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Crochet, Cruise and Craft

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During our recent crafty Cruise we encouraged ladies to bring their own crafts to our classes. This was a great success and we had ladies who crochet, knitters and cross stitchers. We enjoyed the variety and their company.

imageThere was a young girl recovering from an accident who whilst not able to work, had taught herself to crochet. It was good to watch her progress and help her where we could.

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The age range of participants was unexpected and a great bonus. We had one elderly lady who had really bad arthritis in her hands. She decided to make herself a mobile phone case, which was her design. We watched with bated breath as she stitched slowly. Her hands were so painful that she had to keep stopping to rest them. She was delighted with the end product and we were delighted to see her success.

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There was a lady…

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Cruise project – gadget bag

A recent cruise to Madeira and the Canaries

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The final project that we worked on whilst on our recent crafty cruise was a gadget bag. It started out as an iPad cover and then I realised not everyone would have or want an iPad! The patchwork quilted bag evolved into a project that could be adapted for tablet case, make up purse, sun glasses case or whatever your imagination decided. This guided but flexible project allowed the crafty ladies on the cruise to sew wherever their ideas took them.

The original idea was to use a “Grandmothers Fan” pattern which is attractive and a challenge for novice patch workers. I seriously underestimated the ability of many ladies on the course. The majority wanted to give the “Grandmothers Fan” a go. We provided the template, choice of fabrics and guidance and away we went. It was great fun and wonderful to see the delight when the padded bag was…

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Textile Inspiration Packs

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Whilst we on our recent cruise we produced special Textile Inspiration Packs for our craft group. These packs were put together before we left to join the ship. Each pack contained a mix of textiles including lace, leather, cotton, net, silk or tweed, to name a few. The pieces were vaguely colour co ordinated and each pack also contained a few beads or buttons or ribbon. The packs created great interest and provided a source of much imagination.

imageWe did did not have a great deal of time to craft as we were about to dock in Madeira where there was a flower festival. Because of this I encouraged the ladies to make a flower brooch. The inspiration was all theirs and they certainly used their own imaginations. I suggested that a simple flower was made by cutting discs of reducing size from the various textiles. I provided a template…

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Cruising and Crafting

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The craft group that we ran on a recent cruise was a great success. We had a great attendance lots of enthusiasm and all very enthusiastic crafters. We worked through three crafts in seven days at sea. Time was a bit of an issue as we were only allocated an hour at a time. The ladies in the class would have liked to extend the sessions, which is a great compliment.

Whilst each class was organised to make various items, we encouraged anyone who had their own project with them, to bring it to the group and join us for the company and friendship. This worked as people shared their skills and ideas. Throughout the cruise we asked anyone with a top tip to share it with us. We collected thirty crafty cruising top tips which I will share in a future blog.

The crafts that we demonstrated and helped…

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Crafts in Madeira

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On my recent trip to Madeira, Portugal I was intrigued to see beautiful samples of the lace and embroidery worked locally.

The work is very fine and mostly done by hand. The cheaper items such as tea towels and cheaper cloths are machine made. It was lovely to see the demonstrations at the Spring flower festival. I didn’t buy any on this occasion as I have so much linen I could ( in fact might!) open my own shop.

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Streets of Madeira

Our recent trip to Madeira was beautiful. The sun was warm and Funchal was in full flower festival mode. This is an annual Spring festival celebrating the islands’ glorious flower tradition. Everyone seemed cheerful ( amazing what sunshine does) and colour was the theme of the day.

On day two I explored the streets and market of Funchal. There were street carpets made from flowers, pillars adorned with blooms are beautifully dressed flower girls. They were selling flowers (there’s a surprise!) bulbs, lace and textiles. All traditional to this Portugese island and enhanced by sunshine and smiles.

Carpets and markets.

Traditional textiles from Madeira

 

Blooming Marvelous!

Good morning from Funchal, Madeira Portugal! The cruise has been in Funchal for two days to give us time to see the Spring Flower Festival. It is amazing! Yesterday there was a parade of decorated floats, dancers and music. The parade took over an hour to pass through but the decorating with fresh flowers must have taken days. They were all lovely, colourful and happy. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many smiley faces in one place.

imageimageimageThe crowds were three and four deep for the whole length of the parade. Please excuse my photographs but I couldn’t get an up close space! Many people waited HOURS to secure a spot but I preferred to sit on a wall eating ice cream in the sunshine. There were people climbing up cliff sides, holding onto fences and sat on Dad’s shoulders to get a good view.

The little children were really enjoying the dressing up and dancing on floats. Except for the three five year old girls who were perched on top of one float and obviously arguing about who sat where! Their ” minder” obviously told them to behave, so they sat down, put smiles on and waved to the crowd!

More flowers today so it is good bye from Madeira with more news when I’ve got WIFI again.

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