My Sewing Group is Starting Up Again | Libbertine Vale - The Harm Chair

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Source Union Wharf Marina and Waterfront Restaurant.

On Thursday, I went out for tea with twenty-three members and friends of Aspects of Stitch, our local stitching and sewing group, at the Waterfront Restaurant in Market Harborough. It was the first time everyone had met up in person since the start of lockdown and everyone was very excited.

Well, there was a lot of gossip because there have been massive changes to the Embroiderers' Guild, the national organisation that the local branch was federated to. The Embroiderers Guild had hit hard times, ("it had been on a downward spiral for some time," whispered some members to me, conspiratorially and with relish) and the pandemic had all but finished it off, due to the way membership subscriptions are collected.

As a result, the Guild had changed its ways ("none too soon, either" said my whispering friends), and was focusing on key activities - looking after the National Collection, supporting graduates among other things. In order to reduce costs, the Guild was ditching supporting ("interfering" said the whisperers) the local branch network. Branches were able to continue if they wished, under their own steam, and could affiliate to the Guild as long as they had an acceptable constitution. The Guild would cover insurance for the first year, and local groups would still have access to the Guild's Folio collection.

It all seemed for the better, really, the Guild would concentrate on doing what it did best, and local groups had more freedom to run as the members wished. The committee had put together a special low-cost programme to take the group through September to the end of January, with an inaugural meeting in September to gauge support for a new, independent local group.

Well, there was a lot of backwards and forwards over all the news, and questions and answers and plenty of opinions about the Guild, all over a lovely three course meal in our own private dining room. I caught up with lots of old friends and met some new people, and shared lots of inspiration and ideas for sewing. I'm really looking forward to the group starting up again.

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Source The private dining room upstairs at the Waterfront Restaurant. Menus. There was a gorgeous selection of food and the portions were enormous. I had soup followed by salmon and asparagus, there were also delicious puddings - Eton Mess, Chocolate Brownie and Gin and Lemon Posset (the favourite).

Since then, with renewed enthusiasm, I found some materials for a project (more about that in another post) and did some research about the Embroiderers' Guild and what they are up to now, including finding out about Libbertine Vale and the new ThreadIT global virtual needlework community.

Libbertine Vale

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Source Embroidery by Libbertine Vale from an exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.

Libbertine Vale was the Embroiders Guild Scholar in 2019. She says:

My practice is multi-pronged and experimental but one thing that unites it is the desire to use interaction as a tool to the develop work ... For instance, ‘The Harm Chair’ where I asked people in social media how their social anxiety kept them in their chair rather than out mixing with their friends and received forty pages of responses within an hour, I then free motion embroidered these onto fabric and upholstered them onto a traditional armchair, embedding the emotion felt whilst using an object, onto the object. (Source)

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Source The Harm Chair by Libbertine Vale, 2019. Libbertine Designs

I loved these ideas, I'm really looking forward to seeing some of Libbertine's work exhibited. There are lots of other inspiring artists included in the presentation for the Embroiderers Guild AGM (they start at Slide 9).

I'm so pleased the sewing group is starting up again!

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Saturday Savers Club
I run a savings club every Saturday over on the @eddie-earner account. We're aiming to save £670 ($800) by the end of the year using the 365 day savings challenge. You can join any time of the year and set your own goals and plans (some people are saving Hive, others Bitcoin, some their local currency). We share savings tips and there's a free giveaway every week.

Wednesday Wellbeing Club
I'm hosting a Wellbeing Club on Wednesdays from 11 August until 24 November 2021 in the Natural Medicine community. It's for anyone who wants to make a lifestyle change. We have a weekly check-in and hot wellness tips, and a weekly giveaway. Here's the back story and the launch post with more information. Everyone is welcome.

Three things newbies should do in their first week and, for most things, forever afterwards!

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