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.