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!