March 2021 newsletter

Welcome to March!

Although the temperatures have dropped in the last week, we have longer days, the sun is slightly higher in the sky and the bulbs are edging through the earth. The promise of Spring is upon us, always an exciting and hopeful time. Coupled with the planned “Roadmap out of COVID” we have good reason to expect better things from 2021.

Despite feeling buoyed up by the prospect of seeing friends more easily I have also found that I am apprehensive about the prospect! I have got so used to being isolated that it will be a major change when we are able to mix again. It looks like that is still a way off and there is time for us to get used to the idea, but once everyone is vaccinated I am hopeful that my teaching classes will return and I can meet up with all the patient students in my Zoom and WhatsApp groups!

The British Quilt and Stitch Village at Uttoxeter Racecourse is postponed from April again this year, Sewing for Pleasure has been moved from March to 24-27th June at the NEC and the Festival of Quilts is to go ahead 29th July – 1st August. The Halls will be bigger, classrooms larger, no catering in the halls and extended opening hours to allow easier movement around. Limited entry numbers and restricted class sizes mean that the anti-virus measures will be foremost to keep everyone safe. The teaching programme is more or less finalised and tickets and workshops go on sale in May.

Actual workshops and meetings are still a way off, but I hope that we will be able to announce something in the next few months for all our patient Living Threads followers. We need to see how the virus behaves, but I am looking forward to shops opening again, being able to touch fabric when choosing. It hasn’t stopped me buying online though!

Last month we focused on Jane Marrows and Sally Marsh’s Button tins.

Here’s one from Cheryl Percival, who obviously had to eat a lot of toffees to free up the space!


Janet Humphrey has a gloriously retro original ‘60s sewing box, filled with vintage goodies – she says:

“I thought you might like to include my vintage collection of sewing needles and other paraphernalia too, bought from various places. I love all the old packaging and laugh at some of the prices…..e.g. a buckle trim for 1/6d”.


When it comes to favourite tools we like to use, Judith Burnett sent us this:

“As promised – a favourite tool – a battery operated eraser by Derwent. I had seen this in art shops but thought it was one of those gadgets that was ‘style over substance’. When I did finally buy one I realised just how useful a tool it is! Small detail is easily and efficiently erased, not necessarily because it’s a mistake. I was further convinced when I saw one nestling in the pencil tray of last year’s winner of the Portrait Artist of the Year! “

I remember being given a battery-operated pencil sharpener, which I thought was fantastic and used it for years. Nowadays I prefer mechanical pencils so it has dropped out of use. I wonder where it is …?

Jane Marrows tell us: my favourite gadget and what it can do – it is my tailor’s tack foot. It creates lovely textures that can be left uncut or trimmed to make a raised surface. Great for stitching grids and framing areas of specific textile interest.

Annie Nicoll writes of her favourite tool: “My favourite creative tool is the humble pencil. It is the start of all the projects I work on, as drawing is the principal discipline that I spent my formative years developing. I have always loved graphite and its flexibility in terms of freedom and control and the immense pleasure in seeing the project’s initial phase come to life on paper. Once the idea becomes a visual reality it can go in any direction using any medium”.

Thank you all for contributing, great to see!

I’m sorry to hear of the upsets in the Embroiderer’s Guild and hope that something can be salvaged for the local groups to reform and enjoy stitching together. In the Quilters’ Guild the groups are larger and more autonomous; they have less financial pressure and have managed the transition to online meetings and learning, which provides some income.

Last weekend I attended Quilt Con Together, the Modern Quilt Guild USA’s virtual quilt show. It was well organised and visually exciting, indeed sometimes bedazzling! I only did one workshop online, because they were awfully expensive, but it was worth it… Usually Quilt Con is held in reality, at a different venue in the US every year. Next year it is Phoenix. Maybe I ought to save my pennies….

If you have any newsletter contributions, puzzles, recommendations, etc, do please send them to me via the Living Threads email address: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com  or email me directly at gillitheokritoff@gmail.com It’s a bleak time of year and we all need some tips and interesting or amusing snippets!

Meanwhile, 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. The vaccine will eventually mean we can all meet up and share our stories and textile work.

Until April

Cheers

Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

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