Fiskars And Kindness At Stitches
Hi lovely blog friends! I wanted to show you a bit from the Stitches show at the NEC a couple of weeks ago.
I was very fortunate to have been asked to attend and demonstrate for Fiskars with their Sewing & Haberdashery tools. This in itself was both funny and scary. I am really comfortable demonstrating papercrafting having done it for so long, but Quilting and Patchwork and Sewing? That’s another story.
I have to admit that once I’d dusted off my sewing machine, I absolutely loved the challenge and enjoyed learning new skills and getting to grips with some brilliant tools. The ‘wow’ tool of the show had to be the Fabric Circle Cutter which makes light (& quick) work of creating circles from fabric. You could also use it for paper, but that’s another discussion, and I wanted to focus on the sewists tools.
Sewists. Yup. New word to me too. Asking people whether they’re a sew-er doesn’t slip quite as easily off the tongue when you’re actually trying to avoid calling them ‘sewers’ (as in the waste disposal kind!). You can see the tool in this picture below.
It comes as a plastic template with an orange rotating tool that fits into the template’s channels. It’s kind of challenging for me to describe it in words, which is why I’ll be creating a video very shortly to give a run down of the latest tools and some cross-over tools for papercrafters too.
See the fabric above? Yes, it’s gorgeous isn’t it. That really was one of the highlights of the show for me. A little story about kindness.
I was at the desk demonstrating the circle cutting tool over and over and over again. It was a tool that so many attendees wanted to see in action and because of this, we went through a lot of fabric. I’d brought some with me, Enfys even went out and purchased some extra, but we still were rocketing through it. On the Monday morning I spoke to our team and decided to try and beg, borrow or ..beg for some more fabric. There were quite a lot of fabric wholesalers present. This is a trade only show and was a wonderful showcase of some of the best products in the Quilting and Papercrafting world.
I went to two different places first- both recommended to me to see if they had some offcuts. Neither were able to help and I was wondering whether I’d need to cut circles in my skirt at this rate! I happened upon a stand called Fabric Freedom who had the most incredible collection and there were 100’s of fat quarters everywhere. I asked the lovely staff if there were any offcuts I could have, asking if we could do a trade; some amazing Fiskars scissors in return.
They sorted out a massive bunch of Fat Quarters, way beyond what I’d hoped for and didn’t even expect the scissors in return. I did pop back, with some of the Classic Fiskars and some gorgeous fashion inspired scissors too. The man even offered to give us some more if we ran out. I was blown away by his generosity. People in the industry do know who are the good guys and these were certainly some of the nicest and kindest that I’d met.
We took some of his business cards and made sure that as I demoed, I talked about the company and sent a few his way. I am going to create a project using their fabric , but due to work commitments I’ve not had time yet. Instead, here’s one of the projects I made when prepping for the show. Suffolk Puffs or Yo-Yo’s are so easy. Just cut out a circle, put a running stitch around the outer edge, pull the threads together tight and then flatten it. This was how I made this wreath, using fabric from Aldi; yes, Aldi! It was a beautiful set of Fat Quarters and perfect for this project.
The other highlight of Stitches was meeting and working with the Fiskars team. My demo buddy was the incomparable Kath Stewart who showed me the ropes and kept us all entertained. She’s one of the funniest people ever and I was so glad to have spent the few days with her. Next up would have to be the wonderful Enfys Cashmore who runs the Fiskarettes Facebook page and runs the Design Team too. She’s been a real help and is funny and lovely and so very supportive.
I couldn’t leave out Diane Williams from the Design Team either- she bought such a lovely gift which included some incredible chocolate! It was so lovely to finally meet her. I didn’t stop laughing or chatting the entire time. I have some more dates to demonstrate Fiskars tools, so if you’re at the Sewing For Pleasure show at the NEC March 16-19th, do come to the Siesta stand and say Hi! We’re next door to the Hobbycrafts show, so there’ll be plenty to see!
It wasn’t all work though, the lovely Enfys and Kath and I went out for a couple of meals. This was a particularly memorable one where Kath was trying to work out the provenance of a cow on the menu. I think the whole restaurant could hear us laughing! It was fun meeting Xavier from France and Steve from the UK side too. I continued to be really impressed with Fiskars; their tools, their care for their staff and the way they operate. I’m now building quite a wonderful collection of their products!
See you soon,
off to do some more sewing!