Monday, 6 January 2014

A Year in Review: Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild in 2013

As we look forward to starting our 2014 programme this coming Monday, I would like to take the opportunity to review 2013, and look back on all the exciting things we did as a branch. The year continued the lively, buzzing atmosphere which merging the afternoon and evening meetings at the start of 2012 brought, and built on this with a range of great speakers and day schools.

January 2013:
We started the year with a really lively session, planning our participation at the CoCoMAD festival. We held a lovely members session, with everyone bringing ideas of projects we could make and sell.

Also in January: we saw our new 2013 programme leaflets, a design which we have again for our 2014 programme, and publicised various other groups, including the Computer Textile Design Forum and the Embroidery Friends email group.

February 2013:
In February, we enjoyed a fabulous Tale of Two Members talk, with Anne Haigh and June Parkinson, who shared a wide range of fabulous embroidery with us.

Anne's stumpwork picture of her and her grandmother

June's Lutradur pictures
We have booked June for a Lutradur workshop this year, and judging by the enthusiasm for her work, places are sure to book up fast, so to book on see Margaret at an upcoming meeting.

In February, we also started planning our trip to Westhope, and started organising our trips to the Library, which we are now in full swing with.

March 2013:

In March, we welcomed Melanie Bermingham, a fabulous feltmaker, who brought lots of lovely traditional and contemporary felt to share with us.

A hat
One of Melanie's felt hats.

Also in March, we enjoyed reading a new West Midlands Regional newsletter.

April 2013:

In April, Angie Hughes came to lead an 'Inspired by Klimt' dayschool, where we enjoyed using transfoils and sweetie wrappers to make fabulous pictures:

Inspired by Klimt
In April we also enjoyed a fabulous talk by Marion Plumb, 'Opening the Kimono':

Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild Opening The Kimono April 2013 (2)
One of Marion's beautiful Kimono
The Young Embroiderers were on Midlands today as well.

May 2013:

In May, we spent the evening making Lavender hearts to sell at CoCoMAD, and looked forward to our dayschool with Bailey Curtis.

June 2013:

In June, Crazy Mary came to demonstrate her lovely machine embroidery:

Some of Crazy Mary's beautiful embroidery
July 2013:

In July, we enjoyed a lovely summer party, with Margaret Dunning demonstrating her fabulous silk painting:

Summer party photos Margaret Dunning's Silk Paintings
Margaret Dunning's Silk Painted Pictures
We also had some brilliant cakes and lovely entries in our Summer Competition, and had a marvellous day out at the CoCoMAD festival:

Our stall at CoCoMAD
We also started our Summer Fun series of posts, with each one teaching a new embroidery technique.

August 2013:

In August, we didn't have a branch meeting, we carried on our Summer Fun series, with posts about Workshop On The Web, JogglesBonnie McCaffery Vidcasts and Interweave Press.

September 2013:

In September, we had an absolutely marvellous weekend at Westhope, creating lovely metal stitched projects:

Bernadette's Metalwork piece
All our finished work
We also welcomed Kay and Michael Dennis, who shared their fabulous stumpwork and needlelace with us:

Kay Dennis Stumpwork
Kay's Stumpwork Dragonfly
October 2013:

In October, Crazy Mary joined us for a dayschool sharing her fab machine embroidery techniques. We all had a great time building up lovely pictures with swirls of wool and sequins:

We also had the Branch AGM, which included a talk from Karen Parry from Entaco/John James Needles, entitled 'A Needle for Everything'. This was a thoroughly fascinating talk, with background to the history of needles, and lots of samples of needle for a range of embroidery purposes. Karen also brought a brilliant sales table, so we got to pick up a range of needles for our projects.

November 2013:

In November, we had a fabulous branch meeting looking at the marvellous boxes made by our own member, Louise Burn:

Louise shared lots of her lovely boxes, and talked through the process of making them, inspiring us to all want to start our own etui.
Also in November, we had our first 'Come Stitch With Us!' session at the new Library of Birmingham, which was a great success, and we now get together on the Mezzanine floor above the cafe on the first Saturday of each month, from 11am.
December 2013:
In December, our meeting focused on starting our branch summer bunting. members also enjoyed handmade cakes, hot mulled apple juice and lots of chatting!

We also had a fabulous competition, with some beautiful stitching, and handed out our members survey, which is being analysed at the moment. Additionally, we shared the Embroiderers' Guild Chairman's Christmas Message.
So, in summary, it has been another great year for the branch, where we enjoyed talks on a wide range of topics, and developed our skills in a number of ways. New members joined us, and we enjoyed a lively, buzzing atmosphere all year.
If all this sounds very interesting, or perhaps you've made your New Year's resolution to take up a new hobby and meet some new friends, you're very welcome at any of our branch meetings. We meet on the second Monday of the month, at 7pm for 7:30, at the Friends Meeting House in Cotteridge. Additionally, we'd love to see you at any of our Library Come Stitch With Us! sessions.
Watch this space for the 2014 programme, to be published soon!

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