Sunday, 17 November 2019

Colourful Craft Classes (ft Beading for Beginners)

My nearest village is a very colourful place.

Summer 2019 displays thanks to Meldrum Amenities Improvement Group
One of my favourite shops in the village is pretty colourful too - as you would expect with a name like Rainbow Fabrics!

For a maker like me, having this cornucopia of yarn, fabric, thread, needles and notions on my doorstep is a craft lover's dream.  Forget your Amazon Prime, just about everything you might need for your textile project is available same day!  Not only does shop owner, Pat, curate an amazing array of supplies, she also produces a regular and varied programme of classes.  Over the last decade, I've attended quite a few.

I've learned to felt and this wee bag was created using the wet felted technique over a number of sessions in 2010.

I've learned to needle felt as well, making this Italian landscape at a class where we took our inspiration from a holiday memory.  It still reminds me of two happy weeks in Tuscany in 2011.

I've also tried felting with silk threads - these felted hearts, made at a class in 2016, became the front of the cushion I blogged about here and the backing fabric also came from the shop.

I'd never crocheted until I attended a course at Rainbow and I'm so grateful to have the skills for a craft I now love.  These pieces of textile wall art were also made by me at a variety of machine and hand-embroidery day classes I attended at the shop.

I even made this quilt which hangs above our bed (and I say 'even' as the sewing machine and I are not always best friends!)

So I've tried quite a lot of fabric, thread and yarn based classes but I'd never tried beading, though beaded projects crop up regularly in the class programme.  Assured that the snowflake dream catcher class at the start of November was suitable for a beginner like me, I decided to give it a go.  Clearly it's quite a serious business...

I chose all my beads at Rainbow ahead of the class, opting for a cool palette of wintry colours from the large selection available.  Following a pattern, the super-duos and faceted beads were threaded onto strong fused line favoured by anglers, using a slender beading needle characterised by its sometimes frustratingly tiny eye.  The central motif was attached to a fine silvery hoop and edged with more seed beads making a pretty picot design.

Classes at Pat's are always sociable events and her kettle certainly earns its keep!  My fellow beaders were a friendly group of ladies, generous with their supplies and experience, tolerant of a newbie like me, and helping me when I got stuck.  It's always a pleasure to see what each person makes.  Though we started with the same instructions, our choice of beads made the results spectacularly different.  Mary, our approachable and patient tutor, had prepared several snowflake samples before the class for us to follow - they're pictured in the centre and are surrounded by the ones we made on the day.

It's testament to Mary's clear written instructions that I was able to make a second snowflake dream catcher at home the next day, with the beads on the edge the right way round this time!

I'm going to enjoy hanging these with our Christmas decorations this year, and for years to come.

I wonder what the 2020 programme of classes will have in store and what colourful creations might adorn our home in future thanks to the kaleidoscope of crafty treasure in Rainbow?

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