Thursday, 3 November 2011

Postcards - Monaco

Members have been busy and we now have a number of postcards ready to be sent off.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I’m sure we’re not the only branch out there who struggle to fill committee posts when someone steps down.
Our Chairman stepped down this year after doing more than her fair share of years but was worried no one would come forward to replace her. Without a chair it is very difficult for a branch to continue so we came up with an idea that other branches may decide to use if they find themselves in the same situation – job share.
We now have 3 chairmen -
Diane Freeman, Lorna Batten, Yvonne Arnston who will liaise and organise the work between them. Heather Kay has taken over as Treasurer and Yvonne Wilman will continue on as Secretary.
A big thank you to Jacqui and Norma for all the work they have put into the branch over the years.

The AGM was followed by a talk from Janet Strain entitled “Knickers! – A Brief History”
I didn’t realise just how fascinating knickers could be! Before Janet began speaking she donned a red hat and at first I just thought she was slightly eccentric but then several ladies started laughing. I had never come across the phrase “red hat no knickers!”   Janet had to remove the hat because she certainly had an abundance of knickers with her!  Did you know that until the end of the 18th century, "decent" women had always gone knickerless? Drawers were originally worn only by men but, due to changes in fashion, women increasingly adopted them. Janet’s talk was both very informative and humorous. I shall never look at my knickers it quite the same way again!

Do any of these bring back memories for you?

Is this why the sixties were swinging?

Friday, 28 October 2011


I’m sorry for the lack of blogs – life has a habit of getting in the way!
Here is an update of what has been going on at the Harrogate branch.
In September we had a wonderful talk by Liliane Taylor. Liliane is a contemporary textile artist who uses natural fabrics and vintage fabrics in her work. She works mainly from her drawings to produce figurative work and beautiful landscapes. She brought lots of samples of her work. I always feel a mixture of inspiration and desperation at my own work when we have such a high calibre textile artist. To see more of her work visit her website by clicking on the link below.

At the end of September we had a workshop run by Hillary Hollingworth. Having already given a talk earlier in the year we were all eager to have a go at some darning ourselves. Rather than working straight from a photo Hilary got us to make a collage of our photo using old magazine pictures. This was a very interesting exercise as it made you focus on the colours carefully and observe shading and form. It also meant that you then had a new image to work from that was not an exact copy but had the essence of the original image. We thoroughly enjoyed our day and I hope to get some images of completed work to put on the blog!

Collage and work in progress

Monday, 22 August 2011

Isobel Hall - Mixed media books with stitched spines

Last Saturday Isobel Hall taught a workshop on how to create mixed media hard backed books with an open embroidered spine.
The morning consisted of experimenting with various mixed media techniques. We used encaustic wax, paints, chalky pastels, alcohol inks and light moulding paste with stencils and stamps on textured paper to create different backgrounds. Different techniques were layered one on top of another to create unique paper backgrounds for embroidering into. This was very messy but oh so enjoyable!

Paper samples

Next came the stitching of the pages together to form the inside of the book. I must admit that I found this part quite fiddly and frustrating at times. However when I tried again at home I found it much easier and got hooked!

Using a frame with tapes to stitch pages together

It was a very full but enjoyable day and we ran out of time so no books were actually finished on the day.
I do hope to see several completed books at the next meeting so that other members can see what a great workshop they missed.

My finished book

Thursday, 23 June 2011


Exhibition starts Saturday 25th June

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Priscilla Jones

Priscilla Jones treated us to a wonderful talk with lots of slides showing her work and beautiful drawings from her to degree work up to the work she is currently creating.  She also brought along a range of her embroidered canvasses, 3D sculptures and cards for us to see. Having seen her work featured in many magazines it was wonderful to see them in the flesh. Her 3D sculptures of cups and teapots, created from wire, fabric and wax, were particularly enthralling. Her subtle use of colour and amusing images made her embroidered canvasses very appealing.  What a delightful afternoon! 

To find out more about Pricilla Jones go to

Regional Day

Several members attended the Regional day and what an enjoyable day it was. There were two excellent speakers and a much improved lunch. There were lots of wonderful entries for the various competitions and a member of the Harrogate branch won the "Challenge Cup". The theme was "A Confection" and Irene Earl created her own version of "Bertie Bassett" as pictured below.

I was particularly impressed with the number of entries by children for the “Pass It On” challenge set by the Ryedale Branch with the theme “Flowers”.

The winning entry

Monday, 16 May 2011

"Darn It"

Last Saturday Hillary Hollingworth came to talk about her work. Hillary has stitched from an early age, her grandmother taught her to crochet and darn. She now puts her darning skills to more creative use, producing fantastic textile pieces. When designing pieces Hilary often starts by making collages from her personal photographs and then uses these to transfer a new image to fabric. Then the darning begins!

 To view more of her work visit her website -

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

More Mini Books

Here are a few more mini books from the workshop.