Saturday, March 24, 2012

A workshop with Janet Clare

Saturday was a day I'd been looking forward to for a while, a workshop at Hope and Elvis with Janet Clare, whose work I had loved when I first saw it at the Festival of Quilts last year.  Janet creates gorgeous unique quilts and stitcheries using applique and free machine drawing.  

Examples of her work (some from her Freya and Fred book) were laid out for us to admire...

Janet gave us all jointed applique templates of Fred!

Getting ready to start!

 First of all Janet demonstrated writing with a sewing machine.  She told us all to be confident when free machining and it would happen!  We all started by drawing our names with the machine. 

The Lovely Janet Clare
Once we had mastered our names, she then showed us how to draw faces, apparently this can be one of the trickiest things to do, so once we had mastered this we would be full of confidence to tackle almost anything! She said you never knew who would appear until you started stitching, which was so true, some interesting characters appeared from under our needles! Houses followed, and then on to choosing fabrics, and appliquing! 

 Louise had been truly generous with her fabrics and stash of beautiful of old quilts, and had put out beautiful pieces for us to use.  I selected two really gorgeous textural worn handquilted pieces to work with.  

First I appliqued Sunbonnet Freya (from Janet's Freya and Fred book), which I bonda-webbed on and then free embroidered onto the applique and finished with some handquilting.

Next I had fun using scraps of vintage fabrics to make a crazy patchwork, trimmed to make a cup of tea.
The day was also a lovely opportunity to share creative time and catch up with my very good friend, (super talented!) who free machined these wonderful pieces all about her family, home, allotment and garden. 

(She's also a guide leader, and found just the right fabric for her camping applique!)

At the end of the day it was really enjoyable to have a show and tell and see what everyone else had been busy making.  

Everyone produced such beautiful individual pieces and it was incredible to think that some of us had never free machined before.  Such an enjoyable day and Kirsty is absolutely right free machine embroidery is definitely the crack cocaine of craft, I can't wait to have another go at home today! xox


  1. Wow fab post - I am popping over today to have a peek. Glad you had such a super day hope to catch up with you soon. Debs x

  2. I have just returned from The Sunday Workshop...what a great post everyone produced such pretty pieces!

  3. I love the teacup. There will be no stopping you now then! Lots more fab new creations whizzing off your machine.
    Lisa x

  4. Hi - I don't think weve met before, but Lisa mentioned that you were on this course, and I went today - so we missed each other. Wasn't it absolutely brill - and could'nt you just LIVE in Louises studio! xxxx

  5. Looks like you all had a wonderfully creative time x