Today I headed down to the Jazz Cafe in Newcastle for a crafts workshop with my bestie. The event was being held by UK interiors brand Hillary's Blinds and the lovely ladies from The Crafty Hen were there to help out.
We arrived bang on the start time as me and my friend really struggle with being early, we try to but having the best intentions doesn't always work out, especially when catch up Starbucks are involved first.
By the time we got there, most people were already seated around little round tables and were already deep in conversation. We got ourselves a water and sat down to join in. I'm usually really nervous walking into these things but because I had my friend with me, it wasn't so bad at all, plus everyone was so friendly there. There was even a few bloggers who I recognised from other events and its always great to catch up.
I asked if I could bring my friend along because if truth be told, I'm rubbish at crafts while she loves them and is even doing a dressmaking course at the moment. I'm really proud of her as she's quite a creative and really goes after things that she wants. I knew she would love the crafts event so had to bring her along and sure enough, she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
In complete contrast, I have never really taken an interest in it and I'm ashamed to say that I can't even sew a button onto something. If a button pops off something, I buy a new one and the amount of things I've sold on Ebay in the past just because they need a stitch or two is beyond a joke.
When I was growing up, it was my dad who did the sewing. I remember him making an amazing victorian style pinafore and mop cap for me to go to Beamish with the school and he'd always do his best to take things up and sew things together. He's really good at that kind of thing and has a great attention to detail and while I was in the Brownies and did a little bit of cross stitch on the odd craft day, I never bothered learning how to sew and haven't really asked how to either.
You can imagine my delight in finding out that there wasn't any sewing skills or prior experience needed to take part which was a good job as id be well and truly setting myself up for a fall then!
The Crafty Hens talked us through our two activities for the #Hillaryscrafternoon which were to create a book cover and a 3D bird using a selection of different patterned fabrics and decorative accessories like buttons and ribbon.
The materials that we were using were from the new collection of fabrics at Hillary's Blinds and they were all so gorgeous, it was hard to choose which fabrics to pick. I was really interested to see the different designs that they have as we actually need new blinds in our kitchen so it was a good bit of research for me to see the patterns available.
For the book binding, I choose the Bazaar Porcelain design which is white and blue in colour, quite grecian and very fresh looking and for the 3D bird I picked the Bohemia Damson which has some gorgeous pinky purple hues mixed with a sage green.
Now I've got to say that I found it hard! I'm not crafty at all but I am quite alright at drawing so that kind of makes up for it and I do have a good idea of the design of things that I like and how I want them to look so I'm not completely useless.
For my book, there wasn't a lot of ribbon left to go on the front of it so I used one that was more sheer and doubled it over, then I put a thinner satin ribbon down the centre but it became really fiddly when trying to stick it all together as it was like trying to get three separate bits of fabric to sit in a straight line to then be glued onto the cover. Argh, what a carry on! With a bit of help, I got there in the end and stuck some buttons on to the front too.
I actually really like how it turned out and the pattern of the fabric looks so beautiful. Its really eye catching in design but the white and blue keeps it looking clean and fresh.
I have to say that the bird was surprisingly easy to make and I couldn't believe that I got to grips with it and actually finished on time, although my stitching does leave a lot to be desired! We had a template that we had to use to cut the fabric out and then the lovely Crafty Hens pinned it into place for me and showed me how to sew. I found it a little uncomfortable as I have a bad neck so looking down to stitch the pieces together wasn't idea for me but it didn't take too long so I was ok in the end.
I had to do a running stitch which got off to a bit of a bad start, mainly because I didn't have a clue what a running stitch was but my friend and the hens showed me what to do and how to sew and I have to say, I'm quite proud of myself. The next time a button pops off something I am going to give it a go and sew it back on!
At the end of the event we were given a lovely goodie bag that was made from one of the Hillary's fabrics which was a lovely touch and we got to take our creations home with us. I'm quite proud of mine although I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with this bird! I think it'll look quite cute in my bedroom as I have the walls painted stone and mulberry purple but if you have any other ideas then do let me know in the comments!
Many thanks to the Crafty Hens for all of their guidance and to Hillary's with Joe Blogs Network for putting on such a great event!