Last month I had a wonderful day at the Knitting & Stitching show in Harrogate (I’m a bit behind with writing my posts again!) It’s the biggest show we have round here, four large halls of quilting, embroidery, sewing…heaven! Though it’s probably a good job it only comes once a year!
I went with a friend and as she wanted to book a couple of workshops, I decided to treat my self as well. I came to the conclusion at the Festival of Quilts that doing a workshop is actually quite a good move as the hour plus sitdown means I can manage to walk round for longer!!
We had a good mooch round the stalls and exhibitions too, there were some particularly good exhibitions this time. One particularly moving one was called Dementia Darnings, it’s by Jenni Dutton. She stitched portraits of her mother in the various stages of dementia, maybe a dozen or more, sometimes with threads hanging down or faded as if to show the unravelling of memories. It was quite poignant to work out where abouts my mum was in the exhibition.
Another beautiful exhibition was by Cas Holmes, her work was stunning, I bought her book Textile Landscapes for inspiration!
The Embroiderers Guild had an exhibition there with some beautiful work on display. There was also a big display of their 100 hearts project, members stitched a heart to commemorate the 100 years since the end of WW1, some of them were very personal, it was a wonderful display, this is just a very small example…
The first workshop I did was by Sarah from the Golden Hinde, a goldwork specialist. She was a great tutor, enthusiastic and patient! We made a lovely flower brooch from purl thread and some little snips I can’t remember the name of but they made the lovely glittery centre. We could choose the colours of the silk background and the purl thread. I went for a purple background and teal purl with silver. I’ve not used purl thread before, it was interesting to use, last time I tried goldwork (many many years ago!) I didn’t really enjoy it as I found it hard work trying to pull the threads through, not relaxing at all. As this was all surface work it was lovely to stitch, so long as you didn’t drop your invisible thread! I just about managed to finish the embroidery in the hour and a half of the workshop and then made it into the brooch when I got home. I’m really pleased with it.
My second workshop was Lucet cord making, an ancient way of making cord over a two pronged tool. It reminds me in a way of those knitting dollies we had as kids, it made a very strong cord but it did take me a long while to get the hang of it, especially the ‘quick way’. On his stand he had some very pretty cord but I didn’t feel it would work for the kind of things I use a decorative cord for. It was interesting to try though.
I bought a few bits of course (no surprise there then!) I was looking for some inspiration for a colour scheme for my next Sarah Fielke quilt, ‘Coming Home’. Quite late in the afternoon I fell for a small fat quarter bundle of teals and greys, it quickly developed from there across several stalls, I added a few from my stash at home and I now think I’ve got a reasonable palette. I’m thinking of two shades of ivory for the backgrounds.
All in all, a grand day out!