It’s that time of year again! CHSI 2018 – the trade show we attend in February each year to choose buttons, touch all the fabric and have a little cry in the Rico stand. This time we took a whole squad of people and stayed overnight in the much envied ‘Willow’ room at the Arden Hotel. It’s a glamorous life!
We’re really excited about the new products we chose that’ll be winging their way to us in the next couple of months, including beautiful books, awesome patterns and of course – a whole pile of new cotton fabrics. It’s also so exciting to say we found a supplier of Sashiko equipment! So keep an eye out for workshops and kits in the gorgeous art of Japanese folk embroidery soon.
Here’s a little run down of how we spent our two days at the Birmingham NEC – enjoy!
We set off at a painfully early time with the thought of a Gloucester services breakfast keeping our sprits high. Rachel, first time visitor of Gloucester services, had this to say of the experience: “It was fine.” Either we bigged it up too much or she is immune to it’s majesty and wonder. If you know, you know.
For the last couple of years Mattie and I have been attending the show solo, so it was lovely to have fresh eyes on everything from Rachel and Lisa. Lisa was of course choosing beautiful wool to bring back for her concession and she was soon weighed down with free samples (why are samples of wool so weirdly heavy? And WHERE were all the fabric samples?!).
A big part of the show is meeting a lot of our suppliers face to face. Although some of them pop in to the shop and say Hi, there’s some that we only get to lay eyes on once a year! It was great to see our friends from our favourite Bristol based ribbon supplier and their quite frankly, outrageously beautiful display.
(I’m never 100% sure if you’re allowed to take photos at these things so you will notice a lot of nervous blur in these as I was worried about getting arrested. By the craft police.)
I sadly was the first to succumb to the first hysteria of the day, brought around by this page I flipped open to in a book entitled ‘Crazy Cat Lady Crafts.’ I don’t think I need to explain why.
It’s no secret that we’re a little Rico obsessed – I’m started to theorise that I’ve actually been brainwashed by them as surely I shouldn’t be enjoying every thing they do to quite such a hysterical extent? We made a vow to all meet up at their stand together so we could all witness the fitness together, but I did manage a sly walk past to photograph this, quite frankly delightful, poster.
If you think we peaked at furry cat skirt and unicorns, then please think again and add wine. One of our suppliers literally gives you booze (also weird bits of cheese on a stick but the less said about that the better) while you look at the fabric. Heaven is real.
So much fabric to choose from! We had to sit down for a post-wine coffee to gather our thoughts before we were ready to order. Eventually we managed to narrow the ridiculous choice down to 10 beautiful cotton prints to arrive in the shop soon – bears were a particular winner…
Here’s another peak: a knitted fireplace! We find it’s best not to ask ‘why?’ too often at these things.
We finally made it to Rico! I just fell totally in love with everything in the entire stand, as is the custom, and we were so excited to order some leather-look-metallic-paper that you can sew with. The stand had loads of stuff sewn with it, including gold make up bags with glittery lettering on that I’m so keen so try when it arrives.
I’ll take one of everything thank you please.
With day 1 done, we took ourselves off to the ‘British Craft Awards’ which we were eager to attend because we love British craft (the free bar is just a happy coincidence) and had our silhouettes cut by this amazing artist. I managed to snap this photo of Lisa, professional model, demonstrating her extreme professionalism and poise. Check out the finish portraits on her Instagram!
We kicked off day 2 of our craft adventure with a trip to one of our most eclectic suppliers where Mattie chose some awesome new haberdashery, including more feather trim and GIANT pom poms! Squeal.
We’re also thrilled to say we ordered a gorgeous range of Tilly and the Buttons patterns! Set to be in the shop in the next 2 weeks, Rachel is a huge fan of these and it’s going to be awesome seeing her make through the whole bunch.
We moved back in for another go at fabric come Monday afternoon and ended up failing to resist this Mickey Mouse print collection! We’ve got two of these coming when they go to print, along with some more amazing Disney prints. Exciitttting…..!
One of our suppliers had a giant roll of thread with a secret office in on their stand, but this is CHSI so no one was even bothered. However, we were very bothered to find Sashiko sets! Ever since Mattie visited Japan last year we’ve been trying to get our hands on Sashiko equipment, and we’re so excited to have some winging it’s way to the shop soon!
And with a final visit to Mattie’s favourite button supplier, we were done for another year. Head into the shop soon to see all this ridiculous goodness arrive – and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Insta for many, many photos of it all.