Angel Eden. I've been to this show in previous years, but this year's visit was to be a little different. Previously I visited on a Saturday with members of the Liverpool Sewing Club, but due to holiday commitments this year I went on a Friday with my husband. Rather than being an all day visit with time to fit in some workshops and talks, this visit was a whistle-stop shopping trip.
The show was certainly quieter this time, but I don't know if that was due to it being a week day or due to the snowy weather. I also thought there were fewer stalls, but without cross-checking the exhibitor list, I can't be sure. Certainly it was easier to look at the stalls and get to the fabric. Being in Liverpool, I am spoilt when it comes to fabric as I work a few minutes from the Liverpool Abakhan shop, so at shows I tend to focus on supplies that I would normally get by mail order and look out for special show bargains.
First on my list were some Sizzix dies which I found on the Cotton Patch stand. I wasn't too sure which would be the most useful, but luckily Laura Jane from Needles, Pins and Baking Tins was there to give advice and I decided that half square triangles would save the most time when it came to cutting and trimming. Next on my list was some batting as getting this mail order can be awkward for delivery. I found some good deals on the Doughty's stand and got 3m of EcoBlend, a recycled 70/30 cotton/polyester mix. (I didn't bother taking a photo of the batting as it is not the most exciting or photogenic subject.)
Discontinued sewing patterns are always a bargain at this show - the Vogue/Butterick/McCalls stand didn't disappoint and had a new addition for this year of Kwik Sew patterns. I found four patterns that will sit and wait until I feel like dressing making again.
There was a fair selection of fabric at the show but I wasn't after anything in particular and so I limited myself to bargains such as a 60" wide owl print for £4 a metre and some FQs at £1 and £2 each. An exception to this rule was made for some linen weight fabric which was too nice to miss, even if it was £15 a metre. I was going to get just a metre but ended up getting 1.1m as the metre would have involved chopping off the cats' tails!
The last item on my list was some Aurifil thread but I couldn't see any out on the stands. I knew it was stocked by Eternal Maker as I have bought from them online, but it was nowhere to be seen on their stand. Thinking it could just be me that was not looking properly, I asked if they had any. What happened next was one of the odder moments of any of my visits to this show. It transpired that they did not enough space to display all their stock and had left the Aurifil in the store area. I was led to the edge of the hall space and waited whilst they brought out the box of thread from the stores for me to rummage through and pick the colours I wanted. This quilting contraband was my final sewing purchase and it was off to the chocolate stand to buy my husband some chocolates for his patience and bag carrying services.
Were you able to battle through the snow to get to the NEC? Did you get chance to try any of the workshops and talks?