Gift idea – give a craft course

The season for giving is approaching, so I’m going to suggest a gift idea – why not give someone a course so they can learn a new craft skill? Amanda Jane Textiles has a several different courses on offer. (Also, see below for a gift you can make!)

First of all, there is the Quilt in a Day course, which is taught by me (in person) to each individual participant. As the title suggests, the course teaches each learner to make a small quilt in one day. I don’t publish photos of the finished item, because the point of the process is for the quilt to emerge bit by bit as the course progresses. Quilting is very more-ish, so this gives a good idea of the delights of this particular craft! Each person receives a specially curated collection of fabrics to use, based on their preferred colour choices. The course is tailored to each individual person who comes to my studio in Ramsgate, Kent to take the course. Several people who have taken the course so far had been given it as a gift and have been so pleased to get started on their quilting journey. All the remaining dates for 2022 are full, but there are dates available from January onwards.

Learner on a 'Quilt in a Day' course with Amanda Jane Textiles

Perhaps a trip to Kent is out of the question? Then how about an online course? Make Your First Quilt is a basic introduction to making a simple lap-quilt. This is a different course to the one above, with a different outcome, but it is a useful way of getting started with some of the basics of quilt-making and it is an inexpensive course. All the tools and materials needed are explained at the start of the course.

My second in-person course is Learn to Use a Sewing Machine. This is a gift for anyone who has a sewing machine languishing unused in a cupboard or who has just bought (or been given) a machine. This is a course that encourages someone to make friends with their machine. It’s a half-day course which is once again tailored exactly to the needs of the individual learner. It also functions as a useful learning experience before buying a sewing machine! I have four different machines for learners to choose from, including the entry-level Singer machine pictured below.

'Learn how to use a sewing machine' course from Amanda Jane Textiles

How about allowing someone to learn to make wool felt, using the wet-felting method? My Felt-making online short course is a basic introduction to the process of turning wool fibres into fabric. It’s a really enjoyable process and once learnt, there is ample opportunity to experiment further.

Perhaps someone on your gift list would enjoy finding out how to do papier-mâché? You can get them started with my online course Make a papier-mâché  bowl. This is a short basic course introducing this fun activity.

Finally, I can offer an introduction to lino-cut printing. This is an enjoyable craft, using simple tools, which allows you to print your own design onto card, paper and fabric. My short online course Make a lino-cut covers the equipment and processes required.

Of course, if you fancy doing one of these, you could always add it to your present list!

All these courses are bookable (via Craft Courses UK )on the Classes page of this website here

My Christmas Table Topper pattern is published in the November edition of online magazine We Like Sewing

Friendship stars feature in this quilt. Here’s a close-up of the corner:

This is the magazine cover, which gives you a clear idea of the contents:

Here is the link to the magazine

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here,

quilt patterns here,

classes  here 

and quilts for sale here

Shopping early for Christmas

During the last week, I spent four days at The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood in Kent, the location for the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair. The Fair takes place in a series of huge marquees erected on grassland near the farm buildings. Close to where I parked my car, I spotted a superior-looking alpaca!

alpaca at The Hop Farm (Wealden Times Midwinter Fair)

On the way towards to the marquee, I also passed some friendly horses.

Wednesday 16th was set-up day.

setting up the stand at the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair

Thursday was challenging for everyone, because of the extent of rainfall in the area, which made the ground very wet indeed. Wellingtons or other sturdy boots became a key fashion accessory!

Thursday at The Hop Farm (Wealden Times Midwinter Fair)

Friday brought some sunshine and some wind, both of which helped to dry up the land. I re-worked the stand and on Day 2, it looked like this.

Day 2 at the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood

Saturday was dry but cooler. After another switch around, the stand looked like this. I was in the Red Marquee, designated by the large red balloon seen below.

The Midwinter Fair has several thousand visitors and there was plenty of opportunity to talk to people about the quilts I make, the ‘Quilt in a Day’ class I teach (information here) and about all the inspiration and information availabIe on this website and in the monthly newsletter I send out (click here if you would like to get the newsletter).

talking to visitors at the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair

I sold some quilts at the show. It’s lovely to think if them going to people who will really enjoy and appreciate them. There are some quilts left over, so they are now being listed – a few at a time – onto my Amanda Handmade Quilts shop on Etsy here

The reason for the ‘Shopping Early’ instruction is that the Amanda Handmade Quilts shop is going to close at midnight on Sunday 11 December 2022 and will not re-open until Sunday 1 January 2023. This is an unusual decision I know, but after an intensely busy year, this period of calm over Christmas is important to me.

So if you’d like a quilt or other handmade stitched or quilted item, keep an eye on the shop. There is only one of each item.

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