Last week saw the closing days of another Jessie Chorley Workshop at Les Soeurs Anglaises. Jessie's unique style of working and teaching make her a firm favourite with participants and it seemed to be a particularly exciting and creative five days this time round. The fact that we walked straight into an Indian Summer, might have helped, with plenty of sunshine allowing us to eat out every day and organise, a picnic lunch beside gorgeous local ponds - a first and something we hope to make a regular event.
Jessie brought with her an individual project bag for each participant containing, amongst other ephemera, a delicate handkerchief with the date personally hand-stitched. On this each person worked their own motif before passing it along to the next person to add theirs. By the end of the five days each participant had a beautiful multi-stitched souvenir to take away with them. Meanwhile, they worked on their main project which in most cases was a unique and beautiful "book-box". It was hard to drag some of the ladies away for meals, but once separated from their work there was time to go for a dip in one of the pools, or just sit and chat in the dappled sunshine.
Two of those present were winners of LSA's past competitions. Lizz Harding won last year's Hare competition; and Claire Sounes, whose wonderfully stitched contributions to the Cambodian Childrens Fund Textile Quilt (soon to be auctioned on Ebay - watch this space) wowed our workshop leaders. Both have since sent us messages of thanks:
"Having just completed a textile foundation course at Morley College, London, coming to Les Soeurs Anglaises to do Jessie Chorley's workshop was a much needed and welcome creative break. With beautiful blue skies to greet us, there was a seemingly endless supply of fantastic food to keep us fuelled for days of stitching and making in the glorious open and spacious studio. I was in heaven! Such great company, too. It was lovely to make new, like-minded friends and have fun working together with guidance from such a fantastic and generous teacher. Jessie gave us all the individual attention and inspiration we needed and I have learnt so much in such a short time. A big thank you to LSA for making it possible." Lizz Harding 'I had the great fortune to win a workshop at Les Soeurs Anglais and spent an idyllic week on a workshop run by the super talented Jessie Chorley. With a very friendly group of fellow makers I stitched away in Les Soeurs Anglaises' stunning converted barn looking out at expansive views of the remarkable French countryside. We enjoyed delicious food throughout the five days, including a memorable picnic. The sun shone everyday, making it warm enough to swim in the two open air pools but there was also time to visit local markets and shops where I found some wonderful linen. I came away feeling refreshed, relaxed and inspired to use the techniques I learnt at the workshop. A truly memorable and special week.' Claire Sounes
Jessie may well be "supervising" our Open Studio event next year. Information about it will be on our new calendar, available on our website within the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted.
For those of you looking for a suitable late summer/early autumn pinafore the below might be just the ticket. Hand-made by Les Soeurs Anglaises in 100% vintage, red gingham linen found recently at a local brocante. Below knee length and loose enough to be worn with a shirt underneath (not included in price) or with a little cardigan on top.