Sunday, 23 December 2012

December - Christmas Party

We held our Annual Christmas Party on December 1st.
As usual, we had lots of quizzes and games to keep us busy during the morning - as well as catching up on all the 'goss'!
Then we had a really lovely lunch -

Three courses - finished off with these ...

The entries for our competition - 'A Star'
... was won by Mary Nevett.
Then Sandie introduced our Guest Speaker, Sarah, from Golden Hinde

who, thankfully, was very animated!
So that we stayed awake to admire the beautiful goldwork.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

American Smocking Workshop with Monica Selway:

It was a blustery start to the day with the weather throwing everything that it could at us! However, once we got into the hall, the warm welcomes that people were exchanging more than made up for it.

In fact it takes me so long to get organised, looking at the workshop board and the things that members have made, and catching up on the latest news,  it's amazing that I ever get started on the workshop.....Is there anyone else like this? 

We began the day with Monica showing us some beautiful examples of her work, mainly inspired by architecture and nature.  Inspiration can truly be found everywhere if you look hard enough.

I can remember thinking 'How am I going to smock like that''!  But the mystery was explained by Monica and then the fun started!    

We managed to attempt  the techniques of 'Honeycomb' and 'Basket Weave', 'Wave' and 'Lattice' and a lovely 'Flower pattern'......  

Although I have got to say, smocking takes practice and patience, and sewing ' upwards' is a new one on me, it is however, undoubtedly a therapeutic thing to do.  

The room was full of people smiling and having a thoroughly good time. 

 There were intermittent peals of laughter coming from the smaller room and the atmosphere was super.  

By the end of the workshop, most of us had kind of decided which style of smocking might suit us the best, depending upon how patient a stitcher you are!   For me, it was the 'freestyle' Flower pattern that won me over - I wonder why? 

A great big 'thank - you' goes to Monica for helping us to achieve quite a lot in a day, and I am sure that I say on behalf of all the members that did the workshop, it was good to try something different and interesting.

This is the essence of our workshops. It just takes a day doing something new to be really filled with enthusiasm to do more.

Just one last thing - what were they laughing about in the side room??!

Ann x    

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

October - "Victorian Sweetie Bags"

What a lovely day we had on Saturday at the Sweetie Bag workshop day, the sun was shining and the atmosphere was brimming with enthusiasm and anticipation.   Everyone had their  machines  and  sewing equipment out, we looked very industrious.
Pauline showed us stage by stage how to create the pretty bags with very comprehensive instructions and notes during the day ( which are handy for those of us who are very sociable and like to sit and talk when we should be sewing!!)
We tried various pieces of lace against the fabric we had stitched, and then tea- dyed the chosen lace, this was so enjoyable  - who doesn't like having a fabulous choice of fabric to pick and choose from? 
 The bags are a fantastic project to enjoy the therapy of stitching, by machine and by hand, something that we all enjoy doing and invariably don't have enough time for.  

We discovered a few things:  Pauline sews on the machine without her shoes on!
                                             Tea makes your hands yellow!
                                             Hairdryers are meant for drying fabric!
                                             Talking does not produce a finished project!
                                             Chocolate biscuits don't go with heirloom sewing techniques!
But most importantly of all, we  created the start of a lovely Sweetie Bag, thanks to a super workshop, fabulous instruction by Pauline and her generosity with the lace, thread and beads etc., 
As always at the Guild days, we learnt such a lot on Saturday, there were hints and tips throughought the session.  I hope that everyone finishes their bag so that we can put them all on show at the next exhibition and many thanks again to everyone who came and to Pauline for a super day!  
Ann Warren.