Beyond the Festival of Quilts: Jogakbo Light Catcher

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As it seems everything else in life has had to go online, I supposed it was only an inevitability until things like craft shows and festivals started finding ways to transport themselves to the digital domain. This is exactly what the Festival of Quilts was experimenting with, with their ‘Beyond the Festival of Quilts’ event, which caught my eye for the digital masterclasses on offer.

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Kumihimo Classes

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to do even a full day craft course, let alone a multi-day one which is always a great treat. As you can probably guess from the number of RSN Day Classes and other pieces I’ve done I find taught classes and workshops really a lot of fun. Thankfully for even what used to be obscure crafts, the international sharing brought around by the internet has made people aware of some of the beautiful work and techniques out there, and I suspect encouraged the publication of ever more specialist texts.

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SF School of Needlework & Design

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links meaning if you sign up to the course from this blog or purchase any of the books, I get a small commission. However, any recommendations and opinions are my own. For more information, please click here

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I don’t know how I’d managed to miss this fantastic institution on last year’s visit to California, but just in case all the wonderful quilt stores haven’t wowed you, or the amazing world of lace, San Francisco has yet another gem very well hidden away on top of Tiffanies, the SF School of Needlework & Design.

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RSN Day Class: Needlelace at the Fashion Museum

As well as the more intensive embroidery qualifications, the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) runs regular day classes as a way for people to try new techniques or get an insight into what it is like to study with one of the world’s most prestigious hand embroidery schools. Occasionally, the RSN teams up with other organisations to put on special classes on either different themes or different skills.

Recently, the RSN ran a series of classes at the Fashion Museum in Bath, with designs based on items on exhibition there. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Needlelace day class, stitching a small butterfly/dragonfly/questionable insect as inspired by a motif on an embroidered Elizabethan woman’s waistcoat.

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Tambour Beading Workshop

Tambour (seemingly known interchangeable as tambour beading or tambour embroidery) has been a technique that I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Tambour is usually a technique uttered in the same breath as ‘haute couture’ as it is often the technique of choice for adding the glitz and glamour to wedding and evening dresses.

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When you think of embroidery, you usually think of a needle and thread, but tambour is worked with a hook, very similar to a crochet hook. It’s also a little bizarre as you have the back of the work facing you as you stitch with the ‘live’ thread or beads underneath. The reason for its popularity though, is because when you’re not fumbling around like a true beginner, it’s an incredibly efficient technique for applying beads and embellishments to fabric.

When I had the chance to try a class with Tambour and Clutch, it seemed like the perfect excuse to learn something new. However, I never thought I’d feel quite as out of my depth doing chain stitch as I did starting tambour!

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