Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Our May Meeting

 Another good meeting on Saturday with the usual busy stitching morning. Members brought their entry forms for our exhibition, A Celebration of Stitch, to our secretary Nicky, who was also our speaker in the afternoon. She was brilliant! A natural. Her talk about how she came to create her online business, designing and producing her cross stitch kits, was very much enjoyed. It was the final session of Colleen’s contemporary canvas work course which has produced some beautiful pieces. Many thanks to her for her tuition, and for bringing materials and examples of her own superb work. Eileen’s course has one more session, and we’re looking for two new tutors for the next stitch club. Don’t be shy!

As for those entry forms, another reminder (one can’t have too many) to attach part A of the form firmly to the bag/wrapping containing work to be exhibited, with the member’s entry form number clearly written on said bag/wrapping, as well as on the back of each piece of work. Please attach D rings and cord for hanging to each piece. All entries to be brought to our next meeting, 28th May. Thank you! 

Also on the 28th please bring the depictions of a stage musical for the visitors’ competition. All Shirley needs is your name on the back. Easy. At this meeting too, all the lovely things to decorate Moira’s hedgerow are to be given to her, and donations for the sales table to Angela and Maggie. 


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Our April Meeting

A full day of stitching at the April meeting. A workshop after lunch with Alex Hall when members made brooches, having chosen one from three different types, with lovely results. Enjoyment of the morning stitch club was again evident, with superb work in progress. Members were encouraged to sign up on the various rotas for the exhibition which is coming ever closer. There’s no doubt we’ll have lots of super work but we’re going to need lots of super volunteers too! Even an hour or so hour of help will be much appreciated.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Our March Meeting

Our March meeting saw the first session of the new stitch club course with Eileen tutoring a slow stitching project and Colleen’s group working on contemporary canvas work. By the end of the morning members had made a great start on their pieces. We’ll be posting photographs after the April meeting. We also had the final postcard swap in what has been a very successful project. The cards produced have been much admired, so varied and clever. Those of us taking part will  no doubt treasure the cards we have received from our fellow members. Many thanks must go to Chris Beavers for providing us with such an enjoyable and creative project. Given that we’re going to be busy producing pieces for the exhibition, including the stitched stage musical competition pieces, Chris wisely decided that the next batch of swaps won’t start until September. The theme this time, "Wings", will surely stretch our imagination and creativity. 

Our exhibition, A Celebration of Stitch, featuring work on the theme of hedgerows,  will be held from 24th to 26th June, and at the meeting members were asked to sign up to help with stewarding, serving refreshments, baking  etc.  

The speaker after lunch was Christine Plummer. We were most fortunate to get her thanks to Jacqs who had spent a lot of time trying to find a replacement for Heather Ritchie.  Heather had to cancel at the last minute. Christine makes the most beautiful books. Perfect for containing small pieces of stitching, or photographs, or anything special one would want to keep. Such as postcards.  She paints the paper for the book covers, and then stitches it with skill and an artist’s eye for colour and design. Her paper is all recycled by her, everything from used envelopes to pages from garden magazines. Members queued up to buy her kits, and I treated myself to one the books she had brought to sell.  Christine was very generous in sharing the techniques she uses to produce her lovely work, as is often the case with textile artists, and she encouraged members to have a go at making books for themselves. 

Another busy day, with members enjoying being together and doing what they love. Stitching! And at the April meeting there’ll be a lot of stitching because we’ll have a workshop in the afternoon with Alex Hall. Look forward to seeing everyone  there.


Friday, February 25, 2022

Our February Meeting

A lively time at the February meeting. No, not a typo, it was lovely as well,  but definitely a busy day with quite a lot going on. After morning stitch club there were demonstrations of the use of the die cutter by Pauline and Tina,  followed by  fabric printing from Moira. Eileen and Colleen then presented their proposals for the next round of stitch club sessions to begin at the March meeting. A choice of two super courses , slow stitching or contemporary canvas work, see below for examples of the kind of thing we'll be making in those sessions.  Must add here our thanks and appreciation to Sharon and Josie for tutoring our first YES stitch clubs. There were more delightful postcards for swapping, and they were  particularly impressive this time because their creators were asked to make use of just one type of stitch.   

Our exhibition, A Celebration of Stitch, is to be held from 24th to 26th June and all those with responsibility for a specific role got together during the lunch break for a very useful meeting. Moira had that morning reminded members about her idea for a row of real twigs and branches to be decorated with a variety of crafted items such as leaves, berries, blossom, birds and insects and brought samples to show what she has in mind. Should look rather spectacular! 


Slow Stitching with Eileen

Contemporary Canvaswork with Colleen

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Well done Justine!

 Congratulations to Justine Warner, who made it to the final three in her heat of Landscape Artist of the Year on SkyArts last Tuesday. She stitched a fabulous landscape using her trademark ties, and wowed everyone. She came across as a real natural on the telly box, too. It would have been brilliant to see her go through to the semi-final - if the "Twitter Storm" which followed the programme was anything to go by, an awful lot of people felt the same! 

Justine was our speaker in September. 

You can see more here:

NB 23/1/22

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

January Zoom Meeting

Our January speaker Helen Barnes gave her presentation via Zoom last night. Her topic, traditional north country strippy quilting, was very  well illustrated, and she talked most interestingly about how she became a strippy quilter herself and eventually, in 2020, a recipient of an Amy Emms bursary. The name Amy Emms  wasn’t known to me so I looked her up.  She was born  in County Durham in 1904 and there’s lots about her on the internet. She wrote a book about Durham quilting, and about her life, which seems to be out of print but can be bought for very little money from a number of sites such as Abe Books and Amazon. I  ordered mine last night!  Keen quilters will no doubt be familiar with her but for lovers of textiles who haven’t heard of Amy Emms M.B.E. I recommend a little online searching into the life and achievements of a remarkable, inspiring  woman. And many thanks to Helen for encouraging interest in this very special craft. 

Chris Small 


Here are a couple of screen shots from Helen's Zoom talk

Justine Warner

Great news.  Justine Warner has taken part in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year,  she's on the second episode, which airs on Wednesday, 19th January at 9pm. Not to be missed. In September 2021 Justine was our first live speaker after months of not being able to meet in person, giving a very engaging talk illustrated with her stunning textile landscapes. 

Sky Arts can be found on Freeview, channel 11, so you don't need to have Sky TV to see it. 

here's a link to Justine's own website:

Friday, January 7, 2022

December Meeting

This month there was another collection of stunning postcards for members to present to each other in the December postcard swap, and you can see these by clicking on the "Postcard Project" tab above. What variety and creativity, never mind the technical skill shown. Apart that is from yours truly who is a fabric postcard novice and chose to stitch on silk. And what does silk fabric do when you try to cut a straight line? It frays. A lot. Never mind, lesson learnt. 

We saw variety and skill too in the entries for the mini Christmas stocking competition with Jane C’s and Eileen’s the favourites. 

There were some lovely Christmas cards made on the day, with members having chosen a design to copy or adapt from the five on offer. There were tasty looking fat Christmas puddings; stylish, sequin embellished Christmas trees; pretty, sparkling designs in silver, gold and pastels; jolly cross stitched robins; and birds printed onto fabric ready to be made even more beautiful with embroidery and embellishment. And it was pleasant to sit and chat as we worked, with tea, cake and cheese served in the afternoon.

Chris Small, January 2022

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2021

It was good to be back at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, and good to see other YES members there too. Though well attended, it was noticeably less crowded than in previous years, and there were more open areas and seating which made for a comfortable, pleasant experience. We all love the show but let’s face it, it could at times be very busy and a bit of a crush. Buying stitching equipment and materials online is easy and usually efficient, and has been a saviour over the last year or so but there’s nothing to beat seeing the real thing. 

Of course the very special aspect of the K&S Show  is the exhibition of work by textile artists and textile students. So much varied, clever and  interesting work it’s hard to single out particular people but Kate Wells’ retrospective exhibition was outstanding. Her beautiful machine embroidered gold work was stunning to look at and incredibly skilled.  Star of the show for me and I have no doubt for many others. Valerie Wartelle’s wet felted, layered and embroidered landscapes were very impressive. Again, beautiful to look at and very skilled. Her work  has become more abstract but a close look reveals her characteristic attention to subtle detail, and her colours are as lovely as ever. The delicate dried flower embroidery by Olga Prinku was delightful. And then there were the quilts. Lots of them. Impressive in their design and execution. One could not fail to be in awe of all this creative talent and to be inspired by it, and it is a privilege to meet these artists who are always happy to talk about their work. I’ll be there in 2022.

Chris Small

Sunday, November 7, 2021

November Meeting

A very pleasant morning was spent with about 40 people happily stitching and chatting. There was no gold work class this month, but there was nevertheless plenty to look at and admire. The first set of postcards were brought in and displayed. What a wonderful and colourful array of landscapes and a vast variety of techniques! Just before the talk in the afternoon the lucky recipients took possession of their treasures. Samples of Christmas cards were available for members to choose which one they would like to make at the December meeting. Difficult choice, but it had to be done (Please remember that the December meeting is on the 11th rather than the fourth as would normally be the case). There were also opportunities to sign up to help with the organisation of next year’s exhibition, when as many hands that are available will be required, and of course there was the ever-present tea rota.


The afternoon speaker was Rose Horspool, Known by some of us previously as head of the art department at Bishop Burton College, Rose and her partner Robin, now run a successful creative arts business, Vista  Arts. The theme of Rose’s talk was the eighteenth-century artist Mrs Mary Delaney. Born Mary Granville, niece of the first Baron Lansdowne, she was sent to London to live with her aunt, and thus came into contact with the Court. Following an unhappy four year marriage to a much older man, and freed by widowhood, Mary returned to London where she renewed acquaintances and made new friendships with many famous and intellectual people of the time. She remarried an Irish clergyman, Dr Patrick Delaney. With her interest in the natural world, together with the accomplishments she learnt when first in London, she eventually, at the age of 73, created the art of making beautiful and botanically accurate collaged works from dyed and painted cut paper.  Nine hundred and eighty-five of these amazing plant portraits were made before her death at the age of 88. Each piece was delicately formed and secured with rabbit glue to black backgrounds. They were eventually given to the British Museum where they can be seen, but only two per day, because of conservation priorities.


This most interesting and informative talk was followed by a welcome cup of tea and many members helped clean and clear the room, for which the committee are extremely grateful.

Shirley Smith 7/11/21

Here are the beautiful postcards for November

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

York Embroiderers and Stitchers Programme 2021/2022

At every meeting, in the morning it's Stitch Club and Social Stitching. Stitch Club is a rolling programme of workshop sessions run by our members. For those members not taking part in one of the Stitch Club workshops, there's Social Stitching - just sitting and sewing and chatting. 

In the afternoons we have a varied programme of external speakers and tutors, plus member-led activities. 

There's no meeting in June 2022 as the hall is unavailable, however there are two meetings in May. 

6/11/21           External Speaker- Rose Horspool: "Mary Delaney, Embroiderer Extraordinaire"

11/12/21         Christmas Stitching Activities, Competition and Refreshments

8/1/22              External Speaker- Helen Barnes: "Strippy Quilting" 

5/2/22              Die Cutter demonstration with Pauline and Tina

5/3/22              External Speaker- Heather Ritchie "My Life in Rugs"

2/4/22             External Tutor -Alex Hall Felt Brooches Workshop

7/5/22             Nicky Brunger - "Starting a Small Textile Business"

28/5/22           Preparation for Exhibition

2/7/22             Short talks given by group members

6/8/22             External Speaker - Jacqueline Hyman "A Child's View of Embroidery"

3/9/22             External Speaker - Brenda Scarman "Delight in the Traditional"

1/10/22            AGM and activities TBC

5/11/22            External Tutor - Heather Lewis Christmas Tree Hanging Workshop

10/12/22          Christmas Stitching Activities, Competition and Refreshments

For more information contact

Welcome to York Embroiderers and Stitchers

Welcome to the blog page for York Embroiderers and Stitchers. We are a friendly group of stitch and textile enthusiasts of all levels of ability and experience. We welcome new members and visitors at our monthly meetings. 

Generally the morning is reserved for sewing - members can take part in organised Stitch Club sessions, or bring their own sewing along and chat with friends while sewing. In the afternoon we often have outside speakers, or talks and demonstrations from some of our own members. 

Meetings are held from 11am to 4pm in Haxby Memorial Hall near York on the first Saturday in the month unless the hall is unavailable, in which case it will be the second Saturday. There will be a break for lunch between 12.30 until 1.15, however this pattern might alter according to the programme for that day. 


Stitch Club: We will endeavour to run two different courses at every meeting. They will be tutored by members of YES and each project would take from four to six sessions. Beginning in September 2021 Sharon Lang will lead a gold work project and Josie Storey will undertake Rags to Riches, a contemporary stitch project. Members can sign up for Stitch Club courses in advance. There might be a small fee for materials. Members not taking part can work on their own pieces.


Library: A wide range of embroidery and textile art books is available for borrowing at 20p per book per month. The librarian is Sally Stone. There will soon be a list of these books on this blog, along with a list of equipment for hire. 


Sales Table: There is a monthly sales table of stitching materials, books and magazines donated by members. A contribution is requested unless a particular item is priced individually. 


Refreshments: Tea/coffee and biscuits are provided before the meeting ends at 4pm. Members are asked to sign up to a rota for this. Members can bring a packed lunch or use the cafes in Haxby. Takeaway drinks and food are available from a number of places close to the hall. Lunch can be taken in the garden, but as outdoor seating is limited, we recommend that you bring a suitable chair. 


Triennial Exhibition: The next one will be held from Friday, 24th to Sunday, 26th June 2022 at the Tithe Barn in Upper Poppleton. The theme is Hedgerows although work unrelated to the theme may also be entered.  Entries can be offered for sale if the member wishes. An exhibition working group will be required for the organisation and preparation needed, plus volunteers for stewarding and serving refreshments.We meet on the first Saturday of every month at Haxby Memorial Hall. 

For more information, email