Spring 2019 News

Here’s a round up of what we’ve been up to at our most recent meetings – we look forward to you joining us for our next meeting, on the 16th February 2019, for a ‘Stitching Sessions with AVEG Members’.  This will be a chance for members and visitors to try a new stitch or technique, stitch a current project or bring along something needing help and advice from others.

In October, our meeting ‘From Embroidery to Basketry with Joan West – We loved Joan’s story and her innovative work. We look forward to seeing her group’s exhibition “Material Difference” that opens in Hertford on 2nd February 2019.

Our workshop in October was ‘Felting Wool to Silk’ with Barbara Weeks. We had a very full house for Barbara’s workshop and we had the best of times. Barbara was generous with her materials and also with her knowledge. We produced some lovely felt and went away rather pleased with ourselves! Thank you Barbara.

Our meeting in November was with Wendy Hughes on ‘From Painting in Fabric and Thread to Manipulating Materials’. It was a joy to see Wendy’s wonderful work and to hear about her life in textiles and fine art. All very impressive to say the least!

In December we had our Christmas Park, and as is always the case, we enjoyed each other’s company, had a chatty time stitching stars, played our “silly” game and enjoyed a lovely festive tea. Sandra’s knitted and felted bauble was the worthy winner of our annual competition, so Sandra has the honour of being the keeper of the rose bowl for 2019. Congratulation Sandra.

We had a fantastic start to 2019 with Harriet Riddell and ‘Travels with my Sewing Machine’. Harriet gave us a fascinating talk about her travels to countries that some of us only think about visiting! AVEG member Sue was Harriet’s choice of “sitter” for a stitched portrait; we’re all jealous Sue! We’re looking forward to hearing about Harriet’s participation in Oxfordshire Art Weeks this year. We’ll be going to see her ……

Review of the Year – Chairs 2017/18 Report

The following report, demonstrating many of the fantastic highlights of the year, was presented by the Chair, Sue Robinson at the Annual General Meeting on the 15th September 2018.

2017 – 2018 has been an enjoyable and well attended year by our loyal, committed Branch members, and our increasing number of visitors.

At meetings we’ve had the pleasure of seeing the work of established textile artists Barbara Weeks, Polly Woolstone and Libby Smith who have been developing their work in different ways over the years. We were captivated by Lisa Leigh’s embroideries using recycled materials and charmed by Michala Gyetvai’s “Enchanted Landscapes”. We were particularly pleased to hear of both Lisa and Michala’s acceptance on to degree courses
this year to develop their work further. The irrepressible Mr X Stitch challenged us to engage with the issues raised in the work of contemporary stitchers worldwide. We enjoyed seeing beautiful batik pieces from Jennifer Hughes’ personal collection of world textiles. We were delighted to see the exquisite work of Chloe Giordano and to hear about her well-deserved success in the early stages of her career as a textile artist and illustrator.

Our two sit and stich meetings gave us the opportunity to share skills over tea and conversation. As in previous years we enjoyed all aspects of our Christmas Party Meeting. Members’ votes in our annual competition on the theme of “Inspired by a fabric transfer” were cast in favour of Margaret Winstanley’s fine piece of stitching. Margaret is now the proud “keeper of the rose bowl”, until December this year!

This year we increased our number of day workshops from three to four. Jane O’Brien, Libby Smith, Michala Gyetvai and Jennifer Hughes led day workshops for us which were popular and enjoyed by those attending.

Our annual coach trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace was, yet again, an excellent day out for AVEG members and friends.

A good number of AVEG members exhibited work in the SEW Region annual exhibition in February which was held at the National Needlework Archive in Newbury.

The branch was represented at the Guild AGM in Milton Keynes this year with three members in attendance.

We took part in the National Celebration of Stitch day last month, sitting and stitching in the Museum in Church Street, chatting to visitors, and encouraging a very single-minded, enthusiastic young man with a stitching project.

We continue to support the Guild Collection at Bucks County Museum, several of us enjoying regular sessions at Halton. Tasks include auditing; ensuring that all pieces are entered on to the database with a view to improving public access to the Collection over time. One of our members takes responsibility for the administration and improvement of the Folio collection, making sure that folios go out to branches as planned, for use in meetings all over the UK. We help Will Phillips, the Keeper of Social History, to select and make available pieces for exhibition in the Guild’s permanent space, the Constance Howard Gallery at the Museum in Church Street. We look forward to continuing this valuable work.

Many thanks go to the branch officers and committee members; to Margaret for her first-rate work with finance and membership, to Carol for minute-taking, to Val and Deirdre supporting our meetings, and to Tamasine for leading on the new data protection requirements and the ongoing development of our website and social media presence. Thanks also to members for their commitment to the branch; for attending meetings and workshops, for introducing and welcoming visitors, for stitching pieces for exhibition and for volunteering time at special events. Thank you all very much indeed.

Autumn Updates

The latest round up of our meetings – please join us on Saturday 20th October for ‘From Embroidery to Basketry’ with Joan West.  As both an embroiderer and basket-maker Joan finds ways of combining stitch and weave in her innovative work.

In June we had a workshop, ‘Bags from Batik’ with Jennifer Hughes.  We very much enjoyed a relaxed day of hand stitching, using traditional decorative techniques with gorgeous batik fabrics to make some rather nice bags. Thank you Jennifer.

In July we had our summer session of ‘stitching with AVEG Members’. A great time was had by all. Lovely to see the range of stitching (and beading) being done!

We also had a second workshop before the summer break in July – ‘Rolling Landscapes’ with Libby Smith. Libby introduced us to some interesting painting techniques to colour our fabrics, before collaging them into ourlandscape pieces. We loved it!

As part of the Embroiderers Guild National Celebration of Stitch on Saturday 4th August we sat and stitched at Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury.  We talked to members of the public and helping enthusiastic children with stitching projects. A good day.

Finally our AGM and meeting in September was a talk from Lynn Hulse on ‘Surely No Odder Kind of Needlework Ever Evolved…attitudes to raised work in the late
C19th and early C20th’.  I think we agreed, especially when it came to incorporating
bird skeletons into embroidery!!! Ugh, but interesting.