Wet Felting at Crafty Natters

A chance meeting resulting in a fun workshop not too far from Stitching Kitchen

craftynatters1

I met with Sally at Sutton Stitchers - a group I visit when I can on a Saturday. Sally runs a crafting group in her village called Crafty Natters, there are some tallented stitchers who attend, including another couple of ladies who visit Sutton Stitchers. As this was my largest wet felting class to date i was filled with some intrepedation as running a class with complete strangers is always easier than with those you know!

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Needlefelting Birds in Bicester

Such a wonderful evening with great results, so kind of the Bicester Craft Club to invite me to lead this workshop.

bicesterbirds

Imagine my surprise as I enjoyed the tranquillity of the Scottish borders last august and received a phone call from the lovely Jill who organises the Bicester Craft Club - could I come and teach their group needle felting. I explained what my normal class is like and my usual 3 hours and limit to around 8 people, she wondered if I might be able to teach 20 of them to make something within a 2 hour period! Of course I am sure I can work something out I said!

I decided the best thing to do was to create a simple process to follow to allow all the the crafters to make a bird in the two hour period. My typical class is more free flowing and everyone learns the way to make a creature of their choice.

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Needle Felting

Stab your cares away - Needle felting for another day!

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At Stitching Kitchen this year has been all about me developing skills in needle felting. It all started in January when one of my crafty contacts asked for some help for one of their customers, before I knew what had happened I had developed my needle felting skills beyond the 2D of embellishing and adding wispy texture to my textile art. It was needle felting in three dimensions which was required.

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Indian Block Printing – Hen Party….and quilting

Crafty Hen Party - you can now buy Indian Block Printed Fat Quarters

hen party printing

Well it happened in September, the very first Stitching Kitchen Hen Party. What a giggle we had too and what a delightful group of girlfriends. About a month before one of the party of 12 called me, could I run a craft session for mixed ability where the group could take away something useful. The obvious choice would be Indian Block Printing, little crafting skill is required and the guests can take away a tote bag and/or a tea towel.

Weaving workshop at Stitching Kitchen

New weaving workshops at Stitching Kitchen

loom close up

Recently at Stitching Kitchen I was very pleased to be able to run a weaving sampler workshop, simple and effective and fun!

I have been itching to run a weaving workshop at Stitching Kitchen since January when I visited the Hannah Ryggen exhibition.  But these things take a little planning and I needed to brush up my weaving knowledge. Not to mention that I have been busy with needle felting, Indian block printing, and producing my textile art for exhibitions! After creating a few samples and practising my techniques and also acquiring a range of textured yarns it was time to take the plunge!

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Needle Felting Fun

Little creatures surround me, each with their own character

squirelrobinwhale

It all started when I was asked if I could to help one of my favourite quilting shops https://www.nimble-thimble.co.uk/ with a customer enquiry about needle felting. 'Do do you know how to needlefelt?' they asked. 'Yes' I replied and I was all ready to give some advice to their customer. At this point I should mention that my needlefelting experience had been mainly 2D and also I had used the technique to add texture to my textile art embroideries. But then it transpired that actually they wanted me to help the lady with three dimensional felted animal creations.

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Party time, any excuse for some crafty fun!

Launching Block Print Parties.....

blockprintparties

At several of my workshops my customers have asked do I do anything for children, with three of my own I have been reluctant to say the least BUT Block Printing is so accessible as a craft, young and old can create something so quickly and it is so sociable and fun I am excited to launch…..

Stitching Kitchen ‘Block Print Parties’.

My Indian Block Printing equipment is very portable, and I have travelled to groups in various locations so setting up for a craft activity as part of a birthday party, hen do, girly get together, corporate team building, slumber party etc. is no trouble at all. I can bring table covers and do all of the washing up too!

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Creating Unique Fabrics with Indian Block Printing

Creating fabrics using techniques including: masking, over-printing and mitred corners (all explained later).

It is still early days for Stitching Kitchen and so far the Indian Block printing sessions have proved very popular.

I am a bit addicted to a great podcast by Susan Weeks - 'Stitchery Stories' and recently loved listening to her speak to Jamie Malden from Colouricious - I recommend you have a listen and find out more about the history and future of Indian Wooden Block carving and printing. Colouricious import hand carved wooden printing blocks from artisans in Jaipur, they also provide all the necessary sundries to print both on fabric and paper and even into clay! Take time to browse the website www.colouricous.com for more info and lots and lots of inspiration.

You can check out this wonderful podcast for creative people who love textiles, stitching & quilting - wonderful inspirational stories aimed at the fabric world. http://www.stitcherystories.com

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