January 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the New Year, but yet another round of dire COVID warnings. Fingers crossed that the vaccinations and boosters will save us from another year like the last one. Meanwhile the warmer temperatures of the last few days are giving way to freezing blasts of icy wind and becoming more like the winters we expect. The Christmas tree needles have dropped, the baubles have lost their allure and all those new resolutions are being tested already!

The New Year, however, is a chance to set some good habits and plan for the future. To that end I have been looking at classes, both online and in person, to awaken our creative energies.
I’ve mentioned hand embroiderer Anne Brooke before but it is always worth having a look at her challenges and workshops. She is based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire and runs in person and online classes, as well as issuing 365 day projects and challenges. Last year it was embroidered tags/labels and previously a long scroll. Check out Instagram to see what people did @sew4thesoul. You can find details about Anne here:  https://www.annebrooke.co.uk/workshops
Ann Bruntlett reminds me about Alice Fox – a favourite with us all. Have a look at  https://www.alicefox.co.uk/  Alice is known for her rust and natural dyeing, slow stitching and use of nature. She also lives in West Yorkshire and runs in person workshops and online. There are some fabulous things to do with her.

Slightly closer to home, with in person workshops at her fabulous studio beside the Harley Gallery outside Worksop, is Hope and Elvis. Louise invites some of the very best textile tutors to her studios for all kinds of fascinating workshops. A fabulous lunch is provided too! Workshop tutors include: Mandy Patullo, Alice Fox, Cas Holmes. Macrame, collage, vintage textiles, collagraphs, wire work, all kinds of stitching.

Don’t forget to check out Crafty Monkies  www.craftymonkies.com. Rachel runs lots of online textile workshops from top textile tutors. I’m booked on one in February with Nicholas Ball, but they aren’t just quilting – bag making, free machining, creative sketchbooks, etc.

Domestika run a huge range of online workshops, from photography, calligraphy and rug making to all things stitchy. www.domestika.org. Try a new skill and see if it sparks your creativity!

When I do finally get out and about I plan a visit to the Ropewalk, in Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire DN18 5JT. The Ropewalk is a regionally acclaimed centre for the arts housing galleries, Sculpture Garden, Coffee Shop, and Ropery Hall – a venue for live music, theatre and cinema within a Grade II listed former rope factory. Other facilities include: a printmaking workshop; artists’ studios and meeting rooms available for outside lets. I know it is slightly outside our region, but the workshops on offer are delightful. I intend to book on one to make willow chickens and I’m really tempted by a mosaic workshop too. Others include nuno felting, jewellery design and upholstery! https://www.the-ropewalk.co.uk/

The great news is that you don’t have to restrict yourself to local or UK courses these days. One of my favourite artists, Brenda Gael Smith, teaches fantastic 3hr Zoom workshops from Australia! If you do an evening workshop with her, you can watch the sun rise through her studio window! She is a quilter, working on colour, abstraction and improvisation, but any stitcher can do a class with her and learn so much, whatever your textile interest. https://serendipitypatchwork.com.au/workshops

I’m booked to start a Photoshop Elements course with https://www.pixeladies.com/ who run digital courses online from the USA. It’s not live, so no Zooming at 4am, but you get a series of instructional videos, forum chat, email guidance and projects to complete. I’m finally taking the plunge on courses 1 (beginner) & 2 (next steps). Plenty of further digital manipulation classes available. These ladies are textile artists first and foremost, so they know what will be useful to learn!

Rather than workshops, maybe you would like the gentle creative nudges available by subscribing to the (free) Textileartist.org newsletter? Run by Sam and Joe, sons of the well-known textile artist Sue Stone, they seek to inspire creativity amongst stitchers. They also offer some creative courses but this January they will be offering a free creative project to all email subscribers, so I encourage you to join the community.   www.textileartist.org
The Harley Open competition
Feeling challenged? Why not consider entering the biennial art competition run by The Harley Gallery. The Harley Open invites artists – whether professional or amateur – to submit their work for the chance to be included in this much-loved exhibition which will run from 6th August to 23rd October 2022. The Harley Open 2020 showed 124 pieces of art made by 102 different artists, all living and working within 100 miles of the gallery.

Entry details are as follows: “We are looking for 2D or 3D wall-based works, in any style or medium. Entries are accepted by artists aged 18 and over, from within 100 miles of the gallery (as the crow flies), and made within the last 2 years. You can enter up to two works, and entries cost £10 per work.”
Fabric at a bargain price?
Deborah Rees runs her own fabric shop from home, located in Selston, just off M1 Junction 27. She has a current offer of 20% off her ranges in January, with a special 3-day sale on 23rd, 24th and 25th of January  when there will be at least 100 bolts of fabric at £7 per metre, plus bundles of Mettler thread offers. Deb sells quality ranges, by Moda, Makower, etc as well as Aurifil threads, wadding and dressmaking fabrics and notions. She specialises in Moda Grunge fabric, a pure cotton with tonal variations – over 200 shades! Well worth a visit.She also runs workshops at a local venue and will be running a Tuffet-making workshop in May, so make enquiries soon!

Are dolls your ‘thing’? Not mine particularly, but I have been fascinated by the DeMuse dolls  designed by Nigel Chia. They are 16” tall and intricately put together by hand in incredible detail. Definitely not designed for children to play with. Watch the videos. You will re-think Barbie costumes! You can find him on Instagram @nigelchiaofficial

https://youtu.be/iCDSCc1Sacs New Year Doll
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcs18HhmIWs Christmas Doll

Lastly, I’d just like to take a moment for us to remember Brenda Aldridge, a Living Threads Founder Member, who passed away at the end of last year. Here are some words from her daughter Jacqui:
Born 10th October 1932
Died 10th December 2021 aged 89 years
Leaves 2 twin daughters Jacqueline Yeomans and Alison Alldridge and 2 granddaughters Amelia and Heather Yeomans
In the late 1960s Brenda took a diploma course in dressmaking and tailoring at Ilkeston College. Once she completed her training she began tutoring dressmaking and tailoring for adult education at Parklands in Long Eaton and Friesland School in Sandiacre. Whilst working at Parklands Brenda made a number of friends, especially Dorothy Griffin & Jo Hebblethwaite. Dorothy and Brenda taught many workshops, as Brenda developed her skills into samplers and machine embroidery. Brenda became a founder member of Living Threads. She exhibited numerous works at Elvaston Castle, including an embroidery seaweed collar, waistcoats and the dresses she made for her daughter Jacqueline’s wedding. Not to waste anything, Brenda also made a christening robe from the spare wedding dress fabric.

Date for your diary:

Living Threads Exhibition, Trent College, Wednesday 30th March – Friday 8th April 2022. Start spreading the news…!

Check our website at: www.livingthreadstextileartists.com  or email us at: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com  or check us out on Facebook.

Please send any ideas, suggestions, reviews or contributions for the February newsletter to me via the Living Threads email address: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com  or email me directly at gillitheokritoff@gmail.com

Gilli Theokritoff,
Newsletter Editor

DECEMBER 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to December, and the first snow flurries over the weekend. I’m glad to say I was wrapped up warm inside, looking out on the cold white scenes outside. The COVID news seems to get worse every day, with the emergence of Omicron (sounds like an alien invasion doesn’t it?) but my booster is booked for this weekend. I survived my husband’s recent COVID infection so my immune system seems to be working, but I’m sure it could do with a top up.

Having been nursemaid to my sick husband in October, it has been his turn during November. Some of you may be aware that I fell off a stepladder (while tidying up my fabric stash) and severely sprained my knee and bruised my coccyx. Sound painful but it doesn’t encompass the myriad of other small strains and bruising that made absolutely everything difficult. Nurse Nicki had to bring a bed downstairs for me, wait on me hand and foot, drive me to doctor and physio appointments and do all the shopping and cooking, while still suffering through post viral fatigue. He’s been a real brick, but not necessarily a compassionate one. That has been the forte of all my visitors, who endlessly turn up to amuse me and raise my spirits. I’m so grateful to belong to such a fabulous textile community of mutual support and shared interests. I think COVID has taught us to treasure those around us and to forge links where we can. My WhatsApp groups have been fantastic, standing in for classes I haven’t been able to teach. Luckily I am finally making progress and can do more for myself. Hopefully next week I might be driving again.

Meanwhile, I’ve spent some time doing some research and hearing about interesting things.

Anne Bruntlett has sent me this link with some super examples of fabric books:
I think I might have found my next obsession!

Viv, our Chair, sent out some suggested Leicester-based exhibitions to members last month, but they have finished now. Likewise, the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, which I had to miss. However, one Leicester-based exhibition I will definitely get to is:

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at Leicester All Saints Church
Have you ever dreamt of stepping into a painting? To become completely immersed in the work before you, making reality around you fade into the new world created by the artist? This is where you can!

It has been on for a few weeks but is now extending booking until 31st March 2022. Booking is required but there is plenty of space at the moment. A friend went recently and loved it. Huge galleries of giant images create a really immersive feeling and, at the end, you can take an optional Virtual Reality experience to go with it. (Seated in a chair, not lurching blindly round the room).


Visit ArtFundwww.artfund.org – to find out about exhibitions and galleries around the country, and to read and see articles about what’s currently going on, indoors and outdoors, in the art world.
Join textile artist and writer Claire Wellsley-Smith as part of the Fashion and Textile Museum’s programme of on demand events. Claire discusses her new book Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art, in a pre-recorded conversation. The recording lasts about an hour and costs £5. Then you can treat yourself to her book or put it on your Christmas list.


Enforced rest has meant a lot of lying on the sofa watching TV. I started a Now subscription and have been enjoying Sky Arts Portrait and Landscape Artist of the Year re-runs. So fabulous to watch creative people capturing likenesses and views in so many different ways. Mainly paint, of course, but also stitch, lino cut, crayons, etc.
I’ve enjoyed Bake Off and Handmade, which have concluded now, but I hear that there will be two celebrity Great British Sewing Bee Festive Specials over the winter, so we have those to look forward to. They will have a new host, Sarah Pascoe, as Joe Lycett has stepped down. I’m expecting she will be a good host. I’ve become quite familiar with her comedy, having watched quite a lot of Taskmaster while laid up.
I’ve also become addicted to You Tube’s series of Haute Couture videos. Yesterday I spent nearly an hour watching the construction of Dior’s iconic red Bar coat, in mind blowing detail.
Truly marvellous engineering, such talent and understanding of drape and construction, perfection in sewing , tacking, etc.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAXksLhLFAA.

You Tube’s Haute Couture also shows the runway shows from recent collections and lots of other detailed classic costume creations. Well worth a look.

I also love to check out Collosal (https://www.thisiscolossal.com/) – an arts and crafts images website full of fantastic inspiration and ideas. I’ve subscribed (free) which means I get sent a daily image, which I often set as a background on my computer screen. Here’s a crochet piece by Jo Hamilton, one of their featured artists.

When it comes to Christmas ideas, I was going to research lots of little things to put on your lists, but sadly my ability to sit at a computer was restricted, so here are some more books I fancy.

Textiles Transformed. Mandy Patullo uses vintage textiles and stitch to create gorgeous little pieces to treasure. I’ve done several classes and even been on a week’s retreat with her in France, enjoying the pleasure of slow stitching. I know I will love this book and all the images.

How To Be Creative in Textile Art. I don’t know anything about this book, I’ve not seen a copy, but I love Julia Triston’s work, so that’s good enough for me. I have attended one of her talks and done a workshop with her and she is a creative and inspiring teacher.

Last year I subscribed to a treat from Aurifil Threads. Each month I get a box of three 50wt threads on their 1300mtr cones in toning colours. I also took the plunge and subscribed to the 40wt threads too. I intend to phase out most of my other threads as Aurifil are just so yummy and have a huge colour range. The colours glow, the thread doesn’t fluff and it moves through the sewing machine like a dream.

I get my subscription from debsfabrics.com but they are also available from Cottonpatch.co.uk and other fabric and thread retailers. 2022 also features a variegated version, but I like Superior Threads King Tut or Wonderfil for variegated machine threads, as their colour gradations are so subtle.


Date for your diary:

Living Threads Exhibition, Trent College, Wednesday 30th March – Friday 8th April 2022. Start spreading the news…!

Any more reviews or New Year suggestions are very welcome, as I’m sure readers would appreciate some ideas and inspiration for 2022!. Please send them to me via the Living Threads email address: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com  or email me directly at gillitheokritoff@gmail.com
Everyone please enjoy the season and keep creating.

Gilli Theokritoff,
Newsletter Editor

November 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to November, the season of mists and bonfires. I do hope that this finds you well and you are managing to enjoy some of the autumn colours before the rain washes the leaves away. Halloween is barely over but all the Christmas goodies are cramming onto the shelves already. I find I have already bought advent calendars and ordered my Christmas beef!

I hope as many as possible of you are having your boosters and flu jabs. My husband contracted COVID last week and we have been in isolation since. Apparently I don’t need to isolate as I’m testing negative, but that seems bizarre to me, so I’m staying safely at home, with my man flu victim. I seem to still have enough antibodies to avoid the virus despite being in close quarters with an infected person, which is a relief.

Fortunately he is not too bad, just very fatigued and hating being without taste and smell. The TV and a roaring fire have helped!

I’ve no stories or photos from members this month, but I have suggestions for visits and podcasts.
It’s the Knitting & Stitching Show at Harrogate soon –18th– 21st November, with lots to see and do. Have a look at https://www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate/the-textile-galleries featuring artists: Maria Thomas, Hannah Lamb, Sabi Westobi, Omone Otite, and the Embroiderers’ Guild will be bringing its current exhibition “Exquisite Containers” to the show.


If you fancy some fresh air and a walk: The Weston Gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park will be transformed by Annie Morris’ vibrant sculptures and intricate ‘thread paintings’ –  Wakefield   25th Sep 2021 – 6th Feb 2022  Annie Morris’ installation creates an immersive experience of the artist’s own studio, mimicking a creative environment where the immediacy of her drawn and stitched work sits alongside sculptures in various stages of creation. Aptly named The Stacks, the colourful structures are precariously balanced in towers to demonstrate a sense of instability and fragility. They poignantly represent themes of grief and loss, as the artist took inspiration from a tragic event in her own life whilst creating them, the death of her first child before birth. The exhibition will be accompanied by a new monumental bronze work that will sit in the park outside, marrying Morris’ work the striking Yorkshire landscape.



At the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, from 9th Oct – 20th Feb 2022 you can see the work of a pioneering painter of women, war and marginalised people. Laura Knight’s staggering success in the male-dominated art world paved the way for the recognition of women artists.

With a style that sat somewhere between figurative painting, realist tradition and English Impressionism, Laura Knight (1877-1970) is considered one of the most prolific 20th-century English artists. She was particularly known for her work as a war artist during the Second World War, shining a new light on women’s role in the war effort, and for her fascination with the backstage world of ballet, theatre and circus, often painting marginalised people.

As an artist Laura Knight was constantly breaking conventions and challenging stereotypes – notably she was the first woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. The exhibition will feature 160 of her powerful works, from commissions created during the Second World War, rarely seen paintings and graphic works, to ceramics jewellery and costume.


If you are in London over the Festive season, Don’t forget about: Beautiful People: The Boutique in 1960s Counterculture at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.  1 October 2021 – 13 March 2022.

Frilled shirts, Regency brocades and velvet trousers – there’s plenty in this exhibition to inspire you to push the boat out with your costume this Halloween. Beautiful People explores the designers who defined radical fashion in the 1960s, driven by freedom and flamboyance. The exhibition is an explosion of colour, materials and decorative design – the perfect way to brighten up the greyest of days.

On Saturday 20th Novemberthere will be a Closing Down Sale at Pentrich Village Hall, 10.30 – 4pm. Ann Mayner, owner of Quilt Essential, Cromford Mill, is retiring and moving away. She has always stocked a great range of fabrics and notions, so that should be very worthwhile.


In Nottingham I urge you to visit the Castle Museum for the Paul Smith exhibition. It’s exciting and inspirational, full of colour, character and images. For this exhibition he focuses on photographs and colour and his eclectic use of both. It’s on until February, but if you go out-of-holiday times there’s no need to pre-book and you can wander round at leisure. The Castle has been revamped with two cafes and the shop has plenty of goodies and gift ideas.    

Another shop with great gift ideas is at the Contemporary Museum in the Lacemarket, Nottingham. It’s my go-to spot for quirky and unusual gifts, art books and children’s toys. Closed on Mondays.   


A new Podcast to listen to: Meet Me at the Museum – new series. The Art Fund podcast features well-known faces taking someone they love to a favourite museum or gallery, to explore what’s on offer, have a chat about what they find, and generally muse on life. Previous series have featured guests including comedian Mae Martin, poet Benjamin Zephaniah, and actor Mathew Horne, all exploring museums they love. As well as getting a peek behind the scenes, finding out what makes a museum tick, their visits are also the starting point for some great conversations about life, the universe and everything. Oh, and also a chance to eat lots of cake in the cafe. (You will have to bake your own of course!)  

I’ve been watching interesting craft contests. Channel 4 hosts HandMade, a weekly show featuring competing woodworkers, with a different set of challenges each episode. It is fascinating to watch the designs coming to life, the energy and, in some cases, excellence of the craftsmanship.  

On Netflix and You Tube there is a show called Blown Away, about glass blowing. Very American in nature, but each episode is only a half hour long, so very compulsive! Mindblowing and very instructive, I absolutely love it.  

I also love the Thursday episode of Strictly: It Takes Two when they have the costume people showing the outfits for the next dance show. They often discuss the structure of the garments, show their plans and current work, but that often evolves during the Friday dress rehearsal and changes get made. Fascinating.


I’ve been compiling my Christmas list, from my armchair. Books on my list are:

I’ll review them in January, if I find them under my Christmas Tree! Any more reviews or gift suggestions are very welcome, as I’m sure readers would appreciate some ideas.


I also attended a lovely in-person workshop at Hope & Elvis, up at the Harley Gallery near Worksop. Fabulous workroom with a delicious hot lunch. The class was run by Mandy Patullo, a friend and fabulous stitcher, who mainly uses antique materials and quilts in her work. We made small hand stitched dolls. Here are some of Mandy’s and our class efforts.

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 It’s a hopeful time of year and but we still need some tips and interesting  or amusing snippets!

Email us at: livingthreadsgroup@gmail.com  or check us out on Facebook.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have been unwell or had Covid-19, and that the booster keeps us all safe.
Everyone please enjoy the season and keep creating.
Until December

Gilli Theokritoff,
Newsletter Editor

Copyright © 2021 The Living Threads Group, All rights reserved.

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

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. www.ftmlondon.org

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, www.fellypriory.co.uk  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 http://www.melbournefestival.co.uk

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: 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 October,


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor