Sunday, 27 March 2011

International Craft and Hobby Fair (UK)

Several weeks ago, I was asked by my good friend Rainy Day Crafter if I fancied accompanying her to the ICHF at the NEC in Birmingham. As I had never previously attended anything like that, but have always wanted to, I jumped at the chance.

The plan for the big day (last Thursday) was that I would catch the train at 08:45, and Rainy Day Crafter would board the train a few stops further down the line. Unfortunately, I overslept, so it was a matter of me having to meet Rainy Day Crafter at the NEC itself, by which time her feet and legs were aching, and in dire need of a rest.

The ICHF was vast, with plenty to see. The tickets allowed entry into three separate events, all under the same roof (Hobbycrafts, Sewing for Pleasure, and Fashion Embroidery and Stitch). Because my incredibly late arrival had given Rainy Day Crafter plenty of time to look around, she was able to point me in the direction of a couple of stalls that she thought I might like.

The first stall I visited had a selection of gorgeous blackwork kits on display. There were so many that I liked the look of, and I felt frustrated that my funds were limited. After much thought, I treated myself to BW194 Dancing in the Dark by designer Jill Cater-Nixon (Classic Embroidery), and BW210 Lady and Dog (Holbein Embroideries).

BW194 Dancing in the Dark
BW210 Lady and Dog

I then had a look at the Michael Powell stall, and was thrilled to see the man himself. I had to refrain from shreiking, "It's you! My mother loves your work! Please can I have your autograph?" Lol.

Later, after spotting the Itch to Stitch workshop by the Cross Stitch Guild, Rainy Day Crafter was shown the basics of blackwork on Evenweave fabric, and I was shown how to improve my French Knots. Afterwards, we were both given a sample of Evenweave fabric, a selection of different-coloured threads, and a basic blackwork pattern. From a distance, we also got to see the stitching goddess, otherwise known as Jane Greenoff.

The ICHF was absolutely crammed full of people, but I did manage to take some photographs of items made by members of the Quilters Guild.


Aside from the fact that I arrived late at the NEC, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and would very much like to attend another ICHF event. Ideally, after I've had time to save up a considerable amount of money!


Rainy Day Crafter said...

It was a great exhibition wasn't it? If it wasn't for the fact that my feet were killing me and I was out getting my ears butchered the next day I would have been very tempted to go back for a second visit as there was so much to see there!

Glad you enjoyed it anyway! I'm definitely with you on saving up lots of money for the next show as it was scary how much I could have spent there, lol! I think we both did very well showing as much restraint as we did! ;)

CrazyStitcher said...

Rainy Day - I'd like to think that we'll get to go to another exhibition. However, perhaps what we'll have to do is check out ALL the stands, as opposed to wandering here, there, and everywhere. Lol. We could do sections at a time, and make sure we have plenty of coffee breaks to rest our feet. x