In contrast to the Quilt show the Needlecraft show did not overwhelm me but did cause me to feel quite worn out as I felt I had to do the rounds at least twice and then go back to the important exhibitors. This again was where an extra year’s worth of knowledge paid off. There were many exhibitions of Embroidery machines and I did feel I knew what I was looking for when I looked at them … but oh the prices! I bought a second (or possibly third) hand Brother Embroidery machine during the year and I do feel this is a really good way to find out if it is for you. I can see the point of paying £4,000, £5,000 or even more if this is your thing and you are a) considerably richer than me or b) using it as a business tool. They did do beautiful embroidery though …. sigh.
There were a fantastic number of material sellers and it was good to discover a few more with bricks and mortar shops closer to me. Although I haven’t reached the stage of driving where I design all my trips round only taking left turns yet, as did the elderly father of one of friends in the past; I do now limit the distance I am willing to go and the number of motorways! I digress – back to the fabric sellers. I do like to ask if they are online when I buy fabric, in case I need more of the same. Only one seller I spoke to, the lady from The Shuttle at Baildon Bridge, Shipley, didn’t have a website and she gave me her address and suggested I send a small clipping back to her and they could source it from there. Well done them. Running a website is not for everybody and, if it is for sales it can really add to your overheads. I was impressed they had found a way that worked for them. I bought some lovely Christmas fabrics from them.
As I said I do take the online information for sellers I am interested in. One seller – The Bobbin Patch had a lovely selection of Button Angel kits (mainly bags from what I could see) and Doll kits but I notice there are not as many on their site. I know it is hard to find time to photograph and list the items but I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t list on particular doll kit I loved as I was going to suggest it as a Christmas present (for me) to my son. I think it is very difficult for small sellers as they have to be everything within the business but they pay a lot to be at a show like this and it seems a shame to me not to optimise the marketing angle as well as the selling one.
Also selling some really well matched fabric with subtle colour sets which would appeal if I was patch working was Kalsquilt. There buyer seemed to have a very good eye for colour so I will be visiting that website in the future.
The wonderful Barnyarns were there with some very knowledgeable help being offered. They are very close to Harrogate as they are based in Ripon and I am hoping to pay them a visit in the future and report back on what I find. In addition to some lovely patchwork cottons Lady Sew and Sew also impressed with a range of designer fabrics. I didn’t see this anywhere else. It is difficult for dressmakers to find fabric shops these day (many just sell for interior design) so I was really pleased to see this.
Finally I would like to mention two rather different stall holders. One was demonstrating the Accuquilt which I didn’t manage to see actually working last year. I was impressed with the ease of use of the machine and think it would be really good for anyone making quilts where they have to do multiples of the same shape. I still love my Slice Fabrique for applique and think it is the better machine for this purpose but I can see the use of the Accuquilt for basic quilting. The other stall holder was a local girl, Sue Schofield of Springwood House Designs. She makes mainly Christmas items and sells kits which would really help inspire you. I emailed Sue as soon as I got back as she also runs workshops and got a lovely answer back saying basically come along and make the items you want to make. So I am booking for her October workshop!
All in all it was an exhausting but wonderful day out.
Happy crafting everyone and speak to you next week.