Craft, Hobby and Stitch International - NEC Birmingham 15th - 17th February

 One of the lovely models showing off my gecko t. shirts.

Craft, Hobby and Stitch International is a trade show. As I work with Vilene as a consultant, I work at this show and run their retailer workshops. This is a very sedate style of show compared to the consumer shows that I do. 

Vilene have decided to bring Hot Spots into their main retailer range - as you may know, I have been selling Hot Spots on for several years. I sell them by the metre, Vilene will be selling them in pack of 5 x A4 sheets.
Hot Spots are a bit like a spotty Bondaweb but with a heavier backing paper. Because the backing paper is heavier, the Hot Spots can be cut with hole punches, die cutting machines and laser cutters . .  as well as scissors!

I was asked to decorate T.shirts for everyone on the trade stand this year, so I asked my friend Claire from to help. Claire's knowledge of laser cutting is amazing. You may remember that she cuts my jewellery for me?

 A pile of Vilene retail logos ready to foil.

 Claire sorted the design on the computer and then laser cut the logos one at a time from single sheets of Hot Spots.

 The logo cut from Hot Spots pressed onto the T.Shirt.

Once I got home I fired up my heat press and pressed the logos onto the front of the T.Shirts. (Using baking parchment) Once the backing paper was cold I removed it to reveal the clear spots of glue.

 Foiled Hot Spot logo.

I then laid gold transfer foil over the spots of glue, then baking parchment and pressed the foil with the heat press. This can easily be done with an iron. 
Hot Spots come in small and large sized spots. I used the smaller size for the logo as I wanted a good definition of line.

 Chris and Laura setting up the stand.

We set up the stand on the Saturday ready for the first day on Sunday. The show starts at 9am and finishes at 6pm - it's a long day.

 The stand in full swing.

As I said - it is all very sedate. Business people wafting around in suits. It's all very calm. Unlike Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at the NEC next month - that will be mad - fantastic - but mad!!

From the left - Per from head office in Germany, me, Laura and Chris in our gold foiled T. shirts.

The retailer workshops are for 20 retailers and run for 45 minutes. Laura and I taught one every day on how to use the Hot Spots. Claire had cut lots of birds on the laser cutter for me so we had plenty to play with.

 2 of the retailers playing in the workshop.

 Foiled Hot Spots.

 Hot Spots cut into gecko shapes and foiled.  

 There is also a fashion show at the trade show - 2 or times a day. Vilene had some garments sent over from Germany - that didn't arrive. So I had rustle up some T.shirts quickly. I cut some of my geckos from Hot Spots and rustled up a few samples for the fashion show.

 The T.shirts on the catwalk.

 The garments not turning up did do me a great favour. The T.shirts went down very well. In fact they caused quite a stir.

The geckos close up.

We had lots of visitors on the stand including the lovely Hilary Beattie who was on very good form - as Chris discovered . . .

 Hilary Beattie with Chris.

 And it was good to see Viv and Kevin from
They are great friends of mine, it was good to have a catch up. They have a new online shopping website - Hurrah I hear you cry! 
Do have a look - it's very easy to use and the site is full of delights.

Viv and Kevin from Art Van Go.


I am now in Redditch at the IDC studios teaching the penultimate sessions of Experimental Textiles. The students are creating some amazing work - I am very excited. Their end of year show will be at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show at the NEC, March 19th - 22nd of March.

We are now enrolling for the next course which runs from in June 2015 - March 2016 - details can be found here -
If you have any questions abut the course, do email me.

x x x


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