rainbow of cotton prints fabric

At the beginning of the week I attended CHSI stitches - the UK's trade show for the creative craft industry. Clearly I'm not a buyer but I donned my press badge and hit the stands to see all the new fabrics and products that will be coming our way. Wandering is more fun in company and it was a good opportunity to meet up with fabulous Samantha Claridge, who was buying for her shop Sew Crafty (so keep an eye on the 'new in' section!). There were other crafty friends there too so it wasn't all business! Here's what I loved...

*this post is picture heavy, I want you to see what I saw so please read with a good wifi connection and on as big a screen as possible!

The show is full of exhibitors, on different stands, all showcasing products from various companies and manufacturers. Some are independent, many are wholesale distributors for well known fabric brands and they are supplying shops and online businesses with all the best products for us to get our craft on! Now some of what was there I felt I have seen before, there were a few things not to my taste, they were lots of products that I have no interest in because I don't knit, crochet or do paper craft (although I was happy to look at the stationery!!). So this isn't everything - there's literally SO much there - but rather this is what caught my eye and the fabrics I'm excited about. I was there for one afternoon so there's lots I probably missed but you could check out #chsistitches for more glimpses.

Of course I managed to find a supplier of Cotton + Steel and drooled over the new collections (not your thing? scroll down a bit). Rashida Coleman-Hale is easily one of my 'can't resist' designer favourites. Paper Cuts is STUNNING, the paper themed prints and beautiful colour combinations are completely perfect for me. These scissors ♡♡♡

Paper Cuts fabric Cotton and Steel

Paper Cuts fabric Cotton and Steel

Paper Cuts fabric Cotton and Steel

Here are peeks of other Cotton + Steel collections coming in 2018 - I will be getting the palm tree print from Poolside in both colourways and wishing I could make dresses! There were lovely panels that went with the Santa Fe collection but I failed to get a picture. Also the lighting in the NEC is shockingly bad for photos so you have to imagine all of these are even better in real life.

Firelight and Eclipse fabric Cotton and Steel

Frost and Amalfi Cotton and Steel fabric

Poolside Cotton and Steel fabric

Poolside Cotton and Steel fabric

Poolside Cotton and Steel fabric

Santa Fe Cotton and Steel fabric

Santa Fe Turquoise Cotton and Steel fabric

No doubt Amalfi by Rifle Paper Co. will be as popular as their other collections for Cotton and Steel. The iconic florals, nature inspired prints and cute Sun Girls are calling to be sewn into fun Summer makes. 

Amalfi Cotton and Steel fabric

Amalfi Cotton and Steel fabric

If you've never seen Nani Iro Textiles I would encourage you to search some out! The double gauze cotton is beautifully soft and the prints are so stunning. Delicate but the natural texture is somehow also utilitarian, dreamy to use and so pretty you want to frame them.

Nani Iro Textiles 2018

Nani Iro Textiles 2018 double gauze fabric

Nani Iro Textiles 2018 double gauze fabric scallops

Nani Iro Textiles 2018 double gauze fabric floral metallic

Nani Iro Textiles 2018 double gauze fabric

Nani Iro Textiles 2018 double gauze fabric

Art Gallery were at the Hantex stand, with plenty of gorgeous makes - garments, quilts, cushions and adorable baby shoes!

Art Gallery Fabrics Hantex stand CHSI

fabric baby shoes Art Gallery Fabrics Hantex stand CHSI

folk cushion applique Art Gallery Fabrics Hantex stand CHSI

Windham are another brand I really like, I think they have some outstanding prints; this retro looking one was an easy favourite.

Windham fabric collections swatches

Windham fabric swatches

Though it's always nice seeing good things from the bigger brands, Samantha and I were also on the look out for something a bit different. We came across the Edi-Tex stand, a family run business which sources really beautiful fabrics. Lots of dressmaking fabrics, fabulous woven material (in lovely Chanel style) and jersey prints - which I don't use but would happily make a quilt using them anyway! Even their backdrop was fabric!

Editex fabric stand CHSI

drape fabric Editex fabric stand CHSI

Victor fabrics Editex fabric stand CHSI

And then we found Le Tissu by Domotex at Higgs & Higgs. They had lovely modern prints, geometric bold and colourful. Sweet baby prints and soft, soft double gauze. Some printed and some plain. All gorgeous. I would have it all but here's some of my favourites:

clouds and rain double gauze fabric, Le Tissu by Domotex

hexie woven stripe fabric Le Tissu by Domotex

cute eyes and little simple faces fabric Le Tissu by Domotex

And then a stand that had fabric and stationery?! Be still my heart. Rico Design was the most 'shop like' beautiful stand full of lovely fabric, paper goods and stationery. Again I found myself fondling some jersey and pretty double gauze:

rico designs jersey fabric CHSI

rico designs fabric spots on double gauze

They had plenty of sparkly and cute washi tape but I have never seen these fun sticker versions - individual petals and leaves so you can create you own designs! Very cool. 

flower washi stickers paper poetry rico designs CHSI

And final stationery shot was this amazing display of calligraphy, created by the talented scribe and artist Paul Antonio - founder of Paul Antonio Scribe. Watching him work on this large scale piece was incredible.

Paul Antonio large calligraphy at CHSI

I was happy to see familiar faces and quilty friends while I was there. I have worked alongside these talented ladies!

quilting friends CHSI

And I hunted down my lovely friend Trudi (no sewing event is complete without her!) and I got to meet creative bag designer Samantha, both of whom I'm looking forward to spending more time with at the Sewcial Retreat in March run by Purple Stitches.

And we ran into fabulous Justine and Lisa of Simply Solids, though I was too busy laughing and they were too busy trying to order buttons between chatting to actually take a picture! I did however take a picture of these plastic things that you'd loop your t-shirt through in the 80s/90s. And while trying to google what they could possibly be called (anyone?) I came across this article about 90s fashion trends that had me laughing out loud!

I had to include a picture of the incredible quilt on the Aurifil stand (couldn't even fit it all in one picture!) made by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Whole Circle Studio. The spools are all quilted perfectly like the thread, just amazing to see in real life!

spools of Aurifil thread quilt

quilting on spools of aurifil thread quilt

Always on my 'must visit' and take people to, the Aurifil stand was filled with so many rainbow displays of thread! I had a nice chat and was kindly given a cone of the new 40/3 weight. I'm really excited to try it out, a quick pull and snap test proved it is strong and it definitely looks thicker than the 40/2 weight currently available. I really like the look of thicker thread when I'm quilting. I think it's going to be beautiful for quilting. I will happily give it a test and blog my review if anyone's interested? 

CHSI stitches, 40/3 weight aurifil thread, pink pen

Finally a thank you to CHSI stitches for a great day and the lovely staff at the Media Hub for being so welcoming and friendly. Also for letting me have a pink pen!

I did well with my small haul, I was tempted to pick up scrap packs I spied as I went around but really I would rather wait for all the new fabrics to come out and my shopping list is full!

Do any of these fabrics excite you? Are there any other designers or collections you are looking forward to this year?