An important part of my stitchy endeavours is my involvement with the Embroiderers’ Guild, particularly my local branch in Milton Keynes.
We meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Oxley Park Community Centre, and meetings generally run from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Most months we have a speaker, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about new types of embroidery and talk with stitchers of all ages. I am the only male stitcher in the branch (at the moment) but I really enjoy going along.
Our September meeting featured a talk from Pat Trott and her Armenian Lace. Pat’s mother was Armenian and she taught this traditional style of embroidery to Pat, who travels around the country sharing this extremely delicate form of lacework with Guilds and groups, as well providing tuition on the subject.
Pat gave us a very engaging presentation and had a terrific range of lace pieces for us to look at and understand. From big bedsheets to tiny embellishments and lace edgings, it was great to see how this craft is used and reflects traditional Armenian culture.
I would encourage all you stitchers to get involved with your local Embroiderers Guild branches if you can. As much as we can learn about stitching on the interwebs, there’s nothing like spending time with experienced stitchers, and learning about different methods of stitching crafts.
I’ll be honest, I don’t always want to try everything I see, but as someone who cares deeply about embroidery, I think it’s very important to understand the breadth of the craft. And it’s fantastic to spend time in the real world with other people who share the same love for the stitch. So why not get in touch with your branch – who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new and put your own spin on it..!