Thursday, November 14, 2013

Owls made by our Young Embroiderers

These were created by the YE on Sat 9th Nov in a thoroughly enjoyable workshop tutored by Dee Newson and Sue Carine.

They are just so cute - and SO full of character. Well done.

Haven't we got a clever lot of kids!  Well done to Dee and Sue.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vintage Christmas - Sheena Quayle and Julie Fayle

The “Vintage Christmas” workshop was a sheer delight from start to finish. Sheena and Julie made it very personable and very hands-on. There was so much choice of ideas, fabrics, and methods that we block printed, burned organza with the soldering iron, used bondaweb and hand and machine sewed articles including reindeers, apples, hearts, bunting, and even a poinsettia hair clip. We were even treated to lemon and coconut muffins and all went home with the recipe. An extra bonus being £28 was raised in donations for materials used dedicated to Cancer Research UK.
Julie having fun

All hard at work

The Mother’s Union Diocese Banner

 In December 2011, Pat Costain, Secretary of The Mothers’ Union contacted Liz Brand, the Chair of the IOM Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild to enquire if the Branch would like to design and makea new Diocesan banner for them; which would be housed in the Cathedral at Peel. 

The Mothers’ Union vision for the front of the banner was ‘Christian Care for Families’ and they wanted the words ‘Mothers’ Union’ and ‘Sodor and Man’. They provided a sheet of photos of banners that they didn’t particularly like and asked for modern design ideas. There were minimal conditions, namely a requirement for the Diocesan logo on the back which is the outline of the Isle of Man and the Lonan Cross. Members were asked to submit designs for the branch meeting at the end of April 2012.

Several designs were submitted by members to the Mothers’ Union for consideration, who decided
that they really liked the bold, simple, modern figures and text on Helen Sargent’s design, but not the jeans pocket concept of the design. On 20th July, Helen Sargent provided a full sized paper pattern of both sides of the banner and stitched some samples to help decide the final design. In the meantime, the Bishop’s office came back with comments on the logo and the translation of Mothers’ Union into Manx.  After discussions, with Mothers’ Union chair (Helen Parry) and committee members, a final design decision was made.  The overall design specification concept was for clean, simple lines and a modern look. To this end it was decided to put simple tabs on the bottom with no fringe. A deadline of the end of March 2013 was agreed; as the Mothers’ Union had an important event at York and wanted to take the new banner with them.

The first meeting to start work on the banner was held on 11th September 2012, and weekly sewing sessions were held at Helen Sargent’s house until it was complete. Several members worked as outworkers, and later attached pieces of work to the banner, for example the Lonan Cross stitched by Kay Mc Kiernan . Work continued throughout the winter months with a dedicated team turning up each week to stitch.  The banner was completed and handed over to Pat Costain, representative member of the Mothers’ Union on 15th March 2013 in time for the banner to be dedicated in St John’s Church on the 10th May 2013.

The banner front is made from a plain weave linen fabric. The font used for the lettering is Jokerman from Microsoft word. The letters are gold pig skin leather padded with felt and couched on with gold coloured thread. Mary’s dress is made from silk velvet and a gold leather cross. The other figures are made from cotton padded with wadding and stab stitched on. The reverse is watered moirĂ© silk with the island made from Manx wool tartan and couched on with gold coloured thread. The Lonan cross is made from felt, silk and a selection of vary dyed threads.

Special thanks go to the following members of the Isle of Man Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild, who not only donated their time and skills, but also materials.  These being: Helen Sargent, Jean Taylor, Liz Brand,  Sheila Dove, Sue Carine, Kay Mc Kiernan, Jean Shimmin, Marion Moffat, Dee Newson, Sheila Huxley, Janet Thompson and Janet Williams. 

Handing over the Banner

The Front

Detail of the front

Detail of the back

Detail of the Lettering

Detail of the back
Detail of lettering

The back

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


You will be amazed to see what a wonderful array of beautiful offerings came together to show off our skills at the show.  Two days of good weather added to the pleasure of meeting the public and sharing our enthusiasm. Thank you to all those that made this possible by lending their treasures, manning the stall and with the setting up and taking down. It was felt that it was a worthwhile exercise with some real interest by several people who might be interested in joining us.

Our secretary Helen proudly showing off the beautiful stall


The Young Embroiderers’ enjoyed a class of wet felt making in a bowl, using potato mashers to agitate the fibres to make two felt circles.  They also incorporated some decorative threads within the felt. Then made felt beads for decoration.  The following month, they decorated the circles with beads, sequins, buttons and stitches before sewing them together to make a purse or add a handle to made into a bag.

Beaded needlecases - Dee Newson

9 people  passed a very sociable day making beaded needlecases under the guidance of Dee Newson accompanied by plenty of tea and cake. Dee brought several completed cases (top row on the photo) for us all to look at and helped us to design our own patterns using the specialised graph paper. She also bought along plenty of beads for people to choose from if they hadn't got their own. It was fine work and most of us ended up a bit cross-eyed at the end of the day but everyone had a great day.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Saturday 18th May

The charity day is always a day when you can sit back, relax, sew and eat cake.  That is exactly what we did!  Although the weather wasn’t the best we had a good turnout and the kits were very popular with a sell out on the bags and needle cases.
The day began with Helen and Maria organising a background for the tie competition and the design was put together with the help of Sheila to plait it to the celtic shape required.  Not an easy job but looked great when put together.  We all now need to make charm brooches to pin on it with sewn emblems along the chosen theme of ‘ties that bind us’.
In other parts of the room the bag kits where underway, some hand sewn, others machine sewn.  Needle cases were being decorated with stitch and buttons as well as a few choosing to bring their own sewing to do.
The buffet for lunch went down a treat so a big thank you to anyone who contributed to the lovely spread.
The raffle was boosted with prizes donated from two local companies, namely Joan’s Wools and Crafts and Bon Fabrics.  Local support is always well received and much appreciated.  Rachael was our raffle ticket seller, who did GCSE revision in between selling tickets.  I am sure she would rather have been sewing!
The day went all too quickly, as they always do, but I am very pleased to announce that the total to date is £250.50!
A huge massive thank you to Sue Carine for putting all the kits together, to the girls who unpicked the quilt and pressed the pieces ready for action, and to all the members for supporting us on the day or sent donations.  Our charity will appreciate the amount raised, which will go towards their fund for arts and crafts materials.  Well done everyone.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Janet Williams

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Embellishing on Silk Velvet with Foil - Sue Sercombe

We invited Sue  to come to the island to give us a talk on "Who invented the sewing Machine" and a workshop embellishing velvet with foil. Her talk was most amusing and very well received.  The following day she kept us on our toes explaining techniques and giving us lots of really useful tips.  The pieces that everyone produced at the end of the day speak for themselves. It was a really inspirational workshop and anyone who did not sign up for it missed a treat.
Here we are all hard at work!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Young Embroiderer's

What personalities!Add caption

A VERY wise trio!

These are from the YE meeting on the 11th May, which was led by Dee Newson and Sue Carine.
The children really enjoyed using both sewing machines and hand stitching their owls. Fantastic.


The YE made a dragon for the competition named “Fire” which was displayed at Laxey earlier in the year.
They hand painted silk which was used to decorate a dragon frame made from willow.  This was free standing and over six foot long.
The dragon was awarded second prize in this competition.
A photo of the dragon was submitted into the NW YE Regional group competition in the Spring, and was awarded a box of assorted threads, from the sponsor Coats.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dyeing - Julie Fayle

We each purchased scarves from Rubina Porter hand made by the ladies at The Sreepur Village in Bangladesh..Under Julie's instruction we dyed them, block printed, beaded and stitched them. It was a great workshop and we each came home with a unique hand made scarf. I have today forwarded a cheque to Rubina for £275 which was the proceeds from the sale of the scarves and cards from Bangladesh. She was so pleased with the support that she has had from us that our pictures have been put on the Merseyside Guilds web site and in the Sreepur News. If you log onto you will see the workshop pictures and there is a small write up.
 Thank you very much Julie for a wonderful day.

Caroline printing
Our drying methods!
Julie checking the drying!
Pans simmering
Helen timing the microwave method - what is the result!
Sheila printing
Standing back admiring our work.
Here we all are wearing our beautiful scarves
  I am so pleased you all look wonderful. It sounds an exciting day. It would be good for other groups to do the same. The regional news would be a good way to tell of the event- or what about Stitch Mag or Workbox it is such a lovely story about your branch helping the mothers at Sreepur. Thank you for all your effort in all of this. Thank you again. Pat yourself on the back
The fruits of our labours!

Christmas with the Young Embroiderer's

This is the result of the Young Embroiderers’ workshop on 8th December.
10 children made Christmas trees in a workshop led by Dee Newson and Sue Carine.
The principle was based on Suffolk puffs, but the circular shape and structure was supported by a plastic milk bottle top, which created strength and shape.  All the children worked hard and all went home with them completed.
They had a well earned break of chocolates and sweets and delicious Christmas themed cup cakes made by Rosie.


The Young Embroiderer's entered into the challenge of participating in an exhibition staged by the Hodgeson Loom Gallery in Laxey entitled"FIRE".  This was their magnificent achievement! The Dragon of all Dragons!