I went to Thread, a festival of textiles, at Farnham Maltings in Surrey. I only found out about it a couple of weeks ago when I was talking to my lovely, talented knitter friend, Sue Stratford. Not having anything on I decided to pop along and see what it was like.
I have to say, it was lovely. Small, by a lot of standards, certainly nothing to compare to the Knitting and Stitching Show or the Handmade Fair, but really lovely. Because it was smaller, there were fewer visitors and it had a much more relaxed feel to it. I was there quite early, but even when I left just before lunchtime there was still plenty of room to walk about and look at the stands, talk to the exhibitors and fellow visitors.
The exhibitors were mainly companies/people I hadn't seen elsewhere which was really nice. There were a few stands selling the usual fat quarters and haberdashery but there were also quite a few local makers.
One of my favourites was Rebecca Honey, a woven textile designer from Farnham. Rebecca creates lovely woven pictures and jewellery.
This picture was one of my favourites, and I did buy a necklace which I'll show you in a bit.
So, did I find plenty of things to spend my money on? Of course I did! My first purchase was the aforementioned necklace from Rebecca Honey.
Then I bought some fabric that I thought would be perfect for free motion embroidery.
The fabric is vintage feed sacks. I'd never heard of this type of fabric before, but was really interested to hear about it from the stall holder. Unfortunately I can't remember who she was. The panel below gives an overview of the fabrics origins and history, and you can read the full piece here.
My final purchases of the day were fabric printing blocks and paints from The Arty Crafty Place. I've never tried fabric printing before but have often fallen in love with the beautiful Indian hand carved wooden printing blocks. I've been wanting to experiment with using free motion embroidery in different ways and wondered if I could use fabric I've printed myself as a base for embroidery. I decided to treat myself to two kits. The first is a full starter kit, including two items to print onto. I chose the block below and these two paints.
Then I decided to treat myself to another little kit as well. This one is destined to be used for Christmas cards.
As well as the exhibitors stands there were various other exhibitions around the building, some of work by A Level students from the local college. These three pieces were beautiful.
If you've never been to Thread before I can highly recommend it for a slightly different take on a textile festival. It was certainly far more relaxed and a much more pleasant experience than some of the larger shows. Perfect if, like me, you're not great with crowds.
I'll definitely be looking out for it next year.