Magical Christmas Workshop

Magical Christmas Workshop

Magical Christmas Workshop

What a fun day we had on Monday at our “in house” magical Christmas workshop.

Everybody arrived in good time to help set up the tables ready for three different workshops.  Ann, Nikki and Lindsay had kindly offered to lead the different projects and had already shared examples of their work so we knew what was in store.

Unfortunately Ann had tested positive that morning so thanks to great planning and guidance from Tase and Amanda we were able to continue making Christmas cards in her absence.

The idea was for all of us to spend equal time on each topic and I started with Lindsay, making crackers.  She had kindly sourced and prepared a wonderful selection of colourful nets, sheers and, of course collected loads of loo rolls.  Lindsay started by showing us how to assemble the cracker and use different stitches, ribbons, baubles and wooden figures  to decorate them.  She had even researched various size bottles which would fit in the crackers so we left knowing which brand of gin to buy!

Mid morning we all had a break and Vernice kindly organised cake, biscuits, tea and coffee using contributions from members.  At £2 for a drink and cake, this was a great fund raiser and by the end of the day she had made a good sum ready to pass to our Treasurer, Maria.

Christmas cards were my second activity.  Last year we painted our own papers but without Ann to guide us, she had sensibly sent a selection of papers to cut up together with blank cards, envelopes and luggage labels. There were  templates for us to draw round and a selection of finished cards to give us ideas.  I had bought some wood blocks at Ally Pally several weeks ago so I was keen to try them out.  Although I really missed the painting I was pleased with my final cards and labels.

After lunch my final workshop was with Nikki who again had done a lot of preparation ready for the day.  We were given one red and two brown felt hearts and Nikki demonstrated various different ways we could decorate them with hand stitch, beads and sequins ready for assembling and hanging on the tree.  We all have our favourite stitch techniques with some members being far more at home with the machine but “hats off to them”, we all had to hand sew.  At the end of the session no two hearts were alike and we had all produced some lovely hearts ready to give as gifts or to hang on our own trees. 

You never know what gems you are going to pick up next when you go to Lockeridge but on this occasion, in addition to making gingerbread style hearts Nikki gave us some household tips.  She is a keen follower of Mrs Hinch on Instagram and my favourite tip of the day was to clean your oven door with a moistened dishwasher tablet.  Come on, how many members went home and tried it.  Fiona emailed to say she had and I am now the proud owner of two beautifully clean oven doors.  Thank you Nikki!!!

Before packing up we displayed all our work on the stage and what an amazing day’s work it was. I really enjoy these “in house” workshops.  Whilst we are occupied all day there is still the opportunity to chat to other members and the day is very low key.  As a group we are so very fortunate to have members who have the knowledge, the skill and are willing to share their techniques with others.

A very big thank you to Ann, Nikki and Lindsay for leading the groups, to Vernice with her catering hat on and to Tase and Amanda for stepping in to help.  I know I speak for everyone who attended, it was a very enjoyable and successful day.

We now have several new members so I do hope they will share some of their interests.  I wonder what we can come up with in the future. 

Report by Ros

Photos Ros and Vernice (thanks Vernice)

Exciting, colourful Jungle Bag workshop with Sheila Davies

Exciting, colourful Jungle Bag workshop with Sheila Davies

Exciting, colourful Jungle Bags
SheilaWS 8

Sheila Davies kindly returned the following day after her talk to lead a workshop based on her exciting colourful Jungle Bags.

Sheila started by showing us a wonderful selection of bags that she had made and explained that she has loaned them to friends for weddings and special occasions but she never sells them.  When you think of the hours of work needed to make something like this you could never put a price on it.

We were asked to bring a piece of calico which we stretched over a wooden frame.  Then it was time for painting in colours of our own choice.  Shelia had brought a wonderful selection so there was plenty  for everyone.  We then had to dry  the paint thoroughly with hairdryers.

Once the calico was dry it was then time to learn all the exciting stitches to add to our work.  Sheila called us up very regularly to teach us another stitch or technique.   

I was interested to watch Sheila demonstrate stitches I have seen in books but never used and excited to see so many new 3D possibilities.  There were also some very simple but effective ideas for covering large areas.  

By the end of the day we had hardly started but everyone left full of ideas and the knowledge to make their own Jungle Bag.

Thank you Sheila for a very enjoyable workshop and I do hope everyone completes their work but it may take time!

Report and photos by Ros (and Vernice!)


Sheila’s website:

Aunties – Sheila Davies shares her memorable childhood

Sheila Davies

Aunties – Sheila Davies shares her memorable childhood

Sheila arrived with her husband, Rob from Wales for a two day visit to Marlborough with a car loaded with colourful, exciting textiles with lots of stories attached.

Sheila started her talk by telling us she lost her father as a young girl and was brought up by her mother together with what seems a wonderfully talented group of aunties, some related, some not.  Each time Sheila mentioned an Auntie she showed us examples of their work and various tales about their background.  Sheila’s mother was obviously a very tidy lady and I found it amusing to hear that as a child, she loved to visit untidy houses and those with lots of animals.

We were introduced to Auntie Emma, who ran a Guest House in Devon, two Auntie Lil’s, one who taught Sheila to tat and another who was a dressmaker and was very untidy.  Then there was Auntie Peg who was a Head Teacher and enjoyed embroidery.  Auntie Zilla enjoyed crocheting and Sheila explained that she would send her work to Ireland to be made up into table clothes with Irish Linen.  To her joy she is now the proud owner of several of these table clothes.  Auntie Bula was Shelia’s Godmother and she lived in an untidy house with lots of animals.  Finally Shelia talked about Auntie Blod who was a quilter.  She looked after children and had the first bathroom in the street. 

Sheila went on to become a Primary School teacher but continued her love of embroidery at Barry College.  As the years progressed it was obvious where her true interest and talents lie and Sheila followed a City & Guilds course and then went on to teach herself.  Sheila has developed her own very distinctive 3D style and now offers talks and workshops.  We were fortunate to learn some of these amazing techniques and stitches when she returned the following day to show us how to make her colourful 3D Jungle bags.

Write up and photos by Ros


Sheila’s website: