All posts by EYES

Lockdown and finishing UFOs

By Maureen Bromley

During what turned out to be the first lockdown, I decided, after working on various patchwork quilt tops (unfinished), general sewing, and knitting and crochet, that maybe I should maybe get some of the UFOs finished.  So I went through my workroom (not sure I could actually work in there as it could be considered a storeroom). I should finished one or two of the items started many years ago, which transpired to be during the 1970s.   I first thing I thought I should finish was an embroidered tablecloth, with the design preprinted on it, which was about two thirds done.  Over the period of the next few months I worked on it, then put it back in the bag, worked on other things and then finally in November I finished it.   It had one or two light stains on it which have more or less washed out and I am pleased to say we used it on the table on Christmas Day.   The tablecloth was bought for a table we had, but it does fit  the current table diagonally. 

I then found another tablecloth, this time it was pulled thread, a very soft evenweave fabric with a green and white stripe.   Again this was about two thirds done, so I worked on that, in between other things and finished it February this year. This was an original design by me and the notes and diagrams were still with it, along with all the threads.  But I did have to reduce the amount of stitchery on it as I wouldn’t have had enough thread.    This was started even earlier than the other tablecloth, possibly 1970, again it fits our current table diagonally.   It doesn’t photograph particularly well, or maybe my skills as a photographer are lacking, but the photo does give an idea of what it looks like.

Well, I think I was on a bit of a roll here as I found yet another old embroidery in the guise of a cushion cover.   No idea what the fabric is, it is quite narrow, about 24 inches wide with a selvedge each side.   The design is an embroidery transfer which I still have and it was probably about 90% stitched.  Why did I stop? Well I have no idea, but it is finished now and made up into a cushion.

I then had to decide what to do next.   There are several UFOs started on workshops when I was attending classes etc a few years ago, so I pulled out the first one which I had the threads and design with it.   This is a crewel work piece, using mixed threads and was probably about only 10% completed.  I am happy to say this is progressing well and I am enjoying it so I hope to be able to finish it now.    I think it is supposed to be a cushion cover, I may be overrun with cushions, but we will see.  After that there are at least another half dozen pieces to be done, so it may be some time before I start any new projects! Well, unless I am tempted that is!

Maureen B

EYES celebrates 35 Year Anniversary!

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Anniversary cake prepared by Margaret Wright’s daughter Helen

On Saturday 14th October 2017 EYES members celebrated 35 years as a Society.

We were entertained with talks by founder member Muriel through to Helen who described ‘growing up’ with EYES. Each speaker recalled incidents and memories highlighting the importance of the Society in their lives to this day.

Muriel spoke about being at the initial meeting, in 1982, where a group of City and Guilds students from Bishop Burton College were looking for like minded people to start a society with regular meetings.  Muriel brought along samples of intricate smocking and described how the process of gathering the fabric, prior to the embroidery, was greatly improved when the society bought a smocking machine. She also talked about the society having  been involved in the Millennium Tapestry, sections of which are still on display in the James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough.

Margaret spoke on behalf of four members , Dorothy, Ann, Joyce and Kathy and their shared memories since joining the society in 1991. Their individual skills range from Dorothy dyeing her own fabrics, to Joyce with her traditional styles including hardanger and pulled threadwork. Margaret emphasised how welcoming these four had been on her first residential visit, helping her develop skills and confidence. She showed the audience a machine embroidered picture of a garden arch Ann had completed on one of these courses.

For her talk, Marion recalled her enjoyment of the residential courses run by EYES over the years. She highlighted the social aspect of attending these courses and the regular workshops, as a means of getting to know fellow members. Marion also encouraged members to become involved in the committee.

Jacky introduced herself as a woodcarver and former art teacher. She enjoys the Saturday speakers as they ‘give me permission to try’ and she takes away new ideas every month. Jacky designed and stitched the EYES Shield which is on display at every Saturday meeting.

Maureen spoke of past events and competitions held by EYES bringing with her a pin cushion, made for one of these competitions. She also spoke about the society being involved with collecting silk threads for refugee women in Afghanistan. Another of the competitions resulted in cushions for Dove House, Martin House and the Godfrey Johnson Home .

Helen’s mother, Wendy, was one of the original students who wished to continue with their love of embroidery and encourage others to form a society. Helen recalled attending EYES meetings with her mother and her own developing enthusiasm for the hobby. Helen revisited her time as Chair of EYES talking about Trader’s Fairs trips and outings . Amongst her items Helen had to show were intricately decorated Walnut Purses.

Everyone agreed the afternoon had been most enjoyable and wished the Society a further 35 years.

Below Muriel bringing the afternoon to a close cutting the cake.

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January 2021

Susan B

I attach a picture entitled ‘July’.

It is one of a monthly series.

On the border I have used the names for July in the various languages of the UK and a Roman quote about sailing on the ocean. The main part uses Roman mosaics of sea creatures, with a nod to Asissi work, and the bright colours of modern Mediterranean mosaics to depict the mystery of the deep ocean, which is still a great unknown.

It is very simple. It is cross stitch, English star, and back stitch.

Deb D

Val W opened our January Zoom meeting with a discussion about her love of Colour. Deborah D showed these two colourful pieces hand embroidered with spiritual wording.

Diana

Diana’s sister has embroidered these napkins ready for a 70th birthday celebration. Everyone is hoping they will be able to meet in person for this important date.

Maggie T ‘You did say you wanted colour’

You did say you wanted colour!  This is my version of the Harry Styles jacket (with a lot of alterations)

Angie Hughes April 2021: Creative Ice Breaking

We began our meeting with a warm up session from Hilary Goldsmith on the theme Quilting has kept me sane … Or has it?  She told us about the quilts she has been making in lockdown, and how the sunflower theme led to her “growing” a sunflower plant, which attracted a catepillar, which eventually turned into a butterfly.

Our April speaker on Zoom was Angie Hughes. Her presentation looked at ways of
increasing creativity, particularly when we can’t visit museums, art galleries, and exhibitions.

The first point she made was to get on with it and make a start. The author Philip Pullman goes to his shed and works from 9 – 5 so that when an idea comes, he is ready to use it. But even when you are in your working space, what can you do to get your creative juices going? Ideas include:

  • Look for artists that can inspire, for Angie this included Klimt, Jane Walker and Hundertwasser.
  • Look at pictures in books and magazines. Try picking a section so work on.
  • There are now many opportunities to work with artists via website workshops. Domestika is a good place to learn from artists you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, as tyhe artists live all over the world. There are English subtitles where the artist is not using English for the tuition.
  • Look at specific techniques to experiment with colors and shapes. An area which inspired Angie was using specific areas from fiction or reference books and producing them to create pictures.
  • During lockdown many galleries have been developing their websites. Try a virtual visit to the
  • National Maritime museum, the V&A and many more.
  • Simply gather a variety of materials, including favorite fabrics, transfer foils and bondaweb and try making different shapes and marks.
  • Communities are invaluable for swapping materials and ideals, perhaps developing altered books, travelling books, or simply collaborating on a project.

At the end of the presentation, Angie described the process for using transfer foils – iron bondaweb onto black velvet, remove the paper and apply the transfer foil using an iron to make marks (remembering to apply the foil face up).