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Kirstie's Handmade Britain

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Queen of the homemade home, Kirstie Allsopp returns with a brand new series that really tests her mettle as a craftswoman

About the Show

Queen of the homemade home, Kirstie Allsopp returns with a brand new series that really tests her mettle as a craftswoman

Series 1 Summary

Having reignited the nation's passion for crafts, Kirstie Allsopp sets out to see if she can really cut it in the artisan world as she travels the UK visiting some of the finest county fairs, and submitting entries to some of the toughest craft competitions around.

From baking killer cakes and cushion making, to paper crafting and vintage dress making, and even a scarecrow competition, Kirstie attempts to hone her skills in various disciplines to see if she can compete with some of the most dedicated, passionate crafts people in the country.

Viewers also learn tricks of the trade from the best of the best.

Under the tutelage of some familiar faces, and the guidance of some new experts, Kirstie is left to her own devices to create a masterpiece fit to sit alongside and be judged against numerous other competitors. How will she cope with the pressure of competition rules? And can she cut it alongside some super competitive and experienced rival entrants?

  • Episode 1

    Kirstie heads to the Devon County Show, where she enters some of her finest baked goods in the Afternoon Tea competition.

    Kirstie needs to perfect her scones and homemade jam, and her chosen afternoon tea patisserie - kumquat eclairs. She enlists expert scone maker Richard Hunt to help her with a crumble-free scone, and the advice of Loretta Liu, who has worked under Raymond Blanc and Gordon Ramsay, for her eclairs.

    Never one to do things half-heartedly, as the day of reckoning nears Kirstie decides she's going to enter a second baking competition - the single cake competition - where she creates a Caribbean fruit cake. But has Kirstie bitten off more than she can chew?

  • Episode 2

    Kirstie tackles the art of paper crafts, endeavouring to create amazing pieces it's hard to believe are just made from paper.

    Kirstie is taking part in competition at The Royal Welsh Show. Established in 1904 and with over 200,000 visitors a year, the show is one of the most prestigious in the country, with competitions in everything from best egg to best walking stick. With 2000 entries alone in the craft and cookery competition categories, Kirstie is going to face stiff competition.

    Decoupage designer Jaina Minton teaches Kirstie how to make a paper sculpture seagull that will stand on his own little handmade beach.

    Next Kirstie creates an embroidered greetings card.

    And her last competition entry involves some clever up-cycling - making something new from something old. Phiona Richards introduces Kirstie to paper jewellery, and together they recycle damaged books, turning the print and pictures into rose rings.

  • Episode 3

    Kirstie takes on some complex needlework challenges as she enters a cushion of her own design into the needlecraft competition at the Great Yorkshire Show.

    With over 12,000 competition entrants across the weekend, and a massive 130,000 visitors expected to attend, Kirstie knows her entry at The Great Yorkshire Show must be top notch to have any chance of being crowned Best in Show.

    Once she's designed her cushion, Kirstie eagerly turns to her most favourite craft ever: freestyle machine embroidery - this time using water soluble backing to create gorgeous embroidered flowers.

    Kirstie turns to needlework wonder woman Jo Colwill to practice her hand embroidering and applique, quilting and bordering.

  • Episode 4

    Kirstie attempts to perfect the art of flower arranging for the floral art competitions at the Royal Cornwall Show. After the success of her cushion entry at her last show, can she continue her winning ways with flowers?

    Flower art is essentially creating a sculpture with flowers, but there are lots of official rules to follow when flower arranging, so before she can even begin Kirstie has to swot up. It can take years to master all the rules, but Kirstie only has a couple of weeks. And she's not entering just the one competition...

    Her first arrangement will be for the petite class, and to help Kirstie understand the basics Sioned Rowlands teaches her some tricks of the trade at Meadowgate.

    The second category is the imposed exhibit: an exam-style competition where all entrants are given identical flowers and components and a time limit of just two hours to make their own exhibit.

    But with nothing but her own imagination, and the challenge of remembering everything she's learned to help her for the final day, can Kirstie keep her cool and produce something from scratch that could win her a prize?

  • Episode 5

    Kirstie enters the notoriously competitive world of the Women's Institute as she prepares to enter the New Forest and Hampshire County Show in group crafts.

    Kirstie joins one of Hampshire's newest WI groups, the Disparate Housewives, one of 26 WI battalions competing to win the coveted rosettes. She invites Jo, Beverly, Julie, Katy and the group's founder Louise for a classic WI tea and cake afternoon to decide what to make.

    For their `craft cooperative class' entry they must create an exhibit using three different crafts that tells the story of a famous book. Kirstie is keen to use one of her favourites, The Secret Garden, and is first to turn her hand to producing a needle felt robin with the help of expert craftswoman Jayne Emerson.

    But will Kirstie's robin be good enough to impress the WI judges? And how will she fare as part of a team when so far she's flown solo?

  • Episode 6

    Kirstie enters four different events at the Chagford Show in Devon, and also does some Morris dancing.

    The Chagford Show in Devon is Kirstie's local county fair that she visits every year. But this time she's entering four different categories.

    Kirstie has elderflower growing in her Devon garden and enters her elderflower cordial. Home baking expert Rosie Davies is on hand to teach Kirstie the perfect way to concoct her summery drink.

    For Kirstie's next craft she gets weaving with some willow and enlists the help of willow specialist Eddie Glew.

    The third of Kirstie's entries will be homemade rosemary shortbread for the cookery category.

    With her competitive side now fully unleashed she asks a local primary school to try and win over the judges and make the most fun entry of all - a scarecrow.

  • Episode 7

    Kirstie visits the Nidderdale show in the Yorkshire Dales - one of the country's last true agricultural shows.

    With top class livestock, horse and dog sections, Nidderdale boasts one of the finest exhibitions of animals anywhere in the UK. As it's such a traditional agricultural show, Kirstie is going to enter into the `Produce' competition, and get her hands dirty mastering some butchery skills to enter some delicious homemade, meat-based produce.

    Kirstie tries her hand at a Yorkshire pork pie. Then she learns how to make her own sausages. And lastly, Kirstie goes the whole hog when she finds out just what it takes to make brawn - a traditional cold cut usually derived from pig's head.

  • Episode 8

    Kirstie presents the first of two festive specials full of gorgeous treats and inspiration for a thoroughly crafty Christmas.

    Kirstie tackles the 12 Crafts of Christmas to transform her Devon house, Meadowgate, into a winter wonderland ahead of Christmas Day, as well as creating some gorgeous handmade gifts for under the tree.

    Kirstie presents her ultimate guide to making everything from wreaths and garlands to snow globes and even gingerbread - plus handy tips on dressing a show-stopping Christmas tree and of course perfect present wrapping.

    And to throw herself into the most festive of spirits Kirstie's heading to New York, learning new crafts and shopping in the city's amazing Christmas markets.

  • Episode 9

    The second of Kirstie's two special Christmas programmes.

    Having mastered the 12 crafts of Christmas, Kirstie shows off her skills and once again gets into the competitive spirit at a magnificent, and very merry, annual Christmas fair - complete with a yule log competition - for all the craft friends she met throughout the summer.

    Join Kirstie for a definitive slice of Christmas cheer, with Carol singing and spiced cider drinking, and a veritable feast of fine foods to tuck into.

Kirstie's Handmade Britain synopsis

Queen of the homemade home, Kirstie Allsopp returns with a brand new series that really tests her mettle as a craftswoman

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