Stitchers & Craft Day - News & Pictures

Stitchers Easter Knit - posted 18/03/19

Helmdon Stitchers have once again excelled themselves with their Easter Knit. A selection of cream egg filled novelties have been passed on to raise much needed funds for Katharine House Hospice. Well done to all who took part.

Stitchers Christmas Knit - posted 16 November 2018

Helmdon Stitchers have excelled themselves with this Christmas knit, for Katharine House Hospice. Almost 200 of these chocolate filled novelties will go on sale from a number of Katharine House Hospice outlets, to raise much needed funds for this worthy cause. Well done ladies.

Result Of Highly Successful Craft Day – posted 30 October 2017

Thank you to everyone who kindly supported the Craft Day yesterday in so many ways. It was such a fun day and we raised over £600 which will be shared between St Mary Magdalene Church and the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children's Charity. This is a great achievement!

Thank you.
Louise Stothard

Craft Day 2017 – posted 03 October 2017

Click for poster (on

The Hospice Gets Animal Novelties For Easter – posted 22 March 2017

The Easter novelties on the left were knitted by Doreen England who is one of the Helmdon Stitchers.

In mid-March Pauline Payne and Pauline Butler took a box of assorted knitted Easter pets made by Pauline Payne, Margaret Reardon, Doreen England and Mary Nash, all filled with a cream egg, to the Katherine House Hospice.

We are a group of ladies who meet at my house every three weeks. Some who did not knit any provided some of the eggs to fill them. They sold for £1.50 each, making £100 towards funds for the hospice.

Margaret Reardon

Christmas Novelties For The Hospice Christmas Stall – posted 12 December 2016

Helmdon Stitchers, who meet at Margaret Reardon's house every three weeks, have knitted these Christmas novelties for Katherine House Hospice where they are being sold for £1 in shops, schools and the hospice. They all have a Ferrero Rocher chocolate inside them.

They were knitted by Margaret Reardon, Mary Nash, Doreen England, Pauline Payne, and Zena Balch. The members who did not knit any donated towards the cost of the chocolates.

Last year the Hospice made £5000 on these novelties and it is hoped that we made a contribution to what will be an even greater sum this year.

Successful Craft Day 2015 – posted 23 November 2015

The church was filled with craft of all kinds

The church was filled with craft of all kinds

Click for more Craft Day 2015 photos (on

The Craft Day on Saturday 7th November at St Mary Magdalene Church was a great success. The Church was packed with 16 different crafts and activities and we were delighted to greet a steady stream of visitors. The Astwell Benefice Mothers' Union provided delicious refreshments throughout the day.

Thankyou to everyone who took part and helped in so many ways and to all of you who came and joined us during the day.

We are very pleased to have raised £450 for charity, of which £100 has been given to St Mary Magdalene Church and £350 will go to SERV, the 'Blood Bikers' charity.

Louise Stothard, Helmdon Stitchers and friends

The Helmdon Stitchers And Praise & Prayer - posted 06 November 2014

Margaret Reardon (right), one of the Stitchers, 
showing off some of the group's work

Margaret Reardon (right), one of the Stitchers,
showing off some of the group's work

Each month Village Praise & Prayer is conducted by a village organisation and to date, amongst others, the Bellringers, the Helmdon Fellowship, the Acorns, the WI, the Women's Club and the Helmdon Fellowship have led the service to great effect.

Last Sunday, 2nd November, it was the turn of The Stitchers, a group who meet in the village once a month. During the service members Mary Nash, Margaret Reardon and Jean Brookhouse did readings and Jenny Oversen, founder leader, recounted the group's history which goes back many years, having been started because of the need for church kneelers which today are proudly in use in all the pews.

Today most of the work such as knitted Easter chicks, Father Christmas and Christmas Pudding decorations, goes to Katherine House Hospice to be sold in aid of funds, although there was a period in 2011 when woollen helmet inserts were made in quantity and sent to the troops in Afghanistan.

A Thank You For Chocolate Eggs – posted 31 March 2014

Margaret Reardon would like to point out that the stitchers who did not knit any of the baskets and rabbits for the Katharine House Hospice, Jean Brookhouse, Louise Stothard, Jenny Saunders and Sylvia Richardson, gave the money to buy the chocolate eggs for half of them.

More Easter Chicks For The Hospice – posted 14 March 2014

Helmdon Stitchers have knitted regularly for the Katharine House Hospice, meeting once a month for the last twenty years.

This spring they have knitted over 100 Easter bunnies and baskets, and placed Cadbury's eggs in each of them. They are sold at £1.50 each to raise funds for the hospice.

Pauline Payne knitted thirty of the bunnies and baskets, and the rest were produced by Jan Harrold, Margaret Reardon, Mary Nash, Danielle Jackson, Joan Morris and Doreen England.

We remember with love the late Shelia Oakey who was a regular, productive and enthusiastic member of the group since its formation.

Puddings & Robins For The Katharine House Hospice – posted 02 December 2013

Christmas puddings and robins for the hospice

Christmas puddings and robins for the hospice

The Helmdon Stitchers have been knitting luscious looking Christmas puddings and delightful little robins, and recently fifty of each were presented by Margaret Reardon and Pauline Payne to the Katharine House Hospice for them to sell.
Louise Stothard

We made no apology for re-publishing the paragraph below, and a new photograph of the kneelers, taken at the Craft Fair this November.

The group began stitched kneelers for the Church in 1993 under the direction of Jenny Overson and Annette Guppy. Later the work was organized by Margaret Reardon, Mary Nash and Sheila Oakey. Very many people have contributed their skill, including all the children who were at Helmdon School when the Noah's Ark set was started. From 1999 a photographic record (available to look at in the church) was made by Ron and Annette Guppy, with the names of stitchers and explanations of some of the designs. John Roberts and Sue Lidgley photographed the kneelers for the album. The group worked exceedingly hard to have the choir kneelers in place in the church before the Millennium, with work finally finishing in 2001.

[Note: Kneeler index and photographs are also available online here (on]

Kneelers in Helmdon Church at the Craft Fair 2013
(Photo: Louise Stothard)

Kneelers in Helmdon Church at the Craft Fair 2013
(Photo: Louise Stothard)

An Enjoyable And Very Successful Craft Fair – posted 18 November 2013

On behalf of Helmdon Stitchers can I say thank you to everyone who supported our Craft Fair yesterday. It was most enjoyable and it was great to see so many people. The stalls were full of wonderful crafts and gifts and the Church looked splendid – and so busy!

As ever the WI did a splendid job with refreshments, so thank you to them.

We are delighted of say that the proceeds of the day (after our expenses had been deducted) came to an amazing £512! This was made up from the £1 entrance charge, the Raffle (thank you for the donations!),10% donations from stall holders and a donation from the WI Thank you to all.

So £100 will go to St Mary Magdalene Church in Helmdon, £212 to Macmillan Cancer Care and £200 to a new charity, 'Charlie's Beach Hut'. This was set up in memory of nearly 5 year old Charlie who died of a brain tumour and provides a holiday for families with children suffering from cancer.

Shall we meet again in 2014?!
Louise Stothard

Woollen Helmet Inserts Knitted For Our Soldiers In Afghanistan – posted 29 January 2013

We shall be holding our Craft Day again on Saturday 16th November 2013 in Helmdon Church and this is to give all art and crafty people in the village plenty of time to get prepared!

If you would like to display your work, book a table for the day and/or sit and demonstrate your craft, then please do let me know as space will be limited.
Louise Stothard

Woollen Helmet Inserts Knitted For Our Soldiers In Afghanistan – posted 23 December 2011

Some of the woollen helmet inserts
(Photo: Louise Stothard)

Some of the woollen helmet inserts
(Photo: Louise Stothard)

The Stitchers have knitted 34 woollen helmet inserts for the soldiers in Afghanistan, with more to be completed.

Also 150 knitted Christmas puddings have been made and sold for Christmas at the Katherine House Hospice in Adderbury. Pauline Payne made 100 of these, and Mary Nash made 50.
Pauline Butler

Craft Day A Delight – posted 27 October 2011

Click here for Craft Day 2011 photos (on

It was a delight to once again hold the Craft Day in Helmdon Church last Saturday 15th October. This is the 6th Craft Day we have organised since 2002.

We couldn't have packed more into the Church and the old walls were full of cards and cushions, jewellery and jam, paintings and pickles, boxes and bags, soaps and spiders (only toy ones!), glass and gifts and much more.

It was wonderful to have a steady stream of visitors through the door who stayed and looked and wandered and chatted - and enjoyed the delicious refreshments provided by the hard- working ladies of Helmdon WI

Thank you to you all who helped set up the Church (quite a challenge!) and put it back to rights again. Thank you to all the stall holders who brought their wares and were generous in their donations. Thank you to the givers of Raffle prizes and the ticket sellers. Thank you to the WI Thank you to Rev Adams for allowing us to use the Church. And most of all a huge thank you to the visitors who came and supported our day.

We are very pleased to have been able to give £50 to Church and £358 to the mental health charity MIIND at Anchor House in Northampton.

Perhaps we'll repeat the day in 2013... We'll see!
Louise Stothard

Crafts In Action – posted 17 July and 4 October 2011

The date is Saturday, 15 October, 10 am to 4 pm in the Church, and the event will be hosted this year by the Helmdon Stitchers.

This is a celebration of local artists and craftsmen and there be stalls for ceramics, knitting, greetings cards, jewellery, produce, needlework, Christmas gifts, art and photography, and craft demos. Ploughman's lunches and other refreshments will be on sale.

If anyone in the village is interested in being involved in any way please contact Louise Stothard.

More Chicks Knitted For The Hospice Stall – posted 18 June 2011

The Helmdon Stitchers knitted 150 chicks for the Katharine House Hospice for Easter.

Margaret Reardon and Pauline Payne delivered them and the staff were highly delighted and very grateful to receive them.

Pauline made about 100 with her nimble fingers, Mary Nash and Margaret knitted about 50 between them. We are looking forward to the next challenge!

Another Wonderful Contribution To The Katharine House Hospice – posted 16 December 2010

The Helmdon Knitters again made a wonderful contribution to the Katherine House Hospice with their knitted fundraisers, filling 36 of the 115 Christmas stockings knitted.

In their letter of thanks, the Hospice particularly mentioned the 103 knitted puddings Mrs Pauline Payne had made and donated, complete with Ferraro Rocher chocolates.

The Hospice added that the consignment of knitted 'goodies' couldn't have come at a better time as their stocks were running very low, and they had many supporters wishing to sell them at their events.

Easter Chicks Sold At Women's Club – posted May 2010

Pauline Payne's knitted Christmas puddings

Pauline Payne's knitted Christmas puddings

The Nativity scene.

The Nativity scene.

£53 was raised at the Women's Club from the sale of even more knitted Easter chicks and the Katharine House Hospice thanked the Stitchers for their continuing, valued support.

Easter Chicks For Hospice – posted March 2010

21 lovely little Easter chicks, compete with Cadbury's Crème Eggs, were stitched and donated to Katharine House Hospice this Easter.

More Easter Chicks For Hospice – posted March 2009

120 Easter Chicks have been knitted this year for the Katharine House Hospice 2009 Easter Chick Fundraiser. They were beautifully made, particularly with the ribbons tied around their necks! The hospice were as usual delighted, and commented in their letter of thanks that the Helmdon Stitchers has knitted to date almost 600 chicks and Christmas stockings for their funds.

Knitted Items Donated To Hospice – posted December 2008

Once again the Katharine House Hospice has benefited from the hard work of the Stitchers – 14 more stockings were knitted and donated, together with three knitted blankets, which will also go on the hospice stall.

Miniature Stockings Made For Katharine House Hospice – posted October 2008

190 miniature stockings were knitted by the Stitchers for the Katharine House Hospice for their Christmas fundraiser. Beautifully made, and in a variety of shades and colours, they are being sold in the Hospice shop complete with chocolate coins and fun-size chocolate bars.

Helmdon Stitchers Hatch Easter Chicks!! – posted March 2008

Helmdon Stitchers have been knitting Easter Chicks for Katharine House and recently sent 167 to the hospice.

The demand upon the hospices for the chicks has been overwhelming, and so far they have sold 2000!! And have demands for even more, including a request for 200 from a local junior school.

As a result the Stitchers has been asked to supply as many as possible to meet this unprecedented demand.

The chicks are filled with a Cadbury Easter Egg and sold at £1.50 to raise funds for the Hospice.