Live it: Tea and Crafting Workshop

We all love to find a new creative space, right?  and that is just what we did when we got invited to a do a workshop at Tea and Crafting in Camden.  This workshop space is quite a new one and with so much on offer, it has definitely made its mark on the London Craft scene.  Jane, who owns Tea and Crafting is not new to us here, H took a class with her way back in 2012 for the infamous Loom Knitting post over at Craft Central.

But now she has very much branched out on her own in the vibrant area of Camden, inviting along with her a variety of tutors to give people the choice and inspiration that a craft space needs.  The workshop space is in the hub of Camden Market and is only up a flight of stairs - or lift if you prefer from the market entrance near the infamous Camden Lock Bridge.

The space itself is very much themed around all its classes.  There is a sample for everything they do, so that you can have a look at what you next want to do.  Each time they do a workshop the space is laid out differently and so you could never sit in the same place twice!  They run workshops from embroidery and paper cutting to crochet or Millinery, and so plenty of different things to try.

We were invited to try the Machine free motion Embroidery Class, which just happened to be run by another friend of ours, Nic, so good to catch-up at the same time.  I hope this didn't make her more nervous, it definitely didn't show if she was.

We started with a cup of tea and told to help ourselves to cake - they were already onto a winner with us!

Then, Nic explained what we would be doing, which was to applique on some fabrics onto a tea towel and then machine embroider over the applique to make it all pretty.

We had some templates sheets to look through to get an idea of what we wanted to do, you could also do your own idea, which Sammy did.  We then traced/drew onto Bondaweb and chose our fabrics.  I went with a rocket and rainbow theme and Sammy went for cameras.  We then Ironed on our Bondaweb, cut it out and positioned onto our tea towel before the fun could start with Machine embroidery.

We then got down to the serious business of learning how to Machine Embroider.  Nic showed us how to change a foot on a machine and what the foot looks like, so that you can have a little knowledge when you get addicted to it and need to go and buy a foot the very next day - just me then?  

The advice was fast foot, slow hands.  You need to keep the machine running at a fast pace and have smooth slow movements with your hands moving the fabric.  We all had a go on some scrap fabric first so that we didn't go wading into our final piece straight away.  Nic suggested we try and write our names and so we could get a really good feeling for what to do as it was such a recognisable image for us to do.  I was very impressed with my first go and my name was actually legible!

Then, down to the business of going around our image, choosing whether we were going to go once over each shape or over sketch the design.  I like the over sketch design and so chose this for some of my image.  Nic, then took us through some hand embroidery techniques, so that you could have a try at adding those too.  I was off on a machine embroidery whirlwind though and so kept it all on the machine.

What do you think to our efforts?  Sammy had done a bit of machine embroidery before, but I had not and so definitely got the bug for it.

We both really enjoyed the class, there was enough of the fun and informative to keep it really relaxed.  The space is really calming and inspiring, so it could keep you coming back again and again to try something new each time.

We would recommend Tea and Crafting if you are looking for a new workshop to try.  They also run crafty Hen parties and afternoon craft tea parties and so you can go with your friends too.  If you do go, let us know what you think and show us what you made via Instagram or Twitter using #livelovemake.

H & Sammy

Disclaimer:  We were invited to Tea and Crafting to try out one of their classes.  We were not asked to give a positive review, but it just so happens that it was really easy to give one.