It can be difficult to justify spending an afternoon crafting, particularly if, like me, you should actually be decorating. So, when Joe Blogs invited me to spend last Saturday afternoon playing with glue guns, double sided tape and fabric from Hillarys Blinds, I jumped at the chance.
Hillarys Crafternoon was created to showcase the new ‘Jewel: The Edit’ collection of fabrics from Hillarys Blinds. The fabric is inspired by the rich jewel tones of Ruby, Sapphire, Jade and Amber, that are dominating the catwalks. The beautiful shades are perfect for bringing a touch of luxury to your autumn / winter interior.
The event took place in the classroom at Ziferblat, a Northern Quarter coffee shop that I have been dying to try out since it opened. The idea is that you pay for the time you spend there (6 pence a minute), which means you can help yourself to as much tea, coffee, cereal, snacks, and cake as you feel you need to fuel your activities. It would be a great place to meet friends and while away an afternoon, but on this occasion my visit had a creative purpose.
Our crafting was overseen by Jana from The Crafty Hen, a wonderful company who run craft workshops for hen parties, baby showers, Christmas parties and team building events.
After a brief introduction to the fabric we were let loose on our first project. Appropriately for the fabric collection, we were to be making jewellery boxes.
Our toolkit included a cardboard box, a choice of material and access to an inviting selection of buttons and ribbon for embellishment.
We started by covering our box lids. I chose a subtle flower patterned fabric from the Jade colour palette, which I accented with grey ribbon and buttons in neutral tones. Cue the glue gun for fixing the buttons – I haven’t played with one since school!
Folding a piece of cardboard created an divide for inside the box. I covered this with contrasting fabric from the Ruby palette, held in place with copious amounts of double sided tape.
The ring rolls were made by wrapping small squares of material round wadding, concealing the raw edges and securing in place with yet more double sided tape. Jana had been right when she told us that double sided tape was our friend – well, right to a point, it was perfect for the job but fiddly to peel.
After a break for cake, which I forgot to photograph (not like me at all, must have been concentrating) we spent the last hour making jewellery from the wonderfully named, Suffolk Puffs.
A Suffolk Puff is, quite simply, a gathered circle of fabric. Sew a running stitch about 5mm in from the edge and pull the thread until the circle forms a puff. Layering puffs of different sizes creates something similar to a rosette, which you can then attach to a fixture of your choice.
I decorated my Ruby Suffolk Puffs with a button and some ribbon, and attached them to a brooch pin. Ridiculously simple, yet very effective. I’m thinking I might use the technique to brighten up my Christmas presents – because everyone needs a Suffolk Puff in their life.
Hillarys very kindly put together a goodie bag, made from the Jewel material. Inside was a brochure, a candy jewel and a kit to make your own earrings.
It was a lovely afternoon, a chance to meet some local bloggers, and a fun way to promote some beautiful fabric.
Ziferblat: 23 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW
Thanks to Hillarys, Joe Blogs and the Crafty Hen for a fabulous #HillarysCrafternoon.