Thursday, 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

We would like to say a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from all the West Yorkshire Federation Office.

We will close today at 2pm and will re-open on Wednesday 2nd January 2013.

Enjoy your Christmas and Happy New Year!

Harden & District Recipe Book

To celebrate their 50th anniversary Harden & District WI have produced a recipe book of all their favourite things to eat from Cucumber and Mint Soup to Black Forest Brownies.

On the inside cover, Harden and District WI say: "To help celebrate Harden WI's 50th Anniversary, members were invited to submit their favourite recipes. As you will see, they are very varied. We hope you find them easy to follow, tempting and tasty.

If you are interesting in purchasing Harden WI's anniversary recipe book please contact Vicky Furness on 01535 272673 or visit their website

Roundhay WI

Name – Roundhay WI
Formation – 8th February 1990
Day of Meeting – 2nd Thursday of each month
Time of Meeting – 7.15PM
Location – St Andrew’s Church Hall, LS8 1DS
Members – 24 members & 2 dual members
President – Denise Pickles
Secretary – Hilary Mobbs

Roundhay WI is very organised each month for their meetings, they usually have a speaker each month followed by tea and biscuits as well as mingling. They celebrity their birthday each year with an evening out and in August there is always a day trip to somewhere local. Roundhay WI also have a walking group called the Social Strollers who meet fortnightly in the afternoon for a short walk and they finish off with a sociable drink in a local café. They also have a fortnightly tea and chat group where the members get together in the afternoon for tea, chats and for those interested in craft a bring their projects. There is also a knitting group for dedicated knitters who wish to develop monthly. Their last group meets monthly in the evenings to discuss serious issues, but usually it is tea and a chat and are very open for other enjoyable activities. This year they celebrated the Queens Diamond Jubilee in May with an evening of Spam and Diamonds dedicated to 1953.
If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining Roundhay WI please contact Hilary Mobbs on 0113 2665648 or email her on  

Q & A: Liz Jones - Federation Secretary

Q: Where were you born?
A: I was born at home in Wibsey near Bradford.

Q: What is your earliest memory?
A: My earliest memory is from when I was about 3, being at Wibsey Nursery where I had lukewarm milk and rusks for morning break.  I also remember we had personalised coat pegs, drawers for our pictures and beds for our afternoon naps.

Q: When did you start working at the WI?
A: I started working at the WI on the 21st January 1991.

Q: Are you a member of the WI?
A: Yes, I go to Buns & Roses WI in Leeds City Centre.

Q: What does the role of Federation Secretary involve?
A: Very briefly, I support the Board of Trustees and the other sub-committees as well as dealing with the members and institutes about events and general administration for the Federation.

Q: Tell us about your career.
A: I was 14 when I had my first job as a machine cleaner in the laundrette, at 16 I had a Saturday job working in a shoe shop in Bradford. At 18, after I left college I was a receptionist at a carpet contractors, I then worked for Appleyards in Leeds as a wages clerk and then at 19 I went to work for Yellow Pages, which was taken over by Thomson Directories. After I had my children I went to work at Asda on the shop floor and in administration and then I joined the WI as the Federation/Company Secretary.

Q: Tell us about your family.
A: I have a partner, 3 children aged 29, 27 and 19 and a cat named Marmite.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I enjoy crafting especially patchwork, sewing, knitting and reading.

Q: What is your favourite book?
A: I have lots of books I like, but one that sticks in my mind is called Rosie by Alan Titchmarsh, which my mother gave to me, which is a lovely story based in my favourite place the Isle of Wight.

Q: Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people.
A: I hand fed four fully grown tigers at the Isle of Wight Zoo with Natalie. 

Ripponden With Rishworth

Name – Ripponden With Rishworth WI
Formation – 1st January  1952
Day of Meeting – 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time of Meeting – 7.30PM
Location – Ripponden Community Centre
Members – 28 members
President – Carol Short
Secretary – Wendy Lockwood

This year Ripponden With Rishworth celebrated their 60th anniversary of being open as an institute. Recently, they have had a murder mystery evening, swishing parties, drama in local concert, fund raising stalls, folk evenings, oak tree planting ceremony and visits to many places of interest to the Ripponden With Rishworth WI. They also have a monthly reading group for all their members and friends. This year as well as celebrating their anniversary they have hosted a Bronte evening, a sponsored walk, stalls and have raised funds for their community centres repairs. This WI is very active and friendly in their community and enjoy getting involved in all aspects.

If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining Ripponden With Rishworth WI please contact Wendy Lockwood on 01422 825648 or email her on  

Craft Collection 2013

The Craft Collection is open to existing, new or non members on the fourth Friday of each month, where you can bring your own projects to work on and there is no need to book! £3.50 for members and £5.50 for non members!

25th January
22nd February
22nd March
26th April
24th May
28th June
26th July
23rd August
27th September
25th October
15th November (this is early because of the Knitting & Stitching Show)
No Craft in December!

We hope to see you soon!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Q & A: Yvonne Todd - Second Vice Chairman

Q. Where were you born?
A. Morden in Surrey.  This is the terminus of the London underground Northern Line.  Morden has now been subsumed into Greater London.

Q What is your earliest memory?
A. I was about 3 years of age.  My mother left me asleep in our Anderson Shelter and quickly ran the couple of hundred yards to the butchers at the top of our road.  Of course I woke up and managed to climb out of the shelter and as she was coming home she found me, In tears, running towards her with bare feet and wearing just my nightdress!

Q How long have you been a member?
A. About 9 years

Q What does the role of Second Vice Chairman involve?
A. I support Helena and the Board of Trustees and by visiting WIs and attending Federation events I try to ensure members get full benefit from belonging to the WI.

Q Tell us about your career.
A. After school I joined “Shell International Petroleum Co” who sent me to City of London College to learn secretarial skills.  I became PA to the head of “Personnel” and did leave -relief working as secretary to one of the Managing Directors.  I have also worked for Psychiatrists in the NHS and Psychologists in Surrey’s Education Department

Q Tell us about your family.
A. My husband and I have 2 boys and 1 girl.  Our daughter lives 10 minutes away in Yorkshire and our sons live in Surrey.  We have a grandson aged 16 years and a grand-daughter (his half sister) aged 16 months.

Q What are your hobbies?
A. Quilting, patchwork, embroidery and knitting; reading and doing puzzles.

Q What is your favourite book?
A. Green Dolphin Country by Elizabeth Goudge.

Q Tell us something about yourself that will surprise people.
A. During 70s & 80s I worked for a solicitor who represented many Irishmen serving time for alleged terrorist offences.  My job involved me writing to Prison Officers, MPs, 10 Downing Street, The Pope and convicted murderers!

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year From Our Chairman!

This is the time when we look back at the year gone by. 2012 has been quite a spectacular year nationally; first the bad weather of the winter, which we had hoped would be relieved by the joyous occasion of HM the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The weather once again played a part, but nevertheless we all enjoyed the celebrations wherever we were. This was followed by the excitement of the Olympics. Who will ever forget the clip of the Queen with James Bond at the opening ceremony? All of this followed by many memorable moments during the Games. After that came the Paralympics where so many athletes competed and provided us all with examples of their determination to overcome so many problems.
In our communities we enjoyed many events arranged to celebrate this spectacular year.
This is also the time when we try to spend more time with our families though that will be difficult for some as they mourn the loss of family or friends, while for others is a time of celebration as a new member joins the family.
As i was writing this letter, we received a parcel containing a copy from the WI Country Women's Book of Greetings of a letter sent to HM the Queen on the occasion of her marriage in 1947. The page showed the Yorkshire County Page. The picture was found on a market stall in Wales by a Bradford man who forwarded it to our Office. The wording talks of "Yorkshire, county of Broad acres, land of the White Rose towns of wood and steel where craftsmen and craftswomen skilled of hand and nimble wit, ply their historic trades. Here are stern hills of the Bronte country, striding dales of Wharfe and Ure and Swale grey stone farmsteads and homely villages... and through the Ridings a kindly folk, homely as the Doric they speak, downright, forthright, loyal and given to hospitality. "
What more can i say except to wish all our Members and their families a truly happy and joyful Christmas and my greetings to all for the coming year.
Helena Harrington - WYFWI Chairman

Christmas Lunch 2012

On Wednesday 28th November, we had our Annual Christmas Lunch at the Manor Golf Club in Drighlington to get into the Christmas spirit. Our guest speaker this year was Christine Robinson, who is the head housekeeper at Chatsworth House and has been there since 1979. She spoke about what happens at the house during the winter months and she brought along artifacts such as ice cream bowls and a silk programme from a firework display that was at the house many years ago. We also had Lee Foster from Collette Holidays, who was telling us about the Christmas on the Danube holiday.

Take a look at the photographs! 

Friday, 16 November 2012

More Midwives Update!

Since the resolution of more midwives has been put forward as an NFWI campaign from the 2012 AGM. There are encouraging signs that this resolution could be successful as Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter has accepted the figures from the Royal College of Midwives' and has realised that there is a shortage of thousands of midwives across the country. Fortunately, the student midwive drop out rate has lowered!

Crazy Patchwork - Machine Stitching & Arranging Fabrics!

Unfortunately, we have tried multiple times to get our videos onto the blog for you to look at, but it doesn't seem to be working. Fortunately, though we did manage to get them on Facebook and Twitter.

Click the links to watch!

Machine Stitching -

Arranging Fabrics -



Crazy Patchwork Instructions

If, you missed both of our Crazy Patchwork workshops this year don't worry as we have some of the instructions used at the workshops right here for you!
First here is some history!
Crazy Patchwork is composed of a random arrangement of fabric pieces sewn to a base; the edges of the patches are covered with embroidery. Crazy patchwork is not usually quilted because of the difficulty of sewing through many layers of fabric. Projects are often simply tied and lined.
The original crazy quilts were completely utilitarian. Worn blankets were replaced with pieces of discarded clothing, usually woollen, so as not to waste even the smallest fragment of material.
Crazy Patchwork changed dramatically in the 1880s when is became very popular in Britain and America. Women turned the crazy quilt into a medium for displaying their needlework skills as well as their collections of rich fabrics, beads, ribbons, lace and memorabilia; anything that could be sewn to a surface was used. Political and sentimental messages shared space with prize ribbons, ties, scarves, hat bands and fabrics from cherished old clothes. The embroidery was the crowning glory of each quilt. In addition to the intricate stitches that covered the edges of the patches, motifs of every imaginable shape were lovingly stitched - from gossamer spiders' webs to flowers, birds, animals and people. Embroidered signatures and dates turned most crazy quilts into treasured family heirlooms. Although quilts predominated, crazy patchwork was also found on sofa and piano covers, cushions and other household furnishings.

Now for the method!
There are two hand methods of applying crazy patches to a base. For all methods start by placing the first patch, right side up, on one corner of the base fabric; pin and baste in place. Base can be any fabric compatible in weight and fibre content with the patches.
To construct crazy patchwork by the traditional hand method, place the second patch on the base so that it overlaps the first patch by about 1/2 an inch; pin and baste. For a neater hand finish, press raw edge of second patch 1/4 of an inch ti wrong side, then placce over first patch, overlapping edges by 1/4 of an inch. Slipstitch pressed edge in place.

Continue with chosen method until entire foundation is covered. During construction, be careful not to stretch patches or foundation, so as to keep the work flat. Trim any uneven side edges to match base, then stitch close to edge all around.

Check work carefully upon completion to make sure none of the foundation is visible. If any gaps occur, stitch a new piece over the area to cover. Press all raw edges of new piece to wrong side and slipstitch in place.

Using silk, cotton or novelty embroidery threads, or crewel wool if working with heavy fabrics, embroider stitches over every seam.

Here are some stitches you might like!


The Moor, Cleckheaton WI

As we did not give you a profile last week and due to the Blogspot being down and there will be no blogs next week due to a holiday, we are giving you two this week :)

Name – The Moor, Cleckheaton WI
Formation – 21st February 1989
Day of Meeting – 3rd Tuesday of each month
Time of Meeting – 2PM
Location – Hartshead Moor Cricket Club
Members – 46 Members & 1 Dual Member
President – Helen Benfield
Secretary – Pamela Hutchinson
The Moor, Cleckheaton WI is a very tight knit group and is one of the very few WIs in the West Yorkshire Federation that meet in the afternoon rather than the evening. As well as joining in on many Federation activities they also meet most weeks throughout the month as well as they have a walking group that meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month and a Sunday lunch club on the last Sunday of each month for single members of The Moor, Cleckheaton WI.

If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining The Moor, Cleckheaton please contact Pamela Hutchinson on 01274 876059.

Calverley WI

Name – Calverley WI
Formation – 16th March 1989
Day of Meeting – 3rd Thursday of each month
Time of Meeting – 7.30PM
Location – Calverley Methodist Hall
Members – 39 Members
President – Edith Mclean
Secretary – Barbara Thompson

Calverley WI is based in a small town in Leeds that is very tranquil. The Calverley ladies had a lot to do this summer as they did many summer outings and did a sponsored walk through all the local beauty spots. Most of all they focused all their attention on making the Diamond Jubilee special for the members of their institute and the people of Calverley by creating a recipe book for their stall, as well as knitting and helping in all aspects they could. Also, this year, Calverley had a speaker on the History of Diamonds as well as visiting Nostell Priory in Wakefield and meeting once on a month in the local library for their reading group.

If you are interested in attending a meeting or joining Calverley WI please contact Barbara Thompson on 0113 2574229.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Crazy Patchwork - 2nd November!

On the 2nd November, we hosted our second day of Crazy Patchwork. The tutor was Anne Starkey from Clayton West WI, who is very skilled in all things craft.
The workshop contained a brief history and outline of Crazy Patchwork with historic and modern examples. In the morning, there was an explanation of techniques and demonstration as well as the having the afternoon to demonstrate hand stitching and have the student working on their own projects.
Anne thought the day went very well as the students were enthusiastic and were very pleased with the results of their projects. Everyone went home satisfied and happy with what they were doing.
The students taking part in the workshop had a lot of positive things to say about the workshop, such as that there was a friendly atmosphere and it was alot of fun. Other students also mentioned how they had found a new hobby and that they enjoyed the fact they could go at their own pace and there was no pressure to achieve anything.
The majority of our students gave the Crazy Patchwork workshop a 5* rating and many are coming back next year to take part in other Patchwork courses.
Here are some the photographs from Crazy Patchwork!