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FABRIC: A Celebration of Textiles 2017


SUNDAY 30 APRIL, 9.30AM – 4.30PM

Join us for a full day of workshops, demonstrations, talks and creative conversations as we celebrate the art of and making and working with textiles.  Whether you are interested in appliqué, felt making, knitting or embroidery, you will certainly find something to interest and inspire you.  This year we are delighted to welcome Rosemary Hawthorne aka The Knicker Lady, to the centre to regale us with her fascinating and fun foray into the world of under-garment.  In between workshops and talks you can browse the all day craft market and enjoy a range of delicious refreshments and treats from the Ashcroft Cafe Bar.  You can feast your eyes on the new Fabric exhibitions by artists Lucy Dorothy Nichols and enjoy the hats created by Deborah Dalton.  There will be plenty of opportunities throughout the day to pick up a hook, a needle (or two) and add add to our bunting storm.

CRAFT MARKET 9.30 – 4.30PM

Our dance studio will be transformed into a Craft Market where you can meet the makers of quality crafted textiles as well as stocking up with haberdashery supplies too.

Stall Holders include: Tweed Indeed, Sarah Waters,  Alison Hulme Textiles, Pins and Needles Haberdashery, Visual Marks Textiles, Nicky Barfoot and Phillipa Holman.

If you are interested in taking a stall in the craft market, please register your interest by email to ashcroft@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk


Sunday Workshops are mostly 80mins long and led by textile artists who, as well as being expert designer makers, are also experience tutors. All workshops are intended to give participants an enjoyable introduction to a craft or skill and to inspire your next project at home.  The workshops are individually priced to reflect the costs of materials included in the fee. Please Book in advance as places are limited. 

*There are also two Fabric inspired workshops on Saturday 29th April, Surface design within felting with Sarah Waters (full day) and French Knickers (half day) with dressmaker Maria Stones. Please see the booking pages for more details.

09.40 – 11.00am   Intarsia with Nicky Barfoot; Cost £9

In this fun introduction to the intarsia colour work technique, expert Knitter Nicky Barfoot will get you started on this cute gift bag.   You will be provided with a printed chart/pattern to take away so that you will be able to complete the bag at home or even in a cosy corner of the Fabric cafe!  This workshop is suitable for anyone who can already cast on and off and be comfortable working in stocking stitch.(80 mins).

11.20-12.40 PM  Sashiko Embroidery with Helen Sill, Cost £13  

Explore this traditional Japanese embroidery technique with Embroiders Guild Scholar (2016) Helen Sill.  In this workshop you will be taken through the process of transferring a pattern and learning basic sashiko stitches – your finished sample can form the basis of a number of items to complete at home. All the materials for this workshop are included and you will be able to take away your special Sashiko needle and some thread for further forays into beautiful Sashiko at home. (80 mins).

11.20- 12.40PM   Crochet  Corsage With Maria Stones; Cost £9

Make a unique arrangement of crochet flowers and leaves to wear as a corsage on a hat or jacket or even as an  embellishment for a tea cosy or bag....a variety of flowers and foliage patterns will be available to choose from with varying levels of complexity and Maria will take you through the process. Details about what to bring will be shown on the booking page. (80 mins). 

1.00- 2.20Pm:  Nuno Felt Glasses/Mobile Case with Sarah Waters; Cost £10.50  

Textile artists Sarah Waters will guide you through an introduction to nuno felting technique using different fibres, pre-felts and fabrics (nuno) within felt making to make a fabulous case for your glasses or mobile phone.(80 minutes). 


2.30- 4.30pm:  Introduction to Free Machine Embroidery with Lucy Dorothy Nichols

Cost  £22 (2 hours)

Using Freehand Machine Embroidery techniques, learn how to write and draw with your sewing machine in this special 2 hour workshop with our guest artist Lucy Dorothy. Suitable for those with a basic knowledge of machine sewing, you will be shown how to set up your machine, discuss suitable fabrics and the techniques to get you started. Once you have mastered the basics there will be an opportunity to create an appliqué design, using fabrics and templates provided.


Sewing machines need to be in good working order and have the ability to free motion.  Please also bring with you a basic sewing kit including good quality black thread.

For more information please visit  lucydorothy.com or email Lucy via lucy@lucydorothy.com   

2.40 -4.00pm   Printing with Alison Hulme; Cost £11

Create 3 original handmade cards using a range of textile printing methods and techniques.  Alison will take you through all the processes of working with various fabrics but you will print onto handmade craft paper (so that your work will dry in time for you to take home).  Bring an apron or overall. (1 hour and 20 mins).



10-11am DROP IN WORKSHOP WITH VISUAL MARKS: Make a lovely Liberty Print hand-stitched pin cushion with Elizabeth Saunders from textiles team Visual Marks  (pay the artist at the table)

11-12pm  MEET THE ARTIST: Milliner Deborah Dalton will introduce you to the world of hat making. Free event

12.15pm and 12.45pm DROP IN MiLLINERY WORKSHOP: Learn how use ribbon or silk to make a flower pin or clip for your hat or hair.  Pre bookable (£3.50)

1.30 -2.30pm DROP IN WORKSHOP WITH VISUAL MARKS: Make a lovely liberty print dog or hand stitched pin cushion with Elizabeth Saunders from textiles team Visual Marks  (pay the artist at the table)


2.45-4pm  MAKE A FELTED KEY RING: A fun introduction to manipulating wet felt with artist Sarah Waters   (drop in at any time and pay the artist at  the artist at the table). 

Rosemary Hawthorne ( aka the knicker lady) 

SUNDAY 30th April   2.30PM – 4.15PM; Tickets:  £12, £10 concessions

Rosemary Hawthorne has been described as ‘The Joyce Grenfell of Knickers’ and as ‘…having the style and timing of pure comic genius’ and we are delighted that she is making a return visit to the Ashcroft.

When not on stage with her One Woman Show, or in front of the camera, Rosemary is a much loved after-dinner speaker, fashion commentator, social historian and entertainer, happy to amuse men and women, young, middle and old, as she lifts each spry or weary vintage garment and, holding them aloft, makes a passing comment that has an audience in fits of laughter.

Little wonder that audiences love her. Rosemary’s books have been published throughout the world – from Russia to Brazil and her media credits include The Antiques RoadshowThe Victorians with Jeremy Paxman, The One Show and Woman’s Hour.

Pre-booking essential.

Lucy Dorothy Nichols   (Cafe/Bar)

 Lucy Dorothy Nichols’ work is an eclectic mix of paper folding, paper cutting, sculpture and stitch.

 Taking inspiration from a diverse range of sources, much of Lucy’s work is a quest to blur the boundaries between paper and fabric. For her series of paper dresses, Lucy stitches together carefully cut tissue paper to create delicate daywear,   whilst reclaimed papers are stitched, pinned and folded to form elegant evening wear.

In contrast, Lucy’s embroidered Jellies pay homage to the wonderfully wobbly centrepiece of any well-dressed Victorian dining table. Inspired by classic cookery books from the same period, original recipes and engravings have been replaced with mono prints of mouth-watering jellies and freehand machine embroidered texts.


Deborah Dalton Millinery

Bespoke hat maker Deborah Dalton will be showcasing a collection of special occasion headwear. Deborah  specialises in designing exclusive, stand out hats for weddings, christenings, cocktail parties and other social occasions or premier sporting events like Ascot or the Henley Regatta. Her hats are  luxurious, elegant, sometimes frivolous and fancy, often with a touch of the dramatic .



We can promise you a frilling time as we decorate the Ashcroft with a bunting tribute to the arts of lingerie. Donations of lace, silky, satin fabrics, ribbons, sequins and trims gratefully received. If you or your textiles group would like to contribute to this challenge in advance please contact fiona.mackie@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Textile craft Makers news!   We will be launching a cosy making challenge  on Sunday 30th and details will be available with an application form on the day.