August saw us opening the door to Miss Rachel’s library once again and this time the occasion was a patchwork workshop led by Rabia Sharif.

There were some amazing pieces of patchwork from the collection for people to take inspiration from, including a lovely example of the distinctive ‘tumbling blocks’ pattern, dainty miniature hexagons and beautifully precise Victorian pincushions.

With imaginations fired up by the collection pieces it was then over to Rabia to guide the delegates in designing and creating their very own patchwork pincushions using the fussy cutting technique. Fussy cutting involves carefully placing your templates and cutting the pieces so the fabric pattern appears the same on each piece.

Here’s what some of our delegates told us about their day:

"I felt really supported and expertly helped."

"Really nice to see the collection pieces."

"Attendees of different abilities could work at their own pace."

On July 12th we opened the door to Miss Rachel’s lovely library again for our Creative Collection: Crochet workshop. For inspiration, curator Rachel Terry showed a fascinating selection of 19th and early 20th century crochet pieces from the collection, including gloves, bags, collars and jackets, tablecloths and sample books packed with stitch swatches.  Then it was over to our workshop leader Jane Ellison to show delegates how to create their own crochet piece.
Here’s what our delegates had to say about the workshop:
“The course was very well organised, friendly and informal, and everyone’s needs were met.”
“Paced just right. Informal and small enough group to ask for help when needed.”
“Jane was very skilled at managing the mixed ability group and very patient!”
“A very enjoyable afternoon, meeting people and learning different skills.”
“I live locally and have never been to Gawthorpe Hall before - will certainly be coming back for more workshops and to see more of the collection.”
If you like the sound of this workshop, Jane Ellison will be back in September to lead our Creative Collection: Knitting workshop  book a ticket here.
And in the meantime, we’re busy preparing for our Creative Collection: Patchwork workshop with Rabia Sharif in August. There are some places left, so if you want to join us you can book a ticket here.
 

 

On July 12th we opened the door to Miss Rachel’s lovely library again for our Creative Collection: Crochet workshop. For inspiration, curator Rachel Terry showed a fascinating selection of 19th and early 20th century crochet pieces from the collection, including gloves, bags, collars and jackets, tablecloths and sample books packed with stitch swatches.  Then it was over to our workshop leader Jane Ellison to show delegates how to create their own crochet piece.

Here’s what our delegates had to say about the workshop:

“The course was very well organised, friendly and informal, and everyone’s needs were met.”

“Paced just right. Informal and small enough group to ask for help when needed.”

“Jane was very skilled at managing the mixed ability group and very patient!”

“A very enjoyable afternoon, meeting people and learning different skills.”

“I live locally and have never been to Gawthorpe Hall before - will certainly be coming back for more workshops and to see more of the collection.”

If you like the sound of this workshop, Jane Ellison will be back in September to lead our Creative Collection: Knitting workshop  book a ticket here.

And in the meantime, we’re busy preparing for our Creative Collection: Patchwork workshop with Rabia Sharif in August. There are some places left, so if you want to join us you can book a ticket here.

 

 

In June we opened the door to Miss Rachel’s lovely library again for our Creative Collection: Appliqué workshop. This was the first of our textile skills workshops this year and the delegates were in for a real treat!

For inspiration we picked out some of our best pieces of appliqué – a range of examples from around the world, including Russia, Hungary, Persia and Egypt,  lively pieces by Alice Edna Smith, Rachel George and Jessie Newberry from the 1920’s -1940’s, and a stunning floral picture made in 1957 by Majorie Chinnock using pieces of Queen Elizabeth’s dress fabrics!

Then with guidance and encouragement from workshop leader Rabia Sharif it was over to our delegates to design and stitch their own appliqué placement.

Here’s what some of our delegates had to say about their day:

“Thank you for a brilliant workshop.”

“It’s very encouraging to see how my effort does actually reflect the sources!”

We’re now busy preparing for July’s Creative Collection: Crochet workshop with Jane Ellison. There are just a few places left, so if you want to join us you can book a ticket here!

We have two more Creative Collection workshops coming up over the next few months:

Creative Collection: Patchwork in August book a ticket here and

Creative Collection: Knitting in September book a ticket here.

We recently commissioned Royal School of Needlework embroiderer  Pippa Foulds to make a replica of our Swete Bag for us to use as part of our learning programme and this is the fabulous result of all her hard work!

Pippa writes here about working on the project:

It was a great privilege to be asked to embroider a replica of Gawthorpe Textile Collection’s Jacobean Sweete Bag. The original is very frail and my brief was to try and replicate as authentically as possible what it would have looked like when new.

The first thing, after visiting to view the bag, was to draft a pattern from photos of the original and reduce it to size – 12cm x 14.5cm. This was pricked and pounced onto unbleached 32 count linen and put onto a slate frame to embroider using tent stitch. I had to use educated guesses on the colours to use as you really can’t tell from the original. The flowers and scrolls were outlined with black silk thread first and then the colours filled in and the chevrons done.

After that I filled in the background with silver passing thread, an old type of metal thread today more usually attached to the surface fabric by waxed cotton. It is quite flexible to stitch with but you need to be careful not to strip off the metal from its inner core. It is also quite abrasive on the linen and not easy to take back so be careful of making mistakes!

Once the whole background was completed I could make the 3D flowers. Originally, these were made with a type of passing thread that had coloured silk at the core and then gold or silver loosely twisted round it so the colours remained visible. It is not made today, or so I thought! I tried umpteen ways to recreate the look of the flowers none of which were very successful, and I was on the verge of doing them in just the gold and silver passing threads, which I had seen on some other sweete bags.

Then I found out that a version of the threads is made – but exclusively for the American market! I ordered some, but they still haven’t arrived. However, every good story has a happy ending.

I managed to get some limited colours from a friend, so was able to do the centre rose and the cornflowers in this Gilt Sylke Twist. The golden roses at the bottom are in gilt passing.

Once completed, I could make it up. A silk brocade is appliquéd to the canvas for the back. This provides a bit of support for the silk. The sides are slip stitched and a bright pink silk lining has been made and fitted with a slip stitch. Dianne Derbyshire, from Gawthorpe, made a strip of metallic bobbin lace for the trim and for the handle I made a five element braid from the pink silk thread and gold passing that had been twisted into lengths of cord.

The best way to see what it might have looked like is in candlelight, when it absolutely sparkles!

For the full story visit Pippa’s blog saves9embroidery.blogspot and for more information about Pippa and her work you can visit her website saves9embroidery

After a busy period of events and study visits today was a much needed opportunity for putting away some of the items that had featured in them.

Pictured here are a beautiful length of embroidered dress trim rolled up to prevent stress and creasing, tiny Chinese shoes for bound feet packed in tissue and Melinex and dainty little needle books and shuttles in individual Melinex packets, all now safely returned to their respective boxes and drawers.

By the time everything is back where it belongs it will be time to get the next batch of items out!

Two weeks ago we had our Vibrant Victorians event, where we picked out some of our best examples of costume, accessories, embroidery, lace and domestic textiles from a period which saw the innovation of new dyes, fabrics and machinery along with the resulting rise and fall of many different trends in needlework and textile crafts.

With over 150 items spanning all areas of the collection it was a whirlwind of rich colours, luxurious fabrics and quirky details. From a Privy Councillor’s court dress coat to exquisite, tiny pincushions and needlework tools, the items ranged from the extravagant to the most humble and everything in between.

Our next ‘Explore the Collection’ day is in September and looks at the Elegant Edwardians, but in the meantime you can still join us on our upcoming workshops which start with Creative Collection: Applique on the 14th of June. For more information about our other events click the Events tab at the top of the page.

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the beautiful items we have in store for those attending our ‘Vibrant Victorians’ event this Thursday; a black velvet bag positively dripping with cut steel beads.
Don’t miss this opportunity to get up close and personal with costume, accessories and textiles from the Victorian era, visit our Eventbrite page to book a ticket and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the beautiful items we have in store for those attending our ‘Vibrant Victorians’ event this Thursday; a black velvet bag positively dripping with cut steel beads.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get up close and personal with costume, accessories and textiles from the Victorian era, visit our Eventbrite page to book a ticket and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

A month ago we opened the door to Miss Rachel’s lovely library once again for an exclusive chance to explore the collection. This time the focus was the ‘Gorgeous Georgians’ and the delegates were in for a real treat!

We had picked out some of our best pieces from this period, including exquisitely embroidered waistcoats, dainty little shoe shaped needles cases and a stunning quilted petticoat front. There were examples of embroidery, lace, men’s and ladies’ costume, accessories and domestic textiles - we aimed to have something to please everyone!

Here’s what some of our delegates had to say about their day:

"It was a delight to be able to handle the items and inspect the stitching so closely."

"Fascinating to find out about the social aspects as well as the techniques involved."

"Excellent choice of textiles… truly inspirational."

We’re now busy preparing for next week’s exploration day looking at the Vibrant Victorians, if you want to join us you can book a ticket here!

Somewhere in France is a Lancashire County Council Museums exhibition now showing at Gawthorpe Hall. Commemorating the centenary of World War One, this poignant exhibition features more than 30 embroidered postcards and other World War One souvenir items from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection.

Embroidered postcards are a relatively common but iconic souvenir of the War; they were purchased by the soldiers from local shops in France and Belgium and sent home to waiting family – a beautiful thing to receive from your loved one who was far away and in constant danger.  The cards were made on huge machines called ‘hand embroidery machines’ in factories in Paris, the design was repeated on long strips which were then cut and inserted into the card. The peak of their popularity was during World War One.

We know from the information written on the reverse that those with an additional small card inserted under the decorated flap cost 9d, the simple ones only 6d. One soldier refers to the price he paid 3 times in his messages; another says ‘bought from a local shop about 3 miles away’.

There are 3 main groups of designs:– sweetheart designs including words such as ‘From your soldier boy’, and featuring  flowers or butterflies; patriotic designs showing national flags, with words such as ‘England’, ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ or national figures such as Kitchener and finally regimental badges depicting the various parts of the military.

The embroidered postcards are displayed alongside the Somewhere in France Exhibition of postcards and letters sent during World War One. Read the messages sent from the soldiers to their families, explore the role of the postcard, the effect of censorship and the unique way in which the war was recorded through postcard art and imagery.

Our wartime embroidered postcards have not been on display in the Hall before so we hope you can take this opportunity to come and see them – they are an important reminder that out of the all of the tragedy of war something beautiful and lasting can remain.

The exhibition runs until June 1st. For more information visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gawthorpe-hall/things-to-see-and-do/events/

Stitched artist Bella May Leonard has come to the end of her residency with us and our Textilefest event on March 29th saw the unveiling of her artwork created in response to the collection. It has been a real pleasure to work with Bella over the past few months. Here is Bella’s final blog post about her time at Gawthorpe:

MARCH

"This month has seen the completion and final installation of my work made in response to Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. The project has continued to inspire me, even during the formal presentation and display of my work in the Hall itself.

In the final stages of making I have been referring back to older photographs and drawings I made to help inform my decisions of stitch, form and colour. Conscious of how the pieces read together, I have been working to complete them at the same time. Instead of showing them horizontally, angled vertically the stitch patterns could be viewed better than I had envisaged.

Lighting plays a crucial part in my creative, making process. Having completed the work before I needed to take them to Gawthorpe, I could experiment with lighting the embroidery from behind. New shadows and weight of the lines created new patterns and also made different colours glow. This was also apparent as we put the work in the display cases. Gentle lighting cast amazing patterned shadows on the calico backings as well as reflections on the glass. This built up more layers adding new interest for me, referencing the intentions I made with my drawings.

The opening day on Saturday 29th March was a great success! I spoke to so many interesting people who thankfully seemed to embrace my approaches to traditional stitch. It was great to see what I had been solitarily working on now exposed to the public. I very much hope Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth would have enjoyed seeing how her craft house collection is expanding into 2014.

Working with Gawthorpe over the last four months has been a highly informative experience and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank everyone in the Textiles Collection team for their generous support. Thank you!”

Here’s the link to Bella’s own blog, with more information about the project: 
www.bellamayleonardgawthorpehall.tumblr.com

For more information about Bella and her work you can visit:
www.bellamayleonard.com
www.bellamayleonard.tumblr.com

Stitched artist Bella May Leonard has come to the end of her residency with us and our Textilefest event on March 29th saw the unveiling of her artwork created in response to the collection. It has been a real pleasure to work with Bella over the past few months. Here is Bella’s final blog post about her time at Gawthorpe:

MARCH

"This month has seen the completion and final installation of my work made in response to Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. The project has continued to inspire me, even during the formal presentation and display of my work in the Hall itself.

In the final stages of making I have been referring back to older photographs and drawings I made to help inform my decisions of stitch, form and colour. Conscious of how the pieces read together, I have been working to complete them at the same time. Instead of showing them horizontally, angled vertically the stitch patterns could be viewed better than I had envisaged.

Lighting plays a crucial part in my creative, making process. Having completed the work before I needed to take them to Gawthorpe, I could experiment with lighting the embroidery from behind. New shadows and weight of the lines created new patterns and also made different colours glow. This was also apparent as we put the work in the display cases. Gentle lighting cast amazing patterned shadows on the calico backings as well as reflections on the glass. This built up more layers adding new interest for me, referencing the intentions I made with my drawings.

The opening day on Saturday 29th March was a great success! I spoke to so many interesting people who thankfully seemed to embrace my approaches to traditional stitch. It was great to see what I had been solitarily working on now exposed to the public. I very much hope Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth would have enjoyed seeing how her craft house collection is expanding into 2014.

Working with Gawthorpe over the last four months has been a highly informative experience and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank everyone in the Textiles Collection team for their generous support. Thank you!”

Here’s the link to Bella’s own blog, with more information about the project:
www.bellamayleonardgawthorpehall.tumblr.com

For more information about Bella and her work you can visit:
www.bellamayleonard.com
www.bellamayleonard.tumblr.com