In spite of all the fights and fits of the vapours on Saturday we got it together had one of our Grown Up Stitching Ladies networking conferences, started with and AGM and everything. Managed to exit one Chairperson and finagle in the new one without any blood on the floor, just a few slightly edgy comments.
It was a long day, bits of it were good, bits were very good and the rest was a pain. An afternoon nap would have been a very good idea.
The piece of work above is done in Blackwork, a traditional stitch the Elizabethans prized for the Queen's decorated sleeves and other less exalted rich ladies and gents. [double click to see stitching, I hope]
Random Rebecca was the leader for one of four workshops, this was a sample of her work when she was a student. Now she is out in the big wide world, - unfortunately her workshop was not not so carefully planned - relying on leafing thru her sketch books and chatting.
I guess I would have sulked less if the stories had been more interesting, the sketch books of better quality or if the whole thing didn't mean I had to sit there for an hour and a half with no sewing to keep me acquiescent.
She was charming, but she is going to have learn that we need more than charm and even talent these days. That makes me sound such a sour puss, but there you have it, women do have to try harder.
This work shop was the opposite, run by a leader who was so intense and focused she could hardly spare time to breathe, guess there was no pleasing me.
We had a competition where the members were each sent a print of a sample of original fabric stored at the Archive, the challenge was to develop the piece into something else. I enjoyed this one called Bad Hair Day.
I didn't win anything, which was justice as there were some very good examples among the 37 entered. My sample was of blousey pink roses, so being my flippant self I redesigned it with some of my blousey pink ladies cavorting among the petals. Except for me and Bad Hair Day - everyone else took it seriously.
The best part was a talk from one of the members about the research she is doing in a nineteenth century Foundlings Hospital.
It was set up to take in and care for abandoned babies. Mothers who hoped for a better life for their babes left them with a token. So that if times improved they could identify the token and claim the children back again. The Charity is no more, but the records are all stored at the museum in the original big iron box.
Janette has been unwrapping the written records for each babe revealing the scraps of cloth, often stitched, even knitted, secreted within. Some are just bits of ribbon, a scrap of cotton, part of a sleeve, a little bonnet, half a playing card. It was heart breaking, but at the same time I think we felt part of the continuity of women, stitching life together best we can.