May 2020 newsletter

Month Two of Lockdown and the world has shrunk in many ways, but our mood appears to be more outward than ever! Sewing for the NHS, checking on and shopping for neighbours, learning to WhatsApp and Zoom. These are all things we didn’t need to do before but are now vital and distract us from the negative. Let’s hope the world is improved by this experience and the community spirit is has engendered keeps going.

The Living Threads artists have hopefully been using the enforced lockdown and sunny weather to get outside and have a good look at their gardens, ready for the theme of our next exhibition in April 2021. It has been a joy to see the blossom coming out, the bees buzzing about and to hear the sound of lawnmowers. Aren’t birds noisy? With no traffic noise I’ve become very aware of what is going on in the trees and on the fences in my garden.

For those that enjoy machine stitching, there are an abundance of NHS projects to help make scrubs and masks. I have been making scrub caps out of an incredibly awkward antimicrobial fabric for Paediatric ICU at Queens, Nottingham. We have been thrilled to see the doctors wearing them and to know that they are proving useful. Facebook is awash with surgical scrubs making sites and groups. There are, for home use, even some no-sew mask patterns around, but if you have a machine they are very quick to make. My daughter is with us at the moment but preparing for a return to London soon, so is busy sewing masks for herself and partner!

Until Lockdown is lifted we as a Living Threads Group, cannot make any decisions but we do expect to be able to offer our Autumn classes and we will be taking bookings hopefully in August. We have a Preview Day organised for 1st August, but more about that closer to the time, when we know more about the virus restrictions down the line. Please keep an eye on the website.

Don’t forget to check our website at: or email us at: or check us out on Facebook.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have had Covid-19, and that the rest of us manage to avoid it.

Until June, or the partial end of Lockdown, whichever comes first!


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

April 2020 newsletter

Since our last newsletter the world has changed and we are all taking measures to isolate from those around us. Luckily many of us have internet and mobile phones, so can connect by Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp and see each other face to face or pass messages, sharing news and funnies. You Tube, Online classes and Facebook are serving us well for creative outlets and there is an endless supply of books and magazines available via the library straight to your computer or tablet.

Meanwhile, here at Living Threads we have taken the decision to halt our Summer School classes and hope to transfer everyone to Autumn dates. Your tutors will be contacting those who had their classes cancelled in March, to offer alternative dates, and we will be taking bookings hopefully in August. We have a Preview Day organised for 1st August, but more about that closer to the time, when we know more about the virus restrictions down the line. Please keep an eye on the website.

We will also be bringing in our new online payment scheme, so please bear with us while we get familiar with all this!

We are all hunkered down at home, planning work for our exhibition next year, which will be all about Gardens. Luckily the sun came out last week to encourage us all and it has been a joy to watch the blossom on the early fruit trees, the bulbs blooming and the shrubs budding up. Bees are buzzing and I’ve already been bitten by an ant! Now more than ever we can become more aware of the beauty of our surroundings and the joy of simple things.

For those of you itching to keep busy creatively, the fabric shops are still open online, so quilters, dressmakers and embroiderers can add to their stash of fabric and threads. Most shops catering to the textiles market are open virtually, so you won’t run out of supplies and it is good to support these small businesses, or they won’t be around when we come out of this bubble. I’ve found lots of Sew-Along projects online, Facebook has loads of embroidery groups sharing and setting challenges, and you can find commercial classes and organised virtual retreats.

Don’t forget to check our website at: or email us at: or check us out on Facebook

We wish you all a lovely, if isolated, Easter and the full dawn of Spring.

Until May,


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor

March 2020 newsletter

All this rain and lack of sunshine is very miserable, but ideally suitable weather for some guilt free stitching! No point in venturing out to do any gardening or sightseeing, so our Living Threads members will be planning and preparing work for next year’s Exhibition instead. Our general theme is Gardens and we will be refining the parameters and titles over the next few weeks. Hopefully the waters will abate soon, the soggy ground will dry out and Spring will be firmly on its way. We do hope that none of you have been too badly affected by flooding.

LTG 40th Birthday Cake

We had a wonderful day in February celebrating 40 years of the Living Threads Group! We held an Afternoon Tea for members past and present, in which we gave thanks for our wonderful heritage of textile work and acknowledged the input of our Founder Members.

Our Spring workshop programme is almost upon us, almost all classes are full and we put on some extra dates to accommodate their popularity. Our thoughts are now turning to the Summer workshops which will run between late July and mid-August. The programme will be launched at the beginning of April, so do check the website and your email inbox. Early booking is recommended as some of the classes sold out very quickly last time.

We will be holding a “Summer Preview Day” on Saturday 4th April at Risely Village Memorial Hall, 10am – 2pm, where most of our tutors will have their workshop projects on show and bookings can be taken. Because we are changing our booking system and planning to take only online bookings, PayPal and BACs payments in future, the Preview Day is ideal for those who want to pay by cash or cheque, so please plan to attend if that is your preferred payment method.
N.B. When we have our new software up and fully running, all bookings will have to be made via online methods, so future bookings will only be available for cash or cheques on our Preview Days. We are sorry to make these restrictions, but managing the bookings is an onerous task and made much easier and safer by e-commerce software, with all its secure data and payment protection.

Also, in April, we will be having a Living Threads stand at the British Quilt and Stitch Village at the Uttoxeter Racecourse, April 17-19th. We will be showing some of our future workshop samples and a small exhibition of the Living Threads Study group’s work based on inspiration from 11am. Do come by and say hello, relieve us for a coffee or loo break or whatever!

The Living Threads Group are to be one of several local Groups showing their skills at the East Midlands Embroiderers’ Guild’s Regional Day on Sunday May 17th, 2020 at The Becket School, Becket Way, Wilford Lane, West Bridgford, NG2 7QY.   Nottingham Bobbin Lace Society and Derbyshire Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, along with a display of Members’ work from numerous Branches within the Region, Taster Sessions and several Traders, will also be part of the day. Our “Madeira” Lecture in the afternoon is by Michael Brennand-Wood, entitled “Pretty Deadly”.
This is not just for members – non-members are most welcome to come and join in for the day.
Tickets for a Full Day are £10.00 if bought beforehand, or £12.50 on the door.
Morning only £5.50; or for the afternoon Lecture only – £7.50.
Further details can be found on the Embroiderers Guild website:
and Tickets purchased from:

Remember to check the Living Threads website in early April or attend the Preview Day on 4th April 10am – 2pm if you are interested in joining the Summer workshops. We’d love to see you!

We hope you are enjoying regular updates on the Living Threads Group. You can follow us on the Facebook page and our website. We welcome feedback. To this end there is a dedicated Living Threads email address:

Thank you for all the positive feedback received so far on receiving this newsletter. If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so, but please be aware this will also mean you will not receive the workshop programme mailings.

Until April,
Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor


February 2020 newsletter

Since our very successful exhibition last October at Trent College, there have been significant changes to our Living Threads Group. Some of our key membership roles have changed, with members stepping down and a new committee formed.

We are still committed to exhibiting and running our teaching programme as well as moving forward as a group, embracing new technologies and social media methods to further enhance what we offer and how we operate. You will see, over the next few months, a further expansion of our website, allowing us to take workshop bookings online, a members’ forum and e-newsletters such as this.
We also now have a Facebook page, which we encourage you to check out.
We respect your privacy and understand the need for security, so please be assured that your addresses, etc, are held securely and emails are sent by MailChimp, not held on any member’s computer. This is in line with Data Protection rules and ensures your privacy.

These changes will come about gradually and probably will experience some teething problems and we welcome feedback. To this end there is a dedicated Living Threads email address:

Our exhibition “Connections” in October 2019 was a great success and we were able to make a significant donation to the Alzheimer’s charity. Thank you to everyone who came to see our work, to meet us and to buy from our shop or purchase pieces in the exhibition. Your company and enjoyment of the show was greatly appreciated.

We will be returning to the Easter format in future and have booked Trent College for April 2021. Future newsletters will give more details.

Our Spring workshop programme was launched at the exhibition and has booked extremely well. We held a “Meet the Tutors” day on 25th January, which was attended by over 100 people and almost all the workshop places are now filled. It was a lively and fun event, with lots of demos and interaction. Our website shows details of those classes that still have places, so it is not too late to scoop up those last exciting opportunities!

We plan to hold “Workshop Preview” days in a similar vein. The first one will be on Saturday 4th April. 10am to 2pm at Risley Village Memorial Hall.

Our Summer programme will be out in April – again, more details in future monthly newsletters. Please keep checking the website and Facebook pages for any news and updates. Meanwhile, we will be having a stand at the British Quilt and Stitch Village at the Uttoxeter Racecourse, April 17-19th. You can also find us at the Embroiderers’ Guild Regional Day on 17th May at the Becket School, West Bridgford. Please do come and say hello.

We hope you have found this newsletter interesting and informative. They will be dropping onto our blog at the beginning of each month.

Until March,


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor