Pandemic Treat Workshops, Week 1

Of the 2500 or so students in the workshop, many have already posted the containers they made this week, and there are some wonderful creative ones, but I’m sorry, you’ll just have to take my word for that, as they’re on a private page for registered students only. I’m sure the teacher Debby Lyddon should be over the top thrilled with the responses from people she inspired with her interesting video demos and Q&A sessions. She said it was the first time she’d recorded a lesson, and it was excellent.

When I got down to it I found the workshop was a bit more challenging than I thought it might be. Debbie recommended buttonhole stitch to sew the edges together, but though I used to be a whizz with that, I bumbled around and nearly resorted to the sewing machine, but looking in a stitch book found glove stitch which is rather nice although it has never caught my eye before. I guess it’s a long time since I saw any hand made gloves.

With a little reworking and practice, I did better with the grommets sewn to the edges of the holes, using the thinnest wire Mike could find in the local hardware stores, but that my wire was clearly harder to use than than Debbie’s is my excuse! I also tried an old technique of winding thread around my finger a bunch of times and then oversewing it to form a ring before sewing that to the edge. Mixed results, I unpicked. Debbie uses a black 0.5mm iron wire (she often soaks fabricated pieces in brine to produce rust and salt crusting) I think my best bet for fine wire will be something in craft stores or jewellery making supplies stores – there’s some which comes in several colours, something to keep an eye out for. Also the local hardware stores didn’t seem to have any metal or plastic rings. (I didn’t want a thick washer kind of thing) But I’ll know it when I see it, and sometime when I’m least expecting it, something suitable will appear in front of me, I’m certain.

I have made one container, a reliquary really, for our wedding day horseshoe talisman – see backstory.

Horseshoe reliquary, aprox 12cm x 115cm. holes approx 1.5cm

So the large opening does have wire sewn along the edge, but it was so bright and shiny I wrapped it first and then attatched it. Though by last night I was seriously done with this thing, I’ve been thinking about it and might approach the holes thing again. I think if I outline the shape of the hole with a fine running stitch, lay down some thick thread or fine cord and oversew all that, with care it should then be possible to cut away the fabric in the middle, less fiddly to manage, and if this proves to be so, I can give some more thought to the matter of ‘holes’.

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