Friday 26 March 2010

In Celebration of Stitch

Off bright and early to the NEC, Birmingham, with Janet and Fiona

nec_birmingham the Hobbycrafts/Sewing for Pleasure Show

nec hobbycrafts It was great fun. I spent some money [but not as much as some other ladies we saw, who were dragging trolleys full of stuff]

The visitors to the event were mostly female - although there were a few bored looking gents wandering around.

There were a lot of stallholders trying to sell their wares [some of which seemed overpriced and a little gimmicky] but also some really brilliant displays


Fiona and I were particularly impressed by the Afghanistan Inspiration exhibit [more details here]

afghan 2

Within the framework of a self-help project , women in Laghmani, north of Kabul embroider 8 x 8 cm squares. By selling their embroidery they are able to substantially improve the financial situation of their families.

The embroidered squares are not to be seen as finished products but rather as a basic element which is sold in Europe in order to be integrated into a textile work. The embroidered squares are very well suited for combining with patchwork, quilt, embroidery [hand or machine], weave or felting techniques, where they can be set as eyecatchers. The results are symbolically striking textile works that unite not only techniques but also two cultures. The aim of the exhibition is to promote curiosity and openness toward the culture of other women and to encourage the coming together and uniting in a common spirit.

Another exhibit was ‘In Celebration of Stitch’, which showcased the stunning work of Dr Isabel Elliot, former Mistress of Embroidery at Gloucester Cathedral. We met this elderly lady and chatted with her about a lifetime spent as an embroiderer and admired her creativity. A mindblowing display of needlework taking the form of three-dimensional items including miniature furniture, houses, even a whole village all densely covered with tapestry, embroidery, drawn thread work - you name it - every kind of needle-work known to woman was represented here in perfectly executed detail by this remarkable lady.


I got very nostalgic when I saw this stand - back in the 1980s, I had a number of Clothkits items. Check out their new website.

I bought a metre of red ribbon, just for old times' sake!!

clothkitstapemeasure ribbon

Once I get my camera sorted out, I shall post some photos of my purchases.

Fuji contacted me yesterday - apparently my camera 'had suffered impact damage' and therefore repairs were not covered by the warranty [typical!]

I had two choices - repair the old camera[£59.98] or trade-in and upgrade to a new model [£45 to get another identical but new camera]

It seemed daft to pay more for the old camera fixed and returned, so I have reluctantly shelled out for a new one - but at least it is a very good price.

I did take a couple of pictures with Bob's camera on Wednesday night at Sewing Club though. Here is Ann [behind quilt on left] and Susan [on right] holding up a quilt.


This is the "Quilt For Heroes" which Ann is making...


We were all amazed by the speed with which she has been putting it together. It is backed with a lovely scarlet sheet [just visible in top picture] Ann has done the hand-quilting and now just has to bind the edges.

I am sure that some of you blogfriends must have been at the NEC today - wondered if we passed each other unawares in the crowded aisles? If you did get to the show, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. My only complaint was the lack of adequate seating in the refreshment area. There were an awful lot of us sitting on the floor to eat our lunches!

But it was a really good day today - and leaves one with an Itch To Stitch [and make cards, and do scrapbooks, and knit, and do beadwork...]

But tonight I am busy - off to church, to sort out stuff for Sunday School this weekend and also the flowers for tomorrows wedding.


  1. Sounds like you had a great time. I adore that ribbon.

    Madness about the camera!

    Oh and clothkits, we were too poor, my mum made all from scratch and it is pretty expensive now

  2. These posts of yours are fabulous! I'm smiling widely at the gold ribbon!

  3. I went to the NEC today, can't believe I didn't see you! Linda from the Monday knit club was there too! The Afghanistan project was amazing. My friend and I were very impressed with the skills demonstrated by all the participants. My friend also bought a Clothkits skirt. It is a lovely print and I was very tempted to by a cord one, but decided I wouldn't wear it until the Autumn so maybe I should wait a while before buying one!

    I did buy lots of fabric and beads, though I resisted the amazing bargain wool at The Black Sheep. I am tired now though. I may just have to curl up in bed rather than finish reading all the rest of my blogs!

  4. Oh I remember Clothkits too! I didnt know they had re emerged.
    I am not at ALL envious of your day, not at`all.....


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