You may remember I wrote about a workshop I attended run by Julie Arkell. She’s an inspiring woman and I really enjoyed the opportunity to listen to her talking about her work and what inspires her. Well I never showed you what I made.
First up is a Second World War-style brooch, made from cardboard and tapestry wool, and finished off with embroidered leaves and felt flowers.
It was actually surprisingly simple to make, using scraps of fabric and wool on a cardboard base. I’ve been busy collecting old embroidery threads whenever I see them in charity shops so I can make more of these brooches as they great on a cardi!
I also made a Suffolk puff brooch. Each puff was made by hand and finished with a scrap of co-ordinating felt sewn into the centre of each puff to look like flowers. I sewed eight puffs together and then added a brooch fastening on the back.
I love Suffolk puffs (more commonly known as yo-yos). They are so simple to make and can be sewn together to make cushion covers or even duvet covers. I’ve been inspired to make more of them (but I have to admit to purchasing a yo-yo maker so I can make them quickly).
My final project was a large flower brooch, each petal made from a different fabric on the front and back. I only made one petal at the workshop as although the brooch looked quite simple it was actually quite complex. This has been sitting in my sewing box ever since waiting to be finished but I’m determined to finish and have already picked the fabrics.
Some of the other participants made little dolls, hearts with embroidered love messages and fabric bracelets, all inspired by Julie’s work. I loved the day with Julie and I’d recommend her courses if she’s holding one near you!
Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to take part in a workshop with Julie Arkell. If you haven’t heard of her, where have you been! She’s a London-based contemporary artist who is well known for her papier mache dolls and I was really excited to find she was running a workshop at Sally Bourne Interiors.
I spent all day with Julie and a group of like-minded women and it was fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever spent a whole day sewing but it was amazing, lovely to sit around a table, sew and chat. Julie’s recent work reflects vintage style brooches and we all made a Second World War inspired brooch. In hte afternoon we were allowed to choose a couple of projects to make, based on Julie’s work.
I love her work, as you can see she makes the prettiest flower brooches, fabric watches and bracelets and dolls. All of the pictures show her work (mine need some more work!).
Julie mentioned a textile exhibition at the Foundling Museum which I was lucky enough to visit yesterday. It’s called Threads of Feeling and showcases the fabric tokens which were left with babies by their mothers in the Eighteenth century. The fabrics were often cut from the mothers’ clothes and kept with the registration forms as a way of identifying the child if the mother was ever able to reclaim them (less than 1% were).
There was an amazing range of textiles, embroideries, ribbons, pieces of clothing and tokens and it was really poignant to see them attached to the original entry form. I would recommend the exhibition if you have an hour to spare in London.
We decided to go home for a few days! My husbands’ health is improving so much quicker than last time that we’ve decided to return home for a few days before Christmas. We miss being a threesome, miss our cats and doing our own thing although we are incredibly grateful to my mum for letting us stay with her. On Saturday we’ll be getting on the ferry and heading back to London. I am so excited as I’ll be able to attend the Julie Arkell workshop on Sunday too.
Today I finished a cushion for my youngest niece – it has a large W sewn on to it (for Willow – her name). I used a beautiful vintage blanket that I’ve been keeping for something special. I also sent off my final swap of the year. Now I just have to wait to receive some in return