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CETG Online Talk on Monday 11th January 2021

Social evening – CETG hand stitching groups

Friendly, collaborative and experimental

CETG currently has three Hand Stitching groups which meet in members’ houses on a regular basis. All three groups produce some incredible work but operate in very different ways. Each group showed work carried out by members and talked about what they gain from membership.  Despite technical problems, a most entertaining and fascinating evening was enjoyed by all who joined the meeting.


The first Hand Stitch Group was formed in 2012 as a friendly and fun way to share ideas, experience and knowledge.  The ten members have attended textile exhibitions, organised workshops with outside tutors and explored larger scale work in week-long summer sewing retreats.  Challenges they have set each other include creating work on a particular theme, such as leaves or mandalas, or making something out of a bag of six assorted items provided by another member.  They also work on their own projects using techniques including cross stitch, blackwork, goldwork, patchwork and canvas work.

Pictures: The tree by Sue was part of the group challenge on the theme of leaves designed by Elaine Mork and was featured in Stitch magazine issue 121 - October/ November 2019.  “Gillian Hare” by Delia is a design by Maria del Valle Olivera from Inspirations Magazine #97.


The second Group was started in 2017 and has carried out a series of collaborative projects, where members work together on sections of a single design which is later joined together, or all stitch their individual version of a project plan.  The nine members have a wide variety of expertise and style, and although little stitching is done in meetings, much discussion about how to complete the project goes on.  In addition to regular meetings, they have held a number of member-led workshops on eco-dyeing, gelli printing and fabric scorching.


The group showed examples of all their projects to date, starting with the initial round robin which laid the basis for their future method of work.  The first picture shows a later piece, each square completed by a different stitcher using only straight stitch in a variety of threads in orange and grey.  The variety of results with just one stitch is impressive, and was mounted on a stretched canvas for display.


A later project was to create a butterfly, everyone using the same outline at the same size, but with no other restrictions.  The second picture shows Diane’s butterfly created in free machine embroidery on dissolvable fabric, with additional hand stitch and bead embellishment.  The talk ended with quotes from members about the friendship, encouragement and support all have received from others in the group.


Pictures: Mounted orange and grey project.  Diane’s butterfly.


The third Hand Stitch Group is the most recently formed, in January 2020, and despite the challenges of meeting during lockdown, have already completed an interesting body of work. The members, including textile artist Janet Edmonds take it in turns to suggest experimental challenges which have included red work, incorporating stones in their work and creating new fabrics.


Picture: Janet Edmonds – 3 stones attached 3 ways with stitch.


At the end of the evening any CETG members wishing to join a stitch group were invited get in touch with the third group. 




Text © Liz Wilmott CETG

Photos © Liz Wilmott CETG, Janet Edmonds

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