Sunday, 1 March 2015

Spring Wreath Class

Hooray it's March! We made it through Feb andspring is onit's way! To celebrate we ran Victoria's popular Felt Wreath Class, this time with a spring theme. Aren't they lovely? Feel a bit spring-ier now? It's just a tonic isn't it? Well done all, you'll cheered us all up no end!

Friday, 27 February 2015

The PlainStitch Workroom's First Birthday Party

We had such a fun day at The Workroom.

We set up our classroom with a fab Fat Quarter Pick and Mix Bar. People chose their FQ's added them to a pick and mix bag, helped themselves to sweeties then had a go at our Lucky Dip and took home a little thank you pressie from us.

Netty made us the most amazing cake! It was our PlainStitch Modern Appliqué Quilt made in cake....just perfect!! Those hexagons! Adorable!

We had the warmest, most fun filled party... so many smiling faces! 

Chatting on the stairs ...couldn't even get in the door at times!

My lovely friends Hels and Claire...they're wonderful x

So many lovely cards and kind kind pressies.

I LOVE it! 

We almost couldn't bring ourselves to cut the fab cake...but we did! yummmy xx

Embroidered by my lovely girl x

Some of my most recent quilts on display

It was the finest of days. Thank you all so much for coming and for being such wonderful, supportive and infinitely kind and special people.  xxx

p.s Petal and Plume by Bari J arrived at the party too! 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

PlainStitch; One Year On

I can hardly believe that it's our first birthday in The Workroom. A year ago we were working hard painting and cleaning and revelling in the fab light filled space as it transformed. We had 4 or 5 different classes that we taught, Simple Sampler, Fabric Baskets, Modern Appliqué, Get To Know Your Sewing Machine and Log Cabins. A year on we have added more than 30 different classes, the last two months alone we have taught over 100 different people......The Workroom has become everything we hoped for and so much more.........

I am so proud of the creativity that we see every day from people in our classes. It's so wonderful to be surrounded by such colour and vibrancy.

I'm very proud of how warm and friendly our classes are, because the people who take our classes are so lovely. Every day I am amazed and awestruck at how effortlessly you all just learn to fly creatively. Each class ups the bar, the sewing just gets better and better....

I'm super proud of our kids classes. We have taught so many fabulous keen and committed Little People to sew this year. We LOVE sewing and we want everyone to love sewing too. These little boys and girls are the future of the skills and crafts we love and they are taking the baton and running with it, and no mistake. They are bold, brave and they make fabulous things so carefully under Miss Stitch Victoria's careful tuition. It makes me want to be 9 and enrol and have Vic as my teacher, she's special!

Our Sewing Bee has been running for nearly 3 years's grown into such a wonderful institution. A genuinely supportive, generous, friendly and welcoming and multi generational group. We've laughed and cried together, welcomed newcomers and become the best of friends. I'm so proud to say that our group holds out such warm arms of friendship and mutual sewing appreciation! Its a magical wonderful thing. Our 2015 Wendover Remembers Project involves the whole community. We are working with all 3 local churches, both primary schools, the Wendover Art Group, The Wendover News, The RAF at Halton, the Parish Council and the Wendover Remembers Committee. Its a logistical undertaking but it's already such a rich project...well done ladies!

I'm really proud of our PlainStitch People. I work with the nicest, most dynamic, skilled women. It's such a privilege, it's the best job in the world. Anything Jeanne doesn't know about dressmaking isn't worth knowing, its second nature and her classes are master-class in these skills. Claire has bought a huge artistic boost to our making, her beautiful free motion embroidery and quilting skills are second to none. Sue has looked after us all so well since she joined the team in January, and although we all miss Hels since she left to home school her son, we owe her a huge debt for all her hard work and support at the beginning and ongoing behind the scenes! Love you Hels xx. Victoria has a growing mini fan club amongst our little Miss Stitch sewers who are quite devoted to her calm and kind teaching. Vic's adult pupils feel pretty much the same...she's fab.

As we move into our second year at The Workroom we've added more new classes...knitting and crochet....Dressmaking for Teens.....we welcome new specialist teachers in Penny and Val. Penny ran her own Yarn Shop in Henley on Thames for many years....she's all round wonderful and you'll just love her classes. Val is a retired secondary school textiles teacher who is coming back in to the classroom to teach our teens classes ( details of which to come this weekend). Her focus is turning our fledgeling Miss Stitch Graduates into self sufficient sewers, making clothes and fabricy wonderfulness for themselves, giving them skills to use in their Textiles classes at school and giving them a space outside of school to just be creative away from homework and exams.

Thank you all for your friendship and support over the last 3 years running PlainStitch. We hope you can visit tomorrow (Thursday 26th Feb) our 1st Birthday Party and that you enjoy your party bag!! Pop in between 9.30am - 2pm, Netty is unveiling her surprise 1st Birthday Cake at 12pm, come then if you're feeling hungry!

Monday, 23 February 2015

New! Knitting and Crochet Classes

I'm so excited to announce that we are running a series of knitting and crochet classes at The PlainStitch Workroom. Our super experienced tutor will be Penny Cole who until recently owned and ran Black Hills Yarns, a wonderful well established knitting shop in Henley on Thames, which used to be my local yarn shop. Penny knows everything there is to know about all things wooly, her family farm in New Zealand supplied much of her yarn and she has worked with many of the industry's designers and wool manufacturers. But much more than that, Penny is very kind and patient and has been teaching people to knit and crochet forever, in her previous career she was an adult education teacher so as you can see she is by far the finest person for the job!

We will be kicking off with a Beginners Knitting and Beginners Crochet class in April and May, running on weekdays and weekends for those of you who work during the week. 
Each class will run from 9.30 (10am on Sat) and run through til 2pm (2.30pm on Sat).  The class will include a bamboo hook or needles and a ball of wool, just come ready to learn and get excited about wool!

Beginners Crochet Thurs 30th April or Sat 23rd May
Beginners Knitting Sat 2nd May or Fri 22nd May

These Beginners classes would be suitable for complete beginners, as well as rusty returnees and in the course of a class you will learn all of the basics to get you started. You'll knit some little samples and crochet a granny square in the crochet class. We supply you with lots of example samples to study, class notes and some basic patterns to practise on. We have also added to our PlainStitch library some lovely knitting and crochet book patterns for you to browse through. You'll be raring to go!

In early summer we will be running follow on classes called 'Next Steps..Knitting/Crochet' at these classes we will address more complex issues such as cabling, double pointed needles, mitred squares and other techniques. The Next Steps classes will be tailored around the projects that our knitters/crocheters are undertaking going forward and can be 'problem solving' sessions so bring along a pattern that baffles you and Penny can help you to work it through.

In the autumn we will move on to more specialised classes, cabling, knitting socks etc.. Ummm handknitted socks...a luxury you cant buy!

I learnt to knit as a 10 year old, knitting ladybirds with my Nana. I've always had some knitting on the go, but I'm a pretty unsophisticated knitter.....I love a  hand knitted sock ( note the lack of plural! I have a lot of  misshapen or solitary socks!) and my most successful knitting finishes are stripy handknit blankets, can't get enough of them......

I do love cabling., it's just such a satisfying knit...I knit a lot of fingerless gloves!

My crochet is a bit hit and miss.... I can crochet basic granny squares til the cows come home, but I can't follow a crochet pattern. I really want to crochet the flower corsage broach in the Comic Relief Crafternoon book....

I've owned this book for at least 6 years and never crocheted anything more than a basic granny's time to break out!! Hexagon crochet? I'm in!!

At the moment I am knitting dresses for small felt rabbits..........yes, its bonkers, but its curiously satisfying - mini knitting!

Anyway, if you'd like to join me and polish up your skills or try knitting or crochet for the first time, don't delay in booking a place, it's limited numbers for these classes and we expect them to be busy.. clickety clack xx