Shoreditch Sisters meet up with Art Macabre

Our March Main Meeting involved a collaboration with Art Macabre for a life drawing class with a twist!

Fueled by the Strongroom‘s W.I meeting meal deal  of Poutine, we were ready to recapture the joy and freedom of how we drew as a child!

 

Our muse for the evening was the mother goddess of destruction Kali (our second meeting involving the theme of goddesses!). Expertly portrayed by Geta Von Tease who had the difficult task of portraying a deity with six arms, she provided several poses for the drawers in the room to replicate this effect. Where was Kali’s infamous belt fashioned from the heads of men? Alas, we had to turn to our imagination for that, although we didn’t have to dig too deep for inspiration given current world politics…

 

Art Macabre warmed the room up for the activity by asking us to first draw Geeta without looking at the page. Trusting our instincts was the aim. Another approach was to work together on a joint drawing, taking it in turns to hold the pencil together and guide our partner through the image.

 

To finish our very own Committee Member Katie Pepper posed as the defeated Shiva!

img-20170314-wa0070.jpg

 

 

Keep warm and cosy on!

January’s Knit and Natter will focus on the East London Yarn Triangle (Fabrications, Broadway Market; Wild and Woolly, Lower Clapton Road; Knit with Attitude, Stoke Newington High St  Keep Hackney Warm This Winter initiative. They are looking for cosy scarves which will get passed on to rough sleepers in Hackney.

 The East London Yarn Triangle is four-and-a-bit miles, which is about 466 scarves. Their aim is to get as many knitters as possible involved and collect 466 scarves! The scarves can be knitted from any yarn with whatever stitch pattern you want. They recommend casting on for a width of about 25 cm and knitting a 150cm length.

Every East London Yarn Triangle shop will also be acting as a yarn exchange where knitters with extra yarn can drop it off, and knitters in need of some more can come and pick it up.

Once you’ve knitted your scarf, drop it off at any one of the shops and they will make sure it gets passed on to a rough sleeper. You can also bring any you have knitted along to January’s Knit and Natter and we will arrange a drop off of what we’ve got.

If you’ve never knitted before this is a great way to get started! Scarves are very easy to do and this is for a great cause. We will have experienced knitters on hand who can teach you how to knit. We’ll even have some yarn and needles on hand if you’ve not been able to pick up your own supplies.

 If you’d like to get yourself some supplies, we recommend checking out the shops of the East London Yarn Triangle: Fabrications on Broadway Market; Knit with Attitude on Stoke Newington High Street and Wild and Wooly on Lower Clapton Road.

January’s Knit and Natter will take place on the 24th of January 2017 from 6.30pm at Leon in Spitalfields market. This event is open to non-members too, so feel free to come along!

Radiant Riders cycle London to Paris!

Note to reader: Despite the trip originally being planned as just a challenge for us all, we later decided it would be a great opportunity to raise money for a worthwhile charity. If you would like to sponsor us we are raising money for Calais Kitchen, who work in refugee camps in Calais and feed over 9,000 refugees in Calais and Dunkirk daily. Thank you.

Having conquered lots of short rides in East London (usually finishing in a good pub for a well earned drink), the Radiant Riders started to think about something more challenging…and the classic cycle from London to Paris was the one that captured our imagination. Nine members signed up and the planning and training began, with a decision to follow a scenic 340km route over four days. We did plenty of training rides, learning useful things along the way, like the fact Essex is lovely, and it’s pretty hilly on the way to Brighton. A few members of the group hadn’t ridden since they were about 15 and so new bikes and learning how to maintain them suddenly became more important!

Then two weeks before D-Day disaster struck. Stef was hit by a car door when cycling home and ended up with a broken wrist – very sadly she had to pull out. (Get Well Soon Stef!)

So eight ladies set off for Paris, leaving in a range of groups, meeting up in the lovely village of Lindfield to start our journey proper.

radiant-riders-at-the-beginning-of-the-journey

After a pleasant 35mile ride through beautiful Sussex we made it down to the coast for the HUGE ferry to France!

massive-ferry-fun-times

We started our time in France as we meant to go on : with delicious things. After bakery products and coffee we set off on our 35 miles of the Avenue Vert – an old railway line converted to a lovely cycle path – nice and flat!!

After a relaxing lunch it was time for the hills to begin! At least hills=views

hills-equal-views

Upon arrival at our overnight stop, celebratory drinks were in order!!

celebratory-drinks

The second day in France was more rolling hills. The spectacular views just about made up for the pain of pedaling up them. And then we arrived at our accommodation for the evening – a chateau!!!

chateaux

After relaxing on the terrace and a eating a delicious home cooked dinner (made by the owner, not us) we retired to bed at about 9.20pm (rock and roll!).

Final day!! We set off for the final 40 miles in high spirits, knowing most of the route was through beautiful forests and we’d be in Paris for dinner.

Minor disaster with a detour for Kathryn off of a dual carriageway and Karen experiencing the only puncture of the trip, but these didn’t hold us up for long and we were soon on our way again.

We stopped to enjoy French bread, cheese and salami in an uber picnic in the genteel gardens of Versaille, before pushing on for the final stretch to the Eiffel Tower!!

versaille

As we started our final descent we turned a corner and caught our first glimpse of the city, and moments later the Eiffel Tower was revealed, standing proudly like a beacon over the rooftops. We paused to squeal and enjoy the magical moment before doing our final weave through the city streets, with the tower getting larger with every pedal stroke.

And then we made it! We were greeted by the lovely Katie and Stef at the Eiffel Tower, waiting with bottles of sparkling wine and medals to congratulate us on completing the route.

eiffel

Cycling through Paris to Gare du Nord to drop off our bikes was an experience but we all survived and made it for dinner involving copious amounts of wine and ALL OF THE CHEESE.

We had a well earned relaxing Sunday in Paris and then a Eurostar journey home with more wine!

Here’s to the next challenge in 2017!!

Shoreditch Sister’s Quilt on Display at Liberty’s of London!

To celebrate 140 years of business, Liberty commissioned 5 celebratory quilts, which have been made by Contemporary Embroidery Artist Louise Gardiner, Textile Artist  Karen Nicol, Doll Designer Amanda FatheraziThe Dalston Darlings Women’s Institute and us!

We were asked to create a large contemporary quilt piece with personal touches such as embroidery and appliqué to make the quilt as unique as possible. The piece had to be wadded (lined with a soft fabric), backed with plain fabric and quilted (joined together using lines of stitching) using a long arm quilting machine. We were asked to use Liberty’s naval heritage as inspiration (the Tudor building was built with the wood of two merchant ships!) and incorporate sailor tattoo motifs such as swallows and anchors.

Liberty Quilt Mermaid Detail

 A lot of love and collaborative effort went into the quilt, with a group of 14 Shoreditch Sisters working hard to create something beautiful. We began discussing the project with Liberty in mid-March, came up with our design idea a week or so later, and then began work in earnest at the end of March. We came together to stitch rows of Liberty print fabric rectangles, which were later joined to create the quilt top. Many people in the group created beautiful pieces, appliquéing and painstakingly hand embroidering motifs including feminist mermaids and gorgeous swallows.

Sewing the Liberty Quilt

 We worked together to attach the motifs to the quilt top using a long arm quilting machine at Fabrications, taking turns. We then sandwiched the batting between the backing fabric and quilt top, which had to be pinned together with basting pins – many hands make this much quicker I imagine! Then came the quilting – we took turns to sew the circular design to join the three layers of the quilt – this was easier than it looked and quite calming, though manoeuvring the precious quilt was difficult at times. Finally, the edging was added and we embroidered the names of everyone who had worked on the project onto the quilt.

Quilt in Liberty Window

 The quilt is currently being displayed in the window of Liberty from Thursday 4 June until Sunday 7 June, then it will be displayed in the dress fabrics department on the 3rd floor.
Blog post by Louise Mullen for Shoreditch Sisters WI