Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tomorrows meeting

Just a reminder, next meeting is tomorrow 24th November.  We shall be working on our huge square using the printed fabric & ideas from last month, this is the last meeting before Christmas & when we return it will be onto the holiday project.  I am aiming to hold a short discussion during the meeting about the holiday project to make sure that we all are clear what our aims are & maybe to set some parameters???  If you have any ideas could you write them down & give them to me at the meeting, its all about stitching and I really dont want to spend half the meeting discussing ideas, but if you do have anything please let me know
To Affinity & Beyond or rather to S o f A (Satelites of Affinity)
Stitching Shelagh :-)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Sunday, 23 October 2011


Dont the months fly by.
I have selected one of your squares, photographed it, enlarged it & cropped it.  It does not matter if you like it or not (heehee) it will be the background or foreground for the PARENT PIECE
This is a 6 inch finished piece to sit besides your Baby blocks
These are suggestions of what to bring
A hoop
Stabiliser - felt, wadding, fabric, or interfacing
Stitchery stuff - hand or machine or both
Normal scissors etc
Additional fabrics & embellishments - but not the kitchen sink
YOUR BABY BLOCKS - these are to be your inspiration
This block can be stitched during this meeting & the next one on 24th November, it can be mounted at the November meeting & I will provide some ideas for this
See you on Thursday

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Hi Girls,  Photos all ready and fabric has arrived, shall have a mad printout this week, I love your images, I hope that you do, they are all so very different.  Brenda I need your image please.

I guess you all may have completely finished mounting your blocks, if you need and help etc then please do email me.  There are some completely stunning pieces, I think that everyone has at least one outstanding piece and they will make a stunning display

I have heard back from Rugby, but am still awaiting Bosworths, will get on to them again.  Will bring all the Rugby details to run by you all at the next meeting.

I shall email a suggested 'requirements' list for the next meeting

I saw Susie the other day and she sends her regards

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


will be there on Thursday with my 3 completed squares and another on the way

Monday, 19 September 2011


How are you getting on with your squares?  Are you stuck?  Bring them on Thursday & we will tackle them, see you then, remember you dont have to make them all, but 4 would be great x

Friday, 16 September 2011


Hi, I have now heard from nearly everybody that you are happy with the proposals
Here is the program:
SEPTEMBER - Finishing the squares that you want to do & mounting
You need 4 as a minimum
(If you have already completed this project then please bring in the squares & also bring in what you are working on at the moment)
OCTOBER - You will be provided with a piece of fabric with some of your squares printed onto it & ideas for stitch
NOVEMBER - Continue to stitch the larger piece, ready to mount
Ideas & inspiration for the Holiday project
JANUARY & FEBRUARY - Work on the HOLIDAY project, with suggestions & ideas if needed
MARCH onwards - Back to the H project of Holbein etc.  More details nearer the time
See you on Thursday, Shelagh x

Monday, 12 September 2011



Our next meeting is on 22nd September, hope you can all come. I thought we would continue with our theme of 'Holiday'. You can either start working with whatever you selected as your holiday inspiration or work from the Ideas Book if you have started one. If you would like to start an Ideas Book, you will need to bring a sketchbook, photos, magazine cuttings etc., from one or all of the first three inspirations which were HOLBEIN, FLOWERS BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER 'H' AND THOMAS HARDY POEMS. The idea is that now most of us have finished our C&G, we will start to make pieces for future exhibitions. Hope to see you all soon.



Saturday, 13 August 2011


Just to confirm that there will be no Affinity meeting for August as most of us will be involved in setting up the City & Guilds exhibition that day. Will post again closer to the September meeting.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Sorry girls its Torias birthday and we are decamping to London to the Tate to see the Miro exhibition & maybe to visit the Tower, I may not return!!
Have a lovely evening


Just to remind you that it's our Affinity meeting tomorrow (Thursday). It will just be a fun evening, with absolutely no stress!! You need a square or two of fabric, threads and any embellishments you fancy.
Hopefully see you all tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Anything is fine by me,I am looking forward to a round robin and trying to find a good piece of fabric to bring.


Thats fine by me, just wanted to be clear about what was happeningThanks


Katy are you still bringing in the African artefacts from your son?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Been thinking, thinking like Pooh Bear!!! (Spent too much time with 4 year old granddaughter).
To keep our meetings fun and interesting whilst we are unable to begin any new work or inspiration, I thought we might start a group activity at the next couple of meetings.
Each of us bring a square of fabric the same size as we have used for all our other squares. (3.25" x 3.25" max). The fabric can be anything you like but if flimsy it will need backing for stitching. At the July meeting we will each start the stitching on our square in any way we like - machine or hand stitch, your choice. Then after an allotted time (we can decided on the time limit on the night), we pass the square onto the next person and they will have the same amount of time to put whatever stitching they want onto your square. We carry on passing the squares to the next person until it is complete or we decide times up. We may or may not get one square each completed in the evening but if not, we just bring it back next meeting and carry on.
If you like this idea and want to join in, just bring a square of fabric along to the July meeting and any sewing supplies you need.
I also think we could use the next couple of meetings to start mounting our squares and getting some idea of how they will all go together. Could you bring all your completed and uncompleted squares together with boards and we will allocate an amount of time to do some work on those too.
Hope this suits everyone, if not feel free to speak up.

Monday, 4 July 2011

July Meeting

I am not sure what the outcome was about the July meeting?  Are we doing the meal or is Katy bringing some more of her sons yummy African artifacts?  Could you let me know Brenda, please.

Sorry cant find the lead at the moment to my phone to upload the pictures from last time

Monday, 13 June 2011

Hello All,
Feel too weak and insipid to actually do anything other than sit down somewhere so I've put my mind to July's meeting and where we could meet. A couple of places spring to mind - Shelagh seems to have nice photos on her blog of places in Broughton and I know there used to be a pub which did food - haven't been for years though. Don't know what you think of Broughton as a venue Shelagh, I know it's not half way between Northampton and Kettering but it's an idea.
The other place might be somewhere like Holcot which is a bit further along the A43. I'm not sure there is a pub in Holcot though but the White Swan at Lamport is only about a mile away. Holcot is close to Pitsford Reservoir so might be interesting.
These are just my suggestions all other ideas welcome. I leave you all to decide at next week's meeting on a suitable venue and whether in fact you all want to participate.
The idea behind the field trip is to sketch or photograph landscape which will be July's inspiration for our Ideas Book but combining this with a pub meal will be a lovely way to round off our City & Guilds course too.
Look forward to hearing the outcome of your decision on my return from holiday.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

june july meeting

Sounds good to me - will put thinking hat on for a venue for July .... maybe we can talk about it on Monday.... Cheers Carol

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

June and July Meetings


So sorry I wasn't able to come to Affinity last Thursday but I was so tired after a full on day at an Angie Hughes workshop and then an hour's drive home in torrential rain. I hope those of you who did go had an enjoyable evening.

Having spoken to some of you, I realise that though you have looked at one or more of the inspirations – Holbein, Flowers beginning with H and Thomas Hardy – you have not had time to explore and develop things for your Ideas Book. Most of us are at a critical stage with our City & Guilds work and of course this must take precedence. So, I thought it best if we just worked with these three inspirations for this month and next month and start with 3 new inspirations at the July meeting. Hope this is OK with everyone.

Unfortunately I won't be able to come to the June Affinity meeting either as I will be on holiday. However, Katy is manning the fort and will be bringing along all her African artefacts – so one new inspiration 'Africa' to join the existing 3 mentioned above. I am very sorry to be missing out on this but perhaps someone will kindly take photos for me so that I can catch up when I return.

For our July meeting, I wondered if you would all like to do something a little different? What I had in mind was for us to meet up somewhere between Kettering and Northampton where we can sketch or take photographs and then hopefully visit a local hostelry for food and beverage? If this is something that appeals, could you please put your thinking caps on and give me some ideas as to where would be suitable to meet. I'm thinking perhaps a village type of area where we can park in the pub car park, wiz round doing our sketching or photography and then back to the pub to eat. Oh and there is an inspiration from all this, it will be L for Landscape. I'll tell you the others when we all meet up.

Look forward to seeing you all soon and please have a think about where we could meet for the July meeting and email me any ideas.


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Flower pounding

Sellotape actually works better than masking tape

Ideas Book

Apologies for not posting sooner to remind you all of the subjects chosen for our 'Ideas Book'. They are Holbein, Flowers beginning with 'H' and Thomas Hardy. This will be your personal 'Ideas Book' and therefore you can put anything you like in and work it however you want, there are no restrictions.
I tried some flower pounding a week or so ago and following Shelagh's advice, didn't add any mordant at all, just prewashed calico/cotton, dried it then laid the flowers/leaves as I wanted them. Covered and stuck them to the fabric with masking tape (right side of flower facing to the fabric) and worked out some pent up stress by hammering all over them. I'll show you the results at our next meeting - the leaves worked particularly well but some of the flowers were OK too. If you want to do some at our next meeting, all you will need is a piece of cotton fabric prewashed to remove 'dressing', masking tape, hammer and freshly picked flowers/leaves.
Look forward to seeing you on 26th May.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Hello All,

Hope you are enjoying the Easter sunshine.


Our next Affinity meeting is this coming Thursday 28th April – hope you can all make it. Here is what's on the Agenda:


  1. Brainstorm/discussion on Holiday project
  2. Review the final squares and progress on joining method
  3. Plan for our monthly meetings
  4. Things we bought /saw at the NEC
  5. Show and tell



Happy Easter!



Saturday, 2 April 2011

3 inch squares

I have received 120 of the little brown squares to mount our work on.  With the postage each square will cost 25p.  I will bring them to the next meeting.  It has been quite hard finding enough for all of us & I have paid for them, so I would appreciate the money for however many you want at the next meeting.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Folling the discussion on how to mount our joint textile pieces,Charles came home from work to say he was throwing away a load of fabric did I want it.Turns out that it could be the fabric that velcro sticks to. So I will have to experiment.

March Meeting

For those of you not able to come last night, the next three words for the last letter 'Y' are Yellow, Yin and Yang and Yarn. We discussed ways in which we might mount all or most of the squares together to form our 'signature' piece for any exhibitions we may do in the future.
The chosen 'title' for our next project was 'From print to Stitch' and the theme elected by general consensus is 'Holidays'. We all agreed that we will work through this project as a group although we will each select our own image to inspire us. The piece can be any size up to a max of 24" x 24" and a minimum of 6" x 6". We will work on this one (or series) - your choice - through the coming months with our deadline for completion being the September meeting. The format can be of your own choosing. I will endeavor to formulate some sort of plan for the coming meetings and will post details as and when I can.
Thank you to all who contributed to our show and tell and our 'new products' last night, I feel it adds interest to our meetings and makes me spend more money:) Thanks Carol especially, the Jan Messant book is now on order from Amazon!!
This group will only be successful if we all take part and contribute and I am so encouraged by last night's meeting, so thank you all.
Already looking forward to April's meeting!

The Squares

Blogger won't let me had a comment to your post Shelagh for some unknown reason but the answer is yes, we did decide to mount them on the wooden squares and add velcro to the back. Thank you for trying to source these.


Hi, I really enjoyed last nights meeting, even though I was a bit 'out of it' sorry,  I love the HOLIDAYS decision.
I have cancelled my order for the 3 inch squares from Canada as the postage was horrendous!
But have found a company over here that is going to try & get 4 sets for us.  I figure that 96 should be enough:-) I think we agreed to mount them on the squares & then add velcro?  Will someone let me know this is right before I order them?  Happy holidays!!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Agenda for March Meeting

Hello Affinity


Finally managed to put the photos of the Jan/Feb squares on the blog – aren't they just fantastic!


Just to remind you our next meeting is this coming Thursday 24th March and the proposed agenda is as follows:


  1. The last letter for our squares
  2. Discussion about how we might join these squares together
  3. And the winner is........... Announcing our next project
  4. Discussion about content of future meetings
  5. New products/gadgets to show – note these don't have to be new, they can be things that you have had for a while but find useful.
  6. Show and Tell – any project/craft you may be working on
  7. Completed squares from last meeting


With regard to Item 2 on the Agenda (joining all our squares together), I see this display as being our signature piece to be shown at all exhibitions/displays we may do in the future. Hope everyone will have a think about how we can assemble these squares which will set them off to their best advantage. They are all so beautiful and deserve to be mounted in a prestigious way.


See you all on Thursday.




Thursday, 24 February 2011


Lovely evening ladies.  I hope that I didnt go on too much.  We have really exciting ideas ahead, the squares are wonderful, such creative ideas.  See some of you on Monday.  Thanks for the lift Fran & the little bit of Chris!!!!

Monday, 21 February 2011


Sorry, I forgot to say, can you also bring the squares you brought last time as well as any you have done since, so that I can take a proper photo of them this time :) Many thanks

Thursday's meeting 24th February

Hello All,
Our next meeting is this coming Thursday, 24th February. Hope to see you all. Just to remind you about the new format to our meetings:
New (to you) gadgets, tools, fabrics, threads - Please bring anything new you have bought since the last meeting. Hopefully there will also be some new products from Bee Inspired too.
Ideas for future projects - Any thoughts to add to the 4 ideas presented at our last meeting. Carolyn mentioned an idea she has had - actually Carolyn I think from the way you explained things to me, you have two ideas. I have thought of a title for each, the first being 'Memories' and the second being 'Hidden depths'. Carolyn can explain her thoughts for these at our meeting. We will take a vote from all the ideas at our March meeting, on which idea we explore for our next project.
Show and Tell - please bring anything you are working on or have made, whatever the hobby.
See you Thursday.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


Hello Affinity!

It's been a while since the last Newsletter but now I have lots to report. We had an excellent meeting last week with more squares presented which I think have become more inventive and gorgeous as the months have gone on. Very well done to everyone. I can't wait until the final letter has been completed and we can see all the squares together in one huge display – it will be spectacular!

This month's letter is 'N' and the prompt words are Nought, Nap and Needle. Suggestions for 'Nought' are stitching across holes, burning away to nothing, dissolving away to nothing, using the letter O or zero.

For 'Nap', velvet, corduroy, suede, fur, moleskin etc.

And finally for 'Needle' twin, triple or wing needles, knitting needles.

And of course any other ideas you might have, these are just to get you started.


I've been giving some thought about our monthly meetings and how we can develop and use some of the time to inspire and educate us. This is taking us back to the General Structure for Affinity when we first set up back in August – here's a reminder of the Group's core principles:

  1. Share creative flair and embrace all types of stitching with like minded people

  2. Encourage new work and the personal development of its members

  3. Promote the art of stitching through exhibitions and displays; thereby encouraging and inspiring others and ourselves

  4. Support and improve the quality of textile creating in its broadest sense

With this in mind, and for those who were unable to come to the meeting, here's what we discussed for slots at our future meetings:

New gadgets/tools/products/books/websites etc. – Bring along anything that is new to you to show the rest of the group. For example for this meeting I brought along an Asian Flower Knot maker – a simple device with a lovely result available from Rainbow Silks. Shelagh brought along her manual felting machine and showed how it could be used to both texture fabric and 'tack' pieces of fabric/media together. A very useful desktop tool and not expensive available from Amazon.

David of Bee Inspired has also agreed to set aside any new products he gets in the shop for us to see firsthand.

I should emphasise that all the above are for viewing only and not for group use so you can rest assured that whatever you bring along will only be for showing.

Show and Tell – We all have a variety of hobbies which we pursue in our own time and it would be nice to share those interests with the group, so we will have a 'show and tell' section at each meeting. This can be any hobby related item (not City & Guilds stuff). I think a collection of various things to look at will give us all tremendous inspiration and help spark ideas for our own particular interests.

Speakers - At the odd meeting, it would be inspirational and educational to engage a speaker for a workshop. Everyone is asked to consider a suitable candidate. We can take a vote on any suggestions and then get an idea of cost involved and whether it's viable. We can decide between us whether we throw the evening open to others but this will probably be by invitation and pre-payment only. Please let me have your suggestions so that we can get the ball rolling as I imagine that we will have to book well in advance. Carol, you may be able to advise roughly what the going rate is for a fairly well known speaker/workshop?


Going back to one of our core principles of 'promoting the art of stitching through exhibitions and displays', Shelagh made a very good point in that we need to build up a body of work before we commit ourselves to an exhibition. We already have a group piece, now well under way with the squares, which we plan to select from and form into one large display. We only have two more letters to go and need to put our minds to what we do next.

The following are some ideas I had one very sleepless night but would welcome any further suggestions before or at the February meeting. I'll collate them and publish on the blog and then we can take a vote at the March meeting on which idea we take forward first. The March meeting will be the last letter and so for April we will have a brainstorm on the chosen idea and get everyone fired up and ready for the off. It might be nice to celebrate the conclusion of our Affinity Squares by each bringing some little nibbles along?

Shelagh suggested that we have some common ground to our chosen idea, such as colour and size. We decided her suggestions of an 8" x 8" square and using a seasonal colour pallet was excellent. Our work will be either mounted onto a canvas block or in a frame (Wilkinson's have some nice but cheap frames available – it might be nice if we all had the same?)

Here are my suggestions:

From Print to Stitch – we each choose a photo, image, or picture from a magazine and use that as our inspiration to produce a piece of work. We can brainstorm various methods of translating and/or manipulating the image and how to move that on into stitch.

A Song for All – Recently the song 'Vincent' by Don Maclean was doing the rounds on YouTube and email. It is a song about Vincent Van Gogh and I thought what better song could we choose to inspire us for stitch. We could use the words of the song, the mood it provokes in us, or Van Gogh's paintings.

All Square – Taking Shelagh's idea of enlarging one of the squares a bit further – we could all choose one or a combination of the small squares we have made as our inspiration and produce an 8" x 8" piece which will be either mounted or framed.

On Location – my last idea is for later in the year when the weather is warmer and the nights are lighter. Decide upon a meeting place/venue between Kettering and Northampton, taking our sketch books/cameras. From the sketches/photos we can produce a piece of work. As an addition to this idea – it might be nice for us all to have a pub meal or a drink afterwards????

We will be taking a vote on which idea we go forward with first, whether it be one of the above or someone else's suggestion, at the March meeting, so start thinking about other ideas or the one that appeals to you.

Lastly for those of you who haven't been able to get along to our meetings – we miss you! Please don't feel you have to have produced lots of squares to be able to come – you can just join in with the current letter, we don't mind and would love to see you.

Look forward to seeing you all on 24th February.

Brenda x


Hi All,
I must apologise, the photos I took of the gorgeous squares you brought to the meeting haven't turned out right - I had the camera on the wrong setting. As you know I wasn't feeling up to par on the evening otherwise I would have checked my settings more carefully. Anyway, could you please all bring these squares back with you to the February meeting and I will make a better job. I'm so disappointed because I think they were all absolutely stunning!
Many thanks.
PS Newsletter follows, if I can manage to get it on the blog :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Hi all
Hope you have been making squares?  Remember that you could make one square & then use all the ideas to make a larger piece.
See you hopefully on Thursday