Whilst we on our recent cruise we produced special Textile Inspiration Packs for our craft group. These packs were put together before we left to join the ship. Each pack contained a mix of textiles including lace, leather, cotton, net, silk or tweed, to name a few. The pieces were vaguely colour co ordinated and each pack also contained a few beads or buttons or ribbon. The packs created great interest and provided a source of much imagination.
We did did not have a great deal of time to craft as we were about to dock in Madeira where there was a flower festival. Because of this I encouraged the ladies to make a flower brooch. The inspiration was all theirs and they certainly used their own imaginations. I suggested that a simple flower was made by cutting discs of reducing size from the various textiles. I provided a template for simplicity. The various discs were then stacked on top of one another and held together with beads or buttons. The edges could be embroidered, frayed or pinked with the shears. After attaching a “finding” to the back it was ready to be worn. Some people fastened them to their bags made in the days before. Others took them home and some attached them to plain tee shirts.
It was a great delight later in the day when we met a lady from the group going ashore. She was wearing the brooch that she had made that morning. Result!!
These Textile Inspiration Packs were a great success and I will certainly use them again.
One of the projects that we made during our cruise craft classes was a Bucket Bag. A bucket bag is defined by its shape (AKA bucket!) but lends its self to hand sewing. It would have been really good if we could have taken sewing machines but 20 machines would have well exceeded out baggage limit! So it was hand sewing and away we went. There is something very therapeutic about the rhythm of hand sewing and all those who took part enjoyed it.
We had worked hard to prepare the fabrics and templates before we went on the cruise. This made the project quite do able within the environment of a ship and the time limits. The secret of the success of this bag is to make the oval base the correct size for the bag sides without having to gather or pleat. There was a choice of textiles with the spots or stripes being very popular. There was the option to make a tote bag, to add appliqué and or a pocket. The bags were lined with a contrasting fabric and finished with rope style handles.
It was a surprise and a delight to see the ladies enthusiasm and imagination. Every finished bag was lovely, different and amazing. I took a great delight in sharing knowledge. There were a few ladies who had NEVER stitched and some experts. We all discussed, helped and learned from each other. Most of all we had fun and friendship.
The craft group that we ran on a recent cruise was a great success. We had a great attendance lots of enthusiasm and all very enthusiastic crafters. We worked through three crafts in seven days at sea. Time was a bit of an issue as we were only allocated an hour at a time. The ladies in the class would have liked to extend the sessions, which is a great compliment.
Whilst each class was organised to make various items, we encouraged anyone who had their own project with them, to bring it to the group and join us for the company and friendship. This worked as people shared their skills and ideas. Throughout the cruise we asked anyone with a top tip to share it with us. We collected thirty crafty cruising top tips which I will share in a future blog.
The crafts that we demonstrated and helped the ladies to make were:
- plain sewing.
- applique and
- embellishing. On the last day of the cruise we organised an exhibition of the crafts created on the cruise. This was a lovely event and a final goodbye to good friends and a great holiday. I will show you some of the lovely things that were made in the next blog so watch this space……
On my recent trip to Madeira, Portugal I was intrigued to see beautiful samples of the lace and embroidery worked locally.
The work is very fine and mostly done by hand. The cheaper items such as tea towels and cheaper cloths are machine made. It was lovely to see the demonstrations at the Spring flower festival. I didn’t buy any on this occasion as I have so much linen I could ( in fact might!) open my own shop.