EAST blog

EAST blog

The EAST blog

This blog has been set up for members of EAST to post information about what is happening in the group and in their work.

Restorative Stitching

miscellaneousPosted by Margaret Tue, March 08, 2016 11:14:23
Every Wednesday morning I help with the restoration of altar frontals. Many of them are Victorian or even earlier. They are all from local villages around Caxton in Cambridgeshire except for one, the festival frontal from Ely Cathedral.

This required renewing 5,000 miniature pearls which we had specially dyed a smokey grey. The other frontals usually the silk has rotted on the background so we cut the embroidery off. The old background fabric is then sent to Vanners silk mill in Sudbury where it is scanned by computer and the colour and pattern are then reproduced exactly. We re-apply the embroidery with invisible thread and repair any goldwork as necessary.

This is done at the home of Isobel Latimore who is a member of the Worshipful Company of Broderers. Sometimes the work is tedious but as a contemporary embroiderer it keeps my skills up in traditional embroidery. There are six of us and the banter, gossip and laughter are a real tonic.

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Inspiration in Peru

miscellaneousPosted by Margaret Sat, March 07, 2015 15:35:55
I went to Peru for Christmas and was thrilled to see so many older ladies still wearing traditional costume all the time, even working in the fields with long skirts with many layers and embroidered boleros.

Here are two ladies gossiping in the market with their wares bundled on their backs.

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A change of technique

miscellaneousPosted by Margaret Mon, March 02, 2015 20:02:04
Six months ago I decided to learn crochet to have a break from embroidery.The simplicity of it appealed to me - I do not knit. I knew that I did not want to do woolly granny blankets and fancied fine lace cotton crochet. The class insisted that I start with double knitting wool which is far more difficult than cotton as wool splits. I soon went onto 4ply cotton and then onto No.10 crochet cotton which is what I now use all the time. I was taught the stitches; double, half treble, treble and double treble(English).

I researched the internet to see what I could do in fine lace and have decided that Irish crochet is just for me. It is not practiced nowadays. It has motifs which are in relief and are done individually. When enough are done they are assembled into a pattern of your choice and connected to each other with a background of various net stitches. It is always done in white.

When practicing before Christmas I decided to do some of the 3D elements to make brooches, bag dangles or for key rings. I am surprised at how much I have learned in six months and find it quite therapeutic.

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Ely Cathedral project

miscellaneousPosted by Margaret Tue, August 05, 2014 18:25:51
These photos are from the NADFAS volunteers magazine. It shows EAST member Margaret Talbot (front left) helping to restore a Victorian altar frontal from Ely Cathedral. The other photo shows the completed work on the altar. It took 18 months to take off the embroidery and put it on a new backing fabric. Hundreds of pearls needed to be replaced.

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John Craxton at the Fitzwilliam Museum

miscellaneousPosted by Margaret Sat, February 22, 2014 19:36:58
I was recommended to go to the Fitzwilliam Museum to see the John Craxton art Exhibition by a quilting friend. Craxton was self taught and his painting style was very unusual with different coloured outlines and marks that were very "stitchy" in appearance. I enjoyed it very much. It is open until 21st April I believe.

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