Monday, 20 August 2012

Making Things Club: broderie anglaise and Turkish apple tea

Whilst browsing various blogs and websites last week, I stumbled across the events listings on the Café Kino website. Kino is a non-profit workers' co-op and vegan paradise (I'd guess: I'm not vegan myself but I am lactose intolerant so it's always great to find tasty, dairy-free options when eating/drinking out) in Stokes Croft. A cute banner advertised Making Things Club, a monthly craft meet where, for a measly five pounds, you have access to all the craft materials you could dream of and can make things to your hearts content for a few hours with like-minded folk, and, this month, very lovely live music from the Weary Band.

 Delighted by the idea, I put a fiver to one side and went along to Café Kino for the very first time yesterday evening. The day was hot and sticky and the baking heat showed no signs of abating so I ordered a fresh orange juice, watched it being squeezed, then made my way downstairs to the basement where the club is held. On arrival, a friendship bracelet was knotted around my wrist and I was presented with a goody bag by Lori, one of the founding partners of Making Things Club. I joined a little round table and introduced myself to the women sitting at it, and soon we'd all drifted to the back of the room to rummage through fabrics, sequins, paper and other treasures, deciding on the spot what we were going to make of our finds.

I found a large swathe of broderie anglaise fabric and decided to sew myself a headband from it. I grabbed a heavy, pale blue cotton to line it and a couple of pipe cleaners to give it some structure and allow me to mould it and twist it around my head. Other people had turned up with their knitting, some people began to paint and we all clamoured to have a go on Steve, the badgemaking machine. An encyclopaedia of cats provided lots of cat badges (internet gold) but my favourite source of photos to make into badges was an old beauty magazine from 1979. I also made a broderie anglaise badge to match my headband.

The Weary Band, with Chris making badges in the foreground.

Once we'd all got into the swing of making things, the Weary Band took to the stage and filled the room with dreamy, soft folk music. The atmosphere was wonderful, tucked underground away from the unrelenting heat of the Bristol summer; quiet chatter and excited dashes to the table to find sequins whenever a new idea struck. The band paused for a brief interval and someone put a Field Music record on; I felt very much at home with familiar voices from Tyne and Wear making their way into my ears. I was beginning to worry that I wouldn't finish my headband in the three hours we had at the club- all my sewing things, sadly, had to stay in the Northeast without me- but I managed it! I sipped a Turkish apple tea as the band made their way back onstage. The evening stretched on deliciously and soon there were only a handful of us left, chatting away to Lori and Chris, the founders of the club.

Top: a few of the badges I made; Above: my headband.

Lori runs Tenderfoot, a gift shop and gallery in Brislington (a part of Bristol I have yet to venture to) and Chris is better known as Lazy Crafternoons, providing workshops and craft parties throughout and around Bristol. They make a wonderful team and I for one cannot wait for the next meet, on September 9th!

Perhaps I'll see some of you there!


  1. thanks for the lovely post, and so nice to meet you! I especially appreciate how nice our arms look whilst badge making, I think using Steve adds about 5 lbs of muscle! see you soon. x

  2. This sounds awesome! I knew about the stitch 'n' bitch (and watched them jealously from behind my dissertation) but hadn't discovered Making Things Club.
    When I get back to Bristol I'll have to go.

    1. You definitely should! The next one's on October 14th. Hope to see you there!