Wednesday 27 March 2013

All over now

Last time I posted we were getting ready for the show at the NEC. I know we English are weather obsessed but it's supposed to be spring here so why on earth did the weather refuse to co operate?

This is no country road - this is the access lane to a major motorway so you can imagine what it was like trying to get out of our little village!

Despite the hairy journey, Laura, Adrian and Jamie did get through to the Exhibition Centre and soon set to work building the stand. At first it looks as though all the stuff will never fit in but a few hours later........

It's all beginning to look quite colourful and tempting. They emailed me pictures throughout the day so I didn't feel left out of things! (I'm usually quite bossy setting up at a show but I didn't have the nerve to interfere and tell them to move things around!).

At the other end of the space Laura set up her embroidery machine and an area to demonstrate fabric painting. The three quilts you see displayed here are all digital prints made by Laura and Jamie's bespoke Fingerprint service. They attracted a lot of attention as few people have heard about wide format printing and were curious to know all about it. I had some of my sketchbooks there to show how a small image could magically become a large print and ultimately a quilt.

The weather worsened over the four days of the show and we decided it was too risky to take Amelie out in such bad driving conditions again. She'd been a big attraction on the stand on opening day and really enjoyed her introduction to the exciting world of stitch but we couldn't risk getting stuck in a snowdrift with a hungry baby on board so I opted to stay home with her for the rest of the show. I'm sorry if I missed any of you although it seems more people were disappointed at not seeing the baby!

When we're at a show we're busy working and it's hard to escape the stand long enough to see the other exhibitors. Luckily the WI stand was between us and the entrance so even though I was only there one day it couldn't fail to catch my attention.

This gem of a collection is housed at Denman College and has never been exhibited in its entirety before. I loved all the smocks but the Gardener's smock was my absolute favourite. Like me it's from Staffordshire! Also like me it doesn't look as though it's done much gardening! Maybe it was kept for best.

Just look at the detail - isn't it lovely? Apparently there were specific motifs that were embroidered onto each smock to signify the trade of the wearer, for example a forester might have trees and a shepherd a crook. This made them easily identified at a hireling fair. Maybe we'll have to make ourselves a smock decorated with paint tubes and a sewing machine?

I do feel inspired to have a go but perhaps I'll be realistic and start with a baby sized smock before I take on anything bigger! 

This is quite a long post with so many photographs but I could have included loads more! I know a lot of you didn't get to the show because of the snow so I hope this has given you a small taste of what you missed.  When we send out tomorrow's newsletter we'll include some more pictures and there have also been a number posted on our Facebook page over the past few days that you might enjoy.

Fingers crossed Spring is about to appear!!

Thanks for dropping by - I appreciate it, Linda


  1. I first heard of you from Quilting Arts Magazine and have been following your blog and newsletter for awhile. I just wanted to let you know that I love your textile work. Your style really appeals to me as does your color palette. I also love the UK and have visited several times. I appreciate the time you put in to keep your followers up to date and love the glimpses into the scenery around you. I live in Central Florida ( a beautiful place) and like to see images of snow and flora that is not native here. Thanks for sharing your works.

  2. The stand looks lovely! :) Unfortunately I decided not to go to the show because of the snow :(

  3. I was sorry not to get to the Show as I had been looking forward to seeing all your work. I think I picked up a virus just at the wrong time. The stand looked fabulous and thank you for the photos of the exhibition.

  4. Goodness! Battling the weather without a good dose of Canadian driving-in-snow training! ;-) The booth/stand looks wonderful and I'm sure it will be well received. Being of British ancestry I wore smocked dresses as a wee one and have saved one given me by my aunt for my daughter (now 32)...Lovely, but I've never tried it, though as you know I embroider and knit as well as quilt...Isn't it fun being a Grandma and able to opt out and care for wee Amelie? :-)

  5. Your booth looks wonderful. How I'd love to get up close and personal to examine those quilts on the walls. One day maybe.

    It's meant to be autumn down here in New Zealand, but in the heat of the day you could be forgiven for thinking it was still summer.

  6. The stand looked wonderful, it was great to be able to see the quilts up close, the bird in the hand one is stunning, the Fingerprint fabric worked so well.

  7. Who wrote "Oh to be in England now that spring is here"? Loved to see photos of your booth.

  8. Your stall looks great, sorry the snow spoiled things a bit.