Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So I went to the Stitch and Craft Show...

Stitching a key design
At last! It's the Stitch & Craft Show post!

My fellow Feeling Stitchy blogger, Jo/Mrs Lacer*, and I met up - well, we were supposed to meet up outside, but thanks to the combined efforts of C2C and the Tube I was over half an hour later than I had hoped to be. Boo!

So I was a bit late for the Emily Peacock workshop we had signed up for. But I got there in the end (slightly frazzled, but nevermind) and got stuck in stitching this key design - there was an ampersand (&) design too, but the key seemed more manageable, especially what with me being late!

Emily Peacock was really lovely and it was interesting to hear her talk about her journey to where she is now. With her stitchy design business, of course, not how she got to the Show.. ;-)

Emily Peacock at Stitch and Craft Show
After the workshop, we had a quick wander round before joining Emily again for a demonstration at the Cross Stitcher demonstration area where she demonstrated some canvas stitches. Which was fun and I learned some new stuff.

I must say that the (pretty!) Cross Stitcher stand was a bit too small.. a couple of round tables (occupied by some cross stitching peeps) and two rows of benches. It was a shame, it felt a bit claustrophobic. Also I didn't get a seat. ;-)

It was quite disappointing, really, that the area for stitching was so small, compared to the paper craft demonstration area which was massive. Seriously, it looked like it was the size of our flat! I guess paper crafting is more popular than stitching?

Although! The stitching floor (there were three floors), seemed more busy and more packed... so why this difference in size?

Maybe it has to do with stitching still, generally, being seen as a bit old fashioned?  Of course, this show did nothing to dispel that impression! I was really surprised at that. The Stitch & Craft website has a sorta 'young' feel to it, but that was completely lacking at the actual show. Most of the patterns etc were quite boring for my taste, the only people who really stuck out from the brown and beige masses was Ms Peacock and Mr X Stitch.

I really don't understand how a large show like this fails to showcase all the alternative/new/young/ hip/modern/whatever stuff that is going on in the blogosphere and elsewhere. Maybe it is because these people can't afford the price of having a stand there? I'm just speculating here. However, powers that be, if you're reading this, don't forget that the 'alternative' demographic is the future of stitching and we've got money to spend too. But if there's nothing for us at a show like this, we'll simply bugger off to somewhere else. Along with our money, m'kay?

Oh ribbon...
Speaking of spending money. I came to the show with the intention of spending some, I had money in my pocket! But boy, was I disappointed. I don't think I saw a single pattern I would have wanted. Most of it was cross stitch anyway, which I don't really do any of. Were there ant embroidery patterns there at all? I didn't see any.

The picture above shows the sum total of what I bought, 12 metres of pretty ribbon. I spent £6.00 on that. That's it. I was expecting to see some of the newer quilting cotton from the likes of Anna Maria Horner or Amy Butler or Patty Young or something. But I didn't see any of that. Or how about some Japanese designs? Nope.

So a bit disappointing all in all. Unfortunately! I suspect I'll save myself the trouble of going next year. Unless someone offers me a stand.. Anyone? I'll make it look real pretty. ;-)

Mr X Stitch at Stitch and Craft Show London
Mr X Stitch. Very lovely he was. And we had a jolly good time at his stand, quietly doing a bit of cross stitching. And having a chocolate biscuit. It was interesting to see people's reaction to this stand. A lot of people stopped and looked from a distance, others just walked past and then others did stop and have a closer look and maybe a little chat.

I really wish there had been more stands like this: not just with stuff for sale, but people with a real passion, who are willing to have a chat about it. And not just try to sell you something. Also, the chocolate biscuits.

This stand felt engaging and inviting, like you were in someone's living room, and not in a shop. If that makes sense..

Did you go to the show? What's your impression?

*You can read Jo's post about the show here.

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