El grupo de costura (The sewing group)

One of the things that I wanted to do when I got here was find some crafting friends. I thought that there must be a group in a place as big as this, with so many retired women and so after some searching I found a post on the local Facebook page. There are actually two groups, a knitting and a sewing one, but many people attend both. So every Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday mornings I go to the local Escuela de Adultos, which is the adult education and social centre at one of the shopping areas here.

I am so glad that I met these lovely people, not only are we having a very good time actually crafting, there are workshops so we are learning new things, and there are social events. We have been out for a group lunch, are going to be involved in a local crafting day next weekend, and are planning some more events in June as well.

I have posted before about the mannequin pincushion and the following week after Eileen’s workshop we took them all back for a group photo. I love the variety of these, particularly the creativity with the necklace and Sue’s beautiful shawl.

Last week I did a workshop on English Paper Piecing. There are a few people in the group that have already done this, and some are very experienced so I took some of the more unusual pieces such as apple cores and clam shells. There were four complete beginners and everyone was able to complete at least one shape to use as a coaster etc. Lynn, first in the row in the picture below, is now hooked and is planning to make a cushion!

Debbie is a very experienced and talented quilter and she brought her apple core coaster back the following week to finish off. I had taken some of my stash to share with the group and she has used some of the Christmas fabric that I had to make this lovely design. Her stitches are so tiny and neat!

I really enjoyed doing the workshop and have offered another one in the autumn for the pine cones/Christmas trees made of ribbon as we can get the polystyrene shapes and ribbon easily here. In fact I used to take back ribbon from Spain to make most of mine in the UK. Many years ago I wanted to go part-time at work and set up Stitches of Time as a business and re-train as a crafting teacher. Life, as they say, got in the way of that. I would never want to go back to teaching but love sharing skills with others.

I have always loved being a member of craft groups and over the years have met so many wonderful and supportive people. Especially here, where many of us have been new to La Marina, or are on our own, it is brilliant to have the company of like minded people. I always think crafters are especially friendly and welcoming to others. I am lucky to have family here but many people come just with themselves and a partner to start their new lives in the sun so it is brilliant to have a way to make friends.

When I moved to Marsden I met a group of very dear friends who were not only great fun to be, with but a very much needed support during lockdown. It seems strange to think that two years ago we were planning socially distanced meet ups in each other’s gardens when the first lifting of restrictions said you could meet in groups of six. I remember my friends arriving each with their own glass and bottle, and not having too much to drink as we were not allowed inside to use the toilet!

One of the recent social events here was afternoon tea at Linda’s house where she gave us a tour around her craft rooms. I though I had a large amount in my old craft rooms but Linda has the entire under – build of her house, (like a basement but open to the outside), and three rooms full of things. It is not so much a craft room but a very well stocked haberdashery. It reminds me of the ones we see at the open air museums such as Beamish. As you can see she loves tins so I am going to look out for some nice ones for her when I am back in the UK.

What is also lovely is to have local knowledge. Certain things are more difficult to get here, probably a good thing or I would go over my craft budget each month 😉 so it is great to know which market has a good craft stall, or where you can get things like interfacing. There are also frequent trips back to the UK so people can do some imports, as since Brexit delivery costs are so high and you have to pay customs duties on all packaging. Some expats sneak Marmite into the country, we bring back Aida and quilt wadding!

Last weekend was all about finishing the cushions and making some underwear for the Luna for the Jubilee fundraising, as the consensus at sewing group was that her skirt was too short for no knickers! I was quite happy to stay indoors, not that it was raining but I have had a very active week and enjoyed my sofa time with a good drama series.

I hope that you have all had a good weekend as well. Have a good week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.