myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Christmas Crafts and a special Mini Retreat Day!

We’ve been feeling very festive around here this week as we prepare for a bumper season of Christmas Crafts!
Not only do I have some new Bearpaw Christmas Craft Classes to share with you, but we’ve also gone and organised a new Stitch Gathering Mini Retreat Day
We just couldn’t wait another year to do the Stitch Gathering Retreat again so Jonathan suggested a Christmas Craft Day (another genius idea – thanks hubby!). We’ve booked the same venue but just the one large room so we can take 40 people for a fun day of Christmas sewing on Sunday 10th November.
But what will we be making I hear you ask?

In the afternoon we’ll all be making Christmas bread baskets and matching napkins. We’ll be having a go at a wonky star and/or an improv house block and then turning them into these really useful items!
And in the morning retreaters can choose between Christmas Patchwork Storage Caddies with Sarah…

…and EPP Hexy Garland Ornaments with me!

We’ll also be organising a Handmade Secret Santa, a Fabric Swap and we’ll finish the day off with wine and cake! For more details and to book head over to the Stitch Gathering website.

Meanwhile we’ve just released our winter programme of classes, including a Christmas Machine Embroidery class with Sarah. You’ll be making Christmas Placemats amongst other things. This one is booking up fast, only 2 places left as I type! Sorry now full! We may put another one on so email me if you are interested.

And I am going to be teaching you how to make this lovely Christmas Angel. I made her back in early August (when I was trying to be prepared for the future!). Students have been asking me for this class for a while, so I hope everyone likes the angel I have designed and wants to make her.

We only have a day so I needed to make a very simplified doll pattern. Hence her legs being sewn together. And she is an angel, so it stands to reason 😉

I made her dress out of some vintage linen from my collection. I’ve had this table runner for years, folded up in a press, so it’s nice to make use of it as a pretty dress, with some satin ribbon as a trim. Her wings are also made from some very old gold silk that I was given about 20 years ago when someone was clearing out a departed relatives sewing box (it’s a good job I keep EVERYTHING).
Her hair band is a piece of White Stuff lace (from their labels) with beads sewn into it (so she is actually very upcycled!).
You can check out all our winter classes here.

I do hope there is something for everyone with our Christmas workshops and Mini Retreat Day, maybe some of my local readers might like to join us?!


  1. Ha! Mine thinks it's unresonable to fly across the Atlantic twice in a few months!;)
    The angel is great…I lOVE the legs sewn together like that…makes her less floppy too!

  2. Where does your energy come from Jo – maybe you should bottle some. Not sure if I can make it but sure it will fill up super fast. That angel is adorable and would make rather a nice Princess (without wings) for a certain bed…………..

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