Craft Show Catch Up

The Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2012 has come and gone, it was my third time visiting the show and each year I learn more ways to make the most out of a day there. There’s so much to see and do (and buy) it can be a bit overwhelming but you can only do so much, you just have to work out what you’ll get the most out of. This year I also went to the Craft and Sewing Show at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, it’s a smaller show so I felt like I got all the way around quite comfortably. If you don’t love huge crowds and getting lost it might be a better alternative if you want to see what a craft show is all about.

For me, the most rewarding part of a show are the hands on workshops. Most go for 1 hour, cost around $15-$25 for a small kit or materials and you get to learn something new with an expert there to help and guide you. There’s plenty of inspiration on offer throughout the various talks, demonstrations and at the stalls, but I always find I’m much more likely to really give something a go when I’ve got someone there to help me through those first steps and I don’t have to think about getting all my bits and pieces organised. I’ve even finished off a few of the small projects that I’ve started at the shows!

Sashiko Sampler Scissor Pouch

Sashiko Sampler Scissor Pouch - FrontSashiko Sampler Scissor Pouch - Back

The kit for this project came from a 1 hour sashiko workshop run by Indigo Niche at the Sydney Craft and Sewing Show back in March. Sashiko is basically a running stitch technique used for hand quilting and embroidery. It comes from Japan and traditionally uses white thread on Indigo fabric.

I enjoyed this workshop so much I also bought a couple of other samplers with the pattern already marked on the fabric, and a beautiful variegated thread to use. I’ll be sure to share some photos once the first piece has progressed a little further.

Felt Applique Needle Book

Felt Applique Needle Book - Marg Low DesignsFelt Applique Needle Book - Marg Low Designs - Inside

This little needle book was from a felt applique workshop with Marg Low of Marg Low Designs. She was absolutely lovely and gave us lots of great tips, by the end of the workshop I had the 3 flower pieces stitched on to the front, and I added the decorative stitches on the inside page on the train home. The next day I stitched on the inside fabric piece which also functioned as the binding, attached the inside felt page and voila!

There were a number of times while making this little needle book that I would pause while getting the next piece of thread ready and think, “Now where should I put my needle so I don’t lose it?” Duh… in the needle book perhaps? Handy little things they are, and super cute with a little felt applique.

English Paper Piecing

English Paper Pieced Hexagons

I’ve heard a lot about paper piecing so thought I’d find out how it works. This workshop by Blue Willow Cottage was a great introduction to hexagons, and the kit provided the fabric scraps and 7 pre-cut papers (enough to make a flower) as well as a template for cutting the fabric hexagons and the cutest little cutting mat (3″ square) and mini rotary cutter. As with all the workshops it was a great little taster to learn the basics and get me interested in trying some more.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with these when I’ve got all 6 petals on my flower finished but it will probably be appliqued onto a background fabric to then use.

So that’s my craft show catchup, there are actually more little demo projects from the Quilt and Craft Fair, but I’ll spare you for the time being and save those for another time. If you get the chance to go to a craft or sewing show be sure to check out the website or brochures before you go to see what demonstrations and workshops are on offer and GET IN EARLY to book as I’ve found the workshops fill up really quickly. You’ll have to race me though!