Blyth-based FACTS program hosting Christmas craft weekend - Nov. 16, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Fashion Arts and Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) program is holding its second annual Christmas Crafting Weekend Dec. 1-2.
Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston, organizer of the event, said the activities offered will be enjoyable for crafters of all experience levels.
The programs cost between $30 and $125, depending on the final product, and all materials are included.
Triemstra-Johnston said each class, with the exception of open studio events held throughout the day, will be capped at 10 students. Those looking to participate should sign up early at Stitches with a Twist, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at
Classes are for crafters aged 15 and over. Crafters between 10 and 14 years old can attend if accompanied by an adult. The event will take place at Blyth Memorial Hall.
The weekend starts with three classes on Friday: pinecone decoration creation, a sock monkey class and needle felted sheep ornaments. All three courses run from 6:30-10 p.m. and are accompanied by wine and cheese.
The pinecone class costs $40 and is a “no-sewing necessary” course. Crafters, using provided fabric, create the pinecones through folding fabric. The course is taught by Susan Kendal Urback of Pocket Alchemy in Barrie.
The sock monkey course costs $45 and shows how to turn a set of work socks into a cherished stuffed animal. The class will be taught by Blyth’s own Irene Kellins of Stitches with a Twist.
The sheep ornament class will be taught by Jennifer Osborn of Mount Forest and will focus on the creation of all-wool sheep ornaments. The course costs $45.
Saturday will feature classes focusing on creating cross-stitch snowflake samplers, poinsettia pendants and woolen slippers.
The cross-stitch snowflake sampler program will be run by Urbach. The class costs $45 and will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Crafters will learn how to create samplers that can be used as table linens or used for quilting projects.
The poinsettia pendant class, also taught by Urbach, will run from 2-5:30 p.m. and cost $50. Crafters will learn scale embroidery focusing on a poinsettia pendant.
The woolen slippers class will see Osborn teach felting resulting in the creation of a pair of woolen slippers. The class costs $125 and runs from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Saturday classes will be accompanied by cider and baked goods.
On both Friday and Saturday, Triemstra-Johnston will be teaching how to craft sustainable gifts and wrapping throughout the day.
The projects range from $2 to $15, plus a course cost of $30 to $35.
Projects include marbling silk scarves which can be used both as wrapping and as a gift for the holidays; stamping and stenciling holiday aprons, bags and pillowcases; stamping and stencilling on recycled paper goods to craft eco-friendly wrapping and natural dyeing and shibori, which allows crafters to naturally dye table linens, silk scarves and pillow cases to be used as gifts and wrapping.
The open studios run 6:30-10 p.m. on Dec. 1 ($35) and 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ($30) and 2-5:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 ($35).
While everything is open to people of all crafting skills, Triemstra-Johnston said that crafters of higher skills levels will end up with more time to perfect their crafts.
“Expectations should be different for a first-timer,” she said. “If you’ve never stitched before, what you create won’t look like the instructor’s, but it will look great. Those with some experience will be able to go a little faster and have more time to perfect the crafts.”
Triemstra-Johnston said she has put together an accomplished group of teachers, saying that Osborn can teach anyone to felt and Urback has a similar ability to reach crafters of any level.
“Most teachers, after they’ve done this for awhile, can see who needs tips and who needs hands-on help,” she said. “All the projects are being run by teachers like that.”
The 2016 program was a great success, Triemstra-Johnston said, and led to some of the changes this year, the most significant of which was the venue.
“Memorial Hall is a different space that will allow the programs to be in separate places,” she said. “I recently ran a fascinator studio in the art gallery and it went well, so I know it’s a great space.
“The rest of the building will provide spaces where individual classes can be held without infringing on the other courses,” she said.
For more information, visit www.ruralcreativity.org