One of the nicest things about the show is that you can attend workshops throughout the day for a fraction of the prices they would cost elsewhere on a huge range of topics from dress making to felt making to embroidery - and thereby learn new skills or try something for the first time.
I went hoping to nab a last minute place on the goldwork embroidery course - because it's just so darn beautiful...
This image was taken from the Royal School of Needlework website - the RSN do wonderful courses in embroidery across the country so have a look if you are interested in learning more - I'm hoping to do one later in the year once I've got some money saved up.
Sadly by the time I'd got myself organised and realised the event was even happening all pre book tickets had gone and although the ladies on the booking stand were very helpful the teacher didn't have enough kits to accept an extra student - always worth a try though.
Happily the beginners embroidery introductory course still had a space so I booked on to that. It was run by the same person as the goldwork course, Bella Lane -a lovely Peruvian lady who turned up in the most extraordinary hand embroidered coat (I sadly didn't manage to get a photo of it but the link to her site shows off some of her amazing work so you can get an idea of the sorts of thing she does).
Our project in the hour long workshop was a bumble bee - I was already excited - and we had to learn split stitch, long and short stitch, satin stitch and french knots to complete the little guy,
Now I love hand sewing - its the quilting background - so I found the whole course amazingly relaxing and a total joy. I am not a great embroideress - it was the first time I think I'd really tried any of these stitches in a serious way - but love it I did and I can see myself picking up yet another craft as a result - very dangerous.
This is the result of my efforts...
Now I am sure anyone who reads this and has done any embroidery at all will probably be fairly horrified by the above, but it's a start! He's very cute either way - so I wanted to attach him to something to make the most of him - I'll have a think about what I could put him on - first choice would be my favourite mustard cardigan but I think the stretch it going to make that a bit too difficult.
A bit of detail for those of you who might be interested:
The wings are outlined in split stitch and then filled in with long and short stitch.
The body segments are outlined in split stitch and then filled in with satin stitch (bar the bum which I think is possibly something I made up)