Monday, 27 January 2014

…. living the dream…..

I know it's not very British to blow our own trumpet, but I have to confess we were tickled pink by the wonderful article written by Vinny Lee for the Times' newspaper.  Vinny and  photographer, Alexander James, spent a couple of days with us last summer and were blown away by L'Espace, our studio space and accommodation.  Little did we expect that six months later there would be a five page spread in the weekend Saturday Colour Supplement.  

If you want to read more here are the pdf files:  page 3, page 4, page 5

Meanwhile, our busy workshop leaders have been madly productive, supervising day courses, completing commissions and generally beavering away at what they do best.  Here are some photographs of what one or two of them have been up to since the new year.

Alison Kuller has been working on stitched bindings for her workshop with Jone Hallmark in July.

The lovely Claire Wellesley Smith continues to dye and stitch and create beautiful pieces in preparation for her event, Slow Colour and Stitch, here in May

Christine Green demonstrates to a student how it's done on one of her Patchwork Pearls

Jone Hallmark's beautiful book illustration - she'll be covering this technique during her workshop here with Alison Kuller in July

Rosalind Wyatt continues her extraordinary stitched calligraphy on commissioned work for a Ten Year wedding anniversary.

Monday, 20 January 2014

… busy stitching...

Late winter and early spring is a relatively quiet time for Les Soeurs, as we look back at the events for the last year with a little more perspective and consider how we can make small changes to improve the experience for participants.  As the snowdrops, aconites, narcissi and finally tulips begin to push their way through the cold earth, we still hunker down indoors and try to catch up with some sewing and knitting projects - some for the Maison de Maitre and l'Espace (our studio complex); others just to to keep us warm and stylish.

My latest creation is a gathered smock shirt;  made with some wonderful fine cotton check, from a favorite on-line haberdashery, RayStitch.  Sadly, I may have bought the last of the red, but they have other colours to amuse and inspire and it is a fabulous fabric to work with, incredibly soft and comfortable to wear and just the right weight under a wool cardie whilst it's still cold outside.  It has a longer, scooped front with a shorter reverse with a button at the neck.   I made the first prototype of this shirt in a floral silk I've had for many a year - great with jeans and jacket for that slightly more formal occasion. 

flattering scooped front

Meanwhile, a project that Les Soeurs have been supporting since we first discovered them last year, is Comma Workshops which is the brain child of Kerry Larkin. In 2006, Kerry installed an art piece at the SAAW gallery in Philadelphia that explored fabric, typography, and storytelling. Wanting to explore this more, she went back to her roots and embraced quilting. From a family of quilt-makers, seamstresses, and upholsterers, Kerry is continuing the tradition with a fresh perspective and her company, Comma, is dedicated to bringing a fresh perspective to the time-honored traditions of quilting and storytelling. Crafting original poems and stories about life and adventure, her talented stitchers thoughtfully sew these stories into every beautiful quilt, producing functional heirlooms.  Beset by floods last year, their workshop was temporarily shut down, but work continued regardless and we recently received a "thank you" pillow for our support of their KickStarter campaign.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

…. a small step into 2014….

So, enough of grey skies and buckets of flood water.  Time for a bit of colour and commotion to brighten up our lives, so here are a few of our favourite blogs and photos and websites to bring a smile to your face.

Early primroses at Les Soeurs Anglaises

Moroccan spices / Hotel Villa Maroc, Essaouira

RayStitch for all your haberdashery needs and beautiful fabrics at a reasonable price

Felt balls, Marrakech souk.  What couldn't you do with these?

Just to brighten up wash day, farm-fresh clothes pegs from OhForCute/Etsy

Cheap and cheerful. bright and chunky jewelry from Impedimentavillage

The best knitting blog, ever - Purlbee