Saturday, 21 March 2015

NEC - Stitch and Craft Show

As promised not a baby in sight - just sweeties!

Mrs A and I had one of our outings to the NEC. This is the first one this year and I just got sooo excited. I think this was because I have just been working so hard this year and have had very little time to myself. Don't get me wrong I love my job and I love my family but every now and then the grandma needs a bit of me time. We headed off along the M69 only to be greeted with sign of woe for the M6. Now having my roots in Birmingham the brain started working and I remembered the A45 runs from Coventry, past the NEC into Birmingham. I should say that I haven't lived in Birmingham since 1980, but it's amazing what can be resurrected from ones' brain! This turned out to be a good move as we drove over the M6 we could see it was at a complete standstill. Now also happening at the same time was the solar eclipse. As I drove I became aware of the light going strangely dark, but not completely. When we arrived I tried to take some pictures but I had to do it with my eyes closed!

There was a lot of cloud about and I believe some pollution blown in from Europe, so not a total eclipse. But still exciting.

Mrs A very excited too!

Spotted one of the dresses that was made during The Great British Sewing Bee. I couldn't fathom it out from the television and seeing it here I could understand why. Golly it must have been a nightmare to make.

This lady had a rather interesting outfit on. I'm guessing she made the dress. Oh my look at her shoes!

The above picture was taken because the lady with the wonderful smile was one of the contestants in a previous British Sewing Bee - Lauren Guthrie. She has a shop and blog click here  to see more. Lauren just looks so lovely, but I was too shy to go and talk to her and hid around the corner to take this picture.

We stopped for a cuppa and met this great French lady who was over to sell some of her fabrics to the stores. She was sooo enthusiastic and got out all her fabric to show us - saying this is what we'd be seeing next year.

I loved this small hanging - I know my children are now groaning - "oh mum and her boats!" It's just sooo sweet.

I do not know what the correct name for the next embroidery picture, but I watched this lady embroider onto some very fine silky fabric, then apparently she sprays it in some sort of glue/stiffener and then cuts the surplus fabric to achieve these amazing hangings.

This stall had huge knitting needles and giant balls of wool. Think the idea is to knit rugs. I do not think my hands would cope with the thickness of some of the needles. Sadly I didn't quite photo the largest needles.

I fell in love with this dress - called the Kate dress and made and designed by a company called Sew Something. After much humming and biting of nails I eventually went back to this stall and bought a pattern. Here is another version of the dress.

And yet another version.

Just to the right of the denim dress is a silky version but I really disliked that one. Mrs A and I then spent some time going up and down the rows to find some material. After some previous disasters of dressmaking and them ending up looking like nighties I was determined to find some fabric that could never be associated with bedwear!

Here I am looking very happy after having made the decision to buy something! I'm a hopeless spender - it takes me ages to gear myself for parting with my hard earned money. Guess it's inbred after many years of raising children on a small salary.

Time for a final drink and time for "show and tell!" Here is Mrs A's buys. She was very reserved at this show. I think she must have finally run out of birthday money and actually has a lot of stash like me. She got some lovely pieces of fabric from the designer Janet Clare. Various different accessories for her journalling and a wonderful pattern for a cushion by Tina Francis, a fellow brummy.

My buys were:-  a pattern to try and make the wee grand-girlies a dress, but that has to be sent to me via the mail, and the above pattern for the Kate dress and fabric. The fabric came from a wonderful stall called Favourite Fabrics. They had beautiful, expensive materials - but were very different from many of the other stalls. My fabric is designed by Brie Harrison and is part of the Suffolk Garden range. DANGER do not click on these links if you have a weakness for wonderful fabrics!!!!!!!!!!!

Well as you can see we had a wonderful day. It was finished off with a Chinese meal from our wonderful local takeaway and then final packing for my trip to Northumberland. Thanks to our great hubbies who let us disappear for the day, with the car and to spend money! Well actually birthday money!

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