July 2020 newsletter

Apologies for the slight delay to this Newsletter. I have been caught out in this drift of Lockdown days and the deadline for the Virtual Festival quilt competition hit before I was ready! I’ve had a frantic week of piecing, painting and stitching, but the form and photos have been sent off. Hopefully you will all be able to see the result next year in our exhibition!

Meanwhile, we hope you have all been well and preparing for an easing of Lockdown, as slowly as you wish. It is a little alarming to go out on the streets, those of us who are not shielding, and seeing people maskless and in throngs, all close together. It is far to early for most of us to feel confident of safety.

With this in mind, the Living Threads committee have decided to cancel the Preview Day and Autumn workshops, looking to reschedule them in the new year. The uncertainty and the restrictions placed on our venue have forced us to make this decision, with a heavy heart. We do hope you will bear with us and look forward to our workshop offer for 2021. Further news will be given in future newsletters.

The British Quilt and Stitch Village, where Living Threads were due to have a gallery, had rescheduled their Uttoxeter show for September, but they too have decided to cancel until next April. Again, they are uncertain how many people will want to run a stand or visit. Many traders and exhibitors feel that it is too early to be in large groups, despite how lovely it is to be at any gathering of likeminded people.

The textile group Nolitex are sharing their latest exhibition virtually – as all their booked venues are currently closed.

‘Looking Out, Looking In’, members’ reflections on Lockdown, will commence on Wednesday 1st July 2020 on Facebook and Instagram (@_nolitex).
Continuation of the virtual exhibition of ‘Rooted in the Wood’ commences Wednesday 5th August 2020, again on Facebook and Instagram.”

With our Living Threads exhibition looming in April (8th – 16th) next year, we are starting to realise we must get busy! Here are some examples of activities our members are getting up to:

From the Framework Knitters Museum website:

Helen B

Helen Brownett, Textile Artist & Technical Demonstrator at the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington, Nottingham, has designed her own version of a Covid-19 virus – and knitted it in 3D on an antique circular knitting machine. Helen put the finishing touches to the blue coronavirus by hand, adding pompoms on stalks to make her creation instantly recognisable.

Explaining her motivation to design and knit a coronavirus, Helen says: ‘I’ve always had an interest in knitting unusual things. Past projects have included the knitted bike you can see in the museum garden, an octopus and even a shed! Like so many people around the country, I’m staying at home right now and thought I’d use some of my newfound spare time to knit something that captures the spirit of the times we’re living in.’

A photo of Helen’s creation, posted on Facebook by Museum Assistant, Jan Perrett, has already reached over 3,200 people, with the museum hoping that the post will ultimately ‘go viral’! Says Jan: ‘It (Covid-19) is currently a symbol of fear, but I love the fact that Helen has created something beautiful out of something so horrendous.’


From Greta Fitchett:

Greta picture

I began a daily walk when we went into lockdown, and discovered woodland very close to home, and that we live much closer to the countryside than we realised. So after living in the house for 40 years it was a great discovery. It’s surprising how having spare time has taken me out of my normal routine and allowed the discovery.

At the beginning, in March, it was still wintry, trees with bare branches, but lots of birdsong and sunshine. Gradually the blossom came out, and it seemed to be a bumper year for this. The birds started to build nests, and gradually the leaves appeared. underfoot, wild flowers that grew ever taller, and swamped the paths. The bone dry earth cracked.

I had an email from the embroiderers guild asking members to embroider a 4inch square on the theme “Reasons to be Thankful”  These were to eventually be made into wall hangings for the NHS as a thankyou. My daily walk became the subject for my piece.  There is a birds nest (top left) and the ever present sun. I can do french knots now! To quote David Hockney “Do remember they can’t cancel the Spring”.

My watch still hasn’t been altered to BST!


Sue Wilson has been writing poems about her experience of Lockdown:

The Skip

We sorted out the workshop

Lots went in the skip

Old bodywork from cars gone by

all destined for the tip


One evening, it was still light

A knock came on the door

Please can I look through your skip

These things I’m looking for


What kind of things, we asked the chap?

What do you want them for?

To make some garden sculptures,

With that bodywork and door.


Ok we said, please help yourself

Take just what you will

The only stipulation is

When you’ve finished I’d like a “still “ { photo didn’t rhyme] !


The next day our neighbour asked

Is there room for 2 old printers?

Yes, we said, help yourself

But mind Dave’s glassy splinters


The lady who lives opposite

Said with a smile upon her lip

My old microwave has been replaced

Is there room for the old in the skip?


Then Jack, who lives just down the road

Telephoned to say

He’d got an old table and various things

Would they be in the way?


Then a lady, who has just moved here

Saw a toy tractor in the skip

Please can I have it for my Grandson

It’ll do him for a bit.


I feel that through this lockdown

Our community spirit has done

The trouble is the skip is full

We need another one.!!!


From Annie Nicholl:

I have taken the opportunity of no deadlines during the lockdown to finish a project I started some time ago, a Hawaiian sofa makeover. Most of my designs relate to places I have lived or visited and lovely things I have seen. One of my contracts with The British Council was in Japan running the Kansai offices in Kyoto and Osaka. While I was there I went on holiday to Hawaii, visited the quilt museum and saw people working on huge quilts with stylised patterns from nature. Then when I left Japan I was given a 3-piece suite from the Kyoto office which was closing and which I eventually had re-covered in a plain sand colour.

In the meantime I saw a film on TV called Ancestors set in Hawaii and in it I kept spotting a yellow and white quilt which I loved. Back in the UK and changing from mosaics to textiles I decided to make a sofa throw and cushions using traditional methods which would remind me of the TV quilt and Hawaii. I started it in the autumn of 2017 and kept putting it aside for different reasons but have now finally finished it. The four cushions have leaf forms from native Hawaiian species. The throw has an outer border with monstera leaves, an inner border with turtles and waves and a central panel with huge leaves and Hawaii’s national flower. Everything is hand sewn apart from the final stage of making the cushions.

While I have been working on various parts of the quilt and cushions, so many people have expressed reservations about the predominant use of yellow but it does fit with my living room and works well with my collections of ceramics. In order to get this project finished, I have neglected the garden, the cupboards, the hairdryer and the wristwatch but I am stubbornly unrepentant.

Don’t forget to check our website at: www.livingthreadstextileartists.com or email us at: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com or check us out on Facebook.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have been unwell or had Covid-19, and that the rest of us manage to avoid it.

Everyone please stay safe and keep creating. We will get through this and come out the other side!

Until August (!)


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s