October 2021 newsletter

Welcome to October and the darkening evenings and cooler weather. It’s nearly time for me to put my socks on! As I write, we are all in the middle of a kerfuffle about petrol. I’ve not been too affected as I’m staying fairly local and have half a tank of fuel, but I understand the frustration if you need to make longer journeys or commute daily. I feel bemused when I pass a 50-car queue for a petrol station, when I know there is another round the corner with only 6 people queuing!

Quite a few people will be out in their gardens, getting them ready for the winter, etc, or raking leaves and tidying their flower beds. Frosts will be here soon. I prepared a new bed for a wisteria, using home-made compost. Imagine my surprise 2 weeks later when a melon plant sprouted from the compost and proceeded to ramble across my terrace. 4 weeks later it is now 14 feet long, with dozens of flowers and mini melons appearing. It won’t survive this late in the season, so will have to be pulled up, but it was amazing to watch it grow so quickly. I scattered a “Bee Bomb” on an empty flower bed this summer and have been delighted with what came up. The bed was filled with poppies, marigolds, cosmos, clary sage, and dill and attracted so many bees of so many different kinds. I have been researching bees for a creative project and was thrilled to be able to identify so many varieties of bee. Now to build a bee house for the solitary ones to overwinter!

Have you been listening to Haptic and Hue’s Tales of Textiles, which you can find on all major podcast platforms, or on the Haptic and Hue website https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-3/
The series takes 8 different fabrics and listens to their stories, looking at what they are and where they came from as well as what they meant to the people who made and used them. The episodes run every two weeks from 9th September until 16th December 2021. 

‘Wholecloths From the Hills’ is the next podcast episode that will explore North Country quilts with Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection curator, Heather Audin, and quilter and textile researcher, Deborah McGuire. The episode will air on 7th October. It’s great to see that there are textile-related podcasts about. If you know of others, please let me know so I can share the knowledge!

Our newest member, Ann Bruntlett, has encouraged me to look at the work of Meredith Woolnough, an Australian embroiderer with a great collection of resources and teaching classes available online at https://meredith-woolnough-studio.teachable.com/

See below for examples of her soluble embroidery teaching samples.

She also has a rather lovely book out, Organic Embroidery, available from Amazon and all good retailers. I remember seeing her amazing embroideries based on corals, so fragile and on such a large scale, in a TV programme a few years ago. http://meredithwoolnough.com.au/past-work

Julie Williams is feeling bemused:

Is it because you never see this in a newsagents or have I just forgotten (along with everything else that’s “slipped my mind”)…..
I didn’t realise that Embroidery Magazine was still being published.
It’s not the same as our old favourite version, of course, but I saw this online and sent for it, it’s quite a good issue.
I was interested to see that the Embroiderers’ Guild were advertising ‘Join us Today’ in it?????

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. Maybe that could be combined with a trip to Betty’s, some Christmas shopping and a visit to the RHS gardens for some frosty inspiration…

Don’t forget to make sure your 2022 diary is marked with our Living Threads Exhibition, Wednesday 30th March – Friday 8th April, to be held at Trent College, Long Eaton, as previously. The theme is “Garden” and we have lots of exciting work to show, plus some special exhibitions and projects, plus work from our Study Group.

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 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 November,


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

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