Pamela Smith Arts and Crafts Movement in Russia

Posted on Updated on

Pamela gave us a fascinating talk about the Arts and Crafts Movement in Russia.  Intrigue about the subject was awakened when her husband was sent to Moscow professionally with his work at the British Council. She was fascinated by the traditional even weave white linen with mostly red stitches.  Some centres recognised the beauty of these garments and household textiles,  and carried on the tradition.

Pamela explained that the fashion for huge exhibitions prompting elaborate structures, and the works exhibited there often ignored their rich history and tradition.

It seems that the beautiful “peasant ” works of technical artistry were over looked when it came to exporting their textiles, or selling to the emerging tourist industry.

Pamela told us about the museum in Halifax where the mayor who had worked in Russia and seen the beautiful traditional and practical embroidered garments wanted to display examples of Russian textiles.  A fellow councillor was about to visit Russia and was tasked to purchase examples to be displayed in their new museum.  On his return, his purchases proved to be a disappointing pile of tourist standard work.  Apparently they have mainly been consigned to the Museum store and not displayed.

For more information about Pamela’s research go to her site:




April Meeting- Michele Carragher

Posted on

For our April meeting  Liss in Stitches had the pleasure of Michele Carragher coming to speak about her work as an artist and embroiderer for film and TV.
Many will recognise her work from Elizabeth I, Game of Thrones as well as other productions. Her work amazed us all – the research, planning and execution of the most stunning hand embroidery.  Michele explained about the challenges of working on film and TV sets – getting used to tough deadlines and horrors of horrors the scenes being cut from the film!
We were equally delighted to have  48 visitors join us for the talk, including several students. Find out more about her stunning work at her website.

March Meeting – Helen Sill

Posted on Updated on

We had a most fascinating evening – no one wanted to go home!  Helen showed us many examples of Kantha which is basically using running stitches to make a  shape or pattern.  It was and maybe in some places still is a practical way of stitching together old saris to make warm bed covering.  In the west we have discovered it as a of embellishment.

Often a pattern is added to the shape. Here are some of Helens examples and our “work in progress”.  We had a great time and thank you Helen, one of our members, for showing us this fascinating technique from the Asian sub-continent.

Works in progress






Information for March meeting -Helen Sill Kantha Creatures

Posted on

Requirements List

  • Basic sewing kit – needles, pins etc.
  • Perle, DCM or Aurifil threads – (don’t buy anything specially)
  • 3 pieces of thin plain cotton fabric no bigger than A5 size (any colour) – these will be layered on top of each other and quilted together (top layer could be thinner fabric)
  • Pencil

February meeting – Wrapping Stones!

Posted on Updated on

A very enjoyable evening was had on Tuesday 19th February with an activity wrapping a stone run by members Liz and Ann. A stone was chosen and members then wrapped in handmade felt, stitched to hold in place and then embellished with beads, buttons and any other treasures they wanted to include. The activity was incredibly therapeutic and a real winner with all who took part.


We also brought to the meeting, pages we had done for the Fair Trade fortnight display in Petersfield.  Our contribution is going into One Tree Books and Mike has designed a fetching display.


Notes for our next meeting

Posted on

Liz and Ann are going to run an evening where we will be wrapping stones and decorating them with hand embroidery, beads, buttons etc.

Member are asked to bring their hand sewing kit, threads  and any other things they may have to adorn their stone!  Ann and Liz will be providing the stones, felt for wrapping and other small items that can be used in the decoration.

January 2019 Lorna Bateman

Posted on

On a very cold evening, we were delighted that so many members had braved to weather to join us for the first meeting of 2019.  We welcomed back and old friend, Lorna, who we first met as a member many years ago when she and her family had just moved to Hampshire from South Africa.  Right from the start it was obvious that Lorna had a passion for hand embroidery, and especially portraying flowers.  Her inspiration has always been gardens and she regaled us with her textile journey culmination with the gestation of her first book expected later this year.jan 3

Lorna with some of her amazing work.



She told us about how she had progressed to making her own designs and the challenge of getting them professionally printed.  Accessing the wide range of threads and of the exhibitions and countries she has been invited to teach.  It was incredible to hear of the different expectations of different cultures – in Russia she had huge classes – lasting 8 hours with hardly any break.  All her instructions and conversations with the students had to be translated as she went along – no wonder it was such a tiring experience.

Teaching in USA is an ongoing expedition and Lorna is off there again this year. She was hopeful that at long last her book will be published. We heard of what a long and arduous commitment it had been with the publishers being very exacting with their requests for more and more pieces of her work to feature.

Lorna is going to be running a workshop for us in March – what an amazing opportunity to learn from her exquisite work!