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.