Putting Things On – For A Change!

Finally the day had arrived! Fiona at The Sewing Directory had arranged a second sewing meet in Exeter and it took place yesterday. At long last! I had booked to attend the meet that she had arranged in Liverpool but too few people had booked so it had to be cancelled. When I heard about the one in Exeter, I immediately contacted my friend, Janet [otherwise known as ‘Little Sis’], and arranged to stay with her and for both of us to attend.

We had a really enjoyable day. When we entered the hall we were warmly welcomed by Fiona’s mother, Pippa, who explained how the day would run and directed us towards Ruth, who gave us our name badges. Fiona then came over to chat to us.  I have been following The Sewing Directory for a long time and find it an invaluable source of sewing information, so it was lovely to meet the person behind it.

By this time, Janet and I had noticed that there was a man present. I probably shouldn’t say this, but we were slightly surprised. The man in question was Will Abakhan from Abakhan, the fabric and haberdashery retailers. I had a very interesting chat with him about all manner of things related to sewing and other crafts. He was interested and enthusiastic about the day ahead, as was I. He joined in with the various activities throughout the day and was a quick learner.

Our day began with Kerry from Very Kerry Berry, who ran a workshop on various applique techniques. I had been aware of Kerry for some time and enjoyed her online tutorials, but had never met her nor attended one of her workshops. I found her delightful and generous with her help and advice. I enjoyed her style of teaching and learnt a lot from her session. She made a point of coming to each of the three tables to demonstrate aspects of the techniques she had shown the group, as a whole. That made it easy to see what she was doing and to ask questions of her. We then put what she had shown us into practice by decorating and embellishing bags that Fiona had provided. Fiona had explained that the bags would be used by Macmillan Nurses to return the personal effects of patients who had died to their bereaved families. In view of the proposed use of the bags, I decided to eschew my usual style and try for a more subtle style. This is how the bag I decorated turned out:

Yes, I even used green!

We spent an enjoyable few hours trying out the various applique techniques and decorating the bags.

Here are some of the completed bags:

Will decorated one of the bags and also had some one-to-one tuition from someone [sorry, I don’t know who it was], which helped him to make the drawstring bag he is holding – not bad for someone who claimed he had previously only sewn for about fifteen minutes, in total.

During the day, Rhiannon of The Sewing Boutique had a stall selling some fabric and haberdashery. Janet and I chatted with her for a while. She was saying how pleased she had been when Fiona invited her to join in with our activities. Actually the entire day had a friendly, relaxed feel – it was a testament to Fiona’s hard work and organisation [ably assisted by her mother, her sister and Kerry] that it appeared so effortless.
At the end of the day there was a free raffle with prizes donated by various individuals and companies. I dare not name any because I don’t want to offend anyone by leaving them out! Janet and I were both thrilled that our respective numbers were pulled out, although she did look daggers at me when she discovered that I might have to buy fabric with my voucher!
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. I met several people that I had had contact with online, spent the day sewing with like-minded people and had fun in the scramble for scraps that Pippa didn’t want to take home – what’s not to like?
I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Fiona and Kerry for all the hard work they put in organising such a great day. I hope there’s another one soon!


8 thoughts on “Putting Things On – For A Change!

  1. What a wonderful day we had – and I'm still smiling! I'm lucky as I live in Exeter so didn't have to travel far and agree with everything you say about the day and it was great to meet you.


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