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


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