Living Threads Newsletter – November 2022

Welcome to the end of Autumn and the start of Winter, as the clocks go back and our afternoons and evenings get darker. The gorgeous coloured leaves lie mushy on our pavements and there is a lot of clearing up work to be done in my garden, at least!

Quite late in the season I planted out some tomato plants a friend had given me. They had been in poor soil and as soon as they were given some food and good compost they romped away – however, they turned out to be varieties of huge tomatoes and they have taken their time to turn edible. They have now been harvested and sit by the warmth of the Aga on a sunny windowsill and it is amazing to see that some of them may ripen. The rest will make lovely chutney.

October seems to have flown by in a blur. Flu and Covid jabs seem to have dominated this month, and I have discovered I am now old enough to receive a winter fuel allowance! I don’t suppose that will go very far, but luckily we have generous neighbours who keep us supplied with wood for our multifuel stove – they are forever cutting down trees!


Some friends and I have decided to make a regular trip out to exhibitions and/or galleries – starting locally. This week we went down to Leicester to see the Eileen Cooper exhibition at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery on New Walk. She is modern figurative artist whose style has evolved over her career, with a strong bent towards magical realism. Her women are all strong and independent, her work is very self-reflective and the commentaries alongside the work are interesting and thought provoking.

https://www.leicestermuseums.org › whats-on

Next month we are going to explore the Museum of Making in Derby. Housed in a fabulous, restored Silk Mill, it comprises objects and archives that chart the progress of Derby’s ongoing manufacturing history and the people who were involved in these industries. Special events and hands-on experiences are a feature. Check the website for dates. https://www.derbymuseums.org/museum-of-making

Today I popped in to the Sew’n’Sews Quilt show in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Full of colourful quilts, lots of visitors, chats and refreshments. What a lovely event!

Tomorrow I will pop over to The Big Textile Show, in Leicester, where I must NOT be tempted by knitting wool! I am currently working on a series of quilts reflecting my previous career in knitwear, particularly Fairisle knitting. My arthritic fingers cannot cope with knitting anymore, but I find it hard to resist the temptation and am gaily knitting up samples of Fairisle knitting to go with the quilts, despite the soreness and stiffness! There will be plenty of other stalls to distract me I am sure…

There is still time to catch the Second Turning Textile Group’s exhibition of their work at the Framework and Knitters Museum starting 5 October until Friday 25 November.  Inspiration for work, title ‘Hanging by a Thread’ is taken from the Museum. I plan a visit very soon.

Currently running at the Sock Gallery at Loughborough Town Hall is Making Time , a Group exhibition by the Textile Tutor Group , in which members of the group explore some of their personal concepts of time, reflecting on how Covid gave us time but also stole time from us . There are beautiful and thought provoking exhibits to enjoy. The exhibition is running until Thursday November 17th.



Meanwhile, for rainy days, I have been looking for other diversions, online. Photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo creates colourful portraits of Nigerian women that are simultaneously majestic and dreamy. Set against gauzy draped backdrops, Ogunbanwo’s subjects are dressed for bridal ceremonies in vibrant lace bodices, sculptural headdresses, and embellished tulle veils. In a statement on the series, the artist describes his use of veiled portraiture “to document the complexity of his culture and counteract the West’s monolithic narratives of Africa and women.” The series, titled e wá wo mi (“come look at me”), documents the traditional ceremonial wear of the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa-Fulani tribes, amongst others. Rather than objectively archive these as past-traditions, however, he mimics the pageantry of weddings in present Nigeria.

Check out more of his work: https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2019/10/e-wa-wo-mi/


I subscribe to a few blogs on making items and patterns. Given the time of year and our need to conserve heat, how about making some all-weather door draught guards to help keep you warm this winter, stop the expensive heat from escaping! There are also some funky applique cushions for the grandkids. Patterns and instructions are free.


What Sort of Creative Are You?

I love a personality quiz and this one is excellent to do. As textile artists, we all know that we are creative, but are we the same kind of creative person as a painter, sculptor, or writer? Adobe Creative has made a quiz for you to take that will show you just what kind of creative you are. Plus, when you’re finished, it will generate a fun little avatar that will show off your creative nature! https://www.mycreativetype.com I came out as a Visionary. What are you?


A request from our Chair, Maggie Ready.

I have been contacted by a friend of Barbara Netherwood , a former Living Threads member, whose area of expertise is Bobbin lace and tatting . Barbara has now retired
from her creative work and has a stash of her work which she wishes to dispose of and wonders if any member, or members, would like to have it. The request came too late for inclusion in the Table Sale but I would appreciate any suggestions as to how we can help Barbara. Replies either directly to Maggie or via livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com


Given that it is unknown when Living Threads, as a group, are likely to start up our workshop schedule, it has been decided that tutors from Living Threads can promote their own classes and workshops via the newsletter.

Jane Marrows is putting on a couple of interesting workshops, details below:

Jane will be teaching 2 half-day mono-printing classes using a ‘Gelli’ printing plate in November in the Lower Gallery, at Green’s Windmill, Sneinton, Nottingham, NG2 4QB, on Saturday 19th November, 2022

       1. 10am-12.30pm -Botanical ‘Gelli-plate’ printing

         2. 1.30pm-4pm Landscape ‘Gelli-plate’ printing

All classes will be 6 participants maximum.  Suitable for 16 years and over.

Fee- £25 which includes all materials and use of all equipment. Refreshments will be free, but if booking for 2 classes on the same day please bring a packed lunch. Parking is available in the Carpark at the bottom of Windmill Lane, with 4 hrs parking fee refundable on the day. Blue Badge holders can park for free on site in the Mill Yard.

Please contact Jane at  janemarrows@hotmail.com or tel:-07799751347 to book your place and payment details will be forwarded to you.


That’s all for now. I’d love to be able to include snippets, images and news from members and subscribers. I’d love to hear of any local exhibitions, book reviews or recent experiences for my next newsletters. Any members running workshops are welcome to let me know details for the newsletter, info by 20th of the month for inclusion in the following newsletter.

Please send any items to: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com or gillitheokritoff@gmail.com

Don’t forget to have your seasonal boosters for flu and Covid and keep healthy

Gilli Theokritoff

Newsletter Editor

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