Sunday, 7 April 2013

Whoo Hoo! What a show! Creative Stitches at Excel, London 4 - 6 April

 Two naughty girls drinking coffee and spreading glitter everywhere!!
Not really, they were great fun . . .

This is going to be a longish post so settle down and get comfy - 
The show at Excel was brilliant, it was a new venue for Creative Stitches and we weren't sure if it would work - Boy did it! And how . . . . 
A big thank you to all of you who came to the show and made it such a success. 
I delivered a workshop every morning on making brooches with my newspaper method. These were very popular again and I am regularly being asked if I will be making a video on this technique - so a question to all of you. How do you prefer to view recorded workshops - on DVD or a pay to view video on line?
If you have any strong ideas about this and have the time, could you email me at

One of the decorated newspaper samples before they were cut into shapes with my big Shot Pro.

 The supermarket opposite the hotel I stayed in had free multilingual newspapers - I have bought home a whole bundle of them.

One of my students on a recent course at Art Van Go (newspaper again) bought her diary to show me that she had covered in one of the samples she had made on the course. I was dead chuffed - it's gorgeous, quite sumptuous.

 A scrummy little book.

The divine Dionne Swift ( or Di o nee as she is know in certain parts of Aus) was opposite me at the show. Dionne was running 3 workshops a day on her stand and was as popular as ever, she is so talented and makes everyone feel comfortable as they realise they can achieve brilliant prints.
 One of Dionne's groups cutting the paper for their screens.
 Some of the resulting prints - Fabulous!

I won't be seeing Dionne for a while now as this season of shows has finished, it has been great spending so much time with her, she is great fun and I shall miss her.

There always some fascinating exhibitors at ICHF (International Craft and Hobby Fairs) shows. Whether it's Creative Stitches or Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch, there are always plenty of interesting tutors and artists to talk to. One of my favourites is Emma Bristow. Emma has created a frame that fits over and around your existing sewing machine to turn it into a quilting machine.

 I want a pair of jeans like this.

 A fabulous pair of knickers decorated with crowns and quilted and lined in satin - very luxurious!!!!

 A very theatrical outfit with bolero and hat made by Emma.

Making new friends is always a bonus. I first met Jo Penton at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC last month. She is a crazy woman - very, very, funny and incredibly talented. Jo is an ex captain of the Can Can dancers at the Moulin Rouge and is the owner of specialising in distinctive events, production and costume. There was certainly a show girl theme to her stand at the NEC and Excel. Exquisitely made costumes that any girl would want to dress up in.

 The lady herself with a pair of her bloomers . . .

 One of Jo's stunning designs in green satin, net and Malibu feathers.

 A beautifully beaded 'waspie'.

 One of Jo's gorgeous beaded corsets on the catwalk during the fashion show.

I hope I will be seeing Jo again soon, she doesn't live far from The Old Needle Works in Redditch where I teach Experimental Textiles. I will be up there again at the end of May. I can feel a party coming on.

I know many people think that Facebook is the work of Devil, but it can be a very useful tool and is a great way to keep in touch - and find new friends. One such person is Angie Wyman, we first met at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch a couple of years ago and we have been 'following' each other ever since. 
Angie is Course Leader- Degree programmes at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace and was exhibiting some very fine work by her students.

 Angie on the Royal School of Needlework stand.

 A gorgeous selection of course work.

  . . . . beautiful tiny books.

  . . . and stunning samplers. Just exquisite.

This range of samplers reminded me of a canvas work workshop I did with Jeanette Durrant several years ago at the T.S.G. Summer School. I couldn't manage to execute the more 'usual' size of stitch and ended up creating huge stitches. Jeanette was very patient with me. It is from her that I have developed my love of hand stitch. Not a great range of stitches, just Herringbone - but I do so love it. If you are not familiar with the TSG (Textile Study Group) have a look here.

The Old Needle Works in Redditch sometimes seems to be the epicentre of all things slightly crazy and great fun. One such person who I don't think will mind being so entitled is Bailey Tomlin. I met Bailey when she was teaching in the next door studio to me. Her students created some incredible work and I was fascinated by Bailey. Have a look at her website, her work is quite remarkable  . . . and very collectable.
 The great woman herself . . .

 Bailey was demonstrating some of her 3D processes.

So you can see, with just a small sample of what was on offer, why the show was such a resounding success. If you didn't manage to get there this year - it will be even bigger and better next year - so don't miss it!


I have unpacked my cases, the washing is on the line drying in the sun!!! Yes! I did wonder what that strange light in the sky could be. I have a week to catch up with orders on - it has been very busy thanks to Stitch magazine and the Colouricious email. I am so glad I made the decision to invest in the Hot Spots!

I also need to make some new samples for my workshops at Nadelwelt, Karlsruhe in Germany at the end of the month - life isn't dull is it? www.nadel-welt.

I hope you all had a great weekend and that some of you managed to get out into the garden - I know you did Jill, well done . . . . 

x x x


  1. Think I'll visit excell next year instead of NEC. Sound as if you had a great time, I didn't know you knew me Kim, let alone I'd managed to get out in the garden!! LOL

  2. I just wanted to thank you for the great workshop I took with you at excel and am now here surrounded by many sheets of painted bond a web waiting for them to dry before the fun begins.

  3. Ha Ha! It does take ages to dry, but it is worth it. Have a great time playing and I'm so pleased you enjoyed the workshop. X