We had a very successful weekend of stitching at Newstead Abbey. On Saturday Jenny, Beryl and Eileen arrived early and put up a display of work, a small table with items for sale and a seating area for members of the public to 'have a go'.
During the weekend we had a lot of interest and several members of the public sat and stitched with us on the pieces of fabric, learning about Kantha. It was good to chat as we stitched and designs grew. One lady was not content with just the running stitches, she wanted to try out more, bringing back memories of her childhood. It was good that we had samples of herring bone, blanket stitch and many more for her to look at.You can see photos from the branches who took part around the region here.
The exhibition at Sudbury Hall, a National Trust property,
has had a lot of people flowing through. I've have spent two afternoons there and a lot of people have made very positive comments.
Our Nottingham Guild was represented with three pieces, all very different 'takes' on the theme.
Maureen Voisey, with an illustration of a scene described in a letter from Keats.
Jenny Fleming and her illustration of the Snow Queen found in a favourite children's book.
A Saturday workshop with Christine Plummer was very popular with members of our Guild and invited friends.
We had a long list of things to bring but we had no idea what we were going to do with them.
Christine demonstrated and gave us some ideas. Her own books were really inspirational!
In the morning we coloured our papers - great fun
using the Brusho dyes and they gave such super results.
In the afternoon we began putting the cover together and Christine showed us how to stitch the pages together.
At the next Guild meeting there was a lovely array of colourful finished books!
Our competition this year was to produce a Christmas hat and there were some great, fun entries. Of course, we had to try them on. The Christmas cracker by Jenny Fleming was voted the prize winner.
It was a good chance to show off some recently completed work. Jenny's Queen sized quilt was a stupendous project with so much machine embroidery.
Our Christmas meeting is a time to chat, to relax and catch up with news. It was well attended, with Pam Keeling as an invited guest. We all enjoyed a cup of tea and a seasonal mince pie.
We also held a competition to make a Christmas Tree Decoration. There were quite a few entries - all very different from each other. It was difficult to choose a winner but Margaret won the award.
The party also gave us a chance to look at the latest addition to our library, the Guilds CD of the Olympic postcards. Eileen put the DVD onto her laptop and we could all have a preview, although we will need more time to view the 2,000 embroideries, all four CDs . Our country was Cambodia and it took ages to get through all the A's, and B's before ours came up!
Some of our members are going to Grantham to see the Postcards, I'm sure they will look amazing!
There was a very good turnout for January, all waiting to see what Bella had come to show us. Bella had only just returned from her residency in Mexico. We were so lucky that she managed to fit in a visit, bring with her some beautiful samples of local textiles.
This year we held a successful meeting, appointing a new member onto the committee but also saying ' Thank You' to Beryl who has been a hardworking part of the committee for many years and is now retiring.
Maureen, as President, surprises Beryl with a gift on behalf of the Branch
Well, the project has been an inspiration and members have produced some lovely pieces of embroidery. As we were going to submit a joint piece of work I limited the size to A5, and I think 'small is beautiful'.Jenny and I went to help put up the display at Clumber and our piece is beautifully sited just next to a window. The other Guilds taking part have also worked hard and produced some lovely embroidery (and felting). The exhibition is on until the beginning of May and is well worth a visit.
To celebrate our 60th Anniversary (2013) we decided to start a Guild Project to design and make a banner. We wanted it to have the Nottingham colours of green and gold and for it to reflect the many skills of our members. The following Christmas many members collected a letter and fabric with the instructions that they could use any shade of yellow or gold, and they could use any technique.
We were delighted when the results came in, and together with some scenes from Nottingham - they look stunning!
On Tuesday November 24th we were able to view some ofthe extensive Nottingham Costume Collection. Jenny Fleming arranged this with Judith Edgar the costume curator. What a delight!There was a lot of interest from the Guild and Judith had to take us in two groups. She had previously sorted out a small collection of items, spanning almost 400 years. The first box that was opened had a collection of 19th century babies bonnets ...................oh, so sweet!The stitching on them was superb, so tiny and intricate.So much love was put into these items, perhaps by a proud Grandma. We were asked to date them but we weren't right, as they looked as though they came from other centuries with lace and white work.
Judith took us to the 'butlers room' which now houses rows of clothing rails full carefully sealed suitbags with costumes and dresses. There were cupboards full of shoe boxes and a large pile of hat-boxes. So many items but we only had time to view a few that Judith had laid out.
Our last treat was in another area which had lights so that we could view a few items from the Middleton Collection.These originally came from the family who lived in Wollaton Hall and are kindly on loan to Nottingham Council, where they are so well looked after. My favourite was a 17th century ladies hood with an unusual modern-looking feather design, and next a coif and forehead cloth with goldwork and spangles.
Such a wonderful collection, which now that the Costume Museum has closed down, can only be viewed by arrangement although parts of the collection are loaned out to other museums.Nottingham needs a rich benefactor to give us the means to open up this 'Heritage' collection for everyone to view. In the mean-time Judith can be available for groups and we shall be back next year to see some more!
Some of our members attended the Summer School.
At the November (2013)meeting Eileen, ably assisted by her husband Rob, gave a talk on the costumes which they wear during their re-enactment of Civil War battles. Eileen makes all their costumes and members were invited to try on some of these.
The Christmas Fayre at the Nottingham Mechanics gave us a chance to display some of the embroideries completed by members.
60th Anniversary celebration/Christmas party
Our branch held a joint 60th Anniversary and Christmas
party at the beginning of December, with a buffet tea and
celebration cake, which was cut by Mary Williams, our oldest
For entertainment our secretary, Eileen Tilley, arranged a
‘Guess the Mystery Object’ competition, the objects all being
from the past. This kept members busy for most of the
afternoon, along with some hilarity as to what the objects
Our Hon President, Maureen Voisey, put on a display of
embroideries and books for each of the decades during the
last sixty years.
There was a competition for the best ‘candle ring’, which was
won by Julie Frost, who was presented with an embroidered
Three members, Garda Whiting, Jean Newbutt and Berenice
Hallam, received 25 year badges from Pam Keeling, the
The afternoon ended with the drawing of the raffle.