By Ann Tilling - 24th March 2012 7:18am
It’s Spring and I feel that it is time to hatch a new idea and learn a new craft. I doubt there’s a better place than this lovely corner of South Cheshire to find opportunities to discover and exercise new skills.
Within five miles of Audlem we have a pottery studio with day courses including a lovely lunch. Near Burleydam Fiona Nesbit, a wizard of warp and weft, runs a variety of courses including spinning, weaving and felting. I have been to sessions at both of these establishments and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences, and the lunches, in good company.
In time I will have found a niche for most of the artefacts. Meanwhile family and friends should be wary of admiring anything I have made. I am looking to give some away.
Audlem Mill run courses throughout the year. At time of writing they have an Canal Art exhibition on until April 14. There are over a 150 works of well known artists including local favourite Sheila Webster. Many of the exhibits have already been snapped up.
I await a rag rugging course on a date which I can make, partly a nostalgic trip down memory lane. We had linoleum or stone flags and rag rugs when I was young and the rugs were great.
With friends I joined the first course run at the Quilter’s Trading Post in Buerton School. Coffee, tea and biscuits along with a wealth of patchwork cutting and assembling know how. A really good if, for me at least, tiring day, concentration not being a strong point of mine.
I also learned to think before using the rotary cutter! At least I hope so. Pam was on hand to save the day. Even if you do not intend to try patchwork the school is well worth a visit, one of the schoolrooms housing a cornucopia of sewing materials. Hard to resist though. Two quilting machines are in the rear room so if you have a stitched patchwork front that you have yet to quilt Pam can do it for you.
I had a brilliant time and will be going back to finish my quilt, a statement that makes it sound like this work is recognisable as a quilt at the moment and is not yet another of my UFOs.
The Embroiderer’s Guild goes from strength to strength as those listening to Radio Stoke will have heard last Monday. I still remember the standard of last year’s exhibition with awe and wonder. Awe that it was so good and I wonder if I could do anything half as good. I can certainly do things by half. Members hold sessions where they can pass on their skills as well as meeting once a month for talks and demonstrations.
Finally if, like me, you want to sew, knit or whatever else you fancy, in good company without formal tuition let me recommend the Crafty Chat at Hoc’s run by Liz. Good company, lots of tea or coffee and super muffins, not that I should eat them. A wealth of talent in one room, and me. Among five of the attendees the range of skills covered included lace making, gold work, black work, weaving without a loom and basketry although that was something that could be arranged as it requires plenty of room.
Wiser heads than mine will surely tackle things one at a time and thus avoid the proliferation of UFOs (un-finished objects) on the go. I’m building up my stock of items to finish, and in the case of one project yet to start although materials in house, for when I am really old.
Meanwhile if you do feel inspired to try any of the above — happy crafting! The pottery reopens in May I believe. If I have missed anyone out I can only apologise.
Monday 17th Jun
4, Hayfields Grove