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  1. If there is one thing that I have most definitely come to terms with since running my own business it is that you never quite know who, or what, is around the corner.

    A year ago or even 6 months ago I would never have dreamt that I would be appearing in DIY SOS. Last March when we opened the Studio at the Heritage Barn I would never have dreamt that in little over a year on we would be moving again, thankfully only a few metres. I've leanrt to expect the unexpected and keep flexible.

    So I'm delighted, excited and proud to announce that from the 5th June 2017 we'll be running all our workshops from the Garden Studio at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks. Very sadly, we are saying goodbye to our lovely workroom in Ditchling. Our fab new Garden Studio is huge, light and airy and the perfect setting for some relaxing crafting. It's big enough to hold two workshops side by side allowing friends with completely different interests to come together and enjoy a day out. It can take bigger groups for private sessions and has a canopied varandah which means we can contemplate some of the messier workshops too.

    The Workroom at Ditchling holds a very special place in my heart and I am not ashamed to say that I felt a little teary as I pulled out the car park for the last time. I met many wonderful people for the very first time in that space, and my business has changed so much since we first arrived there back in September 2013. If you can remember our Open Evening on Friday 5th September a huge thank you for staying with us all this time. Your support is much appreciated.

    Onwards and upwards though and a chance to provide better surroundings, warmer toilets and light and airy space to pursue a hobby in.

    With the major move now behind us we'll be focusing on the workshops again and putting our finishing touches to the High Summer and Autumn schedules, filling in the gaps. There will be plenty of  Childrens Workshops during the summer holidays and new adult sessions throughout. Stay tuned and we'll try to keep you up to date, meanwhile bear with us whilst we get the website up to speed too.

     

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  2. Trying to give a little back is something that I have always wanted to make sure is an integral part of M&M, hence our monthly charity sessions. Last month in May I got to take it one step further. When I heard that the BBC programme DIY SOS needed some crochet help for a project being undertaken just outside Arundel I was more than happy to see if I could rise to the challenge. An extra large ripple blanket was needed in just under three weeks. A tall order for any keen crochet enthusiast, let alone one working full time and trying to prepare to move her business premises.

    It might sound cheesy but it was more than just a crochet project.. staying up late to get the minimum  of number of rows completed each day gave much time for thinking. The site was being completed in just 10 days and, as always, the work was being undertaken completely by volunteers. As the build started I was lucky enough to meet some of the family and take them through a little crafting at our studio in Hassocks. Such lovely girls and a chance to meet Interior Designer Sophie Robinson, known for her involvement with The Great British InteriorDesgin Challenge among other things. It was a little daunting but the crew were lovely, kept it all very relaxed and made it feel far more natural than I had imagined. However, nothing could have prepared me for my day at the site at the end of the project. To go down and join with everyone else that had been involved was quite something. To see hundreds of people come together to help someone that, in most cases, they did not even know was really very touching. For the family this was a life changing experience.

    During May I was not at the top of my game, as they say. The crochet project was very absorbing, taking nearly 4 hours a day to complete, and sadly things did slip a little. I have the most wonderful support around me though, at home and at work, and with their help I came through the other side. A huge thanks to them all. It was honestly one of the best things that I have done in my life. I can't show many pictures of the project until after the programme is aired but I can show you the cheesy pic of me with the team!

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  3. Day two started with our very own alterations challenge. Completely voluntary it was a great way to  kickstart the second day. In return for a fabulous Made and Making voucher the challenge was to reinvent the pillowcase any way you wanted using  anything from our onsite haberdashery or free stash table. Retreat leaders had to hide in one corner so as to maintain complete anonymity. Very hard to pick a winner.

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    Knowing that we were over half way through did something to the speed of sewing but we still found time for plenty of fun.

     

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    With a quick tea and cake stop at 3,  by 3:30pm the machines stopped and the big clear up began. All the projects came down to the main area so that everyone could see quite what had been achieved. Then is was time for a class photo and some sad goodbyes. 

    It was so heart warming over the course of the whole weekend to see how a simple activity such as sewing could bring people together. How being amongst a community of like minded people spurred people to overcome their worries, complete those long forgotten projects and take time for themselves from busy lives. its fair to say that everyone went away having had a marvellous time, they laughed, they ate and in between they did a little sewing. What better way to spend 48 hours.

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  4. When I arrived on the morning of the 11th Feb and entered the room my heart sank, no electrics at the tables. I should not have worried. The electrician was yet to arrive and the whole weekend was going to be the most amazing success. We really couldn't have hoped for more.

    The goody bags were ready and the room was set....

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    ... and in no time at all our wall of fame was complete and sewing madness has arrived.

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    Throughout the two days there were helpful hint demonstrations on a variety of topics chosen by the group on arrival. Invisible zips were inserted, continuous bias binding made and decorative twin need techniques demonstrated.

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    Meanwhile the range of completed projects was quietly growing with dressmaking, patchwork, crafting and cutting (lots of cutting) underway. Two ladies were having a 'liberty' lay-out with oodles and oodles of squares and rectangles being prepared for quilts. That took a lot of the first day as did Tricia cutting out her belly dancing outfit!

    Photo 11-02-2017, 3 48 49 pm  Photo 11-02-2017, 3 48 57 pm  Photo 11-02-2017, 2 05 39 pm

    The morning flew and it was time for a break and a lovely buffet lunch. Recharged for the afternoon there was more to be accomplished.

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