One of the small embroideries for the 'item' was given to me to 'block out' and I thought those of you who do not dabble in Crewel would like to know how this is done. It is simple really, I use a large piece of blockboard which has been covered in cork tiles (basically an old kitchen noticeboard my husband made years ago). I covered the cork with a double layer of plastic and it was ready to go. You then pin the piece of work firmly down so that its flat with the pins angled towards the embroidery so they keep up an even tension and then you spray with cold water to drench the embroidery, and I do mean drench. Actually, I nipped upstairs and turned the shower on it then I left the board flat across the bath to drain for a few hours. The board needs to be kept flat so I moved it into the spare bedroom and left it for 3 days. Don't be tempted to remove the embroidery before it is completely dry.
We not only worked on the 'item' last Wednesday but also were supposed to bring along a star for swapping. The idea had been published in Stitch magazine and so we all made one, mine took me 3 hours and then I forgot to photograph it. So I have taken a photo of the one I chose from the swaps. Here she is, a red plush background with a gold lame star, red sequins and beading, rather jolly I thought and it will go on the tree a treat later. I did not take any photos of the other stars on the day but believe me they were all gorgeous and showed the diversity and talent of our ladies admirably.