Embroiderers’ Guild Conference and my recent stitching

I was lucky enough to go for a day to the recent EG conference in Sheffield. My lovely children paid for this as a Mothers’ Day present and I had a wonderful day out listening to talks about embroidery and having a visit to a Sheffield branch of the EG and to the Sheffield Cathedral. Sadly I forgot to take my camera but took a few pics using my phone which Ellie was kind enough to transfer for me.

The first talk was an illustrated lecture by Anthea Godfrey on embroidery as used in haute couture and had the most beautiful images of all sorts of techniques used on the catwalk. She teaches embroidery at the London College of Fashion Arts  – I would love to be able to study there but will have to content myself at the moment with my local guild meetings and some day workshops!

After lunch we went to one of the local Sheffield Guilds for a talk by Diane Grant about ecclesiastical embroidery and the work of Beryl Dean. I have read a couple of Beryl’s books before and it was a very good talk illustrated with Beryl’s work throughout her lifetime. Below is an example from the 1950s,  this piece is in the V and A museum and features a stylised disciple or maybe Jesus with a fish and net.

Beryl Dean's panel
Beryl Dean's panel

The guild members had also put on a small display of their work which was brilliant – one particular member called Marjorie Holford had done some Elizabethan sweetbags which I really liked – she had larger display of those at the main conference hall.

After that we went to Sheffield Cathedral which was  treat in itself as I love visiting any church and had a special display of their ecclesiastical textiles which were very lovely. Most of the priest’s robes were quite modern but there were also some older pieces which I really love and I have put some pics of these below.

Image from an altar frontal at Sheffield Cathdral
Image from an altar frontal at Sheffield Cathdral
Goldwork on the priests' scarf
Goldwork on the priests' scarf
A banner which had been restored by the church embroiderers
A banner which had been restored by the church embroiderers

I must go back with my camera one day and get some shots of the cathedral.

I have been busy stitching a few gifts recently and have a couple of finishes to show. The first one is a blackwork scissor keep that I have been working on for a friend – I am making five of these in total.

Blackwork scissor keep
Blackwork scissor keep

The design is a motif from one of my Lesley Wilkins blackwork books.

I have the rest of the scissor keeps to finish but need to get on with sewing up a new nun’s outfit that I have cut out as we have our first re-enactment event this weekend. It is at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire on Sunday from 10 – 4pm so if you are in the area do come along and say hello.  I will be easy to spot being the only nun in the place! I am very excited that the season is starting again – nights under canvas and sitting round a real fire – bliss! Hopefully the weather will be as nice as it has been this past week.


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