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QuadrilleCraft's debut at the Knitting & Stitching Show

A behind-the-scenes peek at our very first pop-up craft shop.

Before sunrise on a crisp October morning, a van chock full of Quadrille's craft goodness hit the road to Ally Pally.  The Knitting & Stitching Show is always one of the UK's biggest craft events of the year and we had decided to take an exhibition stand there for the very first time.

We're going to be honest.  We didn't know what to expect.  But we do now.  A LOT OF PEOPLE... that's what!  No matter how many times you have been to The Knitting & Stitching Show before as a visitor, it is quite a different prospect being there as an exhibitor.

The show is awesome.  And vast.  And it offers everything you ever needed for your crafting, plus everything you never knew you needed for your crafting.  It is a fabulous place to get inspiration for new projects and to marvel at the amazing skill on display by so many expert weavers, lacemakers, knitters and textile artists.

We set up our stand on Wednesday with some furiously competitive BBB (aka billy bookcase building).  Team Melanie and Alex may well have nudged ahead with their complete shelf assembly time of just under 30 minutes, but penalty points had to be added for the wrong-way round bookshelf.  Rookie error.

At the end of a long set-up day our newly assembled shelves were packed full with books, our tables were stocked with stationery and Boo was nestled into his new home amongst copies of The Belle & Boo Book of Craft.  This was to be our home for the next four days.

I'd asked our twitter friends what their top tips were for show survival – sensible shoes and a smile came back the agreed answer.  The former I had specifically packed to ensure comfort for feet that were to be stood up all day long.  The latter was provided by all the lovely crafters who stopped by our stand to check out our show special offers and our show special guests.

Each day we hosted different authors, from Christine Leech and Debbie Bliss on Thursday, Anna Wilkinson, Erika Knight and Hannah Read-Baldrey on Friday, to May Martin and Patrick Grant from The Great British Sewing Bee on Saturday.  Books were signed, photographs were taken and more than a few hearts fluttered.

After the doors closed on Sunday and we all caught our breath – and treated ourselves to a glass of something fizzy – we learnt that the 2013 Knitting & Stitching Show had attracted record attendance figures.  Over 55,000 visitors made their way through the doors of Ally Pally over the four days... and it felt like every single one of those visitors had passed through our stand F26.

And for those visitors who didn't find us this time, perhaps we'll see you there the same time next year...?


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