Laura Ashley Crafty Evening

See what craft studio C.O.W. in Birmingham made at their Laura Ashley Workshop! read more

When C.O.W Studio (Creative Open Workshops) dropped us a line we were delighted to collaborate with Birmingham’s answer to crafty classes to see what inspiring creations they could make out of our Laura Ashley fabrics! Heading up C.O.W, Francine Schokker (visual/textile artist) and Erin Power (photographer/knitter) tell us all about the evening and what they crafted up…


“We were thrilled when we received the fabric delivery from Laura Ashley at our studio! The guys downstairs were left a bit bemused… we’re based in the historic Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and occupy a quaint little studio on the first floor, above a press tool-making workshop. The guys handle all the incoming mail and we hadn’t had the chance to inform them of our awaited fabric delivery yet. The pretty Laura Ashley wrapping certainly stood out against all the metal working machines.

Our heads were racing with the amount of different projects we could make to show off the beautiful new A/W2011 fabrics. “Shall we make bags? (We love making bags!) Or cushion covers? Or perhaps some bunting or even little purses?” All of the projects we thought of would make perfect Laura Ashley fabric items and the fabrics all lent themselves to being used in so many different ways with their different colours and prints… So we decided to leave the choice to our creative guests!

We prepared a range of different tutorial sheets for people to choose from and we were on hand to guide them through the different steps. Everyone had been to one (or more) of our workshops before, so they know how to work our sewing machines and are familiar with using the tailors chalk and tape measures.

The hardest part of any sewing project is deciding which fabrics to use and how to combine them. The Craft Evening session was no exception as the A/W 2011 collection is very colour co-ordinated, promising endless design compositions.

The weight of the fabrics inspired most of our ladies to create a beautiful durable bag; make up bag, zipped pouch, bucket back, clutch etc. The materials are sumptuous and exude luxury, which make the finished projects even more special.

The party atmosphere was enhanced by a surprise delivery of beautifully hand-decorated cupcakes by our colleague Helena!”

Here are just a few of the many crafter quotes from the evening and some pictures of the results…

“I loved the Laura Ashley fabrics, the muted colours were sumptuous.  I made a bird toy with the ‘ditsy’ purple and pink flower print (Mille fleurs fabric), and learned how to make pinwheels.  We had a relaxed but industrious evening in C.O.W Studio’s lovely and inspiring surroundings.  I was surprised how the bags, bunting and cushion showed how well the many different fabric prints worked together.  Now that I know how to make them, pinwheels are my new obsession!”


I really enjoyed attending the C.O.W evening where we were treated to using a lovely and luxurious range of Laura Ashley fabrics. I had been planning to make some bunting for a while and this workshop gave me the opportunity to learn how, using some gorgeous fabrics; some with bold, beautiful patterns, others with delicate floral prints. I chose two materials for my bunting, one with emphasis more on yellow, the other with hints of blue to perfectly compliment the colours in my living room. I was really pleased with the end result and was able to take away a lovely length of bunting using fabulous material and hand crafted all by myself!”


C.O.W run classes in lots of different crafts; sewing, dressmaking, jewellery, knitting, crochet and printmaking to name a few. But our main programme is filled with textile-based projects for people to master within an evening or afternoon. The sessions are relaxed, people are friendly and group sizes are kept small to ensure everyone gets the guidance they require.

Click here for C.O.W. website


One Comment

Inspirational! It’s years since I have used my sewing machine and now I can’t wait to start stitching. I am making over our home as we are moving and your blog has created so many ideas for accessorising our much loved pieces and giving our home a more contemporary feel.

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