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Reg's Renditions July 2019
I have been ambushed into making a few comments to accompany our new programme and newsletter. So here goes:
I remember my father once advising me not to look back as you cannot influence the past, you may, however, be able to exert some control over the future.
Whilst understanding the sentiment it is impossible not to sometimes think "what if?" With this in mind I was reflecting recently that it is now 18 months since we moved from Loughborough to our new home in East Leake. At that time we were all excited but a little apprehensive. I believe we all agree it was the right move at the right time.
One thing that has impressed me is the community spirit among the Traders, Businesses and Residents which is so evident in the village.
We hope we have, in some small way added to the diversity of the village and can play our part in ensuring that the various events continue to thrive.
One of the reasons for our move was the need for more space which has been more than fulfilled by our present premises as we now have two teaching areas for the range of workshops that we run (take a look at our current programme) We are delighted that so many of our cstomers from Loughborough still attend and equally that many from the village and surrounding area have joined us. We like to think that as well as learning a new skill or perfecting interests you already have, there is a strong social aspect.
I'll finish as i used to with a bit of nonsense (no comments please)
Question: What is a Harrier?
Answer: Someone who is more like Harry than Harry.
Till next time
Taking Care of your Soul through Stitching
Looking after your Mental Health – a blog about taking care of your soul.
Mental health is so hot in the press at the moment, and is being covered in the soaps, with coronation street dealing with male suicide amongst others.
I don’t know about you, but I have found it really hard to watch, but yet I am so pleased they use the platform they have to address such vital issues that are a reality for too many families. Story lines like this get me thinking, about my own wellbeing, the health of my children, family and friends. I think its so important to talk. Open up to someone, anyone. I do think this is easier said than done though, for so many people isolation becomes their best friend and yet their worst enemy. I am no doctor, but I am human and have struggled. Practising mindfulness seems to be a fashionable thing to do now and whilst I think it is an amazing tool, it is hard to master (trust me I try) but to tell an anxious mind to be quiet is like telling a two year old to stop having a tantrum in the middle of Tesco! – it takes patience and more patience, something an anxious mind doesn’t always have heaps of, so persevere with it.
There are so many practical things you can do, which focuses your mind on a task in hand, therefore not asking you to focus on the now with breath but achieves the same result with focus. Sewing is one of them it takes you away from your thoughts, from the dark, from the anxious grip. I find hand sewing works well, so I always have a red work piece on the go, nice and simple – following lines with a running stitch, I’m not asking my brain to tackle hard patterns or intricate designs at a time I’m trying to get it to rest, nor am I having to concentrate too hard. After a few minutes it has got my attention and I can feel everything calming down, after half an hour or so the adrenaline stops coursing through at the speed of lightening and I can breathe again. The logical part of my brain starts to work again, and yes, I feel calmer (and I’ve achieved something).
I can write about my anxiety and share it with people in blog form, as the writing in itself is calming, you ask me to discuss it in person the embarrassment kicks in, god knows why, as I certainly wouldn’t be embarrassed if I had broken my leg, or hurt myself in an accidental fashion, but for some reason my brain not quite being in zen with the rest of my body is something to be ashamed of, the confident, stubborn woman in me wants to be different to that, I want to be the person that stands up for what’s right and tell people there is no shame in struggle, because there isn’t. But like anyone I have my hang up’s and this is one of them, I wish it wasn’t. However, it is manageable and there is so much you can do to help yourself, even when you feel you can’t reach out to talk to someone, learn to sew, knit or crochet – after all what’s the worst that can happen? You might not make a master piece in your own eyes the first time you try but you’ll have got through another hard half an hour and your body will thank you for it.
I have realised through the years, there is only so much bleach a bathroom can take, only so many times you can mop a floor in a day to distract yourself from your feelings, and equally there is only so many times you can temporarily hide under your duvet before it starts to feel too comfortable under there, that in itself is a scary place to be.
‘Sewing mends the Soul’ A quote I heard the other day, that resonated with me in so many ways. When I look back over some of my work I know I did from a difficult period its empowering as I’ve turned it around, into a small achievement of some description.
Our First Exhibition in East Leake!
OUR FIRST EXHIBITION IN EAST LEAKE!
We are now relaxing slightly after our charity exhibition which took place over the last weekend in October, we were a little apprehensive having always held it at the Parsih Church in Loughborough, and hoped that people would support us in our new venue, and thankfully, it was a success. Wen we moved to East Leake, we wanted to become part of the village community and therefore holding the exhibition at The Academy on Lantern Lane, made perfect sense. We were able to hire a huge hall and there was plenty of free parking. In addition, we hoped that it would bring several hundred people into the village and we were not disappointed. We had three lovely days and despite torrential rain on the Saturday, we still had lots of visitors who were encouraged to have a walkabout as we had a quilt trail with several shops displaying quilts in their windows. We raised £2346.89 with the profits being divided between Asthma & Allergy Research charities, a £750 donation to the ELPFC, East Leake Playing Fields Charity. A HUGE Thank you to everyone who helped make the occasion such a triumph!
The Festive season is upon us....
With Christmas round the corner, everyone seems to be stitching like mad to get all those promised presents finished in time for the big day. Children are counting the sleeps down, and if you are as mad as me you have an naughty elf on the shelf to remember to move every evening! With all of this and shopping to do as well, it certainly is a busy time of year. I'm lucky enough to still have young children at home who remind me of the magic of the festive season, and though it's exhausting repeating the answer to the 'how many sleeps is it mummy!' lots of times through any given day, it reminds me what Christmas is all about in our house. I am sewing like crazy trying to finish four Christmas stockings and Santa and Rudolph mats for the children and we have had a mad rush on our Christmas kits, patterns and panels as others do the same. There is still time!! I sew in the evenings mainly, and find a glass of wine helps with the late nights stitching (My applique Santa might be on the wonky side due to the wine though!).
Unfortunatly this year, politics is definately taking the edge off the Christmas spirit as we frantically decide which party to vote for to get the best outcome for our children, family and country. I sit handstitching the binding on a table runner that should have been finished last week! Watching the debates and the news hoping for a lightbulb moment, instead i feel i will have to vote with my gut instinct and keep everything crossed for a brighter future in the years to come. I hope none of you feel as utterly confused as i do.
The last few weeks here at QCC have seen an influx of Christmas kits being made and sold and we love seeing your creations! There are going to be some amazingly dressed tables this Christmas day. We hope your families love your handmade quilts and more, I always love a handmade gift as it is made with such love. We still have a few Christmas kits left in the shop for table runners, quilts and more as well as some felt kits that the children can help make for decorations. So pop in, there is still time to create a master piece for someone you love, or to add to the festive decor in your own home. The kits also make wonderful gifts, as they are beautifully packaged in boxes with ribbon.
We know Christmas can be a very hard time of year for a lot of people and they can hopefully find comfort with their families, friends or hobbies. We think of you all, and all of the staff here would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.
We recently asked, via Facebook, for anyone who wished, to drop off their Christmas cards as we were doing a recycling project. Our message was shared on the village website and the response has been fantastic! We will have enough cards to help Una do a Christmas craft with the children from the village in the Autumn which is fabulous so, a huge Thank you to everyone who took the time to drop their cards into us. They are being put to very good use and pictues will be on our facebook page very soon.
What's New?? January 2020
We began our season of workshops and courses on 4th January, as always, it is lovely to welcome friends, old and new. As usual, fabric has been arriving, and we always gt so excited unpacking the boxes. We have just taken delivery of the new collection of 'Guess How Much I Love You', plus Stilletto from Moda in shaes of grey, black, cream and tan. We also hae 'Memoirs' from Thee Sisters, also Moda, and of course, we cannot forget the little ones; there is a nursery collection, 'Sweet Dreams' depicting cute sheep in lovely colours. Any day now we should receive a beautfiul Japanese inspired collection, 'Norum', 'Sunny Bee' which depicts sunflowers and bumble bees and a new collection from Tilda. These are just some of the many collections winging their way here over the net few weeks, culminating in the new designs from Liberty, 'Winterbourne', which is Liberty Fabrics latest quilting collection. Winterbourne House, draws inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement - a creative period from c. 1860-1910 when English designers led a return to high quality, hadcrafted pieces, creating elegantly stylised interpretations of botanical and historic motifs. Inspired by an exquisite Arts and Crafts period house, the collection draws upon the interior and the family who once lived there. Traditionally screen printed onto Lasenby cotton 'The Winterbourne Collection' is available in three complimentary colour ways, offering subtle hues of pinks, greens and neutrals to contrast rich berry and navy, ready for you to craft your own master works, and there will be kits and patterns to give you inspiration.
Customer Information regarding the Coronavirus
We would like to keep you informed of our plans with regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are all unsure how long this outbreak might last, and we know that none of us want to stay at home for weeks or possibly months, therefore we are following government guidelines and trying our best to provide a safe environment for you to visit.
Our opening hours remain the same and we don't anticipate any immediate disruption. That said, we do have a small team so in the event that we are short-staffed and have to make a last minute change we will report it on our website and social media. Please feel free to call ahead if you are making a special trip.
WORKSHOPS & COURSES.
We have no current plans to cancel upcoming classes until the Department of Health states otherwise. If this changes, we will contact you immediately and post updates on social media. Until further notice, our existing class policies apply.
If the situation changes and all workshops have to be cancelled, you will receive a full refund or you can transfer the money to a future class.
We will continue to take orders over the telephone or via our website whilst the post office services and carriers are still operating. Additionally, we may be able to deliver ourselves if the customer lives within a five mile radius.
SAFETY IN THE SHOP
The health and safety of our customers and staff is very important to us. We are taking the following precautions:
- Ensuring that our till area and community spaces, tables, sewing machines, tools and surfaces including stairway handrails and door handles are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and after each class.
- Providing hand washing facilities for staff and customers.
- Sanitising the card machine and till regularly throughout the day.
- Encouraging staff to follow government guidelines with regard to their health and staying home if advised.
If you feel unwell or have any symptoms, we respectfully ask that you do not visit our shop or attend a workshop. If this means that you miss a workshop, we will send any patterns and instructions to you plus any materials you may need, so you can sew at home.
Finally, we would like to wish everyone the best of health. These are extremely unsettling times and we all need to do our very best to look after everyone and ourselves.
We need to be totally committed to government guidelines and help to prevent the spread of this awful virus to those who are most vulnerable.
Newsletter April 2020
I began to write this Newsletter in the second week of March and so much has drastically changed in such a short time; we all seem to be in a state of shock, not quite believing what has happened. I will begin again.
Thank goodness for the daffodils, even though some of those are nearly past their best!
Last week seemed a little easier, we could get into the gardens and enjoy the sunshine, but the cold weather has returned and I for one, am definitely a ‘Fair Weather Gardener’. Thank goodness for sewing, knitting, in fact any hobby to occupy our minds and our time. I have even got a jigsaw on the go. Having two dogs means that we have to get out, and I always feel the benefit when we do, but last week, motivation was in short supply. I think we needed to adjust to the fact that we have stopped, and it has not been as easy as we thought it might be. It is definitely not like a holiday, but we can put our time to good use.
ISOLATION WEEK TWO. Yesterday, as some of you may be aware, was the first day of my sharing ‘my workspace’ with Adrian…that is space in my Sewing Sanctuary, which is a lovely converted garage in the garden. He is sensibly working from home and thought it would be nice if we worked together in the same room, and I have to say, it is okay. He’s not used to me singing, badly, along to Ed Sheeran and Coldplay whilst I’m working, and I’m not used to his phone ringing constantly. I know it is early days and if he can accept that I’m not here to make endless cups of tea, I think we will be fine……as long as he tidies up after himself. In fairness, the dogs take up more room than he does.
BECKY AND I have been into the shop today to deliver to anyone who is local, and post out if we can’t get to you. Not essential in the grand scheme of things, like food, medicine, or possibly gin, but we all know the frustration of wanting to finish a project and running out of fabric or thread. To be honest, if I didn’t have my hobby, I don’t know how I would be coping; I think I would be even more difficult to live with! If you need anything, please let us know. We are hoping to put more projects on line for you to see, and if you were unaware, Becky has started a Facebook group for all of us. If you go to the Quorn Country Crafts Facebook page, the Quorn Country Crafts Community Crafting Group in pinned to the top. Ask to join and Becky will do the rest. You can then share your isolation sewing and crafting pictures and ideas, and see what everyone else is doing. There has been some wonderful UFO’s finished, new projects started and completed, and some inappropriate jokes that do bring a smile. If, like me, motivation is a little difficult sometimes, maybe seeing what other people are doing, will spur you on.
LEARN A NEW CRAFT. With YouTube, it seems as if anything is possible, it certainly helped me to get to grips with a crochet hook. I’m still not great at it, but together with a book entitled ‘A Child’s introduction to Crochet’, I’m determined to get better and hopefully create a Granny Square with four corners and not five. Tapestry and Cross Stitch are very relaxing as is knitting. My favourite hand sewing projects at the minute are embroidery and Old English Paper Piecing, where you tack fabric to paper shapes, most commonly hexagons, and sew them together. If we can help with any of these ides, please get in touch.
N.B. All is not lost, apparently Kirstie Allsopp if offering ideas to ‘Craft your way through the Corona Virus’ Children, you have not been forgotten. We are working on some craft ideas just for you.
Newsletter April 2020 Cont
HELPING BY STITCHING We have ladies who are making brightly coloured surgical hats from 100% cotton for the hospitals. If you would like the pattern, please let us know and we will e-mail it to you. Project Linus will still need your quilts. If you would like to make a quilt for this very worthy charity, please check their webpage for details of sizes and designs projectlinusuk.org.uk I am sure there are many other ways we can help, and as soon as they are bought to our attention, we will pass on the details.
CANCELLATIONS & rescheduled dates. Many people have contacted us regarding this years’ exhibitions. So far, we understand that Quilts UK has been rescheduled for 18 July to 21 July 2020, as usual at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern Worcestershire. If the situation regarding Coronavirus has changed and there is an opportunity to go, we will look at possibly taking a bus nearer the time. There has been no announcement regarding the Festival of Quilts 2020 as yet, but as this is ever changing situation, we have to wait and see. The Knitting and Stitching Shows at Alexandra Palace and Harrogate are later in the year and we do not expect to hear about them until much nearer the time.
A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been in touch with lovely cards, flowers and messages of support. This is a worrying time for all of us, but nothing is more important than the health of our family and friends. We are optimistic that we will get through this, and hope to use the time so we can come back, bigger and better than ever. Please all take care, keep safe, wash your hands and stay at home. We will definitely be back sharing our isolation experiences over a cup of coffee and cake. Keep busy and please, if you need anything, let us know. If we can help, we will. Love and best wishes to you and your families from everyone at Quorn Country Crafts.
Quorn Country Crafts, Parkside Works, Gotham Road, East Leake, Leicestershire LE12 6JG Tel: 01509 211604 www.quorncountrycrafts.co.uk
Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-4pm. Temporarily closed to visitors until further notice