Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Stitch Potential is EVERYWHERE - just look!

Cushions collected whilst travelling abroad 
It's nearly three weeks since my last 'Whichford Pottery Indulgence' and you might wonder what on earth a pottery has to do with stitching. It's one if the places to which I gravitate when mental sustenance is needed prior to a long and tricky creative job on the computer. Instantly, today, two appliqué cushions from the far east - adorned with kantha running-stitch - had me kneeling on the floor capturing them photographically.

My line-sketches are
are usually free-machine
stitched on calico, then
used as appliqué motifs
I find images for stitching everywhere - odd angles, shapes, plants, patterns. I don't go looking for them; they almost come running! Strange - I probably would not sit and sketch, or even write, if I were at home. I need that external stimulus and sense of pleasure at tasks already accomplished, away from a normal routine. 

Every table in the Straw Cafe is adorned with simple flowers
grown in the pottery display areas. Inspiration for more
sewing when each is enlarged photographically and
converted to stitch in any number of ways

So I'm re-charging the soul-cells at the pottery, and the body with food, in the relaxing and friendly 'Straw Cafe' - a  beetroot and feta cheese on honey-drizzled toast, served with a delicious side-salad grown on the premises. And herbal 'balance' tea: floral, with rose-petals, coriander seeds, cardamon pods and a whole lot else. Moleskin and iPhone in conjunction: there's plenty of sewing happiness to come from today's trawl. (post created by ann somerset miles). 


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

All visitors and friends always welcome

Preparing for an evening meeting: 
tables and work out, and enjoying coffee.
We are a very friendly Branch with members of all ages and abilities, from beginners to experienced stitchers with an ever-growing interest in mixed-media creation. That aside, there is a bright thread running throughout our group: a thirst for knowledge and a belief that continually discovering new techniques and exchanging thoughts, threads and suggestions IS REALLY A VERY GOOD IDEA. 

Beautiful cushion created by Hanna P
(a newcomer to our group)
Hence the introduction earlier this year of our informal Sewing Days which have drawn everyone together in happy camaraderie. We have either been working on a group-goal (currently we are finalising the 'Broughton Castle Capability Brown Cushion Project'), or those who preferred to pursue their own stitching have done so. It was thought by the Committee to be the perfect opportunity for those who had missed tuition in basic embroidery skills, whilst at school or college, to seek gentle help on a one-to-one basis. Learning is an ongoing aspect in life, is it not - do we ever stop?

Picnic lunch (essential!) with time to chat ensures
the Sewing Days are equally productive and enjoyable.

The good news is that these informal Sewing Days are to continue - on three Fridays (29th April, 27th May and 24th June - all from 10.00am to 14.00 hours at St.Mary's House, Wykham Lane, Broughton, Banbury, Oxon, OX15 5DT. (Wykham Lane is a one-way road and should be approached off the B4035). Parking in road (please don't block residents' driveways). Bring a packed lunch, tea, coffee and biscuits provided and a simply minuscule fee for attending the session. There is to be an additional Sewing Day, on Thursday 21st July, though this is to be an evening surprise - details to follow. Topic for the coming months for those who love challenges?  Announcement to follow: on this Blog or our Website, by Email or in the E-news. (The two latter methods go to members only, whereas the first two encompass non-members.) ALL NON-MEMBERS are welcome to any of out events, and particularly to the forthcoming 'Sewing Days'.

An opportunity to play - a new technique which was fun but messy -
and we did all finish with something we could use in our future work.

An exquisite cushion component
stitched by Clare B
Finally, for this post, please explore the Blog and its new possibilities: more links to useful external websites (see left - and once you have finished looking at any of these links, just click your back-button to return to this page.) All the topics in the left hand column have links to other aspects of Guild endeavours. But three's also a NEW ASPECT to bring you further joy: Any of the topics at the top of the Blog - just under the heading - will take you to an additional page in which we will be posting information in greater depth. These were only created today (6th April) and time is running out. Please keep returning here - and if your find it useful, do click the 'Follow' button. And until next time, wherever you are, enjoy your stitching. Here's an example of a perfect machine-stitched tree (free-motion embroidery) which is to become a crucial part of the Broughton Castle cushion collection. We will post the dates when these will be on display at the castle in due course.