Tag Archives: Crafts

Aiiiiii Fiesta!

Yup, it’s official -we’re getting very excited about this year’s Fiesta!

Not only are we going to have fun making metres and metres of pretty bunting, we’re also going to be part of The Wonderland Project – if you read our bunting post, you’ll remember us mentioning a magical garden – this is it and you have a chance to get involved!

Our fabulous textiles tutor Donna Taylor will be leading two workshops for adults on Wednesday 5 & Tuesday 25 May – the sessions are free to attend, but you do need to book your space!  If you’d like to take part in this year’s Fiesta, send an email to adult.education@york.gov.uk and we’ll put your name on the list!

You can find out more by visiting the Fiesta blog.


Patch Progress……

Had another great patching evening earlier this week, kindly hosted by the lovely Donna (Hearts & Crafts, Easter Egg Tree and Crochet workshops) and now have another lovely pile of patches which we’ll be adding onto the blog this afternoon.  One of the things we’re really enjoying about Patch is getting to know so many new people and groups and seeing how very creative people in York are.

We’ll be having a final pre-festival patch-a-thon (new word!) on Monday 1 March at Acomb Library – if you’d like to come along, please drop me an email so I can give you full details – katie.pask@york.gov.uk

In Praise of Ms Allsopp

Hooray!  Kirstie Allsopp is back in style with a three part ‘Kirstie’s Homemade’  series, focusing on having yourself a very merry handcrafted Christmas.

Last night’s episode was all about decorations and we picked up loads of great ideas – will definitely be having a go at making a wreath this year from greenery found in the garden (and quite possibly a few things bought at Hobbycraft!).  Also really liked the use of salt dough as tree decorations – we certainly haven’t made any for years and it makes a nice alternative to using edible biscuits which let’s be honest either end up being entirely inedible or having to be replaced!

Of course we’d also love to have a go at glassblowing, but no idea if this is possible in or near York – do let us know if you have any suggestions.  The end results were just lovely and we were impressed with Kirstie’s skills considering it was only her second go at the craft.  This was perhaps the only thing from the programme that wouldn’t be easily accesible for people to have a go at themselves, but hey, a perfect opportunity to support independent craftspeople and buy from them.  If you fancy having a go at something quick, easy and cheap – try the paper snowflakes – they have made our office windows festive and sparkly in no time at all!

We should encourage more programmes like this – inspiring people to have a go themselves, and make something unique and special – saving money being an added bonus. 

Kirstie Allsopp's homemade lino printed Christmas cards

Kirstie Allsopp's homemade lino printed Christmas cards

Tonight’s episode is all about homemade presents and we can’t wait – 8pm, Channel 4.

Workshops Confirmed!

Learners enjoying Catherine's mosaics workshop at Inspirations this year

Learners enjoying Catherine's mosaics workshop at Inspirations this year

Our 2010 workshops have now been confirmed, and we’re really excited by the range of activities taking place next year!

Not only will we have the free textiles project The Patch Project running on both days, but we’ll also be running 8 tutor-led sessions ranging from 2-5 hours in length.

You can find out more about what’s taking place when on the Workshop page – we’ll be adding in times and prices over the next few days, so do keep checking back. 

This year, we’ve decided to advertise the Inspirations workshop in our main prospectus, the Learning4Life guide, so that hopefully we can attract some new faces, as well as our die-hard arty and crafty visitors who make a point of coming along every year.  We’ll be taking bookings from Monday 4 January by phone – 01904 553397


Just a very quick post to remind all you crafty folk out there that there’s  FLARE contemporary crafts market on this Sunday (29 Nov) in York in the chapel at York Cemetery.  We’ll be heading down there in the early afternoon to see what stall holders have on offer and have a bit of a manic Christmas shopping shop!  Rather handily, there were lots of cakes last time, so we can have a cuppa and relax before, during , afterwards…….!

Hope to see you there – if you do go along, let us know what you bought!

Rain + wind = staying in and crafting

Spent most of this weekend enjoying being at home, after slightly terrifying pre-Christmas shopping trip on Saturday morning.  Will NOT be repeating the experience in a hurry.  Having said that, I’m definitely starting to get excited about the festive season and have even had my first (of many) mince pie!

I’ve been making some felt decorations for our tree, using up some odds and ends from Wingham Wools to make felt hearts.  Once the felt is ready, I decorate them with buttons, embroidery and fabric, before blanket stitching 2 hearts together and stitching in a little bit of ribbon at the top to hang them from.  They’d also look nice hanging from door handles, mantlepieces and window frames I think, or given as little stocking fillers (Speaking of which – have been drooling over the fab Alice in Wonderland mirrors, brooches, etc made by Sumptuosity, a York based company who I have just added to my favourites – perfect little presents for stylish friends).

Got the idea from Donna’s Hearts & Crafts workshop which I cheekily went on at Inspirations last year, totally abandoning Claire on the reception desk!  Due to lots of requests, Donna will be running the same workshop again next year, this time on the Saturday, so you can all take a pretty homemade heart home too. And that’s a tongue twister.

Quilting fever

Now it’s officially winter (well, it is in our eyes and cold office anway!), the patchwork has come out and the central heating has gone on.  If you’re anything like us, you’ll be astonished at the number of quilts you’ve started but somehow not quite got round to finishing.  I’m currently hand sewing a simple quilt using fat quarters that I bought last year, and spent a lot of time on LAST Christmas.  I am now determined to sit under it this Christmas for re-runs of the Snowman, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz with mulled wine in one hand and chocolates in the other. 

As a fairly new quilter, I’m always on the look out for inspiration, and have found it this week in the unlikely form of a six year old called Liam, whose amazing first quilt you can see on flickr.  If this doesn’t get you reaching for your scissors and creating something unique and beautiful, perhaps nothing will!

I really wish I’d had time to catch Grayson Perry’s The Walthamstow Tapestry at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London but sadly have realised it’s probably not going to happen!  The exhibition has been extended until 14 November though, so if you’re in the area, make the time to go and see it.  It’s an incredible piece – not just in terms of technique and scale, but also because of Perry’s unique use of a very traditional craft to convey a ‘story’ about contemporary British Life.   

If you know of any amazing blogs, pictures or shops showing amazing quilts or patchwork, or indeed tapestries, leave a comment on here so we can see – or send us images of your own work andwe’ll post them on here to inspire other people.

PS: We’ve set up another Patch Project pre-launch craft session.  Drop me an email for more  info – katie.pask@york.gov.uk.