Wednesday, 16 December 2009


The picture above shows some of the entries in our annual competition. Please ignore the size of them all as it was a montage of several pictures and some appear much larger than they actually were.

What a fantastic in-house Christmas Lunch we all had. 26 members were able to join in the festivities. There would have been more, unfortunately, illness took its toll and one or two were unable to make it. Many thanks go to our Chairman and her trusty team who shopped and prepared everything.

The Christmas Competition posed its usual problems with not only one draw, but two. We had to re-vote for 1st and 2nd places and also for 3rd and 4th. The latter was a draw again, at which point we left it at joint 3rd. Eileen Sweeney was the eventual winner, with Leah Cox in second place. Joint third were Val Horner and Heather Kay. A very great achievement for Heather, as she has only started stitching since joining the Embroiderers' Guild.

Well done everyone and please do not throw away your stars as we may decorate a Christmas Tree again next year for the Christmas Tree Festival - and you guessed it - we will be making stars!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Our trusty Chairman took down the tree on Monday 7 December and the feedback she received was very postive. Although we did not win the competition, we were third, there had been much admiration of our contribution and the church very much appreciated the effort made by our members. The birds will be sold at St Peter's from Sunday 13 December to raise money for charity.

The Christmas Tree Festival had received in excess of 500 visitors over the week with the tree created by a local school receiving the most votes. It's not the winning its the taking part that counts. I think you will all agree it was an excellent opportunity to promote the Embroiderers' Guild to the local community and one which hopefully we can repeat next year.


Monday, 30 November 2009


between 50 to 60 birds have flown the coop and landed on a festive tree in St Peter's Church, Harrogate. (opposite where Boots used to be)

This large and fluffy specimen was created by Alyson Evans and he made himself at home perched on one of the signs.

The Christmas Tree Festival is open daily from Tuesday 1 - Sunday 6 December between 9 am and 5 pm. Funds will go to feed the homeless so it is all in a good cause. Look out for the bell ringers tree. If you do not see it you are bound to hear it!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

"Blast from the Past"

Anthea Linacre discussing the wonderful Sunday best Apron brought along by Chris Staniforth which had been worn by her grandmother. In the foreground are some of the pieces of Mola work from the San Blas islands which were Sue Smith's contribution to the day.

What a successful meeting the November one turned out to be. Members surprised everyone with the wealth of interesting items they brought along. The photograph above is a montage of the pages from Jacqui's grandmother's school needlework book showing some of the samples.

There were pieces of needlework produced when people had been much younger, textiles and embroideries from many different countries, there were even two identical embroidered transfers worked by different members which had appeared in Woman and Home in the mid-40's.

The day was so successful that it could feature in the branch programme again.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Variegations moved to Texere Yarns on 14 September and Dawn Turner has put together an exciting array of courses of interest to all stitchers. To view the list of workshops visit and click on the 'about us' icon.


"Natural Fibres - a World Heritage"
"75 Years of Stitching in Yorkshire"
6 October 2009 - 26 Feb 2010
Tues - Fri 9.30 am - 4.30 pm (ex University closed days)

In International Year of Natural Fibres Ulita are highlighting their use in textiles across the globe, with selections from their constituent collections including silks from Qing Dynasty China, cashmere shawls, Mediterranean embroideries of linen and silk, Javanese batik cottons, an embroidered ship cloth from Sumatra, ikats from Indonesia, crafted items from NZ, W Africa, Malysia, Turkey as well as various 20th C textiles.

The exhibition is complemented by samples from the EG Yorkshire Branch @ Leeds archive and the work of present members, including the results of this year's competition based on the theme of 'Natural Fibres'.


19 - 22 November 2009 (during Knitting & Stitching Show)
Thurs - Sat 12 pm - 4 pm Sunday 2 - 4 pm

Serena Partridge, is a local textile artist based in Malton, she draws her inspiration from historical fashion, which she distorts in scale and proportion to produce curious garments and accessories with fictional labels.

She has been the first artist in residence at the Royal Pump Room Museum and will bring her studio to the museum during the Knitting and Stitching Show. If you have a ticket to the Knitting & Stitching Show you will be entitled to discounted entry to the museum at £2.

Van Gogh on a Bus

14 - 31 October 11 am - 5 pm
Burton Agnes Hall, Red Bus Gallery
(between Bridlington and Driffiled YO25 4NB)

Embroidery by Vivien Stamford. The work is inspired by Van Gogh. Vivien is currently secretary of the City of York branch of the Embroiderers' Guild.

Lotherton Hall Exhibition

3 September - 1 November 2009
Tues - Sat 10 am - 5 pm Sun 1 - 5 pm

Reconstruction of an 18th century dress
An exhibition of beautiful and engaging work that depicts evidence of the historical journey of a dress over time, evoking images of unknown histories and people.

The artist Debra Roberts is currently secretary of the Yorkshire Branch @ Leeds of the Embroiderers' Guild

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Pannal Textile Group - Samples

Thought I would share some of my samples from the "Summer Stitchery in a Country Church."

Windows and doors

Stone walls


Patterns from headstones

Trees, lichen and insect samples still to complete!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


West Park United Reformed Church were ready for us this month. A really good turn out of members who came along to chat, sew and enjoy the coffee and scones. Quite a few birds in evidence. Heather Kay (pictured) needed a little assistance, Irene Angel added stitching to hers and Norma Preston had completed 2 more. However, Alyson Evans caused a stir when she started to add needlefelted details to the lovely felt parrot she was working on!

Several green squares under construction and everyone appeared to be working on projects which have been lurking around for a while awaiting completion. Future dates are:-

Tuesday, 29 September
Tuesday, 27 October
Tuesday, 24 November

The sight of the birds led to our being asked if we would like to produce Christmasy items to sell at the Church coffee mornings at the end of November and throughout December with a small percentage of the sales income going to the church. Sounds like a splendid idea so will keep you posted.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

West Park Coffee and Stitch - July 2009

What an excellent 2 hours at West Park United Reformed Church. There were a good number of members there enjoying coffee and cakes. It was interesting to see the stitching that was being undertaken, several pieces from Pannal, a couple of pincushions from Josie Storey's workshop, an embroidered bird for the Christmas Tree in December. The general feeling was that it was a huge success and everyone is looking forward to the 25 August meeting.

We also had a new story sack - Duck in the Truck (complete with duck).

WEEK 1 - Pannal Textile Group

Someone should tell Lesley that grapes do not make good beads and Eileen looks like she should have her tongue out to aid concentration!

The discovery of a vicar who was interested in textiles really threw everyone on the first of the three Monday sessions of the Pannal Textile Group. Pannal Church and surrounding area is bursting with ideas for the budding textile artist and, apart from a short burst of rain in the morning, the day was a huge success.

There was an interesting mix of ladies from various backgrounds and they all learned something about layering, Bondaweb, Tyvek, Xpandaprint, discharge printing and Lutradur. Several people had started the process of putting together their handmade sketchbooks and others were given packs to enable construction of the books at home during the forthcoming week.

Much tea and coffee, together with Flapjack and Carrot Cake sustained delegates. All are eagerly awaiting Monday No 2!

Monday, 13 July 2009

July Talk - Kerry Mosley

Kerry Mosley is a textile artist who has only recently started to give talks on the work she does and the route that took her there. A lifelong love of drawing and the opportunity to return to part-time study when her children were small, led her into the world of textile art. She uses scientific wire and beads to knit a background upon which she then machine stitches using dissolvable fabric to add more detail to the organic forms and portraits she creates. She has come a long way since her first initial drawings of fruit such as lemons and pomegranates and currently has an exhibition at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Stitch and Coffee Tuesday 28 July 2009

At our exhibition in July we found the new facilities at West Park United Reformed Church to be light and airy. After negotiation with the organisers we have decided to try one or two stitch sessions at the Church in the coffee lounge between 10.00 and 12.00 on the following dates:-

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

If these prove popular we may be able to continue them on the last Tuesday of each month. The Tuesday mornings are Church coffee mornings in any event and we feel sure there will always be coffee and biscuits available too. Just turn up and bring something to stitch, otherwise you may be given a project to do!

Friday, 3 July 2009


A cheeky postcard created by Eileen Sweeney!!

Exhibition West Park 30 Jun - 4 Jul

The sun came out, we had lots of visitors and the little Pink Pig books you all made covers for at the Members Day sold like hot cakes. Hope you all managed to visit the exhibition?

We welcomed people from several other branches too including: Yorkshire Branch @ Leeds, Grassington, Nidderdale and Darlington. Best of all, we had people from Harrogate who did not even know we existed plus there were some people interested in the City & Guilds Course at Harrogate College.

Did any of you look at the Photographic Society work? Couldn't you just stitch some of those glorious textures - perhaps a thought for future exhibitions?

Green Rainbow Squares

Well here they are! All 40 of them.

We are trying to get the number up to 52 now so that it represents the exact number of members we have got this year.

Are any of you still busy working on them, or perhaps not even started yet? There are some spare bits of green fabric if anyone wants some.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Stitching in the Dales 2010

Carol Brown has advised that the 2010 Stitching in the Dales dates are

19, 20 and 21 May 2010

The tutors are to be Ann Burrows and Gina Smith and the theme is metalwork.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Bankfield - The Happy People

One or two members managed to visit 'The Happy People' exhibition at the Bankfield Museum recently. It ends on 5 July. There are a range of costumes, artefacts and photographs of the Miao minority people of South West China. It is a fascinating display and the embroidery is exquisite. All decided they were too old to be considered to undertake any of the needlework as there was a very limited period during which the Miao people were able to achieve the exacting standards required. One assumes their eyesight was damaged by the microscopic detail involved in producing the designs.

It was nice to see one of the actual Miao books, with all its pockets, used for storing embroidery threads. Some members had actually attempted to make one of these at a workshop in the Summer of 2008. There was a second type of book on display which might be worthy of further investigation for a future project!

Members Day Lunch

What a tremendous turn out for the Members Day on 20 June. We had 42 people in total. There were several special guests who found the old branch photograph albums that Cath Chew brought along, of great interest. Everyone enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch with wine and soft drinks followed by a small sewing project in the afternoon. Many members delivered their pieces of work ready for the exhibition which starts on 30 June at West Park United Reformed Church.

Four more story bags were delivered - Rainbow Fish, The Big Red Bath, Mog and Bunny and The Tiger Who Came to Tea. We have some very talented people among our membership. All of the thirteen completed story sacks will be on display at the exhibition which is open

10 am to 4 pm - 30 June - 4 July

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Whitework with Tracy Franklin

Recognise anyone? Several members of Harrogate branch of the Embroiderers' Guild joined City & Guilds students on a summer workshop at the Quilt Museum in York recently.

Tracy Franklin tutored the excellent one day workshop on contemporary whitework. Everyone learned something new and are eager to have her back again to do another day, perhaps Goldwork next time.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Pannal Textile Group

"Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade ..."

Tutors Diane Freeman and Annie Smith have put together a series of three workshops to be held at St Robert's Church, Pannel during July and August. The theme is Thomas Grey's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. Individual topics are: 'Exterior Stonework'; 'Flowers and Grasses'; and 'Trees, Lichens and Insects'.

Contact 01423 547855 or 07944 004488 for availability and further details.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Story Sacks

We have just heard that Waitrose have selected the Harrogate branch of the Embroiderers' Guild together with Harrogate Children's Library to be one of the three charities during June participating in their 'Community Matters' scheme. They divide £1000 between the three charities according to how many green tokens are put in the voting box - so during June get to Waitrose and put your tokens in our box.

The money will be used to purchase props for the Story Sacks we are making for Harrogate Children's Library. Any surplus funds will provide materials to make some floor mats and cushions for babies to use whilst their parents are in the Library plus, hopefully, a new wall hanging when the Library returns to its refurbished premises.

Harrogate City & Guilds Show

Apart from finding time to stitch together Harrogate branch green rainbow squares, there was lots of lovely work and plenty of visitors over the week of the college exhibition. There were only two Part 2, Yr 2 students this year, but their work was exciting.

The Part 1, Yr 1 students are a talented lot and there was some fantastic artwork and stitching amongst their display of work. Well done. Finally, against all the odds, the Part 1, Yr 2 students really did manage to finish most of their work. There were felt foxgloves, a piano stool with a band of canvaswork stitches, fossil based work and much more. If you did not get there you missed a treat.

We will have a fantastic show next year with around 6 or 7 Part 1, Yr 2 students and 6 Part 2, Yr 2 students exhibiting final pieces. Can't wait. The Part 2 students have got a wide range of personal themes too, which should produce interesting work - Timble Ings, Robin Hoods Bay, Ferns, Sheep, Vegetables, and Elizabethan Embroidered Book Covers.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Stitching in the Dales 13-15 May 2009

What a fantastic two and a half days surrounded by beautiful countryside, excellent food and two very talented tutors in Linda Westerman and Sandra Kedzlie. Several branches were represented apart from Grassington and Skipton and everyone had a very creative time. The photograph above shows a scroll formed from layers of dyed muslin and cake wire, bonded together and enhanced with beads. It looks very chrysalis-like to me.

Those delegates with Linda Westerman were creating books and bookcovers in various forms under the title "Hidden Treasures" and Sandra Kedzlie's group learned how to make "Mixed Media Textured Surfaces" using such things as Lutrador, Magazine and Newspaper pages, Softsculpt, Kunin felt, etc.

Can't wait to see what Grassington and Skipton are putting on next year!

Saturday, 9 May 2009


We have now become the Harrogate & District Ladies Mud Wrestling Team - at least that is what our larger than life coach driver told the staff at Hardwick Hall when we arrived for our visit. Needless to say everyone had an excellent day out. The weather was sunny, but windy and of course the display of embroidery at Hardwick Hall, as always, was fantastic.

The only sad point was that Heather Mason could not join us as she has had an accident and is in hospital waiting to have her left wrist pinned.

Friday, 1 May 2009


Students of Harrogate College City & Guilds and Creative Embroidery classes hold their Annual Exhibition in Block 'A', Harrogate College, Hornbeam Park on

Tuesday to Friday 19-22 May 2009
9.30 am - 4.30 pm


Monday 18 May between 6 pm - 8 pm


Judie Hamilton based her postcard on a picture sent to her by a friend. Maybe this lucky person will get to receive the card in due course, but not before our exhibition we hope.

Wish You Had Sent a Postcard? Don't forget the postcards will be displayed at our exhibition at West Park in June/July. You can complete a card in less than a couple of hours if you keep it simple. If you need instructions contact Hazel. Maggie Clarke used a wave theme for one of her cards. She seems to have got the 'bug' and has made several of them.


Hope you are all busy completing your rainbow squares? They are needed before the Regional Day on 13 June so that we can stitch them together for display. Contact either Jacqui, Irene or Hazel if you need to have them collected. The Green Man is the work of Alyson Evans and I have heard that the Felted Handbag workshop on Saturday 25 April was extremely good and everyone enjoyed themselves.

The two floral squares were created by Catherine Chew.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Pearls, Pearls, Pearls

Visited the new exhibition at the Quilt Museum in York today and it is very good with a wide range of interpretations of the meaning of Pearl. It is on until 29 August and running alongside it is 'The Wholecloth Tradition' which has some excellent examples of traditional quilts.


Maggie Clarke has produced a wonderful Story Sack based on the Owl Babies book. Thought you might like to see them. The bag contains a further owl which is extremely cute and cuddly. I am sure the children in the library will love it.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

July Meeting

Unfortunately, the speaker for the 11 July meeting has had to cancel, however, Kerry Mosley, a relatively new speaker, has agreed to come along instead. Her work is extremely interesting - she works with knitted wire and then stitches on top over dissolvable fabric to create hangings. She has a website which you might like to visit.

Nidderdale Workshop

Lynne Porter, a former member of Diverse Threads, led an excellent workshop "Artful Embroidery" on Saturday, 18 April for Nidderdale Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild. Landscape pictures formed the basis of individual designs with water soluble pencils and chiffon being used to paint the picture onto the fabric. Embroidery stitches were then added to create texture and line.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Young Embroiderers

Three members of the Harrogate branch committee spent Sunday 15 March at a doll making workshop organised by Pauline Heywood with Chris Beavers of the York Branch. There was a choice of three types of doll to be constructed using either traditional stitching methods, a plastic bottle or a couple of twigs. The resulting outcomes were very interesting and no doubt several branches will be enjoying some doll making workshops later this year with their young embroiderers.

Peg Dolls

The Peg Doll competition proved to be very popular. Choosing a winner was a very difficult decision. Anne Curzon was eventually declared the winner following a second ballot. Leah Cox was second with this rather luxurious mermaid. Amongst the other dolls there were a fairy, Father Christmas, an Elizabethan doll, a Japanese doll, and a rather buxom lady dressed in black.

Everyone enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch at Russell Sergeant House to celebrate Christmas.