Progression in Textiles: Open Studio and Make and Take and Exhibition
Progression in Textiles is a group of like minded people working to improve their practice over the year, Meeting at Eau Brink Studio.
During Open Studios we will be exhibiting work from both 2020 and 2021.
As a group of individuals we are all working on our own skill set, pushing the boundaries, exploring techniques and taking subjects as far as we can.
At our Textiles in Progress Exhibitions you will see a wide range of work and styles from hand and machine stitch, 2 and 3D items, traditional and experimental as well as a wide range of subject matter. You will have the chance to talk to some of the artists and will get an insight into their world.
Also you will be able to take part in a Make and Take. Make and Take is a great way to learn a new skill or to just have a go.
Our members want to help you learn and progress in your own practice of work so do dive in and try things out and ask questions.
It is set in a lovely rural situation just off the A47 and you can join Anita there where she will teach you to make all kinds of textile art in safe regulated conditions that include:
Restricted numbers to ensure safe social distancing.
Track and trace is in place.
Face masks are worn if demonstrations are taking place.
Hand sanitizers are situated at the entrance and in the bathroom facilities,
Disposable aprons and gloves.
The studio is light and airy and there are all sorts of hand and machine stitch workshops, Powertex and Eco dying.
Experimental Wednesdays takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, where you are more than welcome to explore stitch and other textile art skills.
Anita will make you welcome and there might be other visitors there to chat with and share the experience . Cake and hot and cold drinks are available on tap through out the day. You will also find lots of other items for sale. Die Cut Kits can be collected from the Studio if preferred.
EBS Retail is the name of Anita’s shop at Long Sutton Emporium where you can get kits amongst many other items that Anita makes and buys in such a needles and threads as well as fabric.
The long Sutton Emporium is situated on the A17 .look out for the bright orange signs.
And sew it begins again at Eau Brink Studio. The workshops are going live again and we already have a waiting list for some as we have had to reduce the numbers for safety.
Workshops we have already gone live are the Diamond Art on the 4th July and Alison Hulme on 30th and 31st July which I have to say has 1 space remaining. So if you want to book get it booked quickly as I cannot increase the numbers. Happy to take details if you want to be informed of any cancellations though. One to one sewing lessons are also beginning in July including sewing machine tutorials for small groups.
I am happy to report that my lovely Pfaff has been in the shop and returned so that I can now sew without it snagging and chugging along. It purrs again. This means that the sewing begins again with earnest. It was only in the shop for a week but I did miss it.
It has meant that whilst the Pfaff was not working well and went to be serviced I have had time to work on the kits again for free motion embroidery. Not long now and we can get them in the shop with the others.
The shop is doing better than I thought it would already. It was a good idea to move it into another unit. Now I have more room and can buy more fabrics too. I have increased the haberdashery area and will continue to do so as time goes on. One new item is a rotating cutting board which I love. How on earth I have managed all these years without one I just do not know. If you want more information on these just pop over to my YouTube channel and you will see a little demonstration on them.
After many weeks of meeting on video calls we are now able to meet in person again and our first meeting will be on the 1st July. Though we have decided to keep the video calls available during our physical meetings for anyone who cannot make it and wants to pop in. A new way of working so we can all be involved at all times.
It is looking increasingly probable that we can have our Granchester exhibition after all. So now we are working hard to get this organised and for us to begin sewing specifically for exhibition again. You would think we have been sewing away during our enforced quarantine but the reality has been been very different. Trying to get materials has been an issue, but the biggest has been motivation. It is easier to work towards a goal than to work in the hope of having a end goal.
We are already planning next years exhibitions so watch this space.
What have our animals been up to? Well as some of you are aware we have had a fox visiting and it has devastated our chickens. so a lovely man has been and put up rags of foul smelling fox deterrent and so far it has worked. Our girls are more settled again and the new boys are happy with their houses. Though they do keep trying to encourage each others girls into their houses. This can cause a huge amount of jealousy between them and a few spats that goes with the territory. Our plan is to hatch more eggs in the incubator as the poor girls have been unsuccessful due to the fox visits. Crows and Magpies are also a problem as they go into the houses and pinch the eggs.
On the upside we have managed to hatch out 2 duck so far this year and they are doing well. Hopefully more to come. We will build them a new home for when they can go outside and encourage mum into the enclosure with them. With a bit a luck she will look after them and show them the ropes of duck life. Also she will get a rest from being constantly harassed from the males who do not leave her alone and she is looking a bit worse for wear now.
The moorhens has hatched out two broods without any issues and any crow or magpie that goes anywhere near them gets chased off. Feisty little birds.
The sheep are finding this hot weather too much and spend a lot of time in the cool under the trees. Even though we have had them sheared they are still too hot. Mind you it does not stop them from pinching the chicken food if they get the chance. When it rains they just stand in the middle of their paddock getting drenched. But they do not like the thunder storms. They go into their shelter when they are about.
Here we are in Week 11 and the Lockdown is beginning to slowly move towards freedom.
But not for me at Eau Brink Studio just yet. I am staying closed until July at the earliest. This is due to myself and many of my friends and customers being in the vulnerable category. This does not mean that I am not working though.
The studio has has a thorough cleaning and a new soap dispenser has been installed as well as a dispenser for the gloves and aprons. The funny thing about that is I spent the first week of this happening looking for the box of open medium gloves and could not for the life of me work out where I had put them. The the dispenser is by the toilet door which I have walked pass it several times. I have removed the fabric aprons so you need to bring along your own apron to wear or it will be a plastic disposable apron.
I am currently working towards a new programme of events to structure the regular workshops. One I am hoping to introduce is Dawns Gems. Dawn teaches Diamond Art and provides kits for all ages and abilities.
Diamond art is a fascinatingly addictive art where you stick little coloured diamonds to a base that already is prepared with the glue and colour numbers. It is very popular because you can make anything from small to large pictures, clocks, books and other smaller items. Just perfect for you during week 11 if you have no gardening or sewing to do.
As many of your know John does like to help us out where he can and he has been looking at sharpening my rotary cutting blades as they are expensive and the sharpener that is available is very expensive especially if you do not use your cutter that often. With this in mind he has been sharpening my blades for me. And is keeping an eye on how many times he can do this before we have to replace the blade.
Is currently moving from beside the tea room to a larger shop next door in The Emporium. Two reasons for this are its is a better shop and it means we can expand the tea room ready for opening and social distancing . I have already been in touch with a number of fabric suppliers, I will increase the haberdashery supplies and will be adding quilting supplies too. Of course I will still be selling my hand made items along with the items to raise funds for Progression where the members are making items to sell.
I have also engaged a photographer to take real pictures of the stock which can be used on all social media and on line shopping. I am really looking forward to seeing the results. Especially as I am fully aware the only nice picture I have taken is the one of the peg bags hanging on my washing line.
We continue to meet regularly during lockdown virtually. It is lovely to see everyone but I for one cannot wait for when we can meet in person again. 11 weeks is a long time to not see your friends. We have been working on our exhibition items as well as books to show how we are feeling during this period of our lives. These books will be displayed at our Granchester exhibition if we are permitted to go ahead with it. We also work on a postcard over a two week period and they will be displayed also during the exhibitions.
Small Holding News
11 Weeks of looking after our lovely animals has also been a little challenging. The lack of rain has meant that the grass is not growing and trying to get hay for the sheep at the beginning was a huge problem. Although they do have sheep nuts too again getting the feed for them was problematic. The same for the birds getting their pellets became something of a mission. I fail to understand why everyone ran out of everything. Now though its not so bad at the big suppliers.
The sheep have been extremely naughty by spreading they hay around instead of eating it. Which the chickens seam to enjoy sitting in. Also they have been escaping by jumping on the fencing until it breaks and then the chickens follow them out. I appears to me to be a collaboration with the sheep being the muscle and the chickens reaping the rewards.
The result of all this escaping is they have eaten my strawberry plants, tomato plants and the few flowers we had. So back to square one.
Bertie and Gertie are once again trying to nest but have no idea how to keep their eggs safe. When they remember to sit on the nest they forget to sit on the egg. Resulting in the crows and magpies pinching the eggs. It is their first year so maybe next year they will have learnt. We did try to put some in the incubator but they did not hatch.
The moor hens have hatched one brood and are now sitting on another clutch of eggs. So they are doing very well.
The 10th Week of the Covid-19 lock down has started with a Bank Holiday.And it is a lovely sunny Monday just right for working in the garden and planning the future.
The shop is being moved from beside the tea room to a larger space at the Emporium. This is in readiness to become a agent for The Quilted Bear company and stocking their items.
Also we are working to stock fabrics of various types including Lewis and Irene fabrics amongst others. A staple fabric is Calico at 60 inches wide as well as a good cotton.
This picture is from Lewis and Irene Humming bird collection. The aim is to purchase one collection at a time to build up stocks and see what customers like. The only problem is I will want to keep it all.
I have spent many hours planning what to do with the opening of the studio after what seems like an endless break. And I feel that we need to have an open day full of cake and tea. Just to chat and meet again before we get back to the real business of making fabulous art and of course making a mess.I am looking forward to seeing friends old and new again as it has been 10 weeks and counting.
Depending on what the Government say on Thursday we could be opening again for July. That will take us up to week 15 which will be a good break for safety precautions. My intention is to open on Monday 6th July all being well.
Keep an eye out for social media confirmation for this date as well as further emails.
Our fortnightly Zoom meetings are a huge success. We love getting together and chatting as well as showing what we have been up to. This has kept us inspired and working towards our goals.We are hopeful that our last exhibition will still be able to take place at Granchester . With this in mind we are planning what we can do to make sure it is a success. To keep up to date with out news just pop over to our Facebook page and check us out. I
And finally the 10th week has found me looking around the website for Eau Brink Studio and discussed with my techy guys what we can do to improve it. So over the coming weeks you should see some changes being made.
Also Amazon Handmade is being up dated too and we will have some fabulous new pictures to use for all our on line presence. Including our shop on the website and social media. Can’t wait to see them when they are ready.
Week 8 started with a freezing cold wind and grey cloudy sky. The fire was lit in the evenings to keep warm. Just like winter time again. The result of this change in the weather was a damaged garden brolly and the felt being ripped off my shed. So urgent repair needed there.
The poor sheep had a hair cut the week before when the sun was shining and far too hot for them. But they do not appear to care as still wondering around munching anything they can get to. And I have 4 lovely fleeces to process.
Then back to spinning practice again.
Small holding update
We have been very busy sorting out the animals. The fencing is now all completed and the sheep have access to two areas. Much to the annoyance of the chickens. Who also share the same areas. But they will all settle down I am sure.
We are getting plenty of eggs each day now and the baking has commenced with earnest. That keeps the family happy.
Unfortunately the geese did not manage to hatch their egg. They are off the nest now and back on the pond with the ducks. Such a shame as I was looking forward to seeing the goslings. That reminds me. Those of you who visit regularly will know Tina the brown duck. She is very old now and coming to the end of her days. But she still manages to get about and is eating well. But she does fall over a lot. So we will see how she goes.
The moorhens have hatched four babies who are running around with the parents quite happily. They even go to the chicken food and pinch it.
I have had a major clear out in the studio and this week will be no exception. I am planning to get the rest of the unfinished work completed which will free up space. Projects will be moved to the Long Sutton Emporium out of the way.
We have put up a new soap dispenser in the facilities which has a antibac foam hand cleanser in it. We always had paper towels so did not need to make any changes there. Also we have put up a new dispenser with three sizes of disposable gloves in and disposable aprons too. Although we have always had this equipment available it has not always been visible and easy to get to. So now it is.
It is hoped that we can reopen for workshops in the beginning of July. I am going with the government guidelines on this so if we can we will operate with limited spaces in the workshops and insist on customers being sensible and not attending if feeling unwell in any way.
If we can open in July then Alison Hulme workshop may be able to still go ahead. I will discuss this with Alison when she is ready. As we will need to look at numbers and decide if it is safe to run this very popular workshop. Those who have already booked will be notified first and any other spaces with be advertised nearer the time.
All other workshops are either still running with safeguards in place or have been rescheduled to another time. Check with the website as they will be on there but you may not be able to book as I have closed some of the booking dates.
We are still not taking any bookings until the week commencing 3rd July at this time. But this may change over the coming weeks.
To have a full programme again we are looking at next year now. Why don’t you let me know what you want us to put on? Just email at firstname.lastname@example.org and say who you want to visit as a tutor and what you want to learn. I will contact the tutors and ask them if they can fit us in. We need to act now on this as many are already booking up next year and beyond.
I have spent this time sorting out new packs for the shop and kits which I hope will be ready soon. To find out more keep an eye out on the website shop and social media.
There are new cushions in the shop at Long Sutton, New needle cases, cards, and zippy bags just to mention a few.
Fabric, fabulous fabric. I am looking at stocking more fabrics. And of course Jelly rolls. I am not looking for the cheapest but good quality such as Irene and Butler, we will see what I can get. Also a greater selection of threads. Possible Gutterman or Madeira.
There will also be more quilting supplies and lights in the shop so keep an eye out. If you want anything specific let me know and I will get it in for you. Deliveries are now arriving more quickly as more companies return to work.
Just a quick thank you for looking at my YouTube channel and for following me on there. This has been a challenge for me as I am not comfortable in front of a camera but I think with each one I am improving a little. You never know I may get the hang of it at some point.
This Week At Eau Brink I have been continuing to sort out old stock. Cleaning out cupboards. and, generally getting sorted.
We are having a great time at school with Powertex wands and card making. And next week we plan to dye t-shirts and socks with procion dyes.
West Norfolk Embroiderers guild
The Embroiderers guild met at St Nicholas Chapel to discuss the exhibition we are putting on in July. The Rainbow Wall Exhibition is on Saturday 13th of July and Sunday the 14th. Not only will there be the exhibition but stalls and make and take too.
I want to thank the customers who have been in for one to one workshops. we have had fun. these workshops included making Christmas baubles and mixed media books.
On Sunday we had a fabulous workshop with Pauline Wrighton teaching us how to be more creative with out sewing machines and what all the feet are for. Pauline introduced us to a new book for Bernina machines explaining all the feet and tricks to make us more successful when using them. My lovely sister has ordered me a copy.
The shop at The Barn is now called EBS Retail. We spent a couple of days and a long evening laying carpet and moving the shop around to make it more appealing to our customers. It is also much warmer now that the carpet is down.
Wednesday 15th is Stitch and Create. This is the second day of the month where you can experiment using techniques first used on the first Wednesday of the month in Experimental Wednesday. The aim of the day is to take your work further than you had before. Exploring and working in ways that may take you out of your comfort zone.
Saturday 18th May if Makit Fair in Peterborough. Come along and see what fabulous goodies are on offer. Take a look at the Take and Make stalls and have a go. We will have Powertex Key holders for you to paint and take home. Thee is also an exhibition of Region 9 Quilters guild work.
A New Year- New Shop for Eau Brink Studio. Where is it I hear you ask?
The Barn, 59 Wisbech Road, Long Sutton, Norfolk, United Kingdom PE129AQ. Open 7 days a week. You will find loads of fabulous items for gifts and home in The Barn. As you enter the coffee shop you will find us on your left.
The shop will stock items you are used to seeing from us such as our peg bags and scissor holders with scissors. But also new items such as scissor keepsakes, new bags, Dyes both natural and man made (instructions are included with the dyes), Scolabrush kits and Xpandaprint too. Carded Fleece from our own Lincoln Longwood sheep. Some dyed and some natural. Dyed and decorated feathers from our ducks during their moulting season.
Pop In and Try.
I will be also hosting and teaching pop ins for those of you who what to give something a try but do not feel ready to commit to a full workshop yet.
What will be included? Powertex for just £5.00 you can make a brooch, then as you feel more confident move up to a jar for £7.00 or a bottle to put your candles in for those long summer days in the garden. Suitable for all ages.
Not interested in Powertex? The how about PomPom making for £5.00 you can make a range of PomPoms using different colours and sizes. Suitable for all ages.
Or sewing may be your thing. I will be demonstrating skills including patchwork, quilting, free motion embroidery. Hand stitch too. Come on in and ask me questions and if I can I will help you with your projects. For all ages.
And of course I will be bringing in some mixed media such as Xpandaprint and Scolabrush which are two of my favourite products to use.
New workshops are Pauline Wrighton – Finding Your Feet. This workshop teaches you all about the feet on your sewing machine and what you can do with them. On the weekend of 18th May.
MellyMade Designs – Lampshade up-cycling using her fabulous technique with transfer paints, on the weekend of the 27th and 28th July.
I am also introducing the use of the studio of those of you who need space to complete a project or just cut your fabric on large tables saving crawling on the floor. You get full use of the studio including the refreshments for just £4.00 per hour.
There is only a Week To go till the festivities begin At Eau Brink..
What does that mean? Just 7 days to get ready for the coming year so that I can relax with my family and friends with good food and a drink or two. And it all kicks off with the burning of the yule log during the winter solstice. And that my friends means the light will be returning and the days will get longer. Hurrah!
The New year.
And what will the coming year bring? A new programme of events which include new workshops, less fairs, a new shop at Long Sutton, Experimentals first exhibition just to name a few. It will be an exciting year of creativeness.
I have a few last minute orders to complete first. If you guys want to order anything and want to save postage just come along and collect your order. I will be able to to this up to the evening of the 23rd. Then I will be closed until the new year. The website will be open as usual of course , which means you can book in for your workshops. Please note that there are new dates for the regular workshops so do check them out before calling me to ask why you can’t book. This has already happened.
From the 1st of January I will be setting up a little shop in the Craft Barn Village in Long Sutton. Where I will be putting items for sale as well as demonstrating for the coming workshops. This will help you see what is going to be happening at the workshops so you can decide if it is for you. Pop in days are also planned. There is a lovely Cafe where you can sit by the fire and slurp hot chocolate.
If you fancy coming to a workshop but do not want to travel to this side of Wisbech, I have a number of workshops planned for Silverwood. Regular workshops include Shibori style dyeing, Lampshade making, and How to use your sewing machine for Free motion embroidery and cord making. The tea shop is excellent too.
I hope you all have a great festive season with family and friends.