As I said I recently spent a beautiful weekend in Plas Tan Y Bwlch with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild.
At first I was overwhelmed by the talent of the other Guild members, but then I decided that I can only learn from them. I learned a LOT.
There were three tutors on the weekend and we each chose to attend one “craft” There was screen printing, machine embroidery and Appliqué. I chose to stay in my comfort zone of appliqué.
Our tutor was particularly good as she showed slides of her journey through Uzbekistan and the textiles which are a specialty of that area. The Suzanis were very similar to the textiles that I saw in India.
Recently I was fortunate to be able to go on a stitching fest. Imagine that! A whole weekend of stitching heaven! I went with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild to a beautiful Mansion called Plas Tan Y Bwlch. This C18 country mansion is now The Snowdonia National Park Centre and offers Accommodation and courses throughout the year. Each year The North Wales Embroiderers Guild hire the whole building, engage 3 specialist tutors and off we go!
I was so taken with the location that I took Hubs back for lunch in the tea room with the most spectacular views. Many other courses are on offer throughout the year including photography, walking in Snowdonia, art, Welsh history and much more.
I will tell you more about my slow stitching weekend ( and I am slow!)in the next blog. See you then!!
These cushion covers were embroidered by my Nanna ( Grandmother) in circa 1950 They were embroidered using a variety of stitches and stranded silk threads.
The cushion covers were worked onto white linen and have to be stitched onto the cushion pad as there is no zip or fastening. They have been freshly laundered and had some running repairs today. They now have pride of place in my lounge and I adore them!
They are NOT for sale in my Etsy shop!
What a difference a day makes! Today was sunny, bright and cheerful. There was a “start of the season” party on the sea front today. There was live music, RNLI (which we all hope we will never need!) children’s games and a display of plastic waste! The plastic was shocking and brought home how much plastic waste that there must be in the sea. Nothing better than visual aides!
I have also put another vintage cloth into my Etsy shop Visit noddfacrafts.etsy.com
This is a beautiful vintage linen tray cloth.
Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.
We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.
Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.
Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.
Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!
There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.
Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.
on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.
Just about recovered from my jet lag and thought that I would share some memories with you.We visited Surajkund International Craft Fair where there was no shortage of colour, noise, smells and people. An amazing assault on the senses, but one that I wouldn’t have missed.Beautiful textiles at every angle There was silk,wool, and cotton in a rainbow of colours, hues and shades. It would have been very rude not to buy ! So I did! ( many times!),No “Political Correctness” hereNo Magnolia here!
Memorable visit to Taj Mahal today in this wonderful, amazing land of contrasts.The poverty is difficult to swallow but the culture is immersive. I love love love the textiles and crafts. I am with a specialist textile company called Colouricious who have taken us to hidden gems. Whilst I am devastated that we have not had a block printing workshop ( my reason for coming) I am loving the other textiles. I am learning as much from my travel companions as we are all like minded.Marble inlaid with semi precious stones
Only a few more days to go before home.
This city is marginally cleaner than Delhi with more parks and open spaces. Yesterday we had a Chikankari workshop. It took place in the home of the owners and we enjoyed the beautiful work Four ladies working in the studio attempted to teach us this regal stitch. It is a fine embroidery stitch worked in white on white muslin. Beautiful and labour intensive.
My attempt was not very good! In fact it was all wrong!Marks outdoor 10? 1 for effortWe had a lovely lunch, in the garden, of local delicacies We returned via a Rickshaw This is the second ride on a rickshaw and I hope Not to put my life at risk again in this chaotic crazy traffic filled city Phew!