First Teaching Week



After the launch party in July, where Roz and I invited family and friends to look over the studio and join us in welcoming potential students to our work and studio space, I embarked upon summer schools this week.


The space is now almost fullly equipped and it is delightful to teach in a space where everything is to hand: books, samples, materials and supplies, not to mention coffee and biscuits! There was a small group tackling a tie dye mini quilt in 4 days, made smaller by the unfortunate timing of a stomach virus which laid my sister low all week. I will try to catch her up next week.

Day 1 was the dyeing day. Various methods of clamping, tying, pinching, stuffing, and wrapping to create pressure to resist the dye once immersed in a bucket. I always think that the pieces look lovely before going into the dye. Its almost a shame…

But then into the dye bucket they go and then comes the agonising wait whilst the dye and then the fix do their stuff. We spent that time looking at how other quilters had handled similar ways of putting a quilt or hanging together. In other words, how to manage various rectangles of different patterns/textures and tones in a quilt style format.Using squared paper, and collaging coloured papers, we came up with some designs to adapt once the fabrics were revealed.

By this time the fabric was ready to be taken out of the buckets for the rinse and wash. This is the most thrilling bit of the process as the patterns and textures are revealed and the astonishment at the marks is always a lovely thing to be part of.

Day 2 was spent working out a cutting plan according to the designs created and then getting on with the process of using rotary cutters to cut out all the pieces which will make up the quilts. Before they got cut up we took some photos.

 Looking forward to teaching Introduction to GoldWork tomorrow for 2 days and then repeating the pattern of teaching next week, with each class having their Day 3&4.


Wow! Our first week renting this wonderful space! This is the end where the bookshelves will be, and the ‘teaching’ end – eventually there will be a whiteboard on the wall above the radiator, and white felt covering the cork board for pinning fabrics up for crits etc.

With our launch party on 7th July, we have a lot of work to do so this week I have ordered kitchen units and sinks for storing a lot of the wet work equipment that we will use. Then bought some chairs – very comfy fold up ones from Dunelm! That was a surprise – they were £1 each cheaper than Argos. Then ordered the trestles that the print tables will sit on – 20 of them. These arrived on a palette on Friday and were loaded in the back of my car and transported by me and Roz up the stairs to the studio in the afternoon.

Meanwhile the very nice maintenance team from Enterprise Centre have cut down our print boards and made some shelves. They have also built us a walk in cupboard to store much of the stuff that will only be used occasionally, or take the easels when not in use.

And today (Sunday) Roz and I, along with my very generous and helpful sister Anita, have sealed the MDF boards with special sealant – this seemed easy to use but was incredibly sticky so the newspaper they were resting on was a bit of a problem to start with until we had some sort of system. We got all of them done by 2 this afternoon, along with some shelves and were very pleased with ourselves. The studio is beginning to shape up.

Then I picked up the blue tarp that they had been resting on and which I always use for painting. Only to find that the sealant is so runny, when we had painted the edges of each board, it had seeped through the woven tarp and was all over the floor underneath. So our floor is no longer spotless! I think it’s a green scourer job for me tomorrow! My Poor Knees!

So what will next week bring – well the kitchen units will be going in next week and then the MDF dust can finally be cleaned away. Then we can assemble the trestles and begin to see how the print boards will work in the space.