A Sewing Bee at Black Sheep Wools

I had a wonderful day on Wednesday taking part in a Sewing Bee at the wondrous Black Sheep Wools Caft Barn in Culcheth (near Warrington). Black Sheep Wools have recently started selling fabric and sewing/patchwork and quilting supplies, so celebrated by inviting some local(ish) bloggers to a little light-hearted competitive sewing to a deadline. To be honest, the phrases ‘light-hearted’ and ‘sewing to a deadline’ don’t really go together for me (I am coming to the conclusion that I am the slowest sewer in the world), and so I didn’t take enough photos at this fab event, but I did have a wonderful time and it was so great to meet my fellow sewists – Lucy (Charm About You), Jo (JoZartJo has some fab photos of the day), Rachel (mamafairy sewsRachel also has great pics) and Diane.

Just arrived

This is me in a complete panic having just arrived and unpacked – why didn’t I get organised? My work space just got more and more untidy as the day progressed! We picked our fabrics in advance – and of course I went with my favourite designer Denyse Schmidt. I had a plan to make a bag, but wasn’t sure if I was going to have time to get it all done, because I had a fairly sewing-intensive string-quilt-style patchwork section planned. And working on an unfamiliar sewing machine is always a bit tricky (last time I did, I sewed through my fingernail…). But with help from the lovely Barbara, one of the super-fab staff at Black Sheep Wools (who also took part in the Bee and made a gorgeous foundation-pieced wrap) I was up and running in no time.

By lunchtime I had finished the first stage – cutting loads of strips and sewing them back together again:

Working to a deadline

The next job was to slice this lot up into 4.5″ squares and sew them back together AGAIN (patchwork is so surreal sometimes!). Chatting to the other lovely ladies and looking at their brilliant work was rather distracting, as was the delicious lunch and even more delicious afternoon tea (clotted cream and scones, wowsers! – did I mention there is a fab little cafe at Black Sheep Wools?), but I managed, just in time, to get the bag all finished by the time my cab arrived at 4.15pm. No time to take anything but the most speedy pic though (this is a good one by Jo) – no time to iron it properly either:

All finished 2

I was blown away by the work everyone else came up with. Jo made this wonderful, colourful bag (as well as taking all these great pics that I am linking to with absolutely no shame), Rachel managed to find time to create some gorgeous circles on her bag as well as putting pockets and everything on her beautiful colours-of-spring bag, Diane made a fantastic array of little storage tubs, with beautiful piping and a great selection of fabrics and Lucy made a gorgeous applique and hand-quilted cushion (applique and hand-quilting!! I wouldn’t even have considered this, I would still be there now…). And, to top it all we got a great goody bag from the awesome Coats to take home with us – what a brilliant surprise.

Thanks to all the other bloggers, and the lovely folks at Black Sheep Wools (especially Lesley and Barbara) for a brilliant day which went by in a whirl (can you tell?!). I would do it again in a heartbeat….  I am writing up my pattern for the bag which will be available from the Black Sheep Wools website, and at some stage you will be able to vote, on the Black Sheep Wools blog, for your favourite project – I will let you know when, so that you can choose which one of the makes you like best.

25 thoughts on “A Sewing Bee at Black Sheep Wools

  1. Lovely day and so good to share it with you all. We are all so different but united by a common passion.
    Thanks for the memories in your post I’d love to do it again every couple of months, wouldn’t it be super?…. and to have those goodies too!
    Black Sheep’s hospitality was A1.
    Jo x

  2. That seems like a fun day, Ali! I love the bag you have created, such a nice pattern. I am with you here ‘light-hearted’ and ‘sewing to a deadline’ are not two things I can easily put together. 🙂

  3. What fun! I am sure it was wonderful, but I really don’t like sewing to a deadline as it makes me nervous. I especially liked your bag and Lucy’s cushion.

  4. I had a wonderful day, to, and it was good to meet you- though we spent too much time not able to chat, as we all wanted to finish our makes!
    Your bag is just lovely, and you really never stopped!

    I hope we can do it again sometime!

  5. Looks like you had a really fun a productive day. I really love how your bag turned out, it’s gorgeous.

  6. Wow! What fabulous makes by you all. You must have really enjoyed the day. Ali, your bag is truly lovely. Who would’ve thought to put all those fabrics/patterns together. Looking forward to being able to obtain the pattern from Black Sheep.

    1. Thanks Deb – it was a slightly mad selection of fabrics, but I hoped that they might work together, and I think it came out ok. I have a couple of regrets re the finished bag, but all in all, I was pleased, especially as it usually takes me aaaaages to decide on fabric combos!

  7. It sounds like a wonderful day Ali. I was born and bred in Warrington so made me a bit nostalgic too! Your work is always so good and I think being a slow sewer also means being a very neat and exact sewer too, well done you.

  8. Looks a fun day . I have a fondness for black sheep wools myself . Many years ago at a exhibition I had a notion for a particular type of cross stitch I wanted to adapt . The two guys were so patient and searched all their stock. And then gave me a discount because the packaging was grubby . Stars !
    And have I ever done this precious cross stitch – no – it is somewhere in the roof space

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