Wednesday, October 14, 2015

14 October 2015 - AGM

Chairman’s Report 2015

I would like to begin by saying I noticed that in Rosemary’s report last year (AGM 2014) she said that at the Christmas Social (2013) bloomers were made for 'Mrs Claus' and 'the more extrovert members modelled their group’s finished result.' I would just like to correct this to say that some of us were press ganged into the modelling!

Our branch has, as ever, been very busy and active over the last twelve months.

A reminder of some of the things we have achieved/taken part in/absorbed/enjoyed/listened to…
  • Katie Pirson who trained at the Royal School of Needlework
  • Yulia Badian, feltmaker extraordinaire, a member of Silkfelt - a collective of fibre artists interested in working with fairy tales, myth and folklore
  • Our first speaker of 2015 was our very own Wendy Hughes! A wealth of experience and variety.
  • Cherrilyn Tyler, intriguing us with her talk entitled ‘Pants’!
  • Claire Blackburn, whose homage to the ordinary was anything but ordinary!
  • Rosie James stitch-drawings
  • Karen Grenfell who combines with her love of hand embroidery and painting.
  • Last month we were intrigued by Bethany Walker an exciting young artist who combines fabric with cement to create amazing works of art.
  • A range of one-day workshops at Marsh Baldon, something to suit all tastes. And, at this point, a gentle reminder that at £27 each they are the most amazing value for money. Most 'professional' training days cost about £200/day + VAT, so we are exceptionally lucky to have access to such wonderful opportunities.
  • 'Dress a Girl Around the World'. Branch members made 31 dresses and one pair of shorts, a fantastic group effort, contributing to the 25,000 dresses created in the UK.
The Big Stitch on October 4th last year was just before our 2014 AGM, but it’s worth remembering that many Oxford EG members took part, helping to create the most fantastic day. Well done, and thank you to all involved.

The Young Embroiderers continues to thrive under the guidance of Jan Gilmer, Kate Medcraft and Eileen Humphries. Trish Leverett also helps out when she can. We are blessed to have such a committed team, and the group is enthusiastic. Thank you to all involved and if anyone would like to help out, even once in a blue moon, the YEG team would be very appreciative. I know they are currently busy working on felted pieces for the Blenheim Palace exhibition, and also for their entry for the next De Denne competition. We currently have ten YEG members, down from a peak of eighteen. Fifteen is a comfortable maximum and we are looking to replace some of the older members who have now moved on.

Oxford is a thriving branch of the EG, with numerous members who are regular, sometimes prolific, stitchers, including many who exhibit with more than one group of Textile artists. Enthusiasm is the key, and whether or not you stitch very much your membership is valued. Some of us stitch, some of us admire those who stitch and some of us do a little of both!

Since May we have all been looking forwards in the direction of Blenheim Palace as we work towards our contribution to the CB300 celebrations. Many of our members have visited the parks and gardens at Blenheim for inspiration, and, I hope, are busy creating wonderful pieces of work. Amanda and Alex, two Oxford EG members with too much time on their hands, have been involved in this nationwide project from the very beginning.

Our travelling books continue to travel and members enjoy sharing ideas and contributing to each other’s books. It is fun to spot the 'signature' work of our members and to have a collection of 'treasures' to look back on. The books have proved to be very useful as conversation starters - at our own meetings, at the Big Stitch and, last weekend, Alex and I used them to help engage people on the EG stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

It would be impossible for any of this to happen without our very committed committee! This was well illustrated last Saturday at the Morsbag Day. Nine members of Oxford EG spent the day chatting and stitching, making Morsbags for our Regional Day next April. Seven of the magnificent nine were committee members!! The other two, whose input was much appreciated, were Diane Rockett and Gaby Lloyd – a special thank you to them. We shared a lovely lunch too, and made 27 bags.

On the subject of Morsbags a special mention to Susan Humphrey who is undoubtedly our Morsbag queen, having made 24! Thank you, Susan.

Without our committee we would not have…
  • A fabulous blog
  • Members monthly email communications
  • Speakers
  • Workshops
  • Funds!
  • A warm welcome
  • A very informative info board
  • Teas and coffees
So, on behalf of all the Oxford members, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of our branch.

Karen and Elaine

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Celebrating Capability Brown at Blenheim Palace

The entire Embroiderer's Guild will be celebrating Capability Brown at venues up and down the country. Oxford Branch are delighted that Blenheim Palace will be hosting us. The team there are keen to give us the best possible experience with our exhibition, and have very kindly sent a selection of photographs showing some of the famous views of the Park. All photos are copyright of Blenheim Palace.