Over 200 Embroidery Guild members representing 18 groups from the South West area gathered together for our annual Festival Day.
There were two speakers, Cas Holmes and Patricia Godwin, a large raffle, a lucky dip, competitions and displays.
The winners of the ‘Superstition’ competition – 1st Lindsey Sherwood (Red Sky at Night) Marlborough Guild, 2nd Jean Chisolm (Magpies) Blackmore Vale Guild and joint 3rd Gloria Pugh (Bride & Groom) and Mary Clark (Every superstition) both from Malmesbury Guild.
Competition entries from the host’s guild Christmas competition ‘Street Furniture’ were exhibited.
The Young Embroiderers had their own display and competition which was on by Lottie and runner up, Emily.
Under guidance of teacher Katie Griffin, textile students from Year 10 at St John’s School put on an exhibition. A project was organised for the Festival Day and students took digital photos around the school which were then printed on calico and then stitched – the results were amazing.
Festival guest Jane Lemon, international embroiderer and creator of altar frontals at Salisbury Cathedral viewed their work and was delighted with what the students were achieving.
There was an exhibition of quilts from Urchfont Manor. The new owner gave them to Marlborough & District Guild and our chairman Yvonne Miles thought it was appropriate for them to be displayed as many of the members at the Festival had attended courses at the Manor.
Display of Embroidery Guild colour samples
Retail therapy gave everybody the opportunity of stocking up their store cupboard and hopefully all the traders considered it a successful day. Our thanks go to Art Van Go, Burning Issues (Margaret Beal), Chrome Yellow Books, Indian Bazaar (Tiggy Rawling), Cupcake Cottons of Burford, Mulberry Silks (Patricia Wood), Silk Sacks, Simply Sequins and Winifred Cottage (Myfanwy Hart). A representative from Bernina was on hand to answer questions and demonstrate their latest sewing machine.
Ann Hampton, the Chairman of the South West Region opened the day by welcoming everybody followed by Terry Murphy, the Guild’s CEO who talked about the past year at headquarters.
In the morning Cas Holmes gave the Madeira sponsored lecture – Urban Nature. Her work relates to the natural and built world and she uses found materials, domestic fabrics and gathered objects in her work. Cas told us of the time she found a Bernina in a skip and carried it home on the underground and was thrilled to find it still worked. We saw slides of her installations and she explained the inspiration behind them and their construction. Cas emphasised the importance of keeping a sketch book and said she likes time to reflect on drawings before using them in her work. She was also promoting her new book Connected Cloth to be printed in September 2013.
In the afternoon Patricia Godwin from the Palm Court Theatre gave a talk entitled “Anything Goes”. She entertained us with her tales of Edwardian elegance to the roaring 20’s. She was offered newspapers, magazines and periodicals by the owner of a stately home who also had an attic full of period clothes and accessories. The Estate Agent recommended the price of £5 each so eventually she became the proud owner of a number of outfits. As each garment was displayed she read snippets from the papers relating to the time. She had us all in fits of laughter as she read advertisements for Vaseline, articles about Edwardian meals, driving and one about kissing. Each outfit came with its own accessories, stockings, hats, parasols and even a canary head and a motoring hat.
Next year’s SW Region Festival will be hosted by Exeter & District Branch in East Budleigh.