The Ailist – Issue Eight

Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!Last month I featured selected pieces from The Knitting and Stitching shows…have you been yet?  Or are you off to Harrogate this month?

I will be there in The Learning Curve teaching a variety of fun subjects….which I thought I would tell you a little about and what it is like to teach at this kind of event!  You may have visited loads of times, but here is a little behind the scenes information….

What it’s like to be a teacher at an event….

Firstly, there are the experiences you never expect to happen…A couple of years ago I had a sell out class and turned around to see a lady projectile vomiting all over her sewing machine.  A couple of phone calls to the event team and doctors later….and the poor lady was taken away to get checked while the clean up team arrived – lets just say that they felt it best to actually remove the carpet tiles surrounding her area!  So, when you come to one of these style classes, please be aware of the situations that might have occurred and we kind to us teachers – we may be flustered for a reason!

Secondly, when you arrive, you get a time slot, a straight hour or two, depending on what class you have booked.  But that’s not all for us teachers, loads of preparation goes on behind the scenes, the testing of materials, creating packs for you all to use, making sure that the room is safe, providing all the equipment, checking the electrics, testing the machines….oh, and not sleeping the night before in case you all arrive and don’t like the class….need I go on?!  I remember coming to classes myself back in the day and wondering why the teacher looked a little stressed…now I know why!  Oh and generally we have another class the second after you leave….

The main thing is we love what we do and as long as you go out the door happy…then we do too 😉

The classes I am teaching at Harrogate this year…….

Boro Patchwork

Within my own current practice, I have been investigating the topic of repair.  When you begin to research, there are so many beautiful textile techniques which are a form of repair.  The term boro is the Japanese word to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times; it literally means old cloth. This technique has been passed down for many centuries and is often used to create family heirlooms. Within this class, you will learn to make your own small piece of boro, personalized to you.  Here is an example:

Boro Patchwork. This is one of my class examples.

Contemporary Shashiko and Felt Fusion

Sashiko is a traditional embroidery technique from Japan, often used to decorate and create pattern when repairing household items or clothing. Twisting this to modern times, you will play with beautiful scraps of my own hand dyed felt and wool fabrics, stitching them by hand onto another surface with threads in a contrasting colour. This could be later used as a centrepiece for a cushion project, addition to a scarf or even a wearable piece of art!
My hand dyed felt pieces are included in your pack, so you can make a little sample like this one.

Ethereal 3D Flower

Within this class, learn how to use a variety of plastics such as sweetie wrappers, sequins and voile, trapped in Bondaweb to create new ‘Fabric’. A template has been provided to guide you through making a flower shape from your creation. Once you have stitched together your flower, experiment with a heat gun to ‘distress’ it. Finalise by making your flower into a brooch.

The flower piece here has been distressed with both an iron and a heat gun.

Contemporary bonding and fusing

Heard of ‘hot’ textiles? Learn how to design and make unusual fabrics by trapping various types of plastics, including sparkly bits, sweetie wrappers and voile with Bondaweb fabric; which you will iron to melt it all together. Distress your creation further by experimenting with a Heat Gun and Soldering Iron. Your new ‘Fabric’ can then be used for anything you like!
Think of all the wrapping paper and plastics we never do anything with at home. This is a way to recycle them.

If you are coming along to the show and fancy booking a class, many are already sold out, so book a place now!

The Knitting and Stitching show is on at Harrogate from the 22nd – 25th November 2018
Until next month…..x

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