National Celebration of Stitch 5th August 2017

Here are a few more stories from the Celebration of Stitch Day

National Stitch Day - Bolton Branch

Bolton were at Middlebrook Shopping Centure. A group of us met and did some stitching outside Next. We set up a table to show our inspiration for the day. We have just got a new book for our library and used this as our inspiration for a technique we thought might attract people to have a go. The applique of a tree was made to display our butterflies when they were finished. The folk embroidery bag showed how embroidery can be applied to the decoration of objects. We also gave out decorated tags with information about out meetings and we had some kits made up to encourage people to try some stitching.

Bolton Display table

National Stitch Day - Blackmore Vale

Blackmore Vale Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild opened their doors to visitors on Saturday 5th August. We worked hard to get extensive advertising for the day and we were rewarded by approx. 70 visitors of all ages. Members of Branch including Young Embroiderers put on a great display of work and we also had a range of Folios from the Embroiderers Guild for our visitors and members to peruse.
Members arranged demonstrations and ‘have a go’ opportunities in various subjects for both young and old visitors and these generated a lot of interest.
We put on refreshments for visitors and provided an opportunity to spend some money at our sales table as well as our £1 table where receipts of £52 were forwarded to the Embroiderers Guild for the Collection Care Appeal.
We were not sure what sort of response we would get to the Open Day but in the end, it proved to be a great success even though the weather was not on its best behaviour. So far, the Open Day has seen us recruit an additional 4 members.

Blackmore Vale

National Stitch Day - Cotsworld Branch

This year, to celebrate National Stitch Day, we approached Gloucestershire libraries to ask if they would be willing to host us. As a result we had a presence in both Gloucester and Cheltenham libraries with a display table, promotional material and members stitching and talking to visitors.

It was quieter in the libraries than we expected but a number of people (mostly women!) expressed interest in The Guild and left contact details for further information – which has been followed up by the branch Chairman.

In Gloucester there was particular interest from a couple of ladies from BME groups, which has highlighted to us how we can engage.

As a result of our presence at Cheltenham Library we have been asked to participate in the Fun Palace event which is taking place there on October 7th – this is an annual, free, nationwide celebration of arts and science ( see: We are planning an activity for the public to do and are interested in seeing what other groups will be there.

Cheltenham Library

National Stitch Day - Marlborough & District

On Saturday, 29th July, a group of EG members who also do Turkeywork in The Merchant's House in Marlborough had agreed to work outside for National Stitch Day. We took our frames down from the beautiful Panelled Chamber where we usually work and set ourselves up in front of The Merchant's House, a 17th century restored silk merchant's property in Marlborough's High Street.

A rota of volunteers are making seats and backs for a set of 12 dining chairs. The striking design, which looks like a Turkish carpet, attracted lots of attention from shoppers and visitors. Many stopped to talk and were told about the EG and The Merchant's House.

It soon began to rain but we were dry under the colonnaded cover which runs along much of the High Street, which was busy with the market in front of us and the shops behind.

We didn't get much Turkeywork done but it was a good chance to show people how one simple stitch gives such gorgeous results and working in public is a good showcase for a traditional craft.

Marlborough & District branch members

National Stitch Day - Teme Valley Branch

Teme Valley branch celebrated National Stitch Day on our stand at the Tenbury Wells Countryside show on 5th August. We had many members work on display which got a lot of attention from the visitors. It sparked a lot of conversation and reminiscing by members and visitors alike.

We also had butterfly kits ready for the children to take part with. We had felt butterflies in a large range of colours to be sewn onto felt backgounds. We tacked the butterflies onto the background and then let the children decide what colour they wanted, what thread they wanted and set them off. This was very successful with over 50 children (just as many boys as girls!) visiting our stand and having a go. We had children as young as 3 and into their teens, and even the odd adult! Hopefully we've helped to inspire the next generation of stitchers!

We also had a good long list of email addresses of people interested in becoming a member. We will be following those up in the coming weeks and hopefully we will get some new members from it. A very successful and enjoyable day all round!

Also on display was the first outing of our new banner which was this year's branch project. 28 letters were sewn by the members and then made into stiffened pockets with tab tops which were then threaded onto rope and hung in pride of place. The range of techniques, stitches and colours were breathtakingly beautiful and it certainly makes an impact! Roll on next year's project!

Sonia Jackson
Teme Valley branch

Teme Valley

National Stitch Day - Stafford Branch

The Staffordshire Branch of the EG held their stitch morning in conjunction with the usual monthly JETS meeting, in Rising Brook Library. We had several ladies who dropped in and stitched with us, as well some children with parents, plus the JETS members and the helpers. We sat and embroidered 2 sides of felt butterflies, which were then sewn together to make a hanging ornament. Guides to various stitches were available, as well as a huge variety of coloured felt butterflies, along with threads, sequins, beads and buttons. The results were very pleasing and people were delighted with what they had achieved in a short time and showed interest in joining our group.

Stafford Branch Butterflies

National Stitch Day - Marches Branch

Our branch had been involved with the week long Clun Art & Craft Show, so we decided what better place to be for our Celebration of Stitch activity. This is a picture of the Marches display table, on which we showed the varied nature of our members textile projects, taken just after it had been set up. Our stitching area was set up just in front of the table, and as Stitch Day coincided with Clun Carnival we had lots of visitors to the Community Room, so much so that it didn’t cross our minds to take another photograph of folk stitching away until everyone had gone home!

Marches Branch display
National Stitch Day - Birmingham Branch

Birmingham Branch stitched butterflies at The Library of Birmingham. 6 members and 2 visitors stitched felt butterflies for a flower garden. When one of our members, Sheila Yates, died the branch received some pieces made by her and Lily Waldron. Lily was a founder member of the branch and very active until she died a few years ago. Among the things that we had from Sheila, was a large assortment of machine embroidered flowers that Lily had made. Margaret Richards made these into a garden hanging to put our butterflies on. Everyone did their own thing with the butterflies and they all look great on the garden hanging. There is lots more scope to add more butterflies.
Clare Wilkins - Birmingham Branch Secretary.

Birmingham Branch

National Stitch Day - Worcester Branch

Setting up our “stall” in a very popular local garden centre, St Peters, we positioned some boards with images of “stitched” butterflies showing various techniques and stitches. We displayed examples of members work as well.
On our tables we had sample backgrounds where people could practise different stitches or be taught how to do that stitch, from French knots to sorbello stitch. We had butterfly kits which could be stitched and stuffed and made into mobiles or brooches, flower brooch kits and inspiration packs full of different materials and threads too

We had some lovely conversations with people. Women, who used to stitch, only knitted, enjoyed doing cross stitch kits, but all were interested in what we were doing. Many, of course, were still working or occasionally near to retirement but saying the group was one they would like to join come the opportunity.

One person supported a young man and had taught him to crochet, which he was enjoying and took away a kit for him. I don't think any of us will forget Sarah, the young lady in the wheel chair with curvature of the spine. She was having a bad day and we cheered her up as she loved the shiny materials and colours. Our youngest customer certainly enjoyed her time stitching as did all the members who supported the day.

Worcester Branch

National Stitch Day - Leamington Branch

Leamington celebrated National Stitch Day as part of our two-week exhibition of greetings cards in Leamingon Library. National Stitch Day took place right in the middle of this, and coincided with Art in the Park, an increasingly popular two-day event, which brings lots of people into town.Members produced over 80 cards in a wide variety of techniques to display in the exhibition, which was prominently sited, close to the library entrance, and staff helpfully put out a selection of stitch and textile-related books nearby.

For National Stitch Day branch members invited library visitors to add a few stitches to a partially stitched outline of a butterfly. We had a pleasing number of visitors, and a satisfying number were keen to have a go – including the young boy below.

Leamington Branch display

National Stitch Day - Wolverhampton Branch

Building on our collaboration with the local National Trust and our exhibition at Wightwick Manor, earlier this year, we held our National Stitch Day event at the beautiful and unique location of the Rock Houses in Kinver. The day started with a torrential thunderstorm but visitors were undeterred and before long the sky was blue and the sunshine was glorious.
Our bunting fluttered in the breeze outside the cottages, while inside, a whole "flutter" of butterflies created by our members were on display, along with a wide range of additional textile pieces.
We had a wonderful day sharing what we love with everyone; demonstrating kantha stitch, rag rugging and the stitching of a contemporary sampler. Giving members of the public the opportunity to create their own beautiful butterflies out of felt, stitch and embellishments. It was a fabulous opportunity to present our work to a new audience.

Wolverhampton Butterfly Wolverhampton Stitching

National Stitch Day - South Cheshire

South Cheshire branch had a stand at Nantwich Societies Spectacular promoting our branch, the Guild generally and National Day of Stitch.
We had lots of interested visitors, several of whom said that seeing the stand had awakened their interest in textile art.

South Cheshire

National Stitch Day - Uttoxeter Branch - Gathering Threads

Gathering Threads – Uttoxeter Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild were delighted to participate in the Marchington Village Festival, with their textile exhibition and stitch taster ‘Happy Days Flutterby’. People were able to view some of the stunning work made by group members and also to stitch a simple butterfly using kits created by the group, which comprised a beautifully painted butterfly on fabric with coloured threads and beads to embellish the piece. This theme was developed from the Embroiderers Guild National Day of Stitch topic for this year.

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