September 2021 newsletter

Welcome to September and autumn in sight. The conkers are huge on our tree, the squirrels got all the plums and walnuts and the spiders are spinning their webs everywhere. Summer was rather disappointing for sunshine and lazy days, but I expect most of us enjoyed a bit more freedom and even travel, maybe.

With the opening up of travel and social mixing, there are plenty of venues offering culture. Last month various parks and gardens were suggested. Now for the exhibitions and art trails!

If you are travelling around the UK in September, here’s an exhibition you might like to catch (Ruth Issett is so famous for her use of colour).

If you are in London in the next couple of weeks, try to catch the end of “Chintz: Cotton in Bloom” at the Fashion & Textiles Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF.

This will be followed from 1st October by “Beautiful People: the Boutique in 1960s Counterculture”, running until March 2022. Booking now.

Check out some fabulous workshops on offer there as well.

While you are culture browsing, don’t forget, closer to home is Nottingham Castle, which has had a major revamp and is now a vibrant exhibition space. On until February 2022 is the Paul Smith exhibition “Hello my name is Paul Smith”. His exhibitions, carefully curated and beautifully staged, are an insight into the mind of one of the UK’s greatest textile sons. Quirky, original and definitely worth a look. His past exhibitions, which often go on to worldwide tours, always start in his hometown of Nottingham and give an extraordinary view of an enquiring and inspirational mind. Take the whole family, there will be something for everyone.

Not for textiles, but those looking at Gardens might like to visit Felley Priory M1, Junction 27,  to look around the beautiful gardens, and there is a Plant Fair there on Sunday 19th September, 10am-3pm. Enjoy the gardens and choose plants from stalls of 15-20 specialist nurseries. Tea Room is open but gets very busy!

I once bought a gorgeous plum coloured hydrangea there, and Felley Priory is famous for its tree peonies (Schedule a repeat visit next May-June)!

 Another event coming up in this month is the Melbourne Arts Festival, 18th & 19th September, with an art trail, live music and lots of refreshments and foodie stands as well as over 100 professional artists displaying work

The Great Northern Quilt Show at Harrogate is having its first show for a while, on Friday 10-Sunday 12th September, at the Great Yorkshire Showground. No competition quilts but plenty of quilt and other textile displays and retailers. Next year’s show will include Needlework in the title!

The Knitting and Stitching Shows are on again this year, very COVID secure, as the Festival of Quilts was. The Alexandra Palace Show is 7-10th October, The Harrogate one will take place 18-21st November.

Normality feels like it is returning and where I teach is cautiously returning to operation, so I’m seeing more familiar faces, socially distanced and well sanitised and shielded! I’ve made a lot of quilts during Lockdown, and prepped a lot of teaching materials, but I found it very hard to get much creative stuff done. Over the last year I attended a lot of Zoom classes on techniques I have never been confident in, like curved piecing.

I’ve now decided to set myself a challenge of a 12” artwork every month, based on abstracting nature, using some of the techniques and colour studies I have been learning about through Lockdown. I am hoping this will set me going creatively and that I can build up a body of work to inspire future projects.

If you have any newsletter contributions, puzzles, recommendations, etc, do please send them to me via the Living Threads email address:  or email me directly at Your newsletter will be all about me if you don’t send me some stories, book reviews, places of interest, etc!

Everyone please stay safe and keep creating. We will get through this and come out the other side. Full vaccination (and boosters) will eventually mean we can all meet up and share our stories and textile work.

Until October,


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

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