Busy, busy days but happy, happy times! Recently I went with Darling Daughter to a craft exhibition. The show was located in a beautiful village, encompassing the lovely 15th Century church, village hall and community centre. We have visited Gresford Festival of Crafts many times and never been disappointed. See http://www.gresford-craft-group.co.uk
The amazingly good crafts are displayed in the church, draped across the pews and decorating the nave. We wandered around happy to soak up the inspiration, colour, textiles and peace!
A beautiful display of Daisies hiding in the graveyard
The church is surrounded by a grove of yews, some of which are equal in size and age to those of Overton listed in the Seven Wonders of Wales. Twenty-five of these were planted in 1726, but one growing near the south gate is older. It was already an ancient tree at the time of Richard II‘s proclamation that ordered the general planting of yews to support the army and the use of yew in the Longbow.
I’ve been crafting away getting ready to cruise and teach crafts on a cruise ship. The cost for me is in stocking up on materials, making the crafts and organising the programme. Making the crafts is great because I get to let my ideas run riot and ( hopefully) materialise as something people would like to make. The initial outlay is not inconsiderable but also good fun. Today I bought safety pins! The plan is to make bracelets.
These are fairly easy to make but you do need a degree of dexterity as they can be quite fiddly.
I have just ordered 20 boxes of these pins! It’s surprising the variety of pins available but as I have to cater for up to thirty participants this seems the easiest way to stock up
I found this cot quilt in a charity shop yesterday ( thrift shop). I think that it is machine made ( or maybe not).I think that it’s not very old ( maybe it is). It is destined to be re purposed in my Textile inspiration packs and have another life. See my Etsy shop email@example.com
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!
I’m nothing if not indecisive! I have thought this project through and gathered together the necessary. I’ve researched, upcycled and finally started to work on my future travel project. I don’t like it! I like the theory, I enjoyed the ideas book and I tried hard. However I don’t like it!
On review of my first hexigan ( which would be the first of many) it just doesn’t work. The beautiful Harris Tweed is too thick when folded over. It doesn’t sit well with the vintage embroidery and in short it doesn’t work! No amount of pressing will improve the look, but I haven’t abandoned it completely.
I adore the vintage embroidery which was worked by my Grandmother over fifty years ago. Don’t worry! I only cut up the cushion cover because a Grandchild tried to colour it in with a permanent Felt tip pen! So….. rethink, re trench and start again.
I did like the embroidery that I had done on the reverse of the hexigon so I intend to incorporate that into the “take two” project!
This is the second plan. I love the Harris Tweed that I’m going to use and I’m delighted to upcycle my Grandmother’s vintage embroidery.
I couldn’t make my mind up which of these two books is my favourite. The book “A Trip around the Wool” is a great book and up there among my current favourites. It’s a bi lingual book in both French and English and beautifully illustrated. I’m just starting a project titled “52 Happy Memories of 2007”. The aim is to create an embroidered hexagon each week culminating in a 52 hexi quilt. I’m already falling behind so nothing new there.
The second book “Stitched Memories” by Tilly Rose is a glorious book sub titled “Telling a story through cloth and thread” which sits well alongside the other book. I’m using old embroideries and Harris Tweed to create my memory quilt. But lots more about that as it starts to come together.
Another week and more attempts at focusing. This past week I have worked hard at finishing not one but two Quilts! The first quilt is a lap quilt destined for my gorgeous granddaughter. It is soon to be her birthday but this is not a “real” birthday gift. I don’t mind if it’s kept in a cupboard so that one day, in the distant future, she can take it out and snuggle up thinking of me! I am really looking forward to giving it to her this weekend.
The second quilt is also on the edge of completion. I made this quilt perhaps three or four years ago but never finished the binding. I am delighted to report that this WIP (work in progress) should be finished this week. I am so pleased that my halo is choking me!
The motivation to complete these Quilts has been not just the pending Birthday but the thought of starting another quilt! This next one is a Block of the Month and has just arrived. I can’t wait to start it and I’m certain that I will be blogging about this new quilt in the near future!
Darling Daughter and I went to a quilt and craft exhibition last week. It was in a very old church in a lovely village called Gresford.fThe exhibition is located in the beautiful village church. As we walked up the church path we were met by a Yew tree. This tree is 1600 years old!! Now that is old!
The interior of the church is traditional and quite magnificent made even more so by the Quilts and crafts draped over ancient pews and hung by stunning stained glass windows. The Quilts were displayed to show the artistic and imaginative work to its best. I must apologise for the photo quality which was due to the reduced lighting (that’s my excuse!)I couldn’t ignore the wonderful Quilted Santa Claus or the many Quilts hanging nearby
This particular quilt was made using vintage lace doilies. Now I know what to do with my doily stash!
This wreath was good food for thought using Tweed, felt and Burlap. It was a super day out, full of inspiration and information. Oh and I must say that the village hall made a great cafe with tasty cakes, yummy sandwiches and good coffee.
The final project that we worked on whilst on our recent crafty cruise was a gadget bag. It started out as an iPad cover and then I realised not everyone would have or want an iPad! The patchwork quilted bag evolved into a project that could be adapted for tablet case, make up purse, sun glasses case or whatever your imagination decided. This guided but flexible project allowed the crafty ladies on the cruise to sew wherever their ideas took them.
The original idea was to use a “Grandmothers Fan” pattern which is attractive and a challenge for novice patch workers. I seriously underestimated the ability of many ladies on the course. The majority wanted to give the “Grandmothers Fan” a go. We provided the template, choice of fabrics and guidance and away we went. It was great fun and wonderful to see the delight when the padded bag was finished. I
have to admit to there being minimum quilting due to time constraints. Many of the ladies wanted to carry on crafting long after the class finished. It was rewarding to see many ladies on deck, enjoying the sun and stitching with enthusiasm between formal sessions.
The cruise was a great delight. We visited Portugal, Madeira, Canaries and Spain. I explored crafting emporiums, fabric shops and market stalls. We met lovely people and an adorable crafting group of ladies ( men tended to come just to see what their wives were up to!). Most of all we had fun! We have been so very lucky to have this opportunity and hope with fingers crossed that we can do more cruises. I have an ambition to craft my way around the World so watch this space!
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……