New Year, new plans , new textile workshops!

Oh yay to be sat at my desk today after three weeks of working on the building site that is currently our home. It feels great to have bare feet rather than wearing steel toe caps and its bliss not being covered from head to toe in a fine layer of plaster dust! I usually rather grudge ‘desk’ days compared to ‘studio’ days but today I’m feeling pretty content – making plans for the next few months and setting my priorities for the year.

So to start by wishing you all a very happy and successful 2018. I’m excited by my year ahead. Last year didn’t quite go according to plan so that’s made me more determined than ever to make more time for my own textile work as well as developing my textile workshops. I’ll look forward to sharing my news of ‘goings on & happenings’ here on my blog –  I’m  determined to make time to update it and get myself just a wee bit more online savvy!

I do already have some fabulous workshops lined up this year. I’ll be visiting Sally at Needle & Thread  not just once but twice as we have just added a sneaky wee date in June in addition to my two day visit in September. In June we’ll be making Patchwood Tenements and in September we’ll be making Patchwood Samplers: Personal Collections and Scrappy Story Collages. Bookings are already underway and as always places are limited. If you’ve not visited Needle & Thread before it is a gorgeous venue in Lincolnshire where Sally runs a fantastic programme of workshops.

Patchwood Samplers: Personal Collections workshop

 

Scrappy Story Collage workshop

I’m hugely excited to be teaching on my first ever retreat in June this year in rural France with Crafty Retreats. I’m sure I’ll be banging on about this much more in the months to come but if you could fancy spending a week in the sunshine in the most gorgeous studio situated in the Limousin area amid the forests and low mountains of the Monts D’Ambazac then do check it out quickly as I think there are only a couple of places left! We’ll be making Patchwood Samplers – my original full size ones with twenty one wooden ‘patches’ all embellished with your own little treasures. It’s going to be the most gorgeous week of creativity, friendship, delicious food and local excursions and I for one have to keep pinching myself to make sure that it is for real!

Textile art by Al Ferguson
Patchwood Sampler workshop at Crafty Retreats

My own workshop programme is currently listed on my website and I’ve made BIG changes to the way that I am doing things. I’ll be hosting workshops in two very lovely local (near Edinburgh) venues over the next few months. My venues have been carefully chosen as places that have the same quirky vibe as my own studio The Purple Thread Shed. I’ll be starting the year at the Wellbeing Lab within The Restoration Yard at Dalkeith Country Park with my first workshop ‘Patchwood Samplers: Personal Collections’ on Saturday 10th February. In March we’ll be making ‘Vintage Haberdashery Lampshades’ and in April ‘Patchwood Tenements’.

Patchwood Tenements workshop

 

Ali Ferguson textile workshops
Vintage Haberdashery Lampshades workshop

In May & June I’ll be making the most of the summer months in the very beautiful Secret Herb Garden, Damhead just south of Edinburgh. We’ll be holding our workshop in the middle of the large Glass House surrounded by herbs & flowers. This gorgeous, tranquil setting is perfect for two hand stitching workshops – Scrappy Hand Stitch Sampler on Sunday 13th May and ‘Stories From the Scullery’ on Sunday 10th June.

Ali Ferguson textile workshops
Scrappy Hand Stitch Sampler workshop

 

Ali Ferguson textile workshops
Stories From The Scullery workshop

I do know that people love visiting my own studio so I will open the doors to The Purple Thread Shed for three workshops in May & June. There are only four places on each so early booking is essential starting with  ‘Handmade Journals’ & ‘Patchwood Samplers: Natural Collections’ in May and followed by ‘Rusted Samplers in June’.  Hopefully I’ll be able to restore my garden to it’s summer glory by then – it’s currently looking very sorry for itself as it’s been been ravaged by the house renovations.

Ali Ferguson textile workshops
Handmade Journals workshop

 

Ali Ferguson textile workshops
Rusted Samplers workshop

So that’s a wee round-up of what’s going on – I’ll be posting more details & pics of individual workshops as we go along.

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Radio Silence, Ramblings & Workshop News

Oh my goodness I’ve been pretty rubbish at updating my new website and posting on my blog so far. The problem is that whenever I have a lot going on, I go into ‘radio silence’  – which is kind of unhelpful for social media!  My head gets so involved in what I’m actually doing that I totally forget to take any photographs. Also, although I do mentally write lots of blog posts while I’m taking Annie the pooch out walking, I somehow never quite get round to writing them for real! Anyway I’m here at last and bringing some exciting new workshop news.

But first a wee update of goings on.

It’s been rather gorgeous outside The Purple Thread Shed.

We’ve been lucky to have had some gorgeous days over the last couple of months. I’ve finished all my workshops at The Purple Thread Shed for the summer and I’ve closed the shed door to visitors for a while. The reason being that we’re doing some pretty major house renovations and the place is heading into turmoil. I do know that it’ll be worth it in the end (because I tell myself this about 100 times a day) but to someone who is a bit of a control freak the thought of my whole house being turned upside down is a wee bit daunting! I think Annie the pooch and I will be escaping to the shed and barricading ourselves in as much as possible. However the upside of not running any workshops from here over the Autumn is that it is giving me a break to think, to plan and to concentrate on my personal textile projects – and that definitely feels exciting!

And now for some actual workshop news.

Although I won’t be running any textile workshops & classes from my own studio, the Purple Thread Shed is taking to the road to some other great venues over the next few months.

You can find more details here:  The Purple Thread Shed Takes To The Road.

Look out for some gorgeous new workshops coming to the Edinburgh City Art Centre

I’m really excited to be working with Edinburgh Museums for the first time this summer and have created two workshops to support their Edinburgh Alphabet exhibition at the City Art Centre. It’s worth noting that the cost of these workshops is £25 which is an absolute bargain!

The first is ‘Patchwood Houses’ which is taking place on Saturday 19th August during the Edinburgh fringe and festival. Perhaps some of you from further afield will be in Edinburgh at this time and would like to join me for the day.

A row of  Edinburgh tenements made from ‘patches’ of repurposed wood

It will be a day of hand stitching with a difference creating a colourful  little row of  Edinburgh tenements from ‘patches’ of repurposed wood all stitched together. Inspired by the Old Town, you will design your own row of tenements embellished with Edinburgh ephemera, vintage papers, tweeds, floral fabrics and other small treasures all hand stitched into place. Your buildings will then be stitched together to create your own ‘Edinburgh Close’.

Made with vintage papers, tweeds and ephemera all hand stitched into place

We can include house numbers, street names and other personal details and I love the little washing line strung across the close. Before you can begin to stitch, tiny holes must be drilled into the wood. By the end of the day you will feel as at home using the drill as you do your needle and thread.

You can even add a little washing line strung across the ‘close’.

All the materials will be provided but to make your piece even more personal you may wish to bring along some of your own small treasures and Edinburgh ephemera to include.

Patchwood Houses

City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Saturday 19th August 2017

10.30AM – 4.00PM

Cost £25

Booking is essential and can be done by contacting the City Art Centre reception on 0131 529 3993.

The second workshop at the City Art Centre is taking place on Saturday 16th September

Patchwood City workshop in the City Art Centre

In “Patchwood City’ we will be creating one of my  Patchwood Samplers inspired by our beautiful city of Edinburgh. Using “patches” of repurposed wood, you will create your Patchwork piece from vintage Edinburgh ephemera, found objects and images from old Edinburgh postcards transferred onto fragments of wood. Everything will be stitched into place and your “patches” stitched together.

We’ll transfer mages from old Edinburgh postcards onto fragments of repurposed wood

Again all the materials will be provided but to make your piece even more personal you may wish to bring along some of your own small treasures and Edinburgh ephemera to include.

Patchwood Samplers inspire by ‘mine own romantic town’

Patchwood City

City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Saturday 16th September 2017

10.30AM – 4.00PM

Cost £25

Booking is essential and can be done by contacting the City Art Centre reception on 0131 529 3993.

 

 

 

 

 

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