A Trip Down Memory Lane with Margaret K and Beryl C
As a relatively new member within the last decade, if I were to draw on something that meant a lot to me. It would be in 2015, when our branch members were involved in making postcards (one for each year since 1955). These postcards can be seen on our 'Gallery' page, and it was such a memorable time as a group, everyone making postcards using different techniques. I wondered what would be remembered over the years, as a wonderful time of togetherness as a group, from a couple of our long standing members of Preston Branch and here is what they had to say:
Beryl remembers that the first Embroiderers’ Guild meetings she attended were held at a ‘Friends Meeting House’ which was ‘small and rather dark’. She had attended the EG exhibition held in the Harris Museum and been overwhelmed by the embroideries on display. As she had just retired she felt able to go along to meetings and join the Guild. The only needlework she had done was in her teacher training course at College. Dressmaking and tailoring soon gave way to new techniques in embroidery, as she did a City and Guilds course.
She became Secretary when Mary H took on the Chair and then became Chair herself.
Beryl is so pleased when she goes to the meetings and sees that so many new, younger members have joined.
She wants to make it clear that she never remembers the time that members went to meetings wearing hats!
Like Beryl, my first connection with Embroiderers’ Guild was at the exhibition at the Harris Museum in 1982/3??? I was overwhelmed by the wonderful work that I saw there and dared to dream that at some time in the future I might be able to produce something approaching that standard. It wasn’t to be until another twenty years had gone by, and I retired from teaching, that I was able to join.
I have always been most proud of the work that we, as a Branch, did as a ‘joint effort’. It started with a photograph that Jackie C brought into the branch. The picture of fruits and flowers had been cut up into 24 x 4inch squares. We were each given a square and told to use our favourite technique to ‘embroider’ (See photo above).
Having enjoyed this (I’m not sure Jackie enjoyed stitching it together, as the ‘4 inch’ square ‘wasn’t always 4"’ when returned). We decided to have another go and make a similar piece for Vine House, the cancer charity in Preston. Their newsletter was called ‘The Grapevine’ and we found a photograph of exactly that and took up our scissors, needles and thread once again. Again the finished pieces were of many varied and individual techniques. The ‘Grapevine’ now hangs in the sitting room in Vine House and provides a focus for people with cancer. (See Below).
With this in mind, I spoke to Joan B this week, who wanted to share with the group, what she has been doing during the last 7 months. This is what she had to say:
Quite early on in lockdown, Joan read an article in a magazine called 'Yours.' In the article, there was an elderly lady who had passed away and as her family were emptying her house, they came across some knitted teddy bears and had no idea who or what they were for. A family member who was a policewoman, mentioned that if no-one wanted them she would make use of them. She gave some to her local cancer unit and the rest went to the police station to help traumatised children. The police had found that small children would clam up when traumatised and within a short time of holding a knitted teddy bear, they begin to feel relaxed and would open up to them. The Inspector at the station was so impressed and he got in touch with The WI to ask if they could make more of these knitted teddy bears, and after reading the article Joan applied for the pattern and has been knitting teddy bears for them. Here is photo of one, kindly sent in by her daughter.
I've not done a lot of sewing this month but a friend and neighbour of ours who retired from the army a few years ago asked me if I could make a pouch for his medals as they were just in the original plastic bag - it also has a pocket for the miniatures.
Not embroidery but an honour to do it and he was very pleased with it.
Zena C has this to tell us:
Consequently as I unpicked, the feathers decided to fly, even being careful trying to get them gently into a bin liner I still looked like the abominable snowman and as for my sewing room - imagine.
However job is now done, sewing room vacuumed more than once and there are still feathers! My relative is delighted and sending photos Via WhatsApp - fame at last.
I am finally able to show my completed Calico Garden. We are getting our hall and landing re-decorated before Christmas, and I hope to hang it in pride of place there.
This was such a lovely work shop to do and who would have thought you could make round pebbles out of 'toy stuffing and ladies tights!'
They look great and it just shows what we can still put together as a group.
The bunting pieces for Savick library have now been completed and this is the next task Ann has set herself - to get it sewn together for the next blog.