Alison Liz's blog


I had a Whitework class in my studio yesterday – good class, first of 3 sessions and they all made great progress! Keep practising the faggot stitch, ladies, don’t forget it (Don’t blame me, I didn’t christen it…)

One of the things that came up in discussion was ‘what is a basic sewing kit?’. As we all do, I asked them to bring a ‘basic sewing kit’ (and a pack-up), but what do we really mean by that? Good question!

Weekend Workshop for Boston Branch EG

Sorry I've not posted for a while, Dear Reader. I've been madly busy, and also thinking in terms of updating the website, and dreading the thought.

However, I had a great weekend just gone at a Workshop for Boston Branch of the Embroiderers Guild. It even worked with the rotten weather, because I went down on Friday afternoon before it got going, and by the time I set off back on Sunday the roads were clear!

A couple of important thoughts, and an apology!

First of all, a huge apology for not having posted anything for ages. I’ve been madly busy, and had a lot to do and think about. I need to work on updating and developing the website, and that has caused me to neglect things, which is not good. “My bad” as they say (although I’m not entirely sure what it means....?)


One of the many books in my possession is a facsimile of an early 16th century pattern book, published by Lacis in 1999. A few years ago one of the patterns caught my imagination. Its a depiction of St Margaret of Antioch, a young Christian woman who refused to marry the man her father had chosen, and was fed to a dragon. Apparently the cross she was carrying irritated the dragon's stomach, and after three days it split open and she was freed unharmed (and apparently not even stained by the dragon's bodily fluids!)

Trip to Furrin Parts!

My apologies, Dear Reader, for not posting anything for several months. Life has been rather hectic for several reasons. A family illness and bereavement complicated December, and then I was somewhat busy during January getting organised for a trip to ‘furrin parts’, which took place in February.

The trip was to NEW ZEALAND – nothing like going the whole hog if you are planning a trip, is there? If you are flying the world you might as well fly all the way to the other side!

A New Project!

I've just finished a project I've been threatening to do for some years, namely to make a new angel for our Xmas tree. The old one is 18 years old, and was made in something of a rush. It's been looking sad for a few years, and every year I have said "I must make a new angel" and every year I have forgotten or got too involved in other stuff. This year Hull and East Riding New Stitchers (HENS) have a tree in Beverley Minster for their Christmas festival, which I think is the weekend of 9-11th December. So members have been making Xmas decorations all year to put on the tree.

Weekend out to play!

I am just returned from a wonderful weekend out to play in the Big Scary Smoke! I came down to London on Friday morning, mainly to go to the Association of Dress Historians annual conference at the Artworkers Guild. The weekend kicked off with a tour, organised by ADH, of the Clothworkers Hall Textile Resource Centre of the V&A. One of the staff showed us their storage facilities - the biggest range of shelves/drawers I have ever seen, all of those archive type where you wind them on so you can get at the shelves. Vast!


This morning I've finished a project I've been working on for almost exactly a year. It's an embroidered Stomacher, loosely based on a design from Charles de St Aubin's book, The Art of the Embroiderer, which dates from 1770. It's stitched on ivory silk, using silk thread and silver passing thread. The green edges of the ribbon, and the silver passing thread are tamboured, and the rest is long-and short stitch, chain stitch satin stitch and French knots, mostly with spilt silk thread.

A weekend in Norfolk

Had a great time this last weekend in Norfolk. We were staying with some old friends from my former prison (aka full-time work) who had moved to furrin parts in Aylsham. Margaret had roped me in to demonstrate at the Woolfest she was helping to organise, called "Woolly Worsted"! It's their first go at a wool festival for Norfolk, and the whole weekend went very well.

Visit to Nottingham

I had a great day on Sunday this weekend, visiting the EG East Midlands Region Regional Day at West Bridgford, in Nottingham. I was lecturing in the afternoon, about recreating historical embroidery.