Wednesday 27 November 2013

New Pall

The Guild of St Clare was commissioned to make a new black pall for use with a small catafalque at Requiems. This was completed just in time for the Traditional Sung Requiem for deceased members of St Benet's Hall, Oxford, the Benedictine house of study, which is now an annual event.

The new pall in use in the small chapel of St Benet's. The celebrant is Fr Edward Van den Bergh, of the London Oratory and also an alumnus of the Hall.

The pall was made with silk dupion from Beckford Silk and trimmed with brocade from Vanpoulles. More photos can be viewed on Joseph Shaw's Flickr page.

Monday 25 November 2013

Forthcoming Events for 2014

The Guild of St Clare is holding two training events in the first half of 2014 (more will follow).

First, on Saturday, 22nd February, there will be a Goldwork Day, held in Oxford at the church hall of St Anthony of Padua in Headington. The tutor is Sarah Rakestraw from Golden Hinde, and the cost is £40 per person plus materials.

Second, spread over two days, the 9th and 16th August, we are having bobbin lace making for beginners, also in Oxford, at The Fibreworks in the Cowley Road. The price for this is also £40.

Places for both these courses are extremely limited so please make sure you book in good time! Email to reserve your place.


The 22nd February is also the date of the Oxford Pro-Life Witness, which is held from 3pm at the same church where we will be conducting the Goldwork course. People hoping to come and sew are very welcome to attend the course and take time out for the Witness. We will all have tea together afterwards - do bring friends and family too!

Saturday 23 November 2013

The Guild of St Clare at Towards Advent

The Guild of St Clare is at the Towards Advent fair today!

We are selling embroidery kits, Christmas decorations, vintage tea cups and Ceri's ever popular cake pops!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday 29 August 2013

Gold Altar Frontal for St Alphege's

The gold altar frontal, commissioned for the church of St Alphege’s in Bath, has now been completed. It is made with silk from the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, a Suffolk-based company which specialises in the replica of historical fabrics, and lined with white Irish linen. Here you can see the before and after photos.

The very plain forward altar

The altar with its new gold altar frontal

The church still requires altar frontals in four other colours, so watch this space for more!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

New Banner by the LMS Treasurer

The LMS is very fortunate to have an enthusiastic needleworker in its treasurer, the indefatigable Paul Waddington. Here is his most recent creation - a banner for the Latin Mass Society. He assures the Guild of St Clare that he has already begun work on a new one - we can't wait to see it!

First banner by Paul Waddington

Saturday 13 April 2013

New commission

The Guild of St Clare is delighted to have been commissioned to create a set of altar frontals for the beautiful church of St Alphege in Bath.

The church was designed by Gilbert Scott and completed in the 1920s. It was featured in A Glimpse of Heaven by Christopher Martin. More recently, a new book has been written about it, called Our Lady and St Alphege, Bath: Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's Little Gem of a Church, by Caroline Shaw (spot the family connection!)

We are very excited to have been called on to assist with beautifying the interior of the church. We hope to complete our first frontal (appropriately, a gold one) by June.

Friday 11 January 2013

Exciting new acquisition!

Thanks to the generosity of the St Catherine's Trust, the Guild of St Clare has some exciting acquisitions - three beautiful Brother Innovis Anniversary sewing machines.

They're pink! And they're not bad at sewing either
They have a total of 16 stitches, an automatic needle threading system (anyone who has struggled trying to thread machine needles by hand will know this is good news), and best of all a speed limiter, so the machine doesn't run away with its user! The machines will be used for teaching children at the Guild of St Clare children's chapter meetings and also at the St Catherine's Trust Summer School. They will also be available for loan to ladies doing sewing for liturgical purposes.

Saturday 5 January 2013

National Training Day Report

The Guild of St Clare held its first ever National Training Day today, at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace. Twelve Guild members travelled to the magnificent Tudor palace to learn Beginners' Ecclesiastical Goldwork.

Today's project!
Representatives of all three chapters of the Guild were present. The ladies from Birmingham had the longest journey - one lucky London member lives just a few minutes away.

Getting down to work

The standard of tuition at the Royal School of Needlework is always extremely high and we were very fortunate today to have the supervision of Heather Lewis, a graduate of the RSN with a great deal of conservation experience.

Our tutor, Heather, demonstrates couching with pearl purl
 We were very grateful for the lavish refreshments provided at mid-morning!

Tea and chocolate biscuits were kindly provided for our relief by the RSN
We were kept hard at work, learning the various different skills needed to complete the project.

All this hard work got too much for one student
 We persevered, however.

Which way up does this thing go again?

Amanda Lewin sewing down her felt padding. She is using a seat embroidery frame.

Amanda's half-completed work

 This is a collage of my work as the day progressed. The complete purple sampler at the bottom is the work of our tutor, Heather Lewis.

My work at progressive stages
One respect in which we were really impressed by the RSN staff was their willingness to help us with our own voluntary work. One of the Birmingham Guild members brought a damaged cope, covered with goldwork, with her, and the RSN teachers were most generous with their advice, even going so far as to make a list of the threads that would be necessary to complete the reparations. Their reward will be great in heaven!

The damaged cope with the long list of equipment necessary to repair it, provided by one of the RSN students
 The day would have been incomplete without a visit to the RSN shop - we invested very wisely in books and sewing kits.

The RSN shop

The day was enormously enjoyed by all, and another date will be speedily booked! Please continue to pray for the growth of this most promising apostolate.