With a seemingly never-ending labyrinth of stalls showcasing the very best of stamping, scrapbooking, knitting, embroidery, sewing, quilt making and jewelry, the 2011 Craft & Quilt fair at Darling Harbour in Sydney was a craft enthusiast’s utopia.
The craft world is thriving, and with the recent resurgence comes a gorgeous collision of traditional, fastidious techniques with the shambolic and free-flowing creativity of modernist methods, where imagination is the limit.
Along with Japanese inspired textiles, dominating this year’s craft fair was wonderfully whimsical crocheting and lace work, with stalls like Miss Rose Sister Violet (www.missrosesisterviolet.com.au) drawing throngs of crowds with it’s dreamy brooches, hair accessories, beautiful laces, delicate trims and haberdashery treasures.
Also making a marked appearance was tapestry – but forget stuffy landscapes of thatched English cottages, the inspiration has shifted into delightful art nouveau style portraits!
Many of us will remember playing with Russian babushka dolls, but fifty years on since becoming a mainstay in children’s play chests - the nesting dolls are making a comeback with vengeance and retailers such as Dolls in Dolls (www.dollsindolls.com.au) are making the best of it.
This time, the matryoshka nesting dolls are experiencing a rebirth with a kaleidoscope of highly-lacquered, iridescent colours and modern designs. The traditional designs are still in attendance, but now, the art of babushka has merged into DIY - with clean moulds proving the exciting potential for home made designs!
Knitting became a hot hobby a few years ago thanks to Hollywood celebs being snapped with knitting needles poking out of their oversized bags; now, the trend has evolved into crocheting – and Hooked Zpagetti(www.Zpagetti.com.au) are capitalising with their unique yarn made from off cuts of fashion garments. Slightly elastic, strong and sustainable, it’s perfect for cute bags and scarves.
Happy crafting for another year!
By Penelope Quinn (www.darnsexysecondhand.com)
Special thanks to the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair 2011.
Photos courtesy of Sally Newton Photography