Programme & Workshops 2015/2016

We meet on the first Thursday of the month (except August) from 7 – 9 pm upstairs in the Saints Parish Rooms, St Mary's Gate, Chesterfield.

The Stitch Group (which is only open to members) meets at the same venue on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 7 – 9 pm. This is a group of members who meet once a month to enjoy stitching in company.

We have an Show Table most months but these are arranged nearer the time.

1 October 2015 AGM

5 November 2015 Introduction to Japanese Kimono and Kimono fabrics: A talk by Helen Smith

After many years of collecting and dealing in fine fabrics, Helen discovered Japanese indigo cottons and recognised their excellence, both in design and in quality, she is delighted to be supporting fine artisan fabric in a machine-produced age. She will bring many examples of these fabrics and talk about their history.

Show table: A Host of Angles                                      Please bring your completed angels for the Festival of Christmas Trees in the Parish Church.

Thursday 12 November to Saturday 14 November 2015                                                                           25th Anniversary Exhibition

10 am to 4 pm at Rose Hill United Reform Church, Rose Hill, Chesterfield S40 1LW

There will be an exhibition of members work with the theme of “Celebration”. We will be displaying a group project – the Christmas angels. There will be a sales table to sell non exhibition work. Refreshments will be on sale.

Saturday 21 November until Sunday 29 November 2015                                                                       Festival of Christmas Trees

We are making angels to decorate our Christmas tree in the Parish Church, Chesterfield.

3 December 2015                                                         Nicola Jane Hilton, Embroiderer: A talk by Nicola Hilton

After tuition at the Royal School of Needle Work Nicola spent time at the London College of Fashion and Design. Nicola has worked on many prestigious pieces. She now works freelance on commission, conservation and teaching. Her talk will focus on stump work.

Show table: It is the Season of the Year.

Last year we looked at your collected angels (and we got the pattern for this year’s Christmas tree decorations from that meeting). This year we would love to see anything else to do with Christmas: embroidered table cloths, children’s stockings, wreaths, decorations both ones you have made yourself and special ones collected along the way.

7 January 2016                                                     Establishing a Rhythm: A talk by Dionne Swift

Follow the development of her work; from the collection of ideas, images and concepts to the developing of notions and progression into stitch. There is a wealth of investigation and thought before she can contemplate sitting in front of her machine. Dionne takes the landscape as her inspiration and uses photography, drawing and painting to distil her images.

Show table: What has a Workshop ever done for you?

Many of us go to workshops, summer schools or courses run as part of a holiday. People travel to spend time with a favourite tutor or to study a special subject. It would be interesting to see some of the outcomes, both finished pieces, trial runs and failures (which we can all learn something from).

4 February 2016 Practical working evening - Birds, Beasts and Insects

We will be working from a portfolio from the Embroiderers’ Guild containing worked examples of:-

Bird motif using metal threads and floss silks; Indo Chinese dragon and three frogs.

Show table: Fabulous or Funny.

Tonight we will be looking at samples of historic 3D animals lent by the Guild. Have you ever made anything 2D or 3D, that involved animals, birds or fish? Maybe you have bought something at a craft fair or on holiday that would be interesting to see. One of our members still works from a 1950's book called “Toys for your Delight”. Do you have similar books that you could share?

3 March 2016                                                        Working with Passion: a talk by Bobby Britnell

This lecture looks briefly at how I came into textiles, through working in the theatre and as a tailoress. It describes my drive and passion both as a teacher and as a practising artist and pays particular attention to the importance of drawing and designing in my work. It brings you up to date with my current work and my plans in the future. Plenty of visual material accompanies the lecture to hopefully inspire the audience.’

websites: and

Show table: All my own work!

Barbara Meeke will be sharing some of the lovely things she has created along the way.

Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March 2015 – Workshop: tutor Bobby Britnell

7 April 2016 Practical Workshop: run by members

Where to start, what to look at, which first steps to take, on a new topic for embroidery.

Show table: What we wear and how we look; all aspects of fashion.

We would love to see anything you have made or someone else has made to be worn or carried; things for a wedding or christening; to give as a present; or made out of desperation. Books, magazines, patterns and sources of ideas would also be interesting.

5 May 2016                                                          Chameleon ‘Seasons in colour’: a talk by Tracy Oldhead

A fascinating insight into the world of colour and how it can relate to you. How to enhance your overall appearance by focusing on the best colours for you.(Part of the ‘Looking at fashion’ season

Show table: Entries for Kickstart and the Regional competition and a display of whatever we are doing for a stall at Regional Day.

2 June 2016                                                                      A Coastal Perspective: a talk by Alice Fox 


Since graduating in 2011 Alice has focused her artistic practice on engaging with landscape, particularly coastal. Working on paper, silk and linen, Alice layers up print and stitch to make contemplative artworks that embody particular locations. Alice will talk about her work, particularly focusing on her 2012 residency at Spurn Point Nature Reserve, East Yorkshire. During the residency Alice developed particular ways of recording her experience of the landscape and using found objects from the beach for rust dying and mark making. During the project she made two large scale textile pieces for installation in the old lighthouse at Spurn as well as a series of smaller works.

Show table: The outcome of an experimental workshop.

Back in March Bobby Britnell ran an experimental two day workshop which was more about the journey than a finished piece. Lines, marks and models made during the classes and any work that has come out of it would fascinate us all.

Friday 10 June 2016                                                          Stumpwork workshop with Nicola Hilton

We will be making a  bumble bee beehive needlecase. The kit will be £10

7 July 2016                                                           ‘Precious Memories’ figures, faces and fabrics: a talk by Jo Beattie

Jo uses the line created by her sewing machine to create intricate pictures of people, often large crowds. Using a simplified outline and the pattern of their clothes she brings the essence of the person to life.

Show table: A display of whatever we decide to make for the National Day of Stitch


No meeting

1 September 2016                                                       ‘Lest We Forget’, the story of a quilt: a talk by Jeannette Jackson

Recent family research starting with Victor born on 9th November 1918, led to the making of a commemorative quilt. His father volunteered in 1915, his mother volunteered for the women’s land army. This led to an interest in the role of women on the Home Front. The techniques used in the making of the quilt, which include the transfer of photographs onto fabric and the use of a sewing computer to stitch text are also covered in the talk.

6 October 2016 A.G.M.