Wonderful crafts at St Matthew’s

Craftwork of all varieties and styles was on display at St Matthew’s on 29–30 September (click here to see report in the Hampshire Chronicle). From tapestries and embroidery to quilting, lacework, felting and smocking, there were exhibits dating back to the 1700s – and an opportunity for visitors to sign up to some beginners’ sessions this autumn.

The exhibition was organised by Vera Edwards, herself a talented quilter. One striking exhibit was a series of six sepia tapestries illustrating northern industrial landscapes. They were created by Lancastrian Christine Bennett, who explained, ‘I really admire Lowry’s work and I’m also a painter, so he’s a bit of an inspiration. The tapestries remind me of my childhood in Lancashire, when we really did have a mill on every corner.’

Among the lacework exhibits was a small, finely crafted handkerchief which won first prize at last year’s Alresford Show. Created by Irene Casey, its pattern of a small bird on branches used nearly 400 bobbins and represented almost a year’s work.

Canon Peter Seal said, ‘In the past few days here at St Matthew’s we’ve had the wonderful juxtaposition of fruits of human creation in our craft exhibition and our traditional harvest celebration. We give thanks for the extraordinary miracle of all that God makes possible in our lives: the natural world he gives us and all that human effort and skill can achieve.’

Anyone feeling inspired to get creative is invited by parishioner Joan Sortwell to join a half-day beginners’ workshop at her home in Stanmore, Winchester (please e-mail her on mail@joansortwell.plus.com). The money raised will go towards St Paul’s Building for Life project and sessions will cover making Christmas decorations, a pincushion and felt-making.