It's a bit of a bonus event really, you go to one and you go to them all. One just leads to another so there is A LOT to see. Unlike the last show I went to which was a trade show, these are for the public, lots of things to see, ideas to take away and stuff to buy!
The Cake International section was divided in two, stands with things to buy to enhance your own baking and decorating skills and then some of the most amazing cake creations both by professionals and in a huge competition.
There were so many extraordinary cakes, here's just a tiny selection.
This Great Star Wars Bake Off cake is fabulous.
The Great British Bake Off is a massively popular TV programme here in the UK, just seeing the Emperor piping lilac roses is fantastic!
In terms of products to buy, cake decorating isn't really my thing - it has to be simple as you can see from my Cake Decorating ideas here - so I wasn't really sure what I was looking at with the array of piping nozzles, clever stands and icings. This did catch my eye though:
It's a "any shape" flexible cake tin called Freebake. It had super strong magnets on the bottom which hold it very securely to the baking tray. What a clever idea! It's available from The Cake Decorating Co. in the UK but the product is from Silikomart which is Italian. Worth a quick online search to see of you can find a local stockist maybe.
In the Fashion & Embroidery Show area there was a lot of amazing and inspirational work, lots of groups exhibiting and more competition entries to admire.
There was a lovely exhibition from the Quilters Guild of the British Isles called "Lost in a Quilters Garden"
Here are just some details from just a few.
An experiment in Wholecloth by Claire Scott, In my Garden by Mary McIntosh, and two from Up the Garden Path by Jill Gray
On the Grasby Embroiderers stand this beautiful piece of art caught my attention.
Isn't it lovely? It's called Window of Light and is by Debbie Drury, you can see more of Debbie's work here
There was also a display of the costumes from the 2015 adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd, the one that starred Carey Mulligan. Such beautiful details, it was lovely to see them in real life. They were designed by Janet Patterson who has a host of nominations and awards for her costume design.
The Sewing for Pleasure and Hobby Crafts areas were less defined, I wasn't sure when one ended and the next started.
Do you remember Yarnia? The knitted and crocheted Narnia scenes that I saw at the CHSI stitches trade show. That was on display again, I'm so pleased lots of people are getting the chance to see it, it really is spectacular. I just snuck a few new photos.
I had no idea this product existed!
Called Jester it's a wool with pom poms already attached so they come out randomly as you knit or crochet!
There were the biggest knitting needles I've ever seen with huge balls of multi strand wool to knit with.
Sadly I forgot to note who was selling these, sorry.
I spent the longest time on the Crafty Ribbons Stall just trying to pick 6 printed ribbons (there was an offer) from their enormous selection. I love these:
But in the end I chose these.
I was also "forced" to purchase some fine, non static glitters and a glue with a fine nozzle from Glitter Magic, their choice of colours was amazing.
They are from a Leicester based company called Montreux fabrics but unfortunately their website is still under construction. They also had bargain bins full of off cuts and I bought some lovely red drapey jersey and am planning another simple maxi dress for the summer.
All in all a great mix of amazing inspiration by some super talented people and lots of fun things to purchase to have a go yourself. There were workshops too and fashion shows which we didn't even have time for. Comfy shoes were definitely required, there was a lot to see. Details of all ICHF events, and there are loads through the year, can be found on their website.