Sunday, 11 October 2015

hillarys crafternoon - my first blog meet up

Every Friday I receive the Joe Bloggs newsletter, in the hopes that they will be putting on a blog event close to me, or perhaps they have the low down on some crafty item that needs reviewing. So far, no such craft item has been revealed, however there was a call in early September for craft bloggers in the Manchester area to get in touch - bingo!

I emailed the address, and then later it transpired that the blog event would be a crafternoon (I'm a fan of this amalgamation of words), hosted by Hillarys at Ziferblat in the Norther Quarter, lead by The Crafty Hen, on the last Saturday in September. 

I've never been to a blog meet up before, and now that I have a solid year and a half of blogging under my belt, it felt about time to rectify this oversight. Usually I get quite nervous about this sort of thing, but happily this time I was fine (indeed I was excited) and I happened to have visited the same coffee shop, Ziferblat, for the first time only a month or so before, so I had the added bonus of knowing where I was going. 

To put you in the picture, Ziferblat is unusual; you don't pay for food and drinks, these are free, instead you pay for the time you spend there (6p a minute - actually really reasonable). We were in one of the meeting rooms this time, and so didn't need to pay for anything the whole afternoon as it was covered by the organizers - happy bonus. 

Joe Bloggs and Hillarys organised the event, which was to launch the new line of fabrics Hillarys have to offer - Jewel: The Edit. We got to use samples of the new fabric (which is beautiful - large, floral prints on a durable and sturdy fabric, neutral/fashionable colours and tones throughout - I was very happy with the choices) to make a jewellery box, and accessories from 'Suffolk puffs'. 

I must say that the afternoon was a joy, particularly Jana who took us through the projects, while making us laugh pretty steadily throughout the session. The Crafty Hen usually put on Hen parties (although they were doing their fair share of blog events this weekend), which I felt was fairly obvious given the nature of some of the jokes; who doesn't love a mildly dirty craft related joke? 

The fabric swatches we had to choose from were provided by Hilarys, and I adored them. The huge flower prints and neutral, earthy colours were lovely,and made some excellent jewellery boxes and accessories.

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not wear jewellery, at all (except for my engagement ring), and so when it was announced we would make jewellery boxes, I thought I could turn it into a Christmas gift for someone. 

Alas. No. 

I am not one for crafting with double sided tape, which, although making for a fast and fun craft in a couple of hours, made my finished product just not quite gift-worthy. So, always thinking fast on my feet, I decided to swap the jewellery box into a sewing box. All I had to do was change the ring rolls for a small pin cushion, and fill it with the right stuff - voilĂ ! I now use the box for my weekly dressmaking class (which, by the way, is going very well, thanks for asking).

After the boxes were made, and more cake was washed down with tea and coffee, we moved onto Suffolk puffs, which I have decided are the absolute best thing to sew in the whole world! You simply cut a circle of fabric, twice the size you want your puff, do a running stitch round the edge, and then pull it tight! Have a look online to see what I'm talking about.

They are so easy and can be used to adorn, decorate, and accessorize as you see fit. I opted to make 2 hair accessories with mine (which I am ashamed to say I haven't had a chance to wear yet, perhaps I will crack them out this week at work) and all clips, slides and materials were provided. 

So there you have it, my first blog event felt like a resounding success. I felt quite at ease with everyone there and the afternoon absolutely flew by. I even got to sit next to Clemence, who I actually went to college with - small world!

Thanks to Joe Blogs, Hilarys, The Crafty Hen, and Ziferblat for a very enjoyable afternoon! 

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