2021 September

September 27, 2021

Not All Workshops Are The Same

Our world has gone mad. But I am staying calm because I can sew, create and explore in my studio.  You can too if you fancy it. I am often asked if a returning tutor is revisiting a previous workshop. The answer is  mostly no unless it has been requested. Not all workshops are the same. Even with two tutors working in a similar way there is always something new to learn.

We just had an amazing weekend with Anne Hellyer making little streets. Using a variety of fabrics that Anne had dyed and our sewing machines on free motion.

This is my effort.

We were all given the same template to work from but had to choose our own fabrics and design our own buildings.

The results were amazing. None of them are the same.

Anne will be returning next year to get us to work on panels instead of buildings.

Whist we sat at our machines on Sunday Radio Norfolk popped in as we took part in the Treasure Quest programme. It was great fun being part of the programme. We were clue number 3. If you want to listen to this programme just follow this link  https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09vcjtf  Or you can take a look at the pictures from the programme here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09x061r .

Progression in Textiles

Tuesday will see us setting up our exhibition for Open Studios, We will have the doors open Friday 1st October, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October. Then Friday 8th October, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th too. If you would like to come in during the week please call or email Anita and we will open up for you.

Not all our members like to sell their work.

Suzette Smart

Have you heard of Suzette Smart? A wonderful tutor and textile artist. Her work is very distinctive. Here is a little snippet from her website.

I’m a Textile Artist and Tutor living in a rural hamlet in North Shropshire. The natural world outside my door as well as the familiar journeys along the towpath close by, are my greatest source of inspiration for stitching and storytelling.

I’m not a light stitcher and I never manage to tell all in the first layer but prefer to build a story through collage, thread and a little mixed media. My work often includes hidden histories in the inherited or found fabrics and repurposed embroideries (own and other) I choose to use for collage and sometimes as my foundation layer. I mainly use free machine embroidery but the finishing stitches are often by hand.

Suzette is coming to Eau Brink Studio to teach on the 16th and 17th of October where we will be working towards a scroll or book using nature as our inspiration. You can choose your subject to work with. Using collage and stitch in layers we will build our work over the two days.

To book just follow this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/nature-inspired-book-or-scroll-suzette-smart/

Suzettes workshop is the last two day workshop for this year at Eau Brink Studio the next one is Cas Holmes in February.

Go Live

This Tuesday we will be going live in the studio showing you a little bit of the exhibition as it takes shape. Also I will be showing you how to make a cushion using a Pre-cut fabric roll from Lewis and Irene.

Lewis and Irene fabrics are new to EBS Retail so if your wanting your lovely cotton fix pop into the Long Sutton Emporium or go to my on line shop where we are adding lines all the time. https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/shop/

Come and visit us at

Eau Brink Studio,

Eau Brink Cottage,

Pullover Road,

Tilney All Saints


PE34 4SG

01553 611009


Stay Safe,






September 16, 2021

My Job is So Much Fun

My job is so much fun and this is the first time I can really say that and mean it. I have loved my past career but now I have fun, am challenged and get to be creative all at once.

A typical day for me is usually an early start with walking the dogs, baking, setting up the studio or loading the car for the shop. Here are two examples for you.

The Studio day

Now these days depend on who is teaching. If it is me I do not set up the night before but if another tutor is visiting they like to be set up the previous night so they can relax in the mornings and prepare themselves for their days. I like to get up at six and start preparing then. Walk the dogs first. Put on the urn bake the cakes and then set up the studio of what ever we are doing. As the day progresses we have so much fun with our creativeness that the time flies and before we know it we have to pack up. I see my job as a facilitator of learning. A secretary, A general dogs body but most of all the person who ensures that others are having fun and being creative. The day does not end when everyone else has gone. I then have to clear up, cook dinner, get the admin done and plan for the next few days or more. Then walk the dogs before going to bed,

A shop  day

The job as a shop owner or assistant is very different from the studio owner or assistant. I still get up early, walk the dogs, sometimes bake for others. Sometimes put some threads or fabrics into dyes to set, Load the car and trundle over to the shop. At the shop it is a quick clean down, then unpack any parcels (there are usually loads) price and stack the goods. Then upstairs to cut fabrics, pack them and price them before putting them into the shop. Cutting fabrics for putting onto the shelves is one of my least favourite jobs. I do love it when the customers come in, even if they are just looking around and stop for a chat. It is great fun and helps break up the day. Especially when stock taking. Of course sometimes I get to catch up on all the admin at the shop and that means I have time for me in my studio during the evenings.

Studio Time for Anita

My time in the studio is varied. I am having the most fun when I am creating. Sometimes it is all about dyeing fabrics and threads. Soaking them in soda ash and then dropping dyes onto them, tray dyeing, or Shibori dyeing. I am impatient so I do pop them into the microwave to set the dyes. It can take days or weeks for some of them to dry. But I am always amazed by the array of colours , especially in the cones of threads.

Other times I am playing or sewing. I do love this part more than any and forget the time as I get lost in what I am doing. Starting something from scratch with the basics of an idea is thrilling for me. Looking at a picture I have taken and seeing shapes and colour brings all sorts of ideas into my head. I love it when the ideas start to take shape. Of course they do not always work but then I look at what has not worked and try another way to get the results I want.

Sampling helps me understand where I started and where I ended up . What’s not to love about that?

Yes I am a messy worker and the studio very often looks like a bomb hit it but that means I am creating, having fun and enjoying every minute of it. Yes even when I am swearing at the piece that will not go under the sewing machine or at the pins I have dropped.

The Challenges

Although most of the time I am enjoying my job there are aspects of it I definitely find a challenge. Such as the going live sessions on a Tuesday evening. (by the way there is not one on the 21st of September as I am away). I have found the technology testing to say the least. I do not like seeing myself on a screen. I try not to think too much about it. I plan what I am going to do. I then prepare samples and the items I need. My son helps me set up the cameras and then off I go. I do not edit them in any way. I just go for it as though the viewer is in my studio watching me demonstrate. So it is warts and all.

I found I was lagging behind most of the time with the admin and now I have a lovely assistant who helps me called Ruth. Between us we get it all done in a timely manner.

I think what I am saying in this section is that even though there are challenges I like to find a solution and if that means asking for help I will ask.

What’s coming up?

Friday September 17th Zena will be here teaching mixed media card making for the morning. 10 am till 1ish. a great morning with all your needs supplied. For more information take a look here  


Wednesday 22nd September you will find Ruth Holmes at Eau Brink Studio teaching her Transfer and Stitch workshop. This is a great workshop and fun so if you fancy joining in just click on the link above. Ruth will supply kits so all you need is your basic sewing kit.

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September is the Anne Hellyer weekend workshop. We do have a couple of spaces available if you fancy it.  Just click on her name and it will take you to the web page with all the information on.



Have you got your Open Studios booklet? If not you can get one at Eau Brink Studio or in EBS Retail in the Long Sutton Emporuim. Eau brink studio is hosting the Progression in Textiles group so why not pop along on the weekend starting 1st of October and then again the weekend starting on the 8th October. If you would like to look at the exhibition during the week days just ping Anita and Email or call on 01553 611009 to book an appointment.

Just a little reminder that I am away for a week and will return on Friday 24th. Ruth is around and so is John if you need anything.

Take Care








September 13, 2021

As the Weeks Fly By At Eau Brink Studio

As the weeks fly by at Eau Brink Studio I find myself enjoying the daily challenges more and more.  Moving things around appears to be the norm now and I am getting pretty good at it.

Last week Zena came for the first time to teach card making and I was blown away with the cards that were produced. The ladies almost finished three cards in the time they were with Zena. They looked fabulous and very professional. Zena took them through each stage by firstly demonstrating and explaining why she used the products she used and what other products were on the market for them to try. We had planned for the second workshop to be in two weeks time but one of the ladies couldn’t attend so we moved it to this week. Friday 17th of September. This time Zena will be taking her learners through the steps of backgrounds using mixed media.  If you fancy joining in or know someone who may like to join in just click on the date link.

Last week was full on for me. I enjoyed the live session on Tuesday evening and want to thank those of you who watched and spoke to me. This week I am going to show you a little bit about the Experimental Wednesday I have planned. Its all about the Lutradur again with a little added puffiness.

Then some colour and stitch needs to be added to this too. I will be making a small tiled piece which is a prelude to something I am working on for next years exhibitions.

Wednesday I hopped into the car and went up to the NEC to a trade show. It was not as big as before but some interesting things. I found some lovely kits to sell in the shop. When they arrive I will put them online too. They are aimed at beginners but so cute.

On Thursday I attended a workshop with Caroline Hyde Brown where we were weaving. But just just plain weaving we added flora and fauna which we foraged first. I was interested in how Caroline had managed to keep the added grasses and flowers in the weaving. The results were all varied as we all used different yarns and threads. As you know I couldn’t leave it as just woven and needed to put it under the sewing machine. Caroline had not tried this as she was concerned about how the machine would cope so we discussed the possibilities and when I returned home did put it through the Pfaff. I used a green variegated thread first with one of the stitches programmed into the machine then thought it needed more colour so went over it again with a deep red thread. I love the results and will be looking at using this for a 3d piece.

This picture is a before and after shot. The before is as it came home and unfinished. The after is the finished piece. One thing I was not happy about  on bringing it home was the finished edge was too bulky for my liking so decided not to finish the other edge the traditional way but with the machine, I much prefer it. If you get the chance to do this with Caz do its great fun.

This week I am just as busy. Monday I am prepping for the going live and in the shop too. Ruth is joining me to help with admin. She is a star. Tuesday day time I am off to see Alex Waylett for a day of Indian Tiles. That will be fun. Wednesday is Experimental Wednesday so if you want to join in We only have two spaces I think left. And After Zena has been on Friday I am clearing off on a holiday for a week. The first one since moving up to Eau Brink.

Whilst I am away things will still be happening. The shop will still be open. Ruth will be in the studio on Wednesday as we have moved her workshops from Thursdays to Wednesdays. Ruth will be teaching a technique called Transfer and Stitch. Using the heat press you will be transferring colour and pictures onto fabric and stitching into them.

This is a technique I have been playing with for a number of years now. I am impatient and Ruth arrived at the studio many years ago with a heat press and asked what we could do with it. Well what a daft question. I have ever since that day put all sorts of things under it as I love how quick I get results. One of my favourite things is to get flora and fauna from the garden and using it to create shapes to stitch into. If you fancy having a go with Ruth then just book in or send me an email and I will book it for you.

What’s coming up?

On my return we have Anne Hellyer coming for a weekend. I have been looking forward to this workshop for some time now. We still have a couple of spaces if your interested .

Starting on Friday 1st October Progression in Textiles will be having their exhibition at Eau Brink Studio for Open Studio’s. We will be open for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of October and then the 8th, 9th and 10 of October. The Exhibition will be up for the entire time from the 1st of October so if you want to come and take a look during other dates please do get in touch and I will make sure someone is available to show you around.


Just one more thing.

I took some items to Framing Art in Downham Market to be framed. There are rumours that they are either closing or moving as the building is up for sale. I of course asked the question and here is the response. No We are not moving or closing. We are selling the building but will remain here and open. We are developing the workshop area to include regular workshops and will still be framing your art. So there you go. We still have someone who can make our art look fabulous in its frames.

Take care


September 6, 2021

It Is A Packed Week at Eau Brink Studio

Our Week started yesterday at Wymondham where we had our final day with the Norfolk Makers where we finished after two weeks of exhibiting and selling.

Now for the stocktaking and making to replace sold items which takes time but gives me time to reflect on what to make next.

We will be returning to Wymondham at the end of October for the Christmas one.

Talking of making. I have been dyeing threads for some time for my own personal use but have been putting them in my shop too. Now I am going to add them to the website in box sets. Just got to sort out boxes for them. Which is Mondays job. I am getting a bit fed up with putting them into little plastic bags.  I am hoping to get them on line by the end of this week.

Tuesday I will be in my shop all day. Giving it a good clean and perhaps moving a few things around too. If your in the area pop in and say hello.

Maybe take a look around and see the new cushion kits. They make great gifts.

I will print off some sheets for the workshops that are planned for the rest of this year and for 2022. So you can pick on up whilst your visiting. We almost have a full programme. Just got to chase a couple of tutors for a little bit more information for their workshops to go live.

Talking of going live of course I will be going live on Tuesday evening again at 7pm. I am going to show you how to free motion stich flowers using soluble film. Using the old Bernina machine so you can see how it is set up. If you join me please do say hi and ask questions. With last weeks test we did get some sort of alert come up over the video but we think we have now switched it off.

See I told you its a packed week at Eau Brink Studio.

Wednesday its an early start for me as I am off to the NEC to a trade show. I am hoping there will be a few fabric suppliers there as well as trimmings. I want to get some fancy bias bindings in the shop as I love using them for my peg bags. I will also look at what else there may be that will be of benefit to us all.

Thursday is a day for me to go and learn something new. I am attending Caroline Hyde Browns workshop for the day and will hopefully be booking her into Eau Brink Studio for 2022.  I am looking forward to this one.

On Friday we have our first card making workshop with Zena. Here workshops are initially aimed at beginners. All the kits and equipment are supplied so all you need to do is book in and turn up. For more information just click on this link https://www.eaubrinkstudio.co.uk/event/napkin-art-card-with-zena-landeryou/    She still has space available.

In the afternoon I will be in the shop as well as Saturday and Sunday.

What’s next?

Next week I am meeting with a rep from Irene and Lewis fabrics to see what we can do to get these lovely fabrics into the shop.

Irene and Lewis fabrics are a British company who use pre shrunk cottons for their designs. Many of the designs are contemporary so your quilts and makes have a fresh upbeat feel to them.

They also do jelly rolls which I love to use in many of my makes such as the peg bags and some cushions.


Stay Safe








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