Chair’s Chat 2021

October 2021

I hope a goodly number will turn up for the mini AGM and Nawal’s talk on October 16 at All Hallows. Do send nomination forms to Hilary so the committee can be up and running. Whether you’re a new member or an old timer your opinion matters so step forward so our group can proceed into a rosy future!

The last few months have seen people joining together and enjoying the social side of life. Our last workshop saw good attendance, mainly for the social aspect.

Over the months when we haven’t been meeting I’ve gathered items for a sales table. I visited Val Heron and she presented me a box of bits she has hunted out; think we’ve all been turning out cupboards etc so the next should be a good one.

Looking forward to meeting you all on October 16.

September 2021

Sorry to have missed last month; I was in a bit of a spin—Friday night in A&E at the Royal was not a nice place! My daughter drove me south and we had a family visit to The Shard to celebrate last year’s birthday. It was good to have so many of my family together.

We have all missed family this past 18+ months so the fine weather has helped us catch up on news. I do hope everyone is fit and gradually getting back to normal. We actually sang a hymn in church last Sunday. The choir was still on leave but the congregation made an effort.

This will be my last Chat in my present capacity; there will be a new Chair after the October meeting, when Nawal is giving a talk. Do come along. This month is a workshop on hand sewing, sounds good. The committee is working on the programme; please send ideas to Kim or Alice.

I’m very keen to see members and help us all to resume a normal routine. We cannot make up the lost time but we must use the days ahead to help each other and not let the bug win!

July 2021

I trust all are well and enjoying the sunshine. It’s good to stitch in such bright light. I have been inspired recently, attending a workshop arranged by Golden Hinde with a tutor from the Royal School of Needlework on Silk Shading. I’ve actually completed the motif and mounted it. I used a small frame and lined the back of the work with felt. This seems a very popular method in the latest magazine I read. With the disappearance of the framers I usually patronise, it seems sensible to use a frame so readily available. Not that I think the result is as elegant as a professional can do but all the materials were to hand and everything completed in one evening!

I’ve become a great fan of Zoom talks by RSN; this evening Gold work was discussed and explained by one of the experts from Hampton Court. Do check out the website; £5 for 90mins seems a bargain. There is a great range of subjects starting in the autumn and signing in is very easy. A reminder is sent also. I know Miranda has attended a workshop there, so she is a fan. I also hope to visit the latest exhibition at Hampton Court Palace when visiting family next month.

I’m a great sucker for new books; two from Crowood Press have come my way, one on Blackwork, the second on Gold work. Both make interesting bed time reading. I’m waiting for the one on Opus Anglicanum; the medieval period is of special interest!

Happy stitching!

June 2021

Chair’s Chat very late in June 2021

Days rush by and I’m embarrassed to admit I hadn’t realised I hadn’t sent in a piece for June. This shows my diary is beginning to fill up, but not with Zoom meetings. Also domestic things are taking my attention. If anyone has a number of a decorator who could paint the outside of my house I’d be very glad if you could share with me.

I’ve actually begun stitching the orange material! I hear some members have completed their piece. It will be fun to see them when we next meet; I know this was supposed to be August but the best laid plans have to change and we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

There was an interesting talk today and the workshop in July sound great fun; do sign up.

Again apologises for lack of memory, Enjoy the sun as I hear the rain in the south is travelling north!

May 2021

Regional Day was a real success, all down to the attention to detail by members of your committee. I hope you enjoyed the day and even learnt something from our speakers. Perhaps it wasn’t the same as a face to face event but a jolly day. We received some very complimentary comments which Hilary has put on our web site. Over 100 people signed up which compares very favourably with a “normal” meeting.

It was a good way to complete our time with the Embroiderers’ Guild. As from 01 05 2021 we are a separate group of embroiderers with our own road to follow. Judging by the mood of the meeting when the vote was taken people are glad to end the association and to proceed independently. Please remember there will be more work required from all members; new ideas and connections will help us plan ahead to attract people. We still have no news from All Hallows Centre but are keeping our fingers crossed on being able to use the hall from August, even if masks will be worn. The rate of infection had drastically reduced in this part of the country so don’t be nervous at coming out and I’m sure you have all had your jabs.

Meetings for the next 3 months will be over Zoom, at which we are becoming quite expert. I’ve attended 3 meetings the past week: the Royal School of Needlework have an interesting series of lectures, which require a small contribution. The one I joined last Wednesday reminded me of my early days with a needle and floss! The speakers know their subject well. Give the talks a try. Tell a friend about our on line talks and workshops, a small charge for a jolly afternoon. Keep smiling and working your needle. Looking forward to our “real” meetings!

April 2021

I felt this month would never come! We have spent so much time on computers and virtual chats that being with real people doesn’t seem real! Luckily Spring is springing and helping to cheer us. I just wish the birds didn’t start so early, especially the sea gulls.

All the worry over organising the new group seems to be over; once we’ve had Regional Day we can really concentrate on being ourselves. The Guild is still operating but not as we knew it; it is operating from Aylesbury, where the collection is stored, but the fellowship and exchange of knowledge has stopped. I’m hoping that new members will be attracted to us and our group continues to progress. Kim and Alice are always on the lookout for new speakers and workshops. Tell your friends we have changed and see if they’ll give us a visit.

The broadcast in which Gill Roberts participated did not give us any new information; it was amazing how those responsible for running the EG seemed to wriggle out of telling us anything concrete or different to their message last month. We maybe bruised by the finishing of our association with it but need to face the future of our group. The coming Regional Day will be the last under that title. We can provide fun and companionship once we are back to meetings in All Hallows, a time to which I’m greatly looking forward.

Enjoy the Spring sunshine!

March 2021

This is my last chat with all members in our present organisation. 25/38 people attend our meeting last week and we discussed the dissolution of Merseyside Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. All present hope to continue in a different group, with the fellowship and enthusiasm found deciding factor.

Actually I feel the Embroiderers’ Guild left us, and all the other branches, stating we were too expensive to run. WE did the branch organising. HQ took all the money WE’D accrued over the previous years to help pay their debts. We still have one opportunity to show our feelings by attending the General Meeting on Thursday 04 03; please do and let us show the Trustees what they are losing. I know some members feel strongly about abandoning the collection: we’ve rarely had the chance to view this. There are other collections of embroidered textiles round the country so I do not consider this unique. Details of attending are in the booklet sent last week. If you didn’t receive one please let the Secretary know and she’ll arrange for one to be sent from Michele.

The present committee will be meeting next week, on 08 03, so any points you’d like included please send to me or Hilary. There is light at the end of our tunnel, for our group and the Covid situation. Our Guild will not be the only charity to go under due to the present state. Keep watching the web site for information. Keep warm and fit; a smile helps everyone.

February 2021

One month into the year, one month into Lockdown; not a good beginning to 2021 but one we have used to complete various projects! This pleases me as too many UFOs seem to be lying around. Have you finished any? Please do and send photos to Brenda for inclusion on the website for the Regional Day. The individual slips look grand on their hanging.

The CEO from Guild HQ has retired, rather suddenly but his health was not good. At least his salary will not be a drain on our resources! I hope the people at HQ will keep the Guild running smoothly and within budget.

I always loved this month when in work; only 4 weeks between paydays and the beginning of Spring flowers in the parks and gardens. I’ve been doing a lot of walking by the river and noticed green shoots coming up on the grassy banks and between shrubs. The virus maybe dominating our lives but not Nature! Nikki Parmenter has an article in the latest edition of Stitch, have you seen it? Her exhibition is still in Gawthorpe Hall and she will be joining with Textile 21 in Chester Cathedral in April. It’s so good to hear that such work will be on show. Just hope restrictions will be lifted in time.

Keep the Regional Day date in mind and register, the form is on the website. Pay then or next month. Kim will be sending out all the necessary information. The committee have been very busy and all the various elements are coming together; Hurray!!Keep well, go for your vaccination when called and keep smiling!

 January 2021  
Once again I wish all members and their families a good new year! We start the new decade with high hopes for fewer disruptions to our daily lives. Many people have become isolated from friends and activities. Your Guild branch has been holding us all together with Zoom meetings; being able to see others is very uplifting. Kim and Alice are busy organising events for third Saturdays, at the usual meeting times. Keep an eye on the web page; Hilary will fill in details as soon as she has them.

Perhaps you are like me and giving sewing a rest for now. The interest and encouragement of friends is a great stimulus to my stitching. I followed one friend’s advice and treated myself to a kit but now find the size of stitches too small for comfort. New glasses, I hope, will make life easier.

Talking of meetings: we are still planning our Regional Day in April, over the web. Michele is our Zoom master and I greatly admire her ability to control numbers of participants. The speakers we booked originally are happy to give their illustrated talks over the web. Please put the date in your new diaries.

Keep healthy and warm. Phone family and friends; do keep in touch with those you normally would see. Smile at strangers as we all need some contact with people. Best wishes for 2021.