The Leavening Embroidery
For some years now the village has been aware that it was proposed to refurbish and extend the church building in preparation for sharing it with the Methodist congregation. When it then emerged that 2008 would see the celebration of twenty-five years of The Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association, it seemed appropriate to think of making something beautiful to commemorate both events and provide a focus for villagers working together.
A first planning meeting has been held and some idea about the format is beginning to emerge. Currently we are thinking along the lines of something five feet square, possibly with the central panel representing the view of the village from Leavening Brow. Around the edge there could be individual squares, four of which would represent the two churches and YCA. This would leave the squares between for the four seasons, including for example, Easter, The Summer Fete, Harvest Festival and Carol Singing. Together with other images felt particularly representative of the village and its environs such as the old damson trees, the beck, the Mill etc. Suggestions for the design are now being drafted by Chris Addley and Bertie Harte, our designers-in-chief.
Now complete, the piece is five foot square made up of seventeen panels. The central panel is a view of Leavening from the Brow surrounded by sixteen smaller panel depicting village activities on a seasonal theme. The fabric we are using is a heavy linen/cotton mix in oatmeal and the embroidery thread is wool yarn made by Paternayan using in the region of two hundred colours. Various stitches are being used including stem, satin, split, chain. fly, leaf and french knots.
With over 20 people, aged 6 - 89 attending, the Embroidery Group sewed every Monday afternoon in the Methodist Schoolroom. It is a time of good fellowship and some excitement as the Embroidery itself is now finished. Each square took Chris and Bertie ages to draw and nothing we can say can really express how grateful we are for their commitment and high standards. Keith Harte too has spent ages making us equipment and producing images on the computer and we are very grateful to him too. The embroidery now hangs in church and is protected by a specially built roll screen.