Monday, 4 May 2020

Safe at home....

With lockdown now in week 7 and here, I'm guessing, for some time beyond the current May 7 milestone, we've moved the group online. Even if lockdown is lifted in some way on May 7, the impact will be felt for many, many months to come.

Show-and-tell is now on our Facebook page on a fortnightly basis and, as of the week before last, we introduced a weekly Zoom video call on Saturday mornings. Both are working quite well and are 'well attended'. Certainly, everyone is keeping busy, with many of the group making masks, ear-savers for the masks, scrubs and laundry bags; others are working through their UFOs, trying something new and/or revisiting stuff. Oh, and lots of baking is going on too.

If you're really stuck for inspiration or just want a change, there are lots of online events/challenges/projects to take part in. These are just a few:

Dionna Swift, Janice Gunner and Magie Relph have a virtual quilt challenge and are inviting people to make a log cabin block (Janice has written the requirements) and, for the moment, submit a photo to an online gallery. I think 300+ blocks have been made so far. also have a community stitch challenge that's now in week 6. This one's running on their Facebook page.

Region 8 also has moved its coffee mornings online (you bring your own coffee and cake to this one!) and has organised postcard swaps. Both are taking place on their Facebook group.

It's never too late to join in with #the100dayproject. Largely on Instagram, there is also a Facebook page and the website. Use the hashtags  

#the100dayproject and #the100dayproject2020 to see the diversity of projects.

Stay safe everyone. 

Friday, 7 February 2020

First post of 2020

Well, February already. 

No photos from January's meetings. The first meeting of the year was a quiet affair, but more people came out than were expected to given it was New Year's Day.

The second meeting in January was 'a first' for us, "Gadget Night" - bring your favourite sewing gadget or, if you don't have a favourite, the most useless gadget. Most people managed to bring something portable and it was interesting to see how 'low tech' were all the gadgets. Some people discovered a new tool didn't know they needed and others found out how to use a tool they'd forgotten about! And, there was even one pretty useless gadget thad come as the 'free gift' with something else. 

Here are a handful photos from last Wednesday's show and tell. Lots of finishes this time.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Ho, Ho, Ho! Secret Santa here!

Well, as we've all been good this year, Secret Santa called at last night's meeting and brought handmade crackers. 

Here are a few of the postcards received too. 

We also had a quiz (many thanks to Katie for arranging), two rounds of multi-choice questions on sewing and Christmas - and it wasn't that easy. Well done to quiz winner Sara for getting thirty-something out of forty correct answers.

Our meetings wouldn't be the same without cake and a huge 'thank you' to our star baker Sarah.  Last night's chocolate sponge was especially festive with 'star' shaped sprinkles. 

Happy Christmas one and all!

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Coach Trip

Today we went on a coach trip to the Lady Sew & Sew warehouse in Henley-on-Thames. I think it's fair to say the visit exceeded most, if not all, expectations. 

After a 2 hour journey we arrived earlier than expected and were greeted with tea/coffee/biscuits and a place to leave our coats & bags. This was followed by a short briefing of what to expect once in the warehouse.

Before tucking into our packed lunches, we we treated to a 30 minute talk about Bosal products and their use in bag making, shown lots of examples and given a few tips.

After lunch we were treated to 'supermarket sweep' where a member of staff selects a number of products from the warehouse to talk about and show visitors. The staff take it in turns to do this and each one selects different items to talk about.  We were shown new wool products and patterns, some sewing kits, advent calendars, books and items that might be suitable for Christmas gifts.

Prior to leaving, Vanessa talked to us for about one hour about waddings, and showed us examples of the waddings stocked. 

The talks/demos etc are optional and can be tweaked to suit the visiting group; we were happy go go with the flow and the suggestions made by the staff.

Otherwise it was all shopping time in the wool shop and the fabric shop. Having settled out bills, we left at 3pm and enjoyed another good run home. Everyone came home with at least one carrier of goodies and a few projects added to their UFOs.

We were made very welcome by knowledgeable and friendly staff. This is a trip very much recommended if you have the opportunity and one we're likely to repeat for those unable to join us this time.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

And more Christmas

Yesterday, the group had a sales table at a local church Christmas Fayre, and very well it went too.

The stall looked great with a huge variety of hand crafted goodies, some very Christmassy others not, and something for everyone and all pockets.

The group had already agreed to split the takings between Macmillan and Little Dresses for Africa, two of the threes charities* the group supports. 

The group also supports Project Linus, and 11 quilts will be off the Basildon Hospital in time for Christmas.

A big thankyou to everyone involved; the makers, the donors, those who 'man' the stall, those who buy, and all the supporters.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Christmas Appliqué with Wendy

With two tables of 'bits' - die cutters, templates, ribbons, felt shapes and much more - to choose from, there results of today's appliqué workshop with Wendy:

I wonder how many will be complete for Christmas 2019? Or will they start the 2020 UFO list?

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Felt animals

Many thanks to Sara or organising tonight's mini tutorial and showing us how to make these. I should have photographed them alongside a coin so you get an idea of scale - they are small, ideal for brooches, tree decorations, ornaments etc.

Next month's mini tutorial is called 'a little book of pockets'.