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Refreshing embroidery exhibition at East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens

16:51 12 July 2014

TOPstitch textile and embroidery exhibition at East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens. TOPstitch members, left to right, Dorothy Drake, Julie Bodmer and Marianne Charlesworth. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

TOPstitch textile and embroidery exhibition at East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens. TOPstitch members, left to right, Dorothy Drake, Julie Bodmer and Marianne Charlesworth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

Textiles inspired by beautiful blooms, wildlife and even wood piles are on show in the gardens they were based on.

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The 67 creations, made by members of Norwich-based TOPstitch group, will be on display and for sale at East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens until Sunday July 20.

All the pieces were handstitched by the 13 members, taking hours to make, and it is the first time the group has put its work up for sale since being set up two years ago.

Exhibition organiser Marianne Charlesworth, 67, from Hall Drive, Old Catton, said: “We are trying to challenge ourselves with all the new techniques that are coming through but we always hark back to the original skills.

“The East Ruston Old Vicarage gardens are stunning. We thought it would be a nice place to come.

“The reaction from visitors has been very pleasing. They have been very interested.

“The interpretations of the gardens are totally refreshing. We want to raise the awareness of textiles and embroidery as an art form.”

She added embroidery was not dead and the exhibition had attracted visitors from across the country as well as young art students.

Work on show includes woven pieces, subjects put onto handmade felt backgrounds and painted silk.

Flowers featured in the embroidery include millefiore, blue hydrangea, irises.

Textiles were also inspired by a honey bee, dragonfly, tree bark and wood piles.

The pieces were created after visits to the garden between spring to autumn last year.

Rita Holmes, 63, from near Dereham, was visiting the exhibition and was impressed with the intricacy of the exhibits.

TOPstitch was formed from a group of post and ongoing City and Guilds hand embroidery students, all with a very different approach to their work.

Mrs Charlesworth, who completed the one-year course, said it was set up because students wanted somewhere to go and create different things through embroidery after their exams.

Members come from across Norfolk and are taught by Sue Leonard from Norwich.

The group meets once a month at the United Reform Church on Ipswich Road, Norwich.

Members are looking for a new venue, which should also act as inspiration, to hold their next exhibition in 2016.

The East Ruston event will be open between 1-5.30pm. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

For more information visit www.e-ruston-oldvicaragegardens.co.uk, www.topstitch.org.uk, call 01603 789766 or email mocharles@gmail.com

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