Monday, 28 February 2011

Travelling North . . . !

Various  weights of Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and bonded onto CS800

 Glasgow here I come!!! I will be leaving tomorrow to start the long drive up to Creative Stitches at the SECC in Glasgow. It is a 4 day show from the 3rd - 6th March.
I will be on stand no ZG01 and will be running 4 x 30 minute workshops a day on the stand. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis. The workshops are for 6 people at a time.

Scrumptious Spunbond 
30 minute Workshops Everyday - Book places with Kim 10.30, 11.30, 12.30 & 2.30  

Come and discover the versatility of Vilene Spunbond CS 500, CS800 and Bondaweb, learn how to colour and distress these wonderful products. Experiment with different weights of Vilene Spunbond and heat tools to layer up a fascinating sample to take with you.

 Layers of CS500 colours zapped with a heat gun to create a fantastic texture to stitch

I love the journey up North and look forward to the views through Dumfries and Galloway. It will be a scramble to get ready in time to leave, but once I am on the road there is no more I can do - so I can relax. I know many of you are traveling to the show and I look forward to seeing you. Do come and have a chat.

Workshop on the Web which is online tomorrow has a new workshop from me using painted and dyed newspapers and painted Bondaweb so look out for it if you subscribe.

Any of you who who have been on any recent workshops with me will know of my passion for newspaper and of course wonderful Bondaweb!!! See the West Dean workshops on this blog if you want see more of this.

I'm going to rush off now - will let you know how I got on next week - ooooHH! Next week I will be home for 3 days then back up to East Yorkshire for a lecture and workshop. I have never been that side of the country before and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Jill, I will wave to you when I drive past Manchester - do consider the Margaritas!!!!!!


Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Craft, Hobby and Stitch International Trade Show 20 - 22 February

The Freudenberg Vilene Stand

The Freudenberg Vilene Boys

I was demonstrating on the Freudenberg Vilene Stand at the trade show and running their retailer workshops everyday. I love working at this show as there is always calm atmosphere compared to the very busy consumer shows that I demonstrate at. It is all very sociable and professional. Having to work with 3 lovely boys is no hardship either. It was great to catch up with the Freudenberg Vilene team, particularly Gemma who will be also be helping me on my stand at Fashion and Embroidery in March when I will be running the Vilene Workshop. More of that when I come back from Glasgow.
The workshops were short teaching sessions once a day for 20 people lasting 45 minutes. They are quite a tight turn around. This year I was showing how to use heavy iron-on interfacing with a Big Shot Pro die cutting machine and then everyone had a chance to decorate the boxes by ironing on sequins, glitter and foil. The iron-on interfacings have a glue on one side similar to Bondaweb so you can paint the glue side with a thin layer of paint and iron-on anything that you can iron onto Bondaweb, there was glitter flying everywhere. It was all great fun.

 a finished heart shaped box - it just needs some ribbon to finish it off

A new initiative for the show was the chance for exhibitors to show samples of their products in a fashion show. These shows were very popular and run by Brenda Killigrew of Inkberrow Design Centre. Brenda puts on all the fashion shows for the International Craft and Hobby Fairs (ICHF) they are always exciting events with great music and fantastic models. Freudenberg Vilene used the opportunity to show a range of garments constructed from the wonderful water soluble Solufleece/Soluvlies 321.

The garments are made by laying fabric snips and threads onto a layer of Solufleece, you then create a 'sandwich' with another layer of Solufleece. This is then free machine stitched to hold all the scraps together making sure that all the stitches link with each other. The pattern pieces are then cut from the 'sandwich', these are then made into the garment - only then do you wash away the Solufleece. You can create some amazing effects.

So - I am now frantically getting ready to start traveling to Glasgow on Tuesday. I love doing the Glasgow show at the SECC. The city itself is glorious and the people that come to the show are so friendly and appreciative. Wendy Dolan is also demonstrating at the show and she and her husband are staying at the same hotel as me so we should have a great time together. Wendy and I don't get much time to see each other as we are both so busy. It's crazy to think we both live in Brighton but will see each other in Glasgow. Wendy and I used to teach together at the Connaught Centre in Hove and she is a good friend and colleague. I will be running 4 workshops a day for 6 people on my stand at the show. once I have found the piece of paper I wrote the times of the workshops on - I will let you know when they are!!!!

My next book Layered Textiles has more or less been put to bed - I indexed it this week and sorted the last few changes. We go onto colour proofing next week, then it will be off to the printers.

One last and most important thing - I HAVE FOUND A NEW HEAT GUN - YYEEEHHHAAA!!!!!
It is a 360 watt 2 speed tool and will be ready to be posted out on the 8th March to those of you who have been waiting so patiently while I found a replacement. My first delivery will be 25 heat guns, that should be enough. Now I have found a supplier and the account is open I will be able to keep the delightful tools in stock.The website has been updated so you can pre order now.

Now it's back to cutting and packing playpacks, I will give you more information about the Glasgow show on Monday.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Creative Stitches at Brighton Centre

This is me on my stand looking very studious - a nice tidy stand - NOT!!!

The Creative Stitches Show at Brighton Centre was last week-end and it was VERY busy. It was great to catch up with ex students and friends I haven't seen for a while. It was also wonderful to be able to dash home every night - all the other shows  I do are at least 50 miles from Brighton. 

The Brighton show is one of the smallest shows that ICHF (International Craft and Hobby Fairs) offers as The Brighton Centre is a very small venue. It is not large enough to fit all the exhibitions in that larger venues can hold so it was a taster of what is to come at Glasgow SECCC 3 - 6 March and the very exciting Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC, Birmingham 24 -27 March.
I will post more about this show next month.

On of the exhibits at Brighton Centre was 'The Undoing of the Corset', a fascinating insight of what used to 'lie beneath'!!!!! This exhibit will travelling with all the ICHF shows this season.

Pat Lumsdale is Head of NFWI Unit/Craft Adviser and travels with the ICHF shows promoting the craft courses at the WI College, I always enjoy meeting up with Pat, we always have a good laugh together. I shall be back teaching at Denman The WI College at the end of May.

Another friend I caught up with was Jan Tillett. Jan is from Devon so we don't get to see each other very often and she had the stand right next to me, which was FAB! Jan teaches various textiles courses but is best know for her bags using manipulated fabric techniques. You can find out more about Jan and her workshops at

just some of Jan's beautiful bags

And last but not least I couldn't post about the show with out including a picture of my friend Brenda Killigrew who had a stand promoting the Castanea Craft Courses and her college Inkberrow Design Centre I have known Brenda for about 15 years now and we have become very good freinds, as she is based in Redditch we don't get to see each other often enough. It was great to have her staying with me during the show and it meant we could put the finishing touches to my course that I am teaching in Spain in April. Brenda is well known for the remarkable courses that are delivered at Inkberrow Design Centre and for the fashion shows that she puts on at the larger ICHF shows.

So - we are now well into the show season. This weekend I will be at the NEC Birmingham for the Craft, Hobby and Stitch International trade fair (where I hope to find a replacement heat gun for the one that has been discontinued). I will be demonstrating on the Freudenberg Vilene stand D14 and delivering their retailer workshops once a day. Then it will be home to get ready for the Creative Stitches show in Glasgow. I will be teaching 4 workshops day for 6 people on my stand. I will post more about this next week.

Blimey it's 23.18 - time for bed I think - night, night. X

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Swimmer by Mary Gray

A small postscript after the Wey Valley Workshop post. While I was setting up the lecture and workshop that Friday, Mary Gray showed me a sample of her final project for the HE Diploma in Stitched Textiles at Windsor. She had used plastic carrier bags and machine stitch to create a remarkable piece of work. I was so impressed I asked her to send me an image so I could show all of you how amazing it is. Any of you who have read Hot Textiles will know of my love of melting plastics. 

  Mary's statement follows -
 My work concerns the depiction of fragmented and distorted imagery on the multifaceted surface of moving water. The challenge has been to capture the complexity of the fractured reflection, created by a swimmer breaking through the surface of the water and the refracted images that the moving water makes of the swimmer.
Mary Gray

I hope you think it is as amazing as I do . . . . . . . . x


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Wey Valley Workshop - 4th February

I am a bit late posting this - time run away from me again (such a naughty boy!). The second layouts for the book arrived this week and needed to be checked which lost me 2 days, but it is looking good. It should all be finished and off to the printers in 2 weeks somewhere in the far east.
The longest process in all this book writing malarkey is the journey from the printers to the U.K. by tanker. It takes 3 months!!!!!! We are hoping it will be out and ready for the Festival of Quilts in August.

the lovely ladies of the Wey Valley Workshop busily working away

The Wey Valley Workshop are a group of ex City and Guilds students that meet up regularly for workshops and lectures. The group is well organised and seems to run like clock work. It was great fun working with them and everything ran smoothly. It was particularly good to see Liz Holford again. Liz was on my Experimental Textiles course for 3 years and I could always rely on her to help with any embroidery stitches I didn't know (which was most of them), she is the Queen of French Knots. I was booked to deliver a lecture in the morning and a 2 hour workshop in the afternoon. The group produced some fabulous samples in a very short time. Vilene Spunbond was the main product we were exploring, cut with a soldering iron and applied onto a pelmet/craft Vilene background with Bondaweb.

some fabulous samples

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts
I am now dashing about trying to get ready to load the car for the Brighton show. It is of course pouring with rain . . . . . so I might wait a bit longer and make up some more Playpacks. 
If you are coming to the show it is at the Brighton Centre (on the seafront) and I will be on Stand no Z24 and I be will giving a lecture at 12 everyday. 

My good friend Brenda Killigrew will be staying with me as she also has a stand at Brighton promoting our Castanea workshops in Spain - so I suppose I had better go and get all the bedding sorted out. Luckily Brenda leads a busy life like me and understands the sea of mess that she will have to wade through to reach her bed!!!!!!! One day I will be organised! Still we should have good fun, we always do when we get together, we mustn't forget we are supposed to be working . . . . .

So - have a good weekend whatever you are doing, if you come to the show, do come and say Hello!