Living Threads Newsletter Dec 22 & Jan 23

Festive Greetings to all our
Living Threads members and readers
Hello everyone
Winter is finally upon us and Christmas only a few weeks away. Maybe you have been diverted by the football(!) but my to-do lists are getting longer and I foresee a weekend in the kitchen making those mince pies and early Christmas food preparation. I realise I forgot to make a Christmas cake, but, more importantly, the homemade damson gin is nearly ready to decant. Then of course there are all those bulbs still to plant out, leaves to sweep and garden tidying still to do. I have been too busy inside making Christmas presents to brave the cold outside, but I know how joyful the first sign of shoots coming up in February will be.
My temperature quilt is almost complete, just a few more blocks to do. It has been sad to say goodbye to the warm colours and return to neutral beige and grey! I think I shall continue the tradition of recording the daily temperature in fabric, but next time, 2023, I shall make it an easier and quicker block to make. I shall also only make one, rather than the double version I did this year. I’ll share photos in the next newsletter.

It was a great year to start doing the temperatures, as I have witnessed the effect of global warming and this year’s freakish summer heatwaves. It was also interesting to record local temperatures, as they varied from national ones quite often. I’ll also choose a different colour palette. I’ve run out of all those colours used for 2022!
I’m looking forward to the first of the 2023 Quilt Shows, with the Newark Quilt Show, held at the Newark Showground. It will be chance to pick up some bargains, see some familiar faces, look at exhibition quilts and generally get in the mood for new projects.
Friday 13th& Sat 14th January, Lady Eastwood Centre, Newark Showground, Lincoln Road NG24 2NY, 10am – 4pm
Advance tickets priced at £6/7, which is a great price compared to The Big Textile Show in Leicester where they were charging a ridiculous £15 entry fee!
There is a local show at the end of January for those near Nottingham – Canalside Quilters have a Patchwork exhibition, 21st – 29th January, at the Canalside Heritage Centre, Beeston NG9 1LZ, with café!
Also worth a trip out in January and beyond is Anne Kelly’s exhibition “Well Travelled” at the Harley Gallery, 18th Jan – 12th March. Anne is a widely known embroiderer and author of several books.

The Harley Gallery is always an exciting place to visit, and just up the road is Hope & Elvis – one of the studios on the Welbeck Estate. Previously owned by Louise Asher, who has now relocated to Margate, it is now in the capable and creative hands of Wend.
Hope & Elvis – The Home of Creativity
Harley Foundation Studios, 7 Tan Gallop, Welbeck, Worksop S80 3LW

Hope & Elvis run workshops featuring an interesting range of textile and related activities with tutors such as Alice Fox, Mandy Patullo, etc.

Personally, I have a yen to make a birdbox …
“Join paper pioneer, Jennifer Collier, on this one-day course. You will create a beautiful, bespoke bird box, complete with its own bird on the perch, using recycled papers, stitch and card. Every step will be demonstrated, from constructing your bird box to using vintage papers to decorate it. The box will be embellished with a range of hand stitches, including an optional picot stitched trim. You’ll also learn techniques like embossing, creating paper flowers and will create your own mono-printed bird to sit on the perch.”
LTG charity donation
Last month we were finally able to give out the money to our chosen charities following our successful exhibition back in Easter. The delay was due to the re-organisation that the Living Threads Group has been through this year and the commttee personnel changes have meant hold-ups with banking, etc. We had a lovely ceremony, with past members in attendance as well as the recipients of our charity donations – Framework and the Nightingale MacMillan Nurses. They showed their appreciation too:
It’s early days to be planning our 2024 exhibition, but we are always on the look out for innovative ways to display projects. Our member Coralie spotted this interesting display of postcards in her local library. What a clever way to display them!


My usual trawl through the internet has thrown up some fascinating images and articles. Here’s a use for those used tea bags you throw in the compost or the bin – exquisite full size garments, dyed, stitched and embellished:
Also, watch Artist Zak Korvin draw a precise geometric emblem in a mesmerizing timelapse. Zak Korvin offers a look into the process of making a geometric crest of three birds. Drawing inspiration from Japanese mon, an emblem used to designate an individual or family, Korvin incorporates three birds in a circular motif.

There’s still time to make some last-minute Christmas pressies, or decorations. Here’s a project – or even a gift idea – for those cold winter days. Simple idea, easy instructions, less cumbersome than mittens. My studio gets so cold that these little hand warmers would be just the thing!

Our member Annie Nichols has been busy, making a gorgeous, embellished Christmas Wreath. I wonder how many of us make ourown decorations?

I’ve been making a pile of mini quilts 6” square, which I have framed in IKEA box frames. They are cheap to make but look expensive and professional and will make ideal gifts now that most of our relatives have households!
For those guests who just pop in, unexpectedly, there will be a basket of Chocolate Bark parcels to distribute. This is the easiest pressie of all to make. Requirements:
2 large bars each of milk, white or dark chocolate
Hundreds and thousands and any and all other cake decorations
Sultanas, dried cranberries and cherries
Chocolate chips, milk, white and dark
Prepare three baking trays and line each with parchment or, for preference, a Teflon sheet.
Starting with the milk chocolate, break up the bars into chunks and place in a heatproof bowl, over a pan of boiling water. Melt the chocolate gradually, stirring constantly.
When smooth, pour onto a baking tray, spreading out the melted chocolate quite thinly, but with a few swirls for texture. While the chocolate is still hot, sprinkle on some dried fruit, cake decorations, chocolate chunks, etc. Only use nuts if you know they will not be given to those with a nut allergy!
Allow to cool, then place the baking tray in the fridge for a few hours.
Repeat with the other chocolate flavours, changing up the decorations for variety.
When all the trays are chilled, lift the chocolate from the baking sheets and break into shards. Pop a couple of each chocolate variety into a cellophane bag and add ribbons, etc.
Fifteen minutes work and a guaranteed pleasure to receive.
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 the following month.Please send any items to: or
On our website you can find a review of many of the pieces in the Living Threads Exhibition 2022
 I’m taking a month off from the newsletter, to enjoy the peace and quiet between Christmas and the New Year, so the next issue will be in February.
Enjoy the Festive Season, don’t get too cold, look forward to the New Year and all that it will bring. Remember that it will start getting lighter earlier and the days will get longer very soon…
Gilli Theokritoff
Newsletter Editor

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