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:
https://www.greenchairpress.com/blog/?cat=21
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.

https://ftmlondon.digitickets.co.uk/

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.
 
Cheers,

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.
 
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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.



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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.

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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.



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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.

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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.

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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.   

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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!)  

On TV
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.

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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.

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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.



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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
Cheers,

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,

Cheers

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,

Cheers

Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor


August 2021 newsletter

Welcome to August and the limited freedom from Lockdown. It’s not a lot different for me – still masked and sanitising, but I’ve allowed myself a bit more freedom, seeing friends and family. Some of you have braved going further afield and holidaying around the UK. I cancelled my trip to France, in case it red-listed and I had to isolate in a hotel – I object to the cost, but worse is the thought of being confined to a budget hotel room with no balcony and basic food left outside the door!

Whatever your situation, I hope you have been able to enjoy some of the benefits of a relaxation of the rules, or at least been outside in a garden or park during the summer.

Our Living Threads Virtual Exhibition #3 – Brooches – is now available to view on the website www.livingthreadstextileartists.com/virtual-exhibition-brooches/

Do go and have a look at the fabulous entries, tiny and exquisite.


Our intrepid members have been out gaining inspiration for the upcoming exhibition next April.

Julie Williams writes: I went on holiday to East Yorkshire and stayed just round the corner from Flamborough Head. Beautiful part of the country (and Puffins too, at Bempton Cliffs!)
I was lucky with the weather so I went to Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens.
As well as an amazing 1598 house there are woods, water and extensive gardens.
It was a glorious hot and sunny day- the gardens were absolutely beautiful, I took lots of photos and did a bit of sketching,  (with our next year’s exhibition in mind, of course)
I love a bit of topiary, not so much the peacocks and mythical animals, but skillfully manicured, neat shapes and Burton Agnes has a fabulous topiary avenues.
Such a lovely day, if you’re ever over that way, don’t miss it!


Jane Marrows has also been travelling:

I thought you might like some pics of a garden in Sussex which I have visited many times and again on my birthday in June, which may be of interest to members this summer. It is a favourite place of mine. It is Charleston Farmhouse nestled beneath the South Downs at West Firle, East Sussex. It is the modernist home and studio of Bloomsbury Group Artists, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Some of the 20th Century’s most radical artists, writers and thinkers gathered there, including Virginia Woolf. The garden continues to evolve from the original redesigned planting by Roger Fry the art critic and family friend of the Grants, in 1918. It opened to the public in 1986. It is modest in scale but delightful and personable, being absolutely crammed with herbaceous plants which spill over the edges of the narrow gravel paths.  A delightful pond, rectangular lawn, sculptural garden ornamentation and a larger lake complete the living painting. It is filled with the flowers Bell and Grant loved to paint.

If you are in the South East this summer do take time to visit. There is a beautifully restored barn on the site which houses a fabulous cafe bistro with plenty of outdoor courtyard seating. Enjoy!

 


Janet Humphrey didn’t venture quite so far and has a lovely gallery and café to recommend:

Now that we are all getting out and about a bit more, I thought that I would mention a place that I like to visit for coffee and cake and it’s not too far away. Strelley Hall is a period building set in Parkland in the splendidly preserved Strelley Village. There are a number of walks that take you through to D.H Lawrence country.
Above the Mulberry Tree Cafe you will find the Hay Loft Gallery, an independent Gallery specialising in picture framing and conservation plus a display of original artworks and prints.

Gallery open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 10.30 -3.30
Sat nav.NG8 6PE


Anne Bruntlett has stayed closer to home and spent time researching BATS! It’s all a bit batty!
Advance warning: there are lots of links that you can choose to follow/read/just look at the photos/ignore completely!

It started with a new phrase I picked up while looking at medieval herbals … ‘bat books’. Then it was the search to try to find out exactly what a bat book was, who used it, why and how. It certainly sent me back down the rabbit hole and into a different part of the warren.
It seems that bat books were the medieval medical version of NHS on line or the crib sheet used by those people who sit in a room somewhere and question you if you ever have to ring 111.
The book format is somewhat similar to that of an ordinance survey map which could be unfolded easily to access the information. When not in use the book was folded over the belt of physician as he went out on his rounds, and it hung down (like a bat) and unfolded it’s pages like a bat opening its wings.
‘In 2016, the great codicologist Peter Gumbert called them “bat books” – “because when in rest they hang upside-down and all folded up, but when action is required they lift up their heads and spread their wings wide”. The text is upside down so that the book is legible when it is hanging from the girdle.’

https://brewminate.com/medieval-medicine-astrological-bat-books-for-timing-patient-treatment/


https://theconversation.com/medieval-medicine-astrological-bat-books-that-told-doctors-when-to-treat-patients-126737


https://wayback.archive-it.org/16107/20210313110536/http://blog.wellcomelibrary.org/2014/01/the-enigma-of-the-medieval-almanac/


https://www.geographyrealm.com/the-medieval-physicians-almanac/
Fascinating stuff and definitely a potential way of presenting the fold up page that I am working on at the moment.
By this point I am well and truly lost deep in the maze of the warren.
Next up was a modern artist who makes miniature medieval style books – and I thought that I worked small until I saw this work!
Miniature ‘medieval’ books https://vsemart.com/medieval-miniature-books-ericka-vanhorn/
Then it was a look at other medieval fold out books. These were more like a cross between an almanac with instructions on the monthly agricultural tasks, and a calendar showing daylight hours and the saints/zodiac signs for each month.
https://blog.sbb.berlin/time-unfolded-a-late-medieval-concertina-calendar-in-the-staatsbibliothek-zu-berlin-libr-pict-a-92/

And all this began with a bat!
Does that remind you of the present predicament we are in with the lockdown? It was mooted somewhere along the line that the virus began with a bug that originated in bats in China!
I remembered seeing images of bats carved in some of the samurai houses in Japan where they were used as good luck symbols.
https://www.batcon.org/article/bat-myths-of-japan/
Whatever you think of bats I reckon we could do with shining the Bat Light and getting help of Batman to keep all the covidiots from spreading the virus any more, enabling us to escape from our bat caves!

Wow! That’s a bit of academic research! I came up with some lovely images of bat shaped pages.


Greta Fitchett has been exploring her pincushion…

My Lost Needles

I have always been careful to put my needle away when I have finished stitching with it. Over time I found myself fetching a new needle from the packet and couldn’t understand where my needles were disappearing to. Over many years I used the same pincushion until the top started to tear. Peering inside I could see lots of pins amongst the sawdust and started to pull them out. Then a few needles appeared that were buried deeper. Finally, a magnet was used to lift the metal out, and I was amazed at what had disappeared under the surface. Too many pins to count, but over 80 needles! Some of them were very tiny and I was sure I hadn’t used them. Maybe they were from the previous owner, as I did buy it at a jumble sale!


I’m just back from the Festival of Quilts, at the NEC. Four days surrounded by people – I was nervous but I think we all felt incredibly safe. We were tested, masked, sanitised and double-jabbed so we would be very unlucky to fall ill as a result of the event, but it was so worth it! Wide aisles, lots of sitting down space, sanitised conditions and fewer people gave us a lovely atmosphere of calm. The joy of seeing other textile lovers, smiling behind their masks, greeting friends they hadn’t seen for two years, admiring the fabulous artwork, competition quilts, galleries, cafes and retailers was wonderful. I came away restored and exhausted!

Don’t forget to check out the new Virtual Exhibition of Brooches on the Living Threads website

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 gorgeous time of year, with sunshine and gardens, but we still need some tips and interesting or amusing snippets!

Everyone please stay safe and keep creating. We will get through this and come out the other side. Full vaccination will eventually mean we can all meet up and share our stories and textile work.

Until September,

Cheers

Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor