‘A lifetime of looking’

Parham House Gardens

We had a wonderful talk this month by one of our own members, Julia Brown. Julia specialises in exquisite landscapes which she embroiders on her trusty 1970’s Bernina sewing machine. Julia comes from a family or tailors and sewers, and has stitched since childhood. She showed us a sweet tiny needlecase that she stitched as a young child, and spoke about how important it is to share our love of stitch with children and to pass our skills on. She also spoke about the importance of tutors, and she particularly acknowledged the influence of local machine-embroidery tutor Wendy Dolan.

Julia has found her niche in machine-embroidered landscapes. It combines three key things that she loves: sewing, painting and landscapes. Sewing started in childhood, and for many years Julia has made and embroidered wedding dresses professionally. Her love of painting underlies her embroidery work (for example a knowledge of composition, colour mixing, where to put a focal point etc.). She lightly paints her fabric before stitching, leaving lots of space for stitching it afterwards.

Julia studied Geography at University, and her love of landscape is what has led her to this particular aspect of stitching. She is interested in the underlying geology, as well as the human influence of things like tracks, hedges and fields. A recent influence is the wonderful book by Robert Macfarlane: ‘The Old Ways, A Journey on Foot’. This exploration of the ancient tracks and landscapes encourages the reader to slow down and really look at the world around them. It’s a lovely book, available from most good bookshops.

Julia showed us how she builds up layers of different textures before starting to stitch, using fabrics such as crepe bandage, scrim, dish-cloth etc. She then adds even more texture and detail with stitch. Many thanks to Julia for a very interesting talk, and for showing us your lovely work. To see more of Julia’s work, go to her website or FB page: https://www.facebook.com/JuliaBrownStitched/    https://www.facebook.com/JuliaBrownStitched/

Summer Meeting

Our August meeting was a very successful afternoon in the lovely environment of Findon Village Hall. We had plenty of space to socially distance, and with windows and doors open and the sun shining in we had a chance to be together once again just like old times. It feels like a very positive time in the group: longstanding members are ‘re-connecting’ and at the same time, new members are joining. We took this chance to look back at some of the work that members have been creating during lockdown, and everyone enjoyed the pop-up display of work. If you scroll down, you will see some photos of the individual work that members exhibited on the day. Apologies if I missed yours, but do feel free to send me a photo to add. If I haven’t named your work, or if you know who made one of the un-named ones, please pop a message in the ‘Comments’ box at the end of this post. And here are a few photos of people chatting and enjoying the afternoon.

Linda Hoddy

Betty Byford
Sue Parkinson

Annette Ragless?
Gay Hibbs
Brenda Forrester
Sally Mitchell

Sue Parkinson
Lea Dishott

Garden Sale

They say that buses come in threes – well today the news posts from the website will come as three. Your Webmistress is finally having a catch-up! So here are some photos from the wonderfully successful garden sale that was held Jane Baskerville’s garden. This was another opportunity to get together and chat, drink tea and eat cake – and it was also a very successful fund-raiser for the group. Members came ready to shop, and shop they did! As well as Linda’s bric-a-brac, we also had a lovely collection of textile books that was given to Jane B, donated fabrics, and the delicious print-blocks that were donated by Jamie Mason of Colouricious. We will keep a generous collection of the print blocks for members to use in workshops, but there are so many (literally hundreds!) which means we are selling some as fund-raisers (take a look at the Sales page on the website if you’re interested in the box sets of print-blocks). As well as raising £413.50 for the group during the afternoon, we also raised £37 for the NHS from the teas and coffees. Here are some photos of us all in Jane B’s beautiful garden.

Real people!

The sun shone, and we finally managed to meet up in person for our July meeting. How lovely to see ‘real’ people rather than rectangular people on a computer screen, and how lovely to see those members again who haven’t been joining us on Zoom. Our July meeting took place as an outdoor ‘socially distanced’ picnic. Many thanks to Sue P for organising the day, and for organising the wind to drop and the sun to shine! No more words, just lots of lovely photos.

Little Miss Muffet

The monthly workshop group had a good day this month learning how to make tuffets. These were made over a ‘former’, with a padded top, and can have little button-legs added. Photos by Sue Bush. 

 

 

If anyone was wondering who Miss Muffet actually was, Mr Google tells us that she was the daughter of Dr Thomas Muffet, a famous 16th-century scientist who studied insects. Apparently Daddy’s work wasn’t such a great hit with his daughter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaffe Fassett’s Colour at Mottisfont

On Thursday 11th January a group of EG members went to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition at Mottisfont Abbey. Kaffe Fassett is reported to be delighted with the way his work was exhibited at Mottisfont. Unlike most exhibition galleries, the normal white walls were replaced with colours that either complemented or toned with the work on display. EG member Daphne Dedman wrote: ‘Seven of us went, and everyone thought it was worth the trip. The first room was painted blue, and had alot of blue and white items. As we progressed round the rooms, the walls were painted in complementary colours and the items got brighter’. Scroll down through the images below for a taste of the exhibition (photos by Daphne).

Findon Christmas Tree Festival

We took part in the Findon Christmas Tree Festival this year for the first time. This is a fund-raising event when the wonderful old Church of St John the Baptist is filled with Christmas trees decorated by local groups and societies. They ranged from children’s groups to a ‘Men in Sheds’ group. It was a lovely sight. Unfortunately the low lighting made it difficult to photograph, so only a few of the close-ups came out. Apologies for the lack of focus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the decorations after they were taken off the tree, so you can see more detail.

Findon Christmas Tree Festival Decoration