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Filthy sew and sews... meet Whitstable's swearing embroidery group at the Fishslab Gallery

Artists have joined forces as the Profanity Embroidery Group, creating a selection of textiles with an added twist.

Co-founder Annie Taylor, 52, of Regent Street, came up with the idea of forming a social club combining artistic designs with expletives sewn into the material.

Annie Taylor is founder of the Profanity Embroidery Group. Picture Ruth Cuerden

Annie Taylor is founder of the Profanity Embroidery Group. Picture: Ruth Cuerden

She said: “Clearly our work involves some very offensive words, but they are done with humour and with love.

“It has struck a chord locally – it’s just another way for people to express themselves.

She said: “My dad emailed a cartoon to me of a dear little old lady sewing a beautiful design with flowers and birds, but she had the words ‘f the world’ sewn in and I found it so funny.

“I put it on my Facebook page and it had such a response from my friends, so I thought maybe we could get together and start doing these nice embroideries with a twist.”

The exhibition in Oxford Street will run until Tuesday.

It includes the work of 17 members and marks the completion of a quilt which was a starter project when the group formed 18 months ago.

Ms Taylor said: “Everyone had a square each to make a quilt, and luckily we have four textile experts with us who have been able to patch the uneven parts together.

The Profanity Embroidery Group has held their first exhibition. Picture Ruth Cuerden

The Profanity Embroidery Group has held their first exhibition. Picture: Ruth Cuerden

“The quilt is not for sale but individual artworks such as aprons, headbands and large textile dolls are.

“One of our ladies is using her old wedding dress and she is now divorced, so we are all keeping with the Valentines theme in different ways.”

Members meet up every other week at the Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable High Street to sew together and exchange ideas.

She said: “We get together and help each other with ideas as any traditional sewing circle would.

“It is amazing how we have evolved – a lot of people have been supportive of our group and many of us didn’t even know each other when we started.”

The group often receives surprise reactions from pub-goers and Ms Taylor says that is all part of their work.

Members of the Profanity Embroidery Group

Members of the Profanity Embroidery Group

She said: “We have had an amazing reaction in the Duke – often people come over to see what we’re doing and then their faces light up.

“The bar manager, James Oliver, has made us so welcome.”

This is the group’s first exhibition and Ms Taylor explains the work should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“Although the artistry and embroidery is sure to delight, the exhibition is unsuitable for children or those who find profanities offensive.”

Visit facebook to join the group or to view more designs.


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