Saturday, 6 April 2013

Getting my kicks from Free Machining

Today I had my first true dabble into Free Machining. 

I think we can safely say I'm not a natural! However, I predict all other WIP's are going to be heartlessly cast aside while I indulge in a new addiction.

Kirsty Allsop (of Homemade Home fame) infamously tweeted: “Machine embroidery is the crack cocaine of the craft world, and I am addicted.” I get it Kirsty!

I attended a morning workshop entitled "Introduction to free machine work" taught by Yvonne Brown at Sew Much To Do.

Yvonne Brown is a hugely talented Textile Artist with a background in Art and Art History. Yvonne teaches and exhibits all over the world. Check out the galleries on her website if you want to be truly amazed.

 Looking through some of the pieces Yvonne brought with her I felt seriously not worthy of a class under her guidance!

Today's workshop was an introduction aimed at getting to grips with the basics of free machining.

Firstly, we practised on paper working in pairs; one person holding the pen still while the other moved the paper.

Machines at the ready, we moved onto our pre-prepared 15' quilt sandwiches. Initially, just getting used to the movement and creating swirling patterns while keeping our fabric pointing "north". It was so hard to resist rotating the fabric to make the curves!

We then progressed onto vermicelli, feathering and basic shapes. All of which Yvonne made look easy.

Yes, this one is Yvonne's work not mine.

But, LOOK you can hardly spot the difference!!!!


Some of my fellow classmates were already producing beautiful work by the end of the session.
Me? Not quite so proficient. My shoulders tightened as the workshop went on, and towards the end my technique got worse rather then better. But, even as I write this, I'm itching get practising again once my shoulders resume their natural position!

Before leaving today I signed up for the next instalment.
Part II: Stitch Dictionary, will focus on building our repertoire of free machining skills whilst creating a sampler piece.

I have five weeks to practice the basics so that I'm ready to move on. What's the betting I'm "cramming" the day before?

Before I sign off, here's a relaxing scene to soothe you after that shocking apple photo.
I snapped it at afternoon tea on Tuesday in The Drawing Rooms at The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. It was my little daughter's first proper posh tea experience. But, the bubbles were all mine!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Kaffe Fassett is coming to Ely

I'm super excited! Kaffe Fassett is coming to little ole Ely.

We are incredibly lucky in Ely to have a fantastic independent book shop called Topping & Company. Its one of a pair; the other one being in Bath.

As well as it being a proper old-fashioned book shop it also hosts author events and readings, some of which are held in the majestic setting of Ely Cathedral. In the last couple of years I've attended events featuring Terry Pratchett, Dawn French and Nigella Lawson all in strolling distance of my own home.

I spotted a few weeks ago that Kaffe Fassett is descending on the Bath branch of Topping on 18th April in association with "Bath In Fashion 2013". But, disappointingly there was no mention of a corresponding event on the Ely list. Sniff.

I expressed my disappointment and yesterday I received a message from Topping and Company kindly letting me know Kaffe will be visiting Ely on 25th June to give a lecture on "Glorious Colour" at St Peter's Church, and talking about his new book Shots and Stripes.

How happy am I?