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From Bubbles to Embroidery

By way of a warm up this week, Kate used ‘bubbles’ – sheets of printed circles for participants to customise into as many round objects as they could think of – and soon everyone was bursting with ideas.

From cherries and the sunrise to a vignette of a seaside town, a close-up of the optic nerve and a black hole devouring the universe, the colours, pictures, and the stories behind them, were quite astonishing – and just a little unnerving.

During the morning session at Hildesley, Kate demonstrated how she ironed their archive pictures and words onto fine cotton. This sparked a wonderful conversation in which we learned from Ina that she used lawn cotton to make undergarments – and that it took 2 yards of fabric to make a dirndl skirt – whilst Joan told us about applying eye liner to the back of her legs to make it look like seamed stockings and the damage done to real stockings by the scratchy net underskirts they wore; all the women agreed that their dads were really strict about what they wore when they went out at night.

After that, we all settled down to some more embroidery, adding details and embellishments to the stitched pictures, which will be finished off next week, when the children visit.

Over at Pakefield in the afternoon, the children were excited to be ‘doing some more sewing’ and there were lots of frowns of concentration and gasps of exasperation as they struggled to thread needles or pulled the yarn out too far or got it tangled.

The word of the afternoon was ‘perseverance’; they all persevered and they all succeeded – and were pleased with what they achieved.


‘I've learned so many different things, some to do with football and some to do with completely different things - I've thoroughly enjoyed it.’
‘This is cotton lawn - we used to make pretty slips with lace, and our knickers, out of cotton lawn.’
‘It's been a good morning - I always look forward to Tuesdays.’