Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A great show at Excel London - Fashion & Embroidery 27 - 29 March

One of the fab samples from one of my workshops at Excel.

The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts Show at Excel was splendid. It was very busy. I haven't seen a show that consistently busy every day for a long time.
It was interesting to see and meet so many new visitors. Roughly half of the visitors were aware of the more experimental side of textiles and the other half were well informed. It was a fascinating mix - I have never known this before and I have done a lot of shows. 
Apart from having my own stand, I also ran The Vilene Workshop as I did the previous weekend at the NEC. At this show the tutors were, myself, Fran Holmes, Tina Francis, Jayne Routley and Wendy Dolan. 

I was given extra space for a small part of the end of the year show of Experimental Textiles that was at the NEC the previous weekend. It was very well received and I had several enquiries about enrolments.

Some of my students work on my stand.

Getting my stand ready, this is Jayne helping set up.

The Vilene Workshops went well - all our students had a great time on their workshops and I even had a couple of men on mine. Most unusual. They created some great samples.

                                          Happy students.

Here are a couple of the samples from one of my workshops. The workshop was my basic decorating painted Bondaweb one. I am doing a 2 day version of this at The Bridge in Brighton soon. Details are at the end of this post.

Sparkle and Twinkle samples.

While I was at the show I was able to demonstrate my new KK Glue. I had great fun playing with the powdered glue, stencils and transfer foils. I sold out so it is just as well I had a big delivery of it before I left. I shall be filling jars for a good week or so. . . .

KK Glue sprinkled through a stencil, fixed with and iron and then decorated with transfer foil.
For step by instructions - www.nid-noi.com

I got a chance to catch up with some friends at the show. Brenda Killigrew is the director of IDC where I teach my Experimental Textiles course. She is also one of my best friends, it was Brenda's birthday on the Friday of the show and several of us went for dinner. It was good to have a chance to have a catch up.

Brenda on her birthday.

Brenda runs the amazing fashion shows as part of Fashion & Embroidery and is also director of Castanea Crafts in Spain
We will be welcoming the new students to the IDC teaching studios onto ExTex 4 at the end of June. It is all very exciting.

One of the most popular stands at the show was M Roseneberg and Sons. This lovely family run business now has a shop and a mail order company. They have a wonderful selection of fabrics and really know their stuff.

Stacey and Geoff on the stand.

Do have a look at their website - www.stitchfabrics.co.uk they run workshops as well as selling fabric.

It was good to see Val Hughes at the show - I haven't seen her for a while, and she has a new book.

Val's new book.

It's always good to see Wendy Dolan, we used to teach together at the Connaught Adult Eduction Centre many moons ago. As we both travel so much we rarely get to see each other, even though we live in the same town!

Wendy giving her lecture 'Stitched Textiles'.

When he gets the chance Wendy's husband Rob helps her at the shows. He is an absolute star, often helping out on other stands too when the artist is doing a lecture or workshop.

Wendy was dispalying this exquisite dress on her stand. The silk net is machine embroidered . . soooooo beautiful.

There was also good display of Wendy's framed work on her stand. I love what she does, her maps and architecture pictures are excellent.

Tina Francis has been a great help to me at these last 2 shows. She has taught 2 brilliant workshops, bringing printing into the Vilene Workshops. Tina is great fun and a fabulous teacher.

I don't know what on earth Tina is talking about here - but it looks like fun!

Her tapestry kits are very popular and she has great ideas on how to use up your stash of threads. Have a look at her blog. tinatapestry.blogspot.co.uk

It's been a while since Cherrilyn Tyler had a stand at the shows, but she is back and how!!! Such stunning work. Beautiful, very delicate embroidery on net.

I love this piece - so ethereal. 

This is Cherrilyns website www.cherrilyn.com

The show at Excel is my last one until Festival of Quilts at the NEC where I will be on the Vilene stand.

 * * * *

I am slowing down now, getting ready for my knee op on the 20th April. I have a private workshop in Essex next week then my last 2 day workshop till June.

There are a three places left on this workshop in Brighton if you fancy coming to have a play .  . . .

Experimental Textiles • On the Surface  

18 & 19 April • Two Days

Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm

Come and explore all the techniques for surface decoration you have been wanting to try but haven’t yet found the time! Create wonderful surfaces to stitch – or not!  Hot Foiling, painted ‘Bondaweb’, Xpandaprint, ‘Tyvek’ & more.

Cost: £95 + Materials  

Bridge Community Centre,
Lucraft Road,
BN2 4PN 
 01273 687053

* * *

  My next workshop after this will be at Art Van Go 


Creating Original Designs  
Tues 9th June & Wed 10th June

Two Day Workshop

Take a journey, imaginary or otherwise, and learn how to create
your own designs and printing blocks. You will leave with several
designs and printing blocks ready to start on your next

Cost: £88.00 (inc £6.00 materials charge)

The Studios
1 Stevenage Rd

 01438 814946
* * *
I have a week off now - plenty to do, my house looks like a badly orgnaised warehouse. I need to get the house ready for when I come home from hospital and I am limping about on crutches.

I hope you all have a great Easter - don't eat too much chocolate!!!

x x x

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

From one show at the NEC to another at Excel, Docklands.

A splendid sparkly sample.

So - that's The NEC done and dusted, at least until August anyway. The Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch Show was great fun and was very busy. I have various roles at the show, it is my busiest show of the year.
One of my roles is to run the Vilene Workshop. 5 x 45 minute workshops a day with 5 different tutors. This year it was Lynda Monk, me, Fran Holmes, Tina Francis and Jayne Routley.

One of my workshops getting under way.

The workshops are free and are always popular. I will be running similar workshops at Excel from Friday - www.fashionembroidery.co.uk/london/workshops. I will also be giving a lecture every day.

These are some of the samples the ladies produced in 45 minutes.

Lots of sparkle and twinkle on painted Bondaweb.

My workshop is 'Sparkle and Twinkle' , using all manner of sparkle and transfer foils on painted Bondaweb. This process makes fabulous surfaces for stitch.

The other tutors had stands at the show . . .

 Tina Francis taught a great monoprinting workshop.

Jayne Routley works with me on my stand and also teaches a workshop for me. This year it was Fluffy Butterflies.
Fran Holmes taught a great workshop making leaves with Vilene Spunbond and Decovil. Her black and white stand was brilliant, showcasing her techniques with Vilene Spunbond.
Fran doesn't have a website but she will be teaching her workshop again at Excel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Lynda Monk is a fabulous tutor, always generous with her time and knowledge. She delivered a splendid workshop everyday on her techniques and I just didn't get a chance to take a photo. I am so cross with myself, her Lacey Leaves created with Vilene Spunbond and Xpandaprint were absolutely beautiful.

 This is Lynda's website www.purplemissus.com

All the top traders were at the show, including my dear mateys Art Van Go. They have everything you could possibly need to create wonderful work.

The girls on the Art Van Go stand. Art Van Go has a new online shop -

I didn't manage to get a picture of Viv as she was always dashing about.
I found Kevin on Susan Chapman's stand, they were both having a good old catch up.

I was very excited to have T shirts I had decorated with foiled Hot Spots on the catwalk at the show, they really looked good - very sparkly

Hot Spots on the catwalk.

I have a had a new delivery of Hot Spots, I was getting a bit low. It seems that every other order I receive on nid-noi.com is for Hot Spots. They are really taking off. www.nid-noi.com/product/HOTSP.

I have one more day at home then I will be off to Excel for Fashion & Embroidery at its London venue. If you are coming to the show, do drop by by and say Hello!! 
I will have a small part of the Experimental Textiles exhibition next to my stand.

More soon . . .

x x x

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Experimental Textiles End of Year Show at the Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch Show 2015

Mary Smith's interpretation of her journey in colour and in fabric.

So - here we are the NEC for Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch. It is my biggest show of the year. It is a very exciting show, so much to see and do. This is a quick post just to talk about my Experimental Textiles students end of year show. There are 2 stands at the show.

Having sorted most of the work on the students last session in the IDC studios at The Old Needleworks, I knew roughly what I wanted to hang on each stand.
Arriving and seeing an empty stand can be daunting, you just have to keep going till you finish.

 Starting to set up the stand.

 Starting to realise just how much work we have to choose from.

 . . . And then, as if by magic (several hours later) - you have a finished stand.

 A selection of the work created on the course including some crazy 3D pieces and all the workbooks.

 The workbooks are always the most popular part of the stand.

Some of the more resolved work that was created on the course.

 As the course is not accredited, the students can decide what they want to concentrate on. They can either work on portfolios and extensive samples or create something finished.

 Rachael Singleton's piece entitled 'Life Flight'.

There were several more resolved pieces of work - 2 are featured in this post and I will show the others in the next post. Rachael worked hard on many, many fabric feathers to build this beautiful cloak 'Life Flight' - you can read about her experience on her blog folioandfibre.wordpress.com

This is the main stand of the students work.

Over in the fashion show area of the hall is the 'beginnings' part of the students work. The journeys are on display here, along with Mary Smith's interpretation of her journey. The torn and stitched exercises are there along with the dyed, pieced and stitched samples.

The Journeys all lined up, they look like one piece of work.

Because we just use black and white for this project it works as one piece. If we used colour it would distract from the painted marks.

Mary's piece and her Journey underneath. You can see the design quite clearly.

The torn and stitched papers.

We have 2 more days to go - I haven't had a chance to look around yet. I hope to get 'out' over the next couple of days and take more photos. I will post more about the show on Monday or Tuesday before I head onto the next show at Excel in London next week.

It has been great to see so many friends again at the show - including you Jill Crowther, it was also good to meet many of you that read this blog - especially you Ursula Greenwood.

Off to sleep now . . .  Have a great weekend, maybe see you at the show? My stand number is L22 and you can see the students work on M20 and L24.

x x x