Saturday, 26 September 2015

The Big Textile Show

I've had a lovely (but hectic) day today at The Big Textile Show at Great Glen in Leicester.  This is the third year of this show, and I think it gets better and better!  We have been very lucky to be invited again to have a stall for Project Linus, and I hope I have shared the love by giving away free patterns for a no-strip nine patch, and doing a demo too!  It's one of those 'why didn't I think of that!' ideas, but a great time saver if you don't know it. 

Here is our stall, with the lovely Maria ready to inform and advise.  We had a great response to my demos, spread the word about hugs you can keep, and met lots of old friends.  

The show is very inclusive, and here is Tegan who is selling embroideries made by women in Madagascar.  They are fabulous, and with over 60% of the money going direct to the women, is a way of making a difference in the world.  She said that many of the women can now afford to send their children to school and have improved their housing.  Great news.  (I feel smug, because I bought a beautiful embroidery last year. A very precious possession.) 

Here is a view in the first corridor.  You can see the end of our table, and then Helen with her embroidered pashminas, again hand made and exquisite. 

Here are some of the traders.  This was a real mixture of goodies for quilters, knitters, embroiderers, mixed media people, lace makers, spinners, readers etc.  Something for everyone, and eye candy and stimulation for all. 

Here is a Guiness World Record attempt at yarn bombing a mini!  I knitted a couple of squares - I've never been part of a GWR attempt before!  This was early on, and they got a good half done by the end of the day. 

There were lots of different exhibitions, and here is a taster.  This piece is by Linda Rudkin, and was fabulous!  If this has whetted your appetite, then get along to the The Big Textile Show tomorrow to see the rest of the exhibits! 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Feeling clever (ish)

My patchwork group have recently bought a second hand Accuquilt Go! Cutter for group use.  We are hiring it out by the month, and I happened to be the first hirer!  I have looked at the different fabric cutters in the past, but not been persuaded to buy one, as I think that, for me, they would not get enough use to justify their initial outlay.  Interestingly, I have know several people who bought one, and then sold it on, as they didn't get as much use out of it as they'd expected to.  However, to hire one for a month is a different proposition altogether! 
The problem was that while the cutter itself has a handy carrying handle, the dies were all in a carrier bag.  

Here they are.  There is a really handy 2.5" strip cutter die, but it's 24" long!  Very unwieldy.  Liz suggested it might be an idea to get a trolley or suitcase to put everything in, which I thought was a good idea.  Then I decided a bag would be easier to cope with than a suitcase, although none of the supermarket type bags are long enough for the strip cutter die.  There was nothing for it but to make a bag.

Not the most attractive of bags, but since it's made of curtaining fabric and lined with the same, I'm hoping it will be durable.  The wrap around handles should give a bit of extra strength too. But then I thought we needed a list of the contents, so it could be checked off on return.  A laminated sheet inside?  A laminated sheet tied to the handles?  A luggage label tied to the handles? And then I decided.  

I cut a piece of the handle fabric, zigzagged it on the side and wrote the contents with a permanent pen!  I've left some room for future purchases to be added too.  Basic, but functional! 
And what have I been doing with the cutter? 

I used the Value die, which has 4.5" and 2.5" squares, plus 2.5" half square triangles to make this star. I quite like the triangles which have seam allowance on the side, but still glad the machine's hired, not bought.