Monday, 1 December 2014

Give me a T, give me an R!!!

Melamine Trays using original stitch design by Tina Francis

So my final large show of the year happened a couple of weeks ago at Harrogate, it's a great place and as ever the Knitting and Stitching Show delivered the people and the smiles.  I was lucky to be exhibiting next to Margaret Glackin Ceramics who I first met back at BCTF in April this year. Her Yarn Bowls have gone from strength to strength this year and what is really great about her work is the uniqueness of the glazes (each one has it's own history, much the same as my kit designs), it's always a pleasure to exhibit next to people dedicated to their practice.

Whilst at Knitting and Stitching Show I quietly launched the first two of my melamine tray designs, it has taken 2 years for me to get to this stage.  I stitched the work using recycled wool and then got them scanned by Martin Christie and then used them on cards and mugs for a while before being sure that they would work on trays and tableware.  I am really pleased with the results and will be adding more shapes and designs in the coming year, you can find them here Trays and Tableware. Most importantly for me they are a UK product from start to finish, from design, stitch, to imaging and finally to the production of the trays which is completed in Coventry. Even though they use stitch the designs fit into any type of home so whether you live the urban dream (like me)or have roses around your door I am sure they will be at home. It's really interesting to see where stitch designs can go.

Since coming back from the show I have been working on some bespoke Brooch designs for Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery which will hopefully be stocked by them in the new year sometime I am also working on a large tapestry kit for which again I hope will be stocked there in the future.  It's been a great excuse to visit the museum every day, there is so much to see there and also so much to remember!

I am also working on some new designs to be launched at Craft Hobby and Stitch International in February, this will be my second time at this trade only show and my final time in the Bright Sparks Pavilion.

Even though I take part in a trade show which sounds quite grand(!)I am still a really small business and so I am looking forward to supporting other small businesses on Small Business Saturday on 6th December. At this time of year when we are thinking of what to buy people it's always good to try and buy from independent businesses if you can because it really helps keep the high street alive. Earlier in the year I exhibited next to Sarah Hamilton a print maker from South East London who has recently started her Just a Card Campaign, the idea behind it came from a gallery owner who had had to close who said "If everyone who had complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card then we would still be open".  So even if you buy a card this Saturday from a small business you really will be making a difference.

So happy shopping, making and baking and of course stitching!