I was having a particularly rotten week when the thought of going to Melbourne for the Stitches and Craft show first occurred to me. All the Melbourne craft bloggers were talking about it, and many had been invited to exhibit at their own stall. An email from Lara convinced me I should run away for the weekend so I booked my ticket, found a hotel, and broke the news to Mr Quiltingmick that I was going alone (he didn't mind in the slightest).
(a gift from Jodie. Thank you so much!)
It turned out that the show wasn't the only thing that was happening while I was in town. There was a crafters/bloggers dinner on the Friday night organised by the amazing Suzie, that Lara kindly put me on the list for. I foolishly left my camera at the hotel, and I was busy gas-bagging with people all night so there are some very, um, spirited photos of me around the interwebs looking drunk (I did not touch a drop all night, except for at the end maybe ...). But as I didn't bring a camera, you will have to read about the dinner here, and here, and here, and probably also here. Thanks Suzie. Thanks Lara for putting me on "the list". I had such a great time, surrounded by amazing and gorgeous and very crafty people, including people like the girls from Ink and Spindle who I think I have bought so much fabric from in the past, and who've inspired me, with their designs, to do nothing less that special things with their fabric. Their fabrics deserve nothing less.
The dinner on Friday night was just the shot in the arm (and the kick up the bum) I needed, with regards to my own crafting, Buttontree Lane, and even this blog. As if that wasn't inspiration enough, on Saturday I went to the show.
I attended two workshops on Saturday - the first by Jhoanna from One Red Robin, making a woodland brooch. Gah! Such cuteness! And very Blythe-like.
The second workshop was on how to make a selvedge purse with Jodie from Vintage Ric Rac. For those who commented about the dress on my last post , yes, it was THAT dress. And I met THAT Jodie. She's lovely, funny, gorgeous, generous and just a top sort ... and I still don't think I have enough words to describe Jodie. Her selvedge creations had pride of place at the show, with their own display.
Here's the purse I made in her workshop. Ah - my very own Selvedge Purse! Jodie reckons I won't send my selvedge to her now - I fear she may be right.
The Incubator at the show was incredible and such a great idea. It showed that the crafts don't just belong to the older generation anymore - the "young ones" are catching up, and inspiring and teaching other crafters as well. I don't have any photos of the Incubator, except for this one showing how well laid out the show was. The incubator was against the wall on the right. You can see other photos of the individual stalls at Miss Marzie's blog.
There were of course quilts to admire.
And fabric and patterns to buy.
Clockwise from top left - Green Olive, Thea & Sami, One Red Robin, Kelani Fabric, Kristen Doran and Ink and Spindle.
And I saw "Handmade Nation". If you haven't heard about this documentary, and you love craft, crafty people and markets and Etsy and the internet, go and see this if you can. I don't know where else it will be played, but I loved every second of it. It showcased different artists and crafters in the US, and when one of them talked about fashioning their own culture of craft, because the culture they were in didn't suit them, I actually cried. These people were speaking my language. They want to make the world a better place - through their creations, through sharing their excitement and their joy for life, and taking opportunities as they see them.
Yes. I cried during a craft documentary.
The weekend was rounded off nicely by dinner on Saturday night (during a wild thunderstorm) with a good friend who moved to Melbourne a couple of years ago, and breakfast on Sunday morning (during a wild drizzly windstorm) with my union-ex-ABS-singing-Fiji friend Helen. I had a nice walk down Brunswick St to Mike's (sadly not open) and then a stroll through DeGraves St, and then it was home. A much needed break, friendship and inspiration all rolled into one weekend. Perfect.