Saturday, 16 July 2011

Stitchfest 2011

 Today I drove over to the South of England Showground at Ardingly to attend my first Embroiderer's Guild event, Stitchfest 2011.
Regional Challenge stands
This was the event for which Beezeyeview was created and here he is amongst the rest of the East Sussex bees, twirling in front of their blue sky with little pots with each of their names sitting below. The regional challenge was Flight, look out for Elvis coming at you head on
and Hip-Bee with her cool flower power pants
It was really enjoyable and quite busy, despite, or perhaps because of the rain falling outside. Downstairs there was a goodly range of traders to tempt, while the exhibits and food were upstairs. I was very struck by how much variety creative people can come up with, given a one word theme and lots of skill and imagination. There were quite a few bee and butterfly themed displays, but also kites, balloons, witches on broomsticks, a prehistoric panorama, a marvelous airship flight complete with ticket office and attendees and some beautiful and very skillful pieces of individual embroidery around the theme. I got the impression that some stands had been put together specially for the challenge, while others may have included work done in the past by branch members, brought together for this particular theme, though I may be wrong here.

Here is a selection of just some of the things I enjoyed
East Surrey's garden trellis with butterflies

several of which really repaid a closer look

Butterflies fluttering about
Croydon Branch display
more butterflies, these from Maidstone 
some close ups of the high quality and lovely presentation of some of the embroidery there

One of the several very lovely things on the Chichester display

and finally the airship from Tunbridge Wells complete with fairground ride, Mystic Meg, tea and cakes and some very fine costumes

Did I buy anything? How could I not. There were shimmering silks on the Silk Route stand - so I chose their Summer Leaves silk pack for a hanging in the very early planning stage. Another stall had some delicious hand dyed silk and threads from Neredah McCarthy, so I chose a couple more bits to go with what I had already, along with some of her threads in rich deep shades. There were stalls with sumptuous thread in every colour, thickness and texture that you could possible want, so I also bought some of the Wildflowers Collection by Caron in deep greens. These are exactly what I was looking for to bring some dark tones into Uffington, who is now back on track, having been put aside for the bee. Here he is, with colour gradually flowing in from all sides,as he gallops across the Downs, pulling the rising sun behind him as the night stars fade, a little bit of early morning cloud on the horizon, some shadows at his feet.

Still plenty more to do, but I am really enjoying how he's coming along, evolving with each stitch as the story grows.

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