Category Archives: Alston Hall

Coming up at Alston Hall Preston 5th- 8th June 2014

If your in need of getting away for a short break without the hubby and kids, then why don’t you join me for a few days at Alston Hall Preston where the scenery is quite and stunning, the food is wonderful and the sewing relaxing. I am teaching one day on Indian inspirations ( hand stitching).One day an machine embroidered miniature tiles and two days across the weekend on machine embroidered and patchwork flora Bunda quilt.
If you fancy it, there are still some places left. Just visit
5th,6th,7th and 8th June 2014

Essence of Blackwork

The LOVELY ladies from up north worked really hard on their machine stitching to produce simple panels in black thread on white to resemble blackwork. The day went so quickly but that’s because a considerable amount of it is taken up with eating the absolutely scrummy food that Alston Hall keeps feeding us. The classes and class rooms are great, the views are wonderful, the food is awesome and the staff marvellous. What more could you need for a residential weekend of complete stitching

Alston Hall Residential [The outcome was great]

Well several days have gone by since i last updated my blog and i have been feeling frustrated because i couldn’t get a good enough signal to keep you up to date. I suspect the Pennine mountain range and the bad weather might have had something to do with it.

I finally made it home after a repeat wet journey of the Wednesday going up. I couldn’t believe how much water was laying on the fields as i drove home from Alston Hall.

On Thursday I had a fab time teachinggold work. All ladies went home thrilled with what they had achieved, even ifit was only a piece the size of a postage stamp. Goldwork can’t be rushed andis terribly time consuming so even a small project can take weeks or even months.

Finished teaching at 4pm and clambered to my bed room where Icollapsed on the bed and did something I never do. I had a before dinner nap.
It doesn’t look much when you have spent all day working at it does it.
I’m not leaving until I have finished this bit

On Friday after a lovely cookedbreakfast I taught stump work. We were making an Elizabethan sweet bag and asyou can imagine there wasn’t much of that to show for a hard days sewingeither.

I had a couple of hours to myself at the end of the day and as thesun was shining I decided to get some fresh air and took the time to take somemore pics of the lovely building I was teaching in.
The chapel. Not in use now but very pretty
Taken from the Crochet lawn

Friday night at 8.15pmI started teaching again.This time I was teaching Machine embroidery with organza and the soldering ironand was looking forward to helping my ladies design and worktheir own designs instead of one of my designs. They were a great bunch andmost were willing to have a go and play Earlier in the day I had vacatedmy room of two days and moved to the garden room on the other side ofthe house. I didn’t mind because this room was great and had everything inone place. Also because I had a larger number of students, it made senseand gave everyone a good amount of room to spread out and get comfortable. Andboy did they spread. There was organza and sewing equipment everywhere.

We had all met up for the first time at dinner that evening andthen went to work afterwards. We only did an hour of me explaining andinspiring so that we could get going straight away after breakfast onSaturday.  Everyone was generally worn out on the Friday eveningas they have had to travel, but you always get one or two who want to burn themidnight oil so I signed off at 9.30pm and headed for the bar for a nice glassof chilled wine followed by an early night to bed.
Saturday we got going while making friends and stitching. Demonstrations happenedthroughout the day and I got the job of trying to extract informationfrom each student to help them achieve a stunning piece of work across theweekend, which they all did. I could have brought every piece home with me butthey wouldn’t letthem go and tucked them away quickly so that I couldn’t pinch any
My ladies were all lovely and we all got on a treat. Ihope I bump into them again in the future.
They produced some great work all of which I could of run awaywith. Have a look and see!!!!
Paula’s piece based on photos from a derelict church
I love the bronze through to blue and green appearing in this architechtural sample
A lovely sample of layered organza, stitched with straight lines and cut out with the soldering iron

Based on Andy Goldworthy’s stone photos
Ghost tree based on Andy Goldworthy’s photos

Soldering out the material to be removed from the background and sealing the edges

Alston Hall Arrival

Oh my god. How can we possibly have a drought when i have just driven through some of the worst weather i have experienced in some years.
I left home at 11.00am this morning to make my yearly teaching trip to Alston hall, Preston and it has deluged all the way up here. At some points i really couldn’t see the road and just had to guess i was driving straight which is a little off putting when your driving over the Pennine mountain range and you have a dirty great lorry next to you.

Never mind i have made it and have struggled in with all the stuff i will need across the next couple of days. I’m now pooped and sitting down to write this as i may not get to it over the next couple of days depending on how my students decide to work me.

I always enjoy coming here to teach as there are no televisions in any of the rooms except the common lounge area and i can really think and get some designing done in peace and quite. No kids yelling. No adults yelling. No house hold jobs to do. It’s lovely.

The house is a old house overlooking the Pennine mountains and is set in lovely gardens with a wood to walk through, The rooms are en suite and the beds are comfy. The food is all home cooked and next week i will not be eating as i will be at least half a stone heavier.I say what the hell as i will be working hard and we all know its lovely to be cooked for.

I am going to spend the evening finishing my miniature Baltimore quilt and i might start to make the crochet flowers needed for the bag full of crochet flowers workshop coming up.

Alston Hall

Arrived at Alston Hall today having driven through some of the worst rain I have experienced in a couple of years. HOW CAN THEY SAY WE HAVE A DROUGHT I’ve seen more than my fair share today and every reservoir I’ve passed has been full full full. Oh well I’m here now and ready to teach tomorrow.

Minstal landing
My bedrooms off of here

Love the arches!
I must do and embroidery with these as inspiration

Sky light at Alston reception
Lovely stained glass work
Taken from my window [Yes i know its blurred but you get the gist]
What a miserable day
Through the blur you can see a deer
If it ever stops raining I’m gonna read my book here when i get my free time