Two Tone in the Emporia Window

This week we’ve been busy installing a rather unusual window display at the shop, courtesy of local artist and crafter Mandy Munroe. Featuring a very fishy theme, this fantastic installation has been curated by Mandy herself who has been at the forefront of gathering the talents of local crafters, including knitters, crocheters and sewers, into making a variety of different fish themed articles, all in the name of the Create Platform. And we think it looks brilliant!

The story behind our amazing installation comes from the Legacy of Two Tone,  Ashford’s moat famous fish (a mirror carp) who lived in Conningbrook Lake for around 45 years, and was seen as a major catch in the fishing/angling community. Given his significant life span, he grew into quite a substantial fish and was known by anglers around the world for his size and unmistakable colour; he was the biggest freshwater fish in the UK and became incredibly famous on the international angling scene.  Sadly he died in 2010, but has now been immortalised in wool in the Emporia windows for the next two weeks.

And what has that got to do with the Create festival I hear you cry! Well, 2 Tone, or Two Tone, is a music genre that created in the UK in the late 70s by fusing elements of ska, punk, rocksteady, reggae and New Wave, and one of this year’s acts to showcase their spectacular musical talent at Create is the legendary ska band, The Selector. So bringing together theme of the music alongside the famous fish, a crafty band of Ashfordians have been getting knitty and sewing up a storm in order to create our incredible display.

The window features a whole range of different fish and pond themed items that have been made especially for our window installation, the highlight of which is of course Two Tone himself, shown on his ska themed quilt (sewn by Mandy herself); he is surrounded by loads of his fishy friends, and a variety of other amazing hand sewn and knitted creations. Check out those cute knitted pebbles and stones! And how fantastic are the shimmering pieces of pond weed? And don’t miss those adorable jellyfish, who’ve clearly come to visit Two Tone on their summer holiday.

We have a huge long list of people to thank, which you can see in full below, but we think the best way to thank everyone who got involved is to come along and see the installation in person. It looks truly amazing and is testament to the fabulous devotion to craft that so many of you have.

And if you missed out on making some fish for the window and feel left out, then you can still get your hands on our Two Tone knitting patterns which will allow you to create as many mini fish as you like!

Mandy Munroe and Emporia Fabric and Craft would like to thank these people for making such a special window:

– Members of The Little Teapot Knit and Natter group, Hamstreet Knit and Natter,  The Library Knitting group and Ewe-Nique created fish, weed and pebbles.
– Mersham Brownies mastered finger knitting and produced lots of pond weed.
– Wood n Ware very kindly crafted the hull of the boat and members of Artvark stitched some of the fish as well as contributing to the Two Tone Trail.
– Special thanks go to Carol, Christine, Tracey, Wendy, Julie, Janet, Stephanie, Abi, Elaine and Linda alongside some other secret stitchers who all contributed.
– The Official Two Tone Knitting Pattern was designed specially for this project by  Nicky Triggs, Two Tone knitter extraordinaire, along with the beginner friendly Easy Fish pattern which she kindly made available to community groups.

You can also see more beautiful fish in shop windows around town, inspired by Two Tone, Ashford’s famous fish, coloured and designed by various community groups including schools and nurseries.  And don’t forget the Create Festival itself which takes place from 12 midday on Saturday 22nd July 2017 at Victoria Park, Ashford. 

Lampshades by Weird + Gilly Made to Order

spaceshipscloudsdogs (2)

Last week we took a lovely little delivery of some gorgeous new lampshades made by Weird + Gilly using some of our amazing fabrics. Bright and funky, and perfect for kids’ bedrooms, these lovelies are now gracing our shelves to advertise a brand new service at Emporia. As of now you can place an order for a Weird + Gilly lampshade using any of our fabrics!

cloudsflamingos (3)

Giving you the chance to choose from our fabulous range of beautiful prints, featuring all kinds of designs from mid century modern shapes and geometric patterns, to fairies and castles, dinosaurs and eggs, wild creatures and farmyard animals, you can pick something to match your room, or to use your lampshade as inspiration to kick off your interior design ideas. Whether you want something plain, subtle or in a ginormously bright and obvious print, we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from that will all make amazing lampshades.

cloudsflamingos (2)

Order time is between 10 and 14 days depending on how busy the Weird + Gilly ladies are, so you won’t have to wait too long before your lampshade is ready. Simply choose your fabric, pick whether you want a standard lamp or a hanging lamp, and decide what size you want. Prices start from £25.00 for a 20cm lamp, and go up to £35.00 for a 30cm lamp. We can’t wait to see what kinds of prints people choose.

For more information on ordering a lampshade with your choice of fabric, pop into the shop for a chat with us or give us a ring on 01233 612778.

Easter Events and Opening Times

easterwindow2

This week we’re all set to take part in the Ashford town centre Easter Egg hunt, pop on our hand decorated bonnets ready for the parade and then sit back and consume plenty of chocolate – and maybe find some time for a little bit of sewing on the side. How about you?

easterbagbunny

If you have small people off school this week then you might be keen to know that we still have spaces on our Easter kid’s classes. Make a rabbit on Monday, sew a drawstring bag on Tuesday, create an applique Easter cushion on Wednesday, sew a simple skirt on Thursday, or decorate an Easter egg hunting bag on Friday – there’s something for everyone in the run up to Easter itself. For full information, times, dates and prices, click on the Classes link at the top of the page and get in touch if you would like to book your little nippers into any of our sessions.

easterbag

Emporia is also taking part in the Ashford town centre Easter trail from Monday 10th to Saturday 15th April 2017. All you need to do is pop into the shop, collect your Easter Trail form and then visit the various shops that are taking part to find the relevant letters and write then down on your sheet. Prizes will be handed out from the Love Ashford gazebo from 10.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 15th April.

eastereggs (2)

And if you’re in town on that Saturday to collect your Easter treats, then why not take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade too? Kicking off from 2pm at the Love Ashford gazebo, you can really show off your creative skills with a hand made bonnet, decorated just how you like. And there will be prizes for the best ones, so there’s even more opportunity to win Easter chocs!

foileggs

Our Easter opening hours will be:
10am – 5pm from Monday 10th to Thursday 13th April
1am – 2pm Good Friday 14th April
10am – 5pm Saturday 15th April
Closed Easter Sunday 16th April
Closed Easter Monday 17th April
Open as normal again from Tuesday 18th April onwards.

We hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend and enjoy plenty of time to eat chocolate and do some relaxing craft!

 

Easter Holiday Kid’s Sewing Classes

eastersetup

It may seem like half term has only just finished, but the Easter holidays are drawing ever closer – in just over three week’s time, they’ll be off for another two and a bit weeks, meaning you had better come up with some ways of staving off the boredom without simply relying on the electrical babysitters (iPad, Xbox, phone etc) every day. Don’t let them stay glued to the telly all day – get them inspired with some craft! Or, if you have a seriously crafty child on your hands and if you’re already panicking about how you will come up with enough ideas to keep them entertained, then we have the answer – a whole week of sewing workshops for them to get stuck into.

Make a Rabbit – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12pm Monday 10th April 2017
Kick off Easter week with a fabulous rabbit making class! Sew up your very own Easter Rabbit in a choice of spring themed fabrics, adding a tummy and maybe a fluffy tail if you want. A great class for kids with a passion for sewing and making gifts.

drawstring bag

Sew a Drawstring Bag – £20.00, 8+
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Create a drawstring bag to keep your swimming stuff or PE kit in, or maybe to use for sleepovers, as it’s the perfect size for a pair pyjamas and a washbag. Choose from our ever-widening selection of cool and creative fabrics to sew something both pretty and practical. This class is only really suitable if you have used a sewing machine before – if you’re in doubt, please speak to Clair or Charlotte at the shop before booking.

Make an Easter Applique Cushion – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12pm Wednesday 12th April 2017
Create a simple but effective Easter Rabbit themed cushion in this kids’ holiday class. Choose your rabbit fabric, learn how to sew applique style, and then turn your design in a fabulous envelope cushion cover! Excellent for those new to machine sewing and children who have a little more experience.

skirt (2)

 

Sew a Simple Kids’ Skirt – £20.00, 8+
11am – 12.30pm Thursday 13th April 2017
Learn how to sew your very first garment in this simple skirt class for kids. Choose from any of our funky prints or go for a pretty spring floral to wear over your Easter holidays. This is a great chance for children who have had some experience sewing with a machine to advance their skills and make something personal to them.

eggbag

Decorate an Easter Egg Hunt Bag – £10.00, 4+
11am – 1pm Good Friday 14th April 2017
Cut out fabric designs, create pompoms, use your imagination to create a fantastic, colourful bag to keep all your eggs in when you go hunting on Easter Sunday! Suitable for little ones aged four and up, this is a drop in session running for two hours on Good Friday, however places still need to be booked so we know how many children are going to attend.

All kid’s Easter classes run from Monday 9th to Friday 14th April 2017; times vary; all classes must be booked beforehand, with either a 50% deposit or by paying the full class fee; all fabrics and materials are included in the price of the class. 

Please note that there are age restrictions for all of the children’s classes – these must be adhered to apart from in exceptional circumstances – please speak to us if you need clarification on this. 

Christmas Gift Orders

stockings

So now there are only 17 shopping days left until Christmas (and that includes Christmas Eve people!) we thought it might be a good idea to remind you that if you don’t have the time, skill or inclination to make gifts for your loved ones, we are here to help! Whether you are after something huge and extravagant or a small, simple gift, we can help you choose the materials, pick the design and make it for you, ready for you to wrap and place it under the Christmas tree to make someone feel special on Christmas morning.

ameliedress

All of Clair’s lovely sewing creations are available to order in time for the festive season, with the Amelie dress (£40.00) and the reversible dress (£35.00) for little girl’s being a very on trend gift right now.

reversibledresses

She’s just finished off making up a very funky reversible in skulls and Wonder Woman print, and the traditional Scandinavian style reindeers and snowflakes have been used on the sleeved version of the Amelie. Simple gathered skirts  (£20.00) are also just as pretty in festive prints like the navy and gold, or the bright stars on white.

alineskirts

For grownups,  you can treat someone very special to a glamorous kimono style dress (£60.00) in any of our fabulous print – we’re still loving that leopard print very much – or get your hands on an A-line skirt in midi (£45.00) or maxi length  (£55.00) to pair with a funky Christmas jumper.

leopardprintkimono

If your entire family is well stocked up on festive attire, why not bag them some new Christmas stockings (£15.00) with their name one? Or maybe give someone’s living room the gift of pzazz with a couple of cushions (£15.00)? Everyone needs to carry their own shopping bags with them these days, so why not make them a funky as possible and choose one of our fantastic bright and colourful prints to give someone a unique tote bag (£10.00).

group3-2

For those in need of a serious injection of warmth, head to the woolly section for hats (£14.00 – £18.00) and cowls (£14.00 – £42.00) for both kids and adults, headbands (£10.00 – £14.00), wristwarmers (£20.00) and knitted cushions.

img_0444-2

Available in a range of gorgeous colours and varieties of styles, there’s bound to be something that will keep you and your family warm over the winter. Go for matching big and little cowls, or kit your kids and your friends out in a rainbow of stripes and stitches. All knitwear is available in both 100% merino wool or acrylic alternatives.

img_0398-3

As long as you can get your request in by next weekend, we should have enough time to make your order for you before Christmas hits. For prices on garments, accessories and gifts see bold highlights above. Alternatively, pop into the shop for a chat with Clair or Lotte about precisely what you want and we’ll see if we can’t make your Christmas dreams come true!

Kids Summer Holiday Classes

pencilcaseclass

The summer holidays kick off officially this weekend and so the time for finding entertainment for little people is nigh! If you are in possession of some crafty kids, or even those who have never thought about sewing but would like to give it a go, this list should give you some inspiration. While most classes are suitable for children ages 8 and up, there are some that start as young as four, so smaller siblings can get involved too. From making your own pencil case to take back to school in September or hand printing your own bag, there is plenty of sewing inspiration taking place at Emporia for the whole school holiday. Take a look!

Kid’s Beginner’s Class – £30.00, age 8+
10.30am – 12.30am Thursday 4th August
Get your child started off on their first sewing journey with this special kid’s beginner’s sewing session. Learn all the basics steps on our sewing machines, try out a few fancy stitches and complete a simple sewing project or two before you head home with your new found skills!

gatheredskirts

Simple Skirt – £25.00, age 8+
11am – 12.30pm Friday 5th August

Make your very own simple skirt from our range of fabulous and funky fabrics! Choose a print, sew your skirt and wear it over the summer holidays to impress your friends. Some previous sewing experience is desirable but not necessary.

Felt Monster – £20.00, age 6+
11am – 12pm Monday 8th August

Not all children get the chance to learn to hand sew at school these days, but when they do learn, they often fall completely in love with it. In this session, kids will have the chance to create their very own friendly monster from felt while they learn the basics.

cushions

Make a Cushion – £25.00, age 8+
11am – 12pm Tuesday 9th August

Make something to decorate your bedroom or to give to a friend or parent as a gift. Choose from a range of our lovely prints, and learn some basic sewing skills as you make a fabulously easy cushion cover.

totebags

Mini Tote Bag Printing – £20.00, age 4 +
11am – 12pm Wednesday 10th August

The fantastic Jaina Minton of Polka Dot Sundays is back once more with this super cute tote bag printing session. Open to children aged four and up, this is a great workshop in which allows kids to creative with printing their own designs.

Mini Tote Bag Printing – £20.00, age 4+
11am – 12pm Wednesday 16th August

Join Jaina once again for her fabulous mini tote bag printing session – see above for more information.

Simple Skirt – £25.00, age 8+
11am – 12.30pm Tuesday 23rd August

Make your very own simple skirt from our range of fabulous and funky fabrics! Choose a print, sew your skirt and wear it over the summer holidays to impress your friends. Some previous sewing experience is desirable but not necessary.

pencilcases

Pencil Case – £20.00, age 8+
11am – 12pm Tuesday 30th August

Pick a cool pattern from our range of fabrics and make yourself an amazing pencil case to start the new term with – the perfect way to impress your friends and your new teacher!

Fancy booking your little ones onto any of the above? Give us a ring to reserve a place or pop into to place a deposit for a guaranteed spot. Please note spaces will not be confirmed until a 50% deposit has been paid; unless your child has proven experience with a sewing machine, all age restrictions must be adhered to.

Half Term Classes for Kids

Half term starts this weekend, so if you’re at a loss as to what to do with your kids next week, take a look at our classes for creative children and see what inspiration you can find to keep them entertained.

pencilcases

Make a Pencil Case
11am – 12pm Tuesday 31st May
Join Clair at this cool kids’ workshop for newbie sewers, suitable for 8 and up. Choose from our range of super funky fabrics and make your very own unique pencil case ready for the new school year. £20.00 per child – some previous sewing experience is desirable but not necessary.

bracelets

Finger Knitting Bracelet Class
11am – 12pm Wednesday 1st June
Lotte invites kids aged 8 and up to come and try their hands at making some bright and summery bracelets. Using the simple technique of finger knitting, children can make themselves or their friends these cool accessories with gorgeous coloured jersey. The class costs £10.00 per child.

airballoon

Make a Hot Air Balloon Fridge Magnet
10.30am – 11.30am Thursday 2nd June
The lovely Jaina is back with her fabulous decoupage class once more to keep the children of Ashford occupied this half term. Kids will get to cover a hot air balloon shape in brightly coloured paper, wrap a basket with string, and add a magnet to turn the whole lot into a fabulous fridge adoring piece of art! The class costs £12.00 per child and is suitable for 4 year olds and over.

gatheredskirts

Make a Simple Skirt
11am – 12.30pm Friday 3rd June
This class gives budding sewing enthusiasts the chance to make their very first garment for themselves or a friend. Clair will be teaching this simple class, where kids aged 8 and up can get to grips with sewing a gathered skirt in any of our fabulous prints. Choose yourself something bright and funky for the summer and be the envy of your mates! The class costs £20.00 per child.

All classes must be booked in advance, with a 50% deposit. Please take note of the age restrictions on classes as the sewing machines can be quite tricky for small hands to use. Come and see us in the shop or give us a ring on 01233 612278 for more information.