Sunday, 15 April 2018


Phiona Richards and I were back with our lovely group for our fifth PROCESSIONS session - we had had a conversation in the morning and were worried that the original banner size we had opted for would be too small to fit all our flowers and to have letters that would be big enough to create enough impact. So I made up several different versions and had them copied to the right scale and added in one that was the larger version. There are some further amendments to make but this is the size the group has chosen.

We laid out the fabric flowers to give a better idea of how our banner might look

Phiona had been busy experimenting with lettering 

and putting together elements for our 
version of the Suffragette rosette.

Everyone stamped their own slogan onto fabric to create

the centre of the rosette and stitched it round a card disc,

Here is Joy's slogan on her completed disc.

We set up two work stations, one for stamping

and one of silk painting

Lillian and Mary filling their gutta outlines with colour

Judy and Mary displaying their finishes silks

which then had Bondaweb ironed to the reverse side.

Once again it was a busy, bustling evening.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

PROCESSIONS - Week 3 - Blooming Marvellous!

My whippet Logan investigating Common Dog Violets growing wild under trees on our morning walk. I had been thinking about the Suffragette colours and the type of flowers we could sew onto our Made in Corby PROCESSIONS banner. The group want the banner to be simple, striking and effective and decided that each participant should make a flower to represent themselves on the banner. These beautiful little wild flowers jumped out at me - I had hoped that they might be Viola Odorata which has many Uses and Recipes  but these had no fragrance so I assume they are Common Dog Violets.

Photo by John Groom’s Crippleage And Flower Girl’s Mission. 
Image courtesy of People’s History Museum

I made a pattern for everyone to use during our session

and played with some different colours

and textures using silks, linen and felt

showing that they could be hand or machine sewn.

We want our banner to have lots of different textures so we also invited all of our group to make a gutta outline of our flower on silk. Some of the silk had been donated by a friend who's dear Aunt had passed away last year, she was an avid crafter, very stylish and her nephew lives in the Old Village in Corby so it is lovely to be able to up-cycle a little of her legacy within our banner. Next week we will paint them with silk paints.

We had asked our group to raid their button tins as we felt that all these collected buttons from garments saved by women who were dear to us would make a fitting tribute to their strength, fortitude and inventiveness. See how we use them as our project progresses.

Our group cut out their patterns, chose their materials and were introduced to the wonders of Bondaweb a double sided iron on adhesive attached to a transfer paper which makes bonding tricky fabrics together so much easier.

Fabrics ironed onto Bondaweb
then cut and placed on a support fabric
and ironed into place. 

Our fabric basket after participants had made their choices!

We are very lucky to be able to have our sessions at Swan Gardens and as you can see we are surrounded by variations of violet, white and green! 

One of the beauties of being able to work as a pair and as the Eloquent Fold is we are able to circulate, share our skills and collect stories as we move from table to table. Last week were joined by some of the residents who shared their memories about changes in Corby and in the lives of women since they were girls.

"I have just realised that all women only got the vote after I was born in 1926, women over 21 only got the vote in 1928." 

"Women didn't talk as openly in those days as they do now."

"Mother and Grandmother were strong women and I had a great friend who was so kind, would do anything to help you if you needed help"

"Granny was a strong woman"

"I must have knitted miles of wool in my lifetime, but my hands are not up to it now."

Many thanks to Emma Gough and Tess Porter 
for sharing some of their thoughts with us.

We gave those that wanted some, embroidery threads so they could continue to work on on their pieces at home. Phiona and I are very excited to see how each flower will be transformed! It was another excellent evening, lots of conversations took place whilst all the choosing, outlining, cutting and sewing was taking place and everyone pitched in to help where they could. 

100 Hundred Years 100 Hundred Banners 

Follow our images here

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Eloquent Fold - Creative Retreat Day - May 2018

The Eloquent Fold applied to Tesco Bags of Help last year and were awarded a small grant. Our intention, had we won the whole amount, was to have a walking, book, print and wellbeing project inspired by the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Elizabeth Holden. We have now decided to use the grant to host a creative day at Newton Field Centre in May. We had an inspiring morning scoping and meeting with Georgina Hand, the centre manager. By the time of our visit there should be lots of plants and insects just waiting to inspire those that join us. 

Our setting is the beautiful Newton Field Centre which was once St Faith's Church. The surrounding area has range of habitats and sites within walking distance of the centre. These include semi natural grassland, woodland, freshwater habitats, farmland, a Local Wildlife Site, an Ancient Monument and the villages of Newton and Geddington and adjacent to the Field Centre is a stretch of the River Ise.
We hope participants will be inspired by the small details and the bigger picture that the surroundings have to offer. This is a day to think, dream and explore, The Eloquent Fold will be on hand to help and advise but this isn't a conventional workshop day. During the day participants will be able to create their own sketchbook with the option to design and make your own slip cover. Participants may want to work on loose sheets and assemble your book later. There will be plenty of opportunity to draw, paint, stitch, print etc and generally explore different techniques and mediums under your own steam. A range of materials will be available to try. We hope that participants will join us in a walk to help inspire them (weather permitting)
We are delighted to say that all the 16 places are now filled!

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

PROCESSIONS - Week 2 - Inspirations and Designs

In our second PROCESSIONS session at Swan Gardens Phiona showed more video clips relevant to the project

We were unable to show this film but here is a link to Silk, Satin and Suffrage an lovely film showing some to the original Suffragette banners

Ann Leonard brought in a beautiful hand painted banner made in 1930 by The Womens' Co-operative Guild in 1934 and shared images of other Co-operative Womens' Guild banners. 

We were also able to enjoy the wonderful Corby Town Map banner made with the community by Corby Community Arts brought in by Kate Dyer who was able to share the spirit of those making sessions and why they were so important to the women who helped create it. It was made using a variety of sewing and dying techniques and features important Corby landmarks that were in place before the regeneration in the town took place.

We then gave the group papers and materials to use and invited them to start sketching out their banner ideas in the light of the PROCESSIONS Brief

Your PROCESSIONS banner should represent the lives, ideas, hopes and concerns of women today. It should be bold, beautiful and uniquely yours. Whatever you put on it should be heartfelt. Onlookers will only have a short time to see its message, so make it simple, punchy and clear.
Please make sure that you: 
1. Incorporate the colours green, white and violet into your banner somewhere. You can choose any shades of these colours and can do anything from the PROCESSIONS logo stitched in the corner – to the whole thing being made from these colours.
2. Back your banner in black or very dark material. This is so that we will be able to pick them out in photos.

At the end of the evening were shared all the sketches, chose the elements the group wants to use and decided that as well as the DEEDS NOT WORDS slogan they also wanted to incorporate the slogan from our youngest participant - WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!