Jessica Grady – exciting embellishment textile artist – March 2021

Jessica Grady gave a wonderful talk from her home in Leeds to 35 of our members on Zoom.  She started her talk by explaining she chose to go to university in Norwich because the course gave her the opportunity to explore weaving, knitting, surface and print. Jessica had several internships working for, Hand & Lock, Zandra Rhodes and Marks & Spencer.  For her final year project she decided to research simple embroidery stitches and her French knots were created in various sizes, threads, materials and backgrounds.  Her final Degree piece displayed a large piece full of embellishments.  Jessica then took part in the New Designer’s Show followed by the Graduate Showcase at the Festival of Quilts in 2014.

Jessica with her work
Jessica with her work behind when she was awarded the Embroiderers Guild Scholar Award

Travelling to South America gave Jessica yet more inspiration for her work and reinforced her love of colour.  On her return she started working freelance creating embroidery designs for collections through an agent where the copyright is sold with the purchase.  It became clear that she would be better off managing her own destiny and in 2016 Jessica branched off on her own and had an article printed in Stitch magazine and took part in North Yorkshire Open studios.  

In 2018 she was awarded the Under 30’s Scholar by the Embroiderers’ Guild and the following year she displayed her work with the Prism Textile Group.  Along with other textile artists including Louise Baldwin, Sandra Meech and Cas Holmes, Jessica is involved with the group, Art Textiles Made in Britain and, as an ambassador, early in 2020 she was invited to display her work at the Tokyo International Quilt Festival .

During the pandemic Jessica has undertaken personal commissions and created online tutorial booklets.  Community work is obviously a rewarding part of her current life and Jessica talked about creativity in stitch for NHS staff, young carers groups and giving talks and workshops to primary and secondary schools online.   Thank you Jessica for a great talk.

Report by Ros

Photos thanks to Jessica

Instagram:  @jessica_rosestitch

Facebook: @jessicagradyembroideryartist 

Daisy polyps
Embellished work by Jessica Grady

Wonderful collection of work by Robina

For you all, ‘A Loving Hug’, inspired from a painting by Romero Britto. I worked the black lines first by free machining over the design which I’d drawn onto vanishing paper, as the demo. last week.  The colour was added after, using the reverse dyes, but I painted  the design, and not randomly coloured, as the demonstrator had done. I also repeated the pattern, as you may notice by all the extra hands, but I only stitched and embroidered the centre area. I popped in the black & white ‘hug’, so you have a before and after.

The other thing is My penguin panel, which I add to every now and again as I think of things which might make it more interesting.

The final piece, Amsterdam was inspired by last month’s speaker Andrea Cryer.


Thank you Robina for sharing your work and I look forward to receiving images of other members’ projects  in the future.


Amazing talk by Andrea Cryer, “Drawing with Thread” – February 2021

Local textile artist, Andrea Cryer spoke to 37 of our members on Zoom this week.  She is well known for drawing with needle and thread and this interest goes back to her childhood with a father who was a tailor and a mother who was a keen dressmaker.  

Andrea studied Art A level at school but went on to follow a career in law after graduating from university.  Later in life she mentioned a professional development course at Trowbridge College, an Art Foundation course at Bath College and a Creative Arts degree course at Bath Spa where she studied stitch, knitting, weaving and printing.  

Andrea’s final degree project was inspired by a poem her son had written at the age of 8 about his grandmother.  Researching she found two beautiful photographs of Grandma Kath one at the age of 18 and a second at the age of 88 which she went on to draw in stitch.

Andrea Cryer Kath dyptych Feb 2021
Grandma Kath

In 2010 Andrea entered a charity arts event entitled the Lions of Bath and she made a cloak for her painted lion using a needle punched cloth with free machined circles, a technique she had learnt whilst following her degree course.  

In 2016 Andrea was a finalist in the open textile category of the Hand & Lock International Embroidery Prize with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.  We were shown images of her sketchbook in which she planned out the various areas exploring different techniques and stitches.  Whilst the portrait used black thread her frame was more a variety of different layered yellow and gold fabrics densely stitched.  Andrea then went on to show us a wonderful selection of stitched projects of various locations in Bath.  Toppings, the book shop, a triptych of Gay Street and the King William pub on the corner of Thomas Street.

Andrea Lion Feb 2021
Andrea Gay Street tryptych Feb 2021

This last year Andrea joined Tom Croft’s NHS Portraits for Heroes project and she showed us images of Matt, a paramedic  and Diane, a nurse whose portraits she had created in stitch.

Andrea Cryer 2 2021

Finally Andrea talked about her involvement with the 2020 Sky Arts Portrait of the Year programme.  Her submission piece was of her and David Hockney and she told us about the day she spent at Battersea Arts Centre in the summer of 2020.  She had four hours to complete her work which was of Deborah James, a lady in her late 30’s.  It was obviously a challenging and demanding event with numerous interruptions for interviews and camera shots but Andrea was pleased she had taken part.   Whilst talking about this event she explained the various stages and techniques she used to create one of these stitched drawings and this sparked off several questions after the talk had finished.

Andrea Deborah James Feb 2021
Deborah James who sat for the Portrait of the Year

Thank you Andrea for a most interesting talk and for being so generous in sharing your techniques.

If you would like to find out more about Andrea please visit her website:


Now for members work!

It has been a couple of months since we showcased members’ work but we have now a wonderful selection to share.

Judy J purple beaded iris pot
Purple bead pot by Judy J
Christine H book cover Feb 21
Book cover by Christine H
Ann K bag 3 Feb 21
Bag designed and made by Ann K

 I’ve designed the bag and applique myself.  I modified a bag pattern taken from a Japanese quilting book my husband bought me for Christmas.  The applique patterns were based on a design we saw on a bag in a shop window in Japan.  It’s a cross between a handbag and a shopping bag ….. the sort of shopping bag you use when you go shopping for fabric!  It took me a week to make it but it got my brain working and was a really enjoyable project.

Ros Gondal man Feb 21
Applique and hand stitched portrait of a gentleman in a market by Ros

Nikki Parmenter – January 2021

Nikki Parmenter Textile Artist got our New Year off to a fantastic start when she shared her colourful work with 36 of our members from her home in Cheshire over Zoom this week.  Nikki used to teach but since retiring she has exhibited extensively.  Mythology and legends feature greatly in her work and she showed us images of mandalas used for meditation, together with work influenced by the Aztecs, Greek mythology and various artists like Klimt, Matisse, Botticelli and Leonardo de Vinci. 

Nikki has exhibited at the National Trust property, Gawthorpe Hall near Burnley where they have a large textile collection.  She displayed 12 pieces of work including one inspired by May Morris, daughter of William Morris based on an Elizabethan herb pillow showing pea pods, daffodils, poppies and butterflies.  She also made a tower like structure similar to tulip boxes showing squirrels, parrots, ladybirds and poppies.

Two pieces entitled Fadeout 1 & 2 were created to show the harm of pollution with the top of the work lacking colour and poor sea life and the bottom showing vibrant colour and lots of healthy creatures.   See detail in photos below.

For an exhibition in Chester Cathedral Nikki created a triptych. A swan appeared in each of the three panels, the first being inspired by a poem by W B Yeats, the second measuring 7 ft tall was a conference of 30 birds, hoopo, parrots, ducks, pelicans etc and the third panel was a Persian mythical bird called a Simurgh.

For another event Nikki was inspired by the Della Robbia pottery collection which was founded in 1894 in Birkenhead.  She used images from the collection which dated back to 1520.  Dream of the Huntsmen measuring 6 x 4 ft shows peacocks, fish and stags.

Nikki P Jan 21 x 1

Nikki generously shared her techniques with us and mentioned using chicken wire, plastic sheeting, cellophane, pipe insulation, pipe cleaners, and funky foam in her work. 

In addition to writing various articles for Stitch magazine, Nikki has contributed a workshop for the 6th WOW (Workshop on the Web) book which is published by Maggie Gray.

For more images of Nikki’s finished work and her amazing sketchbook take a look on her website:

Photos by kind permission of Nikki Parmenter

Report by Ros

Vernice has kindly alerted me to the fact that in addition to Nikki’s workshop in the 6th WOW book, Jessica Grady (our March speaker) and Christine Chester who spoke to us in 2018 also have workshops.  WOW website is:

Can I remind members of our monthly Stitch & Chat Zoom session on Tuesday 19 January from 10.00 to approx. 12.00?  Grab yourself a mug of coffee and something to do and enjoy the company of like-minded friends.

Alice Kettle – Christmas 2020

Unfortunately our annual Christmas “bring and share” lunch did not take place this year but we were still able to enjoy a talk by a surprise speaker over Zoom.  Thirty five members took part and two guests, Catherine, Vernice’s friend from the Maidenhead & Windsor branch and my friend, Pascale who was sitting in her workroom in Luxembourg!

What a privilege it was to hear Alice Kettle who is Professor of Textile Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and the current President of the Embroiderers’ Guild. 

Alice Kettle 1 Dec 20

Alice started by telling us all about the wonderful wall hanging she created for the Discovery Centre in Winchester in 2007.  It was so enormous, being 16 x 3 metres she could not lift it and had to stitch it on site with the public watching.  As Professor of Textile Art at Manchester Alice’s work involved research and she chose to explore digital embroidery in order to take embroidery to another level – more details and images:

Alice is one of three sisters and has three daughters and connections with Greece so all feature regularly in her work.  Alice showed us Golden Dawn in which the leader of a Greek political movement was depicted as the Minotaur (image: and another where a dog was the symbol of austerity protests in Greece with three girls in the crowd.  Over the years Alice has been commissioned to create numerous hangings, one of which can be seen at the Lloyds Register Marine Insurance in Southampton.  Entitled “A map to the future”, it measures 8 x 3 metres and shows a world map and the hull of a ship in the Atlantic.  (Image: )

A selection of Alice’s other work can be seen in the gallery area on her website together with details of various projects:

Alice Kettle 2 Dec 2020
Ground hanging from the Thread Bearing Witness Project

In 2017 Alice started an art project which used textiles to learn from, show solidarity with and raise funds for displaced people and refugees.  Details of the project and images of the various activities can be seen on their website (

Three large hangings were created and displayed at the Whitworth Gallery, Sea, Ground and Sky 

Recently Alice has been involved in the Stitch a Tree project with over 11,000 contributions.  Hopefully this will be displayed at the next Knitting & Stitch Show.  Images:

Alice Kettle 2020
Sea hanging from the Thread Bearing Witness Project

In conclusion Alice kindly answered several questions from members and explained her technique of producing a free machined, layered background which she then turned over and stitched the detail and people from the reverse.  She said it was very exciting because she never knew exactly what it looked like until the end. 

We are very grateful to Alice for giving us such a wonderful talk and hopefully she will visit us in the future but in the meantime I do hope you will explore more about her interesting work.


Anne Jackson – Certaine Wytches: Fear, Myth & Magic

It was a milestone for our branch this week when 25 members took part in our first Zoom meeting.  Fortunately everything went like clockwork and Anne Jackson spoke to the group from her home in Devon.   She was born in New York but her father was Scottish so she decided to read Medieval History at St Andrews and has lived in the UK ever since.  After graduating Anne took a post graduate course in Constructed Textiles at Middlesex. 

Anne Jackson ILLUSTRATION 2 Nov 20
SADUCISMUS TRIUMPHATUS: "a very Fair Red-apple" - Apples often appear in historic witch-trial accounts, as poisonous witch's tools, or as love-charms.

Anne’s talk was entitled “Certaine Wytches: Fear, Myth & Magic” and she spoke about her Witchcraft Series which is an ongoing project.  She has exhibited in Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, the USA as well as this country and last year she had a one woman show at Bovey Tracey, Devon.  Anne has always been interested in witches and spends time at exhibitions interacting with the public to hear their stories which often give her more leads to follow.  We were shown images of her wall hangings which tell stories of the Devon Witches, Ursula Kempe, Alice & Febey Hunt, Grace Thomas and Elizabeth Style together with spells and magical symbols.  Anne then went on to explain that she paints a cartoon of her design and this acts as a guide when she creates her knotted tapestry.  There is a useful video on Anne’s website to show the construction and also lots more images and explanations of her work – Home page  construction of tapestries

Thank you Anne for an interesting and thought provoking talk.  Hopefully one day soon we will be able to see your amazing tapestries for ourselves!  Thank you also for kindly allowing us to put these images on our blog.

Anne Jackson ILLUSTRATION Nov 20
CERTAINE WYTCHES - this tapestry commemorates 3 Essex women from the same family who were tried in Chelmsford in 1566
Anne Jackson Symbols Nov 2020
Tempestarii: Storm-raisers
Anne Jackson Zoom Nov 20
Anne giving Zoom talk

We are continuing to share images of members work which I hope everyone will enjoy.  

Message from Clare

Finished piece after the Creative Textile day with Lindsay

Clare 1 Nov 20 rotated

Message from Robina

I don’t seem to be sewing very much these days but I’m enjoying painting and making patterns on paper or fabric. My latest is some free painting onto silk using the Derwent ink /dye sticks . I was inspired by a photo of a bee orchid which grew in the lawn of my grand daughter this year.  For the orchid I used the transfer dyes, but for the rest I used my sketches from our summer garden this year.

Other wise I keep doing butterflies!!

Robina 1 Nov 20

Message from Ros

I am continuing with my Sue Stone course.  It has been a roller coaster of a month because I chose the famous National Geographic Afghan girl, photographed by Steve McCurry as the image for my next challenge.  I spent a good week on this piece and then got cold feet – where did I stand with regard to copyright?  I asked for advice on our FB page and it was suggested that it was better to use your own photographs unless you were prepared not to post the finished work on social media or display it at an exhibition.  After sleeping on the news I decided to unpick it and start again using an image of my own – big learning curve.  

This challenge was quite demanding because we were asked to cover the complete area in stitch.  Here is the little girl I photographed several years ago on the back of her father’s motorbike on the way to school in Gondal, Gujarat.  I was pleased I met the brief but not sure I would want to do this type of project again!

Ros Nov 20

Message from Ann S

These are some small textile fragments – due to be exhibited at Wagon Yard Gallery’s,  Christmas exhibition which is now postponed until December 5th !

Ann S 1 Nov 20

That’s all for this month.  As we start the second lockdown I wish everyone “happy stitching” and we look forward to our amazing Zoom speaker in December – Alice Kettle.


October 2020

I have made the decision to drop the word Covid 19 from the title of our monthly blog.  Whilst this horrid disease is still very much with us, it is time to think of other things and to look forward.

Message from Clare

Work in progress – The Vale of Pewsey

Nearly finished – very Cas Holmes!

Clare 2 Oct 20
Clare 1 Oct 20

Message from Christine H

These are felt pieces, partly made with the embellisher then stitched into, beaded and foiled. Great fun to make but now I have to think of how to use them apart from hat decorations!   Suggestions please!

Ros:  I seem to remember doing a workshop many years ago making something similar.  My suggestion to Christine would be to put a pin on the back and make them into brooches – very acceptable Christmas present!


Christine H Oct 20

Message from Ros

I have just returned from two very relaxing weeks based in Totnes in South Devon.  It was great to get away to have time to dabble with my intense pencils in my sketchbook and to continue with the next chapter of my Sue Stone Course.

If you have ever visited Totnes you may have found the Fashion Museum in the High Street.  Unfortunately it is currently closed but they have put some images from their planned exhibition on their website.  Take a look –!

In this chapter of Stitch your Story we were asked to chose a subject but only use three colours or tones.  With all these exercises it is difficult to know when to stop so I uploaded it to our private course Facebook page and asked others if I should stop at this point or continue to add more stitching for the hair.  The unanimous decision, including a comment from Sue Stone, was to stop.  So useful to ask others.

Can you guess who I have chosen for my subject?

Ros Oct 20

Savernake Embroidery

Hopefully everyone has seen the webpages  dedicated to the Savernake Embroidery project on the website, if not take a look!

In addition to this record on our website we have also created a book.  One copy has been presented to Margaret Heath (left on her doorstep actually!) and the second copy is going to be available for Branch Members to look at and to be displayed at future exhibitions.  Here is a taste of some of the images.

Sav book 7 Oct 20

Message from Lindsay – work in progress

I wanted a piece to put on a wall that faces a window so I knew it would need to be unglazed to avoid reflections.
I have woven sari silk and various strips of fabric through the piece of stretched garden netting to create a linear design.

I am now adding sari yarn, buttons and beads to enrich it.
Lindsay Oct 20

Message from Annie J

Covid 19 wall hanging which says – Lockdown 2020….. a challenge to endure ….. or an opportunity to savour …. textiles kept me busy sane
Annie J 1 Oct 20

Also been doing some Gelli plate printing and printing with wood blocks 

Annie J 2 Oct 20

One of the Textile artist challenges was a journey in textiles but I did a journey in houses instead!  I’ve left space for the next house!   

Annie J 3 Oct 20

Thank you to all members who contributed to this month’s blog.   It’s continued success relies totally on “you” so please email photos of your work to me by the end on October.  

Don’t worry I will put a reminder on our Facebook page 😉


Covid 19 – September 2020

September 2020 blog

September Committee Meeting

Today is 7 September and although we did not meet as a branch we did have a Committee meeting in the car park at Kennet Valley Hall.  

Ann and Clare will be in touch to give you further information about the exciting things we have planned for members.

As you can see we were all seated well apart so much so that I only just managed to get Amanda on the left of the picture and completely cut off Stella.  So sorry, Stella!

Committee meeting Sept 20

A big “thank you” to each Member who contributed to our September Blog.  Ros

Message from Kay F

I’m sending a few pictures of my completed projects, many of which have been incomplete for quite sometime! I’ve also done curtains and cushions.

Having shielded for 5 months I’ve begun going out and about a bit more. When eventually  Guild reopens I hope to be there.
The stitching group we have in the Village,  have had a couple of garden meetings which has been great. There was more catching up than stitching

Message from Clare R 

I bought a nice frame and mount in Marlborough High Street and its setting off a Lockdown embroidery rather well I think .

Clare R Sept 20 rotated

Message from Amanda R

In these covid times I have taken to making greetings cards. My husband Harry loves his allotment so I embroidered a tiny 3d one for him. He was very delighted. Its Co. Pete with shed, bean canes, bonfire, compost bin, weeds and some vegetables! It’s no masterpiece but I had fun inventing and ‘planting’. 

Message from Annie F

I have attached a photo of my latest effort inspired by the lockdown post card challenge which I really enjoyed.   This one is the Potting Shed, a mixture of applique and embroidery on Hessian which seemed a suitably rustic  medium for the subject.  

Annie F Sept 20

Message from Vernice

In the May Covid Blog you showed my unfinished piece from Linda Miller’s workshop. I have now finished the figure but have not yet decided what the background will be.

Vernice Sept 20 rotated

Message from Tase

The pattern is called Heyday Dungarees by Made by Jack’s Mum. Organic washed linen from Higgs & Higgs.  Straight forward to make, didn’t take too long (about 6 hrs ish.  Pattern adjusted to remove 2 ” in length and could do with more.   Used my embroidery machine for the pocket detail.


Message from Hazel P 

During lockdown I was busy making a surprise photo book for my daughter’s 40th birthday in August.
The cover of the book was an image of a thank you card I really loved and so had saved as a pdf.
Originally I thought of making a patchwork folder using fabric off cuts from her childhood dresses – but I didn’t have enough to make it interesting, and couldn’t bear to cut up the only bought dress I still had.
So I sent away to Prinfab in Faversham Kent to have a Fat Quarter printed on medium weight calico.
I decided to make a protective cover for the book, and chose to do padded machine embroidery, but with a smooth enough finish for it to be slotted on a bookshelf.
The added benefit was that it wasn’t obvious at first sight what the present was.
Hazel P 3 Sept 20

Message from Judy J

I belong to the Great Western Embroiderers and before lockdown we had been preparing for an exhibition with Japan as the main theme. We  had a challenge to create a 12inch by 12inch piece of work for this and I  chose to illustrate a koi carp. The fish is gold fabric applique with bead embellishment. The bamboo and ripples are  painted bondaweb which is then cut and ironed on to the background. We hope the exhibition will  go ahead next year as part of Swindon Open Studios.

Judy J Sept 20

Message from Ros

I have been rather busy with the new website this month so unfortunately have not done as much stitching as I would have liked but I did find time to do one sample for my Stitch your Story course –  Hair.  I limited myself this time to the suggested four samples and this has been less challenging but still useful.  

In mid August I went on  a one day workshop to learn how to stitch stretch jersey using an overlocker.  Great fun and I am over the moon with the result and my decision to make the T-shirt long sleeved.  My dear friend Ellen runs her own business teaching dress making classes, workshops or one to one so if anybody is interested do look her up.

I have now started the next module of Stitch your Story so hopefully have something to show you next month.

Message from Ann S

A few images of a piece in progress . Using a variety of image transfer, collage and stitch inspired by boats and sea and cliffs .

Ann S 3 Sept 20

Message  from Maria 

With time on my hands, or so I thought, at the beginning of lockdown I decided to have a go at a hand stitched project (not my forte)! so I started a Noah’s Ark blanket for my new baby grandson – which is still very much a work in progress! All hand stitched applique on polar fleece using blanket stitch, back stitch and straight stitch. Slow going but very therapeutic and so exciting as it comes to life.
Two weeks ago my sister, who is the owner of several sewing machines and a long arm quilting frame, came to visit and suggested we take a trip to Salisbury and take in Franklins while we were there. At this point I should say that my own solitary machine is a 49 year old workhorse. Well, as you may guess, I was not allowed to leave the shop empty handed. Two hours later I was the proud owner of  a Juki NX7. Photograph provided. My husband now thinks his too long trousers, bought 3 years ago, might stand a chance of being turned up! I don’t like to dissolution him!!!
Maria 1 Sept 20
Maria 2 Sept 20

That’s all for this month.  

The feed back this morning from the Committee was that everyone has enjoyed seeing members work in the Blog so this will continue.

Please remember this will only be successful if YOU contribute too!  Please email photos in jpg format (if possible) any time during the month to  My aim is to post monthly to coincide with our meeting so the last date for October blog will be Friday 2 October.  


Covid 19 – August 2020

Covid 19 - August 2020

August already and as I sit in my workroom there is a clear blue sky in front of me.  The weather forecast for the next couple of days is going to be very hot so possibly time to do some stitching in our cool lounge. I do hope you are starting to get out and about again and possibly thinking about a “staycation”.

Our Facebook page has been quite active and I do hope you will consider joining.  See Ann’s last newsletter for details.  It is a closed group so only invited people can join.

Below are photos I have received from members this month.  I am very grateful to them because without their contributions this blog would not happen.

Contribution from Clare R. 
​Inspiration from her garden and “work in progress”.  I wonder who it is! I will be interested to see how this progresses.  Thank you so much Clare

Clare garden rotated
Clare lady rotated

Contribution from Judy J. 
I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden and read a lot more so haven’t done a lot of sewing. 
Despite several attempts, I can’t get the colours right. I’ve been working with my beads and soutache (Russian braid) but I’m not sure how I’m going to use it. It will probably end up as part of a box. I always tell myself not to do something symmetrical as it’s more of a challenge but as you can see, I’ve made it difficult for myself again so progress has been slow.   
Your bead work is amazing Judy, thank you for sharing this!

Judy J 1 Aug

Contribution from Christine H. 
Crazy patchwork with an Indian theme. I have been working on it for some time and enjoyed building it up with a mixture of hand and machine embroidery. Now I have to decide what to do with it! 
Love the colours.  Thank you, Christine!

Christine hill Indian

Contribution from Ann K
​After a 7 month absence from the sewing room I’ve been making up for lost time and having a play.  I’ve also made face masks for me and hubby.  The masks have now been modified to a state where they are wearable in relative comfort!  A friend sent me the Pam Ayres poem which sums it up very well!
I’ve been playing with crazy patchwork – something I’ve not tried before, and this is the result.
I’m planning on doing some Shibori indigo dying next week so have been preparing the fabric and trying different designs.  I’ll post the results afterwards.
We will look forward to that Ann.  Great weather for dying!  Thanks for your contribution.

Ann K Mask
Ann K Pam Ayres Poem
Ann K 1 Aug
Ann K 2 Aug

Contribution from Amanda R
Slightly unusual project just finished, a wigwam for my grandson’s 2nd birthday. It was fun to make. ​
And what a lucky boy to have such a talented Granny – hours of fun ahead.  Thank you Amanda!

Amanda 2 Tent
Amanda 1 Tent

Contribution from me
I am continuing with the light-hearted theme.   No stitch involved but I thought I would share my grandson’s 7th birthday card.  I try and choose their current interest and Minecraft is the order of the day.   More recently I managed to get hold of a pack of Harry Potter fat quarters and oh, wasn’t I flavour of the month!  I would not have been surprised if he had gone to bed with it on.  Pikachu masks are for his brother.

Also as you can see, I am slowly continuing with my Sue Stone course, Stitch your Story and this month I have been concentrating on mouths, lips and teeth.  As with my previous samples, some are better than others but that is how we learn!  As suggested, I have tweaked a couple with Intense pencils, which I adore.

Ros minecraft
Ros masks
Ros mouths2

Contribution from Annie J.
I tried Momigami with Cas Holmes (Sue Stone’s Stitch Club) and used the paper with textiles to produce a landscape ready for stitching to add some texture. May use all 3 together as a triptych or none depends on the final results!
​Thanks Annie.

Annie J 3 Aug rotated
Annie J 2 Aug rotated
Annie J 1 Aug rotated

Contribution from Lindsay
It has been exciting watching the progress of Lindsay’s garden design.  She tells me that the machine embroidery is finally done and now lots of beading and hand embroidery to do, but she needs a break. 
​We are certainly going to have some amazing work for our exhibition next year.
Thank you Lindsay!

Lindsay Aug

Well that’s all for this month.  I hope you enjoy seeing members’ work and I do hope you will consider contributing something for September.  If I could have images emailed to me by the end of August, it would be appreciated.


PS Just received an email from Maria apologising for not sending anything this month.  She is well and just been busy catching up with her family.  Getting her priorities right!!

Covid 19 – July 2020

Covid 19 - July 2020

This is my fourth posting since we had to cancel our Guild meetings back in March so it is great that things are starting to get back to the “new normal”.  What a blessing that most of us have a work/play room and loads of “stuff” to fall back on but why is it that you never have just the colour thread you need?

This last week we had a mini Committee meeting in the grounds of Kennet Valley Hall to discuss future plans.   Shame about the weather – Ann and Clare will be in touch shortly.
Mini meeting

Contribution from Clare R.  Thanks Clare

Clare double
Clare Rain
Clare sea

Contribution from Ann S.  Thanks Ann
​Using the colours of summer, painted onto linen, my postcard is embellished with old stamps from around the world reminding me of exotic holidays of the past, and giving me hope for all the holidays yet to come.  At the moment i will continue to enjoy my holiday in my garden and beautiful Wiltshire!

Ann S postcard2
Ann S x 2 close up

Contribution from Judy J.  Thanks Judy!
​Here are my 2 postcard efforts. In the first one I  tried to depict flowers through a window but I  was not happy with the result so I did a second. This was the result from adding small piles of rock salt to painted silk.

Judy J 2 July
Judy J 1 July

Contribution from Linda W.  Thanks Linda!
If this were a real post card it would read “ Welcome to my world “

Linda W dogs

Contribution from Robina.  Thanks Robina!

Robina front of postcard butterflies
Robina back of postcard

Contribution from Annie J.   Thanks Annie.

This week’s challenge was from Sue Stone. Choose some strips of fabric and weave them to make a background for an embroidered picture.
I used leftover linen and Cornish tartan from hats I made for my in-laws – they sent me a photo so I’ve turned it into my challenge piece.    Annie’s Cornish postcard.

Annie James post card

Contribution from Maria.  Thank you Maria!
My husband and I love everything Greek and have spent  many happy summers there.
We have done much exploring off the beaten track over the years, but what I most love are the half derelict villages with their vegetation ravaged tumble down stone buildings with once ornate doorways and balustrades.

My stitched postcard is based on a photograph of a once magnificent doorway taken by Georges Meis, a well known Greek photographer known for his avant guard depictions of Greek life, buildings and landscape. 

The design was drawn onto and stitched from the reverse side using a heavy floss thread in the bobbin to give depth to the outline. The background fabric comprises pelmet vilene to which white gesso, treasure wax and coloured embossing powder has been has been applied prior to stitching to give the impression of age and weather.

Maria postcard

Contribution from Vernice.  Thank you Vernice!
Block printing and hand stitch

Vernice postcard

Contribution from Annie F.  Thank you Annie
I loved the idea of something postcard sized and had great fun doing it. Mine was inspired by a bug hotel which gave me enormous scope to play with textured threads and stitches on a hessian back ground.

Annie F postcard

Two postcards from me, Ros.   
Memory Lane!  Left is of a photo I took several years ago of a family having a paddle in the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipuram, India.  Hand stitching.
Right is of the inner courtyard at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur.  We spent a week here when Peter and I went on the Wonderful Workshops several years ago.  Mixture of hand stitch and free machine embroidery. 
Happy times, but I do wonder if we will ever return.

Ros Mahali postcard 2
Ros postcard Diggi 2

Contribution from Liz R-W.  thanks Liz
Hand stitched applique on a scrap of gelli printed fabric rescued from the fabric bin.

Liz postcard 2

Contribution of hostas from Lindsay.  Thank you Lindsay!

Lindsay post card

The following are contributions to the blog but not related to our postcard challenge.  

I must apologise to Ann S as I should have posted this wonderful piece of work last month. R

This is inspired by a holiday in Greece quite a few years ago! The first two images are my collage of paper/fabric and stitch layered. The bottom image is a play on the colours using Photoshop imagery. 


Ann S blue jugs 1
Ann S close up 1
Ann S post card june blog 1

Contribution from Annie F.  Thanks Annie
On the knitting front I am using up all sorts of odds and ends left over from other projects to make a scarf.

I hope everyone is keeping well under the circumstances.

Annie F knit

Contribution from Lindsay.  Thank you Lindsay!
‘My Garden’ is coming along. 
The purple linaria were the next major task after the iris. How I wish I hadn’t put in three!! The stems and leaves take forever 
The flowers are scraps of ‘Silk Route’ hand dyed sari ends stitched with circles and vermicelli in two shades of purple. 
The general idea is shown in the 2nd picture although exact placement of the poppies will come after I have stitched the oxeye daisies.
So still a lot to do but hey, I have all the time in the world. 
I do hope everyone is keeping well. ​

Lindsay 1 July
Lindsay 2 July

Eyes from Ros
The next chapter from my Sue Stone course.   I was only asked to do four – looking back on it I did give myself rather a challenge when but having said that, I have learnt a lot! Some eyes are considerably better than others so don’t look too closely!

Ros eyes

That’s all for this month.  Please keep in touch and if you would like to share photos of some of your work, it would be great to hear from you.


Covid 19 – June 2020

Covid 19 - June 2020

Yet another month passes and there are signs that the lockdown is starting to lift but unfortunately our June and July meetings have been cancelled so here is my third Covid 19 blog posting.

From Ann’s May newsletter
A small challenge for us – postcard!

If like me, you are sometimes finding it hard to concentrate on anything creative, we thought it might be nice to have a very small challenge for us all to start and finish in time for the next blog at the end of June! We are suggesting we make a postcard size piece of art, on any theme you want, flowers, your garden, a holiday – and it can be stitched, embroidered, printed so anything you like.

Once completed – or by 30 June, send Ros ( a picture of your postcard, and then she can do a great display of them on the July blog (to be published 6 July). We will also then have the beginnings of our exhibition for next year!! So we have 4 weeks to do this challenge. 

Below you will see photos and messages from our members this month.

Message from Clare
Thank you Clare, Ros

Hopefully you will be able to walk over those hills very soon.

Clare landscape June

Message from Linda W.  
Thank you Linda, Ros

This is a feeble attempt at bringing the seaside to Wiltshire.  Hey ho hopefully reality will be with us soon .

Linda W seaside

Message from Annie F
Thank you Annie, Ros

Here are my offerings for June.

The shawl is knitted from feather light 4 ply yarn spun and dyed using natural dyes in Shetland and it’s a joy to work with even though some of the dye tends to come off on your fingers as you knit!

I have also finished my climate change challenge piece at last.  Called The Second Flood it’s a mixture of applique, hand and machine embroidery on a cotton fabric and represents a flooded coastal village churchyard.

Annie F 1a June
Annie F 2 June

Message from Lindsay
Thank you Lindsay, Ros.

Well, the downstairs painting is done so I am finally getting started on a piece of work I want to have at the top of my stairs !!

There was an article in the April issue of Be Creative with Workbox on a quilting artist called Emily Taylor.  Very inspiring ideas which I am trying to replicate using flowers from my garden right now. The iris look stunning so they are my starting flowers. I shall also do allium, clematis and Californian poppies.  Maybe some hosta too as I  love those and have quite a few!

Basically, the background is fabric that was  dyed with brusho, in the garden on a sunny day, and then the gravel underneath hosed down afterwards !!  A selection of fabrics were backed with heatbond and then the petals were made from lots of small shapes.
The designs were traced onto baking parchment, working from the back and overlapping each piece slightly so the whole piece can be carefully peeled off.

More blooms to come in the next couple of months!!!

Lindsay 2 June
Lindsay 1 June

Message from Robina
Thank you Robina, Ros

​Dear All,
I’ve been sketching in the garden and making another frock. I don’t think I’ve shown you this one before. I ran out of fabric for the sleeves so I found some plain jersey and painted some floral bits onto paper with the dyes and then ironed them onto my sleeves, before  construction. I’ve also been putting some paintings into repeat and wishing I could get them printed to cover our grotty settee! then seeing the Embroiderers guild sight made me really jealous , thanks for sending all those things to inspire us.

Robina 2 June
Robina 1 June
Robina 3 June

Message from Hazel

Finally got around to using my fabric paints (bought in October) and Stencil (from Santa).

Not sure why I take so long to get going – but enjoying this freehand stitching – keeps me awake in the evenings!

Hazel 1 June
Hazel 2 June
Hazel 3 June

Message from me, Ros

About six years ago I met a girl from Luxembourg at a Distant Stitch Summer School and we have kept in touch, meeting up whenever she came to the UK.  You can imagine my horror when I saw a note on Facebook in March saying Pascale had just been diagnosed with Covid 19.  Each week we waited patiently for news from her family and after 30 days in an artificial coma we heard that she was out of intensive care but not able to walk or talk.  Sian Martin who runs Distant Stitch suggested members might like to make something for Pascale and below is my piece of Indian blitz to cheer her up.  We are now in regular contact via WhatsApp.  She has started a very long road to recovery, first learning to walk aided, then on a frame and finally by herself.  Last week she saw her family for the first time in over two months so you can imagine the scene.  Pascale is considerably younger than me but although she is still very weak, we can still chat about textiles and stitching. 

The braid, Vernice is from “our” haberdashery shop in Jaipur.  Happy memories 🙂

Ros June

Message from Annie J
Thank you so much Annie, Ros

​I have really enjoyed the 7 weeks of challenges with where else could you have workshops with Sue Stone, Cas Holmes, Emily Tull, Richard McVetis, Emily Jo Gibbs, Anne Kelly and Christine Chester. I hope some of you have been joining in too. They have now started a Stitch club which you do have to pay for but you get 3 workshops every month from different textile artists. 

I’ve just finished the first one with Debbie Lyddon and can’t wait for next week. The challenge was to make 3 hand stitched containers for 3 ‘special’ objects. I chose 3 shells from a Cornish beach and have decided to hang my containers on driftwood – quite pleased with the result.

Annie J 1 June
Annie J 2 June
Annie J 3 June

Message from Maria
Thank you Maria.  I think a lot of us have been enjoying Grayson Perry’s programme on a Monday evening.  Can’t believe it is the last one tonight!  Ros

During the last month I have continued to make a few scrubs. The ones shown here were a pretty umbrella and wellie print which I thought would make a rather fetching tabbard  for myself but sadly there was insufficient fabric!

Maria 1 June

A more personal project consisted of making a snuggle bunny for my newly born grandson Zach. It should have been straight forward, and had I followed the instructions probably would have been, but I though I knew better! Nevertheless, he turned out to be rather cute.

Maria 2a June
Maria 2 June

Having seen all the amazing portraits stimulated by the Grayson Perry programme, I thought I might have a go myself as a prequel to an embroidered version. I have always admired the local artist Hashim Akib so followed his portrait ‘how to’ using a photo of my granddaughter (who is 11). Unwittingly it turned out more like my daughter who is 35 years older! But even she would be mortified at the result!!!

Maria 3 June

As the old films used to say, “That’s all folks” and I look forward to hearing from you with your postcard contributions by the end of June.

​Stay safe, keep smiling and happy stitching.