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    Blog — tea cosies

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    A crafty day at my new job!

    Hello, it’s Sarah. I have been working in the Poppy Treffry shop in St. Ives for nearly 2 months now and I thought it was about time I tried out some of this freehand machine embroidery! I attended one of Poppy’s courses last Friday and had such a great time. I am used to a sewing machine so that was a bonus but there were a few on the course that hadn’t even sewn before and everyone still completed their piece by the end of the day. Poppy was really friendly and helpful and explained everything in a simple step by step way so that it wasn’t too taxing! The course took place at the studio at Penzance, it was nice to see the environment that all the products are made in. It was a sunny day and Poppy had the doors flung open to let the summer sunshine & breezes flood in. It is such a lovely place to make and create, I’m very jealous as I would love a studio for making and crafting; I’ll have to put up with the tiny spare room office at home for now!

    the stichers at work

    So the day started off with a meet and greet with Poppy and my fellow stitchers for the day. Of course there was immediately a cup of tea served in Poppy Treffry mugs. I had the boat one! Poppy demonstrated how to stretch the fabric tightly in the embroidery hoop, this is the basis of freehand embroidery and is very important as it doesn’t work properly if your fabric is too loose. Once this was done we could start having a go at sewing. We each had a singer sewing machine and sat down to start stitching away. The first hour or two was spent having a play and getting to know the techniques and getting used to the machine with a few Poppy demonstrations for appliqué in between. I seemed to stitch variations of flowers and leaves, so it was clear that this would feature in my final design. I had quite a scribbly style which was handy as if it didn’t go quite inside the lines, I could say I was meant to do that! Others were more precise and neat; the lady next to me was a teacher and she was amazing at freehand embroidery writing. It was good as everyone had a unique style! When we got to a point that we were happy, we could start thinking about the design we wanted to create in the afternoon. Once it got to 1 o clock it was time for lunch so we walked across the road to the beautiful Trereife House where we all had lunch together in their café and a little walk round the garden. The food was lovely and it was the first time I had tried potted stilton and frosted grape - find something similar here

    my design laid out ready to stitch

    After lunch and some sunshine it was back to the studio to get started on our pieces. You can either make a bag, cushion, tea cosy, egg cosy or a purse. I chose a cushion with of course a floral design. I sketched out what I wanted it to look like on paper and selected and cut out my appliqué pieces, took a deep breath and made a start. At first I thought it was going to take forever but as you get going you get quicker and before I knew it, it was 3 o clock and time for more tea and biscuits. Then it was just some finishing off, some ironing and then to actually sew the cushion and, tadah, it was complete! We put everyone’s creations together on the sofa and stood back to admire with a sigh and a sense of achievement. We even got a little goody bag to take home with us.

    Our finished pieces or art! Cue smug faces!

    I was so pleased with what I had produced in a day, I met a lot of nice people and it was great to work with Poppy in her inspiring studio. Now I can tell everyone that comes into the shop how amazing the course is and that everyone should have a go at freehand embroidery as it really is very fun, and quite addictive!

    My lovely cushion in it's new home!

    To Eden and back...

    I packed my boot full of our brand new recycled cosies as well as an array of studio bits and bobs (including one of my darling Singers!) and made my way over to the Eden Project to set up our new display there. After not getting lost on my way to the warehouse I got a lift down to the Link Shop (which is a new retail space right down between the two biomes) passing behind the scenes where gardeners, chefs, people with clip boards and walkie-talkies were all running about making everything run smoothly for the 3000 visitors they were expecting. Down in the shop I met Wendy who is the main lady at the link shop and a great character – worth going just to meet her even if you don’t buy a tea cosy – which you should of course! We lugged rustic crates and suitcases about, moved sacks of coffee and banana trees until we’d got the Poppy Treffry space just right, I then set to work putting all the products out and attaching barcodes – all this whilst throngs of people milled about the shop, looking over my shoulder and asking me questions as if I worked there! – I just had to bluff my way through those! The products are unlike anything we’ve done before – they’re made form 100% recycled and vintage fabrics and are really colourful and funky and they are all completely different from each other. It’s a bit of an experiment as I wanted to do something special for Eden that tied in with their green view of things. It was a busy, if sweltering, morning but I’m pleased with the display so hopefully you can go and have a look for yourselves and keep me posted on how things are looking down there – you are my eyes and ears chaps! Poppy X http://www.poppytreffry.co.uk http://www.edenproject.com