Sunday, 13 May 2018

Book Binding Workshop

Melvin and Sue ran a very enjoyable workshop on book binding.  Paper is a textile and the sections were sewn, so it does class as a Textile Art.

During the day we also learnt a lot about the history and development of book binding techniques and we all went home with two books and a basic kit to continue making books at home. 



The paper is folded and then sewn together with a strip of fabric which is used to attach the book boards in a way which ensures the book is easy to open.

In order to ensure that multiple sections are sewn together in line with each other a frame is used.  These frames were constructed by Melvin especially for our workshop.

All smiles, as we show off our books.

Note about the tutor
Melvin Jefferson trained as a bookbinder (6-year apprenticeship) and then was trained in Rare Book and Manuscript Conservation at Cambridge University Library and worked for 20 years in their Conservation Department.  In 1992 he joined the Cambridge Colleges Conservation Consortium and became Head of Conservation in 1998 continuing to his retirement at the end of 2011.  During that time, he has worked on many important and priceless manuscripts housed at most of the Cambridge College libraries.  In 1992 he was part of a consultative team who undertook specialist advice and conservation of Iceland's most precious manuscript, the Codex Regius.

Our next workshop is Big Blousy Blooms with Laura Edgar on Wednesday 3rd October 2018. Non-member are welcome to attend these workshops, please contact us for details.

Next meeting is Tuesday 12th June 2018, Along the Silk Route, an illustrated talk by Diane and Jim Gaffney of Textile Traders, again, non-members are welcome to attend.  The cost for non-members for this meeting is £10.00 which includes refreshments and entry into raffle.

May Meeting - Big African Costume

May is a busy month with an evening meeting, a workshop and a Sew-In

We welcomed Maggie Relph to our evening meeting.  Maggie runs The African Fabric shop with her husband and she has been collecting African Costumes, both vintage and new, since the 1980s.  Members of our group assisted by modelling some of the outfits and there was some gorgeous fabrics to purchase on the night.
A big loose outfit for a man, note the yardage of fabric used and the simple shapes in this garment.

 Died fabrics

 Machine and Hand Embroidery


 Vintage costumes, this once belonged to a very important chief.  The designs on the fabrics have many hidden meanings

 Big Pants - yes these are a pair of pants once worn by a great chief.  The more fabric, the more important you are.  This pair was from the 1950s.

 Detail from an embroidered hat

 So beautifully worked we were unable to find a seam


 Colourful printed fabric, this one has green serpents 

Some outfits Maggie had made in Africa especially for her husband

Colourful, blingy outfit for a woman, including a rather fetching hat.  Probably worn to a special event such as a wedding.  All the women from the bride's family would purchase the same fabric and have it made into different outfits.
 Some of the fabrics incorporated metallic threads which must have shone brightly in the sunshine 

 These shoes are made from tyres. 

 Another pair of pants, this time of more modest proportions


 The 'pile' of discarded clothing once we had finished 'dressing up'

A shopping opportunity.  They also have an online shop - African Fabric Shop




Wednesday, 11 April 2018

March & April Meetings

The March meeting played host to Barry McKay, from Barry McKay Rare Books who gave a very interesting talk about the history of bookbinding, making it come alive with many local connections.

 He then very generously allowed us to handle some of the books he had made, and they were real works of art.  Below are just a few he brought with him.






Things are gathering speed with the planning of our exhibition in September, and this was the main focus of our April meeting.

On May 1st, Maggie Relph is, an expert in African textiles brings her 'Big African Costume' to Appleby.  This should be a fun evening as some of us will get to 'dress-up' in some gorgeously colourful fabrics.   Non-members are welcome to join us for this evening. We meet at 7 pm, in The Guide Hut in Appleby (by the fire station).

The following day we are holding a one-day workshop on binding our own books, so there should be lots of photographs for the next post.


Sunday, 11 February 2018

2018 AGM

We held our AGM on 6th February and despite the adverse weather (snow, snow and more snow), we had a good turn out.

The existing members of the committee all agreed to stay on but Barbara and Rowan are wishing to take more of a back seat this year, so assistance and new committee members are very welcome.

The cost of subscriptions has risen to £36.  It was decided that the cost of the monthly evening meeting would stay at £3 unless we have arranged for a guest speaker when the cost will be £5.  Non-members are still welcome and they pay £6 / £10.

The programme of events was unveiled, click on the links to the left to jump to these pages.  Plenty of variety and two interesting workshops. 

Our big event this year is the Exhibition of our work, including our 'Cumbria through the eye of a Needle' works.  This will be held in The Hub in Appleby over the weekend of the 15th and 16th September 2018.  It is hoped that all members will assist with this event.  If you have any ideas or wish to lead on any aspect please see any committee member.

We are still continuing to support Lend with Care.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

A busy 2017

Our final meeting of 2017 was well attended. The quiz Barbara set seemed fiendishly hard but we are not too competitive with teams swapping answers amongst the chatter. Rowan brought a beautifully made patchwork centrepiece for the table and Sandra brought the mince pies.

Members brought their finished Christmas ornaments following our member led workshop in November.

And we had an impressive display of Xmas trees.


The Angels we made as our contribution to the Christmas Tree Festival in St Lawrence's Church over the festive season made for an impressive show of what a talented bunch we are. I'm sorry but these photographs don't do them justice.








Reflecting back on all we have done in 2017, we can say it has been a very full year. We have welcomed new members, been on a couple of trips, hosted some inspirational speakers, all in addition to our varied workshops. Along with the sadness at losing one of our members, who is very much missed. 

Merry Christmas and may 2018 be a creative one.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Craft Fair

The group took a stall in the annual Craft Fair in St Lawrence's Church, Appleby on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st October.  As a group we made items or had items to sell.  We gave a donation to the church as well as making money for group funds.







October meeting and day trip

Time to catch up (where does all that time go?)

October Meeting
A quick change of plan on Tuesday 3rd October as Rachel from Gawthorpe Hall had problems with her car and couldn't make our meeting.  With a bit of quick organising we held an impromptu workshop making felt Christmas trees.


By the end of the evening, we had the basis for a small woodland. Members took their trees home to finish off and make others.


Several members drove down to Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Lancashire, on the 18th and met with Rachel Midgley, the curator of the Gawthorpe Textile Collection, who gave an impressive guided tour of the textile collection and outreach programme exhibition; 'Miss Rachel's Roses.

 The hall is a very impressive building which is run jointly by The National Trust and Lancashire County Council


We had never seen so many berries on a Yew tree before, could we be in for a hard winter?

This impressive banner was at the entrance to the Textile Collection exhibition.  Miss Rachael Kay-Shuttleworth was passionate about textiles and started to collect and catalogue examples to create an impressive collection and she turned her home (Gawthorpe Hall) into a Craft House.  She was also passionate about improving social welfare thoughout her lifetime (1886 to 1967).  This year it was 50 years since her death.

There were plenty of examples, clearly displayed




A detailed view of a bed spread embroidered by Miss Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth

Also the bed curtains and pelmet, also made by Miss Rachel.

The rest of the Hall was available to walk round.  A nice way to say, "you can sit here", made from textiles, of course.

And an unusual way to say, "do not sit here". (ouch)



The Miss Rachel's Roses exhibition

In 2015 a community outreach and education programme was established, and the inspiration for he current exhibition was roses.  The rose was her favourite flower.  It was an impressive display, made all the more so when it became apparent that most of the contributors had no previous textile art experience.




It is well worth a trip.  The Hall is closed during the winter months for maintenance and exhibition updating.  for details to go www.gawthorpetextiles.co.uk