New Season

Back again after the Summer break - hope you had a good one.
Our first meeting is a Practical one so please bring your sewing kit, scissors, embroidery threads and any felt scraps you may have. Alternatively there will be a kit available for £1.
Subs are due and you get a £2 reduction if you pay this month. There are a few spaces on the coach  for the Knitting and Stitching Show on 15th  October and the final payment is required to secure your place.
Finally we have an 'In House' workshop on 23rd. A nice relaxing day sewing with friendly people!


Sewing About It: Our Inspiration with Jill Rose Brennan

On Monday 17 July 2017 we met up at Priory Hall for an inspiring talk from Jill Rose Brennan.

 Jill Rose started sewing at an early age, during summer holidays spent with her grandparents. Later she went to Goldsmiths College where her interests were in dress design and painting, leaving with a teaching degree. In 1989 she moved to Southampton and discovered quilting, which incorporated her love of drawing, painting and sewing.

She joined Joan York's New Forest Quilt Group and had a wonderful time developing her skills.

Jill Rose's studio is based in The Sorting Office in Eastleigh but also runs workshops at the National Needlework Archive, in Newbury.




She explained how she has developed her own work and her sewing techniques, including appliqué and machine and hand quilting. She told us that when working on large quilts she uses a wooden frame, with the fabric anchored in position. The sewing machine, on rollers, is moved over the fabric, rather than the other way round. As well as using a kaleidoscope of quilting methods, Jill Rose also dyes and monoprints onto fabric to enhance her designs.





Her beautiful work has been
nationally recognised and she won the Art Quilt trophy and Machine Appliqué Award at the National Quilt Championships for her quilt called 'The last Rays of Glorious Sunlight Before The Rest That Night time Brings'.


Jill Rose brought lots of examples of her work to show us and we were all amazed at her use of colour and the intricacies of her designs.














Many thanks Jill Rose, for coming to talk to us. It was a very inspiring and enjoyable evening.

Machine Embroidery Workshop with Marion Browning



On Saturday 24 June 2017, at Goodworth Clatford Village Club, we had a very enjoyable day with the very talented Marion Browning.

Marion showed us how, with just a few scraps of material, we could produce beautiful pictures of a cottage garden.











Marion provided us with kits of coloured fabrics which we layered to produce some dazzling effects. For some of us, machine embroidery was new skill to be mastered, but under Marion's excellent tutoring, we all produced work to be proud of.


Thank you Marion, for a super workshop, we all had a very enjoyable time. I think the photo below says it all!


Old Walls and Painted Halls ... and a bit of Myth and Magic with Maggie Grey

We met at Priory Hall, Andover on Monday 19 June 2017 to listen to a stimulating talk by Maggie Grey.

She took us on a world tour to a few of the places where she has found inspiration for her work. This included Chinese wall paintings in Xinjiang, the painted interior of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Great Mosque of Cordoba, famous for its arches, not forgetting the House of Bones in Barcelona. Next stop, we landed in Portmeirion then off on a cruise round the Baltic!



Maggie explained how she interprets her photos and sketches and the various methods she uses to create her textile art. She told us about paper casting and soft sculpt and how to use them ourselves to make 3D forms, adding dimension and texture. She also reminded us not to overlook the use of an embellisher, again for creating texture and interest in our work.






















Maggie's work incorporates both machine and hand stitching to create beautiful wall hangings, bags and artefacts. She brought a wide variety of her work to show us, which was greatly appreciated.


Many thanks, Maggie, for speaking to us and for sharing your experiences and generously giving us an insight into the techniques you use to create your beautiful and eye-catching work.

June Meeting

Maybe the warmer weather has tempted you to other activities but the longer, lighter days give more time for stitching!
We are delighted to welcome Maggie Grey,one of the foremost practitioners of modern innovative textile techniques and editor of 'workshopontheweb', to our meeting this month. She is sure to inspire you to try something new.
Don't forget to book for the Machine Embroidery workshop on Saturday 24th June and the Knitting and Stitching Show on Sunday 15th October.


Russian Metal Thread Embroidery with Pamela Smith




We met up on Monday 15 May 2017 for a fascinating evening with Pamela Smith. Pamela introduced us to Russian metal thread embroidery and explained how it has developed over the centuries.







The earliest examples are of ecclesiastical embroidery, such as altar fronts and vestments, worked with couching and split stitch.

Russian aristocrats set their peasants to work to produce their sumptuous embroidered garments. The Strogonov family, who were wealthy merchants and later ennobled, set up embroidery workshops and employed peasants as well as family members to produce beautiful embroideries. Some items, such as elaborate headwear were also made in monasteries.


The picture below shows the front and back of a dushegreya or 'soul warmer'. The bodice is heavily embroidered with goldwork and the sleeves are exceptionally long to display a 'waste of fabric', indicating that the wearer was wealthy.




The secret of staying warm in Russia was to wear multiple layers, as these dolls demonstrate. However after Peter the Great saw what was worn at court in the west, he insisted that his courtiers adopt this style, so bodices became lower, coats shorter and everyone at court suffered from the cold!

Pamela also spoke about the ancient city of Torzhok, founded in the 11th century by Novgorod merchants as a goldwork centre and it remains the centre for goldwork embroidery in Russia today.



Many thanks Pamela for a very interesting talk, not only did you provide us with an insight into metal thread embroidery but also gave us a taste of Russian history and culture.

May Meeting

The technique of embroidering with metal threads is found throughout history and in many parts of the world. Our speaker will focus on examples from Russia. Full details below:-

At our last meeting we saw examples of what some of our members are currently working on. How about sharing your latest project or the results of  April's Workshop?