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.
I have a HUGE collection of vintage textiles which I adore but it is out of control! The grand plan is to put some ( a lot ) in my Etsy shop and send it to a new home. Basically I am lucky to live in a small cottage and need to make the space. If I carry on collecting I think the walls of the cottage may bow Or Hubs might start to object)
The grand sort may take some time! In the meantime I’m enjoying playing with the fabrics and seeking out locations to use for photo shoots.
Take a look at my shop ( not much stock as yet but watch this space!)
Having watched, and sort of enjoyed, The Great British Sewing Bee, I remembered making a waistcoat for a special person.
I don’t think it would pass inspection by the Bee Judges but at the time I was proud of this attempt at tailoring! It was in 1979 that my Sis got married and asked my eldest son to be her Pageboy! I made the trousers and waistcoat for the event and forced him to wear a bow tie. I remember making bound buttonholes as my machine didn’t have the facility. I was taught how to do bound buttonholes at school and have always had success with them.
In an attempt to trawl through old photographs to make a scrap book of ” items that I have made” I have come across a few gems. Most can be filed under Vintage and many can be filed under ” did I REALLY wear that?”and
There are a few gems and including this Clothkits jacket that I made for my daughter in about 1986. This was a quilted jacket with a zoo theme. There was even mini stuffed animals in the pockets. Clothkits still exists as a company but with a slightly different format. The garment was printed onto the fabric and it was a matter of just cutting it out and sewing. I loved this jacket and Darling Daughter still remembers it with fondness.
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!
Surajkund International Craft Fair reputed to be one of the largest in the World! It was huge! There was a great atmosphere with all ages visiting the annual fair. It felt completely safe with much friendly banter. We were the only white faces to be seen and obviously a spectacle of interest. We were constantly asked for permission for the locals to take selfies with us. I felt like a celebrity when even three policemen asked could they pose with me!
There was music everywhere, dance troupes at every corner and street food of every description.
I learned to barter which doesn’t sit easily with my shopping habit! I did, however buy pashminas, scarves and cushion covers!
It was the hottest day of the holiday but that added to the atmosphere of a never to be forgotten experience, in India.
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.