Uttoxeter Catch Up…..

I’ve done it again…..it’s over six months since my last post and I’m now sitting here wondering how it happened and whether it’s possible to “seamlessly” slip in half a dozen catch ups without it looking clunky!

As this blog originated as an online journal to keep track of the things I’m doing, seeing and experiencing creative wise, I really do want to fill in the yawning gap that was Spring & Summer 2022 but I’d be kidding myself to think I can make it look seamless. Some of what I’m going to post has already appeared on the Felting and Fibre Studio. I would normally write it for myself first and then copy it across but, for whatever reason, it didn’t happen! Anyway, here goes with my Uttoxeter catch up which takes us back to April and the Quilt & Stitch Village, an annual 3 day textile show held at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire.

It was my first time exhibiting at Uttoxeter and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would visitor numbers be low? Most ladies attending shows like this are of a certain age (me included!) and I know some still have concerns about mixing in large groups. This is predominantly a quilt show, would there be enough interest in feltmaking or would the majority walk straight passed? I was manning my stall alone…. would the neighbouring stall holders be too busy to relieve me when I needed a loo break? I needn’t have worried, when the doors opened at 10am the visitors flooded in and it turned out to be three very “full on” days! These are a few of the items I had on show……

Just prior to the show I’d felted myself a couple of sculptural, roll edge collars which I wore over that weekend. They attracted a lot of interest which has led to me making them as commissions as well as running one day workshops for ladies wanting to make their own.

The cockerel and hen also proved popular with visitors. I had originally read a free tutorial on how to make a wet felted parrot in an issue of the Australian “Felt” magazine. It had been written by a wonderful Feltmaker called Sue Smorthwaite who creates fabulous birds native to her home in Australia. Keen to try the technique, but not wanting to use Sue’s design, I had the idea to make a pair of chickens. By making two I could kill two birds with one stone (sorry!) as I also needed to create a pair of “something” for a Noah’s Ark Project…..but that’s for another post!

My pitch was next to Project Linus, a charitable organisation that provides quilts and blankets for children in need. Their aims are to “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” And to “provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”

Project Linus always attracts a lot of interest and the two lovely ladies on that stand were swamped with visitors for the three days! Somehow they still managed to cover for me when I needed a comfort break which was really appreciated!

I didn’t get much chance to visit other stands but when Jane (Wylde Oak Artistry) came over to say hello and told me she was working with Spun-bond fabrics I had to go see her work. I loved her masks and corsets, made on the theme of body dysmorphia, and came away feeling that there is so much more I could be doing with Lutradur!

Another stand I particularly enjoyed was “Traverse”, a group of exhibiting textile and mixed media artists. Apologies for not getting close ups of their work…….it’s worth following the link and taking a look at their website.

It was a good show, spread over three large halls as well as various other smaller buildings. Most of the photos I took were prior to opening but as you will see from the last three, we really did get visitors!