Christmas 2020

Joyce D.

Hello, a picture of two goldwork projects just finished. They are the initials of my daughter and son. Hoped to get them framed before Christmas but do not think that is going to happen! The C is couched gold jap with silk embroidery thread for flower, leaves and tendrils. Padded leather for the butterfly outlined in a cord. The R is laid cord and small bugle beads.

Lesley R

Here are some of the Christmas cards I have been making.

Happy Christmas everyone

Susan B This Advent Calendar was a kit from Emma’s.

Lyn L

I’m attaching pics of what I’ve been making most recently, although not so much for Christmas itself. Decorations like the cats and dogs attached are but mostly I’ve been making little bears, dogs and cat cuddlies to donate to Womens’ refuges.Merry Christmas

Jackie P

Here are the ornaments I have made for Christmas. The pictures are the front and the patterns, the back


I made these decorations for grandchildren as we usually do decorations together but obviously couldn’t this year. They all have 2020 on the back so they will remember in years to come.

Crocheted Christmas wreath completed in 2019.

Jeanne C ‘A few things made in Lockdown’

Judy’s Christmas makes.

Hilary G Quilted cards and Bunting.

Dorothy has completed this quilt.

Pat C A Mantle Hanger from a pattern by the late Pauline Ineson, and then four beaded Christmas Baubles from Spellbound Beads books. 

Val B

As requested photos of my Christmas Quilt completed recently and the Christmas cards inspired by Jayne’s demonstration last month.

Pat J Lockdown firescreen and embroidered table cloth.

Knitting and stitching self portrait competition.

The challenge was issued a few months ago. In a time when we were unable to come together for our usual live events, they wanted to find another way to keep the craft community inspired with a creative project that would bring everyone together.They received over two-hundred unique entries from crafters of all ages and abilities from around the world. 

I would like to pass on my congratulations to Annette for her inspiring entry. I was interested in her planning, construction and methods that she explained to us in November. I had great fun looking at all the entries seeing the many different techniques, presentations, each one unique.
Annette, I hope you are proud of yourself, I certainly love your work. Well done.

Jennie Rayment December 2020

Jennie, also known as the Calico Queen (UK) or Muslin Mistress (US) told us that whilst doing her son’s paper round she had a chance encounter with a lady who taught patchwork. Jennie was fortunate to have been offered lessons as long as she provided lunch, and bearing in mind she had been in catering business before, this was no hardship.  

Several other chance encounters happened in that she applied to teach evening classes, was accepted and on the back of that, was offered a job on a shopping channel and Quilting Classroom came into being which was broadcast at 8am on a Sunday morning. She says that the producers trusted her as they left her alone on set for 30 minutes whilst she demonstrated her craft.

Jennie continued her talk with a variety of demonstrations, on how to make trumpets, triangles, partial seaming, crackers which then could be used as placemats, posh crackers,  bags, bowls (which could be used as a hat if it snowed), taking 60 deg diamonds to make into a star, bunting, fabric flowers just to mention a few. She has a catch phrase ‘nipping and tucking, twiddling and fiddling, manipulating and manoeuvring material’ which makes me smile everytime I hear it.

Her first book, Tucks Textures and Pleats, written as a result of a dare, established her as the fabric origami expert travelling the world to teach, up until Covid and lockdown.   Several books followed and all contain detailed instructions as to how to make the items as well as humorous stories of events in her life. 

As a result of the lockdown in March, Jennie has written her most recent book, Material Magic which contains instructions as how to fold a square into a flower which she then demonstrated to us.

Jennie’s final story of the afternoon was to tell us that her three grandchildren came to visit just after she moved house three weeks ago, she took them shopping into the local supermarket which has the Post Office attached.   On her shopping list was a bottle of gin for her elderly aunt and to save time she gave the grandchildren the shopping, her payment card and asked them to go and pay for the items whilst she went to the Post Office.    A few minutes later there was a loud ‘We can’t serve them’ and when she went over to find out why, the assistant said the grandchildren ‘Were too young to be served alcohol’.   They are 10 years, 8 years and 6 years!   She is now known in her local area as being an alcoholic as well as being totally nutty.

This was an excellent talk and I have struggled to limit the number of the highlights of the talk as there were so many.  

Maureen B

Jacky’s Woodland Inspirations

image 1, inspired by a walk and sketch in Burton Bushes, Beverely Westwood.  Gustav Klimt did many paintings of woods so wall-hanging was created with his work in mind.

image 2, I woke with this image from a dream really clearly in my head and I tried to reproduce my imaginings

image 3, inspired by a sketch drawn out in a wood, I created my own wood and then turned it into a wall-hanging using strips of cloth for the bark texture and random patterned cloth for the trees.

Christmas quilt, cat blankets, fireside bumper and Christmas tree of hats.

Val W Christmas Quilt

My twelve days of Christmas quilt. Another UFO finished

I had everything ready for the quilt top but how could I back it when I couldn’t go shopping? Then inspiration,  I used all my spare material plus a half meter bargain purchase that fitted in so well. A good way to deplete my stash. 

Huguette has been using up her stash of knitting wool to create cat nests and blankets for charity.

Muriel ready for winter weather with her Christmas tree of Knitted Beany Hats.

Hilary G

Keeping grandson safe a stitcher uses her artistic flair to create a street scene to be used with toy cars.Included in the scene the local supermarket and Daddy’s workplace. Other local landmarks also appear on this wonderful fireside bumper.

Cute crocheted Christmas Reindeer make up the second piece Hilary has been working on.

EYES meet over the Internet

EYES Thoughts Sheila F.

November 14th, second Saturday in the month, it must be EYES this afternoon. But we’re in lockdown again, we need to stay at home as much as possible. So thank you Val W and Sarah S, for there was an EYES meeting after all. I’m lucky, I have access to a laptop or an iPad, and the Zoom app is free. Sarah had emailed us beforehand giving us an ID and a passcode. I was worried but actually it was straightforward. I was quite early logging in so saw Sarah invite many familiar faces – forty-five in fact including Margaret Booker from Norfolk. Eventually my laptop settled on four faces and mine across the top of the screen leaving room for the main speaker. We were all muted by Sarah ( a seemingly easy task! ) and then Val welcomed us to EYES via Zoom.

Jayne G spoke first and gave us a talk on making Christmas cards, actually one design but many variations. What a difference a bit of calico makes or a different colour or pattern. It looked great upside down too. Actually, at it’s simplest level I could make a card with my 5 year old grand-daughter then maybe move on myself to something grander one day – or maybe not! Jayne will know when she gets her Christmas card from me this year. A simple but necessary tip from Jayne – photograph your completed work then you have the pattern for next year. Thank- you Jayne.

Annette spoke next and tried to answer the question “What did you do during Covid Grandma”? and added David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash as a subtitle. She was away on a cruise when it all began so came back with Christ the Redeemer, black-necked swans, South American mountains and the sea in her head ready for a quilt. She had taken two lovely hand-made bags with her so it was good to see those unpacked. Her next job was more urgent but not quite so lovely – like many of us Annette set to work making face masks for family and friends and then scrubs for use in hospital. ( I think she’s still looking for Giant Bradley to model the prototype. ) Then there were a few things to finish off: some embroidery, a kit bought in Harrogate and then the quilt, a wonderful reminder of her cruise. Thank-you Annette.

Val W was next with her Cheeky Robin. Seemingly easy to make from three squares of felt and help from grandchildren, this robin could be made more elaborate by adding legs before stuffing or even a flap/tail to make it a mobile phone/tablet stand. Again a different colour and a comb and we had an Easter chick.           Thank -you Val.

Val’s cheeky Robin from Gail Lawther book of bird’s .
Chicken phone stand from Debbie Shore You Tube video

Sarah Perkins concluded our talks by giving us a good use for that jelly roll we’ve all got somewhere.

Sarah moved in to her windmill home only to find floor to ceiling pipes in the sitting room. Box them in, was the obvious answer, but how? She started by hanging a long length of white muslin-type fabric over the pipes. Then Sarah started some pulled thread work and some embroidery stiches but she was hardly making much impact on such a length of fabric. Then followed a stump work windmill, beautifully embroidered sails, a wall, flowers and a hint of the sea in the background, but still only a third of the hanging was embellished. A history lesson and a timeline followed and the bottom third of the hanging was complete. Then the jelly roll was remembered – beautiful colours and a picture in itself as it cascaded from mill to timeline. Finally a very handsome  stump work millerwas added. Apparently it took Sarah nearly four years to complete her masterpiece but most of that was thinking time – we all know that feeling.                                                    Thank- you Sarah.

So, there you have it – my recollections and views on the EYES meeting of November 14th. I think you’ll more from the photographs that the contributors will be putting on the website but I urge you to join us next time on December 12th. It is fun and you never know what you might learn.

As Sheila said, December; Jenny Rayment, January Ann Brooks , February Handmade, Alison Larkin, March Angie Hughes. Details to follow.

T shirt quilt, Phone cushions and Flamingo Bingo!

Barbara B.

Making this quilt really tested maths and sewing skills to achieve the finished size required as the shirts were all different sizes . Also mixing woven  and thin  knitted fabrics  was challenging.

Phone holders


Two toilet bags and two iPhone stands and one iPad stand I have produced during lockdown.

Flamingo Bingo!

Jayne G

When asked what she would like for her 8th birthday, my granddaughter requested “something knitted by Nana”. Now, as flattered as I am by this (and I’m sure there will come a time when it won’t be ‘cool’ to have anything made by Nana) my first thought was “What can I knit for a child who has lately become decidedly fussy about what she wears?” Then I remembered that I have the book ‘ Knitted animal scarves, mitts and socks by Fiona Goble’. It’s a lovely book with lots of very cute patterns to suit children of all ages, and there on pages 88 and 89 I found the perfect idea!

Let me explain – all the classes at my granddaughter’s school have names taken from nature, so she has been a caterpillar, a lion, a zebra and is now a flamingo. Bingo! If she’s half as happy with her scarf as I am, I will be more than pleased 🙂

Liz Almond October 2020: From Canterbury, through Africa, Europe and Asia via Zoom

Blackwork with Liz Arnold

Saturday 10th October and around a dozen EYES members joined Liz for our first ever ZOOM meeting. In fact our first EYES meeting since lockdown in March 2020.

For myself taking part was a new experience I have watched many ‘webinairs’ on Covid during the past months and so felt confident with the actual process of joining the meeting. For this to work we would be at the mercy of good and reliable Internet and I think perhaps a few were nervous about the logisitics of joining in. We had the very capable Sarah S. guiding us through and helping the meeting to run smoothly, a minor hiccup as Liz’s technology wouldn’t behave did not detract from a very enjoyable and informative talk from her.

Liz talked of her personal experiences of the wonderful and intricate Islamic art which embellishes the Mosques she has visited in Saudi Arabia and India. Taking the floral designs and symmetry of the decorations Liz designs individual pieces of Blackwork Embroidery. She divides the type of decoration into three different groupings, Calligraphy, Geometry and Arabesque, the calligraphy being the writings and sacred scripts. Liz uses the combination of the Geometric and Arabesque as the basis for her work.

Liz talked more generally about Blackwork and it’s place in English history telling us that ‘The Wife of Bath’ in Chaucer’s Canterbury tales had a Blackwork collar, whilst in paintings by Holbein Elizabeth 1 can be seen wearing clothing embellished with Blackwork.

A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting talk from Liz, to see more of her work and a direct link to her Blackwork click on the link attached to her name at the top of this blog.

In the likely event that we will be unable to meet at our usual venue for some time we look forward to further ZOOM meetings to bring EYES back to it’s members.

September October 2020

Keeping in touch during Covid times. Val W.

Christmas place mats

Jenny Rayments Scrappy Zappy Doo for my granddaughters 13th birthday. 

She spent lockdown re designing her room.

We also baked together,  I have created a recipe book and written in all the recipes we used .I have made a quilted envelope to keep it safe.

Maureen; “I found this free pattern online but had to adapt it to suit the yarn which was bought from Emma at Knit One Stitch One.”

Crochet Top for her granddaughter.
Not embroidery but crochet, a Dreamcatcher

Hilary G A cushion for a Ruby Wedding gift and an experimental piece.

Quilt as you go hanging; Sunflowers 9 ways. Experimenting with different forms of patchwork and quilting.

Huguette’s Cat Blanket and Quilts

“Here are two bits I made for donating to Caring for Cats since I have run out of thick yarn to do cat nests. The reversible quilt for a cat (19 x 23″)  is made with scraps of flannel and the crocheted granny squares baby blankets (32 x 35″) of leftovers of mostly acrylic DK yarn. I’m working on several Linus quilts but as usual, they are just tops so far.”