Living Threads Newsletter March 2023


Spring is finally on its way, with carpets of crocuses and the odd brave daffodil on the road side. Soon we will be abloom with blossom and balmy breezes…

As you will be aware if you read last month’s newsletter, I have been Stateside, visiting Atlanta for the Modern Quilt Guild’s QuiltCon show. Despite most of the US being ravaged by storms and snow, we were lucky enough to be slightly further south and enjoyed unusually warm weather for February, reaching 70+ degrees Fahrenheit. This was lovely for our sightseeing days, but meant nothing once the show began and we were in huge exhibition halls and lecture theatres. I had a fabulous time, alongside my three quilting buddies and we enjoyed the attention being English brought us! The quilts were fabulous, but the exchange rate meant that it wasn’t worth spending too much time in the vendor sector. I attended lots of lectures, took a million (well, nearly!) photos, ate far too many carbs and drank very poor coffee. Over there Starbucks has no competition, it is all stewed jug coffee and ‘creamer’.

If you want to see quilts from the show visit @quiltcom2023 on Instagram. Meanwhile, here is a parade of quilted coats from Rachel D Hunter, Wouldn’t you just want to own one?

Back in the UK, there is plenty to see and do:

SHIFTS AND ALLUSIONS: AN EXHIBITION by SUE STONE Still on for a short time is this exhibition at the Hub in Sleaford: 13 January – 12 March Sue Stone is a Grimsby-based artist who works in stitch and mixed media. In this exhibition the artist’s inspiration comes from real and imagined journeys through time. For further information follow the link below.

Well worth a visit. I visited while still jetlagged and was excited and inspired by Sue’s work:. There are some gorgeous sample books too.

“Cloth in all its forms: woven, printed, dyed, already worn, has passed through the hands of many people before it gets to me. It already has a history and when I stitch that cloth, I, too, become part of its story” -Sue Stone

Two day workshop Dyeing Fabric16&17th March 
Suitable for all skills.  It’s in Nottingham, at St Judes’ Church Hall Mapperley.  Follow this link for all the details.
There are still some places available, open to non-members. Fantastic primer for newbies, plenty for the more experienced dyer, but also a chance to try other techniques, such as ice dyeing, etc.    

The Creative Craft Show, which includes Sewing for Pleasure and Fashion and Embroidery, is on from 16th to 19th March at the NEC, Birmingham    

On 25th March there will be a Spring Craft Fair at Southwell Minster. For further details see

If you fancy a trip to London, there is The Stitch Festival from 23rd – 26th March 2023 at the Business Design Centre London. 

Quilters’ Guild

A trip to York would not be complete without a rare chance to see the quilts held by the Quilters’ Guild at their HQ. The Guild are opening their doors to the public in March showing a mini exhibition of recently acquired items to their Quilt Collection. One of the latest treasures on display is pictured above. Here you can see a vibrantly coloured velvet Log Cabin Coverlet from the early 20th century, which uses embossed and printed plush velvet fabrics. The log cabin blocks are arranged in the ‘Sunshine and Shadow’ layout, and it was made by one (or more) of four Sutherland sisters who were born at Skerpie farm in Burray, Orkney Islands. 
We will also be showing a hexagon mosaic patchwork case dating from the late Victorian period and a beautiful shadow quilted jacket and baby’s cap dating from the 1930s. 

Embellishing Dior: How Do They Do That?  (
Haute Couture Clothing is Truly Artwork
We are always fascinated by the process. Take a look at a quick video showing how they embellish one of their outfits.

From Christian Dior, “Maison Vermont, located in the heart of Paris, is one of the embroidery specialists from France, Italy and India to have collaborated on the realization of the Dior Spring-Summer 2022 Haute Couture collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Enter its ateliers to learn about the savoir-faire involved in two of the pieces, building up the mesh-like effects on a tulle dress and decorating a wool twill coat with tone-on-tone braiding and embroidery.”
Watch The Video    

Magical Butterflies and Insects Stitched in Dense Thread Paintings by Emillie Ferris

Since she first began embroidering in 2013, Emillie Ferris has stitched a few rows nearly every day. The United Kingdom-based artist creates dense thread paintings of butterflies, bees, and other creatures surrounded by vibrant, scattered florals. Her lengthy stitches form precisely coloured patterns and rows, offering a distinct texture to each wing and antennae.

Ferris tells Colossal that much of her work is based on vintage entomology illustrations, which she reviews multiple times before beginning one of her realistic projects that are “inspired by nature, with a tiny sense of magic.”

I love to try and emulate a sense of romanticism in my embroideries. I like to study numerous references of the object I want to embroider. For example, I must have saved hundreds of reference photos and watched many videos of the blue morpho butterfly, before digitally painting the butterfly in photoshop, then transferring the pattern to fabric and bringing the butterfly to life with so many shades of blue thread. I couldn’t count them.

A few years ago, the artist also designed digital thread-painting tutorials that are available on Etsy. You can find more of her enchantingly stitched projects on Instagram.

Kaffe Fassett has an exhibition at TheFashion and Textile Museum in London, entitled “Kaffe Fassett – the Power of Pattern” running from now till 22nd March  

To coincide with this, here is a video introducing him and his fabulous sense of colour and pattern.
Most quilters know the name Kaffe Fassett, but do you know the way his mind works? Do you want to see the inside of his amazingly colorful home? Then join Kaffe in this video as he lets you take a sneak peek into his home to talk about colour and his designs for the latest BERNINA sewing machines.
Watch The Video

Members news:

Our regular meeting place at Gotham Memorial Hall had a devastating fire last month and we can no longer meet there .Luckily no-one was hurt, but the fire has destroyed the roof and the future of the site is uncertain. Our new venue for meetings will be Bradmore Community Hall. It is very sad as we had settled into the Gotham hall well and it was an ideal venue, equidistant for most  members.

Sadly former Living Threads member Eileen Hudson has passed away. Janet Humphries and Sally Marsh attended Eileen’s funeral and a lot of the content spoke of her love of textiles and embroidery. She was a founder member of Second Turning and Living Threads and an enthusiastic member at  several branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild. Needless to say her family are keen to find good homes for her very large stash of fabrics, books, threads etc.

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 hope to be able to bring you news soon of a Dabble Day and a few Living Threads workshops later in the year. There are still many details to sort out!

Until April,

Gilli Theokritoff

Newsletter Editor

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