History Through The Eye of the Needle Exhibition Opens 11 July

Four weekends a year more than a dozen women make their way to Sarum College, car boots full of sewing machines, fabric, and accessories galore.

Set up in 2008 by Jenny Rose as a group of experienced machine embroiderers, the group migrated from Urchfont Manor when it closed in 2012 and moved to Sarum College.

‘We are now well established at Sarum College and rather like being part of the ‘fabric’ here – it is such a good place to work and stay,’ says Janet Crowther, who leads the MEG at Sarum group.

Normally members bring their own stitching to work on during the weekend and for discussion with the members, though recently the group has been more focussed as they are about to exhibit at Salisbury Museum.

Though they use the now-accepted phrase ‘machine’ embroiders for those who do this particular kind of craft, Janet says her preference would be to call it “art embroidery.”  ‘That was the name used for machine embroidery way back when domestic sewing machines were being promoted by the Singer Sewing Machine Company for use in decorative embroidery. I have long wanted to reintroduce it as “machine embroidery” implies brand logos on sweat shirts!’

As  anyone who sees the work about to be exhibited in Salisbury Museum, this work is a far cry from logo stitching.

History Through The Eye Of A Needle
11 July to 18 October 2017 at Salisbury Museum

For this exhibition, each member was asked to decide on an artefact or artefacts, undertake research and produce a quality piece of work based on the research. The image below shows a selection of work for the exhibition.

The group supports its members in developing personal practice in a challenging and supportive environment, and offers a place to explore new ideas and techniques.

Members of the group exhibit their work outside MEG, individually and with other groups, many are textile tutors, all produce work that is innovative and of a high standard.

‘Working together to create pieces for an exhibition has been a long held ambition of MEG,’ says Janet. ‘We are all most grateful to Salisbury Museum for providing the exhibition space.’

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