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Four days of crowds, great sales, late night shopping on Saturday night with heaps of people taking part in the purple scarf competition, stacks of demonstrations later and I am officially TIRED!!!!

On Friday evening after the show, Andrew and I went into town for some dinner.  Andrew is always on the lookout for design inspiration for his scrapmatts and these delightful shoes certainly attracted his attention!

Red Shoes

Saturday evening trading was sparkled up by the event organisers conducting a purple scarf competition.  Several of the exhibitors offered prizes to those who had taken part in the making of and wearing their own purple creation.

There was a most excited 4 year old who had made a lovely felted, appliqued and stitched purple number excitedly announcing to anyone who would listen that she had won.  Great to see the new generation getting involved!

Then there was us….. yes, we both sported hand knitted scarves with suitable scrapmatts attached…..unfortunately, there are no photos of my “outfit”.

However –


…………………………………someone was seen wearing this and was also lucky enough to score a prize donated by the lovely girls from Blue Willow Cottage!


Wodonga Craft Alive has just finished and I am now back home.  This year the show moved to a new venue at Catholic College Wodonga.  It appears that all our visitors loved it – warm, friendly and an inviting atmosphere saw many people return every day to enjoy what the show had to offer.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to introduce some of our crafters of the future to the delights of making postcards and stitchery.

Stitch Me a Rainbow

Stitch Me a Rainbow

These two lovely young ladies are both 12 – they had a great time mastering the sewing machine and completing their postcards.  One plans to send hers to family in the UK and the other to a relative in Queensland. I’m sure their families will be delighted to receive these original cards from the girls.

Not all of us are skilled at sewing and there are many who are in fear and trembling when confronted by the electronic marvels that masquerade as sewing machines these days.  When Helen tried to sell the idea of making a card to her friend Doreen; Doreen’s first reaction was “I don’t do sewing machines!”

Helen prevailed and they each selected their favourite colours and sat down to make the cards.

Helen satin stitching the edge of her card

Helen satin stitching the edge of her card

From the instructor’s perspective, Doreen made the ideal student – she was not fazed by anything!  As soon as I had shown her how to do something, she was off!  For a supposed non-sewer, she was fantastic.

Doreen's first postcard.

Doreen's first postcard.

Helen has decided she will make more and took away some extra packs of supplies with her at the end of the day (she had more than one favorite colour – this way she didn’t miss out!)

Helen's pink card

Helen's pink card

It’s always great to catch up with students I have taught in the past and this year was no exception.  Another of our young crafters, Hannah, was back again this year and it was hand embroidery that she decided to try out this time. Helen and Patty also decided it was time for some hand stitching and out came the needles and thread.  The “Little Miss Dot” design seemed to be the favourite design on offer.little_miss_dot_2

My challenge for the weekend was how to help devise a method for teaching someone who was blind how to knit.  The query came from a lady at the show who had a blind friend she was teaching to knit – how could we help her to stop  dropping stitches?  That tested the grey matter a bit – but between us we devised a solution based on how she held the needles and using feel in your thumb to control and count the stitches as they came off the left hand needle. It seemed to work!

Over the weekend, my friend Sonja and I found the new Melbourne home of Morris and Sons – at 234 Collins Street, Melbourne.  How delightful to find that there’s now a knitting and needlecraft store on the first floor of the building where there is a book shop in the basement!

I was as restrained as I could be at a 20 to 50% off sale of wonderful yarns …. Jo Sharp from England, Cleckheaton, Patons, Noro from Japan, delicious Italian specialty stuff….yum!  Great range of accessories for knitting, DMC embroidery threads, tapestry wools …. couldn’t really appreciate the full range as we were on a limited time frame.

I did come home with some balls to knit up, though – PURPLE!


The lovely flecked balls with black eyelash have morphed into a gift for a friend’s birthday.  The others are for a purple “piece” for the “Saturday Night Fun” at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair in July.

This is from the Craft and Quilt Fair Website.….

Make a Purple Scarf and Win!
Saturday evening is ‘Wear Your Handmade Scarf’ night. Come to the fair wearing a scarf (or shawl, wrap or cape) you have made yourself, and you could win a prize pack of craft goodies! The predominant colour of your creation should be PURPLE… like the Craft & Quilt Fair logo!

To take part in the competition, register at the fair Gift Shop after 5pm on Saturday. Wear your entrant number while you enjoy the evening fair activities – our judges will be out and about looking for your unique style and creativity. So think fun, fabulous and funky and get stitching, stamping, printing, dyeing, knitting or beading today!

Prize packs will include:

  • beautiful fabrics from Catharina’s Country Collection, Stand C20
  • gorgeous yarns from Yarns Galore, Stand B35
  • amazing craft tools and gadgets from Punch with Judy, Stand A11
  • lace, motifs and dyes from Starr Laces and Ribbons, Stand D36

Exhibitors will also join the fun and wear their own special creations!

See that last line?  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I am challenged to create something wearable using the Scrapmatts products – not normally something you would consider suitable for an item of clothing or an accessory.  Stay tuned – this is going to be fun!

…. opens tomorrow at 9.30am!

Andrew and I have finished the set up a little bit later than we planned and I guess that we will be rearranging things on the Scrapmatts stand tomorrow before the doors open.

There are so many new designs in the Chipboard range – I can’t wait to get to play!  I am really impressed with the fabulous range of shoes….I think I will have to make sure I have at least one packet each of all the different designs – especially the red ones! cb1031_s

I am also delighted to find The Thread Studio has a stand at this show… I just love all the delicious threads and products for working on fabric I can find here.


This event is the opportunity for Melbourne and Victorian paper enthusiasts to restock supplies, see new trends and designs and take part in “Make and Takes” of new techniques.

The Paperific Expo is being held once again at the Royal Agricultural ShowGrounds in Epsom Road, Ascot Vale and, unlike last show,  there is great new catering available! On site parking is also available at $5.oo per car.

I will be there again with Andrew from Scrapmatts and we will have a great new range of original chipboard designs as well as some fabulous new pens about which Andrew is very excited!  Come along and watch our on site demonstrations, pick up supplies for Artist’s Trading Cards, card making and scrapbooking, and see all our new products in action.

In a couple of month’s time I will be heading off into regional Australia to take part in a series of small craft shows.  At these shows I spend all my time teaching new skills to novice and experienced stitchers alike.

This year I would like to offer my students the chance to make a mystery postcard swap with a fellow stitcher from somewhere “out there”!

If you would be interested in taking part in this once only swap I would love to hear from you!

Your name and address would not be distributed in any shape or form – just added to the postcard made in the workshops by my students and dropped in the mail!  All you would need to do is to return the favour and send back a postcard to your mystery stitcher!

You can sign up for this swap any time until the end of May and all postings will be completed from this end by October ( October is the end of the show season for me!)

Hope that there are some stitchers out there who would like to take part.


Are you coming to Stitches and Craft – Melbourne?  Have you seen something there you wish to share with your blogging friends?  There is no need to wait until you get back to your computer to post – you can do it direct from the show by taking advantage of the  freee Apple computers supplied at the “Blogs Unplugged” centre situated right on the retailer floor!


Sprinkled throughout the show are these wonderful displays – this one particularly caught my eye as all these items are crafted from selvedges! Being the bits we often cut off and discard – they are more often found in the waste bin.

All these items are constructed from the selvedges of a wide variety of fabrics….so inspiring to see!


Fantastic  giant cotton reels with superbly rendered “enlargements” of those classic labels….tomorrow I will show you the giant knitting needles!

Today sees a new era dawn in the life of the Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne. For the first time it is being held in the new main pavilion at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale.

Its bright and fresh… lots of new and different crafts people showcasing their talents and their products.  There’s even a series of legal workshops for the new new crafts business person!

Hope to see you there – the show is open from 9.00 to 5.00 daily until Sunday.

Thursday 26th February will see the return of craft and quilting events to the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Carlton.  This historic building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens are significant in their own right as the complex is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Australasian Quilt Convention brings together patchwork and quilting afficionados from all around the country and from overseas for a range of classes, events, exhibitions, demonstrations and of course, the inevitable opportunity to add to the stash!  All the major patchwork and quilting retailers will be represented within the marketplace so even if you haven’t registered for the workshops, you can still come along and see all the latest and best in fabrics, patterns, equipment and accessories.

There are a number of different travelling exhibitions or you to enjoy including “Caravanserai”  by Dijanne Cevaal, ‘Brigitte Giblin –  a Retrospective’ and a wonderful new showing from the tACTile group called ‘Collections’.

The featured artists this year are from Arnhem Land – the women from the Babbarra Women’s Centre will display their indigenous textile art.  This work combines a varitety of textile painting and printing techniques and reflects the distinctive symbols and stories of the people of central Arnhem Land.

For those of you who are interested in working with an embellishing machine, the inaugural world wide Embellisher Textile Challenge conducted by The Thread Studio (WA) will make its first appearance at this event.  This is a fabulous opportunity to see just what marvellous work can be achieved using these great machines.

If you are an interstate visitor, take the time to travel into the city and visit the NGV Federation Square to take a look at the Dickens quilt – It won’t be on display for too much longer!

E Dickens Quilt

E Dickens Quilt

The people from Stitches and Craft have just announced a change of venue for the March 2009 Stitches and Craft Show.  No longer will the show be held at Caulfield Racecourse (I can remember it first being held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton) Keep up to date with what is happening to Stitches on their website (as of today its still under construction!)

They are very excited to announce that it will be held at the newly completed Exhibition Pavillions at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

This is great news for me as I am very close by this venue and that will make it a very convenient show to work!

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