May Morris exhibition event

Crafting and Textile Events, Exhibitions and Shows for 2018

Get your New Year off to a great start by immersing yourself in the world of textile crafting. We’ve carefully hand selected the shows, events and exhibitions to look out for at the start of 2018. These are great events for finding inspiration, igniting creativity, meeting like-minded people and stocking up on much-needed supplies.

Crafting and Textile Events for 2018

1. Lace in Fashion Exhibition

When: Until the 1st January 2018

Where: Fashion Museum Bath

Lace in Fashion exhibition

Lace in Fashion catalogues the Fashion Museum’s extensive archives of lace dating from the 1500s to the present day. The exhibition not only highlights the endurance of lace as a fashion trend but also the techniques and tops names that have been instrumental to its success since the 16th Century. Featuring 50 historic treasures and designer dresses, Lace in Fashion draws on the riches of the Fashion Museum collection to showcase the skill and seduction of this fashionable fabric.

The oldest object in the exhibition is a smock dating from around 1580 with Flemish bobbin lace on the sleeves and collar, one of the earliest pieces in the Fashion Museum collection. Another of the Museum’s rarest treasures also appears in the show: the Silver Tissue Dress which dates from the 1660s is trimmed with exquisite parchment lace, a rare and delicate fabric made using tiny strips of parchment or paper wrapped in silk.


2. Sheila Bownas (1925 – 2007): A Yorkshire Life in Pattern

When: Until the 7th January 2018

Where: Mercer Art Gallery, Harrowgate

A Yorkshire Life in Pattern

This exhibition tells the story of an artist whose work was profoundly influenced by a love of the Yorkshire landscape and was nearly lost forever but for a chance discovery in a Yorkshire saleroom.

Sheila Bownas was a textile designer of exceptional gifts who came from a rural Yorkshire background. She grew up in Linton on Craven near Grassington and in 1946 her talent won her a place at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Sheila always worked as a freelance designer, making designs for Liberty and Co., Marks and Spencer, Laura Ashley, the Natural History Museum and more.

Sheila loved the Yorkshire Dales and returned to Linton for good in the mid 1960s, where she carried on selling her designs for another 25 years with an extremely productive period in the early 1970s. During this time she created some bold and colourful work using clever pattern repeats with beautifully formed geometric shapes. She continued to paint and draw local life right up until her death at the age of 82.


3. Newark Quilt Show

When: 19th to 21st January 2018

Where: The Lady Eastwood Centre, Newark Showground

This show is great for quilting enthusiasts and provides a attendees with the change to see featured quit displays from well-known quilters and textile artists. The show typically attracts a variety of exhibitors selling patchwork & quilting supplies for all needs and there is a host of demonstrators to show you their techniques and provide help and advice.


4. Waltham Abbey Wool Show 

When: 21st January 2018

Where: Waltham Abbey, Essex

Waltham Abbey Wool Festival Show

Fun and funky wool show returns for it’s fifth year with luscious hand dyed yarns, beautiful handmade wool and felt items, unique knit and crochet kits, a wide selection of accessories from buttons to crochet hooks for sale, demonstrations and workshops. This year they are running a competition for the best funky footwear which will be judged by special guest Sockmatician aka Nathan Taylor.


5. Spring Quilt Festival

When: 26th to 28th January 2018

Where: South of England Showground, Ardingly

This show is great for quilting enthusiasts and provides a attendees with the change to see featured quit displays from well-known quilters and textile artists. The show typically attracts a variety of exhibitors selling patchwork & quilting supplies for all needs and there is a host of demonstrators to show you their techniques and provide help and advice.


6. May Morris: Art and Life

When: Until the 28th January

Where: William Morris Gallery, London

May Morris exhibition event

This landmark exhibition explores the life and work of May Morris, the younger daughter of William Morris and one of the most significant artists of the British Arts and Crafts movement. May Morris: Art & Life is the most comprehensive survey of May’s work to date, bringing together over 80 works from collections around the UK, many of which have never been on public display.

Find out more on the May Morris: Art & Life website

May Morris: Art & Life has been funded through Art Happens, the Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform.

The exhibition will coincide with the publication by Thames & Hudson of May Morris: Arts & Crafts Designer, which is co-authored by curators at the William Morris Gallery and the V&A.


7. Sheila Dalgleish Exhibition – Landscapes of the North and South Lands

When: Until the 10th February

Where: Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh

Sheila Dalgleish North and South lands exhibition

A personal exhibition by textiles artist, Sheila Dalgleish which follows on from her first exhibition, North. As a lover of the north lands Sheila has this time expanded her subject matter to include the south lands. Her stitched pieces reflect the tranquillity of these places, the occasional violence of the weather and the starkness of the landscape.


8. Unravel 2018

When: 16th – 18th February 2018

Where: Farnham Maltings

Unravel festival for knitting and crochet lovers

Celebrate knitting and crochet at the 10th annual unravel festival. Enjoy the eclectic marketplace showcasing over 70 contemporary exhibitors selling yarn and yarn related accessories, as well as a programme of talks, exhibitions and bookable workshops.


9. The Scottish Quilting Show

When: 8th to 11th March 2018

Where: SEC, Glasgow

the Scottish Quilting Show

The Scottish Quilting Show is a fabulous showcase of the finest patchwork and quilting, and highlights the wonderful work of Scottish quilters. Enjoy exciting exhibitions that encourage all aspects of this delightful and wonderfully creative art form. There’s talks, competitions, demonstrations and workshops – a true patchwork paradise!


10. British Craft Trade Fair

When: 8th – 10th April

Where: Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

British craft trade fair at Harrowgate

One of the ultimate crafting and textile events offer the chance to buy other people’s unique makes. This event is strictly trade-only and showcases work from exclusively British and Irish makers. BCTF differs from other trade fairs in that no mass-manufactured products or products made overseas are allowed. Visitors can be confident, therefore, that they will be presented with a selection of the best hand-made British giftware available in the UK.

BCTF Harrogate has been running for more than 43 years. With close to 8,000 registered British designer-makers the show promise to provide an eclectic mix of unique and handmade works from the British Isles.

11. British Quilt and Stitch Village

When: 13th to 15th April 2018

Where: Uttoxeter Racecourse, Staffordshire

British Quilt and Stitch Village

As the name suggests, this event offers a village worth of stitching and quilting goodness. Take part in the competitions, stock-up on supplies from the various trade stands, attend workshops or visit demonstrations.

The competition they are hosting this year offers people the chance to enter a quilt or embroidery piece.

In each category, they will be award certificates and rosettes for the top places & an engraved silver salver for the winner. Anyone can enter, whatever your experience or ability. You certainly don’t have to be an expert, and there are categories for small and large pieces of work.



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