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Tag Archives for " activity breaks the trossachs "

1 Sewing Tutor Gill McBride

Q&A with our Sewing/Dressmaking Tutor Gill McBride

Our lovely Sewing Tutor, Gill McBride is an absolute whizz with a sewing machine. She’s the go-to guru for all things involving dressmaking and patterns. In this Q&A blog Gill shares her top tips and answers some questions about the course – we hope you find it helpful!
Residential Dressmaking CourseQ      What are your top 3 tips for great sewing?

  1. Get to know your sewing machine! It’s the first thing any new sewer, or any sewer with a new sewing machine, should do.  Over the years I have found that a ‘fear’ of the sewing machine is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to being a happy sewer.  Once you understand how to de-tangle it, re-thread it, sort the tension and so on, then you’ll be able to go straight to sewing without worrying about ‘what if’ the machine ……!
  2. Sew in stages! Most of us don’t have time to sit and make a whole garment at one sitting!  I’ve learnt this over the 45 years that I’ve been making clothes. So, break your project up into stages. Cut and prepare your pattern as one stage; pin your pattern and cut your fabric as the second stage; prepare for sewing and start sewing as a third stage and finally, do your finishing. In this way, you’ll make far fewer mistakes, you’ll manage to fit in an hour here and hour there and you’ll get your garment/project made – even though you have a full time job or are a full-time family and house person – without disrupting normal routines.
  3. Press as you go! Lack of pressing is one of the key things that makes a project look ‘home made’.  If you press as you go, you will be amazed at the difference in your finished garment/project!

Residential Sewing Course at Gartmore House
Q       What is your favourite thing to make and why?

A        I just love to tailor a jacket.  Even though I use modern speed tailoring techniques, it takes quite a long time and in fact the preparation takes most of the time and the sewing probably the least of the time.  But it is so satisfying.  And because the prep work has taken so long, the sewing to me, is less likely to have to be undone and redone!  I suppose that’s because I’m really taking my time to make the jacket properly and not hurrying as I do with so many other sewing projects!!  Ready to wear jackets never fit me very well because of my shape, so the pure pride and satisfaction of wearing a jacket that fits me really well, is immense!
 
Q        Who are your courses at Gartmore House aimed at?
A          The courses are aimed at all levels of sewers. The beauty of the sewing holiday is that we have 4 sewing days, so there is lots of time for everyone.  So if you are not so confident with your sewing, or you don’t have a lot of experience, you will still have time over the 4 days to learn and to sew and you won’t hold anybody up. The number of people on the course is small, so I have lots of time to spend with each person at whatever stage of sewing they are at.  The only course that probably demands more experience is the speed tailoring course.  It is much more demanding and it is better suited to more experienced sewers.
Sewing machines & overlockersQ         What about Sewing Machines?
A          Sewing machines come in all shapes and sizes and the best advice is to buy according to your budget.  Don’t ever be persuaded to buy more than you will use.  It’s easy to upgrade at a later date, but to buy a machine and not use most of it is a pity!  At Gartmore House, I can provide sewing machines (hire is £40 for the longer course or £20 for a weekend course), and I also bring along an overlocker.  So if you can’t manage to bring a machine with you, that’s not a problem at all.  Just let me know beforehand via the team at Gartmore House, and I’ll bring a machine for you to use. And, if you’ve never used an overlocker and are curious, then you can try one out!
 
Sewing course at Gartmore HouseQ         What’s the best thing about a sewing/dressmaking holiday at Gartmore House?
A          Having the time to sew without distraction; having company to sew with; having someone there to help with the sewing problems and questions; having loads of laughs, loads of fun and making new friends!  I love it!
If you’re interested in joining Gill on a Sewing Patterns/Dressmaking residential course at Gartmore House, please take a look at the course webpage, give us a call on 01877 382991 or email our team mail@gartmorehouse.com – we look forward to seeing you!
#gartmoreexperience

2 Art Cloth Doll Making Demo

Art Cloth Doll Making Courses at Gartmore House – hello from Tutor Angela

Tutor Angela runs our Art Cloth Doll Making courses at Gartmore House and explains a bit more about what you can expect from the course:
It is such fun making cloth character dolls. In March the participants in the other craft class at Gartmore House couldn’t understand why there was so much hilarity in our workshop!  All our work was closely scrutinized by a very cute four-footed friend (well-behaved dogs are welcome at the House) – I think he approved, although he liked the home bakes better…
Art Cloth Doll Making CourseMaking a cloth doll is a lot easier than you might think. You do not need expert sewing skills, just the courage to give it a go. Forty 12 year-old school pupils who worked with me in 2018, some of whom couldn’t use scissors far less a sewing machine at the start, all achieved fantastic results with their marionettes/dolls.
The school pupils worked in pairs on one doll. There was only one pair who couldn’t manage to compromise on their design, so they made a half man, half panda!! If you enjoy holidaying with a friend, why not come and create something unique together.Panda Man
Over the 4 days that the course runs at Gartmore House, I will explain each step in detail with demonstrations, worksheets, samples, diagrams and personal one-to-one support. As this class is an introduction to the craft, we will use a fairly basic pattern to get you started, thus avoiding complex joint construction. However I will still ensure you learn all the skills needed to make a characterful cloth doll – both to finish your doll and create more at home.
Art Cloth Doll Making DemoEverything you could possibly need and more, is provided for your first foray into doll making. But please feel free to bring with you any inspiring pictures, photos, fabrics, buttons, braids, ribbon, beads etc that you already have and might want to use. Just be aware that the dolls themselves often take on a character of their own, and so your plans might just play second fiddle to those of your creation!
The Mole
I recently went to a doll making class myself as part of my continuing professional development and “made some mistakes”, shall we say. However I used those mistakes as inspiration. Come and meet “The Jester” and “The Last of the Mole Hecans” and I’ll let you in on their secrets.
Hope to see you at Gartmore House soon for some creative Art Cloth Doll Making fun!
Angela NeilsonAngela
Tutor – Art Cloth Doll Making 
Visit our course webpage for Art Cloth Doll Making to find out more about dates, prices and a day-by-day itinerary. To book, visit our website, call us on 01877 382991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com.

Dog rules at Gartmore House

Dog Rules at Gartmore House

We love dogs! However we appreciate that not all guests are dog lovers. Here are some doggy house rules to keep everyone happy:

  • We limit it to 3 dogs in the house at any one time and we have 3 bedrooms allocated to guests with dogs.
  • Dogs are more than welcome as long as they are kept in the guest’s bedroom.
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead whilst in the house and throughout the grounds of Gartmore Estate.
  • Dogs will not be allowed in the public areas or crafting workshops.
  • “All dogs must be good guests”.
  • We charge £10 per dog per night. Alternatively, there are kennels located at the end of the road from Gartmore House; the kennels are called ‘Kuruba‘ and if you wish to house your dog there whilst staying with us you should contact Kuruba directly (summer months can be especially busy).

Please note this does not apply to assistance dogs.
Should you have any questions, please give us a call on 01877 382991, email mail@gartmorehouse.com or visit our website.
For Knitting & Crochet Holidays, visit https://www.gartmorehouse.com/knitting-and-crochet-holidays/
 

  • May 20, 2019
  • News
Conic Hill, Loch Lomond

Celebrating National Walking Month this May – Walking Resources and Top Tips

May is National Walking Month! Being situated in the midst of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and surrounded by the Queen Elizabeth Forest , we’re lucky to have some amazing walking routes on our doorstep and even some famous national trails nearby. If you fancy joining a guided trip then Gartmore House offers Introduction to Hill Walking Holidays with expert local guide Gavin Clarke.
In celebration of all things hiking and walking, here are some great resources and top tips if you fancy a wander around these bonnie parts!
 
 
– A nice article by Countryfile talking about walks in our national park – Countryfile’s Best Walks in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
Walk Highlands – a huge array of walking routes are listed on this fantastic website, with details of start/end points, route notes, downloadable GPX tracks and even the route marked on online OS maps – here’s the link to the ever-popular Ben Lomond – Scotland’s most southerly Munro
Ordnance Survey maps via the App – essential for safe hill walking. The App also has a lovely feature that allows you to point your phone or device at a certain vista and see all the mountains and features of the landscape named on your screen (such as towns/villages, lochs and lochans, hills and Munro’s)
Ordnance Survey videos and leaflets – a handy blog linked to videos and downloadable leaflets which you should view if you need a refresher on map symbols, safety when hill walking, or advice on choosing the right scale map for you
– Iconic long distance National Trails the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way are within easy reach of Gartmore House – these are linear walks so if you have 2 cars you can easily dip in and out of part of the route, or give us a call and we can assist with arranging a taxi transfer back to your car to make your life easier!

Loch Katrine Cruise

Loch Katrine Cruise

– A lovely longer walk at picturesque Loch Katrine; drive to the pier (approx 30 mins from Gartmore House), then take the Sir Walter Scott Steamship out to Stronachlachar Pier and then walk the 13km along the loch-side back to your car (or walk to Stronachlachar and take the boat back) – make sure you check sailing schedules first. Both ends of the ferry have good cafes to replenish your energy with tea and cake!
And our TOP TIP if you do one hill walk in the area – make it Conic Hill – this is a popular and ‘short but stiff’ walk from the pretty village of Balmaha – you’ll be rewarded with some stunning views over Loch Lomond.
Happy Walking!
#gartmoreexperience
To book or enquire further please visit https://www.gartmorehouse.com/walking-holidays/ or call us on 01877 382991, or drop us a line mail@gartmorehouse.com
 

  • May 1, 2019
  • News

Patchwork & Quilting – Tutor Clare Workman talks about course projects for 2019/20

Hi everyone! My name’s Clare and I’m the Tutor for the Patchwork and Quilting holidays here at Gartmore House – and this is my first blog post!…..so here goes…..
When teaching I like to offer a choice of projects, so you can choose what you’d like to create and techniques you’d like to learn. Many of my students have attended my courses before, so it’s good for them to know they can learn new skills and work on different projects.  Right now, I’m continuing to develop new projects for 2019/20 holidays which is always a lot of fun – I make sure there are lots of design and technique options so everyone can choose their own personal favourite to work on – we don’t all have to do the same thing!
I make sure there’s a good choice for complete beginners – and also to challenge and extend the skills of the more experienced. Sampler blocks, strips and borders will be options – they offer so much scope to learn a new technique fast and can be made up into quilts,cushions, runners, bags and more besides.
Quilting will be explored in more detail for those who want to try free machine quilting or discover what can be achieved with a walking foot and a bit of imagination – full guidance given…..playtime!! We keep class sizes small so everyone gets a lot of individual attention. It’s an ideal opportunity to build skills.
I am also extending the range of Bargello designs from traditional to contemporary and art designs – lovely landscapes in Bargello! Abstract is the new buzz word!
Patchwork and Quilting Holidays at Gartmore House
New for 2019/20 will be lots of smaller projects so students can sample different techniques and finish several smaller items during their holiday. I’m on a mission to reduce my ‘stash’ and these projects will be ideal… So, if you have a mountain or a molehill of fabric waiting to be used, bring it along and achieve that satisfied glow of putting all that fabric to very good use! A good clear-out does however make room for more possibly…!
I’m going to be posting some pictures of new works as we go along and am also working on a Guests’ Gallery which will showcase the delicious diversity of work we do here on our holidays! From complete beginner to experienced stitcher, all are welcome and there really is something for everyone to enjoy. Patchwork and quilting without fear – if you’ve always wanted to try it,come and join us for relaxed creative fun – you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!
More details are on the Patchwork & Quilting Course webpage…. and more will follow on this blog…..
See you soon at Gartmore!
 

Lace Making for Christmas – tutor Jean Leader's festive ideas

Christmas is coming… Lace making tutor Jean Leader shares some of her festive crafty ideas…
Although Christmas is nearly three months away, I’ve already been asked about suitably festive patterns for bobbin lace to hang on the tree or use on cards. It’s a long time since I made my first lace ornament for our tree — a little green Christmas tree decorated with coloured beads inside a ring. At a lace course I was given an anonymous page with three patterns, one for the tree and two others for a candle and a star. I made all three and when they were finished attached each one to a bangle ready to hang on our tree (the original tree in a ring went missing a few years ago and for its replacement I used fabric stiffener to give it more body instead of a ring).

Tree, candle, star lace patterns

Tree, candle, star lace patterns

Since then I have built up quite a collection of Christmas patterns, some I’ve found in magazine or books, and others I have designed myself. I try to come up with at least one new pattern every year but I’m still thinking about something for this year and I still have plenty of time!
snowflakes lace

snowflakes lace

rings lace

rings lace

festive lace creations

festive lace creations

If you’ve never made bobbin lace you may be wondering if you’d be able to make any of these. The answer is a very definite YES. The twisted spirals can be made by complete beginners and even the little tree would be possible — it’s made with finer thread which means there are more stitches (think 2-ply versus double knitting) but they are the same stitches. In case you’re wondering the spirals are made flat, then wound round a pencil wrapped in cling film (to keep the pencil clean) and painted with stiffener. Once they’re dry take out the pencil and hang them on the tree!
spiral lace

spiral lace

If you’re new to bobbin lace making I can bring what you’ll need to get going (pillow, bobbins, thread etc) — please just let the folk at Gartmore House know in advance.
On the other hand if you’d prefer to work on something other than Christmas decorations then please also get in touch. I’ll be happy to help if you have any questions.
For further information on lace making courses, see our website or simply pick up the phone and give us a call on 01877 382991. Our next course before Christmas starts 9 November 2018.   Find out more about tutor Jean Leader, visit https://www.jeanleader.net/

Valentines Gifts at Gartmore House

Valentine Gifts at Gartmore House

Valentine’s Gift Vouchers

They say that true happiness is made from experiences and moments over material things.  With Valentine’s Day upon us, why not treat a loved one to an activity break gift voucher at Gartmore House? Located in the stunning Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Gartmore is a quirky estate offering a range of popular activity breaks.  Guests can choose from options such as crafting, painting, singing breaks and foraging for the foodie.
Activity breaks at Gartmore are designed for guests to escape from the fast paced life.  A break at Gartmore includes delicious home cooked food and a large roaring fire looking out over breath-taking Scottish views.  A perfect location to embrace a new passion or learn a new skill. Gartmore House is an 18th century country house with views that stretch 25 miles across to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.
For further information and to purchase gift vouchers at Gartmore House visit www.www.gartmoreestate.com

A Valentine’s Winter Deal

If you fancy a wee Valentine’s weekend away with your loved one why not book our Winter Deal. You will enjoy a bottle of Prosecco in your room on arrival, accommodation with stunning views over The Trossachs, a 3-course dinner to tantalise your taste buds and full Scottish breakfast the next morning – all for just £89 per room per night.
Book online today or call the team on 01877 382 991
 
 

  • February 9, 2018
  • News
Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Inspire Your Heart With Art Day

Happy Inspire Your Heart With Art Day! We love art here at Gartmore House, and offer a range of art breaks to get those creative juices flowing. From watercolour painting holidays to felting courses , we have it covered.
Inspire Your Heart With Art Day is an opportunity to reflect on how art is good for the soul. Art has many benefits for our mental well-being.
Art can move us to tears, or laughter and it can transport us to magical places. Art has the power to inspire us and it is a very healthy activity to take part in to encourage mindfulness. The statistics show us that taking time to relax and get creative, away from our screens, is fantastic for our mental health.
Art teaches us to generate a love for learning and creativity, it helps to support our brain development. Art is also fantastic for our problem-solving skills and is thought to improve our emotional intelligence. We would love to hear from you – what is your favourite type of art? Do you have a favourite artist?
Why not treat yourself to one of our creative activity breaks at Gartmore House?
To make a booking call us on 01877 382991 or email mail@gartmorehouse.com

  • January 31, 2018
  • News