Archive for the 'Edinburgh' Category

Felt fires in public

On Tuesday last week we gathered in Hula to make felt flames.  Some of us had never made felt of any sort before but by the end of the session we’d made 12 needle felt fires on prefelt and an uncounted number of wet felted flames.  Thank you to everyone who came and took part.  I hope you had fun – I know I did.

needle felt fires

felt flame needles







I took the felt panels back to my studio and used the nuno felt technique to bond them to a piece of black silk chiffon. I added an all over pattern of flames on the back. This way both sides will look good if we hang it like a flag some time.  I also made a lot more of the individual flames to make a lovely little bundle of fire.

On Saturday 6th October, the International Day of Felt, both pieces were displayed in public in keeping with the idea behind the day.  As the main piece of work, the hanging was set up on the mirror wall in Hula Juice Bar and Cafe on West Bow just next to where we we started work on it. It’ll stay there until Monday lunchtime.  Pop in for a smoothie and see it.

12 felty fires in Hula

bundle of fire










I’ve been taking the bundle of fire to various places and photographing it in public places – the bar at Summerhall arts centre, the banks of the Water of Leith and more to come. Once I have a good photograph of each piece I’ll uploaded them to the Felt United international portfolio of this year’s day of felt to let the world of feltmaking see what Craft Reactor can do.

posted by Madeleine in Edinburgh,Event,Workshop and have No Comments

Set the world on fire at our October meet-up

Craft Reactor comrades and fellow travellers are invited to join in making group contribution to the International Day of Felt at the regular meet up in Hula on 2 October.

The first Saturday in October every year feltmakers around the world take part in a wide range of public events to celebrate the glories of their chosen medium. For more about the Day of Felt see the website and join the Facebook group.  Each year has a theme in order to create some focus to these events and this year it is fire!

“close your eyes and think about it. Think about that word… fire, about every aspect, about the meaning, what it looks like, love the colours, feel the heat, find warmth in the friendships, taste the food, smell… use all of your senses… then dream of the possibilities.” – from the announcement in January on

So  your Craft Reactor committee has hatched a plan for everyone who comes along to our meet to make a flame which will be incorporated in a group piece that will be exhbited in Hula on the Day of Felt itself.  The work will also be photographed for inclusion in the international portfolio on the Felt United website.

We have two simple methods of making flames that can be made easily even if you’ve never made felt before. They can be flat or 3D and use dry and wet processes. We’re starting simple to get as many people as possible involved but there may be scope for something more sophisticated if there’s enough time and space.  We’ll supply the tools and the fleece but contributions of extra fleece in firey colours are welcome.

Madeleine Shepherd then will take the flames to her studio later that week and assemble either a hanging panel or a sculptural object from everyone’s work. The final form will be dictated by what we make on Tuesday.

At 10am on Saturday 6th October the work will be installed in one of the windows at Hula for all to see and admire!  Everyone is welcome to come along to that too.


posted by Madeleine in Edinburgh and have No Comments

May Day Meet & Mend

Our next MeetUp falls on May 1st so in honour of Workers’ Day and in the spirit of renewal and revolution there will be a mending theme to this one.

If you’ve got a pile of mending but just don’t fancy staying at home with your sewing kit, well, you don’t have to! Bring some of it along and join us in  giving those old items a springtime revamp.

Of course if you are all caught up on your clothes repairs just bring whatever you’re working on (or just yourself!)

May Day 2012 Event Poster
posted by Stitch in Edinburgh,Event,Meet-up and have No Comments

Ferbruary Crafty MeetUp

With the sad closure Tea Tree Tea we’ve been on the lookout for a new home for our monthly meetups where we have a blether while working on them projects that fit in our bag. Lots of ideas were thrown about, some fine cafes were visited and we think we’ve got a good one for you. And for those of you who plan ahead you should also know that we’ve moved our regular date to every first Tuesday of the month.

We welcome all makers, from those those trying to make a living off their passion to anyone with an interest in creative crafting. We simply want to provide a place to exchange ideas, knowledge and skills while consuming respectable amounts of local delicacies.

So, our next meetup will be on the 7th of February at Hula Juice Bar, a lovely cafe on West Bow serving yummy smoothies, Artisan Roast coffee and all-day lunch. We’ll be crafting and chatting away from 5:30 to 7:30 and we hope to see many of you there!

Monthly MeetUp Flyer

posted by Stitch in Edinburgh,Event,Meet-up and have No Comments

Members’ Showcase Exhibition

Come and see what our members have been up to in their crafty making this year.

Our home for the week will be the Coburg House Gallery in Leith (15 Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH6 6ET). We’ll be open from 18 to 27 November, weekdays 12am-6pm and weekends 10am-5pm.

On Saturday 19th we’d like to invite you to meet some of the makers and have a chat with them over an afternoon glass of wine anytime from 3 to 5pm.

Among others the exhibition will feature work by Karolina Binczyk, Made by Jo, Carmenland, pegeggleg and Madeleine Shepherd.

Craft Reactor Showcase Exhibiton 2011

posted by Stitch in Edinburgh,Event,Exhibition,Member News and have No Comments

Member Profile: Jo Macrae aka Made by Jo

Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi there, I’m Jo Macrae, your Treasurer and dabbler in many a craft – with varying degrees of success!  My crafting is mostly confined to textiles – knitting, felting, sewing and trying to crochet.Made by Jo Cushion

Made by Jo on facebook

What’s your day job? How do you find the time to craft? (Or if this is your day job, how did you get to this point?)
My day job is at National Museums Scotland, where I work on the collections database, across all of the five collecting departments, from creepy crawlies and squidgy sea creatures to rococo vases and Scottish silver.

I craft in evenings and weekends, occasionally selling a bit at craft fairs and I have some work in the Stick Factory Gallery.  For most of my life I’ve always had something or other on the go.

What inspires you and/or keeps you going with your craft?
I love colours and patterns and I like to have something to keep my hands occupied.  I love to make things, especially from old / recycled / re-purposed fabrics – I have a large stash of patterned fabrics, I like nothing better than to find a lovely bit of tweed and combine it with some great patterns and colours.

Made by Jo Brooches
What do you do when you’re not making things?
I read a fair bit, watch way too much rubbish telly (often as a backdrop to my crafting), cooking and baking and enjoy a potter along Portobello beach indulging in some dog spotting.  If given the chance, you’ll find me haunting charity shops, looking out for pottery and ceramics that I don’t have room for (latest find being a very fetching – well, I think so – 1970s onion pot), old craft books and interesting patterns.

What are your top three Edinburgh recommendations?
For craft – K1 Yarns on Victoria Street – beautiful selection of interesting yarns (and they managed to teach me how to crochet – after a fashion!)
For baked goodness – The Manna House, 22-24 Easter Road – amazing breads and cakes.
For a wee tipple – The Espy, Bath Street, Portobello – kinda quirk pub, often containing a bonus dog, I quite want to pinch the picture above the mirror in the ladies’ loos!

What three websites or blogs do you love?
Pintrest – It might not be wrong to say that I’m slightly obsessed…
Joy the Baker – Random chat, interesting recipes, slightly deranged cat  – all good :o
I’m a ginger monkey – Lovely quilts, good chat

What couldn’t you live without?
Without doubt, tea!

posted by Stitch in Edinburgh,Member Profiles and have No Comments