Since 2014, St Mary’s Isles of Scilly WI’s Craft Group has met during the quieter ‘off season’ from late October to March. In the early years, sessions were fortnightly and varied between afternoons and evenings in the homes of members, then numbering in single figures. Gradually, demand increased and a regular venue had to be found. Membership now makes up over a third of the whole WI, and sessions are held weekly in the Church pavilion.
In the five years since starting, the women have tried 44 different crafts, occasionally revisiting and building on previously learnt skills. Some projects are one off ‘bite-size’ sessions; sometimes the group tackles longer lasting craft challenges such as embroidered recycled denim bags or handmade lampshades. No craft is off limits and members suggest, research and present new ideas for the group to try. Some members lead more sessions than others, but most have taken a turn to teach or organise the group.
Every February the craft includes the WI ‘Show The Love’ campaign, with results being taken back in some form to the whole WI or wider community. In the coming season the aim is to stitch green hearts onto handmade reusable shopping bags to be given away at an awareness raising event.
Each season the group invites at least one guest tutor to lead a craft activity. So far members have been taught mono printing, fimo button making, junk journaling and mandala drawing. The guest tutor this coming year will be showing how to create intricate paper collage pictures.
Crafts waiting in the wings for 2019/20 include paper quilling, macrame, paper-cut lacing, rag rugging, weaving, ribbon embroidery, glass painting and dream catcher construction.
As always, the Craft Group is proud to put on a display of all that has been made at the March Annual Meeting. New members are welcome to come along to any session, as are interested visitors, to join in, observe or just share refreshments in a happy, inclusive, creative environment.