I enjoyed The Big Stitch day at the Ashmolean Museum on Saturday. There was plenty to do – lectures, gallery tours, demonstrations and workshops. I was lucky enough to book on Mary Brooks’ workshop on examining textile objects. This was linked to the ‘Eye of the needle’ exhibition (see my blog of 9 September), which Mary had curated, so was focused on seventeenth century embroidery. Mary gave us a checklist of key things to look for when studying textiles and we worked in small groups to analyse the artefacts – my group examined a woman’s bodice embroidered in silk – but we also saw embroidered pictures and samplers from the Ashmolean collection. The gallery tours in the afternoon were interesting as they revealed the various textile gems dispersed in galleries throughout the Museum. It was also interesting to see so many demonstrations of different types of embroidery and lace (the latter by Gaby Lloyd and Gail Baxter) and the public interest in them.