Friday 9 February 2024
Wednesday 7 February 2024
It was back to workshops at the end of January and I revisited Heffle Quilters in Punnetts Town, East Sussex, to work on little 10cm hoops for the day. They had no set theme requested but had previously been interested (at a talk given last year) in my Stitchscapes with shells in so had asked me to bring some along for the workshop. It's slightly tricker to put together packs of inspiration for workshops without a specific theme but I mixed together a selection of sea and coast and hillside fabric combinations in the hopes that there would be something for everyone.
I enjoy making these packs. My system is to pull out fabrics from various stash sources which fit the bill, cut up lots of little pieces in the right size and then lay out all of the hoops (pre-backed) and start laying the fabrics on top, almost randomly, until the fabrics build up to the right quantity. Without thinking too much about it you can put together some interesting combinations which have different stories to them so, even though you've used the same fabrics, there is a different idea that could be interpretated in each.
Of course, these combinations aren't set in stone and at my workshops I take round two big boxes of scrap fabrics (with the ultimate goal of making the scrap pile slightly smaller but it doesn't seem to be working as a stash busting method!) which can be substituted for or added in, and they can always swap between themselves. Sometimes people will also bring their own fabrics along if they've been inspired so it's a creative free-for-all with a little bit of initial direction. Half the time the packs are picked over with the same enthusiasm as seagulls around a sandwich and the ladies have got stuck in before I've had a chance to really explain what to do. It's nice to see such enjoyment from everyone and always bodes well for a creative day.
I'd put together this little example piece for the workshop, and there's a rather embarrassing Instagram reel which you can find on my Instagram account (and Facebook page I think) of me putting it together if you wanted to watch it. I've used the same fabrics as from the selection provided to the Heffle Quilters and the same size hoop but it's always nice to show someone what you can do and the scale that can be achieved. Oddly, I haven't actually started stitching this one yet but I have started another piece which I began after the workshop as there was a fabric pack left over and I felt bad for it being unloved.
Friday 2 February 2024
After a lot of late night slogging to choose products, compare prices, place orders, unpack and check in, cut fabrics to size and fold them neatly, photograph all products, load the products onto my website, work out prices, write descriptions, and start advertising it .... my Stitchscape shop is open!!
But, I hear you say, you've had a shop for ages, why is this so special? Well! This is a branched out, extended shop which will now also have tools to help with your embroidery, not just Stitchscape kits and printed Stitchscape products. I am asked all the time to recommend needles, or overhear comments about people's struggles to find pretty things or specific tools so I am hoping to fill that void a little bit with my selections.