Thursday, 30 September 2010
Travels with some stitchers!
I have just returned from 4 wonderful days in the company of six other stitchers from Market Harborough Embroiderers' Guild on a trip to Cumbria, and points between. A brilliantly conceived mix of interesting events, tutorials, visits, shopping opportunities and excellent food with lots of laughs!
The long journey north was punctuated with a visit to the "Wool& Textile Craft Fair" in Walkley near Sheffield. Here we found exhibits of local crafts, exhibits of exquisite machine embroidery by Sue Lancaster and sales tables with everything you could ever have wanted to indulge spinning, weaving, knitting enthusiasts! We also found a great stop off at Mainsgill Farm Shop between Scotch Corner and Penrith for coffee and cakes! ( a regular theme of the holiday!) Our "home" while away was "The Fat Lamb" near Kirby Stephen - so friendly and welcoming, delicious food and the noisiest creaking floorboards ever! Our fellow guests were a little taken aback to find us stitching away in the bar of an evening!
We visited "The Quaker Tapestry" in Kendal, a stunning set of 70 panels of crewel embroidery telling the story of the Quaker movement, stitched by folk around the world, a moving testament. Blackwell Arts and Crafts House on Winmdermere - finished in 1900 and recently restored to its former glory, making a house one would love to live in.
We spent a whole day at Farfield Mill just outside Sedburgh. A stunning old woollen mill now forming an artists' cluster of workshops and exhibition spaces. We had 2 tutorials from Mary Taylor, and exquisite embroiderer, firstly on her methods for jewellery construction and later in the day on her landscape embroideries. Such a generous teacher, sharing her work and providing a lovely insight into her design processes - Also had a chance to see Alice Kettle's "Allegory" exhibition - a really lovely day!
Our final day took us down to Bradford, to Texere Yarns and a chance to buy yarns, beads, threads of every conceivable shade and weight in their Aladdin's cave and a workshop in Sheffield with Sue Lancaster on Dorset Buttons, a strangely addictive craft which I think we will all be using in some way another time.
It has been lovely to share all this with kindred spirits, how lucky to have found such a brilliant group to be a member of.