Monday, 31 March 2014

... bags of fun...

We thought you might like to see how our "goody bags" are coming along.  We'll be handing out these pouches, full haberdashery treasures, to visitors to our Raystitch Reception on Monday, 14th April.  We still have a few places available throughout the day when you can meet some of our workshop leaders, so do please drop us a note if you are interested in joining us for one of the sessions.

Antique French linen lined in coating gingham

Lavender from the gardens of Les Soeurs Anglaises

Antique glass headed pins


If you're in the surfing mood, there's a great post about Les Soeurs Anglaises on Caroline Rowland's on-line 91 Magazine's delightful blog Patchwork Harmony.   

Saturday, 22 March 2014

…. time to get cutting…..

If you haven't already started on your piece of our Textile Jigsaw of Words, this weekend might be a good time.  There's only a few weeks left now until our Reception with Raystitch (14th April) when our workshop leaders will all be casting a vote as to the best and most creative submission.  The prize for the winner is a free place on one of our workshops this year, where there are still places available, so hopefully worth the effort downloading the template and instructions, followed by a few hours of creative  stitching (don't forget your quote!)

To help you along, the talented and delightful Claire Wellesley-Smith, who is leading the Slow Colour and Stitch workshop for us in May, and whose superlative patchworks are continuously inspirational, has this advice:

"I've always loved searching out old unfinished scraps of patchwork and quilts. They are like little snapshots - the fabrics giving clues to their age and to the lives of the women who stitched them.   (By the way the hexagons shown in the image will be used at my workshop)."

And if that doesn't get you going, I've always found that when stuck for a idea, a long walk - especially at this time of year -  is what I need to get the creative flow moving.  There's nothing like the first of the spring flowers after a long cold winter to inspire.  Here are a few that are have felt brave enough to show show their faces round here recently…….

Saturday, 15 March 2014

.. an invitation….

We're delighted to announce that Les Soeurs Anglaises are joining forces with London's prettiest, newest and most charming haberdashery, Raystitch, to run two dressmaking workshops over the summer 2015 down here in South West France.  More about that later, but to celebrate our exciting collaboration we will be welcoming past and future participants to a reception at Raystitch's boutique in Essex Road, Islington on Monday, 14th April!

It promises to be a fun day in town with Raystitch offering a 10% discount to invitees on everything in the shop, as well as further discounts on Les Soeurs Anglaises workshops if you confirm an interest in joining one.   Most of LSA's 2014 workshop leaders will be attending and you'll have a chance to meet  and discuss with them any questions you have about their work and teaching plans.  

We will also be announcing the winner of our 
Jigsaw Patchwork

There will be three reception sessions throughout the day and it will be a great opportunity for LSA past participants to meet up with old friends.  We're also looking forward to introducing ourselves to those of you who haven't managed yet to get to a workshop with us;  this should be the perfect time to find out more about us and what we have to offer with the added bonus of simultaneously discovering the best place in town to buy all your sewing bits.  

So if you're within striking distance of London and you'd like to join us for drinks and nibbles at some point during the day, please email us as soon as possible with your address and we'll make sure you get  a personal invitation!  Don't delay as numbers are limited.

And if you're simply curious to discover more about the kind of wonderful fabrics and haberdashery items that Raystitch sell, below is a photograph of a couple of pillow cases that LSA have made recently with two meters of their Eloise Renouf 100% organic cotton. It's a lovely soft Liberty lawn-like cotton but with up-to-the-minute patterns, and the result would flatter any bedroom.  Not too girly, yet utterly charming and spring-like!.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

… the craftiest people….

If you follow this blog the chances are you'll be interested in one or two of the following:

and if that's the case then the New Craft Society might be just the ticket. 

They recently won Cosmopolitan Magazine's coveted Best Craft Blog Award so they're not just pretty to look at.  Their posts are generally full of useful and crafty information (what to do, how to do it, where to go to get what you need, what to see),  but there's one that you might find particularly helpful if you're thinking of entering our Easter 2014 Competition.   Called The Liberty Lifestyle Baby Patchwork Blanket it demonstrates just how rewarding  even a small patchwork made from favourite fabric offcuts can be.

As promised, here are a few more tips from our own Christine Green who will be leading a cutting edge workshop, Patchwork Pearls, for us in August:

  • To get a really good mix of fabrics for a patchwork project my general formula is something with a big bold pattern, something with a small pattern and something with a structure to it eg striped or checked.
  • Colourwise (which is the bit a lot of people panic about) these are some suggestions
  • Choose fabrics that are all the same colour but different tones and patterns
  • Choose two or three fabrics that are the same colour base then throw in a wild card eg three bluey fabrics than add a   bright yellow
  • Choose a multi coloured fabric as a starting point then pick out the individual colours and find fabrics to match them   

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

… a textile jigsaw of words …..

Judging by the feedback, our competitions are always a great favourite, but nobody enjoys them more than we do at Les Soeurs Anglaises.  It is so exciting to receive entries and emails and messages from all corners of the world;  looking at the beautiful contributions (always so different and original) and reading the stories behind them, just tickles us pink! and reinforces our belief  that allowing your imagination a free rein and then thoughtfully stitching an idea together with fabric or yarn, is a very special kind of meditation, something that - with the hustle and bustle of the world today - we could all use more of. 

So it is with great delight that we are launching our Easter 2014 Competition.  

With several new and exciting workshop leaders, who are involved in some way or another in the art of patchwork - whether it be the exquisite dyeing and stitching of natural fabrics Claire Wellesley Smith, or Christine Green's re-invention of the traditional patchwork quilt , we thought we would combine these traditional tactile arts and crafts with our love of inspirational words from the good and the great. 

Hey presto!  

The brief is to embellish a piece of your own fabric jigsaw (in the shape of the jigsaw below) with a quote of your choice; send it to us and we will combine it with all the other entries to produce a Jigsaw Patchwork which, if large enough, will be auctioned to raise money for the education of children from the poorest areas of Phnom Pehn (The Cambodian Childrens Fund).  Our workshop leaders will then pick their favourite submissions from which one will be chosen as the winner.

Entries should reach us before the 10th April 2014.

And the prize?  A free place on one of our workshops later this year where there are still spaces available.

Here are the template and instructions, and as long as your jigsaw piece includes a quote, and is the size of the template when completed, you can decorate each entry with as much creativity as your little heart desires.

So, are you ready to start stitching?