For those of us that can say our happiest moments are behind a sewing machine, entrenched in a gorgeous mess of sequins and buttons, or hands-on immersion as we cut, pin and stitch with paint-stained fingers can appreciate the joy of walking into a convention center that’s dedicated solely to a huge array of crafting and DIY possibilities.
Last weekend, the Stitches and Craft Show at Rosehill Race Course in Sydney offered up just that, a visual feast of art, materials, inspiration and whimsy.
A celebration of Australian craftsmanship, the show was a true testament to the resurgence in popularity of craft as hundreds flocked to stalls with never-ending rows of fabric, fanciful buttons and ribbons, cute DY toys and stalls filled-to-overflowing with shiny baubles and beads like bower birds.
A burgeoning trend at this year’s fair proved to be paper art and scrap booking, with a variety of stalls showcasing the artful possibilities, including guest artist Skye Rogers and her ‘Paper Bliss’ stall.
But for those of us that don’t call ourselves connoisseurs and can count the months, or years since we have made anything with our hands, the craft fair provided endless possibilities, with tutorials and classes from the experts that included projects to make in under three hours, appliqué, embellishing and colouring techniques.
It was also freshing to see kids using their creativity on their own hand-made masterpiece, instead staring slack-jawed at a computer screen.
Proving to be a big hit were cake stalls, where enthusiastic and creative bakers could learn the finer art of cake decorating by creating delicate flowers, eye-popping icing and adornments that were just too beautiful to eat.
Patchwork kits – which include ready-made and matched sets of fat quarters just waiting to be stitched into a beautiful quilt flew off the shelves, as did fabric bargains and kits for DIY handbags.
There was even something there for the fellas - the adjoining Metal and Wood Show meant jaded husbands and boyfriends could marvel at wood-crafted surfboards and loud, whirring drills rather than milling about looking bored.
Whether you’re a craft nut or just want to enjoy handmade rebellion against passive consumption the Stitches and Craft show demonstrated that craft really is the perfect antidote to mass production.