I vow to be a better blogger this year when I attend my second Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace this September. It is just that once I arrive in the UK, I get so caught up in everything that I forget to take pictures. So, we will see how I do this time.
If you have never been or heard of the Handmade Fair it is quite possibly the best maker event ever. Their are inspiring talks and makes held throughout the event by maker greats like Annie Sloan and Cath Kidston. Drop in maker sessions hosted by the likes of Mr X Stitch and contestants from the Great British Sewing Bee coach students through quick and fun skill building makes. Elegant food and booze up stalls are scattered about to keep you merry. And my favorite part, shopping villages brimming with some of the best maker talent I have ever seen.
Why do I go all the way across the Atlantic for this? Well, aside from all the inspiration and friendships I have made, there is just something unique and forward thinking about the UK craft scene. Forward thinking, but at the same time built upon an appreciation for classic craftsmanship and asthetics. I have had the joy of meeting kindred spirits in thread and look forward to visiting with friends. Then, of course it is on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. An absolute maker fairy tale. But don’t lose your head.
So if you have never been, it is definitely worth centering a holiday around. If you are feeling decadent stay on until October’s Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally. Trust me, if you love fiber, you will not be disappointed. Meanwhile, Mrs Crafty B has put together a series of meet the maker interviews of this year’s HMF exhibitors to get us all geared up for the event. Mine is here. Yippy!
Last week I spotted the above “embroidery” kit at Target. At first I was excited because finding a kit like this in Target suggests that the love for needlework had gone mainstream.
Now, a week later I have reservations. I do love Target and shop there regularly. Clearly there is a hunger for crafting growing in our communities as the craft isle at Target is ever growing with these modern spins on the age old crafts of cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery and knitting.
It looks like Target partnered with Seedling to create this kit.I love the fact that they partnered with an independent designer on this, I guess I just wish it was with someone who more specifically represented cross stitch or needlepoint.
The above kit is a bargain at $9.99, but I am willing to wager that the quality of the contents are not great. Quality materials are so important for your stitching! I know that when I and my peers design kits we work hard to make sure that the stitcher has an incredible experience. Everything is thought through with great care. So before you drop $10 at Target, don’t forget about the Indie designers that paved the way for this modern movement. We will be here long after that kit has hit clearance.
For some quality stitching projects check out:
Floss and Mischief, Hannah Bass Contemporary Tapestry, Pompom Design, Emily Peacock, Red Gate Stitchery, Modern Needleworks, and me.
Today I used Etsy’s new Pattern to design a new website for myself. So easy and fun! I am still playing around with it a bit but here it is after only a few hours and my hubby helping me repoint my thingies and all that techie stuff.
I am adding some wonderful vintage goodies to my Etsy shop .
I am so excited to share that my new tapestry/ needlepoint cuff kits are coming out this Fall at long last! Just in time for The Knitting and Stitching Show. Here is a sneak peek. More coming soon.
I found some vintage beauties on Etsy this week, like this coin purse for $22.
These 3 stitched pieces all for just under $30 all ready for you to finish. They would make great pillows with some black geometric fabric backing !
This gorgeous bowl to put on your dresser or entryway for about $17.
And finally awesome affordable bargello.
. . .and more bargello.
What vintage beauties have you found recently?
I have always been drawn to old things. It is as if they whisper a story to me of the past. As a creative I am particularly fascinated with made items and the instruments used to create them. It matters little if I knew the maker or not.
Recently I was thinking on why it is I am so drawn to these things. I have not fully answered that question but what I have arrived at for now has more to do with my own work than I originally thought. I believe we are created with purpose. Part of my purpose is to create things. These things that I create are little love songs from my soul. I know one day I will pass but likely my work will remain and the pain of thinking of it ending up in a dumpster or the back dirty corner of a goodwill hurts. So, when I run across the needlework of those that have gone before me, I take the time to admire what they have done and wonder a little bit about them, whoever they were and why they made what they made. I connect with these strangers and they become part of my work. Sometimes I bring their work back to my home.
The above sewing machine was pulled out of a dumpster. The bobbin was full and the needle threaded. I wonder what it sewed last? Below are a few of the rescues that have been distributed around my home. What have you rescued lately and why?
Oddly most of the best needlepoint resources that I have found were written the year I was born. The fatalist in me likes to think of this as a serendipitous indication of what was to be my fated path as textile enthusiast and needlepoint designer.
I have always collected these resources as I come across them at tag sales and thrifting excursions and often gave them away to other stitchers and designing friends as well as brought them along to workshops and craft fairs. With a now overflowing collection I thought that I might add them to my etsy shop to make them available to others that would benefit from these resources. I am selling them at a low base price of $5 with the hope that people would collect these for resources. They are really great references and very relevant to the contemporary needlework movement.
I am a firm believer that design built on the teachings of our predecessors has the strongest result and find immense fascination in exploring the work of our grandmothers.
What are some of your favorite resources?