Handmade Embroidered Lampshade Workshops
(first published May 27, 2014 )
A few weeks ago now I had a super fab weekend down in Devon making lampshades and teaching embroidery to a splendid group of ladies.
It was the first workshop that I’d hosted in a while and I’m not sure why I chose to do it seven hours away from home but I did and it was wonderful. I hadn’t been to Devon before and I’ll certainly be going back down there as much as possible in the future because it’s just so stunning.
I was lucky enough to bring a lovely friend Cath with me for this workshop and she became the best tea and cake lady imaginable keeping us all topped up with goodies and lovely compliments. Everyone needs a Cath in their pocket I think to make the day go smoothly. We arrived at the gorgeous barn set in idyllic rolling hills and immediately felt relaxed and excited to get out the fabric and start creating.
I was joined on Saturday morning by nine lovely ladies all eager to learn something new and enjoy each others company. With the best will in the world we want to spend days at home creating things but home life often just makes this impossible so a weekend dedicated to simply sitting and surrounding yourself with fabric and thread and no distractions is just the tonic we creative peeps need. It’s a stitch retreat for the soul.
We spent a bit of time talking and discussing our inspiration and art and then got down to the fun bit of drawing the beautiful fresh flowers I had picked to inspire our designs. No drawing skill is needed it’s just about letting go and having confidence. Then I opened my stash of Liberty fabric for people to chose and create from.
We were only interrupted by a delicious lunch and more tea and cake but it was hard to stop these ladies for sewing at any point even for tea!
Day two was the same as day one but with lots of new embroidery stitches being taught and lots of advice and ideas flowing and finished up with the stunning designs being made into the finished lampshades. I was so proud of these fabulous ladies and what they made, each design was so individual and really very very good indeed, and they will be proudly displayed in their homes. I was so pleased with how quickly they picked up the stitches and how beautiful the fabric combinations and final designs were, they worked hard and I hope they have the confidence to keep on making because they really do have great skills.
This workshop was not aimed at people with any experience, you don’t have to know how to draw or do all the stitches, you just need to want to have a go. What you are learning is a taster of a new skill which you will became better at the more you do it, these lampshades are a modern day sampler, but turning it into something practical that we can enjoy and show off in our homes.
This workshop was such a success and I have had the most gorgeous feedback telling me how inspired my ladies were and how I must do more for us to all get together on again, and I will most certainly do that. I’m planning more ‘stitch retreats’ around the country and they will be announced on the website when dates are confirmed with venues. There will be everything from lampshade making to cushions, wall hangings and hoops. My luxury workshops will be two days long and only have eight people on each course so I can give lots of time to each person, and all guests will have a goody bag full of lovely bits and bobs, such as notebooks, pencils, buttons, blue pens, scissors etc, everything you need for the course and more.
But in case you want to come to a one day course and get a smaller idea of what we learnt in Devon then I still have few places available on two workshops I’ve been invited to host at Needle and Thread in Lincoln in September and So Sew Pretty in Dumfries in July. Click the link to book, each course has sold out on one day so another date has been added). I can’t wait to meet you all there.
But I think you’ll agree that my fab Devon Darlings did incredibly well and the smiles on their faces have certainly made it a wonderful experience for me. Thanks girls.