I went to my first sewing festival today, Thread at the Farnham Maltings.

Thread- the Great Hall

Thread- the Great Hall

It was busier than this makes it look! I took this photo towards the end of the day.

It’s a new festival, and I think they’ve used their experience with running Unravel, which is a yarn & knitting/crochet based festival that has been going for several years now, to create a textiles/sewing based festival. It was an interesting experience for me, as a sewing n00b. It was fun, though it would have been even more fun if I’d had anyone to go with!

First off, it was pretty busy, but not outrageously so, so it was a pleasant afternoon, not an afternoon of not really seeing anything much! I think I got around to all the stalls. If I’d been a lot more prepared I’d have pre-booked myself onto a workshop, maybe- there was one on making & using bias binding, by Lauren of Guthrie & Ghani, and one on shibori indigo dying, that I might have been interested in. Next year, I’ll be better prepared! I did get to go to a couple of the talks. One was by Kate Smith of The Makery in Bath, about setting up and running her craft business. The other was by textile artist Alice Kettle, and was about thread as the fundamental basis of all our lives- its potentiality, its linearity, its symbolism. She included a lot about her personal inspirations and experiences as a working artist, which I found very interesting.

But onto the shopping… I decided I wasn’t going to go bonkers and buy up everything in sight, even though there was an awful lot of CUTE CUTE FABRIC! I managed to restrict myself to a small length (I think I can justifiably call it a thin quarter!) of Japanese cotton, with a beautiful floral print from SewSister, and a fat quarter of shibori dyed indigo cotton from Changs. I manfully resisted the allure of a bias binding making machine (because I know I wouldn’t use it right now), but I did buy a load of long & pretty dressmaking pins, because I’d been promising myself some for a while, and they were very reasonably priced.



I spoke with a lovely lady from the Basingstoke Embroiderers Guild, and an equally lovely lady from InStitches Textile Courses, both of whom were waxing lyrical about how creative you can be (which makes me feel like a total fraud for my piffling attempts at creativity!) and I blagged a couple of badges from the University of Creative Arts.

Unique and Awesome

Unique and Awesome

There was so much beautiful work on display, awesome(!) creativity and design flair, cute and quirky things, ravishingly gorgeous things, work which beggared belief. It’s left me fizzing with ideas and inspiration, which may or may not ever see the light of day. I’m glad it wasn’t too big an event, because I don’t think my brain would have coped with anything more! How do people manage at huge events like the Ally Pally one a couple of weeks back?



6 thoughts on “Thread

  1. Ooh! Looks good! I have tickets for the big one at the Harrogate Conference Centre at the end of November. I have never been to one before so am looking forward to it. Hope I can be as restrained!! Ha!

    • Although there was a lot of beautiful fabrics there (especially from Our Patterned Hand, which had some glorious silks), as well as cute ones (SewSisters springs to mind!), it was all a bit overwhelming, which made it easy to ease back on the spendy throttle. I’m not good when faced with so much choice!

      • I think I may be the same. I found a big warehouse type shop full of fabric in Newcastle , as there are no decent shops nearby. Just wondered around it and came out with NOTHING! Been waiting months to go visit!

  2. Oh I wish there was something like this where I’m at. Must be sooo inspiring 🙂 I too am easily overwhelmed…when faced with too much, I cannot spend a dime, or make the simplest choice. Which is probably a good thing 😛
    So I guess we can expect great inspired makes from you now, Béa!!

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