Alexandra Waylett’s Embroidered Clutch Bag Workshop – October 2017


A group of MDEG members recently spent a most enjoyable two days taking part in Alexandra’s workshop.

She introduced the workshop by showing us some of her own stunning bags and cushions. Day one involved creating a multilayered piece of fabric which we then machine embroidered with up to three different thread colours. Alexandra demonstrated each stage, then allowed us time to complete it before showing us the next stage of construction.

Many of us choose to buy a bag making kit containing fabric layers, template and bag clasp. Other students chose to make a fabric sample for a cushion, or to embellish a project of their own. Alex brought along a dazzling array of decorative fabrics for us to dip into. The hard art was deciding which to choose!
We appreciated that Alex spent time with each of us, advising on fabrics and colour combinations, plus offering ample help for those new to machine embroidery. We all progressed well on the day one and by the end of the day, most students were well on their way to completing a decorated fabric square.
With many workshops, embroidery techniques are tried out, yet the samples can end up confined in a drawer once they are taken home. However on day two, Alex carefully guided us through the stages of cutting, sewing and constructing a bag. By the end of the day we had all completed a beautiful bag, or a stunning panel of our own. The bags were each unique, colourful and stunning. Thank you Alex for such an enjoyable workshop. I’m sure that we will all have a go at making more bags in the future.
Report and photos by Jackie Bagg.

Thank you so much Jackie – your help is much appreciated and your photos were great!  Ros


Twenty five year pins and certificates were presented to Margaret Gow and Rosemary Hawes by Ann Smith at the AGM meeting in October.

Rosemary and Margaret joined the Guild in 1991 after visiting an exhibition of embroidery together in the Marlborough library.  Mary Greening was Chairman at the time and the subscription was £12.50. They recall enjoyable meetings in the Scouts Hut in Marlborough and workshops in the pleasant surroundings of Urchfornt College.  However, soon after their joining, meetings moved to the Bowls Club, and before long, as numbers grew, transferred to the current location in Lockeridge with better facilities for both meetings and workshops and delightful views. Over the years they have both been involved with the branch’s various workshops and exhibitions, and have worked on several projects including the Marlborough Surgery hanging in 1997 and the Kennet Valley Embroidery which hangs in the hall. The embroidery now used as the reception desk tablecloth was renovated by Margaret and Rosemary from an earlier project made in the 1980s. One particular highlight they both recollect was spending days at Avebury Manor in 2011 helping to complete the embroidered bed hangings.


Rosemary has always enjoyed needlework from an early age. Her mother taught her to knit at age three, and a nun at her convent school taught her to sew and make Brussels lace. She now enjoys making quilts and all types of embroidery, and has been involved with the stitching of the Turkey work chairs at the Merchant House from its inception. She has also run an Embroidery Group for the U3A for the past 25 years. 


Margaret learnt to sew with her grandmother and still has a handkerchief case embroidered in cross stitch, made in school. She taught herself crewel work and other forms of embroidery, mostly from books of which she now has a large collection; but has also learnt many skills from the various workshops she has attended over the years. She has also spent time on the Turkey work project, and is now happily involved in embroidering flowers for the Guild’s latest project – the Prospect Triptych.

Thank you Margaret & Rosemary for giving us these details.

​Photos by Ros

Meike Laurenson – October 2017


Meike Laurenson was born in Germany and had a Danish father who died before she was born. She had a challenging upbringing, came to lived in England at 18 and has always loved art. She told us her complex story and how, as a mature student with a young family, she did her teacher training.

After her divorce she moved from London to live in Reigate and had a small holding where she kept sheep and started spinning. Taking early retirement she enrolled on a foundation course at the Reigate School of Art. While at a workshop in Dorking a dress designer showed her how to block a hat and this started her love of millinery. Constance Howard was invited to look at her hats and said all hats need a crown, a rim and a rose and commented that Meike’s creations were not really hats so it was suggested she enrol at the London College of Fashion which she did between 1993 and 1996.


Over the years Meike has had various exhibitions and undertakes private commissions which she does not love as much as the freedom of being able to create herself.

​She went on to show us a wonderful selection of hats which she had designed from her original creation (see above), a summer and winter collection and a collection based on a visit to Nepal. Two of my favourites were the Boy George hat and a blue, red and white one which she created for a workshop in France which had to include five sides. Meike concluded her talk by showing us a design entitled “it’s not a hat” which was created by felting a number of golf practice balls and attaching them to a crown. The final hat was entitled “dare to wear” which was an interesting fun construction.

I wonder how many other members in the room were wanting to try the hats on!

Report and photos by Ros

Indigo workshop – Vivienne Prideaux – September 2017

Vivienne Prideaux organised an indigo dyeing workshop earlier this year and kindly agreed to return to help us again.  We now have our own indigo vat which Ann S is keeping at her house so watch this space, lots of hours of fun ahead. 

We dyed a variety of fabrics and threads using samples created in March with resist.  During the morning Vivienne suggested we prepare some shibori samples and Maria made an interesting resist using screws – I wonder how it will turn out?  We returned home with our samples and told to wait as long as possible before washing out.  Below are some photos taken during the day including one of Tiger who was very interested in what was going on.  Good job he did not go too near the vat!  Thank you Ann for a super day.

Report and photos by Ros (and Vernice!)

National Stitch Day – 2017

The following members of Marlborough and District Embroiderers’ Guild Branch met up in Calne Library to celebrate National Stitch Day. Linda Wells, Lindsay Sherwood, Diana King, Ann Kingdon and Chris Cook. We were treated to coffee and biscuits and made very welcome by the library. We put up a small display of our work,  stitched and had great fun.
Report and photo by Chris C
Thank you Chris.  Ros
On Saturday, 29th July, a group of EG members who also do Turkey work in The Merchant’s House in Marlborough had agreed to work outside for National Stitch Day.

We took our frames down from the beautiful Panelled Chamber where we usually work and set ourselves up in front of The Merchant’s House, a 17th century restored silk merchant’s property in Marlborough’s High Street.

A rota of volunteers are making seats and backs for a set of 12 dining chairs. The striking design, which looks like a Turkish carpet, attracted lots of attention from shoppers and visitors. Many stopped to talk and were told about the EG and The Merchant’s House.

It soon began to rain but we were dry under the colonnaded cover which runs along much of the High Street, which was busy with the market in front of us and the shops behind.

We didn’t get much Turkey work done but it was a good chance to show people how one simple stitch gives such gorgeous results and working in public is a good showcase for a traditional craft.
Thank you Rosemary, Audrey and Ann for your report and photos.