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Christmas Lunch at the Crannog

December 8, 2018

About 17 of us – roughly half the branch members were able to meet up today, the 8th December, to enjoy each others’ company and a very pleasant lunch just on the outskirts of Stirling at what used to be called the RiverHouse.  The open views,easy access, attentive staff and varied menu all contributed to a suitably jolly get

together, and if I can get the photographs to appear , they will probably say it all! Merry Christmas


Outing on 9th June 2018

June 9, 2018

We thought Dalgarven Mill last year was super but today in Edinburgh was equally good.  The bus was there on time to take us to Chambers Street and the volunteer guide who shoed us to the various nooks and crannies within the Museum of Scotland where the textile exhibits lurked was super knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  her tour covered 2000 years of textiles from the peat coloured hood that had wrapped a baby in Shetland to exhibits about Phoebe Traquair, the Arts and Crafts, Jacobean stump work, through tartans, Ayrshire lace, knitted wonders, a glance at extreme fashion and embroidered pieces of or nue , and breathtaking panels and bedspreads.  Something for everyone.  then lunch at the gallery cafe or wherever peple wanted before we met up again at the Dovecot where the Director Celia gave us a very tailored talk about the Dovecot at Corstorphine and then at the converted Baths, with an overview about its ethos and where it fits in to continuing the apprentice tradition, and connections with artists and institutions who may be interested in commissioning work (like the Leathersellers in London) or collaborating (eg Wemyss ), or running taster sessions for a wider variety of folk who are keen to try out tapestry weaving.

Their cakes and tea were also wonderful , and we wandered back to get the bus home.  the rain held off till the motorway, although traffic was heavy because the Rolling Stones were in town.  Pity we didn’t have tickets for them too!  Thanks to Rowena for organising it all and keeping us informed in a such a relaxed way.


Crewel Workshop

March 18, 2018

17th March, and the threat of snow and fierce cold winds did not deter our intrepid tutor, Toni Hanley from turning up in good time at Camphill Blair Drummond to lead one of our most popular workshops .  Toni had come with a wealth of ideas and materials and showed us how stencils created from acetate sheets could be used with acrylic paints to create a background of colour.   Designs ranging from florals to stitch samplers  allowed us to practise some crewel stitches using IMG_2371 wools, silks and cotton threads to achieve some lovely new effects.  Our Guild members had a wide range of experience and Toni was so good at adapting her techniques to suit all of us, with humour, knowledge  and patience.  A super day.


Gargunnock Sewing afternoon

February 17, 2018

About eight of us turned out on an afternoon of mixed weather but increasingly attractive light to stitch and chat.  The big feature was the Wallace Monument which is being stitched together ready for Regional Day.  Its like a great big jigsaw , and is amazing in the inventiveness and variety of stitching and styles which somehow are all coming together. We agreed that you only have to squint a bit to achieve the effect.

But lots of good chat about other workshops, talks and projects which people have got coming along, and looking forward to Wednesday’s meeting.



We’ve Been Framed

February 3, 2018

This morning saw the opening of the Exhibition.  The Chairman of the Smith Trustees, Colin O’Brien, and the Provost Christine Simpson did a fine job of starting us off, and there were enough members to make a good showing, on a rather wet and dismal morning.  The Smith had battled through their period of maximum concern about their funding and immediate future, and Elspeth and staff had done a fine job of mounting our pieces.  They looked very classy, varied and interesting and I hope you will all find time to visit, and perhaps spend a little time chatting to visitors and maybe take a little stitching along to catch attention.  Jane is going to do a Facebook piece, we will try for the Observer, and Contact or Digest too as I think we have plenty to be proud of.

Can I thank all of you who have contributed your work as pieces or cards,  apologise for being unclear about the deadline for submission,  and say how grateful I am for the support you have so freely given as I have wobbled.

Frances’s funeral will be 1 pm at Falkirk Crematorium , and it was a real shame we could not show her work off too, but her family will have it at the Westland Hotel in Dunblane after the service.

I will attach The Blade – the publicity banner that Kirstine has cooked up with Pat Tempest at HQ – hope you agree its just the thing.


Sad news

January 17, 2018

Our dear member Frances Rankin has passed away in Forth Valley Hospital last night following an emergency operation on Friday .  Her family have been with her, but her passing was typically quiet,  and without fuss. I think we will all miss her dreadfully, for her skill, knowledge, friendliness and gallantry.  Funeral arrangements may take a little while to organise.


First Get together in 2018

January 15, 2018

We met at the Victoria Hall in Dunblane for what turned out to be a virtual workshop run by Evelyn Ramsey.  Such generosity with her time, materials and enthusiasm made a wonderfully happy resumption of Guild activity.  She showed us how to use transfer dyes to create lovely effects on man made fibres with  outlines of dried plants like honesty and geranium leaves – a wide range of natural shapes, lace, stencils, wax resist crayons to contrast with the prepared dye sheets that, ironed,transferred the colour to the fabric that could then be further embellished with stitch.  We also had a sneak preview of some of the framed pieces for the Exhibition, and the “bricks” that the postie is bringing to Jane as the Wallace Monument is gradually reappearing in stitch.  Very exciting.IMG_2255IMG_2257


January 5, 2018

I can hardly believe we are into another year.  The Christmas lunch at Cook’s was good fun – good cracker jokes and nice food.  Our meetings start again soon with the Practical Day on 13th January at the Victoria Halls in Dunblane, followed by Member’s Night at the Cambusbarron Community Hall at 7.15 pm. Great opportunities to finish/hand over pieces for the Exhibition, and to maybe share notions for the Regional Day competition, “Art and Architecture”. Looking forward to seeing you all soon and maybe managing to get stitching instead of eating!


New place to stitch

October 1, 2017

IMG_2150.jpgYesterday, on the last afternoon of September, we did not have to use any artificial light to be able to thread a needle! Gargunnock Community Centre Garden Room turned out to be a really pleasant place to meet, with its own parking on the flat, quiet but not isolated, kitchen and facilities to hand, warm and well lit. And very good value. Not so good for public transport, but fine for lift sharing. And we came out to the most wonderful views out towards the Trossachs after a shower had improved visibility. Great variety of textiles being worked on – some to be ‘framed’, some to turn into a box, and some introduction to crewel work with Alison doing a bit of tutoring.  Exciting to see someone taking first stitches!  Here is a picture of the room, unadorned  but for the light!


A very busy day

September 16, 2017

Today the banner we created for the Seven Associated Trades of Stirling had its fist outing at the Walking of the Marches round the town.  The weather was kind, and there was a good turnout of people , pipe bands (2), Brownies, Heralds(1) and Provosts (2- though one was an ex).  the route had been extended since last year, The Blue Blanket appeared again and the banner fulfilled its function of explaining who was in charge of the procession.  About five of our Guild turned up (thank you so much ladies) and either walked or took pictures or lunched at the Golden Lion .  It seemed very fitting that a Guild of embroiderers should march with the hammermen, baxters, weavers etc in the effort to keep this bit of tradition alive.

Meantime , Alison and some other stalwarts were keeping a modern presence at the Doors Open event out at Camphill Blair Drummond, with a lovely display of some of our work, and some personal contributions from Alison to fit in with the historic feel of the big house.  There were lots of people coming round on the guided tours, and plenty of interest as folk returned to the hall for refreshments.    The grounds looked spectacular , and it is good to think we are to have workshops there later in the year.  Thanks to everyone who made it such a success.