Tuesday, 29 April 2014

British Quilt & Stitch Village 2014 @ Uttoxeter Racecourse

A great day at the races on Friday not among horses but among quilts at The British Quilt & Stitch Village at Uttoxeter Racecourse.  This show is a kind of mini Festival of Quilts but because it's on a smaller scale it is much more do-able in a day and a lot less frenetic than the FOQ.  Here are just some of the many quilts that caught my eye...

Quite a few of the quilts this year were themed on the centenary of the First World War.

No not my lunch but a feast made entirely of quilted fabric by Gourmet Quilters.

It's a wrap.....

 ...with ready-stitched crisps. Looks good enough to eat but might prove a bit too chewy.

A colourful quilt made from African wax prints.  I stocked up on this beautiful fabric for my stash from The African Fabric Shop. 

The amazing work of textile artist Hilary Beattie...

....and home in time for tea and some quilting of my own.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sewn Words # 3: Lock & Locks are the Russian Dolls of the Tupperware World

Sewn as a response to all of those blessed Tupperware-esque plastic food storage containers that seem to multiply and clog up my kitchen cupboards.  It turns into a bit of a Krypton Factor challenge to try to stack them, catalogue them, nest them and store them in such a way that they are not just a perishing nuisance every time you open the cupboard door.  Talking of Tupperware can anyone remember back to the 1970s when the highlight in a woman's social calendar was going to a Tupperware Party. My mum seemed to get invited to one at least two or three times a month  (much to my dad's annoyance as it wasn't cheap - "Well you have to buy something" she would tell him) and would always come back with a 'must have' item such as the Party Susan or the Cruet set on a stand which after a while would get relegated to the back of the cupboard never to be seen or heard of again.  She would also teach us how important it was to 'burp' the air out by pressing the (dare I say nipple) in the centre. .  Such an exciting time for housewives back then.

And today we have good old Lakeland which I hate to admit can be just as exciting!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch 2014

 A bit late now as it was back in March that I went to the Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch Show at the NEC (combined with Sewing for Pleasure & Hobbicrafts) but I am always so impressed by what textile art is out there that it's always worth sharing. Here are just a few of my favourites: 

There is always something spectacular that stands out at the show attracting lots of attention and this year it was this incredible 'Knitted Lady' made up completely of course of knitting.

 Even down to her mug of tea and biscuits.

On show were some of the original costumes from the film of  Les Miserables. These are just two as worn by The Thenardiers played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham.

Knitting always features strongly at the show and Toft Alpaca were here again with something slightly different this year to their usual knitwear garments and bags.  Their stand had been taken over by these cute little crocheted animals. You can go and see the lovely Alpacas on their farm and visit the workshop and studios not far from here in Dunchurch, Warwickshire.

Loved Blake the orang-utan.

Bark Cloth was something I had become familiar with at an exhibition last year at IKON Gallery, Birmingham featuring The Tapa Bark Cloths of the South Pacific.  Bark Cloth is literally a cloth made from the bark of trees and textile artist Bobby Britnell in collaboration with shoemaker Janet Middleton have produced this stunning exhibition 'BarkCloth to ArtCloth' as a way of promoting the charity 'Hands up for Uganda'.  A number of textile artists were encouraged to decorate bark cloth from the Matuba tree in Southern Uganda which would then be made up into shoes by Janet. Here are some of the results:

This amazing portrait by textile artist Kerry Moseley is actually knitted wire and machine embroidery.  

One of the prizewinning entries on the Madeira Threads Stand - This piece is all about tea.

Who should we bump into while walking round but non other than 3 of the lovely ladies from The Great British Sewing Bee. Had a great stop and chat with them and spoke to one of my favourites Heather (2nd from right) about her wonderful Pin Dog and she told us the pattern for him would be available in the autumn from Muji.  It was great too to see Heather win GBSB 2014 on Tuesday with her stunningly elegant couture ball gown creation.

Monday, 7 April 2014