Monday, 18 January 2010

First Meeting of the New Year.

Today we had the first meeting of the New Year. We were visited by Jill Pyne who gave us a very interesting talk and hands-on workshop on Candlewick Embroidery. She told us a little about the history of the technique and then gave a demonstration. She had brought with her a beautiful quilt she had made for her mother and a lot of smaller things including cushions.

This is a form of embroidery reputedly originating in North America, from the pioneer women. As they travelled out west, they had no materials with which to embroider in the traditional style of their homelands. With ingenuity, they chose to work with the thread used for wicks when making candles, on the easiest fabric available i.e. the hessian of flour and seed sacks; stitching traditional motifs. As time and light would be restricted, the need for simple motifs and stitchery was necessary. Consequently, the work relied for its effect on the texture of the different stitches used, and the attractive designs made, especially as they did not have the use of colour. The peasant motifs from Europe are often very obvious, but nowadays there is much variation in designs and materials used.

Jill had bought along some of her kits so that anyone who was inclined could have a go. Needless to say most of us did and her two boxes of kits quickly emptied.
This last photograph shows some of our efforts.
We all agreed that it was a thoroughly enjoyable morning and we were all so engrossed with our stitching that we almost ran over our time. Do have a look at her website
This was more an embroidery technique than quilting but after seeing Jill's quilt it showed its versatility. Like Redwork it can be integrated into patchwork and quilting and is an ideal project to take when travelling or while sitting by the fire in the evening. Working on one square at a time.

Before I sign off I must tell you about the result of our Alzheimer's Project. Our selling Exhibition raised £1,400 for the Charity. A very grateful thank you to all of those people who spent time sewing and donating. Thank You All Very Much.