A crafty weekend in Glasgow with #HillarysCrafternoon

When you’re invited to an event in Glasgow at a tea room with needle, thread, scissors, a notebook, pattern and upholstery fabric, what do you think we’d be getting up to?

In conjunction with Joe Blogs Network and The Crafty Hen, bloggers were invited to a crafternoon to spend time with other fellow bloggers who want to get involved in crafty projects with fabric supplied by Hillarys Blinds as part of their 4-city craft roadshow.

A group of bloggers from various backgrounds (food/baking, lifestyle, beauty and fashion to name a few) gathered together in one of the beautifully decorated rooms at The Butterfly and The Pig Tea Rooms on Bath Street. The room itself was filled with China teacups and saucers which, to my vintage obsessed mind, was absolute heaven. I wish they had sets for sale that I could have purchased then and there!

I took a seat next to two sisters, Nicola and Lindsay of Cakehounds who were very welcoming. Not long after, we were joined by some more fellow friendly bloggers and we got chatting about our sewing experience (I even got oohs and ahhs over my Chinese wedding dress for which I’m very proud of), blogging experience and just about anything else.

Soon we got an introduction from a Hillarys’ rep about their range of fabrics, made to measure for blinds and curtains, a brief introduction of what we’ll be working on and that during our break between projects, we will be served cake and tea from the Tea Room’s range.

A few days before the event, we were told we were going to get a special treat: because we were the last leg of the 4 city craft roadshow, we were going to be treated to cake and tea instead of biscuits. That might not sound very exciting to some, but have you seen the cake menu at The Butterfly and The Pig? With at least 10 choices to choose from, including White Chocolate & Pear, Limonchello, Rasberry & Marscapone, Chocolate & Hazelnut and Red Velvet to name a few, I had to give the menu some serious before finally (and reluctantly!) pointing out one selection out of the 5 I had a hard time choosing between.


Hello, bloggers! A brief introduction to the craft roadshow from a Hillarys rep

On the table for each setting was a pair of scissors and a notebook with a set of instructions for our first project: a cover for binding our notebook. It seemed simple enough and between the 6 of us at the end of the table, we were able to work out what we were doing soon enough. We were then shown what fabrics from the Hillarys range we could choose from, and off we went!

To be honest, binding a notebook is not that much different from using a plastic protective cover on your hardcover books. First you need to make sure your piece of fabric is the right size, so you’ve got extra length (and width) to cover your book – I would say an extra 2.5cm at least above and below your book and about 10cm on either side of your book, with the cover laid out flat.

To start, fold the top and bottom edges of your fabric, making sure to leave about 4mm outside of the edge of your notebook. This is important for later.

Next, fold the edge of the additional 10cm length so that the edge of your fabric touches the edge of your cover on either side. Fold this again so the raw edge is hidden underneath the fold and pin – be careful not to pin your notebook cover. This is the reason why you needed the extra 4mm allowance 🙂 Once you’re happy with the alignment of your fabric, sew the top and bottom edges along both the front and back covers.

You can add any trims you want to the cover. I decided to just add a simple ribbon and folded the raw edges of the ribbon under and sewed this to the inside edge of my notebook cover so it’s hidden.

If you want to add a button, you can use hot gun glue to stick this in place. It’s possible to sew this in place for security, but you would need to have planned all this in advance. How it would work is: repeat the steps above with folding the fabric and using a sharp blunt edge (ie sides of a pair of scissors or a ruler), make sure the folds are clean (neatly folded, without a curved edge like if you just flipped one edge of a piece of fabric over). Then check the placement of your ribbon and button to where you want it. Once you’ve got this aligned, open up the folds and sew the button in place, then go back and sew the edges of your cover. The reason for doing this is because once you’ve sewn the edges together, it would be quite hard to sew in place while trying to avoid sewing the button to your slot, if that makes sense.

I’m really pleased with the end result. I must’ve picked up at least 3 different pieces of fabric, all the designs were really beautiful and I had a hard time deciding which I liked best for my notebook. The great thing about the notebook cover we were shown how to sew is, once your current notebook is full, you can just pull it out and replace it with a fresh one. Just remember not to sew your notebook to your cover!


My finished bound notebook

Now time for tea and cakes!

A few days before the event, we were told we were going to get a special treat: because we were the last leg of the 4 city craft roadshow, we were going to be treated to cake and tea instead of biscuits. That might not sound very exciting to some, but have you seen the cake menu at The Butterfly and The Pig? With at least 10 choices to choose from, including White Chocolate & Pear, Limonchello, Rasberry & Marscapone, Chocolate & Hazelnut and Red Velvet to name a few, I had to give the menu some serious before finally (and reluctantly!) pointing out one selection out of the 5 I had a hard time choosing between.

When the dishes started arriving on beautifully painted, ornate Chinese saucers and we were served tea in fine China teacups, I think my eyes were probably as wide as the cake dish. Not only were the cakes exquisitely presented, they looked mouthwatering-ly de-lish-ous!


My raspberry and marscapone cake


AJ‘s red velvet cake

I can already tell you this is going to be one of my frequent pit stops whenever I’m in Glasgow now. I’ll need to try a different cake on each visit, right? I started sending photos of my cake to friends and telling them how amazing my slice of cake was!

The next project we were given was a fabric stuffed bird. We were given a new set of instructions, but the pattern was simple enough to follow. All heads were bent, fingers holding needles flying and all conversation pretty much came to a halt as this project was slightly more tricky than the notebook cover.

First we cut the pieces we needed to make our bird. I decided to go with the other 2 pieces of fabric I decided not to go with for my notebook, so I was pleased I was at least able to have sampled all 3 in one afternoon!

It was a bit trickier sewing the bird, not because of where we needed to sew, but because stuffing a small object using upholstery fabric meant that the tension from trying to tuck stuffing into our small bird would put strain on the stitching and cause the edges to fray. The lovely ladies from The Crafty Hen did say the trick was to keep your stitches small, but without a sewing machine (which I don’t think would’ve been really possible in this case anyway) it’s quite hard to do.


Pieces of my bird

Between gulping down tea and coffee we were given and keeping our fingers sewing at a raipd pace given the short amount of time we had left, some managed to finish their birds and were happy with their end result. I pretty much managed to get my bird (which I’ve since christened Tom) sewn together, although I did have to take him home to finish off his tail and fix the parts where he’s unfortunately come apart from the fraying.


Tom, my crafty bird, after he had some chest and tail ‘surgery’ to stop fraying from opening these areas

After some quick group photos and sad goodbyes and see you again soons to new blogger friends made, we all made our way back home all across Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen…It was a lovely afternoon spent creating beautiful products using beautiful fabrics. Although not in the same league, we lamented how we could potentially have a crafts afternoon regularly where we would be able to meet up just to create something new. Getting together to create something together while working on our own indivigual projects seemed to be something we did well together. Food for thought, fellow bloggers!

By the way, did I mention we also got a lovely canvas tote made from the lovely range at Hillarys Blinds? I got a very pretty cherry blossom one which I intend to use quite a lot! Forgot to take a photo of it I’m afraid…

Before I finish off, just wanted to give big wave and shout out to some very friendly fellow bloggers that I met last weekend:

Bex of Evil Ginger (have a look at Bex’s blog post about the afternoon, you’ll see a lovely shot she took of the top of my head bent down in concentration while sewing!)
Nicola and Lindsay of Cakehounds
AJ Love and Other Awesome Stuff
Ann of A Quirky Lifestyle


The Glasgow #HillarysCrafternoon gang at The Butterfly and The Pig. Photo courtesy of Joe Blogs Network

For more information about the Hillarys craft roadshow, have a look at their blog here.

Many thanks to Hillarys Blinds, Joe Blogs Network and The Crafty Hen for a fun filled, tasty crafternoon!

The Butterfly and The Pig Tea Rooms can be found at 151 Bath Street, Glasgow and is open 8:30am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday (11:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays). For enquiries, please call 0141 243 2459 or make a reservation online.

Note to fellow bloggers: If you’re in Scotland, how would you feel about having a regular crafts afternoon where we all come together with supplies and decide on a crafts project we could all work on together in a public venue?

Advertisements

One thought on “A crafty weekend in Glasgow with #HillarysCrafternoon

Don't forget to leave a comment before you leave!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s