Thursday, 27 February 2014

Come Stitch With Us on Saturday

It's that time again! We'll be back at the Library on Saturday for our fun, free social sewing session, everybody is welcome. See here for details.

Kay Dennis workshop choice needed ASAP

If you are attending the Kay Dennis workshop in a couple of weeks time, can you please let us know whether you'd prefer a stumpwork or needlelace project, by commenting on this post, or by emailing either Margaret Richards directly if you know her email address, or to

We need to know ASAP so we can tell Kay.

Thank you

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Help With Subcommittees

It's a busy and exciting time for the branch, with many projects on the go.

We would like members to consider whether they are willing to join one of the below Subcommittees:

CoCoMAD 2014 - helping to build on the success of last year's festival, to make this year's one even better.

Tolkien Project - helping to develop the stitched pieces created by the branch into a piece suitable for exhibition, and working with EG HQ and the library to organise the exhibition. No need to be a Tolkien fan!

Programme 2015 - helping to take the results of the members survey, along with a love of embroidery and using this to build a diverse programme.

If you're interested please email soon, as most Subcommittees are meeting in early March.


Monday, 17 February 2014

A Tale Of Two Members: Angela Attwood and Margaret Richards

We had a great meeting in February hearing about the stitch lives of two very different members.

First Angela told us her story which began as a junior ballroom champion and remembered her first experience of sewing when she had to help string beads for the dressmaker through becoming a Graphic Designer working on major accounts and giving it all up to run away to sea  (taking her sewing machine with her). After returning to land Angela looked for a new creative career and began by completing a City and Guilds level 2 in Innovative Textiles and Machine Embroidery.
Part of Angie's City and Guilds Portfolio

She is now working on her 3rd article for Stitch Magazine and producing kits so that others can try to emulate her work.

Angie's finished samples for Stitch Magazine

Angela told us how she plans her pieces and likes to sketch her designs. and we saw an example of this with her sketch of a motor cycle and her finished work.

Motor Cycle sketch and original as well as a postcard of stitched work 

Margaret Richards then spoke of her stitching journey which began as a practical sewer around the home and for her children. Margaret began her journey in textiles with a course at the MAC and told us how she loves to experiment and develop ideas she has seen - If it burns burn it!  Margaret sews with a group and issues challenges to expand their skills together.
The cockerel challenge  
 Not one to follow the rules Margaret allows her work to develop organically and used this fairy to demonstrate how she started from the shoes up!
Well I nearly got her shoes in the photo!

From Ironbridge to Hong Kong Margaret demonstrates creating embroidered works from pictures.
 With two such contrasting members we couldn't help but be inspired to rush home and stitch.
Members  having a close up look

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Local Event: The Origins of Middle-earth

We have recently discovered that there is this event running locally on the 14th of March, which may be of interest to members who want to find out more about Tolkien's Birmingham, please see below for more info:

The origins of Middle-earth

The origins of Middle-earth

Location: Sarehole Mill
Friday 14th March 2014

Take part in a guided walk and discover the childhood playground of J.R.R. Tolkien in the area surrounding Sarehole Mill. The walk will take you from the mill to Moseley Bog (and back again...). £7 per person, booking essential (please ring the mill on 0121 7776612 or email Start at 1pm. Please dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get muddy. Tea and coffee to warm up afterwards.

Follow in the footsteps of the young J.R.R. Tolkien, author of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as we explore his childhood haunts on a guided walk around the lost hamlet of Sarehole and through the natural splendour of Moseley Bog. Learn about how this part of Birmingham would later influence the author in the creation of Middle-earth and in particular ‘The Shire’, fictional land of the Hobbits. Sensible shoes and clothes essential. Places limited and booking required, please ring the mill on 0121 7776612 to book a place. £7 per person. The walk starts at the mill at 1pm. Duration approx. 1.5 hours.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Library Meeting in February

We had a great meeting at the Library on February the 1st, with 8 members and two visitors. We worked on a wide range of projects, including Heather's greetings cards for CoCoMAD, Jayne's letter for the banner and Janet was working on some pretty Celtic cross stitch. Meriel was embroidering a beautiful kingfisher, and one of our visitors was making a beautiful patchwork out of shirt fabrics, and shared her technique with Angela.

We will be back at the library again on the 1st of March, see here for more information. If you need any more details, please send us an email.

Library of Birmingham, England
Photo by Brian Clift on Flickr.