Sunday, April 3, 2011

A wonderful weekend of making

This weekend definitely goes down as a perfect weekend, sewing with lovely like minded ladies who all share common interests (on a Janet Bolton two day sewing course at Hope & Elvis), listening to Janet showing us how she creates her beautiful fabric art, and rummaging through Louise's treasure trove of wonderful fabrics to create our own unique pieces all whilst chatting, drinking tea and eating cake.

These are some pics of Louise's fantastic studio at Hope & Elvis.
When we arrived we discovered that the Smile Exhibition which features Janet's work, together with that of Julie Arkell and other artists was opening at the Harley gallery that morning, and it was eagerly agreed by all that we would start our two day workshop by all going over to view the exhibition for inspiration and see the work.

Take a look at some of the charming pieces.
Love love loved this picture "Good Angels Leave Early"!!
More of Julies's magical work.. "Missing Stanley"IMG_1135
"The day I nearly lost Lamby"IMG_1138
"A lamb for Heidi"
Several people purchased (one of them may or may not have been me!) some pieces by Julie Arkell and Janet Bolton.

After we'd had a good look around the exhibition and ooo'd and aah'd over the pieces we made our way back to the studio and enjoyed a lovely hour where Janet told us all about her work, her inspiration and how she discovered her art. Janet is an excellent teacher, very down to earth and friendly, and I really appreciated the way she described composition and using negative space as well as positive space, and how using tiny pieces of colour in your work can really draw attention or highlight certain things. She is such an interesting lady and told us some lovely stories of her travels and teaching all around the world.

Janet suggests that you start with a background, I wanted to use just one type of fabric, this lovely linen and Janet suggested that I cut it and sew it together with the grain running to different directions to make it more interesting. We all had a good rummage through all the lovely fabrics making out selections for our borders, and sewed them on, everything was handstitched.

Believe it or not, to get to this point took the rest of the day!
The next day we got onto our composition. I had already spent a week deliberating over what I wanted to sew and had been discussing it with the rest of my family. I was going to hang the piece in our new bedroom (in the new extension still being built) so I wanted something appropriate for that room that was something special about us as a family. Here it is in progress...
"Can you tell what it is yet?"
Here is the finished piece! (Yes, I managed to finish it, yey!)

Its all of us under a patchwork duvet in bed, with my son leaping onto the bed like he does in the morning!

One of the best bits of the workshop was the show and tell at the end where we got to look at everyone elses work, each one unique, beautifully made and really striking. Here's Janet holding my piece!

Same used shells and driftwood, the colours were beautiful.IMG_1145
I loved Anita's chicken house and chicken, especially the shape of the piece.IMG_1152IMG_1151

It was such a lovely weekend, great to catch up with old friends and also make new friends. We all had a really memorable time and I know several of us can't wait til Janet's return next year when we would all love do it all again :-)



  1. Gosh that was quick posting Sal I am impressed. I loved your piece of work - are the family suitably impressed? See you soon.

  2. It's fabulous! You must be so proud of yourself!
    Lisa xx