Adventures in Brum.

If you’d told me a couple of years ago that I would be setting my alarm for 5.30 am on a Saturday morning to catch a train to Birmingham and hang out a bunch of women who sew I would have told you to feck right orf.  How times change…

Despite the early start it was a very relaxing journey. I rarely get time to myself so I sat in the quiet carriage and made the most of it, reading my book and practising my knitting. Word of advice though – painting your toe nails while travelling at 125mph is not the greatest idea. You get strange looks and you may well end up in the toilets scrubbing your hands like Lady Macbeth. Just in case you were considering it…..
I arrived at Birmingham New street just after 10.30 am, where I found the rest of them.

It was great to see some familiar faces – Marie, who organised along with Claire and Kat, who presented us all with these gorgeous rosettes. I immediately pinned mine on and wore it with pride.IMG_2123I had to go over straight away and say hello to Amy, who I met at the London Meet Up , because I was totally blown away by her amazing aeroplane dress .  Go and have a look at it on her blog.  Emmie was also there, and Claire, and Lara, and so many other people I recognised.  Actually it is really difficult when you read a lot of blogs to remember who you have met in real life and who you only know from the interweb.  No worries though, within seconds it felt like we were all best mates.

First stop was Barry’s. My jaw dropped as we walked in.

IMG_2036There is nothing like this near me and I was a little overwhelmed. I only came away with one thing – a couple of metres of ponti knit in a greeny teal-ey colour. I couldn’t really not buy it after I enlisted several of the others to help me wrestle it from the bottom of the pile. I also had to explain to Marie that no, I wasn’t bleeding, it was nail varnish all over my hands after the toe painting shenanigans on the train up. I can totally see why she thought I might have sustained an injury if she saw the frenzied way I was attacking the piles of fabric though.

IMG_2039The heavens opened as we left Barry’s so we hurried to Cafe Soya for some food.

IMG_2042As you can see we once again managed to take over a restaurant, I think there was about thirty of us.  I found myself sitting with my Sewing Swap partner, Louise, aka Tabatha Tweedie from Thread Carefully so I was able to thank her in person. It turns out that Louise is a woman after my own heart – not only did she join me in a cider (correct pronunciation – COYDERRRRRRRR!)  to wash down the delicious food but she stuck a straw in hers-

IMG_2052Sorry Louise, I couldn’t resist 🙂  I would like to say that Ms Tabatha Tweedie is actually incredibly classy and the straw in the cider (COYDERRRRRR!) was purely for the photos. For the rest of the meet up she was drinking tea from a bone china tea cup with her little finger curving delicately outwards. Okay, not quite, but she did actually drink her cider (COYDERRRRRR!) from a glass.

I was also sitting with Zora from Read All About It who I met at the Brighton Meet, Alana from Lazy Stitching, Caroline (no blog but wearing the most amazing flamingo print alma) and her lovely daughter Phoebe,  and Louise’s friend Carys.  The only thing that stopped us chatting was the food and occasional ogling of a very young Mel Gibson in very short shorts on the TV. Well it would be rude not to…

IMG_2053After lunch was the swap.

IMG_2054IMG_2056IMG_2058Look at us circling like very charming, well dressed vultures as we wait for Claire’s signal to get stuck in.

I was remarkably restrained and for the first time took less than I brought.

IMG_2066The swimming ladies came from Marie, the Alexander Henry Lorenza stripes from Louise, the buttons from Caroline in the Flamingos and I’m not sure who the green, blue and white leaf print is from but thank you whoever you are. I have plans for all of it.  And this has to be my favourite pattern of the day:

IMG_2059I wish I’d grabbed it and I would love to know who did take it home and if they are going to use it.

Next we hit the rag Market. Again I was pretty gobsmacked, especially by the prices.  One pound a metre! Two pounds fifty!  The most I paid was five pounds a metre for a seaside print cotton.  In fact I was so gobsmacked I only got one picture.

IMG_2060This is what I came away with:

IMG_2063Again I do have plans for all of it, so hopefully it won’t be in the stash for too long.

I had to go and catch my train before we got to the Fancy Silk place, and I didn’t get to thank Claire properly for organising (and apparently missed out on cookies and brownies as well – gutted).  So a big, massive epic thank you Claire, and also Kat and Marie, for all your hard work. It was such a fabulous day! If anyone has any doubts about whether to attend a meet up please go along, you will have an amazing time.  The next one is in London, details here. I don’t know if I can make it but if I can then I’ll see you all there.

21 thoughts on “Adventures in Brum.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Hi Laurie! It really was awesome and well worth the early start. Actually I get up at 5 am every day for work anyway, so it’s not really a problem although I do usually like a lie in ’til at least 6.30 at the weekend if the kids let me 🙂 If you get the chance I’d totally recommend hanging out with sewing bloggers, they are the best company – maybe you should put the call out and see if there are any others local to you who want to hang out?

  1. Béa

    OMG!!! That blue & pink seaside print is To. Die. For. Congratulations on getting that in your haul.
    I’m so jealous of your swapmeet jaunts. I’m gutted that I can’t make the next London one 😦 Honestly, next time I see one coming up on the blogs, I swear I’ll make sure to be there.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      It’s great isn’t it, but I’m struggling to decide which pattern to use, I have so many ideas. I don’t think I can make the London one either but you must go along to the next one you can, it’s so much fun and great to meet other real life sewists.

  2. Marie

    Awesome write-up Jo! Thanks so much for setting your alarm so early and coming along…it was lovely seeing you again! Can’t wait to see what you make with all your fabric…especially my swimming ladies!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers Marie, it was an awesome day and great to see you too. I may be just about to cut into that swimming ladies fabric – just need to make sure I have enough for what I want to make.

  3. zora read

    It was a great day wasn’t it. Mel Gibson was just impossible to ignore though. I didn’t get any photos in the rag market either but I love the fabric you bought. Sorry you can’t make it to the next meet up but look forward to catching up again soon.

  4. Caro

    Hi Jo, I love your description of “charming, well dressed vultures” and the accompanying photo – great shot! I’m very honoured to be remembered as Caroline of the Flamingos too. I’ve now started my own blog too –
    Look forward to meeting you again at some point!

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