I love a sewing meet up.
Get togethers are much more difficult to come by in the Highlands. There’s #sewscotland and associated meet-ups, but they tend to be centred around the big cities of Edinburgh or Glasgow – a 4 hour drive from home. There’s also the issue of where to go and what to do. We have a craft shop (Kiki’s) selling quilt weight cotton over on Lochcarron (30 minutes away) and the fantastic new Wee Fabric Shop in Inverness (2 hours), so our options are limited.
That doesn’t deter us from having an active sewing community. Local sewer Jane MacRae organises a weekly sewing group for social and guided sewing. Groups meet in the morning or evening and sew on thier own projects while chatting away. Jane also makes a fantastic cup of tea.
Then once a year (now in it’s third year) Jane organises a ‘Crafternoon’. The phrase was first used and promoted by Comic Relief and, in 2017 we met and raised money for Red Nose Day (you can read about it here). The event was so successful that the following year we raised money for Macmillan, and this year funds were raised for Parkinsons charities.
It works a bit like a meet-up without the travelling between fabric shops. It takes place in our local village hall. There’s usually a large table in the centre hall covered in donated ‘stash-busting’ fabrics, patterns and notions as well as wool and crafting books. All of these items are available to take for a donation. At the other end of the hall are some fabrics and notions to buy as well as prepared sewing kits for anyone that perhps didn’t come with a project in mind. This year Jane prepared oven gloves, pot mits and fabric bowls. And to finish it all off there’s plenty of tea, sandwiches and cake on offer throughout the day.
There was a slightly different dynamic this year. Previously we’ve had a mixture of stay all day sewers and drop-ins. This year there seemed to be more people there for the whole session: some sewing and other knitting or crochet. There were all ages – ranging from children having thier first go on a sewing machine, to new mums making up items for their little ones, to grandparents enjoying a bit of selfish sewing. Jane asked those of us from sewing group to wear or bring items that we’d made and it was great to be able to get inspiration from one another. And, no matter where we live, or whatever our meet up opportunities are, it was greatt o talk sewing with like-minded enthusiasts.
Long may we manage this annual event to keep up in touch.