Iconic Fun Portraits at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop at the Knitting and Stitching show for the first time. I was contacted towards the end of last year by Wendy Gardiner who organises all the workshops to ask if I'd be interested in teaching free motion embroidered portraits and after a bit of emailing backwards and forwards we settled on this workshop, offering a choice of David Bowie or Madonna.

This was the sight that greeted me when I arrived at the workshop area at the show early yesterday morning, confirmation that my workshop had already sold out.  That was great, but it meant I'd have 12 people to teach, double my normal class size.   

Sold out! Eeek!!

My class wasn't until the afternoon, so me and the friend I'd dragged along to help me (thank you again Jo!) spent the morning shopping and chatting to exhibitors.  I spent my money on three patterns from Trend Patterns, some gorgeous hand dyed embroidery threads from Paintbox Threads and 3 metres of chocolate brown linen for a Spring/Summer dress.

I'd spent the last few weeks putting together kits for the workshop, which were transported there in a rather large suitcase.  I don't think my fellow commuters on the train were that impressed by the amount of room it took up!  I'd decided to make 12 kits in each design, just in case my class sold out (it did) and just in case everyone chose the same one (11 of them chose David Bowie).

Not a great photo, but kits piled up ready to be packed into the case.
I wanted to make the kits really nice (I've been on workshops at events like this before where the kits were awful and actually put me off wanting to do the workshop I'd already paid for), so I chose Liberty print fabrics for the applique and packaged them up as nicely as I could, including templates, instructions and of course all the fabrics.

Part of the kit, without fabric, as I don't think I'd cut it all when I took this photo.

I've been so busy with my real job recently that I hadn't really had much time to think about the workshop other than preparing everything I needed to take with me, but when it came time to get started yesterday I was really nervous.  The previous workshop in my teaching area had over-run slightly, so it was a bit frantic setting up and I also had to contend with a noisy upcycling challenge taking place in the open area behind me.

This was me right before the workshop started, begging my friend to take the photo quickly so I could get going!
Once I got going though I was fine.  As I mentioned above, 11 out of the 12 participants chose to stitch David Bowie, so I was very relieved I had taken the decision to make 12 kits of each design.

I had a great group to teach, everyone was really enthusiastic and kept telling me how much they loved what they were learning.  Some people got on quietly and others chatted to their neighbours as they worked.

And the kits went down a treat, everyone loved them and asked if I sold them elsewhere and if I did any other designs.  That's something I had been thinking about - I was certainly going to put the "leftovers" in my Etsy shop - so I'm now in the process of deciding who to add to my little collection.  Once I've decided I can start stitching, and photographing, and writing instructions, then finally listing them for sale.

If there's anyone famous you'd love to have a kit to stitch, please let me know in the comments below.  I can't promise to make everyone, but if there are a few names that come up a few times it's a distinct possibility I'll stitch them and turn them into a kit.


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