Update #11 – towards Christmas

Next Meetings

Saturday 24th November – Stitch on Saturday – the last one this year and a chance to catch up with other memebrs and get that stitched christmas gift finished ……. or at least an excuse to get out of the house!

Saturday 8th December –  Our Christmas Lunch with food and entertainment provided by members. Followed by a return visit with a new talk from Eliza McLelland

Remember to book your places on workshops for 2019. They get full very quickly but it’s worth being on the waiting list as there are lots of reasons for late cancellations.


Exhibitions and Events

Battle of Britain Lace Panel  – Then and Now – Bentley Priory, from 17th November until March 2019

Collections Re-Crafted – Saffron Walden Museum, from 13th October until 3rd February 2019

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War – British Library, fom 19th October 2018 until 29th February 2019

Animals in Embroidery – Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court, 18th April to December. Taster workshops also available

Space Shifters Hayward Gallery, until 6th January

Anni Albers [1899 – 1994] Tate Modern, until 27th January

The Beautiful Stitch – Beryl Dean Gallery, Bucks County Museum, until January 2019

100 Hearts an EG Project – on tour at venues around the country until January 2019

  • Bucks County Museum until Jan 2019
  • Norwich Cathedral 1st to 30th November

Home & Away, a Suffragette Inspired Textile Banner – North Herts Museum, Hitchin, from 13th October to 1st December 2018

Signature X –  by Zero3 Textile Artists – Menier Gallery, London, from 27th November to 1st December 2018

Sampled Lives – Cambridge, extended to 13th January 2019, see also Personal View and this from the V&A

…. and see these sites for more:

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Sawdust Hearts – update

A message from Anne A:

You may remember the Sawdust Hearts project I became involved in earlier this year, and Lesley C, Vera F and Eva C joined in too. If you haven’t already done so do check out the virtual tour of all the hearts…it’s amazing!

I just about managed to spot mine…and I’m looking forward to seeing them in all their glory next week in Scarborough


…..and some extra details:

each heart is numbered for a day of the war, our branch members made the following : Anne A. 500, Eva C. 936, Vera F. 1283 and Lesley C. 1305

the website for the project at ww1hearts.co.uk also includes an online version of the accompanying booklet “The Inside Stories”, this shows some of the information the contributors sent in with their hearts

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The National Archive – an accessible resource

One of our roving reporters has been busy again, always on the lookout for sources of inspiration:

I recently visited the National Archive at Kew for something WW1 related, having never been before. I was lucky enough to have a behind the scenes tour and was shown some amazing Board of Trade books going back to the early 1800s filled with fabric, wallpaper and furniture designs. They were there as copyright had been established.
While there I picked up a what’s on guide, which listed some webinars.
I registered for one called Design in the Archives: A Hidden History. I have just watched it and it was really interesting. I am attaching a couple of screenshot photos.

It was free and lasted about 20 minutes with an opportunity for online questions and chat afterwards. Here is a link to the lecture on You Tube if anyone would like to watch.

Webinar – Design In The Archives: a hidden history It is better watched on a desktop or laptop rather than a tablet or mobile.
Coming up is another webinar on 12 December called A Short History of Trademarks 1876 – 1939. This will also cover registered designs etc.
This is an easy way to have a brief look at the amazing range of things held at the National Archive.
I plan to make another visit soon to do some research. It is easy to get to – certainly from St Albans. Train to West Hampstead then change to the Overground to Kew and then a well signposted 10 minute walk.
I am going to apply for a Reader’s Pass which is simple to get.
There are also behind the scenes tours each month lasting 90 minutes and costing £10.


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Battle of Britain Lace Panel – Then and Now

A reminder that Carole Quarini‘s panel will be at Bentley Priory from 17th Nov. For a taste of what to expect see my personal view.


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After the workshop with Cas Holmes – a personal view



Yesterday those of us lucky enough to get places spent a day in the company of Cas Holmes. Cas rarely takes on single day workshops now, preferring to lead participants through a more extended period of reflective development.  So we were treated to a very concentrated experience, with Cas trying to pack in as much of her approach as she could in a short day.





It left me with a lot to think about as well as two little pieces to remind me of what I feel Cas tried to share with us ……. a fresh perspective and some different ways to approach future projects.



The initial focus was preparing “Momigami” type papers from the selection we had brought with us. At this point we all realised why Cas had suggested we bring a small selection, as making choices can be such a difficult process! These formed the starting point for layering and arranging with added textiles as a base. One of the papers was gifted to us by our neighbour, providing something we might not have chosen for ourselves. Stitching was initially simple and mostly based on straight stitch, with Cas then suggesting different approaches and “allowing” us more freedom to choose our preferred stitches. Working from the back proved to be quite challenging for some!

Photos of the pieces we worked on are here in our Flickr collection, or use the link to the right.

I enjoy working with paper and this has revived my taste for including more of it as an element in textile pieces. I will certainly explore the “momigami” technique more as it makes paper much more stitchable and supple. The possibilities for recycling more of my stash are so very tempting.

I felt that Cas wanted to share as much of her accumulated experience as she could with us – a generous though difficult thing to achieve in the short time she had with us. She did manage to give us a taste of what we might expect during some of the longer learning opportunities she offers.

It would be lovely to hear the thoughts of others who attended this day – do share your comments, please.



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