The Miniature Needlework Society.
Members of The Miniature Needlework Society come from all over the world and work in embroidery, knitting, beading, crochet, tatting and lace making, in fact any type of work involving needle and thread! Seeing the examples that Ann had brought along really made us appreciate the work involved and the interests of the makers, there were smocked dresses, baby layettes, embroidered rugs and beaded period gowns to name a few. Ann also shared images of members work from around the world that had us in awe of the incredible detail achieved.
All images show work by members of the Miniature Needlework Society and are reproduced with kind permission from Ann Ford
This Winter was kind to us and on a sunny January day 33 members met at Charwood Restaurant for our members lunch. A lovely 2 course lunch was followed by a fascinating talk from Alison King entitled ' Where Minister is My Consolation'.
' Where Minister is My Consolation' is the title of a large mixed media piece of work inspired by a sermon preached by the Reverend James Black, a family ancestor, at the occasion of the unveiling of the monument to McCrea's Battalion in 1922. Alison was also inspired by the book 'McCrae's Battalion' by Jack Alexander and has woven quotations from this book with references to the Reverend Black's trench maps and photographs along with personal research to create a very poignant piece of work.
It was a great honour to hear the story of this work and a privilege to see Alison's sketch books and samples. This piece of work will be on display in Edinburgh later this year - details will be posted when available.
Our pre Christmas celebration evening began with the first exchange of our Textile Journey Books. What a beautiful display they made with a great variety of subject matter expressed in a number of different techniques. Everyone taking part was very excited to select their next book to work on during the Christmas break.
The fun packed evening continued with everyone making rice filled sock snowmen; an activity conducted with much hilarity and chatter that resulted in an array of snowmen!
After festive refreshments the evening was rounded off with a Beetle Drive and a raffle that sent everyone on their way in a party mood until we meet up again for our lunch outing in January.
Our November meeting was bustling with activity at the start as members collected their Textile Journey Books in order to take them away and complete their first pages. There was also the January lunch to sign up for - don't worry if you haven't signed up yet the list will still be open at our December meeting, don't forget your cheque book and to make your menu selections.
We were also delighted to welcome some new members and to see them join in with the Textile Journey Book project, we hope they will enjoy this and all the branch activites.
Our speaker for this evening was Fiona Wemyss from the Weymss School of Needlework.
The Weymss School of Needlework has a fascinating history starting in Weymss Castle and being passed down through the Weymss family. It was so interesting to learn about the people involved in the early days of the school and to see examples of the beautiful work produced, some of which had been brought along.
Not only is this a school offering a regular programme of classes (that can be found on their website), but it also functions as museum housing a collection of textiles and original design patterns all of which are being preserved and catalogued.
It was so interesting to learn about this dedicated team of people preserving such treasures for future generations and sharing skills of such a high standard, and a real treat to get to see such high quality examples close up.
NDS Skills Exchange Workshop (2)
The second Skills Exchange Workshop with students at Edinburgh College of Art took place over 3 consecutive Mondays in October. Once again a group of branch members and Thistle Quilters joined Lindy Richardson, Programme Director, Textiles, and a group of her students for a fascinating programme of activities.
Day 1 - We all met in the Edinburgh University library for a practical Conservation session. We were divided into small groups that included an embroiderer/quilter with 2-3 students; this gave us the opportunity to get to know each other whilst studying pieces in the collection and making stuffed mounts for the garments and embroideries.
Day 2 - We all reconveened at Edinburgh College of Art for a day led by the students. To start with we were taught the basics of computer aided design using Photoshop, we used photographs and sketches taken during day 1 to produce multi-layered designs for sublimation and transfer printing. For most of us this was an exciting new skill to learn and we were all fascinated by the process of heat transferring our designs onto synthetic fabrics.
The students' expertise really showed in their designs but their encouragement and support led to us all achieving a variety of prints to take through to the final day.
Day 3 - This final session was led by the embroiderers/quilters; the students we were working with had previously identified the particular skills they were interested in learning so we were each able to concentrate on a particular technique. Working in our groups we tackled fabric manipulation; quilting; basic embroidery stitches; insertion stitches/faggoting; crochet; felting and tassel making. The students were all very keen to learn and produced a variety of samples that they showed and talked about at a feedback session; they have also produced very interesting blogs to demonstrate the skills they have learned and that form part of their coursework.
During individual interviews we were asked about our paths into embroidery/quilting; how we felt about the skills exchange and what other techniques we would be interested in learning.............. Hopefully a sign of more opportunities to come.
NDS Skills Exchange Workshop (1)
On 17th & 18th June some members of the Guild together with members of Thistle Quilters, were involved in a skills exchange workshop with Lindy Richardson and students from Edinburgh College of Art.
On day 1 we were introduced to the history of the Needlework Development Scheme and told about the re-discovery of a collection of antique textile samples in the college basement. Lindy is now working to research, catalogue and conserve this collection as well as widening its use and exploring embroidery in the 21st century.
Samples are to be remounted onto boards with fabric supports that will allow the items to be viewed and studied with minimal handling; everyone enjoyed getting to know each other whilst stitching and it was interesting to learn about textile conservation techniques.
On the morning of day 2 the textile students took the lead teaching screen printing using screens made from samples in the collection. After a very busy but enjoyable morning we had an impressive selection of prints ready to use in the afternoon.
After lunch it was the turn of the embroiderers and quilters to share their skills as each group made small quilts or embroideries using the printed fabrics.
A Fun Filled Start
Our first meeting of the new session took place on Tuesday 1st September; it was lovely to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones as all the usual administration was dealt with.
Our Chairman Mary welcomed everyone back and encouraged us to sign up to take part in a travelling books project, one of our members has been part of such a project and explained what it entailed and displayed some lovely samples. Sign up has been good so far so watch this space for more details.
It was then time to introduce our speaker for the evening - Jane Campbell-Smith with her 'Flights of fancy'.
Jane talked to us about her journey as an embroiderer which has been coloured by an early encounter with an aggressive bantam hen! Jane has very successfully turned her hen phobia into a beautiful and quirky body of work illustrated by the many varied samples she brought with her. Jane chose hens as the subject for her City & Guilds and it was a treat to look through some of her sketch books filled with drawings, prints and stitched samples and to see some of her framed samples from this time. The continued development of her work could be clearly seen; there were a number of more traditional pieces with printed/painted hens, some embellished with stitching; a hen themed doll made on a workshop that even wears an apron printed with hens and a number of the fanciful 3 dimensional birds that have become Jane's signature work.
We were kept captivated by this lovely, witty lady and there was a great deal of laughter in the room as she described her work with titles such as 'Tiller Hens' and 'Mr Walker's Mocking Bird'; we were also very lucky to be the first to see a new piece of work, a hen complete with flashing eyes!
Having time to look closely at Jane's pieces was such a treat as everything is beautifully and skilfully made and there is a lot of detail to appreciate such as the basket made using free machine embroidery with hen motifs and the printed background in one picture that is made using an element from another piece of work.
Jane was very generous in allowing us to handle and photograph her work and very kindly agreed that images can be shared so do enjoy viewing the gallery below.
Summer Outing to Dumfries House
This year's summer outing took place on Monday 29th June with a trip to Dumfries House in East Ayreshire. A lovely lunch was followed by a guided tour of the 18th Century house with its stunning collection of original Cippendale furniture.
Thankfully the weather held out and after the tour there was plenty of time to explore the beautiful grounds; this made for a very relaxing end to a lovely day.
Tudor Talk and Costume Display by Julia Soares-McCormick
Our talk on Tuesday 2nd June proved to be a wonderfully entertaining and informative way to end our programme for this session. It was fascinating to learn about the construction of the beautiful costumes on display as well as their historical context and importance.
The images below show the traditional under garments and the costumes of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and Julia's husband Mick in full Henry VIII costume.
Many more of Julia's costumes can be found on her website http://www.tudortalkandcatwalk.com/
Lunch with talk by nationally known quilter - Margaret Boe
This event was enjoyed by over 30 members. Margaret gave a lively talk about her life as a quilter and showed us many examples of her quilts, including her latest - a quilt to celebrate Burns' famous poem - 'Ode to a Haggis'
60th Anniversary Party
Celebration Day with Maggie Grey
'Putting on the Glitz'
This excellent day was another highlight of the 60th Anniversary year.
Maggie Grey lectured in the morning, then a buffet lunch was enjoyed by all.
In the afternoon we were treated to a demonstration of some of Maggie's techniques.
There was even the opportunity for a bit of 'hands on' activity.
Add abundant coffee, tea, soft drinks and delicious home baking and you have a day to remember.
Thanks to all those who made it happen.
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