Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Lunch in Threlkeld

Well, the weather relented last week, just in time for our Christmas lunch at The Horse and Farrier. Fourteen of us made it, and enjoyed a lovely meal. For most of us , it was our first visit to this lovely old Inn, and judging by the comments afterwards, it will not be the last!  We were treated to a wonderful meal, with plenty of choice, and very generous portions! Pat's warning to 'arrive hungry' was proved to be quite right.

We were a very lively group, and after the crackers, and three courses,we opened gifts. As is our tradition, these were all either made by the giver, or had some connection with embroidery and, as always, showed great ingenuity on the part of our members. Lovely presents, all appreciated by the recipients.

Not many pictures, I'm sorry to say, for a variety of reasons, but a few shots of some of the gifts.

Then came the mince pies, mulled wine , coffee and chocolates, before we all set off for home. A lovely occasion! Happy Christmas,everybody!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

December Newsletter from Pat

       The Keg Newsletter
          Dec 2010

                Happy Christmas!

By now we should have enjoyed our Christmas get-together, will be counting down the days to Christmas Day, and hoping to get that Christmas shopping done (weather allowing). I hope we are all lucky enough to enjoy the season, and get together with people we love.

A reminder – our next meeting is an informal meeting and will be on Tuesday, 4th January at Pat’s house – 10 till about 3pm. Ring 017687 79448 if you’re unsure about the weather, or for directions if necessary, and bring along your own work and your own lunch, or some lunchy things to share if you wish.

NOTE – Tuesday, not Thursday!!!


Don’t forget, we are hoping to hold another swap, jumble, bring and buy of sewing, knitting, craft items, etc, so when you are tidying / sorting out in the new year, think ‘JUMBLE’. More details of date and location later.


Our next ‘proper’ meeting is on 20th January, at The Friends’ Meeting House, and is entitled “Mystery Stitch”. This should be relaxed and enjoyable, and is a chance to re-visit stitching. The requirements are as follows:

  •  Approx ¼ metre of easy to stitch-into neutral open weave cotton or similar

  •  A range of threads from fine to chunky in a colour range of your choice (ie blue, green, red etc)

  •  A small quantity of threads in a complementary colour

  •  Basic sewing equipment, including needles large anough to take your thickest threads

  •  A frame for hand stitching if you use one (8” to 9” approx)

  •  A stitch book if you have one (we will bring some)

  • Your lunch (or Booths may beckon)

If you don’t have any of these items, don’t worry – we usually share!


There is an informal meeting on Thursday, 3rd February (yes, back to Thursday), at Pat’s house 10 till 3 and all are welcome, and the usual arrangements apply.


The 17th February meeting is Machine Embroidery with the popular tutor, Jan Hicks, and should be a good chance to experiment with modern techniques. You will need to bring:

  •  Sewing machine (need not be fancy)

  • Usual sewing kit including scissors

  •  Threads (machine and thicker)

  •  Hoop (8” to 10”)

  •  Scraps of fabrics (assorted, including sheers, velvets, etc)

  •  Firm cotton to practice on.

Jan will bring oddments of fabrics and threads, and soluble fabric will be for sale.

Look forward to seeing you on the 4th January! Any questions, ring Pat Knifton 017687 79448

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2010

Although we didn't have an official 'trip' to Harrogate, several of us made the journey over on the Thursday, some in groups, and others under their own steam. Going on the first day turned out to be a good decision, because of the weather ,which was just beginning to turn wintry, and giving some of us nightmares about getting back. I'm sure it put off lots of visitors on the other days.

A shame, because it was a good show, with plenty to see for anyone interested in textiles. Almost too much, really, and I was glad I'd decided to stay overnight, and visit the show twice.It meant I could have a good look round on Thursday, and leave buying anything until Friday. One hall after another of equipment, threads, fabrics, and beautiful creative work to inspire.  I loved talking to the creators of work I'd seen in Stitch magazine, and to Janet Browne, whose embroidery was featured recently in Embroidery. Part of  her work is based on 'maps' of the area where she lives, interpreted in felt, calico and stich. I thought they were intriguing when I saw them in the magazine, and was even more impressed when I could look at them close-up, and talk to her about them. There were some of the larger pictures I'd dearly loved to have brought home, but settled for a small picture of a bird, which is waiting to be framed, and a bookmark, a printed copy of one of the larger works.

This sea-bird is machine-stitched on painted calico over felt, and there is some hand embroidery added.

I was lucky to be staying very close to the Show, and fortunate that I was travelling by train, getting home just before the weather really closed in. Even on that Thursday, parts of North Yorkshire were under snow, but there was very little in Harrogate while I was there. I hope the other Keswick Embroiderers I saw there got home safely!

'Six Hens' bookmark, Janet Browne

Let's hope we can all make it to the Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld on Thursday 9th for that all-important Christmas lunch!

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Vikings are coming!

             ..........or, at least, pictures of Vikings, sent by Lyn,after the Guild meeting last week. 

And Pat's report...............
The Vikings are coming!

Our meeting on Thursday, 18th November was certainly interesting. We were awaiting a guest speaker for the afternoon, so spent the morning swapping yet more fabric for bags, and discussing, demonstrating techniques, and admiring BAGS. Some of us carried on stitching, and a very relaxed morning passed quickly. After lunch, we trouped down to our normal meeting room, to be greeted by a fully kitted out Viking - Mr Ian Uzzell, a man totally immersed in the Viking period, and whose Norse name was Snorri. He looked magnificent (and huge) with his chain mail, helmet, sword and knives, etc, and he started proceedings by blowing a very long blast on a horn. It was almost ear-splitting, but gradually became strangely evocative of vast fiords and all we think we know about the Vikings. Ian then proceeded to divest himself of his layers, explaining carefully the various materials used, transforming himself from a wealthy warrior to an upper class gentleman. Snorri’s wife was represented by a tailor’s dummy and, again, we learnt about the various garments she wore, and her embellishments in the form of jewellery, etc, and the arrangements surrounding dowries around the time of marriage. We were shown weaving and embroidery which had been closely copied from well-researched items in museums, and the equipment upon which it had been made. We were lucky to be able to handle a lot of the items and, although I haven’t a chance of remembering everything we were told, I feel I now have a broader background of information, which has somehow brought alive that period. It was interesting to note that so little is known about the Vikings’ normal lives because they had no written record of their own, but all the bad press was written by the monasteries they sacked, so was bound to portray them as warlike thugs. We all thoroughly enjoyed the talk, and it made a real change from our normal workshops.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

New Exhibition at Farfield Mill

This poster has been passed to me by the organisers of the Exhibition, which looks exciting, and certainly worth a visit to Farfield Mill between now and January.

Also, Beverley Trembath of Fobbles has asked me to pass on the following information;

Classic Inspirations,  the Australian Craft magazine is changing the way it supplies its customers. Fobbles is one of the retailers who will continue to stock this magazine.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The October Newsletter from Pat,

 Posting the October Newsletter was delayed because of problems with internet connections Here it is, now.

Keg Newsletter

October 2010

The 2010 programme has got off to a good start; we have just had our workshop on design with Sue Lancaster and I think everybody enjoyed the event and found it useful. At the AGM in September, the Committee and officers remained the same, ie.,
Val Osborn   Chair                Sally Evans
Lena Slater    Treasurer         Marilyn Hughes
Pat Knifton  Secretary           Lesley Rutherford
Lyn Armstrong                      Melanie Vincent

Christmas lunch

The KEG Christmas lunch will take place at The Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld on Thursday December 9th. We will meet there at 12 noon, and there is plenty of car parking. Please bring a gift to swap in the (anonymous!) lucky dip. The cost is £14.25, payable by 18th November, please. Warning; Come with a good appetite!


There will be no informal meeting in December, but then we will try alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thus, the dates will be;
Tuesday 4th January
Thursday 3rd February
Tuesday 1st March.

We are considering holding another textile 'jumble' event, either on one of the informal days, or as an evening event sometime in the early months of 2011. So, when you are sorting out your cupboards, shelves, etc., think about holding on to your swaps, books,and so on, so that we can recycle/recirculate.

Our next Meeting

We will have a talk on Thursday 18th November, about Vikings, Weaving, etc. This will not start until around 12 noon, so the committee thought it might be a good idea to resurrect the BAG day. So.........can you please bring
  • Any made-up bags you'd like to show
  • Suitable fabrics to start something with, or swap
  • Patterns to lend/copy/share
  • Sewing machine (if you wish....... some available to borrow)
  • Usual sewing kit
  • Lunch (there might not be time to visit Booths)
Once the talk is over we may have time to return to our bags, be it talking about them, swapping ideas or cracking on with making something bag-like.

The FRIENDS' Squares

We are hoping to produce some 4" squares to be displayed on a textile background to be hung in  the room where we meet. Sally has distributed some calico, the designs and a 4" template, and colours have been allotted. The plan is to produce four squares in each of eleven coloure, but if you have missed out on this and would like to take part, please contact Sally, who might know if we need help with some of the colours. The deadline is Easter 2011.

NorthWest Region  have begun advertising their Residential Summer School for July 2011, at Alston Hall. near Preston The classes on offer look very interesting;
Frances Pickering-Books to Cherish (transfer dyes, pelmet vilene, papers, hand and machine stitching, etc. 
Clare Hanham-Clensy Modern 3-D Crewel work (a new look at traditional Crewelwork, incorporating fine fabrics, beads etc.
Liliane Taylor  Pictorial Collages  (using natural fabrics and threads you dye yourself, producing a collage of your own)
The leaflet will be available at the November Pat if you are interested.

The Embroiderer's Guild is displaying some of its collection at the Quilt Museum in York from 23rd October 2010 till end of January 2011. Perhaps we could arrange a car-load or two to York?


NB  One of the things that infuriates me about this blog, is the way that it does not up-date the blogs we are linked to, properly. It is always worth clicking on the links, as it often takes over a week to acknowledge that blogs have been changed. It's not just ours, I have noticed this on other Blogger sites, too.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Design Workshop Sue Lancaster

 October's meeting certainly moved most of out of our comfort zone! Sue had promised us a session to make us think 'outside the box', and it was with some trepidation that we began. The morning was spent in identifying part of an image to draw, enlarge and manipulate, and in the afternoon we set about interpreting the resulting design, using techniques of our choice.

All the 'works in progress' were unique, and it will be interesting to see them completed.


With a supportive and inspiring tutor, we had a lovely day, learning a new process which will help us in the design of our own work in future.
We also had the opportunity to see some of Sue's own, beautiful work.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Exhibition and Sale

Sally has asked me publicise this event.

Exhibition and Sale

Arts and Crafts
Sally Evans

     at the Quaker Meeting House, Keswick

Saturday 23rd October


Coffee and biscuits £1

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Informal meetings

During the Autumn and Winter , these get-togethers happen once a month, are very relaxed, and a chance to chat, and get on with any pieces of work, embroidery or other textile crafts we like. October's was held at Gloria's house in Penrith, during that lovely sunny, warm spell. It was good to catch up with news, and the time went very quickly.

It was just as well it was nice, because Sally and I found the A66 had been closed, and we were left to find a very circuitous route back to Keswick.  We drove through the  gorgeous countryside by Ullswater, and were able to appreciate it because we weren't in a hurry!

I bought this book recently, and have enjoyed just reading it, so far. I hope to get round to trying out some of the techniques Linda Miller explains so clearly.

Our next formal meeting is on Thursday 21st, and is the design workshop with Sue Lancaster.

Monday, 4 October 2010

September meeting Marilyn's report

Thank you to Sally – Macclesfield Buttons          

After the AGM in the morning we spent the afternoon learning about and making Macclesfield buttons

Our visit to Macclesfield Silk Museum two years ago had inspired Sally to look into the history and production of these buttons. After a short talk and a look at some samples that Sally had made we were all keen to have a go ourselves.

Provided with a kit of materials we got started, but it was not as easy as it first appeared and we were amazed to know that it was usually the job of the children to make these. Traditionally the buttons were made by winding fine silk thread onto a wooden former to create a pattern. There was near silence as we all concentrated on getting the threads in the correct place and as work progressed we were delighted to see the pattern appear.

The last part was the trickiest, but after a few struggles we all managed to complete this successfully.

A big thank you to Sally for preparing and running this workshop, we all enjoyed it and were very proud to take home our own Macclesfield button.

Friday, 10 September 2010

September already!

And today it feels like Autumn.

Have you seen.................

I have just bought this wonderful book, and have spent hours poring over it.

It's a mixture of carefully-researched information about Early English textiles, beautiful photography, and examples of Jan Messent's own interpretation of techniques and stitches. I thought I'd read it all, at one point, but in fact, every time I go back to it, I find bits I've missed. Not a 'How to..' book, exactly. but it does have plenty of ideas and inspiration .

 Time to look forward to lots of sewing, and some workshops to inspire. Our AGM is next Thursday, back at the Friends' Meeting House, and will  be followed by Sally's workshop on Macclesfield buttons.

I have been asked to publicise this exhibition at The Drumcroon Gallery in Wigan

A Fine Line: Audrey Walker and Bob White

Thoughts on drawing, narratives, cloth and the processes of making.
The first combined exhibition of work by two influential artists and art educators.
Trained at the Slade in the immediate post-war period, drawing has been fundamental to their practice for over six decades. "It's something that's just a part of you; a process of thinking; of becoming continuously."

September 20th-November 26th 2010

Drumcroon Gallery, 2 Parson's Walk, Wigan WN1 1RS (01942 321840) Open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Admission free

Monday, 23 August 2010

August Newsletter from Pat

Keg Newsletter
August 2010

Our AGM will be at 10am on Thurday 16th September 2010, and will take place in our normal venue, the Friends' Meeting House opposite Booths Supermarket

The business meeting will be followed by receipt of subscriptions, and then the opportunity to make a Macclesfield button, led by Sally. The kit will be free. Bring your lunch, or visit Booths, if you prefer!

Please bring to the AGM your Chairman's Challenge sampler, finished or not, as the Chairman has not seen our efforts. It will be good to see everyone's interpretation of the Challenge!

We are very happy to be returning to the Meeting House following repair of the flood damage.

The Programme for the coming year is now arranged, and we hope you find it interesting and inspiring. It will be great to meet up with old friends again, and we all look forward to seeing you on 16th September.

21st October's meeting is Design with Sue Lancaster. This promises to be a really good day.
 A fun morning involving games(!) to make you totally stress-free, followed by some hand-stitching with admirable guidance from Sue. We start at 10am sharp, so do arrive by about 9.45am for coffee, etc., if possible. We are hoping that this will be a useful addition to our skills. Please bring;

  • Apron or clothes you don't mind getting paint or dye on,

  • All the ingredients for hand embroidery... fabric, and threads ( your choice of colours), base fabric such as calico, embroidery ring if you like to use one, needles, scissors, etc.
The maximum number suggested is 15, and the workshop will cost £15. To book a place, either enrol on the day of the AGM in September, or contact Pat before 15th September.

November's meeting

Please bring your own sewing for the morning or catch up with the gossip, and then around midday, we have an interesting talk about Viking Warriors and Weavers with displays of textiles.

Local exhibitions, etc.

Thornthwaite, Braithwaite and Newlands Home and Garden Show     11th September. You are invited to enter in the Handicrafts Section with your knitting, sewing, etc. (entries free up to 7th September) For more details contact Melanie Vincent.

5th September   Kendal Mintfest     1pm -4pm in Abbot Hall Park.  The Embroiderer's Guild will be represented at the SEWING PICNIC and would like volunteers to go along and demonstrate their sewing skills, as a chance to raise interest in our craft, and possibly recruit new members. Contact Pat for more information if you can go.

6th September  SEW IT'S MONDAY  a group of stitchers get together in Penrith (above Just Sew) on the first Monday of the month throughout Winter from approx 9.30am to do their own thing and share their skills, etc. If you are interested , ring Lena to find out more.

Regional News     Would you like to represent the club?

The regional AGM is being held in Preston on Saturday 16th October at 10.45am, and is open to any member of the guild.
There is a business meeting, plus a speaker and trade stands, and lunch is included. We are hoping that there will be a member or two who could attend on behalf of Keswick Branch, so that we are represented.
The group will pay the expenses involved. If you would like more information, or would like to attend, please contact Pat. It really is an interesting day out!

I hope to see you at the AGM, but if you have any questions, suggestions, etc., please contact me.

Pat Knifton

NB   I (Lesley, that is) do not feel comfortable in publishing other people's telephone numbers online, and so have not included them in this newsletter from Pat. If you do want to contact any of the people mentioned, the numbers are all on the membership list given out to Keswick Branch members. Alternatively, you could leave a message here on the blog, which will be passed on to the relevant person.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Fobbles Exhibition/ Lynette Anderson

Fobbles Needlecraft Workshops and Supplies will be staging their annual summer Exhibition on Friday23rd, and Saturday 24th July from 10am -4pm, at Gubbergill, near Holmrook. On display will be examples of Needlework, Patchwork and Bead work. Entrance is £2, and all proceeds are in aid of Hospice at Home.

Fobbles also invite you to an Evening Presentation by Lynette Anderson, of Patchwork, Quilting and Stitching. to be held in Calderbridge Village Hall, on Monday 16th August at 7.30 pm. Tickets for this are £5 each, to include refreshments. There will be a sales table, and raffle.

For more information about either event, contact 019467 24764, or look at the Fobbles link on the right of this page. Both will be well worth a visit!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Keswick Embroiderers' Exhibition

Joan's Crewel work
(Updated 13th July ; see below.)
July 2nd was a lovely, sunny day, and Keswick was busy with lots of visitors. Many of them made their way up the steps of the Moot Hall to our exhibition. From early on, there was a steady stream . I wasn't involved in setting up the exhibits; those who were did an excellent job, and our work looked very impressive. It's easy to forget everything that we've done over the last two years, and this was a reminder of the variety of our workshops, and the quality of work produced by our members. Not forgetting, of course, the talented and generous tutors, (some of them members) who have given us the benefit of their talents.

Several people had risen to the Chairman's challenge, issued by Val last September. Each had interpreted it in a different way, all very clever, some ingenious!  Pictures of some of the exhibits are posted here; I'll add more to the gallery later.  Some are labelled; some not, some have names, some don't. Some are taken from an odd angle, and I apologise for that, and for the reflection from the flash.

Chairman's Challenge..Marilyn's book, Gloria's Trees, and Val's sampler.

                      Sally's doll.......                               Beyond Canvaswork  (Sally)

Lace, and fabric beads............

Beyond Canvaswork.............Pat

 Patchwork Applique.............Gloria

Stumpwork ( Marilyn)and Canvaswork............

Needlelace flower.............

Sally, on the door, and stitching, as ever!

 Reverse Applique............

Beyond Canvaswork     Marilyn

Just some of the work we had on display.  It was a lovely exhibition, and we enjoyed the chat, the tea, and the cake, as well as welcoming old friends and new to the Moot Hall. If you can put the correct names to any of the featured work, I shall be only too glad to credit it.
A visitor left this message;

What a stunning collection of work, extremely hard to pick a favourite. Well done to all, thank you for sharing. How about an embroidered cover for a ‘visitor book’ so we can leave comments at your next exhibition? J. H. Cockermouth

Thank you very much! And what a good idea!

Saturday, 3 July 2010


On 17th June, we had our annual KEG outing. It's always a good day, with some textile inspiration, and over the years we have travelled far and wide to find somewhere different. Sally sends this report on our visit to Halifax.

Trip to Bankfield Mansion - 17 June 2010
Our annual trip out this year was to take us to Halifax to visit Bankfield Mansion, a museum and exhibition centre. The mansion started as a modest 4 bedroomed house and was the principal home of Edward Akroyd, a woollens and worsteds manufacturer in the early 19th
century. He purchased the house in 1838 and, after his marriage and inheriting a substantial fortune, he set about enlarging and decorating the property in the Italianate style to become the Mansion that stands today.

We entered the house by an enclosed lobby and ascended some stairs to enter the ballroom, now a beautiful room with a painted ceiling and patterned wooden floor. It contains a small shop and a large exhibition of modern patchwork and embroidery.

The embroideries comprised many  mixed media, batik, appliqué, and machine, all very colourful, clever, and well thought out. One section of flower drawings in black machine stitch on white organza were quite lovely. Some modern sculptured dolls made one smile with their funny faces. All these embroideries had been done by members of a sewing
group 'TenPlusTextiles' ( were patchwork hangings, small, but perfect in the use of colour, design and stitching, adding to their beauty. A triple hanging using blue/pink fabric was the highlight.

Leading off the ballroom were many rooms housing things from the past; books, jewellery, clothes and textiles, toys, and household/kitchen equipment. One room was dedicated to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and followed its history up to the present day. Another room was The World of Textiles Gallery, with fabrics from India Africa and China.
Upstairs the exhibition cases had models wearing clothes from many nations as well as interesting old garments, shoes, boots, hats etc. from this country.

Another display was of Jewellery by Charles Horner, a new name to me. He had a thriving business through two world wars expressing his his great skill in Art and Craft style designs but went into voluntary liquidation in 1986.

We spent a very pleasant afternoon looking round the house and its displays and returned to Keswick feeling inspired by the modern work and fascinated by our trip into the past.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Woolfest 2010 /Keswick Embroiderers' Exhibition

I met up with lots of Guild members and other friends at Woolfest this weekend, and caught glimpses of several others in the distance! I went both days, and managed to find plenty of things on Saturday that I'd missed on Friday. It was a lovely show, and I came away with bagsful of goodies, and ideas. I think  I was more realistic this year about what I'd actually use, but still managed to have all kinds of purchases to enjoy all over again when I got home and unpacked them. The attendance seemed to be good............ I hope that all the stallholders felt it worth coming, because it really is wonderful to have this show here, so close by.

Among my favourite buys were a little felt doll from Diane Gaffney's stall, where I was also seriously tempted by the batik fabrics, and two of Jackie Cardy's beautiful felt and velvet embroidered brooches, which I have seen  on her blog. (   Her felt vessels were lovely too. Otherwise, my buys were supplies of threads and fabric.

 I'm sure , if you went, you enjoyed it, and if you didn't, look out for Woolfest 2011.

Our Exhibition is the next Big Thing for us! It may not be on the same grand scale as Woolfest, but will show the kinds of things we do, and the results of  workshops over the last two years or so. We're hoping for a good response at The Moot Hall on Friday.  Refreshments will be served!  See you there!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

May's Meeting; Goldwork

Pat's report, and Melanie's pictures............

On Thursday, 20th May, we were lucky to have 'Golden Hinde' visit us, with Sue Hinde giving us very clear tuition in goldwork, and her daughter Sarah Rackstraw aiding her, and letting us have many tips on how to get to grips with our attempts at a beautiful finished product. We were asked to choose a motif (mine was a shell shape) and a little kit of materials (gold or silver, lovely coloured beads, etc), and it was explained how to transfer the pattern to the fabric, by stitching through the tissue paper, and then removing it carefully. We then couched threads, sewed on padded shapes in soft leather, and cut up sparkly lengths, which then were threaded into place as beads. The overall effect of all our efforts was charming, and in her friendly, chatty way, Sue Hinde persuaded most of us that there was no fear in having a go at goldwork; indeed, I came away with inspiration to complete my Chairman's Challenge Sampler with a three inch square of goldwork, and to incorporate these well-explained techniques into future pieces of embroidery, be they traditional or contemporary. A very relaxed and enjoyable day!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Out and about this summer!

This is Marilyn's review of a visit to Farfield Mill, Garsdale Road, Sedbergh

I have just visited the Trees in the Park Exhibition and found it very interesting, however these are Art quilts and are certainly not for the bed!

Most are long tall quilted wallhangings, as you would expect a tree to be. A variety of techniques, are displayed, including some hand and machine embroidery.

Worth a visit if you are in the area.

Mary Taylor ( machine embroidery based on landscapes) also has her workshop here, so you can see her work whenever you visit and she is often working there. I love her landscapes and also the range of embroidered jewelry she creates. The workmanship is to such a high standard, so neat and accurate and her use of colour is excellent.

Summer Exhibitions 2010

12th June to 11th July - Trees in the Park (quilted textiles)

10th July to 5th Sept - Lancs & Lakes Guild Of WSD (woven textiles)

7th July to 30th Aug - Nora Ball textile (woven textiles& mixed media)

More info at

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

May meeting

At last the weather seems to be improving! Everything looks so much nicer in the sun.

This Thursday's meeting will be a goldwork workshop, led by Golden Hinde.(
 It promises to be interesting, and I am very sorry that I will not be there, as I am, (hopefully) off on holiday. So there will be no blog about it, or pictures, immediately, but I am hoping that someone will write a report, and perhaps take some pictures of what I expect will be lovely work! I will upload anything sent to me as soon as I get back next week.

Don't forget that we are still meeting at Threlkeld!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Val's Scissor Keeper

Our April meeting featured a workshop by our chairman, Val, who showed us how to make a canvaswork scissor-keeper. Val's workshops are always very hands-on, and this one  involved us learning 'Norwich Stitch', new to me, and to others, too, I suspect. It did demand concentration, and silence reigned for a while as we got to grips with the stitch itself. It turned out to be the ideal stitch for the project, of course, and the beautiful space-dyed threads that Val had chosen for us complemented it perfectly.

At least one person had made the little scissor keeper before lunch, but most of us worked on, and some had to take it home to complete. It was a lovely relaxed session, once we'd mastered 'the stitch', and normal chatting was resumed after lunch. Pictures below of work in progress..................... and thanks to Val for something new.  (And another stitch to feature on the sampler, which is needed soon!)

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Latest News from Pat

KEG Newsletter April 2010

A belated Happy Easter to all! It really is lovely to see the daffodils blooming, and to feel the garden will once again be surprising us with what it can do. PLEASE REMEMBER – the next few meetings will be at Threlkeld Village Hall, until the Friends’ Meeting House has completed its works after flooding. We expect to be back there in September!


Our next meeting is at 10am on Thursday, 15th April (coffee available at 9.45am), and Val Osborn is guiding us in making a very pretty scissor keeper. A kit is supplied, so all you need to bring is your ‘usual sewing kit’ and your lunch, and enjoy a day of pleasant stitching.


On 20th May we have a visit from Golden Hinde. Sue and Sarah Hinde are teaching us the techniques of Goldwork, and will bring along their shop for the purchase of goodies which you might need. There will be a kit of materials available for the actual workshop, but I am attaching the list of things for you to bring, as it is pretty lengthy. Don’t be put off though – there is lots of help available, and we can share most things, as usual. This is a great opportunity to learn, or recap, with a very good tutor, on techniques which give such a beautiful result! Val will take names on the 15th April, or please ring Pat after 18th April and by 22nd April at the latest.


17th June is the grand KEG outing, and this year we are going south to visit the Bankside Museum in Halifax in the afternoon, following on from lunch at the Mereside Centre at Shibden Hall. Bankside Museum has an internationally renowned collection of textiles and costume, plus contemporary exhibitions, in a Victorian Italianate house built by a gentleman in the wool trade.

To organise the transport and catering, we need to know numbers, so please let Val know on Thursday, 15th April, or ring Pat on 017687 79448 after 18th April and by 22nd April at the latest. Entry to the museum is free, we are finding out about costs for lunch, and transport is yet to be decided. Val will explain on Thursday 15th April.


Keswick Embroiderers’ Exhibition – Moot Hall Keswick – 2nd July 2010

We are hoping you will have lots to show at this exhibition.  Please let us have your insurance forms by 20th May so that the appropriate Insurance form can be completed, etc.

To remind you of our exploits - during the years since our last exhibition we have produced the following: Crewel embroidery (x2), Calico Creations, used transfer paints, made felt, made textile flowers, doll heads, stars, Mountmellick, fabric jewellery, canvas work, made appliqué angels, silk paper, and will no doubt have produced a scissor keeper and some goldwork by then! Don’t forget, your pieces don’t have to be complete; work in progress is just as interesting for our visitors.

The Chairman’s Challenge samplers will be interesting to exhibit (hope you are proceeding well on that!) and we hope to have the Rainbow Squares back in our possession. We will have a sales table, and it would be great if you could make some cards, or little items which our visitors might like to buy when they visit. If you want to sell any of the items which you are exhibiting, you are welcome to put a price on them and the group will accept a 10% commission if they are sold.

Sally Evans is still wanting our ideas, sketches, drawings, examples and explanations of fabric used, etc, for the motifs supplied to the KEG banner. Sally will create a file which will contain all the information, for posterity, and we would like to put that information in our exhibition. Just jot down what you felt about your piece, and the materials you used, etc, and we will make a display to supplement the KEG Banner.

Pat Knifton 017687 79448

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch/Sewing for Pleasure

Like many others, I was disappointed that what used to be the 'Madeira' Show would not be in Harrogate this year, but very keen to go to its replacement at The NEC. There was more than a little doubt about whether this was a good idea, mainly when I was preparing to catch the 6.30 AM! train from Whitehaven on Thursday. After that brutal start, the journey was very easy, and I was in the show by 11.30. I was there on two days, and so had time for a good look round, and managed to fit in two workshops as well as talking to various designers and makers on Friday morning, before the crowds arrived.

I really enjoyed the show, and though it was busy, felt that there was plenty of space to get around. All the usual suppliers were there, of course, but I especially enjoyed seeing inspirational work from groups and individuals, many of them incredibly generous with their time and advice. No pictures, sadly, because many of the designers, understandably, don't allow photographs. I did get contact and website details, and books, of course!

 The workshops I took part in were taught by Pauline Verrinder from Fibre Fusion, whose display was stunning, and I felt on Thursday that if I saw nothing else, the journey would have been worth while. But, I did see plenty of other things that made my mouth water, and I came back with all kinds of goodies, and books, but also ideas to develop back at home.

I have added a website to our list. Linda and Laura Kemshall run ‘Design Matters TV’, online workshops for textiles, which, as their work is lovely, must be worth looking at. One of the introductory videos shows needlefelted and embroidered brooches, and I know there are some of us who'd be interested. However, my broadband connection is so volatile that I haven’t been able to watch more than a few seconds of it, yet. You may have more luck.

Did anyone else get to the show? What did you think of it?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

March meeting Eleanor Paxton

Today's was a slightly different kind of meeting for us; instead of the workshop format we're more used to, we were treated to a talk by Eleanor Paxton. She was for many years involved with the costumes, props and scenery for Keswick Amateur Operatic Society, performing first at The Blue Box, and then, as it became, The Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. The slides showed her scenery for Gilbert and Sullivan operas, and other musicals to be so realistic, and she brought along examples of the costumes she has made over the years, always on a small, and often a shoestring budget.
We were very impressed by her talents. The talk ended in theatrical fashion, when Keswick's Town Crier made his entrance, giving us a sneak preview of his new costume, designed and made, of course, by Eleanor.

No photographs can do justice to what we saw today.



A saucy showgirl, this one!

Town Crier

Two very realistic (and surprisingly lightweight) Props

One of Eleanor's first backdrops

Many thanks to Eleanor for a glimpse behind the scenes!