Friday, 23 September 2011

Screen printing and lino printing at Ministry of Craft

These are some photos from our linocut and screen printing course held at the start of the Autumn/Winter programme. Great designs were created to produce some quality prints. Everyone left with a bag, tea towel or t-shirt carrying their own design as well as a wonderful feeling of achievement. The good news is that both courses are running again on Saturday 19th November run by print designer Nell Smith so it is not too late to book if you are itching to give it a go!


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Patchwork fantastic!

I wanted to share some pictures from our last course of the Spring/Summer term, Perfect patchwork: Log cabin style throw. I'm sure you'll agree the results are fantastic! But it wasn't an easy road...with plenty of measurements, cutting and sewing to be done to achieve the finished product. Luckily our tutor Chris was on hand to guide everyone through. I find it amazing how the different combinations of fabric give each throw a completely different look and hopefully it will inspire you to take the patchwork plunge and begin to explore the creative possibilities!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Manchester Degree Show 2011

Don't miss the array of artistic talent on show this Saturday 18th - Wednesday 22nd July at Manchester Metropolitan University's Degree Show 2011, where art & design students display their final year achievements. It promises to be a creative melting pot of everything from embroidery and fashion to fine art painting and photography. You never know, you might spot the next big thing!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Super Duper Fair 2011

If you're a crafty maker from the North West then listen up! The Super Duper Fair showcases handmade and vintage pieces and will take place on Saturday 19th November 2011 in the Floral Hall of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool town centre. If you have some handmade gems that you would like to sell, just visit The Super Duper Fair blog or email Kerry Hunt at to find out how to apply for a stall. The deadline for applications is Friday 1st July.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Seeing the world through abstract eyes

Stephen Crowhursts illustration caught my eye a fair few weeks ago, so I thought it was high time I introduced his work to you. Seeing the world through abstract eyes he creates punchy images, combining linear marks and geometric shapes to great effect. His colour palette is strong and vibrant, demanding your attention and his aesthetic is playful. His work has appeared on everything from fashion to posters, and serves as inspiration as to the many applications your work can have. For all you print makers out there, this bold style lends itself beautifully and echoes the deceptively simple yet effective Scandinavian print style.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Chorlton Arts festival - Craft Fair and Family Fun Day

It's that time of year again when the Chorlton Arts Festival offers a myriad of arts based activities, from comedy, music, poetry to it's annual Craft Fair and family fun day, which has caught our eye.

The Craft fair will showcase Manchester artists and makers, as well as food and drink stalls, face painting and Latin, Arican and Asian Music - something for everyone!

It all kicks off at 11pm - 4pm on Saturday 21st May, at St Clemences Church on Edges Lane Chorlton. 

Hopefully see you there...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cross sitch is 'in Vogue'

Here at the Ministry we are fans of all things craft, especially when a traditional technique is given a contemporary twist, which is exactly what Inge Jacobson has done with her cross stitched Vogue covers. Taking nearly a month to create, they really are a labour of love...but we think they are well worth it. We also enjoy Inge's concept behind the work, "I like the idea of having something mass produced become unique and handmade." After all the attention on knitting and crochet and a certain 'cool' status being achieved due to their use in top designers collections, we think it's high time cross stitch got a look in too. What better way to do it than on the front cover of Vogue!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Granny would be proud arts and vintage fair

A little French birdie has just tipped off the Ministry about a new and exciting arts and craft fair that will be taking place this Sunday (8th May) at The Font, on Oxford Rd. It promises fashion, accessories, art, hair and make-up, crafts of all kind, music, books along with tutorials and much much more..

After proving very popular in Glasgow it sounds right up our street, and we'll be dropping in to it all check out (and of course Maud Telastuo's lovely jewellery) 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mollie makes - New craft magazine

While eating a box of Easter chocolates, flicking through a copy of my mum's magazine 'The Knitter' it's good to read about new craft publication 'Mollie makes' that will be hitting the shelves soon.

The aim is to reach a whole new generation of crafters who are part of a vast online community getting their inspiration from websites and blogs. The new magazine will provide readers with trendy and contemporary projects in a beautiful and inspiring environment.

Jane Toft, the art director for the project says on her blog:

'It's not a project book – although we do have projects never fear – more a beautifully printed keepable version of the eye candy and inspiration found on design blogs, Etsy and Flickr. We have crafty guides to a different city each month, plus sewing cafes, amazing stores to visit, books to read, and places to go.'

If you're a crafter they are looking out for crafty contributors around the world, so drop an email to if you fancy joining us.

Available on 12th May and with a great introductory offer of £5 for three issues a copy will certainly be in the library at Ministry of Craft.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Take Part in an ArtYarn project this summer...

If you are a keen knitter or crocheter and fancy making something a little bit different this summer then read on...>>>

Ministry of Craft's knitting and crochet  tutor Rachael Elwell, also known as ArtYarn, is currently adding to her list of community and public art projects by delivering several exciting woolly installation based project, in which she is inviting anyone with knitting and crochet skills to take part.
So if you have previously completed any of our knitting and crochet courses with Rachael, or you already have  basic knitting and crochet skills and wish to contribute, here's how you can get involved!

Firstly, ArtYarn will be creating a giant sculpture made from huge letter shaped pin cushions at this years family focused festival, Just So Festival 2011. 
Crafters from across the globe are invited to send in their woolly and fabric, nature inspired creations, and they will all be sewn on to the sculpture and will be on display at The Just So Festival 2011.

For more information on how to take part in this project, and for free patterns and inspiration please visit the project blog:

The next project on ArtYarn's agenda is the wonderful 'New Mills Woolly Wander' project in which ArtYrn's Rachael Elwell is the consultant artist. 
The New Milly Woolly Wander project will go on display in September 2011, and will be part of the New Mills Festival 2011.

For this project the Woolly Wander team are asking knitting and crochet enthusiasts to knit and crochet candies and sweets, and to knit squares!! 
To find out why, follow the link below..

Thanks for reading and we hope you will enjoy taking part in the projects.

If you would like to see a full list of ArtYarn's community and public arts project please visit:

and follow their blog:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Chris meets Amy Butler!

There was much excitement in the office today when we received an unexpected email from our fantastic tutor Chris, telling us that he had just met Amy Butler! Whilst in a John Lewis store in London, a tannoy announcement informed shoppers that Amy Butler was doing a book signing and Chris (like any dedicated crafter would) swiftly made his way upstairs to meet the textile queen herself. He even managed to have a quick snapshot taken with her and told Amy about Ministry of Craft, our love for her fabrics and the fact that we have used them for some of our course's. The news certainly brightened our day and Amy Butler's fabrics are sure to brighten up yours!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Kane the King of crochet

Ministry of Craft has long championed the art of crochet and now it seems high fashion is singing its praises too, with Christopher Kane creating a luxury catwalk collection made largely from crocheted squares! The rich, earthy tones give a sophisticated feel to the garments, which have been tailored into some beautifully cut and figure flattering pieces. I think this shows the heights that crochet can be taken to and serves as wonderful inspiration when you pick up a crochet hook! With Learn to crochet and Creative crochet: Intermediate techniques and patterns courses' coming up at the Ministry of Craft this coming Spring/Summer you too can learn this great skill.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hot off the press!

It seems Ministry of Craft has been catching some national attention of late, with two more features in Sewing World April 2011 and Sew Hip May 2011 issue 28. It's wonderful to see that our crafty offerings are striking the right chord with people.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The wonderful world of fabric

Here at Ministry we are always on the look out for new and inspiring websites/blogs that relate to all things creative and crafty. That's why I'm here to share True Up with you, a website dedicated to the wonderful world of fabric.

If like us you are addicted to Project Runway, then check out Part one and Part two of True up's interview with Jay McCarroll, the winner of Project Runway, Season one. It's the perfect opportunity to be nosy and find out what he has been up to since the show. He has created a beautiful range of fabrics and what is especially interesting, goes on to explain his inspiration behind each print.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Calling all vintage clothing lovers

I couldn't help but feel excited by a feature in today's Observer about 'Girl's own getaways'. Some of those didn't tick any boxes (surfing, snowboarding and horse riding have been 'try anything once' experiences for me!)

But having a guided tour of Parisian vintage shops as well as a Vintage masterclass on what to buy and where from ... now you're talking. can provide advice and a personal boutique, designed around your size, likes and choosen eras, champagne afternoon teas, the best of Parisian shopping and tours in a Citroen 2CV. That's a get away to remember! SS

Friday, 4 March 2011

Screen stars

Screen printing seems to be as popular as ever and we at Ministry of Craft are partial to a few glides of the squeegee ourselves! That's why I wanted to share this great article form UK Handmade, which profiles screen printing by looking at its history, talking to experts about their work and displaying some fantastic images that are sure to inspire. After having a read if you want to get in on the act then why not join us for our next Screen stars: Introduction to screen printing course.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sew Hip hip hooray

A bit of a treat to see our Beginners sewing: Vintage style apron and tea towels course featured in the 'News' section of March's SEW HIP magazine.  It's a great read for anyone who wants to try out new and varied projects with detailed instructions and patterns included. One of our firm favourites for inspiration, ideas and techniques.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Pattern design & beyond

In a nod to our Design your own fabric: lino cut pattern printing course this Saturday here is a little helping of inspiration. Check out the Pattern People blog for some of the latest fashion collections, which host some printastic pieces! For those of you who fancy taking your printing hobby a little more seriously and considering it for a career or just want to find out more, a great new e book has been released to tell you just how to do it. Pattern Design & Beyond from Pattern People features the work of our very own Ministry of Craft tutor Holly Lawton, and promises to be crammed full of fantastic tips, inspiration and industry know how. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Rachael Elwell - The Capacity of Line

We can't get enough of those lovely people at Indie Quarter, especially as they have just posted a feature about our super talented tutor, Rachael Elwell. Rachael is currently doing a residency at Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale, which is also hosting her first UK solo exhibition called The Capacity of Line. Ministry of Crafter's may know Rachael for her knitting and crochet skills, but this is your chance to find out more about her practice as a fine artist and feast your eyes on some of her stunning work. Rachael has been charting her time as artist in residence here.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Indie Quarter feature

The lovely people at the Indie Quarter blog have just done a great feature on our up and coming, Design your own fabric - Lino cut pattern printing course. It's a brand new feature to this course programme and offers a fantastic combination of technical skills and creative crafting, which will see you walk away with a set of 6 cards, calico bag and cotton teatowel all printed with your own personal designs and the know how to create the perfect fabric for any future projects. If you would like to join us, just visit the Ministry of Craft website to book your place. Hope to see you there!

Be sure to check out all the latest happenings in arts, crafts, fashion and culture at Indie Quarter, which is guaranteed to inspire, inform and get the creative juices flowing!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Valentines Day crafts

Valentines is just a few short days away, and if you're following the trend for making gifts to give to your special someone, then this fabulous tutorial from Design Sponge may show you how to perfectly package your lovingly made present.

Unbelievably the roses below are made from sweet wrappers and make the perfect Valentines Day table decoration. Plus you don't have to feel guilty about spending money because they're made from recycled materials and you get to use your crafting skills at the same time. Perfect! Check out Cut out & keep for the tutorial. Have a great Valentines day!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Ancient arts and crafts

We'll be adding lots of new courses to the the website over the next few months and we'd like to introduce you to our newest recruit Marta Cunha, who makes the most beautiful jewellery from Origami.

After developing a passion for origami, she soon realised that origami could be more than a hobby and the designs could be made small enough to be worn as unique items of jewellery and so Dark Horse Origami was born.

Starting initially with traditional Japanese Washi papers, she has recently moved from folding paper shapes to folding silver and below is a picture of her pure silver origami lily earrings, which she also makes as a pendant. 

Featured on her blog dark horse, these minuature fushia flower earrings with Swarovski crystals are so delicate, yet pretty. I so wanted to treated myself at Christmas!

If you feel inspired then Marta is teaching our new Origami jewellery class where you can learn how to create origami shapes and the art of shrinking what you learn into a pair of earrings, pendant and brooch.