Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The start of the workshop season …

and last Saturday I went to my first in lovely Pately Bridge.  My attitude to driving caused more mirth within the family when I explained that I enjoyed the journey back more than the journey there but it made sense to me – there is a big drop on my side of the road on the way there!  It's all worth it though because the countyside is stunning.
I was going to the studio of Kirsty Hopkins and I could see from her website that she is a very talented fabric artist but, of course, with a new subject, you really don’t know what it is all about or how you will take to it.  I had been looking into free motion embroidery and wanted to know more and Mum came up trumps with the offer of the workshop as a birthday present.  I have to say it was a wonderful day.  It is a one to one course, well actually one to two as Kirsty’s lovely mum, Charmian, is part of the business too and her input gives you an extra angle with your learning.  This makes it a concentrated day but you cover an awful lot.  There are some really important things to know about when deciding which course to sign up to so I will cover those first.  The tea/coffee is provided unstintingly – most important.  The atmosphere is quiet and very conducive to learning.  Both Kirsty and Charmian are very encouraging which I found really important as I see myself as much more of a crafter than an artist so being able to using this artistically was a bit of a leap of faith. 
I spent the morning and a little bit of the afternoon learning different stiches which would outline or fill parts of a design.   The concentration needed was intense as this is quite a new way to use your sewing machine so prepare to be very tired by the end of the day if you are doing this course – tired but very pleased with what you have learnt in my case.  Finally I used some of the stiches to see just what I could do when making a picture.  This was what I produced.

I can really see me using the tequniques I learned to enhance the applique I am loving doing at the moment.  Kirsty and her mum also told me of courses local to me where I learn how to use free motion embriodery for traditional quilting.  I have booked for one of these and will be telling you about that next week.  It does feel like full on learning at the moment but it will be such a useful skill taking my sewing forward.
I am putting a "page" on the right hand side listing useful courses.  Again, if you know of any in the area please let me know and I will add them.
Happy crafting!

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