Kay Dennis has always been passionate about needle lace and this passion led her into stumpwork. When Kay took redundancy about 20 years ago, stumpwork embroidery became her full-time occupation. She was in growing demand as a stumpwork teacher and also established her business, Kay Dennis Stumpwork.
Her husband Michael took early retirement at the same time and became a professional wood turner. However, the constant exposure to dust eventually made it impossible to continue. Fortunately, he was able to use his skills to specialise in building the deep frames needed for stumpwork, adding a new product range to the business.
For the past seven or so years, Kay and Michael – AKA ‘Team Dennis’ – have travelled throughout the UK teaching stumpwork classes to embroidery guild groups and at craft centres or residential colleges such as Knuston Hall.
They have also written and published four popular books on stumpwork and two needle lace booklets.
At the Makit LQ&N Fair, Kay will be demonstrating stumpwork techniques and her new development of three-dimensional embroidery. She and Michael will also have a small exhibition of Kay’s latest work, specialist materials, books, cards, some kits and project books for sale.
Ask them anything you like about traditional stumpwork and they’re sure to inspire you.
Take part in a Stumpwork Make & Take
The ‘Team Dennis’ Make & Take will be slightly different to some of the other Make & Takes you’ll find at the LQ&N Fair.
Kay will be running two hour-and-a-half sessions during the fair (price to be confirmed). The first will take place at 11am and the second will start at 2pm. There are six spaces available for each session so, if you’re interested, we recommend that you pop by the Kay Dennis Stumpwork stand when you arrive at the fair to put your name down.
During your Make & Take session, you’ll begin work on a stunning stumpwork kit – either a flat acorn with leaf or a blackberry with leaf. Each kit contains full instructions and all the materials you’ll need to complete it at home. General equipment such as needles and scissors will be available to use during the session.
Kay will be on hand at all times to offer tips and advice about creating your stumpwork piece.
Sandra Crow and her husband took over existing business Tudor Rose Patchwork back in 2008. Their ambition was to build the business as a craft brand that people know and love, both locally and further afield.
Their busy craft shop, online shop, popular products and two workshop rooms, which see a constant flow of workshops and classes throughout the year, are testament to an ambition realised.
Tudor Rose Patchwork is Bedfordshire’s answer to a quilter’s dream. They stock Pfaff and Janome sewing machines along with many of the accessories for these machines.
Their stall at the Makit LQ&N Fair and shop itself offers a huge range of patchwork fabrics, accessories, kits, patterns, a good selection of ‘how-to’ books for patchworkers and quilters to get their next big project from.
They also sell an extensive range of beads and beadworking accessories as well as books on beading and jewellery-making.
If you’re looking for haberdashery then Tudor Rose Patchwork is also the place to come. They stock needles, tapestry and embroidery cottons, yarns, kits and more.
Work with glitter film at the Tudor Rose Patchwork Make & Take
Tudor Rose Patchwork is particularly well-known for its range of heat applied glitter film products, which are perfect if you like to add a bit of bling to your applique, patchworking or quilting projects.
In addition to creating their own designs, the company has just commissioned Kathleen Laurel-Sage to develop a glitter film design for Tudor Rose Patchwork. Kathleen is a popular machine embroider who will be familiar to those of you who’ve attended previous Makit fairs.
At this year’s Make & Take from Tudor Rose Patchwork, you can pick one of four ‘Mug Rug’ (coffee coaster) designs for just £3.50 – Easter Basket, Christmas Candle, Sunflower or House – and learn how to cut glitter film from a template and apply it to fabric.
A member of the Tudor Rose team will be on hand to guide you through using glitter film. Each kit contains everything you need to finish your coaster at home.
When circumstances meant that Meg Evershed was unable to return to her old career after having children, she began to look for a way to work around her family. Having come from a long line of needlewomen and talented crafters, it seemed natural to turn her passion for cross stitching into a business.
The Nutmeg Company was officially founded in 1994 when Meg started designing and producing her own cross stitch kits. Meg’s husband Mike joined the business after he retired in 2007 and part-timers Anne, Chris and Tom complete the current workforce.
These days, Meg designs and the team manufactures a stunning range of cross stitch kits for 3D pieces, such as ornaments, decorative boxes and Christmas decorations. They also stitch on perforated paper to produce greeting cards for pretty much every occasion.
The Nutmeg Company is based at the Reeth Dales craft centre in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Meg describes it as ‘the ideal area for a holiday with wonderful scenery and plenty of B&Bs nearby’, which means that there is always a steady flow of visitors.
Meg and Mike visit a select number of craft fairs throughout the year. At these times, The Nutmeg Company’s premises will be closed for the day so it’s always best to ring before visiting if you’re travelling from further afield.
Make & Take with The Nutmeg Company
We’re delighted that The Nutmeg Company will be running a Make & Take area at the Makit LQ&N Fair on Sunday 13th May.
Meg says that she is in the process of designing a choice of two small projects for the fair – a bookmark or a greetings card (the picture here is for illustrative purposes only).
The Make & Take will give you the opportunity to experience cross stitching on perforated paper. Your kit will include all the materials you need. You can start the project with Meg on hand to help and complete it at home.
Cathie and Mel of Pink Ink Designs have been working together for the past 15 years. Through Pink Ink, they hand illustrate beautiful embroidery patterns, printed onto fabric for you to colour, stitch and create.
Cathie began her career as a trained illustrator who hand drew and hand painted illustrations for children’s books for a living. Mel, on the other hand, worked in catering before segueing into interior design. When the good friends had their children, Cathie began 3D sculpturing in paper and Mel soon joined her on the fair circuit. Eventually, the pair decided to use their skills to create special designs on fabric.
In November 2015, they launched Pink Ink Designs.
Soon after they began trading, Cathie and Mel realised that they needed to strip back their colourful designs to a neutral template from which crafters could develop their own unique creations. This means that 100 people could work from the same design and no two finished pieces would ever look the same.
Mel says it took them ‘months and months’ to find the right fabric for their kits, “We needed to find something that would let the pigment move through it without becoming too washed out, but also stay put when we wanted it too”. The quality of the kits shows that the months of searching paid off.
These days, you can find Pink Ink Designs on the Hochanda arts and crafts channel once a month (SKY 663/FREEVIEW 85/FREESAT 817) as well as on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They are about the launch their first fully 3D kit.
Make & Take with Pink Ink Designs
Every Pink Ink Designs kit contains one of their signature moth or butterfly designs as a practice piece. This gives the crafter a chance to try out different products and techniques before embarking on the main design. Drop by Pink Ink’s Make & Take stall to sit down and have a go. There will be a wide range of fabric paints for you to use and you can get helpful hints and tips from Cathie and Mel - they can’t wait to meet you! People have applied their finished designs from previous Make & Takes to purses, handbags, hair slides and more. Mel says she has only ever met one person who said working with printed fabric designs wasn’t for her! It’s a fantastic option for all age groups and ability levels – you simply take the design to the level that suits you. Find Pink Ink Designs at:
One of the Make & Take areas at the LQ&N Fair in Peterborough on Sunday 13th May will be hosted by quilting company Bradford & Watling.
Bradford & Watling is a brand new enterprise, a collaboration between good friends Emma Bradford and Josie Watling. Between them, the duo has more than 30 years’ quilting experience.
As you’ll see from the Make & Take (more about that below) and the Bradford & Watling stall, Emma and Josie are on a mission to make quilting convenient and accessible for all ability levels.
They supply pre-cut quilt kits – designed and hand cut by them as well as beautifully packaged - in a range of difficulty levels, sizes and designs to suit everyone from beginners to advanced quilters.
The kits contain all of the pre-cut fabric needed to make a quilt top or smaller blocks for cushions, table runners or even bags. In addition, each kit includes detailed instructions and matching binding. This is a fantastic option if you dislike or find it difficult to use a rotary cutter.
All of the fabrics have been carefully colour matched. While some of the kit patterns are likely to stay the same, different colourways will be available throughout the year. For example, you can currently purchase blocks in the colours of the suffragette movement. Later in the year, a stunning poppy design will be available to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
Bradford & Watling also offer a mix and match range of quilt blocks so that you can put together your own sampler quilt, as well as kits to make baby quilts and more.
The majority of kits from Bradford & Watling only require the use of a sewing machine and a pair of scissors so there is no need to invest in a lot of equipment if you are a beginner. And, as the kits are pre-cut, the smaller ones can be made in as little as an afternoon.
Make & Take your own quilt block
In the Make & Take area for Bradford & Watling, you’ll have the chance to make and take away a single quilting block for a special show price of £5 (usually priced at £7.50). Choose from one of three designs that can be made into cushions or for which more blocks can be purchased to make a quilt.
Emma and Josie will be running short demonstrations explaining what the kits are and how they can be used.
We’re delighted that Bradford & Watling have chosen the Makit LQ&N Fair as one of their first fairs to attend. We would like to wish them every success for the future.
Eddy Faber Bobbins is really a team effort between myself and my partner, Jo Buckberry. We are both archaeologists and met while we were studying our PhDs at the University of Sheffield. Jo is to blame for the fact that I now turn bobbins.
Jo was first shown how to make lace by her Grandma when she was little, but only really started making lace when she was a postgraduate student at Sheffield. She was taught by Phyllis Brown, who was an amazing teacher, and we both owe her and her husband Richard so much.
After we moved to Bradford for Jo’s job at the university there, Jo went on one of the weekend lace courses at Aston Cantlow run by Christine Springett (in 2009, I think) and loved it. The year after (2010), I was allowed to join her for the weekend, and I went on the bobbin turning course at Aston Cantlow run by David Springett and Stuart Johnson. I had never tried wood turning before, and thought it would be good fun, a laugh and a good excuse to have a weekend away with Jo.
I was hooked.
I loved bobbin turning. It was so much fun. David and Stuart were wonderful teachers. Rather than being a rigid, one-size-fits-all course, they had this brilliant double act where they allowed you to follow your own route to learn and experiment with techniques and styles that interested you. It must have been a nightmare for them trying to deal with so many different ideas and approaches over the weekend, but they ran the course with humour and enthusiasm that just infected everyone there. The icing on the cake for the weekend was the fantastic food made by Sue Johnson.
After a couple of weekend courses at Aston Cantlow, I bought my own lathe in December 2012. I made bobbins for Jo, our friends and just improved my turning skills. I continued to attend the course at Aston Cantlow until David, Stuart, Christine and Sue decided to stop running them in 2014. Attending the course, while having my own lathe really helped my learning process. I could practice the skills David and Stuart taught me, while also trying out new ideas and techniques. If I encountered a problem, I could ask them at the next course, and they would show me how to work through it. I cannot thank David and Stuart enough for the time and patience they gave me, and the enjoyment I have from this amazing hobby.
As an archaeologist, I have worked at the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research in Athens, the University of Nottingham and the University of Bradford. My field of work is technologies in the past, especially artifacts made from pottery, glass or metal. The aspect of these that I find fascinating is how they were made: what materials were used, how these materials were manipulated by the craftsperson, what techniques the craftspeople used to form and decorate the artifacts. This interest fits perfectly with making lace bobbins. I love antique bobbins, especially trying to work out how they were made – the little tweaks individual craftspeople used to create their unique style and decoration; the way they have developed and changed older styles or techniques.
My aim is that I use this knowledge, together with the way I was taught to turn bobbins, to inform the way I design and turn bobbins in the future. I tend to have a new design for each event. Keep an eye out for new designs at forthcoming lace events.
Eddy Faber will be bringing Eddy Faber Bobbins to the Makit Christmas LQ&N Fair at Cranmore Park on 2nd December 2017. You will also be able to buy from and chat to his mentors, David Springett and Stuart Johnson.
When Sian Nunn of Cotton Orchard mentioned that many of the items on her stall at the Makit LQ&N Christmas Fair would be sold to raise money for children’s hospice Noah’s Ark, we were interested to know more. As you can imagine, our interest increased even further when we learned that Sian is currently in training to complete a 250-kilometre husky sledding challenge in the Arctic in April 2018 to raise money for the same hospice.
Sian has a deeply personal reason for agreeing to drive a team of spirited huskies across the Arctic.
Back in 2015, Elsie – the young daughter of Sian’s dear friend, Helen – relapsed with leukaemia. Elsie’s family was told that she had little chance of survival and that they would need to think about palliative care for their little girl.
Elsie’s future seemed hopeless; her doctors suggested various treatment options but always warned that the chances of success were slim and treatment-related suffering or even death was a very real risk.
The family tirelessly explored every avenue and even began thinking about palliative and end-of-life care as the doctors had recommended. To their surprise and dismay, they couldn’t find any residential hospices for children in North London.
It was during this desperate time that Elsie’s family discovered Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, a charity that provides hospice-at-home care to children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in North and Central London and Hertsmere. The charity also offers invaluable support for families, specialized care, activities and therapies.
Staff at Noah’s Ark soon became a lifeline of reassurance and positivity to Elsie and her loved ones. From her specialist carer who offered Elsie’s mum and dad moments of respite to a play specialist who played with Elsie when she had virtually no contact with the outside world, Noah’s Ark made such a difference.
Thankfully, Elsie’s family decided to pursue treatment. Two-and-a-half years on, Elsie is a healthy, happy four-and-a-half-year-old who enjoys life the same as any other little girl. She has exceeded all of her doctors’ expectations.
Supporting other families
Although Elsie may not need support from Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice anymore, other sick children and their families require access to palliative care and end-of-life support, as well as to know that they’re not facing this daunting journey alone.
Noah’s Ark needs to raise £2million to build a residential hospice to provide care and support for desperately sick children and their families at the most difficult of times. Helen says, “We are eternally grateful to Noah’s Ark for everything they’ve done for Elsie and us as a family, and it’s now time for us to give something back and help them raise vital funds to build this much-needed hospice”.
The way Helen is helping to raise these vital funds is by taking part in the husky sledding challenge. She says of the challenge, “The small print reads – camping in sub-zero temperatures, running up-hill alongside sledges, no toilets, cooking our own freeze-dried meals, having a team of bounding huskies to manage – to name but a few challenges that sledging in the arctic wilderness will bring. But Elsie is our hero, she has shown us pure resilience and endurance in the face of adversity; this brilliance of Elsie will be our energy and heat reserve when those Arctic miles get tough!”
Having seen Helen and her family survive the worst of times, Sian has decided to take part in the challenge too. “I don’t do cold or big dogs,” she told us, “so it will test me!”
Sian and Helen’s 250km journey will begin on 8th April 2018. There will be a maximum of 12 people in the sledding team and two leaders. The plan is to be on the move for 12 hours of daylight per day over eight days. Helen and Sian will be sharing a two-man tent and cooking together.
To get their cardiovascular fitness and upper body strength to a good level, the intrepid pair is trying to fit in an hour and a half of gym time and swimming before the school drop off and work most days. Sian is also running her dog for between three to five kilometres a day.
Quilting for Noah’s Ark
In addition to the sledding run, Sian is creating a Hunters Star quilt and a memory quilt to be auctioned off at a charity ball and auction in London in February to raise further funds for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Just last weekend, she also hosted a fundraising dinner party for 16 at her house and raised just over £500!
Sian will also be selling Christmas tree decorations, patchwork gift wrap and other items for donations to Noah’s Ark at the Makit Christmas Fair at Cranmore Park on 2nd December. In the case of her patchwork cushion kits for £12, all proceeds will go to the hospice.
We’re sure you will join us in wishing Sian – and Helen – all the best for their incredible journey into the Arctic on 8th April.
The Makit LQ&N Fair in Peterborough 2017 was another testament to the enthusiasm and excitement that surround our beloved textile crafts.
We saw many new suppliers join us and of course, our regular supporters and friends came along to make this event even better than previous years! We had many positive comments from visitors and exhibitors about the day and that’s made the months in the organisation really worthwhile to provide such a prestigious event to the crafting communities.
If you missed it, or if you just want to revisit the day, sit back and enjoy as we take you on a visual journey through the Peterborough, LQ&N Fair 2017.
And so the day begins!
A steady flow of visitors arrives to get us off to a good start to the day. Taking their time to walk through our Guild Village, stepping in to the wonderful exhibition by the Embroiderers Guild, and our record-breaking attempt THE BIG STITCH! Then on to the Craft Haven to ask questions of the exhibitors and to help them and get inspiration for their own projects.
The Main Hall
The biggest thing you will notice as you walk through one of our Fairs is the space our visitors and exhibitors have to move around. We take great lengths to ensure it is as comfortable and stress-free to manoeuvre around and there’s always a place to rest weary feet or sit and catch up with friends along the way!
That’s all folks!
After a busy and productive day; visitors slowly depart ladened with their new purchases and full of ideas, our trade suppliers pack up and head on home – some with many miles to cover before a welcomed brew!
Until next time…