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Issue No. 11 June 2017

The  Collection Treasures of the  Embroiderers' Guild

Opus Anglicanum  at the V&A An exhibition of English Medieval  Embroidery

A Visit to India  Enjoy the experience of an  embroiderer 

The Magazine of The South East West Region  of the  Embroiderers'  Guild



Features 30. Land Lines         Contempory Embroidered Landscapes  4.  The Collection        An insight to the Embroiderers'          Guild Collection     10. Tree of Good News          A Lower Silesian Embroidered Quilt

44. A Stitch in Time        The Restoration of a Church Altar Piece 46. Dorset Buttons          Inspiration with Dorset Buttons

19. The Vine        Restoration of a 16c Roof       20. Tall Stories        Confessions of an Invererate        Collector

54. Textile Memories          The Generational Influence in Early           Childhood

22. The Country Wife       The Restoration of a Mural        Designed by Constance Howard

67. The Members Challenge         The Region's Entrants  for Imprisoned          Splendour

46. Look Out for the Stripes          Using Stripes for Inspiration in Design

All articles and photographs used in this magazine are the copyright of their  authors. The magazine's content is for private viewing only and must not be  reproduced in part or full for commercial gain in any form.  The Magazine can not accept liability for errors and omissions. It is the  responsibility of the contributors to take reasonable care not to breach other's  copyright, and to ensure that all making instructions do not breach the Health  & Safety Regulations.


Regular Features Exhibition Reports

70. Embroidered Mandalas         by Lark Crafts 71. The Art Of Embroidered 

     Flowers         By Gilda Baron 72. Machine Embroidered 

     Seascapes            By Alison Holt 73. Stitch Shibori         by Jane Callender 74. Stitch Fabric and Thread          By Elizabeth Healey 75. Beginner's Guide to 

     Goldwork          By Ruth Chamberlin

12. Opus Anglicanum.        English Medieval Embroidery at the V&A 27. Divine Inspirations         An Exhibition using Church Images for          Inspiration 58. Afternoon Tea        Small Cakes with a History               Travel  And Pastimes 28. Edinburgh in 32,000 Steps        A Weekend Away 38. India        2,000 Km in 17 Days 67.  The International Canoe Marathon        A Day out on the River

Project 52. Paint and Sew       A Black Beaded Flower

The Collection

The Guild has a magnificent collection of embroideries dated from Coptic times. Today there are about 11,000 catalogued items in the collection gathered from around the world. The pieces demonstrate a variety of stitches from raised work and metal thread in the 17th century, crewel work and silk embroidery from the 18th century. Wool-work of the 19th century and Blue Flower Coif Donated by Lady Mary Cayley Silk & Metal thread on Linen 17c

contemporary techniques from 20th and 21st century. Queen Mary was Patron of the Guild and donated many interesting pieces

16c embroidery is considered to be the peak of English secular and domestic embroidery. Fabric and threads were luxurious, velvet and satin embroidered with gold and embellished pearls.

Pair of doe skin gloves c.1600 The cuffs embroidered with silk and silver­gilt lace on linen

The collection contains work by many great names. There is work by Mrs St Osyth Wood, Constance Howard, Barbara Hirst, Beryl Dean, Joan Drew, and The Birth of Venus by Anne Marie Kelly

many others. Many leading experts and collectors of

Needle felting, a copy of the original Botticeli painting

embroidery worldwide have donated or bequeathed 5

Turkish Muslin embroidered with silk thread Donated by Queen Mary

Table mat by Dorothy Benson

their collections.

Dorothy Benson 1902 1977 became head of the Queen Mary was an early donor to the Guild's

embroidery department at Singer Sewing Machine

collection and so was Lady Mary Cayley who

Company. She developed the art of interpreting many

donated 15 pieces of historic embroidery from the

techniques, and embroidering, on the machines of that time, Her pieces included lace and canvas work.

Angel By Beryl Dean in or nué 1953  Japanese gold thread couched with filoselle silks.

"The Hong Kong Address" ­  1911 The faces are imitation ivory and it is embroidered in silk

17th century. Many have donated early books to the library. The oldest dated 1632.

Sewing machines were used increasingly during the 20th century for creative embroidery and, by the end The international section contains pieces donated

of the century, embroiderers had diverted into textile

by travellers from all over the world, Some have

art in one direction whilst retaining and furthering

specific historical interest such as an embroidery of

traditional embroidery in the other. 6

Marble Lady by Marion Brooks dated 2012 Hand embroidery on a painted backgroundground

Black wool work on red felt  synonymous with the work of the National needlework Scheme

Needlework. The designs demonstrate the

The Guild holds the largest collection of work

techniques of silk shading and metal thread work.

produced for the National Needlework scheme,

Most notable are those of Lynette de Denne.

there are over 400 pieces. It was developed in Scotland in 1934 and spread throughout England

The Collection is continually being assessed and

after WW2 and closed in 1960.

new pieces are bought or donated which fill gaps

" Sea Eagle" by Barbara Snook dated 1971

The Collection has recently been moved to Bucks the “Hong Kong Address” of 1911. Embroidered

County Museum who is is providing curatorial and

on silk with imitation ivory faces, it is stored in it's

conservation services separate to their own collection.

original carved wood casket.

The new gallery will be opening in July 2017. For further information and to see the Collection

The Collection has a number of samplers made by


students and apprentices at the Royal School of

Bucks County Museum 7

Web site: www. buckscountymuseum.org

The Beryl Dean Gallery at Bucks County Museum To Celebrate the Opening of the Gallery An Exhibition

Beautiful Stitch: Textile Treasures of the Embroiderers' Guild An exhibition of some of the notable pieces from the Guild's Collection. The EG  collections  are  very  rich,  covering  many  centuries  of  stitch  and  some  of  the  recent  acquisitions,  promoting  new  ways  of  working  will  be  among  the  pieces  selected. 1st July 2017 ­ 1st October 2017 Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm Church St, Aylesbury HP20 2QP Phone 01296 331441

THE COLLECTION CARE APPEAL The Embroiderers' Guild is a Charity The aims are to preserve the knowledge and skill of textile art

Cushion Cover 19th Century 

The Collection, owned by the Embroiderers' Guild, is one of the few teaching collections in the world Byzan um by Margaret Nicholson

To secure the future of the Collection, the Embroiderers' Guild has made an arrangement with Bucks County Museum Trust They will provide storage, curatorial and conservation services at cost Punto in Aria by Paddy Killer

There will be a designated gallery named after the renowned embroiderer, Beryl Dean

Panel metal thread 17th C

We need to raise money to equip the Gallery and make the Collection accessible to the general public

Panel designed by John Henry 

Chinese Pheasants, early 20th 

HELP SAFEGUARD THE FUTURE OF THE COLLECTION Clema s by Kay Dennis 21st C by A donation to be included in a permanent display of contributors or A donation to be linked to a piece from the collection

For further information and to make a donation Please contact

Parrot Berlin work 19th C


The Embroiderers' Guild is a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Charity Commissioners-Registered No.

Julia Caprara early work 1980

England 294310 - Registered Charity No. 234239

London Bridge at Night 20th C

Tree of good News Anna Sławińska lives in  Warsaw and has won  many prestigious  awards.    She is a quilter and a  teacher and loves to  embroider and  embellish her work. She is also a Vice  Chairman of Polish  Patchwork  Association.  Her latest piece " Tree  of Good News" won  second prize in an  exhibition organised by  the Association of  Polish Patchwork  depicting Folk Art. 

Photograph ­ of patchwork Trifid Nebula

Contact Anna on:­ www.annaslawinska.pl http://annaslawinska.blogspot.com

                     “Tree of good news", isan interpretation of                 Lower Silesian white embroidery. This kind of            embroidery used to be sewn on thin white canvas     or lawn. It was embroidered on white shirts (called  "kabotki").  The inspiration for this quilt was the tree of life. All the  elements of the Lower Silesian embroidery were  arranged in the shape of the tree. The quilt is 75 x 130  cm wide and  is sewn on black fabric.  I used a white  pencil to draw the trunk and the branches of my tree. The  design was then interpreted  in free machining    using Number 30 thread, making up the flowers         or leaves as required. I produced a lot of samples                 before I started to check how the parts of                        this pattern looked.                                 And then I just quilted and quilted...



Butler Bowdon Cope 1330‐1350 England, V&A Museum no. T.36‐1955

Pope Innocent IV was struck by the extraordinary

garments worn by a group of English bishops. ..[this] marks the moment from which an extraordinary interest in luxury English embroideries took hold at the Papal Court Glyn Davis exhibition co-curator the V&A magazine Autumn/Winter 2016

What a great treat the small but outstanding exhibition at the V&A Museum was for anyone interested in this medieval embroidery technique. Like many other embroiderers and textile historians I was lucky enough to visit it twice over the winter to experience the sheer richness of the textiles and the skill in the works themselves. Half of the objects on display were from the Museum’s own world‐class textile collection, complemented by a host of rare and sensational international loans. They reveal just why “English work,” as Opus Anglicanum became known as in the 13th to 15th centuries, was so prized throughout medieval Europe. 14

The Toledo Cope, for instance was described by Glyn Davis, one of the co‐ curators, as marking the high point of English embroidery towards the middle of the fourteenth century. It is over 3 metres in diameter and the underlying linen ground is entirely covered in embroidery. English medieval embroideries were widely admired for the beauty of their workmanship ,and the inventiveness and expressiveness of their design. Ground fabrics were made out of three principal fibres: linen, silk and wool. Linen was imported from France and the Low Countries. The silk grounds of the thirteenth- and fourteenth-century were often of oriental origin English Medieval Embroidery, Opus Anglicanum (Yale University Press in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Syon Cope, 1310‐1320, England. Museum no. 83‐1864. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 15

A red‐golden chasuble from the Museum Schnütgen, Cologne

The masterpieces of Opus Anglicanum were created by professional embroiderers – both men and women – who had served an apprenticeship for at least 7 years. Many were based in workshops in the area behind St Paul’s Cathedral. The embroiderers would become proficient in the arts of couching and padding and made use of split, stem, satin and tent stitches to create complex patterns and richly textured images. Most gold thread in English medieval embroidery is a ‘file’ or wrapped thread, made of a slender metal strip wound round a silk core. ..a strip of silver-gilt wound in S direction around a yellow silk core, [was] known in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries as ‘gold of Cyprus’ or ‘fine gold’. The addition of valuable ornaments greatly increased the prestige and cost of embroideries. English Medieval Embroidery, Opus Anglicanum (Yale University Press in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum

The materials such as silk and velvet and gold and silver threads were imported and show that the items were the luxury goods of the Middle Ages. They were highly sought after within ecclesiastical and aristocratic circles and many of the surviving textiles are clerical vestments such as copes.

Opus anglicanum at the Victoria and Albert Museum 1st October � 5th February 2017

The copes of the ‘Great Period of Opus Anglicanum (c. 12501350) were exquisitely embroidered in coloured silks, mainly in split stitch. English embroidery was justly celebrated for its artistry and fine workmanship. Opus Anglicanum ...was eventually supplanted by more rapid techniques, including the adoption of surface couching and the wider use of satin stitch. This was accompanied by the simplified treatment of gold backgrounds and the streamlining of workshop production. English Medieval Embroidery, Opus Anglicanum (Yale University Press in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum

Opus anglicanum at the Victoria and Albert Museum 1st October � 5th February 2017

If you were unable to get to see the exhibition, I recommend that you try to get hold of a copy of the Museum’s catalogue,' English Medieval Embroideries!. This will allow you to absorb the knowledgeable expertise of, and fascinating insights given by, the curators and contributors. You will also be able to revel in the glorious illustrations which provide a splendid feast of the colour and opulence of this magnificent artform. Article by Linde Merrick

Photographs of the exhibition by kind permission of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Recently I had a wonderful weekend with my friends who  were visiting from West Wales. We went to The Vyne near  Basingstoke, a 16th­century country house in Hampshire.   It was built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII's Lord  Chamberlain.    "They are  renovating the roof"       The Vyne had a great surprise in store for us. They are  renovating the roof and while they do it you are able to go  up in a lift to stand on the scaffolding, and see what's going  on. Or you can take the stairs, all 65 of them!  We were extra lucky because Oxford University scientists  were there to explain how they have been testing the  materials which they will use to restore the roof and  chimneys. This was conservation in action. It was very  interesting to see how they tested the speed at which water  percolates through different types of building materials and  how their hardness is measured.

R estoration of The Vyne A 16th Century Tudor House

"Conservation in  Action" The restoration will cost 5.4 million and they are hoping that  people will put a message on one of the 71,000 handmade  tiles that will adorn the roof when it is complete. So if you want to take a bird’s eye view of The Vyne and  the beautiful countryside surrounding it, then now is the  time to visit.

The Vyne is a National Trust Property which preserves places of historic  interest or national beauty for the nation, visited by Pauline Johnson



The Conservation of The Country Wife Article and photographs provided by Sue Smith Volunteer at the Archive  http://www.nationalneedleworkarchive.org.uk/country­wife­mural.html

Denman’s College who could not raise the funds to do I first went to the National Needlework Archive way

the work on conserving the piece themselves. So along

back 5 years ago when Linda Connell sent a letter to the

with other Guild members I went to see what it was all

local Embroiderers' Guilds to ask for volunteers.


The Country Wife would be conserved  by Volunteers under the guidance of  conservators.

This was then being set up in The Old Chapel, Greenham Common which had been used as a multidenominational place of worship, during the days it was

Linda was arranging an archive for needlework itemsbooks, threads, textile pieces or anything connected with textiles which would be held and saved for posterity and where like-minded people could visit. It would be a charity with a trust guiding the work of the Archive, and The Country Wife would be conserved by Volunteers a controversial US Air Base housing cruise missiles.

under the Guidance of Conservators.

It is situated in Greenham Park just off the A339. Linda had recovered the mural, The Country Wife from

Well I got hooked, and through my love of textiles

decided to carry out volunteer duties and learn a bit

were the sorting out of donated goods in all shapes and

more about the Conservation.

sizes for the shop or to keep as an archive piece. Also helped at events held at the Archive and I have been to

When I started at the National Needlework Archive, there was no heating in the Old Chapel apart from a

the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC show to raise the profile and to raise funds.

couple of calor gas heaters, so thick clothes were the order of the day. Linda’s husband and other volunteers,

The Country Wife was gassed with 

built a front to the altar place so it could be used as a

Nitrogen Gas to kill the bugs


I was also taught the process of wrapping up textiles so they could be stored and brought out for exhibitions or to be conserved at a later date. Going on around us was the improvement of the buildings which had not been looked after for some time. The roof needed insulation, a proper kitchen installed, tables and other items were some of the many things donated by the volunteers. Where other institutions were upgrading and Linda found that the older items were to be thrown away, with good will Firstly I spend time unpacking boxes of books of

they were persuaded to be donated to the Archive. I

various ages and techniques and cleaning them with a

have lost count of what I have done there but I think it

paint brush so they could be put in the library for

is a bit of everything with every volunteer helping each

viewing and reference. These books and many more had


been collected over a period before the Archive was in being and any duplicate books were put to one side so they could be sold towards the running costs. Once the shelves were put up in the library I helped to sort the books into their categories. They went to the Knitting &  Stitching show to raise funds I also got involved in attending a steering group which made me more aware of the aims of the Old Chapel. Other things at this time I got involved with,

During this period static items were removed from the textile mural, for safe keeping. The main piece

Using our newfound skills with the vacuum cleaner

(which is 5 metres by 4.5 metres) had been rolled up

and brushes we set about cleaning it, making sure to

and put in a polythene tunnel which had Nitrogen gas

eradicate all residue of the dead bugs. This also meant

pumped into it so as to kill off the moths or any other

we had to clean under the skirts of the 3D pieces as

bugs that had got into the piece.

well, for the bugs had also got there.

When this was completed, I volunteered to help with the conservation, but firstly we needed to make a cotton apron, sleeve cuffs and a pillow so we would not damage the textile, which was very fragile, when we were working on it. We had to clean under their  skirts for dead bugs After a couple of years the Archive received a grant With Linda and the Conservator, we were taught what

and was able to employ Wendy Hickson who had helped

to do. With some trepidation we started on Toc H

with the former Conservation Centre in Winchester.

banners which had been donated. This lead to having to

This meant we had someone to guide us, and answer

use the textile vacuum and small brushes to practice the

our queries whilst doing this work . She also arranged

process before being let loose on the Country Wife.

what work was to be done and in what order. She showed us how to lay out the work in a grid pattern

The first job was to record the measurements, fabrics

and after recording and vacuuming, to use various size

and fibres and what stitches were used. Each time we

brushes to suit the fabric or the area we were working

recorded what we had been doing and how long it took.

on. This was a very time- consuming job. It was also

This would be put on the computer for reference as not

interesting as while doing this we found lots of items

much history came with the textile.

that we did not know unless you were so close up to the piece and even now we still find items. Since Wendy has been helping we have moved on a pace with the cleaning, making a backing and attaching the piece and then making another back to stop the rub on the piece and also the stitching down or recreating pieces that required some tender loving care or just maintaining the area. The process is still progressing..

One for your Christmas List Yes I know is is early but look out  In winter we pack up The Country Wife in her winter wrapping and cover her with a tent. This is in case the roof leaks during the storms.


for 2 new books  To be released in the autumn Flowers  By Dr Annette Collinge

To be released in the winter Birds By Dr Annette Collinge

ARCHIVE Opening Times  Tuesdays to Thursdays each week from  the 1st February to approximately round  about 9th December from 10.00 to 16.00  and the 1st Saturday in the month with  the same times. There is a website that  you can always look at to see what’s  going on and also volunteering to suit  your skills to help run the Archive.

Embroidered Treasures  Both Flowers and Birds are a showcase of the 


wonderfully dirverse collection of embroideries  owned by  The Embroiderers' Guild Soon to be realised by www searchpress,com


Using images from cathedrals, churches  and their surroundings, Newbury Branch  of the Embroiderers' Guild presented their  biannual exhibition at St Nicholas School  Newbury. This was held in association  with Newbury's Square Quilters 27

Edinburgh in 32,000 Steps We decided to turn the National AGM in Edinburgh into a weekend  break. Flights were booked, so we researched accommodation.   Now accommodation in Edinburgh doesn’t come cheap so we  opted for a B&B. We found a room in a flat in the West End of  Edinburgh. One problem, it proved to be on the top floor and there  was no lift.

Getting to Edinburgh was easy enough from Heathrow and  research showed that there is both a bus and a tram which 

transports you from the airport and stops not far from the flat. Then  all we would have to do was to walk down a side street to the  property. We chose the bus which, if you’re interested in rugby,  passes Murrayfield. All good so far. Then came the stairs up to the  flat…..all 62 of them! Fortunately we’d taken backpacks so we 

didn’t have suitcases to hump up the stairs. We were to go up and  down those steps many times over the three days.

Once we’d got our breath back we had a tour of the flat which looks  out over the rooftops. I’ve never seen so many chimneys. No  wonder Edinburgh was known as Auld Reekie in the days of coal  fires. We’d planned a trip to the Palace of Holyroodhouse  which is  easy to get to by bus but we needed sustenance after all that  climbing so we stopped in the centre of the city and found a little  café with friendly service and an odd sign in the window: Unattended children will be given an espresso  + a free kitten Later we set off for Holyroodhouse, where, we were somewhat  miffed not to see any of the cast of The Avengers which was being 

Pauline Johnson tells of her long  weekend break in Edinburgh

Butterflies exhibition. In 1699 this German artist set sail for Surinam where she studied the local butterflies.  Her beautiful studies of insects, plants and animals, all life­size, led to the classification of living things which  is used today. Saturday was the AGM so down the steps and back to the main road to get the bus. It was lovely to meet  Scottish members who don’t often come down south and to see the exhibitions the Scottish Region had on  display. The Paisley Panels were wonderful. Such a great idea.  Adults and children produced their own 

paisley motif and stitched within it. They were all sizes.  They came in a variety of colours and shapes. We  were disappointed not to see all the entrants to the Members' Challenge, but the winners were certainly  deserving. It was interesting to see how the title of ‘Imprisoned Splendour’ was interpreted in different ways  and to see the skill both in design and embroidery of the winners. Speeches were given, awards handed out and questions asked and then it was time to say farewell to our

fellow Guild members and head back to those steps!  Down them again for dinner that night at an Italian  restaurant nearby and then off for a walk to get our bearings for the next day’s sightseeing, then back up the  stairs…..again!!!

Next day we headed out towards Edinburgh Castle which is built on the remains of a volcano and is in a  high vantage point above the city…... a great position!  The views of the city are  amazing. To get there we walked down King’s Stables Road to Victoria Street which,  for those aficionados of Harry Potter, is Diagon Alley, a rather steep street. We  rambled up it without the need for oxygen and made our way to the castle, which we  didn’t have time to go over. From there we went to visit the Scottish National Gallery  getting our fill of some beautiful works of art and finally walking back up Prince’s  Street.  We made it to Starbuck’s and had a coffee to get our second wind. After getting our breath back it was another hike up those 62 steps to get our  backpacks and then back on the bus to the airport.  Wearing a fitness tracker we  realised we had walked 32,000 steps walking around Scotland’s great capital city. Pauline Johnson




I have always been fascin

only in the last decade or

almost entirely on the lan

contrasting colours and f the South Downs where I

Light plays a huge part in my work as it constantly changes, not just in the different seasons, but throughout the day and it never ceases to amaze me how one mountain or field simply never looks the same. In these images, you can see how the blues, greens and lavenders of the Sussex Downs contrast strongly with the burnt sienna reds and golden colours of Spain.

LINES By Carol Naylor

nated by landscape, yet it’s

r so that I have focussed

nd, particularly the

forms of central Spain, and live in the UK.



I use my sewing machine, a Bernina 1008, as a tool for drawing and painting and I only make an embroidery from something I’ve experienced first- hand, so I have either drawn it, walked through it, flown over it, made notes or a memory drawing. “Being there� is a vital part of the creative process. It can be one field or mountain that spurs me on, and once I start stitching, I close my sketchbook and let the creative process take over.

Art for me is about interpreting and translating. I am not trying to emulate reality, but to extract an element that I find especially exciting or challenging. One drawing can inspire a series of works, each piece taking on its own persona.

SPANISH SIERRA I don’t write down which threads I’ve used, and when a piece is finished it’s often hard to see how I achieved a certain colour combination or texture due to the continual overlaying. Each embroidery has its own clear identity.




An Inspirational Magazine by the  Embroiderers' Guild The essential hands­on magazine for  creative stitchers, STITCH with the  Embroiderers’ Guild brings you traditional  embroidery techniques and also a wealth  of creative contemporary ideas. Through how­to­do­it projects and  articles from many of the world's leading  embroidery tutors and designers, get  stitching and discover contemporary free­ machine embroidery and explore  traditional techniques like canvaswork,  goldwork, crewelwork, stumpwork,  blackwork and Hardanger. Our mixed­media projects combine  stitching with all sorts of materials and  techniques – the list is endless and the  only restriction is your imagination. Stitch can be sent anywhere in the world  so treat yourself, friends or family to the  perfect gift that lasts all year. Inspiration  delivered to your door! For any enquiries please email subscriptions@warnersgroup.co.uk No postage or packing charge for the UK for subscriptions. Subscription rates inc p&p from 1st December 2015: UK £26.40, EU £32.70, The Americas £39.60,  Rest of the World £42.00.

W ELL! I make Dorset Buttons for a living. For those people who haven’t heard of them there are lots of sites telling the story of Dorset Buttons. Briefly they were fabric and thread buttons made in white linen. They were made by families in cottages all over East Dorset for about two centuries until the industrial revolution killed them off. Mostly button making skills died out but a few hardy individuals kept buttoning and spreading the skills in an effort to keep them alive.

They're Pretty B UT What do I Do wi t h Them?

This is where I come in. My Gran taught me how to make them along with a whole pile of crafty things. I’ve been fascinated with them since I was six years old and spend at least half my time in my little Artisan wool shop in Hampshire dreaming up new

Jen Best is owner of

things to do with them. One of


the questions I got when I first started promoting button


making was ‘Well they’re

For further information 

pretty but what do you do


with them?’


This article aims to show a few of the  amazing things you can make with  Dorset Buttons.

Anything you can do with a  normal button you can do with  a Dorset Button, and you get to  make the button exactly how  you need it to be.  They can be made with all sorts of  thread and, if the thread is washable,  the button should be as well. I make mine  round all sorts of things, so they can be any shape  as well.

The hoop art buttons below are Dorset Buttons  made on a larger scale with Dorset Buttons and  embroidery as decoration.

You can also use them as decoration on  clothing. The socks in the middle are mini  socks and make lovely advent calendar socks.  Each garment has perfectly matching buttons as  you use the same yarn you’ve knitted with to make  them

They work very well as 

humble opinion they stay on 

centre pieces in flowers, 

better than other types of 

like the felted necklace 

button as there are no hard 

and wreath.. I use them as 

edges to wear the thread away.

eyes on toys too. In my 

They work brilliantly as jewellery, either by stitching them together or by making them into a pendant or brooch.


Paint and Sew Instructions for the Black Flower Requirements Black water colour paint Piece of calico 15ins square Backing fabric Glass seed beads Small piece of black felt Sewing thread Perle Thread size 8 Black shoe lace or thin black cord Black boot lace or thick black cord

Instructions Transpose the design onto calico, place the fabric onto a layer of blotting paper and stick down. Paint in the outline in black and shade in where indicated

Start working the design by cutting the felt slightly smaller than the centre of the flower using running stitch round the edge, Cover the felt with the black beads to form a clustered centre. Save a few beads to scatter over the petals later.

Using the perle 8 double and the thinner of the two cords couch the cords round the petals. Starting with number 1 and following round. Hide the ends under the next petal and clip close. Working some straight lines into the tip of each petal will give more definition. Working from the centre outwards sew the black beads over the petals Finish the flower by working some running stitches either side of the printed line between each petal.

Couch down the thicker cord over the painted stem trimming the ends. The cord sits on top of the fabric and is secured into place by two couching stitches at the end and secure. Finally work the leaves in the same manner as the petals.

Textile Memories Begin with a Button Tin

When I was three, I was allowed to play with Mum’s button collection, threading small buttons onto large pins by colour or size; using a blunt needle and wool to make a necklace or just sorting into piles and looking for what I deemed to be the prettiest. Skip a few years to Nanny's house when I was seven - she and ‘Piepi’ (my step-grandfather) each had their own rooms and on each bed was a patchwork quilt. I can still see them quite clearly. Piepi's was in manly colours of yellow, black, and jade green on a white background. It was made up of small pieces of fabric wending wavy lines diagonally across the bed. I did not like it. It reminded me of snakes and I would look at it through eyes half -covered with my hands from the doorway. Nanny's quilt was different. It was shades of pink, blue and soft greys; tiny patterns of flowers and dots in the clamshell design. I would lay on the bed, tracing the shapes with a finger and choosing my favourite shells. I later learned that these and many other quilts were

stitched by Piepi's sister in the Kentucky backwoods in the 1 930's -50's. Sadly the quality of the cottons was poor and the quilts so well-loved and oftwashed, that only scraps and memories remain. Nanny also conjures up visions of flying fingers as she used her tatting shuttle to make lace. Plain white or ecru threads were turned into doilies and napkin edgings while variegated and coloured threads became lace to trim pillowcases. I still have a few of these items which are loved and used. Alas, it was an art I never mastered, but I do recall creating yards of Frenchknitting on a wooden spool with four nails and a bodkin ! I cannot remember a time when my mother was not making something. I did feel deprived because we had homemade cakes, but it never seemed a problem wearing home-made clothes. Mum was a very good dressmaker and always used the latest patterns and fabrics. She even made doll's clothes to help out Mrs. Santa Claus as she told me when late one night I wandered into the

kitchen and caught her at the sewing machine. Rag rugs on the wood floor and Sunbonnet Sue transfers conjure up mental pictures of our home in Windsor, Ontario where I was born. Summers were hot and humid and we were not allowed to run about in the midday sun. Many happy hours were spent sitting under a tree in the yard with my bag of scraps, sewing for my dolls and swapping fabrics with my friends. It was here that I first practised lazy-daisy and stem stitches. When I was a Brownie , aged nine or ten we had the opportunity to go downtown for a series of lessons at the Singer Centre where we learned how to use an electric sewing machine. The lessons were free but it cost ten cents for the return bus fare! I still have the doll's dress I made, complete with bias- bound puffed sleeves and plain border on floral, gathered skirt. Home economics classes at school taught us the basic skills of dressmaking, but Mum taught us everything else. She was an exquisite knitter - two-

ply wool and intricate patterns posed no problem to her. In her eighty-first year and failing health her final "stitch legacy" was to knit a baby shawl for each of her four grand-daughters for their [potential] first babes. She managed to complete three shawls and all but a few inches of the border of the fourth. I did manage to finish it - no mean feat as Mum was a "dab hand" at knitting the border of one pattern onto the centre of another. Any new ideas or techniques that came into fashion were tried out- remember macramĂŠ? One summer, I cut out, Mum machine sewed and my sister Gail hand finished fourteen outfits in two weeks. My maternal grandmother was also creative, possibly from necessity at one stage of her life when they lived on the Prairies of Canada miles from the nearest town. She carried on knitting well into her nineties, producing numerous Afghans for her large family. Her choice of colours left something to be desired, but maybe

she suffered from cataracts as some of the Impressionists are reputed to have been. And so the tradition carries on. I cannot bear to throw away cloth or threads. My first attempt at a Granny's Garden patchwork quilt would not win any design award, but it is full of lovely memories-dresses made by Mum for friends and family (some long since gone from our lives) maternity smocks I made when expecting our own children, and scraps donated by friends. These fragments give testimony to the changes in fashion and colours. Those from the sixties and early seventies "speak " loudest. An appeal in the local Church magazine to work some kneelers lead me to try canvas work and I had added a new technique to my repertoire. Crewel-work pictures and assorted cross-stitch projects later and I was feeling the need to try my own designing, yet not sure where to start. A chance meeting at a pottery course introduced me to City and Guilds Embroidery and Design and a whole new world. Mum followed my progress

with interest and pride and lived to see me finish Part I. I owe a lot to her early patience and encouragement. I went on to complete Part 2 C&G and a BA (Hons) in Applied Textile Design plus C&G Adult Teaching Certificates. I taught C&G Embroidery at a local college for three years (they discontinued the course!) and now belong to “Horizons” stitch group started by my students. We take part in Bucks Open Studios each year and exhibit together. I have been an active member of AVEG for years and ‘convene’ a U3A Creative Textile group. Although I seem to have an inbuilt need to create it would have taken little to crush one's first childish attempts forever. One of my friends calls me Mother Earth. When we all crawl into our nuclear shelters, Linda says she is getting into mine who else does she know who could make felt out of cat hair? Far from taking it as an insult, I feel that I am but a daughter and granddaughter of Mother Earth types, continuing the creative urge and passing on my love for textiles to my own grand-daughters.


Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is thought to have originated due to the custom of the evening meal being eaten later. The Duchess of Bedford is widely credited with making it fashionable in England and transforming it into a late-afternoon meal although it was widely eaten before then. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by all. Nowadays, a formal afternoon tea is more of a special occasion, taken as a treat. Small cakes are often served on a tiered stand and there may be scones and cream. The term "High Tea" is thought to have originated with the use of sitting at the dining table so that a more substantial meal can be eaten.

Maids of Honour

It is rumoured that King Henry VIII was visiting Anne Boleyn when her ladies in waiting were eating tartlets. He was so taken by these little curd tarts that he named them - Maids of Honour. Here one is accompanied by the pink highly sented rose - Anne Boleyn.

Pkt of puff pastry Quince or raspberry jam 100g cream cheese 100g butter 50g SR flour

50g sugar 1 large egg Almond essence Icing sugar for dusting 12 hole tart tin

Roll out the pastry and cut into rounds to fit the tart tins Cream the cheese, butter, flour, sugar and egg in a mixer until light and creamy. Flavour to taste. Put 1tbs of mixture into each pastry case. Place in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until risen and a light brown. They will sink as they cool. Dust with icing sugar. They are best eaten warm.

Battenberg Cake

Although an English cake, its exact origins are unclear. The cake was purportedly named in honour of the marriage of Princess Victoria to Prince Louis Mountbatten of Battenberg, which is in Germany, in 1884. Prince Louis Mountbatten of Battenberg, was grandfather to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

175g butter 175g caster sugar 3 eggs 175g SR flour

3tbs apricot jam 350g marzipan Pink food colouring Caster sugar for dusting

Use a divided cake tin or divide the tin into 4 sections using greaseproof paper. Grease and flour the tin. Cream the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and divide the mixture into two. Fill two sections of the tin. Colour the other half pink and fill the tin. Cook for about 30 mins in a hot oven until brown and firm. Cut off any surplus above the top with a serrated knife. When cold remove from the tin. Brush with jam and sandwich alternative colours together. Roll out the marzipan and wrap the cake. Trim the edges.

Butterfly Cakes

Before small cake tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery moulds , and took their name from the cups they were baked in. it is now given to a small cake about the size of a teacup. English fairy cakes vary in size but are traditionally smaller. They are usually topped with a dusting of sugar and a glacĂŠ cherry. These fairy cakes are made to look like butterflies.

Cake 200g butter 200g sugar 200g flour 2 eggs Milk

Icing 450g cream cheese, softened 125g butter, softened 250g sieved icing sugar

Line patty pans with cake papers. Mix butter, sugar and eggs together and fold in the flour. Bake in a hot oven until brown and springy. Leave to cool. Mix cream cheese, butter and icing sugar until smooth. To half the mixture add pink colouring and rose water and to the other half add violet colouring and lavender flavour. Cut the top of the cakes making a small well. Overfill with icing. Cut the top in half and stick into the icing to form butterfly wings. Dust with icing sugar.



c Jan Messent

Members' Challenge Competition 2017/2018

UNDERFOOT (...under one's feet, on the ground)

The Members' Challenge is open to all members of the Guild  All entries to measure 30cm x 30cm.  The closing date is Friday 28h February 2018 To join the Guild see our web site:­ embroiderersguild.com

The Awards Awards are given in the following categories: The President's Cup ­ Constance Howard Award for the most outstanding piece  The Julia Caprara Award for best use of colour  The Beryl Dean Award for best hand stitching  The Valerie Campbell­Harding Award for best machine stitching  The Margaret Nicholson Award for best composition  The Jane Lemon Award for Drama and Creativity  Artistic Director's Award for innovation

Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon Gillian Swift

Gillian Swift follows the canoeists on the River Thames as they pass by Maidenhead

portages. A portage is having to carry the  craft round the locks and over the gates     This year's doubles completed the course  in under 18 hours. It is rumoured that even  “wee breaks” are accommodated in the wet  suits which they wear. Though I cannot (nor  wish to) verify that.   The race was started in 1948 by four 17  year old scouts from Devizes (the centre of  the Universe according to my husband who  was born and bred there) and is now an  international event with entries from all over  the UK and abroad, numbering over 700 

This is an annual event between Good  Friday and Easter Monday which passes  through many of the SEW Regions.  Newbury, Reading, Windsor and  Maidenhead to mention just a few.   The really keen, fit contestants attempt to  complete the course in 25 hrs, there are  overnight stops for slower rowers.  They attempt to complete the course in 24 hours

The course is 125 miles of rowing and 77  67

competitors, many from public schools; Cadet corps; Rowing  clubs with some independent entries. For many years girls were  disqualified but nowadays they can complete with the boys on  equal terms.   The course follows the route of the Kennet and  Avon Canal  which joins the River Thames at Reading. The next 55 miles are  on the River Thames through the locks to Teddington. The final  17 mile section is on the tidal   portion of the Thames.  The course follows the route of the Kennet/Avon canal

This portion is particularly challenging and potentially hazardous,  with fast­moving tidal water and high volumes of river traffic.   On Easter Saturday afternoon, we calculated that we should be  able see the contestants at Mill End a few miles along from  Henley. They were due  at  Longridge Scout Centre, Marlow  between 1pm and 6pm for the second overnight stop. The ice  cream seller said that masses of canoeists had gone through  that morning. We later found out that there were two mass starts  for singles, with the first being earlier than usual, due to the large  number of entrances.   Not at least bit abashed, we determined to see them on the  Cookham to Windsor stretch and set off this time before 10am 


on Easter Sunday. Parked the car and waited by the river in  Cookham for the first double canoes which had been setting off at 2  minute intervals. After a while we went to Maidenhead, walked  along the riverside past Boulter's Lock to see the singles who had  set off earlier. We waited..... not for long though, then a steady  succession of single canoes (or are they Kayaks, both are  admissible), came by.   These had all set off before the doubles and were enthusiastically  paddling towards the Maidenhead Bridge and beyond. The race is open to canoes and kayaks

  Having engaged in the cheering and encouragement, we adjourned  Gillian Swift trades as Gill Sew to the cafe at the children's playground, drank coffee and ate cake.    Returning home for lunch, thinking of all those tired, Hungry and  web site:- http:// possibly grubby canoeists with another 24 hrs to go, before  www.gillsew.co.uk hopefully at last reaching the seat of our government in  Westminster, to tumultuous applause from families and supporters. Bravo. I certainly couldn't hope to do that in a million  years.





Stitch Fabric & Thread

Available from Search  Press  Price £14.99 IBSN: 978­78221­285­0 www.searchpress.com

Stitch, Fabric and Thread By Elizabeth Healey This book is a refreshing approach to the use of stitch, fabric and  thread. The pages are interesting and varied in their presentation, which  made  me  keen  to  turn  over  and  see  what  was  coming  next.  Photographs  are  well  chosen  and  these  are  used  effectively  to  provide  background  interest  or  to  explain  a  technique  or  stitch.  Methods  for  working  stitches  and  samples  are  given  with  very  good diagrams and clear text. Elizabeth  Healey's  writing  style  is  easy  to  read  which  cannot  be  said  for  many  embroidery  books.  I  particularly  enjoyed  the  historical and background information that accompanied many of  the ideas. Throughout the book there are practical tips; removing  and preventing knots in your sewing thread was most informative  but whether it helps me I have yet to discover! Many of the inspirational ideas are from around the world and this  added another layer of interest to the book; the Mola chicken and  the dream lizard are fun. All that is needed for stitchers of all levels to enjoy this book is a  basic sewing kit, some threads and fabric. Who knew that design  inspiration for stitch can be explored with a jam jar, some dye, rice  and even a few mushrooms – well they can! The book would be an ideal companion to share with a cup of tea  and  a  biscuit  when  inspiration  is  lacking  for  some  stitch  ideas,  being a good platform to jump from and in the author's own words '……the  aim  is  to  nudge  you  in  a  direction  from  which  your  own  ideas  develop.  With  a  needle  and  thread  and  a  little  imagination  anything is possible…..' Stitch, Fabric and Thread by Elizabeth Healey would be a  welcome addition to any stitcher's bookshelf. It will certainly be  finding a place on mine. Carol Winter

Available from  Search  Press Clasics Price: £9.99 Ibsn: 978­78221­486­1

The Beginners Guilde to Gold Work

Beginner's Guide to Goldwork By Ruth Chamberlin Foreword by Mary Corbet This is a reprint of Ruth Chamberlin’s book first published in 2006  and now returns as a Search Press Classic.   Ruth  trained  in  Ecclesiastical  Embroidery  at  The  School  of  Embroidery in London. After  setting  the  scene  for  English  Goldwork,  the  first  chapter  covers  the  materials  and  equipment  needed,  with  very  clear  photographs  and  the  text  illustrating  various  threads  that  are  available  to  use,  including  their  storage.  It  also  covers  coloured  metal threads, kid leather and needles and pins and fabrics. Ruth then moves on to cover the art of design. The illustrations are  colourful  and  clear  showing  the  techniques  used  in  the  designs.  The  next  part  of  the  book  gives  details  of  mounting  the  material  using a slate frame as well as methods of transferring the designs,  all beautifully illustrated and inspirational. The  tips  are  invaluable  throughout,  with  plenty  of  templates  and  easy  to  understand.  The  descriptions  of  stitches  and  other  techniques  are  easy  to  follow.  Useful  for  both  the  beginner  and  those with more experience.  The  book  ends  with  two  projects  which  would  be  well  within  the  capabilities  of  a  beginner,  giving  them  satisfaction  and  encouragement enabling them to embark on their own projects. This is a reprint of a popular book and is a joy to see it again. In  fact  it  was  one  of  the  earlier  editions  that  was  responsible  for  my  love of goldwork, so I would recommend it to anyone. Review By Julia Little 75

Members Challenge  2016­2017 Imprisoned Splendour INSIDE THE VOLCANO  by  Loe ta Gibier Winner Constance Howard Award for  most Outstanding Piece Winner Beryl Dean Award for Hand  S tching Volcanic Rock imprisoning the river of  lava below  Layers of couched thread and fibres.

THE SERAGLIO By Margaret Lawson Winner  First Place Val Campbell‐Harding award Hand s tched with machine embroidered  top layer

Entries from  members of the  South East West Region who  took part in the Members'  Challenge. The Embroiderers' Guild holds  the challenge each year. It is open to all members of the  Embroiderers' Guild Entry forms are on the  Embroiderers' Guild web site or  are obtainable from  Embroiderers' Guild House, the  address is on the informa on  page.

A Grand Performance By  Maralyn Williams As a pianist, I always  have 'itchy fingers'  whenever I see a grand  piano. There are many  splendours 'imprisoned'  under the lid

Elizabeth Portrayed by History By Anne Walden‐Mills Hand embroidered on silk,  tambour lace, applique with  found objects and beads

Members Challenge for 2017‐2018   UNDERFOOT (... UNDER ONE'S FEET, ON THE  GROUND

Our thanks to all the people who made this  Magazine possible.

CONTRIBUTORS Jan Messent Anne Walden­Mills Bryanne Blacker Anna Slawinska Carol Winter Linde Merrick

The Embroiderers'  Guild Amanda Smith Pauline Johnson Cate Bowley Carol Naylor

Jen Best Sue Smith Elizabeth Bond Gillian Swift Tina Heath Jayne Lewis

Julia Little Anne Sandwell Kate Crossley Gail Winter The V&A


Pauline Johnson Anne Walden­Mills Embroiderers'  Guild Gillian Swift

Anna Slawinska Kate Crossley Gail Winter Elizabth Bond William Phillips

Jan Messent Amanda Smith Cate Bowley Carol Naylor Jen Best

Editors Anne Walden­Mills (Editor) Amanda Smith (Proof Reader)

Please send contributions for the next magazine to:­ The Editor at sewregion@hotmail.co.uk by 1 November 

Sue Smith Elizabeth Bond  Kate Crossley

Further Information Helpful Contacts

The Collection

Embroiderers' Guild ceo@embroiderersguild.com


Tree of Good News Anna Slawinska



Opus Anglicanum

V&A Museum



Tall Stories

Kate Crossley



The Country Wife



Land Lines

Carol Naylor




Elizabeth Bond



Dorset Buttons

Jan Best



Canoe Marathon

Gillian Swift



Black Flower

Tina Heath


Book Reviews

Search Press






Embroiderers' Guild

National Celebration of

Stitch Events Across Britain

Saturday 8 August

Profile for SEW Region Embroiderers Guild

SEW Region Magazine June 2017  

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

SEW Region Magazine June 2017  

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