Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Brockenhurst Fiesta

I know, I have been extremely lax in posting. So here goes, I shall try and make up for it with this post.

Last weekend I attended the Brockenhurst Fiesta ( as a demonstrator/trader.  The Fiesta was held in the Village Hall.  Before I go any further I would just like to give a shout out to the ladies who organised the weekend and who kept the traders plied with tea, coffee and biscuits - it was all very gratefully received.

Over the course of the two days I met so many wonderful ladies who were all so enthusiastic about what they did; whether it was patchwork, felting, stumpwork or embroidery and I learnt a great deal (through osmosis) about Japanese Embroidery.  My stand was next to the extremely talented Ellen Schmidt and Robert Fielder.  Here is a bit of what I learnt: after an extensive training programme, the last bit of which had to be completed either in the US or Japan, both Ellen and Robert are now qualifed to teach Japanese Embroidery; there are at least 43 (or did Ellen say 46?) embroidery techniques to master; it takes fifteen silkworm cocoons to make just a single strand of silk thread which is no thicker than a strand of hair and that the process of steaming and lifting the silk once the stitching has been completed can take up to 2 hours?  And then there is the process of twisting the thread this way and that way; and the lacing of the fabric onto the frame ... and all this before you get to stitch a single stitch!  Oh, and the thread used in the beautiful goldwork pictures has real gold in it. It was fascinating listening to Ellen explain the history and techniques behind the embroidery, but you will need a great deal of patience to master it.  One of the pictures on display took Robert a year to stitch and that was working on it full time!  Ellen and Robert hold classes in Christchurch, Dorset.

I also met up again with Jen Goodwin (, the extremely talented Royal School of Needlework tutor.  And I got to see how much more progress she has made on the beautiful cat she is busy embroidering - and yes, it looks even better in real life.  Here is a picture of Jen's stand minus Jen - she was standing behind me!  Jen also runs workshops, so why not try and take a class with her - her work is just beautiful and her designs are very creative.

And this is a picture of my stand

Brockenhurst is a lovely village, so picturesque with the New Forest ponies wandering around and the cattle ambling up the high street.  We stayed in The Cloud Hotel; our room overlooked the forest and we could watch the ponies grazing.

I have been invited to attend next year's Fiesta which is being held on the 22nd and 23rd April - can't wait!!  

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