Alnwick Embroiderers’ Guild

Being Creative – My Stitch Journey was the title of a talk with many illustrations given by Rachel Lombard at a recent meeting of Alnwick Embroiderers’ Guild.

Rachel explained how she had stitched as a child but had gone on to study political science, a far cry from needle and thread.

However, her interest in textiles was just below the surface and was stirred into action by a photograph she had taken on holiday of one of her children sitting on a flight of stairs.

The stairs were decorated with tiles in a geometric pattern and she realised this would make a good quilt design.

Having completed her first piece she wanted to find out more but was thwarted when the quilting course she wanted to attend was fully booked.

As an alternative she went to an embroidery City and Guilds course and realised this was where her heart lay and the rest, as they say, is history.

Rachel was able to combine her enthusiasm for drawing and design with fabrics and threads. She showed a fascinated audience many of the pieces she had made for the course and told how they had come about and the particular techniques involved in their construction.

However, Rachel veered away from traditional materials and began to use paper for her work.

She explained how crumpling brown paper broke up the fibres and then painting it made it suitable for stitching.

There were several examples on display which showed how effective this technique is. She currently tutors workshops and courses and is the co-author of a book “How to be Creative in Textile Art.” A second book about contemporary appliqué is due next year.

The next meeting of the Guild is on Saturday, November 2, when Kay Gardiner will give an illustrated talk about the Embroideries of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Some embroidery associated with the queen is currently on display at the National Museum of Scotland until mid-November. Visitors are very welcome (£4 admission) at St Michael’s Church Hall at 2pm.