Urban Stitches Sydney 2014 was a lot of fun. If you have never heard of Urban Stitches, it is sewing retreat held in the middle of a city in a major hotel both in Sydney and Melbourne. Its hosted by Erica from Under The Mulberry Tree and has Ric Rac (Jodie Carleton), Melanie McNeice and Rosalie Quinlan as the guests of honour. I’m a big fan of all 3 designers and have made many of their projects. It is held over 2 days but it is your choice which day you wish to do or you can do both. I always do both.
On day 1 we got our project bags of the activities we could complete over the weekend. There was a fox softie, a needle and pins sewing bag and a set of pendants. I chose to work on the pendants. The pendants were a popular choice as you complete it in a day and feel like you finished something. After I finished my first one I realised if I’d cut my linen up to place it in the pendant ring I couldn’t lie the rest of it flat in my hoop to finish the others so I’m going to wait until they are all complete to do it.
Each day there is “show and tell” where you can show off items you’ve made. I took along my teaset that I will be giving as a gift later this month. I had to take a photo of it to compare it to Jodie’s one. I’m pretty proud of my teasets when I look at them along side the designers one. Jodie was laughing at me as I was taking the photos. Jodie thinks I do a great job with my teasets and that means a lot to me.
If you attended the 2 days you got a different goodie bag on the 2nd day. In the 2nd day goodie bag there were some wonderful items including some Cosmo threads, a needle keeper, fabric bundle, stitchery gift cards, a gift voucher for the shop, Christmas cards and a fabric Log. I’m very excited as I’ve never owned a Log before. I don’t want to open it as it looks so pretty and I’m scared of what to make with it because I don’t want to waste it.
On day 2 there were fewer people attended but there was just as much laughter and fun had. A Rugby League team was staying at the hotel over the weekend before their match so all weekend they had to put up with us, they posed for photos with needlework and had to put up with female laughing. After lunch on the 2nd day they decided to come into our venue to see what exactly we were doing all weekend. Just observing them on their own looking at every thing was hilarious. These boofy young blokes were amazed and getting excited over toys and stitcheries. I could hear comments of “your girlfriend would love this, mum would like this” They asked questions and were actually interested in it all. My friend said it was very intimidating and difficult not to stab herself with a needle as 3 blokes stood around her fascinated by what she was making.
I took another show and tell item along this time the framed Angels stitchery I did last year. Rosalie loved how I got it professionally framed. I’m proud of it and again to have the person who designed it like it means a lot to me.
By the end of the 2 days I look at the stitching I did get completed and think really it isn’t that much however the fun and relaxation that I had in those 2 days is what counts. I learnt things and asked questions. How often do you get to ask a designer to show you something or explain something.
I may have done a little shopping over the weekend as Erica sets up a little shop in the room. I had a wishlist before I went so I picked up some items that were on that. I found some extra items I wasn’t expecting such as stitcheries that are factory seconds but look perfect, a pre-printed bunny panel that I will cut out and stitch up for a Christmas gift and some supplies for some bags I’ll be making for this Christmas. I got a couple of patterns for gifts for next year and I ordered a pattern book that didn’t make it to sale in time for the event.
I was able to get a copy of Melly’s book and she signed it for me. I’ve never had a craft book signed before so it is one I shall treasure.