This time last week Mama and I were preparing for our third crafty workshop of the year. After patchworking and machine embroidery we thought it was time to make a bag. On our trip down to the depths of Cornwall to visit Poppy Treffry we found a wonderful fabric shop with its own classroom, Coast and Country Crafts which is taking very good care of south Cornwall's quilters and a few more besides.
Heavier weight quilting cottons and linens make ideal bag materials and we went the day before the workshop to pick out fabrics from the huge range they have. Such fun, I could do that forever, just play around with different combinations and this project is designed beautifully to make the most of contrasting fabrics.
No photos from the workshop as I was head down and hands busy! It was quite a lot of sewing to get done in the few hours we were there with lots of different pieces, wadding, lining, darts, magnetic clasps and pockets to deal with. We didn't get close to done by the time the class ended but with pattern and instructions in hand we set up our own mini workshop on my parents' dining room table as soon as we got home. With each other to talk it all through with and trusty stitch unpicker to hand we just got them finished on Wednesday morning before I headed back up to Oxford.
Our teacher was great (and I learnt a tip about finger pressing rather than getting up to press with the iron that will speed my sewing up no end!) but the loveliest part of the whole project for me was sitting at that table with our sewing machines back to back engaged on the same piece. We're planning our own mini workshop again soon!
These workshops have been creative islands for me this year, spaces I could immerse myself in, let go of day to day stresses and feed that need for learning and creating that lives inside me. Alongside some gentle knitting they have kept me afloat in what has not been a creative sea. Well I'm swimming in the waters I want to be in again now and getting to the stage I can just bob along and enjoy it without having to consciously work at it. I have some lovely knitting to show off if I can tear myself away long enough from the next project to block it!
And yay for knitting and crafting keeping you afloat. Seriously cannot overestimate the importance of crafting to my own mental health.