Blog

The original idea of our Blog was to give us the opportunity to share our work and activities with a wider audience, and to include interesting textile works that members have seen in Australia or overseas or special things that they have done such as visiting or taking a class at the Royal School of Needlework.

Due to time and volunteer pressures, sadly for the time being our Blog posts will cease.  Older Blog posts can still be seen below, and you can still follow us on Facebook.

Disclaimer: From time to time we may mention and/or include links to the websites of particular designers or shops. This would only be done where we think the additional information would be helpful to readers. Neither the Guild nor any author of Blog posts derives any financial benefit from these references/links.

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Stitching Delights in Melbourne

I had a few days in Melbourne recently, and had to share with you some delightful stitching experiences.

The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria – open day

It happened that the Guild was having an open day at Embroidery House in Malvern, so how could I resist?

Embroidery House 1 VicEmbroidery House 2 VicEmbroidery House 3 VicEmbroidery House 4 Vic

I’m sure that embroiderers anywhere would be thrilled to have such a wonderful creative environment!  Once I had overcome my envy, I was made very welcome by President Anne and other members, and joined the throng of visitors to admire the demonstrations of different machine and hand embroidery techniques.  As seems to be the case with embroiderers everywhere, members were busy generously sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge, and here is just a small sample:

Machine embroidery  Embroidery House 7 Vic

 

Embroidery House 6 Vic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 5 Vic

Sandra Warren Smith introduced me to the delights of Lefkara Embroidery, which is a traditional embroidery technique from Cyprus also known as Lefkara Lace, or Lefkaritika.  Mmm, will have to investigate this one further, starting here.

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 9 VicSandra told me that books on this technique are few and far between, so here is one by Androula Hadjiyiasemi.  I will be checking our own Guild’s library, plus those talented members who do Hardanger and all kinds of drawn thread, needlelace etc..

 

 

 

 

 

I had to tear myself away, but not before buying a couple of things from the book sale (you can never have too many embroidery books).   On the way out, I noticed that even the doorplates have embroidery, sigh.   If you’d like to find out more about The Embroiderers Guild,Victoria, Australia, click here.

Embroidery House 8 Vic


Then it was on to the National Gallery of Victoria, for the exhibition Exquisite Threads: English Embroidery 1600s – 1900s, showcasing examples of English domestic and professional embroidery from the NGV’s own collection, plus from private collectors, the National Gallery of Australia, the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission, and members of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria.  Non-flash photography allowed, yippee!

Exquisite Threads 3Exquisite Threads 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used for apprentice embroiderers to learn stitches, as recording of stitches and patterns for domestic embroidery, then an important part of the education of young women, samplers in the exhibition dated from 1692 to 1932.

Exquisite Threads 5

Sorry about the quality of my photo of this Wessex embroidery sampler, completed by Margaret Foster in 1932, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to digress into mentioning our Guild’s classes on WESSEX STITCHERY with Annette Dziedzic.

Wessex Stitchery

Please note that the dates have been changed for this class, now on 11 and 25 July, with preparation on 6 July, but keep checking our web site here any time you would like to check out our classes schedule.  I hear that Robyn Duncan, our Classes Co-ordinator, already has an exciting list of internal and external tutors coming up for 2016.

But back to the exhibition.

Exquisite Threads 1Exquisite Threads 2

 

 

Here we have a Privy Councillor’s uniform from 1939, and an ecclesiastical cope made in 1853.

 

 

 

 

Exquisite Threads 6 Exquisite Threads 7 Exquisite Threads 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A waistcoat from the 1770’s, an evening cape circa 1924, and a pelisse and dress circa 1818.

 

Exquisite Threads 9 Writing box, circa 1665

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to bits with the book from the exhibition, which gives background details of the items, embroidery history from different periods, and close-up photographs showing beautiful detail.  I believe that this exhibition will not be touring, but will be on at the NGV International until 12 July, so if you can get there, it’s well worth a visit – see the details here.


Then I had to go back to the NGV International, to see A Golden Age of China, Quianlong Emperor, 1736-1795.  On loan from the Palace Museum, Beijing, it included a selection of magnificent items from the collections of this emperor, and it was truly wonderful to be able to see both front and back of silk embroidered robes.

Emperor’s ceremonial court robe Qing dynasty, Quianlong period 1736-95 silk satin The Palace Museum, Beijing (Gu42311)

No photos were allowed in this exhibition, but once again the book gives excellent information and photography.  Sadly, this exhibition finished on 21 June, but you can see more information here.


You thought I was finished?  No way, read on…

Then it was off to the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition, at Rippon Lea House and Gardens, the National Trust property that is used as Aunt Prudence’s house in the TV series.  People who are especially interested in the costumes for this series, based on the novels by Kerry Greenwood, will know that Marion Boyce, costume designer, and Every Cloud Productions, use collected vintage items to re-create the fashion fantasies of the late 1920’s.

Miss Fisher 1Miss Fisher 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 3Miss Fisher 5Miss Fisher 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 4

Fans of the TV show will recognise these outfits from the latest series.  There was also a behind the scenes workroom exhibit, showing how costumes were constructed, and genuine 1920’s accessories, part of Marion Boyce’s personal collection.

Miss Fisher 7Miss Fisher 8

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, of course there is a book with detailed descriptions and gorgeous photos.  But then it was time for afternoon tea, still in 1920’s character, in the stable building.

Miss Fisher 9

You’re in luck if you need time to get to this one, as it’s on until 30 September 2015, and will tour to other cities.  For more information, click here.


And the WW1 Centenary Exhibition, on at the Melbourne Museum until 16 August, details here.

IWM 1More uniform goldwork.

 

 

 

 

IWM 2Would you believe this is made of paper?

IWM 4IWM 3

Ambulance officer uniform, and detail


Finally, the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, open all year, including the museum beneath, details here.

Shrine 1

There are textiles everywhere, including this copy of the Battle of Britain lace, circa 1942-47.

Shrine 2 Battle of Britain LaceShrine 3 Battle of Britain Lace

I’m sure I could have found more stitching delights, but only had a few days, and needed to come home for a rest!

Gail

Greenhills 1

Greenhills 2015 panorama

Greenhills 2015 panorama

The Guild’s annual stitching weekend was on again in May at the Greenhills Conference Centre, where members and friends got together for fun with stitching (actually, anything “crafty”!) from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.  It was a great success, with stitching, conversation, food, stitching, conversation, food, stitching, conversation, food….  you get the idea.  And yes, that is frost on the grass first thing in the morning, but most of us were tucked up nice and warm, apart from the intrepid people who managed to fit in a jog or two in the beautiful bushland surroundings.

Friday evening, and some people were all set up and raring to go, fortified by a glass of some bubbly stuff, and  Liz Bell was easing herself into things with some knitting.  My lips are sealed regarding the identity of the person who arrived having left behind her bag of clothing, but at least she brought the most important thing, her needlework!

Fri night2 GreenhillsLiz Bell GeenhillsFri night3 Greenhills

 

But in case you thought that it was all eating, drinking (seriously, it was mostly tea, coffee or water), and making merry, here is a glimpse (in no particular order) of what some people worked on over the weekend.

Petit point dragon 1 by Anne Stewart

Anne Stewart was working on this petit point project, which will become a dragon entitled “Woodland Guardian’, from Heaven and Earth Designs.

 

 

 

 


Away in a manger 1 by Kathy Pascoe

Kathy Pascoe began with this “Away in a Manger” stitchery kit from Button Bliss.  Wooden nativity figure buttons will be added, and Kathy plans to add a Christmas themed border and make into a wall hanging.

Pink chairs 1 by Kathy PascoeOnce she had gone as far as she could with the stitching on her first project, Kathy moved on to this sweet project incorporating stem stitch, french knots and backstitch.


Counted cross stitch Diana Churchill

Diana Churchill began the weekend continuing on a counted cross stitch for her grandson, who just loves border collies.

… and here is the completed work.  The puppy’s name is “Shadow”.  Counted x stitch 2 by Diana Churchill


There’s more than one lucky grandchild who will receive a beautiful gift.  Prue Deacon was working on her original canvaswork design for her grandson, who loves all things relating to the beach.  This has a seaside theme incorporating elements from family photos and seaside pictures.

Canvaswork 2 by Prue DeaconCanvaswork 1 by Prue Deacon


Baskets 1 by Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis came equipped with her sewing machine to make more of her fabulous fabric bowls.

 

Baskets 7 by Ruth Ellis

 

Ruth says it takes about 40 metres of fabric-covered cord to make each bowl.  Apparently wrapping cord with fabric is a great TV-watching activity!

 

 

I’m going to make you wait for another post to see some of Ruth’s finished work, and much more.  There’s plenty more stitching activity to show from Greenhills!  I tried to take detailed notes, but if I’ve inadvertently left out acknowledgements, I’m sorry, the talking, stitching and eating were very distracting!

Gail

Classes and Creativity

Pat Bootland‘s recent class, Box Construction, was popular for members looking for a way to display small pieces of embroidery.  Of course, Pat came prepared to give us plenty of inspiration in the form of her own sample boxes, plus books and magazines that the Library helpers had kindly found for the class:

PatPootland Box Class

Box 1 Pat Bootland Box 2 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

Box 4 Pat Bootland Box 3 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

Box 6 Pat BootlandBox 7 Pat Bootland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box 8 Pat Bootland

 

Class members (especially me) appreciated that in week 2 Pat helped us to sort out any “technical difficulties” we had found since week 1!

 

 

 

 

Not all boxes were finished by the end of the second class, so here are just a couple:

Box 1 by Dorothy Brann

 

Dorothy Brann used her lovely Hardanger sample

 

Box 2 by Dorothy Brann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Box 1 by Sarah Kimmorley

 

 

Here is the first of Sarah Kimmorley‘s Canvaswork samples to create Christmas box gifts.

Box 2 by Sarah KimmorleyAnd who wouldn’t want to receive such a lovely gift?


The Creative Group meeting in May was playing with Dorset Buttons with a Difference.  Once again, Library volunteers had produced some books and magazines, Pat Bootland and Fran Novitski had organised supplies and samples, and there was plenty of work in progress:

Dorset buttons with a difference 1

Dorset buttons with a difference 2 Dorset buttons with a difference 3

Dorset buttons with a difference 4Dorset buttons with a difference 5


Last but not least, our School Holiday Program was once again full of fun and stitching activity.  Felties were not the only projects on offer, but I managed to photograph these:

Feltie budgie by Ada Feltie frog by Sam Feltie penguin by Maddy


Sweet budgie was made by Ada, frog with bling by Sam, and stylish penguin by Maddy.  It’s hard to believe, but the next school holidays will be upon us soon, and Lel Whitbread as usual has planning under control.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to be a Guild member to join our classes, although there are Member and Non-member class fees.  You can check for any of our upcoming classes/workshops here, and Special Interest Groups here.  Or check our What’s on at a glance page any time, visitors are always welcome.

Happy, and creative, stitching.

Gail