Monday, 28 September 2015

Tapestry sneaking up on the inside!

Well it's been a long time coming but if are coming to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace you will notice a little revolution taking place, oh yes this year the Tapestry category (search on it - go on!) is into DOUBLE figures!!!! This is a pretty immense thing!!

I'm going to look at 3 of them today plus me of course you're not getting away with it that easily!  I will be on stand TGC09 this year same aisle as usual but with a little bit extra room which means that alongside tapestry kits I will also be bringing you NEW tartan patterns, NEW Trays (made in the UK), NEW Notebooks in A5 size as well as A6, blank Tapestry Canvas (yes I listened), NEW Small Square Pattern Books that will see you using up all your stash and finally I will be able to sit down, I've got room for a stool!!!!  I am really excited about how my range of UK manufactured products has been extended this year, the trays have been super popular as have the notebooks so if you find it hard to buy presents for the Crafters in your life pop on over and take a look! 

I have been concentrating hard on the block chart side of things as I know that many of you love the challenge of counting rather than stitching on to a printed canvas.  There's room for everyone in this Craft!  I will still be selling printed kits and also new (I am loving this word!) to the stand will be the ability to order wool packs for certain designs - I'll have a few with me but it really works best when I can deliver them to you so the wool is fresh off the press! 
So enough about me (!) I ploughed a pretty lonely furrow last year at Ally Pally so I am pleased to share who else will be in the Textile Gallery with brand new designs and kits.  Firstly everybodys favourite Emily Peacock returns to the show and will be on stand TGG7, she has got some new designs which are a mix of Vegas Glamour and Seafood and another that references fairground lighting - yep she is nothing if not inspirational! 
First time at Ally Pally but no where near her first show is Hannah Bass, her kits will be of interest to all you world travellers as you will be able to trace your footsteps on her unique take on maps of cities near and far.  I have heard that she is going underground this year so be sure to drop by and make sure of your route home! See Hannah on Stand TGE5.
After visiting us three I expect you will need a sugar fix, get a calorie free one from Jaqui Pearce on TGR19, her kits include all your favourite chocolate bars ready to stitch in chunky cross stitch! Check out the modern samplers whilst you are there. Finally in the Textile Gallery is a good friend of mine Jenny Henry we met at another fair last year and I am so pleased to be welcoming her back to the UK - yes that's right she is coming all the way from America to visit us!  You will have seen fantastic brooch kits on my stand(!) but how about increasing your needlepoint jewellery collection and visiting Jenny to see cuffs and necklace kits all using our favorite stitch? Her stand TGB3 holds some surprises I'll just say ceramic!
So, much as we hate to see you leave Textile Gallery there really is a lot more to see!  Over in the Resource Centre you will find Pom Pom Designs, I love going into this space of the show because you really do get to see new and exciting products alongside a wealth of education from Guilds and Stand holders alike. Take a look at Pom Pom on stand RCJ3 we both love modern clean designs so be sure to say hello. 
In the grand hall you will find my dear friends and mentors (even though they don't know it!) Historical Samplers, not only cross stitch but an ever growing line of tapestry kits - I love their toned down pallette and fun designs.See them on stand C27.
So there you go but hey you're coming back to say goodbye right? When you do take a look at Sue Hawkins on Stand TGQ15 and marvel in the skill and craft that has seen her stand and reputation grow and grow over the years, great designs on great products.

Wow!!! What a lot of us this time!  So looking forward to seeing friends old and new and getting a smile each morning from the ever effervescent Kim Thittichai and Laura Strutt over on the Freudenberg Vilene Stand number TGR3 what they don't know about Craft, mixed media and cake could be written twice on a "Hotspot" check out great ideas including Hot Spots with them.

Until I see you at the show, happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Workshops ahoy!!

Stitching at the WI Fair 2015

I had a great time running a workshop at the WI Fair in Harrogate over the weekend.  The workshop was only for an hour but in this time all 15 participants learned how to stitch and came some way along to finishing their very own brooch.

This time we all started with the same colour (insipid yellow!) to create the grid pattern.  It's a bit of a leap of faith when starting out with a colour that no one really likes but the results were all so very different. By looking at colour is a small space you really get to understand how it resonates with some of the examples looking almost like watercolour painting whilst others popped out in 3 dimensions!
Stitched brooch size eamaples - WI Fair

It is great to see peoples colour choices coming through and also how neat everyone seemed to be in this session!
Stitched brooch examples WI Fair
It was a really busy fair and so as soon as the time was up people had to leave pretty quickly to continue on with their visit to other parts of the show.  A short while later however when I was on my way back from Harrogate I received an email that included a picture of a finished brooch, which had been completed on the journey home!
Thanks Stephanie this really made my day!
Image courtesy Stephanie Wilkinson

The Fair was really interesting for me because I have only ever really taken part in shows that centre on making but at this Fair there were many facets.  I enjoyed my time in the Lifestyle area and spent a happy time speaking to the Discover Dudley team, crazy to make local connections so far from home! Gardening, travel, cooking, paper craft, sewing were all there as well some fantastic Craft stands with makers from near and far. Much of the work that the WI do was on display from campaigns, their history, The Huxley Cup, bookshop and finally craft. Whilst all WI craft on display was fantastic I have to give a special mention to NFWI - Wales for their Centenary Panels, such a great idea with so much skill, humour and thought having gone into each panel.  A real feast!

Onward now to Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace where I will be exhibiting and selling my wares along with many other skilled makers and designers in the Textile Gallery.  Hope to see you there but until them I'll leave it to Wales to sign off as this is exactly how I felt when I left the WI Centenary Fair!
Centenary panel!

Happy Stitching!