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A Trip to Germany

Christmas Greetings

Visit Rydal Hall

Bidding at Auctions

Make some Church Vestments




A Merry Christmas Everyone From Members of the SEW Region

The Vestments St Mary's Church is in Froyle, which is an attractive Hampshire village about 50 miles from London. Once a year in June it bustles with people who come to the NGS open gardens weekend. Part of the attractions is the exhibition of church regalia. The Church has an unbelievable collection of vestments dating back to the 16c. They were collected in the early 20th century by Sir Hubert Miller, who lived for part of the year in his villa in Venice. Over the years they lay forgotten in atrocious conditions in the church until discovered in 2004. The 194 items were found in a very bad state in old architect's drawers wrapped in newspaper, along with mice droppings, moths and dust.

The conservation of the vestments has been an ongoing project of love. The colours sing and the gold embroidery shimmers in the light from the church windows. Chasubles, Stoles, Veils, Mitres, Maniples, Burses, Pulpit Falls, Aumbry Curtains all lying flat in especially procured cabinets, protected by acid free tissue paper and covered with linen or calico. “Pasties” and “Sausages” made out of natural stuffing and covered in pure linen fit into the

of Froyle folds to prevent creases from appearing which would put strain on the material causing the fabric to eventually split. Altar frontals are stored on rollers, and interfolded with acid free paper; Copes hang on special padded coat hangers. All are encased in individual linen bags. All are catalogued, photographed and labelled. Each item has been assessed as to whether we can do any needed repairs ourselves or if they need to be sent to professional conservators. With experience this is constantly being reappraised. The last piece to be conserved is an altar frontal. It is Jacquard woven wool and silk with an overall repeating floral design in warm colours. It dates from about 1810. The veotments are now used as intended when originally embroidered for it is warn by the vicar of St Marys for services. A really awe inspiring sight. As well as the exhibition each year they can also be seen by appointment.

In the Festive Mood

Feeling a little jaded after the Christmas festivities and can't face any more turkey and alcohole, but are still in the festive mood.? Here are a few refreshing "Pick­me­ups" to try.

There are two things in an artist, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other. - Paul Cezanne 1839 to 1906

Have you ever wondered why visitors to galleries sit and scrutinise paintings for hours whilst those viewing embroidery often walk by without really seeing it. The longer the eye can be kept travelling across the surface the longer the viewer will linger. Traditionally design in embroidery has been a surface decoration, relying mainly on pattern. Attention should be given to keeping the edges well guarded so that the eye does not encourage the viewer to move on. The eye should circuit the work and be kept well within boundaries.

Sometimes it is the smallest of marks which makes the eye travel. Experiment with lines which carry the eye away from the focal point and lead it through the work, and back to the same focal point. Some can be just below the surface appearing in atrategic places

Cezanne gives a good example of the movement of the eye through his paintings of still life and landscapes, they are a great sauce for study. Of course, the painter is at an advantage in that they are dealing with a more malleable medium but never be afraid of adding a slight change of colour if it is required for no other reason but the use of


The Golden Tree Cardiff Council were a little surprised to receive this tree. They had imagined a glorious golden tree standing over 40 mts high. Higher than the Angel of the North. Some time ago they had put in an order to a Chinese company, agreeing to hire it for three years.w When it arrived it was 40 ft and only just peeped over the castle walls.

The Crystal Tree A beautifully sparkly Christmas tree from Swarovski. Sophisticated and contemporary, this clear crystal tree adds festive magic to any space. It is made up of layers of star�shaped branches, resulting in an exceptional brilliance finished with a gorgeous gold tone star on the top.

AA MMeeaaddooww ffoorr MMaarryy


J u st

B li

e B it o l t t i L f a

Tutorial designed by Loetitia Gibier

Who does not like a bit of bling at Christmas? Whether it is to jazz up that little black dress or to give as a present, this little brooch will take you no time to do and will surely attract a lot of attention. My inspiration of the design: Brooches are making a come back, all the celebs can’t get enough of them. I did not wait for the fashion magazine to tell me that. I’ve been making and wearing brooches for a couple of years now, they are so fun to make and it is a little piece of art in itself.

To Make Your Brooch Requirments

Red silk (or any colour you fancy) Calico Gold jaseron (or #1 pearl purl) Guterman Polyester thread #488 Madeira Glamour No12 - # 3025 1 gold sequin (4mm) 1 small gold bead (2mm) 1 self covered button (38mm)

1 brooch back Other tools: 5 in hoop Goldwork scissors Gold gel pen Bees wax Needles (the thinnest you can handle) Jewellery glue like E6000

Print the pattern at the right size, the circle should be about 7cm in diameter. Trace the pattern on the silk. I use a gold gel pen to do that as I am stitching with gold metal wires and threads. Trace also the big circle as it will be your cutting line. Start with stitching the jaseron on the stem and little curls. To stitch the jaseron, you will need to stretch it a little (same if you are using pearl purl) in order to open the coils very slightly. It allows your couching thread to sink in the coils. Use a length of Guterman #488 and wax your thread to make it stronger. Come up on the line through the fabric at a slight angle, go down on the other side of the jaseron back into the fabric at a slight angle.

Pull gently on the thread until you hear it click into place (sunk in between the coils), one stitch every other coil or so. Jaseron (or pearl purl) are not sunk into the background fabric, they stay on the top and are cut right or the stitches.

For the outline of the petals, overstretch the jaseron so that the coils are really open. Stitch using the same thread but this time stitch every coil at the thread will show. It will give a line of alternate matte and shiny loop which matches the Maderia glamour thread. Stitch the outline of all the petals starting in the center of the flower.

Use the Madeira glamour thread to stitch 3 straight stitches in the middle of each petal.

To hide the center of the flower, use the sequin and the bead to tidy up the center. Come up through the fabric, through the hole of the sequin, then through the bead, back through the hole of the sequin and back through the fabric. Do this a couple of time to secure it well.

When your stitching is done, cut the design out following the large circle as your cutting line.

To Make the Button Then using Guterman #488, stitch a line of running stitches alongside the edge. Place the top part of your self-covered button inside the fabric, and pull the running stitches gently to gather the fabric. Do a few stitches to maintain the fabric into position (with the top part of the button inside) and finish off your thread. Please the back part of the button firmly into position. Glue in place the brooch back .

Et voila, all done!

All supplies are available as a kit or separately by contacting directly Loetitia Gibier, Visit Loetitia’s website for more kits and inspiration: Copyright: no reproduction of part or all of this tutorial, no teaching from this pattern, no selling of the finished item is allowed without prior authorisation from Loetitia Gibier.

But where do you start?

Afternoon Tea

Christmas biscuites your friends will love. They are suitable for Celiacs. Serve with frosted fresh fruit and enjoy with a relaxing cup of tea. All that is needed after a heavy Christmas dinner.

Peanut Butter and Fruit Biscuites

Frosted Fruits


Textile Connections In September I travelled to Leverkusen near Koln (Cologne) as part of a town-twinning visit with a friendly group from Bracknell. I did not realise then that the programme arranged for us would be quite so textile orientated. Our first visit was to the lovely small town of Rattingen where on the outskirts there is an area called Cromford. We were to find out about espionage and why the cotton mill built there was given this name. A local businessman named Brugelmann had heard about Arkwright’s inventions in Cromford, England with the machines that could spin cotton to make it strong enough for a warp thread. It is said that four workers and their families,who had worked with the new technology Arkwright had invented, were brought over to Rattingen from Cromford, England. There were severe penalties for patent stealing in England at that time so the families never retuned to their birthplace. The mill in Germany was built to the exact design of the Arkwright mill at Cromford England. The gears for the spinning and weaving machines were engineered by Swiss clockmakers who were experts in the developments of such precise engineering. Cotton at that time came from India but as things developed Brugelmann bought cotton from all over the world. We were able to see how the whole process was carried out from preparing the raw cotton, the carding and the process for gradually spinning the thread fine enough for a warp thread and weaving. A really interesting afternoon with a tour of the complex and the Brugelmann family mansion, then coffee and

delicious cakes to finish off the day. My second textile related visit was to Aachen (full name Bad Aachen). Here we saw sculptures of children with their right little finger standing upright and wondered why. Our guide explained that Aachen was the former centre of the needle industry. Once old enough to work, children were employed to sort needles because of their good eyesight and any needles not up to quality control were flicked away with the little finger. After a number of years of doing this work the little finger tended to stick in the upright position hence the statues to the needle industry. Aachen has a most beautiful cathedral that is an essential part of any visit and became a city founded because of the hot springs. It was an essential base for the Roman armies in their campaigns while conquering Europe. There were three baths that are known, built for the Roman armies because of the hot springs, some of which can be up to 75oc. We were also told that textile mills driven with waterpower thrived as they used the hot springs so they could carry on working through the harsh cold winters. The area around Aachen was famous for sheep and the resulting wool trade in the Middle Ages. I immediately linked natural hot springs and wool to ask if felt was a product of the region but as yet have no information on this. Much was learned about the area and its history that made for a most enjoyable visit along with the warm hospitality, friendships and food. I even managed a little time for a bit of stitching.

“We can do this can’t we?” We” were a few members of Solent Branch who had stopped by Lavinia Earle’s Warchild charity display at Portsmouth branch’s 40th anniversary and the SEW regional day four years ago. Lavinia was looking for groups of more than five stitchers to create 100 panels, one for each year of the 20th century. The panels are intended to travel as a fundraising exhibition to create income for the Warchild charity supporting children affected by conflict around the world. Sadly a cause which has become increasingly and tragically urgent during the period that we have been making our panel. The idea was accepted by our branch. The first step was to choose an available year from the last century. 1927 provided a long list of significant events, innovations and personalities to inspire. A design was put together, the background fabric arrived through the post and piece by piece individuals created the sections of their choice. There were few restrictions in the brief. The colour turquoise had to be dominant in the borders and date panel; no materials were to be used that could be attacked by insects during what is hoped will be a long lifetime on display but otherwise we had

complete freedom to work in whatever way we chose. There was enough interest in the branch to get the project under way and although some who began did not continue we are very grateful to them for their initial enthusiasm which helped to get the work started. Sue completed Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird before she took a break and nine of us have worked on the panel from start to finish. We have met regularly to share ideas, techniques and materials and gradually our panel has come together. It has been a unifying project creating a bond amongst those who have stitched the panel and with the rest of the branch. We have displayed our progress at stitch evenings, demonstrations and at our exhibitions sometimes with less than glamorous display equipment but always generating interest and appreciation. Have we finished? Perhaps by the time this article is published we may have. Rosemary, one of our branch’s founder members undertook the task of designing and stitching the date panel. A beautiful design worked in minute stitches which must seem like a lifetime’s work to her, but to us is a constant unfolding source of wonder. We wait only for the number seven. Margaret Mainwaring

Like most towns in France, the High Street is dying but delve

behind the post war facade and you will often find a delightful Medieval town full of history,

Montmoril For three

centuries they held court

hearings here,

when the river was not

flooded! part of Poitiers

jusidiction, it

was granted a

The Old Palace Later the Court House

Royal court

order in 1545 by King

Francois 1


Montmorillon is two towns, one built on the hill around the Church of Notre

Dame and, on the opposite side of the river, there is a quite different

atmosphere which was built on the wool trade.


ditches took

the rubbish to

the River later to become allyways

Rue des Fosses The church of

Notre Dame still has its painted

Romanesque apse

Church of Natre Dame

and 12 cestury frescoes

Medieval M


is known th

dwellers wh out of the

Old warehouses along the River The Town became the home of

scribes and later printing. The scribes practiced their

traditional arts of calligraphy, illustration and bookbinding.

They thrived as Montmorillon was on one of the routes


taken by pilgrims.

Another industry, which myth

has perpetuated, is that due to almond trees abounding in the


area, macaroons were first


produced here. There is now a

museum showing how they were first made.


The Scribes Area

Montmorillon is built into the rock

g the river Gartempe in the Limousin. It

hat the area was inhabited by cave

ho 12.000 years ago had hewn dwellings rock.

Road over the Old Bridge

To the Bridge The wool industry made

the town prosperous. The fleeces were brought

down the river in flat

bottomed barges and

stored in warehouses.

ontmorillon in the Llimousin, France is an interesting place to visit. The

mousin is not renowned for its food but the restaurants are about the

st in the region.

Book Reviews

A Quilters Christmas

SEW Region Magazine December 2016  

SEW Region Embroiderers' Guild. The Magazine of the South East West Region of the Embroiderers' Guild written by the Members. The Embroider...