Calling All Crafters!

We’ve all seen Kirstie Allsopp in action in her recent programmes doing her handmade/ vintage thing. She seems to have tapped very successfully into the nerve centre of all us would be crafters, and has started the creative juices flowing. But has she?

I have been busy trying to set up a craft group in my area, and we meet for the first time this year on Wednesday.

We are around 7 in number, but it has been a real uphill battle to get any interest going.

I feel one primary reason is people have seen Kirstie effortlessly knock up a felted jacket, flower arrangement or stippled sideboard and they feel they really don't measure up to the task. I totally disagree!

I have put up a photo of a quilt block made by our group before Christmas.

I provided the materials and a You Tube video and asked 2 members to put this block together.

Neither of them had ever done any quilting, and one of them (in her mid 40's) had not used a sewing machine since she was in school!

I kept the coffee and biscuits coming, and this is the result of their efforts! One of them has gone on to make a full sized bed quilt just from this one little craft activity.

I have a friend who is thinking of joining but, over coffee the other day, she said "The thing is, I'm not really crafty"

Fair point I thought. She then went out into the kitchen and came back with two, handmade "tooth fairy cushions" she had made by hand, with no sewing machine for two of her grandchildren. Oh yes, they were embroidered and edged with lace as well.

Need I say more?

There is a crafter in all of us, and we need to let our inhibitions go and just get stuck in to whatever takes your fancy - be it a bit of woodwork or a lace mantilla - anything goes, and there is nothing quite like the thrill of making something yourself from start to finish.

Despite the fact that we have been few in number and only had a handful of meetings, we have made between us:-

  • Draught excluders masquerading as rattle snakes

  • Old fashioned hobby horses

  • crochet afghans for the bed

  • shawls and ponchos

  • vintage greetings cards and boxes

  • a full sized bed quilt

  • curtains

We plan to do a lot more, and the fun is doing these things together.

We plan to do some charity work, some clothes swapping and lots of gossiping!

Why not get a group going in your area or join the Knit Knatter and Stitch Chatter on SFN?

@Alison - that's very kind!

No worries Lyn - I will ask when we meet next!

Thanks Helen, someone made these for us and the cats just love them!! Each cat can then take one home with them, which helps them to settle easier in a new home if they have their favourite and known things with them.

@Lucy - La Chapelle Gaudin - Northen Deux Sevres

@Lynn - I can ask them!

Lovely will have to try it some time .

The results are superb Helen, thank you!

You mentioned charity work and if your super crafty people would ever like to make some toys for our Rescue Centre cats, like the one is the photo? (I haven't got the pattern!) we would be super grateful!!

@Helen - Oooh - whereabouts. I am PC too - Dept 86! Hope that you might be somewhere nearby!

@Lucy - Poitou Chatrentes - Dept 79.

Helen, well done. I think it`s great to do things together, for support and ideas. I love crafts but tend to have a lot of unfinished projects!! I `m crocheting 2 blankets at the moment, then when they are finished I have to do another then each son will have one!

Maria, I am so envious! Such a wonderful thing to do.

I have gone out and cut the materials I needed to make a basket but to spin and then use what you have spun is great!

LOVE all the photos. FABULOUS to see what others have been creating. I wouldn't call myself "crafty", and I wouldn't say I was "artistic" either - but I love patchwork and quilting and make quite a lot! Even when I use somebody else's idea/pattern, I know that it is still MY work - and MY choice of colours etc that make it what it ends up as! Whereabouts are you Helen? I know that I am nowhere near Maria - can't describe where I am as SW France by any stretch of the imagination!!

I have just bought my first sewing maching .... not used one since school so think I will need quite a bit of practice before starting on my new curtains and cushions!

I run craft classes twice a month in the Lyon region. Once is a card class where we make 10 cards in an afternoon and the second class is more papercrafts but never cards. Normally it will be a mini album, 3d item or scrapbook pages.

Personally, I started a patchwork class in September as I wanted to learn how to use the material I sell, instead of just saying that we did it. I love this class and I love that I have met so many new crafty people though it. And just yesterday, I started a lace making class. This might be harder but again another great bunch of ladies.

I keep a very active blog - Crafty Alison In Lyon

If you ever want some cards for a charity sale then just give me a shout, I would be more than happy to donate some.

I run 2 groups here in my studio near Mirepoix 09 "Arty Farty and Yac n'Yarn" Arty Farty is on a Tuesday where people come along and paint, and on a Friday people come along and do crafts, we have members that sew, patchwork, make cuddly toys, knit and crochet, some ladies dip in and out depending on how busy they are. No real tuition is given, all I ask is that we help each other if asked a new task. You would be surprised what we turn out, the winter months can be quite long here, Arty Farty Yac n' Yarn helps us get through it, by meeting new friends and discovering new skills. :-)

@Maria - Seriously jealous of the spinning weaving! I am trying new things for the first time, but trying to get to grips with quilting and crochet.Did loads of this 26+years ago, dressmaking knitting etc, so I am trying out new crafts and loving it!

…and a beautiful greetings card, vintage style!

…and a shawl…

…and the rattle snakes…

…and a vintage-style box…

Here’s the Afghan…