Thursday, 12 May 2016

Manchester and the EG AGM

Much chatter amongst delegates prior to the start of the AGM
It was a privilege to be able to represent our branch (Banbury & District) at the EG AGM last Saturday. And what a marvellous experience it was. Though numbers were evidently down on last year's event (held in Birmingham), members had travelled from as far afield as Kent and Cornwall along with those from other regions, as well as those from 'up north'.

EG Presidents, Jean Littlejohn (left) and Jan Beaney (right)
chaired the AGM with humour and expertise.
The beauty of the location was that the conference centre is attached to the hotel where I stayed overnight, allowing easy access to not only the theatre, but also to the exhibition and refreshment room. We were asked not to take photos in the theatre (a good thing I had done so before this stricture was placed upon us). So I cannot show you images from the two excellent talks, given by experienced speakers Susie Vickery (awe-inspiring) in the morning, and in the afternoon, Sian Martin, whose mantra captured the imagination: "watch what is happening in your hands, and that will indicate what to do next".

Discussion on the platform (I was
able to have a long and rewarding chat
at the end of the AGM with both Jean
Littlejohn (right) and Gill Drury (centre)
Apart from all the usual AGM business - with a business plan that now encompasses trustees with specialist skills, there was the opportunity to look at work submitted by Guild members in various categories - amongst which was our own Ann Lowe. These items could be photographed, though their presentation did not make for ease of good images.

Just marvellous to see work by
young embroiderers.
Equally fascinating were the presentations given by the award winners, many of whom are young teachers who certainly know how to inspire their students. Most notable to my mind was Hannah Maugham's comment, :as educators, you should never stop learning." How very true. Full details will be in the minutes of the AGM in due course - you will need to log in to the Guild website to access them. I really enjoyed the opportunity to network with other members, for as a small rural branch, we can become all too isolated from our national organisation. I am now contemplating the possibility of attending the 2017 AGM, which is to be held in Edinburgh.

Monday, 2 May 2016

All bagged up!

Ignominiously packed, ready for transporting to Broughton Castle.
After months of hard work, our exquisite cushions - created in celebration of the 'Capability Brown'  project - have made there way to Broughton Castle where members Ann Lowe, Gill Manthorpe, Julia Swift and Em Coventry have distributed them so they are seen to best advantage all around the castle. Take a look on our BDEG website - they look so beautiful.

The castle is well worth a visit - but
during May and June, follow the
cushion trail.
Details of the actual exhibition are on the Broughton Castle website - 1st May to 3rd July. You'll need to check the days on which the castle is open.

Ann L in full swing with
her cushion project.
It seemed sad to see them go, bundled into bin bags (!) after having watched their conception and creation during our regular Sewing Days, which have now become a part of our Banbury & District branch calendar. The next two opportunities are on Friday 27th May and Friday 24th June, 10.00-2.00 (bring a packed lunch). They offer a really relaxing few hours when one can stitch and chat without pressure; ideal to get to know one another, or greet visitors - even members from other groups or branches. 

A folder of inspiration, divided
into many sections - for those new to
stitching, or more advanced
and seeking inspiration.
We meet at St.Mary's Church Hall, Wykham Lane, Broughton, OX15 5DT - (just off the Banbury Road). There's no need to book - just come along with something to create. It may be that you have discovered this Blog through a Facebook link and would like to participate; just arrive - you will be more than welcome. We also have a collection of folders with stitching prompts if you have not stitched for a while, or need some inspiration. Not just embroidery, but mixed-media textiles art using a range of techniques and materials.