Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Tale Of Two Members - February 2012

For our 'A Tale Of Two Members' session, we welcomed Janet Molloy, the Birmimgham branch chairman, and Jacqui Thompson, a member of the Solihull branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, to speak about their journey through embroidery and recent works.

Jacqui told us about her childhood, sewing to earn pocket money, and how, after a long break from crafts, she had taken up embroidery as part of her first year on a Fine Art foundation course with Solihull College.

She has drawn her inspiration from domestic and feminist themes, stitching witty and thought provoking statements and images onto household textiles, including bedlinen, teatowels and aprons:


The stitching reads "I have seen the holy grail - the bottom of the laundry basket. it's overrated" and "Help, I'm permanently awash with laundry. It's everywhere, either drying or waiting to be ironed or waiting to be put away. Will I ever get to the point where there is no laundry?" and in the background is her washing machine with options for "Pre-menstrual", "Washed out" and "Water retention", among others


This piece was stitched onto an apron, and includes a comment about how Jacqui knows every nook and cranny of her toilet. For more photos of Jacqui's work, see this slideshow, just click on the image to start it:

To stay up to date with Jacqui as she wortks through her Fine Arts degree, you can read her blog at

The second person to share her stitching with us was our own chairman, Janet Molloy. Janet was taught to embroider by her family, and also learned at school. She brought along a lovely apron that she had sewn as a child.


Janet then took a long break from embroidery, only returning some 20 years ago when she discovered some kits on holiday. After a while, she joined the Embroiderers' Guild, which allowed her to attend lots of different day schools. Janet brought lots of pieces she had worked at these sessions, and ones using the skills learned there, including this lovely one of the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough:


Janet also brought along this beautiful piece which she designed, based on a celtic inspiration sourcebook. It is very complex and took a long time to stitch. It was featured in a magazine, something which Janet is, quite rightly., very proud of:


For more photos of Janet's work, see this slideshow, just click on the image to start it:

This was a brilliant session. For me, it was wonderful to be able to see the work of someone pursuing embroidery as fine art, especially when they are as talented and easy to listen to as Jacqui, and it was lovely to be able to find out more about another member of our own branch; it was inspirational to see how Janet had used all the knowledge and skills acquired through guild workshops.

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