This year it felt a little smaller than last, although better arranged/organised. There was also a larger amount of folks selling home-type products which really don't interest me (tools for making flower garnishes, cocktail mixing contraptions, leather shampoos and super-dooper tools that do one very specific thing rather well). If you've ever watched an infomercial, you'll know the stuff I'm talking about.
After a well-spent 10 minutes in reconnaissance (with coffee and the expo guide) I trawled all the rows and visited every stall. I would have liked to see more sewing stands - there was definitely less for seamstresses (and whatever the bloke equivalent is) this year. Janome wasn't even represented so I couldn't test drive my latest object of lust, the Horizon 7700.
After the stalls I hit the Textile Gallery. The theme this year was silk, and these were the two pieces I liked the best:
This one was hard to photo as the spotlights washed out a lot of the detail, but it's a machine appliquéd Chinese landscape.
I love how the artist included some silkworm cocoons down the bottom:
There were quite a few food vendors outside of what was offered at the café.
Chocolate fountains: weddings, parties....craft fairs.
I spent money here. Tons of dried fruit and nuts which you bought by weight. Some of the more exotic types included strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi and aloe vera.
My favourite display was that of tapestry artist Emöke.
She had several of her large artworks on display/for sale, as well as a stall featuring her smaller items.
This sucker is about 1.5 x 1.5 metres (5 x 5 feet) and the frames (which are tiered and also woven) are supported by wood.
I wouldn't even know how to begin weaving a spiral pattern like this:
This was hands-down my favourite piece. Y'all know how I love my colour gradations.
This piece is 2 x 1.5 metres.
I love the 3 dimensions to her work.
Here's Emöke's booth, you can see her working away to the right there:
This is what she was working on:
More info on Emöke's work can be found on her website.
Let's get to the purchases, shall we? Sad to say I was very reserved this year (again an indicator of less merchandise for sewers).
I picked up this smallish piece of micro-suede for a very good price. I think it will become a cushion backing. Or... er... something (it will come to me, I just knew I needed to buy it.)
I could really do with a skirt in this colour. Probably not in micro-suede though.
I was super-happy to pick up a metre of this lovely British cotton lawn. Very Liberty-like.
I think I am going to have to plan an entire quilt top around using this as a backing.
Has anyone else ever done this?