September 2020 newsletter

The end of summer is upon us and the weather has turned cooler – there’s still the chance of an Indian summer to come, but meanwhile I’m looking forward to the plums and apples we are harvesting. In fact, the cheeky resident squirrel has taken all my Victoria plums but luckily the neighbours have plenty to share. One of the fortunate sides of Lockdown has been how much community support there has been and the forging of strong relationships with neighbours.

Lockdown is still going on for some areas of the countryside and we are all taking a cautious approach to venturing out into the wider community. Mask wearing is prevalent, and it has been interesting to spot the home-made ones! So many fabrics, so many styles.

Last month Living Threads member Jennie Riley set us an anagram challenge:
1 QUIN GUILT.                               2 MY ROBE RIDE
3 THE SLUT.                                  4 BELT HIM.
5 HANGS VILE DIRT.                    6 COIN CHUG.
7 PORK SHOW.                             8 BOH NIX TIE  IS

I hope you all had a go. I couldn’t get them all, but now here are the answers!


Janet Humphreys has contributed this interesting piece:

Jenny Ashmore and I spent a lovely morning eco dyeing using plants picked from the garden. Working outside in glorious weather, we spread out the leaves and flowers on pre scoured and mordanted fabrics then rolled them tightly around sticks and metal cans. These were steamed whilst we had our lunchbreak then unwrapped.

It was so exciting unreeling the fabric….is it going to be a slushy mess or a success? We were quite chuffed with the results. Rose, geranium and acer leaves all worked well.

Jenny is planning to use her best pieces in a stitched panel and I am making “arty” aprons with mine.

A recommendation for you from Sally Marsh, if you are travelling down south the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery. It’s a beautiful gallery and café, with its main emphasis on embroidery, but featuring guest exhibitions from a range of associated artistic crafts, such as illustration, jewellery, etc. It is in Sunbury-on-Thames, not far from Hampton Court. Well worth a visit of you are in the area, and so good to know that there are art galleries featuring textiles at last.

We are still considering what to do about our workshops and classes in the New Year. Some groups are starting to get together and others are waiting until next summer! Venues remain a problem until they work out how to work with multiple different users. I don’t think many venues or groups can cope with meetings of larger numbers, properly socially distanced.

I’ve attended a Zoom patchwork workshop, which was great. I didn’t have to cart machines and fabrics to a venue, everything was to hand and the presentation was very professional. It was live, so we interacted with our tutor well. However, after six hours I realised I had hardly moved all day!

I’m looking into how to organise teaching by Zoom, because I think it will be a requirement for some people for a long time to come. Nothing beats being all together and sharing knowledge and opinions, but it is a worthy addition to the teaching offer.

The Knitting and Stitching Show is going to go ahead live, in a limited way, 8 – 11th October at Alexandra Palace, London. Tickets are on sale now for morning or afternoon slots; no galleries, but plenty of retailers and workshops. Details from

One of the retailers there, and a favourite trader of mine is Linladan. They sell contemporary and vintage ‘60s linen threads, kits, embroideries and other wonderful stuff. When the linen textile industry came to an end in Sweden the Linladan ladies found a whole load of haberdashery supplies which they have sorted through. It’s all so gorgeous!

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check our website at: or email us at: 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 October!


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

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