Just before Christmas, while most people were running wild from one shop to the next, I spent a wonderfully cozy day with my sister-in-law making treasures in a little shed, in Roslin. Our project was to make a bespoke home decoration, cleverly called ‘Patchwood Samplers’.
All of Ali’s workshops have something in common: thread. For this particular project, the idea was to sew decorated blocks of wood together.
I was hoping to give my little creation as a Christmas gift to my mum and was keen to make it really personal. My aim was to bring different seasons of her life together into one piece that she could hang up in their sitting room. This included a black&white photo of her early years in Northern Ireland, a symbol of her career in physiotherapy, the letters B&C representing a happy marriage with my dad, a fineline drawing of our beloved childhood house in France and one of the Victorian manse she currently lives in. Ali demonstrated the skills required and she provided the wood, materials and tools.
- Ali is a great teacher, she takes time to show you techniques and is super patient.
- The shed is full of original gems from all around the world and this creates a very inspiring atmosphere.
- It was great having a whole day (10am-4pm) to work on my project. We didn’t feel rushed at any point.
- Ali was willing to share her lovingly collected treasures with us to make our projects even more beautiful (personally, I’d struggle giving them away but she was very generous).
- Ali runs several types of workshops including ‘Environmentals: Frames & Hearts’, ‘Personal Patchwork Lampshades’, ‘Rusted Samplers’, etc . Part of the fun was to think of what I’d want to do at my next visit… I’m leaning towards ‘Handmade Journals’.
I can’t wait to be back.