Friday 23 March 2018

Bobbin Lace Workshop

To complement our new fortnightly bobbin lace-making course with Clare Auty, we are holding a one-day lace workshop with one of our most experienced and skilled tutors, Liz Baker.

Liz tutoring a small Guild member

This will be an opportunity to try lace-making for the first time, to start a new lace pattern or to continue with existing projects that need a kick-start.

Liz starts everyone off with a beautiful lace snake with beaded eyes

It will take place on Friday, 20th April in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, running between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Lunch will be provided - also tea, coffee and possibly some Easter goodies! For more details or to book, please contact me on

Learning support is provided by a team of lace group babies

Friday 16 March 2018

Lace-making course

The Guild of St Clare is running a bobbin lace-making course, to be held fortnightly, beginning on the Thursday, 26th April. Each session will run between 8pm and 10pm, and our tutor is Clare Auty who is very kindly hosting these sessions in her own home.

Some of Clare's own work

This course will introduce you to Torchon lace techniques. Clare says: "Each piece builds on the previous piece, giving a good grounding in all Torchon stitches." The cost is £2.50 per session. Only a small number of places are available, so please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

To book a place, or to find out more, please email me at

A young Guild member making a lace bracelet

Sewing Retreat Report

The Guild of St Clare held its second Sewing Retreat in the teeth of the Beast from the East last weekend. The Carmelite Retreat Centre, where it took place, is in a delightfully rural location, at the top of Boars Hill. The roads were untreated, and retreatants defied the blizzard and the snowdrifts to make their way finally to the peace of sewing, spiritual conferences and, most importantly, the traditional liturgy. 

Fr John Hunwicke, chaplain to the Retreat, gave a series of talks on types and anti types in the Old and New Testaments in relation to Lent and Easter, celebrated daily Mass, and led us in Benediction and Compline. The retreatants worked unstintingly on the various vestment repairs, and achieved an astonishing amount, including replacing worn-out orphreys on a chasuble, reattaching fringe and clasps to a red and gold cope, re-making maniples and a burse, and repairing the nineteenth century handmade bobbin lace on an alb. 

Mending these often very beautiful vestments, which will be used in celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, is to assist at Mass in a tangible way; it is a reward in itself. It's no wonder that the retreatants form such a happy community while working together on them. Many thanks to everyone who braved the weather to take part. Next year's retreat will take place on the first weekend of February. Bookings will open shortly on the LMS website.