We went to two classes at the FOQ. The first was a half day workshop, the second a one-hour taster class. The quality of the classes varied enormously, and not how you'd think.
On the Friday we did a Shisha mirrors class. It was, hands down, the worst class we've ever taken. We had three hours, the first 20 minutes was the teacher passing round the materials for us to choose. She started with the fabric, when we'd all chose the fabric she passed round the threads... stuff that could have all been done at the same time. The she gave the first group of ladies over the other side of the room a piece of fabric and a cotton reel to draw around. She then demonstrated the first stitch to these four ladies. We couldn't see anything. Then she showed the next group of ladies. Then the first group had questions, so she went back to them. Then back to the second group to help them. We just sat there twiddling our thumbs. Finally it was our turn and we were taught this stitch.
I'm afraid I have no idea what it's called, we weren't told. It has nothing at all to do with Shisha mirrors.
After this we were told to get on with decorating our panels however we wanted. It was a satiny fabric with wadding spray basted to the back. She gave us silk threads. Clearly she had not tested this combination as the thick fabric shredded the thread. We were just left to "do what we wanted" for the next hour or so.
The elephant was block printed on the fabric so I was just stitching over the lines. I added some beads and sequins too.
Finally, she started teaching the first group how to put on shisha mirrors. Then the second group, back to the first, back to the second, back to the first, then over to us. We had 30 minutes of the class left. A few minutes into my first one, I realised I had a problem as the thread was falling off the mirror. She told us to keep the foundation stitches taut, which she hadn't told us before. At this point a couple of ladies left, saying they'd look it up on U-tube!
This photo shows my foundation stitches.
Above you can see the finished shisha mirror. Not very neat and even, but then we didn't have long to do it!
Needless to say we were very unimpressed and I was delighted when she asked us to give online feedback, oh I'll certainly be doing that!
The next day we had a one-hour taster class which was brilliant fun. Oh - before I tell you about this - people of Britain, did you know there is a lake at the NEC? And a big shopping centre? We had no idea until we stumbled into it and we've been going to the NEC a couple of times a year for about 12 years!
Anyway - sari silk flowers.
We were given strips of sari silk and a large bath washer to wrap them around. The fluffy bits are just from where the sari silk is torn.
We then wrapped the smaller washer with thread, round and round, over and over.
Cut along the edges of the flower, take out the washers to use again and sew it all together.
Top with a button and sew a brooch back on - done! It was good fun, though the finished flower came out a bit too thick for my liking, we used a 3m strip. I've bought some more sari silk strips but will make future ones using 1.5m or even 1m. I was thinking of using them to decorate the chalk board I showed you last week.