Last week I spent a couple of day at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair. This year it returned to Darling Harbour in the newly built International Convention Centre. The venue was nice, I spent the Friday and Saturday at the show.
On the Friday I decided to do what workshops I could that day as I was expecting it to be very busy on the Saturday with the weekend crowd. The first workshop I did on the Friday was to make a little wallet that had a double opening. This workshop was a lot of fun and we were taught by a Ninja! Our teacher was dressed like a fabric Ninja and kept us all entertained. He kept telling us little Ninja hints and short cuts to do our work. For the workshop Ninja had pre stitched our fabric panel that was in the pack so in the class we could do the assembly of the wallet (Ninja tip to save us time he said) He needed to show to everyone how to measure and do the folds of our fabric panels, I happened to be sitting where he was standing so he demonstrated on mine. I was paying attention and understood it so I was able to show others how he did it. When it came to inserting the metal press stud closure he again demonstrated on mine.
I inserted the 2nd press stud closure on my wallet myself. On the 2nd side you actually go through more layers of fabric and I thought it would be difficult but it was very easy to insert. Ninja supplied us with special Ninja press studs that you could insert entirely by hand without a press or pliers. Even through the extra layers the just snapped into place. I did pull a thread when I was piercing the holes so there is a slight dip on my purse front but I am not fussed about that.
To assemble the wallet together you do a Ninja sashiko stitch that he discovered thanks to all the crafters in the room was like a herringbone stitch. He started mine off and I continued working on it. I have almost finished this side in the class. This wallet is almost finished, at some point I will finish it off (hopefully by next years show)
The 2nd workshop I did was to make a leather pouch. I always like to try working with different things if I can at the shows and leather was something I had never stitched before. For the workshop we each got to choose what we would like to make, I chose a leather pouch. The leather already had the stitch lines marked out so we basically just had to place our needle into the marked spaces. The leather itself was lovely and soft and very easy to work with. What was unexpected was we used wax thread. This was a texture I was not used too and that was an experience… It was very tacky and if you are one who hates have sticky hands when you are crafting it was very different to what you are used too. It worked great on the leather but I must admit I couldn’t wait to wipe my hands with a baby wipe after the class. This is something I’m also aiming to get finished.
One of the reasons why I was doing 2 days at the show was that I booked into hear Kerry Lord speak and demonstrate how she makes her toys. I will be perfectly honest and say that before I read up about this years show I didn’t know much about Kerry. Kerry makes these amazing crocheted animals and creatures. Up until a few months ago I hadn’t tried amigurumi until I made the football so I hadn’t really looked at patterns for it. I purchased a couple of Kerry’s books and her patterns are so cute and simple to make. Her toys are divided up into skill level from basic to more advanced toys. Seeing her demonstrate how to do all the toys in the different stages was great. She kept giving us great little tips and reminding us it just comes back to the fundamentals, the different levels might be working with different colours or doing slightly different shaped parts. We all came away from her talk thinking yes I can do this. Also as a special bonus she emailed everyone who attended her talks a set of crochet patterns of all her Australian animals, how is amazing is that!
Kerry’s stall was so much fun to visit, all her toys were flying in mid air. Even if you weren’t into crochet you fell in love with her toys. She made an interesting comment a lot of toys are made for adults or teenagers so that is why all her toys are designed so they can sit upright on a computer or shelf and not be floppy. I guess we are all big kids at heart.
I did do a hands on workshop and managed to break a sewing machine…… Ok so I don’t know if I technically broke it or I just happened to be using it when it had a hissy fit and protested. I was doing a free Janome workshop and was making an “in the hoop” pouch when I noticed the sewing machine started to skip stitches during the stitching out of the design. The machine had to be retired for the day as it needed to go off for servicing. They were going to offer to let me finish it off on another machine but I know that during shows like this timing is tight between classes that they run so I decided that I will finish it off at home. They gave me a sample one since mine didn’t work. I’ll easily be able to sew up the side seams and still use my one.
Craft show always equals shopping. This year I did have a few yarn related products I was hoping to pick up. I got a wooden yarn swift as well as some new clover crochet hooks. I picked up a ball of yarn after falling for the pattern and now I have to learn short row knitting. I was a bit indulgent and picked up some embroidery and applique packs from Sarah Fielke. Sarah is one of my favourite quilters and this year she had her own shop so I picked up a few things.
Books are always something I enjoy and this year I got a couple, mostly crochet but I also got one of Sarah’s and have also ordered another of Kerry’s too. There is just something special about holding a book in your hands.
So one tradition of the Craft and Quilt fair is the morning dance. Just before the doors open for the day stall holders come out and dance in front of the crowd. It is a bit of fun and gets everyone in the happy mood. After they dance they select people from the crowd to dance with them and they give you a lovely prize. I am happy to dance around like an idiot so this year I did it and I was given some amazing quilting templates and crafting supplies. It was fun and set the mood for the day.