Workshops and Talks 2023

December 2023 CHRISTMAS PARTY and EMBROIDERY COMPETITION (photographs by Michele King)

October 2023 TALK “Maps in Stitch” by Mary Bryning

July 2023 WORKSHOP “Create a Textile Collage” with Beverley Saville

June 2023 TALK  “From Stitch to Stage” by Elizabeth Shelbourne

May 2023 TALK “Wrought Linens” by Sarah Thursfield. (report and photographs by Michele King)

On Saturday 20th May Sarah Thursfield presented an informative talk entitled, “Wrought Linens”. She began with a historical look at embroidery by showing an image of one of the oldest known samplers from 1596 made by Jane Bostocke (V&A). Most of our knowledge of early embroidery used on clothing is gleaned from portraits. Women of the time often exhibited a high level of needlework from a young age as it “kept them out of mischief”. It was interesting to learn about the items of clothing that belonged to Margaret Layton and recorded in the inventory taken upon her death. These are recorded in “Wills & Inventories” for the period 1546-1650, volume 3 published in 2004 by the Four Parishes Research Group.

Sarah brought exquisite examples of the various decorated seams, whitework, and items of clothing, all made by her; a few examples are shown in the included photos, including one of Sarah.

April 2023 TALK from 2pm-4pm is by Paula Gamester of The Sewing Rooms, a social enterprise sewing business in Skelmersdale.

March 2023 WORKSHOP “Calico Garden Embroidery” with Elizabeth Almond (report and photographs by Alice Bradley)

On Saturday 18th March Liz Almond from Blackwork Journey came to provide a workshop which had been given the title Calico Gardens.  In her usual inimitable style Liz arrived with numerous examples of her work – from small framed pictures to a large heavy calico bag embroidered on both sides. How or when Liz sleeps is questionable.  Her prolific output is amazing. 

She began by giving us a talk on what we would be achieving in the workshop and making suggestions as to how we could choose what was best for us individually. We all received a very generous information with pack with ideas, fabric pieces, and threads. We were each encouraged to think “outside the box” to stretch our imaginations. This day had been planned as a follow on from the previous session last year which enabled us to master some new hand embroidery stitches.  Today we could expand that repertoire.  Liz was always on hand to offer each individual support, guidance and encouragement. Each person attending the workshop produced a credible piece of work during the day.  The pictures of the “show and tell” at the end of the day are evidence of this. In addition to thanking Liz for a super day, we must also thank George for putting up the displays, carrying all the boxes and generally getting us off to a good start.  And of course he’s always there at the end to put it away. 

February 2023 WORKSHOP “Creating with Sari Silk” with Diane Moore

January 2023 TALK  “From Hampton Court to Lancaster Gate” by Sara Dennis (report by Margaret Crichton)

On Saturday January 21st we were treated to a talk by Sara Dennis, who is an extremely talented embroiderer and conservator. Sara gave a very brief outline of her background as Nurse in the Army before embarking at the age of 50 on her journey into embroidery by studying Embroidery techniques at the Royal School of Needlework as a 3 year course, no mean feat.

She learned and became accomplished in Berlin woolwork, canvas stitches, blackwork, Holbein, goldwork, silk shading, long and short stitch, tapestry shading, vertical shading, stumpwork, whitework,  Mountmellick, tassels and box making. Sara wa quite self-effacing when describing the amount of work which went into achieving this but the samples she brought show her considerable talent. Not only that, she has studied conservation work and has appeared on television in the Repair Shop, conserving samplers.

Sara has a studio in Lancaster Castle, where she teaches and carries out conservation work. Her embroidery group is holding an exhibition in a local coffee shop. She has invited our members to visit her studio and this maybe something we can consider as an outing in the summer. We expressed our appreciation for her very interesting talk, and we also thank Sara’s daughter, who was the technician for the day operating the videos.