Your questions answered

Regional Chairman, Gill Riordan, provides the answers to questions recently raised by Branches below.  She says:-

We recently appealed for assistance with a fundraising space at the ‘ Textiles in Focus’ event at Cottenham.   As a result, I was asked why the Region continually needs to raise funds.

This is answered comprehensively in the Chairman’s Report to Branches, March 2012. We are obliged to contribute to one Council meeting at EGHQ per year (£100), run 3 committee meetings (approx £126), run the AGM and inter-branch meeting (both £200 for hall rental + expenses) together with the day-to-day running expenses such as postage etc. The annual capitation falls short by £200 on this bare plan alone.

Is there a proposal to raise Regional fees?

There is NO intention to raise fees.  However, there does continue to be a need to raise funds by various means.

Concerns have been raised (naturally) over the loss incurred by cancelling the Spring Residential Workshop.

Undoubtedly errors were made here.  The Committee binary option trading investment chose workshop leaders who were too well known in the south of the Region.  We will shortly be carrying out a survey to check the popularity of workshop tutors, which will also ask for venue suggestions. 

The charity which runs the venue chosen for the Spring Workshop insists on a full commitment to pay as soon as a booking is made. We were committed to the full accommodation costs (but not food) as soon as we booked. It is clearly not possible to take money without a confirmed venue so an alternative will now be actively sought. A similar ‘payment upon booking’ system works in the north of the Region at Belsey Bridge but this has never been an issue – probably because we are better known there and have a lot more contacts to sell workshop places.

There was also a communication problem in that Jackie Woolsey and the Committee were attempting to support Michele in her first commercial venture, but were unaware that she was unwell and that concern over bookings actually meant none at all.

At the point that we cancelled, we needed to sell 14 places on one course to lose any less than we would by cancelling.  It was decided that raising the money to replace this loss was an easier target than selling the course.  To date, we have set activities in motion that will replace £2400 of this money and hope to have dealt with the rest by the end of July. The Summer School is booking very well and should make a substantial profit.

I am putting this statement on the Regional website as, having made the decision to be transparent over the loss, it seems important that all members understand that the situation has been successfully addressed.

Gill Riordan

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Chelmsford Members Night

An anxious committee prepared for our January Members Night – Why anxious you may ask. Well, we decided to try a new format for the evening, this would either be a complete success – or not!
Tables and chairs were organised and members started to arrive. Suddenly the room was humming as people explored and then dabbled at all the activities. Nikki, our Chair, struggled to make herself heard as she tried to welcome everyone, introduce the evening and explain the programme for the night.

Sharne and Margaret displayed a wide variety of book covers they had made and were very generous with advice on the skills and techniques used to create the different effects.

Denise Gannon demonstrated foiling techniques and encouraged everyone to have a go.

Lynda Monk demonstrated how to create amazing leather-like surface on which to stitch.

Lynda also answered numerous questions about the work she had on display. She has a new book out called ‘Fabulous Surfaces’ which is available via her web site

Libby Smith helped people learn to construct the fiendishly complicated bead star Christmas decoration, which some people almost managed to complete.

Most people managed to have a go at the practical activities and investigated the different examples at the demonstration activities. Books, threads and material were bought and sold and although everyone admired the old hand sewing machine being sold by Chris Brazier, no-one had space for it. Tea and coffee were enjoyed and everyone managed to find space for at least one piece of cake, despite Christmas excesses.
The committee presented Shelagh Woods and Avril Ellis with flowers to thank them for running our sales table every month.

A relieved committee and members decided the evening had been a complete success, despite chilly weather and post-Christmas illnesses.

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The early bird catches the worm (or the workshop!)

The “Stitched Drawings” workshop tutored by Shelley Rhodes at the Regional Residential Summer School is already fully booked!  You can still book a place at one of the two other Summer School workshops – “A Machine Embroidered Garden” with Alison Holt or “Altered Books” with Angie Hughes.  But be quick – places at the Summer weekend are going like hot cakes!

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A wonderful weekend

Beth Sugden describes her fantastic experience at the recent Regional Winter Workshop below. Don’t forget to book early for a place at the Summer School – places are going fast!

I was one of the lucky few who attended the winter residential last year so, when the opportunity came around again, I knew the standard would be high. Going in with such high hopes, you’d think I might have been disappointed, but the weekend lived up to –  and exceeded – all expectations.

Even before the weekend began, we’d already benefited from Jackie Woolsey’s superb organisation and early details of the weekend agenda. Arriving on Friday evening, I was immediately whisked through to a reception with wine and refreshments for all the weekend guests and the tutors. The excitement in the room was tangible as we couldn’t wait for the workshops to start. Our tutors for the weekend were Sue Leonard, who provided us with guidance and expertise on incorporating metals and metallic effects into our embroidery, and Sandra Beech, who led the hand embroidery of sumptuous velvet bags.

The two workshops couldn’t have been more different!  Magic Metals was almost manic in intensity, with lots of raw materials, lots of people being all over the room and doing lots of different things.  Sue rounded us up from time to time to give yet another technique demonstration and then we were off again! Sandra’s workshop, by contrast, was much calmer – starting with gorgeous designs and lovely hand-dyed fabrics, following through with trapunto in a granite stitch effect, decorated with dense rows of French knots, and finishing by making the embroidered items into evening bags.  We even had time to chat!

Belsey Bridge itself delivered on its previous performance too: lovely rooms with all you needed and the glorious food! We knew we had to be on time for meal times and coffee and tea breaks, but I think we were all amazed at the generous helpings of incredibly tasty food. Tea times were especially a treat with freshly baked cake squares and biscuits.

On Saturday night, we had a wonderful opportunity to attend a lecture by Mal Reynolds, who specialises in framing fabric art to conservation level. He said at the beginning that he felt like he was in a lion’s den having to talk to Embroiderers’ Guild members. What became clear was his passion for fabric art, and the fruits of his labours to establish a recognised specialism in framing fabric art within the Fine Art Trade Guild. We cringed at the examples Mal showed of what NOT to do when framing work.  Mal took us through the steps that good framers should take in protecting our work, but that we also had a responsibility in using linen-covered hoops to reduce tension, keeping our embroidery clean, tidying the back of the embroidery, leaving a sufficient margin of fabric to frame, and, most importantly, not to ‘invest’ in cheap framing materials. Finally, Mal recommended an excellent book, ‘Framing and Presenting Textile Art’ by Annabelle Ruston, that we can use to learn more.

The weekend seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, with the last hour on Sunday seeing us gather together to display our work. What struck us all was the incredible talent of everyone that attended, and how much can be achieved in such a short time.  We all made a commitment to complete work still in progress, so we could bring and show it at our next branch guild meetings.

All that is left to say is a heartfelt thanks to Gill, Jackie and the supporting cast at Eastern Region for arranging the wonderful weekend, our tutors Sue and Sandra for your patience, guidance and generosity, the staff at Belsey Bridge for making our weekend exceptional, and lastly all of the weekend attendees who were warm, friendly, ever so talented and willing to share their own ideas and techniques.

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Hand-stitching in Norwich

The next City & Guilds Level 1 Hand-stitching course at the URC Hall, off Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR will be starting on Saturday 24th March 2012.  Each of the six monthly Saturday sessions will run from 10am to 3pm.  If you’d like more information or to book a place, please contact Gill Riordan.

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First come, first served …

Places will be going like hot cakes when you see just what’s in store at the Region’s Summer School in July at the ever popular Belsey Bridge Conference Centre.

Workshops with Alison Holt, Angie Hughes and Shelley Rhodes are all up for grabs – see here for all the details – so, book early!!!

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“Contemporary Kantha” a workshop with Maggie Rutterford

Suffolk East Branch still have places left on the above mentioned workshop with Maggie Rutterford . The workshop is being held at Rushmere Village Hall, Humber Doucy Lane, Rushmere, Ipswich, IP4 3PD  on 24th March from 10.00-16.00  and the cost will be £25.

The aim of the workshop will be to explore the boundaries of traditional Kantha stitch both by using unusual fabrics, such as silk, muslin , net and organza and by working with more contemporary designs and subtle colours rather than the usual bright colours. The aim is to make a small A6 size panel during the day. This course will be suitable for beginners.

To book for this workshop contact Norma Moore on 01473 273884.

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Now I’ve stitched it, how do I frame it?

Norwich Branch have places available on a “Supporting Fabric Art” workshop on Saturday 21st January 2012 from 10am to 4pm at the URC Church rooms, Ipswich Road, Norwich with tutor, Mal Reynolds.  Mal is a professional framer who works to museum standards – more information can be found on his website Harlequin Frames.

During the class he will show detailed methods of mounting and framing various types of materials and work. Class members will also be able to try these methods out. Mal will also advise on the mounting and framing of any work brought along to the class.

Places cost £20.00 – to book, please contact Gwyneth Lorenzen

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All donations gratefully received!

The Region is having a sales table at Textiles in Focus which takes place at Cottenham College, Cottenham, Cambridge on 17th-19th Feb 2012.

If you are attending this event and have any threads, fabric etc that you could donate, please bring it along with you . Money raised is for Regional funds.

Many thanks
Secretary – Eastern Region

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Romford Website

Here is the link to our own website

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