Minerva Crafts Meet Up


And that’s when I buried the cross stitch in the back garden

This anecdote just about sums up my past weekend at the Minerva Crafts Meet Up. Memorable, full of laughs, surprises, fabric, shared experiences, new friends and outrageous stories. Oh, the stories… Few of them repeatable.

There were workshops and talks, quizzes, competitions, fabric discounts, bucks fizz, cake and really lovely new friends…





So, why was this idiot there? I’d been invited to present a talk on the topic of sewing. I chose for my theme ‘A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.’ I wore a crown and promised to pass it on to the Perfect Sewing Queen, if she emerged by successfully answering six questions. It is with no little delight that I report no one in the audience could pass my less than rigorous test! We were united in our lack of perfection. Funny that…

I took several past makes to share and was happy to point out mistakes. As one attendee commented, ‘We all secretly like sharing the mistakes, don’t we?’ I think she’s right!


The weekend was without doubt a resounding success. Here are the reasons I particularly liked it:

Getting out of London. As a Derbyshire girl who relocated to The Big Smoke, I have a fair amount of sympathy with anyone who waves a hand in the air and reminds us all of life beyond the M25.

The weekend. I stayed over for two nights in Darwen. I really liked the flexibility this gave me. I could chat like a maniac and a short cab ride later, throw myself on a bed. I’m half social butterfly, half introvert and I recharge my batteries with periods of solitude. A hotel room provided me with exactly that.

The mix. I really, REALLY liked the fact that anyone and everyone was in attendance. I was particularly struck by the wide and all-encompassing age range. There we were, united in our adoration of creativity, comparing notes on patterns and fabric and wool, chatting about children and parents, life, bras, the universe… We had a right old gas! I’ve already ordered my mum to come to the next meet up.


The evening do. It was at Blackburn Rovers FC! I’ve never seen sewing and football united in such beautiful harmony. When a local DJ with a broad Lancashire accent pronounces, ‘These Minerva girls know how to have fun!’ you know it’s time to hit the dance floor.

I could go on and on and on. Am I allowed to admit I’m already hatching plans for the next Minerva Craft Meet Up, should there be one and should I be invited back?

Did you attend? Did you love it as much as I did? Would you consider organising something similair in your home town?







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21 Responses to Minerva Crafts Meet Up

  1. Jenny Lester says:

    Yes loved it, and would never have known about Minerva Crafts unless I followed your blog. What fun it was and how welcoming the staff were, lovely people, so helpful even though they were all rushed off their feet, and lovely to meet you in the flesh!! I bought some indispensable items and a new little iron, which will double as a travel iron. I would love to organise a meet up in my location, but it was made more special because of the venue. Sadly there is no place equivalent to Minerva within a million miles or Knutsford!! Will certainly be at the next one!!!

  2. Carolyn says:

    Looks like such a great time! I love it when people of all ages and backgrounds get together to share a common interest. Reminds you that there are such kind and friendly people out there who feel the same way as you do… and maybe share the same obsession. 🙂

  3. Karen Minet says:

    Oh God yes. But our fabric stores in Central California just stink. I am so jeolous. Love fabric and sewing more than life! Maybe I’ll come to England for the next one. ???

  4. I am laughing my head off now I have read your tag line!! I really did disclose that bit of my personality didn’t I. No more cross stitch for me. I really enjoyed the whole day of chatting with like minded people as well as your truthful talk about the ‘perfect pattern’ Jo xx

  5. It WAS brilliant! I’ve been having flashbacks and giggling to myself all day. And sewists are the most awesome people ever.

  6. gingermakes says:

    What fun! Wish I could’ve teleported in! 🙂

  7. Sox says:

    It looks like you had a great time. I wish I could have been there! I am so jealous.
    On another note -do you know what pattern was used for the coral princess seamed dress on the dress form to your left in the fifth picture?

  8. Amy says:

    Oh how fun! Thanks for sharing. PS I think Ella deserves that crown!

  9. Angela says:

    Enjoyed your speech and like you say its good to know no one is perfect. Had a fab day and will be returning again for supplies. X

  10. So gutted to have missed this…it looks like a blast. Fingers crossed there is a next one!

  11. Louise says:

    It was lovely to meet you! and that cross stitch quote from Jo really made me giggle too. Hope to see you again next year 🙂

  12. Jo says:

    Ah it looks and sounds so great. Next time (surely there’ll be a next time??) I’m booking my flight immediately!

  13. Sounds great. I feel a bit isolated sewing I only know one other person in real life who likes to sew so maybe a meet up like this would be good for me. Love that no one won your crown!

  14. lovelucie1 says:

    I so remember laughing out loud about Jo burying her cross stitch in the garden!
    Hopefully we’ll see you again if/when they repeat the day next year. A great event!

  15. Had a fantastic day, and really ejoyed your chat. Especially the ‘perfect sewist’, well worth the look my mum gave me when I admitted to sewing drunk ha ha

  16. cupandpenny says:

    I think you’re right, we enjoy announcing our mistakes. I was just talking with a group of women last night in my fashion illustration class. We all heap compliments on each other’s work and then insult our own work. I see sewing bloggers do this all the time, as well.

  17. Sam says:

    Fab write up and photos of a great day. I love that you started with Jo’s confession/revelation about her cross stitch!

  18. velosewer says:

    You did a stellar job with your speech. It was fun, engaging and meant something to everyone who was there.
    I’ve enjoyed watching your sewing journey and how you continue to share life’s sewing ups and downs with everyone. The crown was clever:)

  19. Hilary McDaniel says:

    I would have loved to be there. I was born in Darwen 65 years ago. We emigrated to the States when I was young. I finally got to go back and see Darwen in the early 80’s. What a beautiful and quaint place. I know you had a great time.

  20. That does look a fun weekend, wonderful to be able to indulge yourself in crafts with no distractions. I will keep an eye out for the next one

  21. Pingback: Simplicity 1652 – The Dress That Nearly Wasn’t A Dress | Did You Make That?

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