the Branch, runs a patchwork and quilting group called  ‘Cavendish Quilters’ who meet in Warrington.  She reports on a competition quilt made by the group for the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in 2007.
Having visited the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate the group decided they needed a project, so why not a competition quilt – after all they would have 7 months to make it, so why not have a go!
They were already working with a technique called ‘Turning Twenty Again’ – a quick method of cutting fat quarters to make blocks which give random, but effective, patterns, so decided on this to form the basis of the quilt and to add photographs of the areas where members lived to give a sense of identity.
These included the Manchester Ship Canal and the Town Hall gate posts amongst others in Warrington.  The cutwork design of the posts worked well as a version of Cathedral Patchwork diamonds which echoed the gate patterns and these formed the side panels.
Colour was influenced by the red brickwork of Warrington houses and the blue seen in the gates and the ship canal.
This quilt had to be made in a hurry to meet the closing deadline, which meant more frequent meetings and members taking work home to complete, until of course it all became too big.
They got some unexpected publicity when the steward at the community centre where they meet  brought a local Councillor to see the quilt and this led to the local Warrington Guardian showing pictures and a short article in their paper.  After the exhibition, they were invited to display it at the Gateway Centre - an apt venue as it was opposite the gates that inspired some of the work.
A slightly madcap adventure but enjoyed by all the members and as a footnote, and with the help of the members, the quilt is now to be raffled for the Warrington Carers Centre.  The draw takes place on the 8th May and tickets are available via e.mail:

Monicas quilt
The finished quilt.

town hall gate 
The Town Hall gate – used as design source for the side panels.


A talk by Elaine Hughes, whose work brings together stitch, drawing, vintage ephemera, found and treated papers and textiles to create unique one off pieces that will intrigue and surprise, and which always reward closer inspection.

Elaine creates visual stories depicting scenes from her imaginary topsy-turvy world called ‘Oh Golly Gosh’.
Where the windows of her houses are all higgle-dee-piggle-dee and the skies at night are always pink.
Full of unexpected delights, her quirky one-off collages play with humour and language.


Candy Floss–with a Twist’ – all the pinks – appropriate for those ‘night skies’!!


The next meeting of the Project Linus group will start at 11.30a.m before our afternoon meeting.
Please bring any completed items you have or anything you are working on, or if you are just interested in seeing what we do you would be welcome to visit us.
I’m sure you will be interested to know that I have recently delivered 18 knitted blankets and one more quilt to Lesley.  She sends her thanks.


One or two of our members belong to the above group, who are holding an ARTS TRAIL – Open Studio event from 14th to 22nd May. 

The event covers studios and centres from Hightown and Formby to Ainsdale, Birkdale, Central Southport, through to Churchtown.

There will be displays and demonstrations of Jewellery, Paintings, Photography, Encaustic Art and Textiles.

More information – opening hours etc., and a map can be found at their website www.southportcontemporaryarts.com
or phone 0754 1156119


Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Another stimulating afternoon of playing with colour with Sue and Tracey – in fact adding more colour and texture to what we had already produced in the previous session.

We chose 9 of our postcard sized textured and painted cards and were told we had to be ‘quiet’ for 10 minutes!!!!!!  A tall order for a group of about 30, so the intrepid duo played us some ‘relaxing music’ to get us in the mood and we had to listen and think (at the same time!!) about what the music meant to us or reminded us of in connection to each card. 
Some really weird answers were written on the backs of the cards, BUT no-one spoke (well almost), and then we had to add cut pieces from our remaining cards and decorate with pens, dimensional paint – images and text etc. 
Somehow mine have all all ended up with connections to the sea, sand and sky – not intentional when I started out butt perhaps I am influenced by where I live.

As we were all so involved I couldn’t take any pictures of other members work so you will have to put up with a couple of my cards for now just to give an idea of what we were doing.



In the third and last session in July – we have to stitch them together to make a ‘Journal Quilt’, so plenty of time to get the other 5 cards done!!!!  I only managed these 4 on the day and they were not quite finished.


We now have at least 3 exhibiting groups that some of our members belong to and all 3 have some interesting exhibitions coming up throughout the year – the first of which are shown below.

PRESTON THREADS at Rossendale.
'Preston Threads present an exhibition based on individual work following the theme of  'Threads Transformed'
from 7th May to 31st July 2011
Rossendale Museum, Whitaker Park, Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall, Rossendale BB4 6RE
Opening times  - Tuesday to Thursday; Saturday and Sunday from 1p.m to 4.30p.m. 
Admission free. 
Refreshment kiosk in the park (seasonal opening only).
Contact - the museum on 01706 260785
or Sandra Kedzlie 01704 229097


AINTREE 20-22May - Creative Stitches and Crafts Show at Aintree Racecourse. 
2 of the groups – ‘ONE STEP ON’ and ‘PRESTON THREADS’ will be exhibiting at this show as follows -


ONE STEP ON are exhibiting work entitled  ‘Connecting Stitches’.
You can see them on stand ZB21.


PRESTON THREADS will be exhibiting work under the title ‘FLORAL THREADS’ based on garden flowers, with the concentration on colour in abstract work. 
See us on stand ZC24 – we hope to have demonstrations each day as follows -
Friday – Printing;  Saturday – knitting; Sunday – the Embellishing Machine.

Dates and venues of further exhibitions will be shown later.