Monday, 24 March 2014

Didn't we have a lovely time!

There's not that many things you get for free nowadays but at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch over the weekend 40 people got to have a workshop with little old me for just that.  I was one of the tutors on the Freudenberg Vilene Education Stand and between us we ran workshops for 200 people!!

Running a workshop is very new to me - like brand new so i was lucky to be able to watch and learn from Kim Thitticai, Kathleen Laurel Sage, Angie Hughes and Jayne Routley (Felting doyenne) taking tips and using them as my own!!  Thanks ladies!

My workshop used painted bondaweb, pelmet weight interfacing, part of my lifetimes collection of bubble wrap, waste tapestry canvas and acrylic paint. Take a look at the pictures above and see just how many different designs can come from this random list of stuff!! The title was "The Start of Something" and encouraged people to stitch into their masterpieces once they got home, I can not wait to share the stitched versions as they come through (no pressure everyone!).

So a weekend when I did not pick up a tapestry needle? Oh no hold on, the sample I made for the show is going to become a tapestry needlepoint and I will be sharing my progress on this over the next few months.

I'd like to say a great big thank you to the people that came to the workshop it was fantastic to see so many designs created in just 45 minutes (probably only 30 minutes after I had go on and on!!), all of the work was delicious and I wanted to take it all back with me and claim it as my own!  I hope you can spot your masterpiece above and thanks for letting me use them for this blog. If any of you need a reminder then the definitive instructions on painting Bondaweb can be found here from Kim Thittichai.

I really enjoyed myself and would especially like to thank Kim Thitticahi who, as you will know from previous posts, was the person who first got me into textiles which then became this crazy tapestry thing! 

On to the British Craft Trade Fair next, I am finalising my stand display tomorrow because I need a bit of a relax after a fun weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Moving House does NOT mean a Holiday Tina!!!!

Well the rounds of Spring Craft and Stitch shows are drawing to a close but not before one last hoorah at the NEC.  Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch is on from Thursday 20th until Sunday 23rd March - yep that's right this week!  Stands to look out for are Juko Designs who are weavers after my own heart as they like to use as much waste wool as possible in their designs, take a look at their craft bags which are functional as well as beautiful. Another stand which always provides me with inspiration is The Nutmeg Company I love how they use cross stitch in a 3-d way and their kits are really easy to follow, I am no cross stitcher but I was very proud of my Ginger Bread House I stitched for a friend a few years back.  Whilst I do not have a stand at the show I am going to be there as a demonstrator - yes get me!  I will be running a daily workshop using products from Freudenberg Vilene called "The Start of Something" which will use that bubble wrap you cannot ever bear to throw away and tapestry canvas scraps (ditto on the throwing away front!)to create a layered surface which can be stitched into or be the start of a piece where you add your own fabric and more layers. The above piece uses bondaweb and not much else and I am using it as the start of a new tapestry design.  I am very pleased to be doing this workshop and would like to thank Kim Thittichai for giving me the chance to run it at the show! 

So enough of the future I need to mention how great the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show was at Olympia, this show is close to my heart as it was the first large show I had ever done.  Getting ready for BCTF 2014  has meant that I could not commit to stand this time but it was great to visit the show as a regular punter! I was so pleased to see Gilda Baron, she is a fantastic person and this time she had an exhibition space so it was possible to see a lot more of her large scale work. Check out her website, she has so many happy students that if you ever get the chance then do try and enrol in a class or two. My good friend Suraya of Mahliqa was there with her knitted wire jewellery and kits, she has some great new work and I am looking forward to spending some relaxing time with her at BCTF. I watched a great quilt demonstration by Elizabeth Betts of Quilty Pleasures I now know how to finish off a quilt correctly rather than just using my own "method".  Finally Silk Felts, what can I say - a great exhibition based on the mermaids tale.  Provocative, thoughful and downright fun in turns this exhibtion showed just how versatile felt can be - you will be able to catch this exhibition again at Ally Pally and Harrogate later in the year, oh yes and at Dublin too!

I am off now to buy paint and bits for the NEC on Thursday, maybe I will see you there!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Moving on up!!

So I have completed my very first trade fair! After a few wobbles (thanks Wendy Hope-Falkner of One Off Needlework for helping calm me down!) I was ready to meet the buyers.  I was on the Bright Sparks Pavilion which showcases new to trade companies, it was great to meet so many people in the same boat. The organisers ICHF really took the time to make sure all of us newbies were okay and gave helpful advice during the event.

I was pleased with my stand and also with the responses to my designs, I took some orders and am following up on leads this week.  I met some great people who work in the tapestry world who gave me some great advice and also gave me the confidence to really go for it.  

Well that was two weeks ago now and I suppose you are wondering why I am only posting about it now, well in the meantime I have moved from Brighton to Birmingham. Having been in the same house for 14 years the task of packing up seemed to take an age and the unpacking still has not been completed.  It's amazing how much room wool can take up!  I left Birmingham as a snarling nineteen year old know it all and am returning as a middle aged woman who stitches for a living, I think I will see some changes!!!  It is very exciting re-discovering a place you think you know and I will be blogging about it (hilariously) soon on another site. There is so much going on here I have hardly had time to send out orders, but all that will change now that I am back to the tapestry grindstone.

Until next time happy stitching!