Sunday 9 September 2018

West Country Quilt & Textile Show

It's a week since I came back home from Bristol but I've only just finished unpacking and put my mind to writing this. I spent a very enjoyable few days at the UWE Exhibition Centre with Dia, Deb and our friends from On the Surface, who were exhibiting on the adjacent stand.

It was our first time there but we have shown the 'Destinations' pieces a couple of times before and knowing how the pieces fitted together meant our work went up relatively easily with the help of the lovely Mr Day (otherwise known as Deb's husband, Chris). I managed to avoid too much faffing (or Caffing as Deb has re-named it in my honour!)

After our previous exhibition, we decided we needed a banner and I enjoyed both making it and seeing it displayed for the first time. Positioned as it was above Dia's beautiful Northern Lights, it actually formed quite a convincing capital T for Traverse, which wasn't planned at all!

As always, Bernice's work was much admired and photographed. Her use of text encourages close examination and I overheard a few conversations about her 'Pathways' piece - and her 'Venice Tiles' are always popular.

Bernice's work, including her mixed media books on Venice, which were also admired

The opposite end of the stand, where my work and Deb's was displayed nearly didn't look like this.

It was only thanks to a very early morning dash with Chris to Tamworth services that my 'Richat Structure' made an appearance at all. I had left it at home on the dining room table, all packed up in its box and he very kindly offered to drive me to pick it up. My husband met us half way for coffee and delivered it safely. I was very grateful to both of them.

It's one of the needle-felted pieces, produced mainly on an embellisher, which are useful to show  the effects that can be achieved. It featured in an earlier blog here, when I had a problem with the yellow areas. There are usually many comments about the 3D effect, which happened a bit by accident but I went with it!

Difficult to show the 3D effect on a photograph but it can be seen in this upside down work in progress shot

Deb has also used the embellisher on this beautiful piece, 'Destination Mindfulness', combining it with some hand needle felting to add texture. There is another 'accidental' 3D effect on her sun - she went with it as well!

Although these are not new pieces, it was important to remember that it was the first time that most people were seeing them and we tried to describe the processes and techniques with as much enthusiasm as we had way back in March when we first showed 'Destinations'. There were some lovely comments in our book ...

...including one from a man who saw the 'Working with Janome' sign by the embellisher and spoke to me for some time thinking my name was Joanne - he saw the joke and went off chuckling.

In fact, we spoke to several men who were either just very interested in how the machine worked or in some cases had actually used embellishers - one said he used his wife's embellisher more than she did! We do enjoy demonstrating and talking to people about our work; whether they have a machine and don't use it much or have never seen one before, it makes us smile when they go away saying they are inspired.

The effect of the embellisher on these curtain fabrics gained a lot of interest.

Dia made a beautiful piece of fabric big enough to make a photograph album cover
- just calling out for stitch and I look forward to seeing it when finished.

Meanwhile, 'Joanne' made a big effort not to do stripes, ending up with a very familiar looking spiral
... and it was half the size of Dia's sample - guess who was doing all the talking!

Soon it was all over and what began for me with an emergency dash up the M42 ended with another complication - a fire alarm just as we were all rushing to get everything packed up and head home. There were quite a few disgruntled faces but it was mainly greeted with smiles and 'At least it's not raining!' as we stood in the car park waiting for the all-clear. Fortunately, it was a false alarm and we didn't have to wait too long before we could return to finish packing up and set off up the M5, tired but happy with the reception our work had received.

So we look forward to The Creative Craft Show, November 1st - 4th, at the NEC, where we will be exhibiting 'Destinations' for the last time before moving on to our new theme for next year, 'Revealed'. The show runs in tandem with 'Simply Christmas - the Crafty Christmas Show' and 'Cake International', which all sounds rather tempting and we look forward to seeing some of you there.