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March Meeting 2017

The meeting started with our AGM, very efficiently run by Sue Rainbow. Her report from the Chair was an excellent account of the group’s activities in 2016, which were numerous through 2016 and included details, which many of us had forgotten.

Rose Corbett, as treasurer, confirmed that our financial situation continues to be satisfactory and there is no requirement this year to raise the membership fees.

Gillian Mulder was elected as Membership Secretary to carry on Elaine’s sterling work and all thanks went to her including a gift and hopes that she now will enjoy being an ‘ordinary member’. The other members of the committee were re-elected and will continue doing an excellent job of organising the evenings, finances and programme for our group.

Notices and another wonderful “show and tell” followed the AGM and the remainder of the evening was devoted to sewing. Some members had already produced red, white and silver pincushions for the sales table at our Exhibition and others were looking for inspiration and patterns to borrow.

A large number of knitted baby clothes and stitched baby quilts were donated for the Neonatal unit at Lister Maternity Hospital from members and friends of members, which will be much welcomed, by staff and parents.

Carol Scott

February Meeting 2017

For several months last year Stephanie Pettengell had been raising funds for a trip to Nepal to help educate local ladies in crafts that could help them to earn money for their families and rebuild their communities after the earthquake.

Stephanie made the trip in October and this month we were able to get a feel for the situation from a lovely collection of photos that Stephanie had amassed on her trip. The village she stayed in was extremely basic but the women she interacted with were absolutely delightful and eager to learn.  High up in the mountains the effects of the earthquake were still evident but repairs are underway over and above bringing in the harvest of rice, which seemed to be drying everywhere!

Stephanie brought local fabric and thread and took with her various quilting blocks for interest. None of the ladies spoke English but there was a translator and it wasn’t long before the women were sewing designs on the vibrant fabrics. The only disappointment was not being able to source any wadding. Originally Stephanie was teaching 10 but this number grew as word spread. Plus the children didn’t go empty handed either they had books and games that Stephanie had taken with her as part of the donations from the fund raising.

Although the village was basic the surrounding areas were breathtaking which was in complete contrast to a day trip to Kathmandu. Here the roads were dusty, dirty and very noisy but a hive of activity like any capital city.  Stephanie was highly impressed with how welcoming the people of the village were and she sincerely hopes that her contributions will be of value to this well deserving community.       

Stephanie North

April Meeting 2017

After a brief start to the meeting by Sue Rainbow informing us of things coming up both within and outside the group – details of which have been sent out separately to members, Carol Scott introduced us to Chris Yates and her talk ‘The Artful Teabag’.

What a treat we were in for.  Chris gave us some background information as to where she came from and how she ended up talking about Artful Teabags.   She came from Cheshire and always had an interest in fabrics and textiles.   When she first left school she got a job in textiles in industry making shirts, dresses and ribbons.   She was eventually made redundant from there and started up her own lingerie company.   This changed when she had her two boys and she did different work to fit around them.   

After a time the pull of fabrics and textiles proved too great and Chris did a City and Guilds course.   After completing this course she took her works to exhibitions, and she then joined a group – which she advises is a brilliant confident booster as other people see your works in all their glory and worth, which we do not ourselves

It was while attending a workshop herself that she heard talk of someone keeping teabags to dry out and use at a later date.   Chris didn’t pay much attention, but after returning home this overheard conversation wouldn’t go away, so Chris began experimenting with teabags.

Now I am sure that most of us thought this meant how one could stain fabrics with said teabags – this was not the case.   Chris actually dries out the teabags and then takes them apart, gets rid of the tea leaves and opens up the bags, irons them on to Vilene and then makes her own sheets of fabric out of the actual teabag itself.

Chris then proceeds to make the most amazing items out of her own fabric – with her on this evening was a kindle cover, a phone pouch, various pictures and wall hangings, but my favourite was a most beautiful tome which she made to go with an exhibition she was showing her work at in a private school.   They asked for workbooks to go with the items on show.   Chris’ theme was wild animals – the cover of the book looked like it was animal skin itself, it looked and felt amazing considering it was made out of old teabags.   Other items on show were bowls, light shades, cards and many more – all with the base of old teabags.   

This is not bad from a lady who does not drink hot drinks at all, and so relies on her husband and friends to keep her supply of teabags well stocked.   It is also very interesting to notice how a builder’s teabag – such as her husband drinks, compares to herbal and fruit teabags.   It is using the herbals and fruit teabags that Chris gets her creams and reds from.

This was such an interesting evening, and I have to admit to getting my family to put aside their teabags rather than throwing them away – It will be interesting to see how I fare dealing with my round Rooibos bags – but all the bags are dried, emptied, cut and laid out.   I just have to get hold of some of the iron-on Vilene and I’ll be all set – watch this space as they say …

Theresa Johnson