Getting Creative in Cosby

Getting Creative in Cosby

Last week I was invited down to Leicestershire to visit the Cosby Quilters to give a talk on the Tuesday evening and run a textile workshop on the Wednesday. The workshop they chose was “Tall Trees”, based on one of my early art quilts, which involves painting fabrics such as cotton, interfacing and muslin which are then layered with organza and free motion stitched.

Normally this is a two day class but occasionally, as with Cosby, it’s booked for one day with the students happy to finish in their own time. The ladies have made a great start with their pieces and I’m looking forward to receiving photos as and when they get finished.

Pat Screaton, one of the Cosby Quilters, lives in the village and is also heavily involved with the Cosby Yarn Bombing. It’s a joint effort by members of the Cosby Crafters & the social enterprise Gather Create Grow, which uses arts & crafts to improve wellbeing & reduce isolation.

When the workshop ladies stopped for lunch Pat said she needed to pop out for a few minutes to go round to “the barn” and suggested I go with her to get an idea of the scale of their yarn bomb activities.

The barn itself was crammed with box after box of knitting/crochet wool and there were ladies sitting on the grass all around knitting, crocheting or sewing granny squares together… looked a proper cottage industry! It turns out that there are regular sessions for folk to attend as well as the group reaching out to the wider community, including schools, to get everyone involved. What a fantastic enterprise!

They don’t appear to do anything on a small scale, all the characters, animals, plants, etc, etc, that they create are life size.

Everything is carefully stored between events and everything gets recycled over and over again, being reincarnated as something, or someone, different the following year.

This is their life size model of our Queen, complete with Corgi’s, made to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee…….I love the detail they include such as the Queens monogrammed gloves and the royal “posh poo” bag!

…..and a few photos from last years Nativity Scene……

The local community are currently well on the way with their 2022 ‘Make a Splash’ themed installations which will be decorating the beautiful village of Cosby this August. Back at Pats house I was given a sneak preview of a few of the pieces and they are looking impressive…..including schools of fish, a massive crocheted coral reef and a huge wet felted Lochness Monster!

The “Make a Splash” Yarn Bomb will run from 13 August to 4 September 2022 and will stay up for 25 days. It’s all outdoors, it’s going to be spectacular, and it’s completely free so if you are in the Leicestershire area it’s well worth a visit.

25 thoughts on “Getting Creative in Cosby

  1. Petition to create a Cosby Yarn Bombing in every city of the UK! That Queen looks marvellous and I laughed more than I should have at the notion of Her Maj holding a posh poo bag 😀

    I’m glad you’re managing to get together with like-minded craft people, I do miss going to events…

    1. Oh that posh poo bag did it for me too Leonor! I remember walking into town the first time Horncastle was yarn bombed… looked fabulous and I had a smile on my face for the rest of day. If you Google it there are lots of places around the UK that do but I haven’t seen any before on the scale of Cosby! I like that some groups put their displays up under the cover of darkness and I remember seeing a group interviewed years ago, all wearing knitted/crocheted masks to hide their identity!!

  2. WOW Karen, I love those tree quilts – I don’t suppose there’s any chance of your doing a workshop for us on the Studio? I’d love to have a go.
    WOW again! What fantastic work, I bet that Cosby looks really great when all that work is on view (though I don’t doubt that there may be some grizzlers who don’t like yarn bombing – there’s always a few.)

    1. Thanks Ann. Oh dear, that question has left me nowhere to hide!🫣I’ve been promising Ruth that I will put together some online classes for some time now but events (and life in general) have got in the way😱…..If anyone else is interested maybe I could offer a Tall Trees workshop on the studio via Zoom? I can feel a discussion coming on…..

    2. I don’t think I can do zoom. I can’t get the internet in my workshop and I don’t have a camera on my pc screen so I assume that I can’t.

    3. Sorry Ann, maybe I misunderstood what you were saying when you mentioned a workshop on the Studio. Did you mean a blog post?
      I don’t have a pc or laptop so I access Zoom on my tablet.

    4. I actually meant like one of the paid for tutorials that some of the other members have put on here I’ve done one of Ruth’s which I could do from the videos and pdf documents she put together. Certainly a blog post would be good, but I wasn’t angling for a free peek at your expertise.

  3. Two amazing stories in one post! As a mostly self taught fibre artist I love seeing how things are put together to create wonderful art pieces. And the yarn bombing group is inspirational. To be part of a group of people who are able to work together on such a big scale to create something that gives so many other people pleasure is a dream to me. It takes something really special to put that all together.

    1. I agree, Cosby obviously has a wonderful, close, creative community and the time and effort to organise something like this requires a very dedicated team. I can’t speak for the others but, having known Pat for several years, I never cease to be amazed by her enthusiasm and energy.

  4. Amazing! It’s yarn bombing on a very grand scale and it’s great because it pulls the community together. Love the knitted seagulls and Her Maj with corgis!

    That looks like a lovely workshop to run and it would be great to see some photos of the finished pieces if possible please.

    1. I liked the seagulls too Lyn. There were so many great images on their Facebook site it was hard to whittle them down. If you get a chance to look there’s even a life size Rapunzel standing on a crocheted balcony attached to the front of someone’s property with her hair reaching down to the street.
      I will definitely post an update of the trees once I get some images back from the group.

  5. Ah…yes, that’s what I originally thought you meant and is what I’ve been telling myself I’m going to do. Life has just got in the way so far but it will happen sooner or later!

  6. The workshop looks fabulous, Karen. I’m really looking forward to seeing their final pieces.

    Another wow for the Cosby yarn bombers – we have yarn bombers in both Whitstable (where I live) and Faversham (where I work). Maybe not quite on that magnificent scale but their creations always bring me great joy. I think it’s the ‘because we can’ attitude that I find so appealing, plus that they always arrive by stealth.

    1. Good to hear you’ve got it down your way too Lindsay.
      Hopefully by the time I write my next post I will have photos of the quilts and the Make a Splash installations to show you.

  7. I love your original tall trees, it’s splendid. Yarn bombing is fun. I took part in one years ago at a Scarborough Doctors practice.

  8. The trees workshop looks like a success. I’m looking forward to seeing the end results, hopefully, they will send you photos. I know life is getting in the way, but when you are able, online workshops would be perfect 🙂

    The yarn bombing is amazing. I have seen yarn bombing but not on that scale. And the posh poo bag is hilarious. Good for that community for building and keeping up such a wonderful practice of adding joy to the world.

    1. I really hope that Her Maj has seen the image of the poo bag…..I’m sure it would get a royal approval!
      I promise I will eventually get around to putting together the online workshops Ruth😱…keep badgering me!

  9. What a great looking class. I love trees. I hope you share their finished pictures when they are done.
    What a great town to live in with so much enthusiasm for yarn bombing. Those are really big projects they are doing.

    1. I love trees too Ann and will definitely share the photos when I get them.
      I would definitely be a part of that team if I lived in that area!

  10. Karen, your quilting class is something I would love to do! It’s so different from what I pictured when you first mentioned the word “quilting.” I would love to see the results too.

    The yarn bombing in Cosby is “the bomb!” American crafters have never taken to the yarn bombing idea. I went to a fiber retreat, where we were asked to bring pieces, to yarn bomb. I think 10 of 100 attendees brought something…it was rather sad. Now, I am adding Cosby to my “UK Visit” bucket list.🙌🏼

    1. Thats understandable if you were expecting a more traditional quilt.
      I think Pat would be thrilled to think you have Cosby on your UK bucket list!

  11. Oh Karen….I’m very late to this party.
    Your tree workshop will have been much appreciated & you will have given your willing students so much knowledge to take away. I’m looking forward to seeing their finished works – hopefully they will send photos to you.

    Yarn bombers are great & bring a smile to so many in so many places. Cosby certainly do things ‘life size’ & obviously involve all members as structural support is needed too. Just love Her Maj’s poo bag – I’m sure she will have laughed as loud as us, as no doubt someone in her family will have shown her.

    1. I’ve started to recieve images of the finished pieces and they are fab.
      Hoping to get down to Cosby to see the installations later this month….if I do I’ll get plenty of photos.

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