Monday, 1 June 2015

Wonderful Wendy Dolan

I'm just back from a crafting class with Wendy Dolan in Spain, which was completely wonderful!
The course is run through Castanea Crafts, and was wonderful from start to finish!  The venue was great, the machines we used were lovely, we had gourmet food prepared for us at lunch time - and while it would have been hard to pull us from our machines, the food was amazing, so, after the first lunch we resembled Pavlov's dog when lunch was called!

Wendy Dolan is not only a great artist, but a superb teacher.  I cannot praise her or her teaching methods enough!

Here's a peek at what I got up to, and some of the sights etc...



Excuse the hair, I didn't pack a hairdryer, straightener nor the correct hair products.  I had BAD hair the whole trip!!  Hair wax that is wonderful in the UK, simply turns to grease in 35+°C


A fun product I used for the first time



A glass of wine?  Don't mind if we do!

At the studio




Me being VERY diligent!

Planning stages



Wendy hard at work cleaning brushes and sponges






My main piece


Berlin map with some of the architecture


We had a really lovely group of ladies, and we had as much fun sewing during the day, as we did drinking wine and chatting on the deck in the evenings!  A holiday in the sunshine, with like minded women, and a sewing machine!  I think I have discovered Valhalla!

What have I been doing since getting home?
Well, sewing of course!

I am teaching lingerie sewing classes again, so I have been experimenting with different patterns, frankenpatterning and dying white lingerie with everything from Dylon to coffee, hot chocolate, Annie Sloan chalk paint, and red wine!
(the chalk paint was not a success, everything else was!)

I am also putting some of the techniques I learned on Wendy's course to use:






You may notice the machine on my worktable is not my usual Juki F400 / Brother Innovis 4000.  Well, that is because Barry from Stitch Right is busy servicing my Brother and fixing a broken gear on my Juki, and kindly loaned me this Janome Memory Craft 6600 in the interim.

If you are in the South, Barry arrives at your home with a large tool box and services your machine right there for you, at a very reasonable rate!  He only hauls away when there are problems that need more hours work.

I am loving the HUGE extension table this machine has, as well as the heavy base that completely cuts out bouncing.  I miss my Juki's ability to stitch through ANY number of layers due to the powerful motor, as well as the thread cutting function on the foot pedal though.

This Janome's stitch for FME is definitely crisper when running in the 'normal' direction, you can see a difference that I have never seen with either my Brother or my Juki, not sure of the cause of this.

I do love that as soon as you drop the feed dogs the machine automatically goes to FME settings!  I suspect this machine is a quilter's dream.