Birmingham Rag Market meet-up, the round-up!

In layman's terms, yesterday was bloody awesome! Fifteen fantastic ladies joined Kat and I at the Birmingham Rag Market - from as far and wide as Bath and Merseyside no least - for what was our first ever go at organising a meet-up. Despite my initial nerves, the day was an absolute pleasure in every way, thanks to the easy-going, genuine and good nature of everyone who came.

As an organiser, my mother-hen instincts seriously kicked in and I didn't take as many good photos as I would have liked. I'll summarise the day as best as I can, but if you're after quality photos, you'd best keep your eyes peeled for related posts by blogging friends - all listed at the end.

Kat and I met our brood at Birmingham New Street train station, armed with handmade name brooches and edible goodies to keep their energy levels nice and high.

First we hit the Rag Market - inside and out. Annoyingly, the fabric and notions stalls are really spread out, so it does make for a bit of a 'messy' experience.

After a couple of hours we were more than ready for a sit-down and some lunch at the tried and tested Cafe Soya. They reserved a big table for us at the back and I bet they were very pleased they did by the time we left!



Sitting down for lunch gave everyone a great opportunity to chat and get to know each other a bit better. The conversations were definitely flowing freely, which was lovely to see.

It also gave us all a chance for one MAMMOTH swap. I totally didn't manage to capture the sheer volume that people brought with them, but trust me when I say, it was HUGE!!!

These pictures really sum up what I love about our kind. We're excellent at sharing and not at all afraid to get stuck in! I'm going to guess that super-organised Claire supplied the scissors, then Helen and Rachel got down to business sharing out some fabric.

I did extremely well out of the swap. Not only did I manage to giveaway all but one of my swap items, but I also received some truly wonderful things back: a super cool Hawaiian print cotton from Katie, a beautiful seersucker print from Karen, a really useful bobbin organiser from Claire, a precious lot of vintage notions from Mellie and some pretty floral canvas and funky salmon jersey from Kat!


Re-fuelled and with swapping out of our systems, we proceeded to terrorise the good owners of the Fancy Silk Store and Barry's Fabric Superstore. I'm not joking when I say these shops are overwhelming when you don't have a particular purchase in mind, but an unmissable experience nonetheless.

Now, I'm not intentionally trying to make you all even more jealous, but it's only natural that you would be. The owner of the Fancy Silk Store was so impressed with the size of our group, that he gave us each a free pen. BOOM!!!  


I wasn't quite strong enough to resist buying stuff altogether, but I was relatively reserved and I did keep to my promise of staying away from florals and animal print!

Finally, here's a beautiful group shot (minus myself) - have you ever seen so many happy faces in one picture before?


Here's a list of attendees in the order that they appear in the group shot, from left to right and back to front:

Roisin - Dolly Clackett

Alice - Moonbeam

Helen - Sew Stylish


Helen - Helen Made




Suzy - Suzy Sewing






Kat - Krafty Kat 

Charlotte (sadly not pictured as she'd left by this point) - Keeping track of things 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you ladies so much for making it a very special day. It was fantastic to catch up with familiar faces and and great to meet new ones too. Hope to see even more of you next time ;o)

53 comments:

  1. Blimey what an amazing line-up of ladies! I would so have loved to have joined you but I think I'm a wee bit too far along to be traipsing around rag markets - next time for sure! LOVE that moustache fabric - perfect for Movember! Awh you all look SO HAPPY. Well jel...

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    1. I know, it would have been so good to see you...but maybe next time eh!? Movember is exactly where I was going with that ;o)

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  2. Fabulous group shot! Free pen, sweet treats, fabric galore and friends. What more could one ask for. It was a truly awesome day.

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    1. Hehe, thanks Karen! Kat and I found it such a rewarding experience!

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  3. Great post and a fab day it was Marie! You and Kat made us all feel so welcome and well looked after - very well done ladies :)

    (The scissors were Suzy's - I'd forgettdm mine , LOL!)

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Claire, they mean a lot considering what a cracking organiser/hostess you are! And thanks for correcting me on the scissor front ;o)

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  4. Best day EVER! Thanks so much for organising it, and I can't wait to see what you make from the hawaiian fabric :) xxx

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    1. Hehe, thanks Katie! I can't stop stroking your fabric...it's either going to be a 1940s beachwear set or a 1940s sun dress. Eeep!

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  5. Looks like a really lovely day! So much fabric, and what a fun swap too, you got some great things.

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    1. Thanks Kerry we did! I will give you plenty of notice for the next one, possibly in the coming summer...which can't come quick enough!

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  6. Aw... looks like you had such a great time! Bet the fabric shop owners did too. Great haul there. I did a spot of fabric shopping yesterday with Jane and we both bought red polka dot polyester that looks a lot like that one you bought!

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    1. We did, such a shame you and Jane couldn't make it! Seems like red polka dots were on all of our minds ;o) I love your loot too!

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  7. An eloquent illustrated account of a wonderful day with fabulous fellow sewists 15/15. Having to write this on a borrowed laptop - tripped over mine and now minus a screen. Just made room for my purchases and sorted another batch of swaps or a possible giveaway (once I'm back online). Thanks again to yourself and Kat for such a well organised event.

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    1. Thank you Mellie, it was so good to meet your lovely and generous self! I hope you didn't hurt yourself when you tripped and that the laptop gets fixed soon!

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  8. Looks like a brilliant day! And I am very jealous! I live in Belfast, and we have nothing like this in Northern Ireland (or if we do, I don't know about it!) I could do some serious damage in a spot like that... ;)

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    1. Shame you live so far away... :o(

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  9. How utterly marvellous!! I am so jealous at not being able to attend - the Atlantic ocean separates us! I am looking forward to reading everyone's posts!

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  10. It was such a good day. Thanks again for organising it!

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    1. Thanks for coming Catherine, always a pleasure to see you!

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  11. What an awesome meetup and swap! So wish I could've gone, more to have a final dose of lovely UK sewing bloggers.

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  12. I had an amazing day, thank you so much for organising it.. Was a big sucess !!!

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    1. You're so welcome, it's always nice seeing you!

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  13. Thank you Marie and kat! It really was as much fun as you say........had a great time and was wonderful to be led by you two lovely ladies :-)

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    1. Thanks so much Winnie, you're a wonderful lady to be around!

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  14. Thank you both so much again! What a fantastic day - there is no way I would've guessed that it was your first time organising such a meet-up. I am still grinning just thinking about yesterday ;-)

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    1. Thanks Alice, I'm so relieved it all went well! I really enjoyed meeting you and discovering your amazing blog!

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  15. And what a fabulous day it was too! Thanks for organising it!

    I am noticing a bit of a "fabric theme" as I read everyone's blog posts - there are at least three of us who bought the red/white polka dot, and as for the lovely measuring tape fabric, well I only didn't buy it as I already have it in orange at home!!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming from so far, it was so good to meet you! And yes, you're totally right on the theme front ;o)

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  16. how did i miss this! I live so close too! Count me in for the next one!

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    1. Oh no, that sucks!!! Keep your eyes peeled for the next one ;o)

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  17. Looks like a fab time was had by all. I'll be doing my own trip to Brum soon, gotta make up for missing out!!

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    1. Good for you, make sure you travel there light so you can carry everything back ;o)

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  18. I am so jealous. I should have been in this!!! Too bad I live on an entirely different continent, ughhh. Someday!

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    1. I know Lauren, we would have loved to have you there and you would have hopefully loved being there too! Maybe someday... ;o)

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  19. Just to repete what every one else has said - I had a FAB day so thank you so much Marie and Kat for organising it. It was so lovely to finally meet the ladies behind all those blogs I read!

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    1. Thank you for coming Helen...great to meet you too! We must do it again soon or you must come hang out with me and Kat in Leicester soon ;o)

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  20. Awww Marie, what a ruddybloodybrilliant day - so nice to finally meet you in real life! I used my Fancy Silk Stores pen at work today, too - woo! xx

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    1. Haha, I love that you've already used your pen...you're a legend!!! Amazing to meet you too!

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  21. It looks like it was a lot of fun, can't wait for the next one!

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    1. It sure was, do look out for the next one ;o)

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  22. Wow, what a fun day! Looks like you found and swapped some amazing fabric! I'm so excited to see what you make!

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  23. Yay, looks like SO MUCH FUN! I wish I could have gone, but I'm a teeny bit far away :)

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  24. This looks so fantastic! What a marvelous event, and that swap is totally epic!

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    1. Oh Meg, if only you could have seen the swap piles...totally epic!!!

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  25. Dammit, I completely missed this - and I live in Brum!!! It wasn't until Kelly of bakedoandmend told me (and she missed it too...) Will there be another one or something similar? I'm so jealous, would have totally come along if I'd realised, you look like you had a wicked time!

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    1. Oh no, what a shame...right on your doorstep! I'm sure we'll do it again sometime, but I don't think I have the energy to organise anything again for a good few months!!!

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  26. If anyone's interested, I'm another Brummie, and member of TSF [The Sewing Forum]...and we have group meets at the Rag Market quite often. Much the same plan, meet up, do the markets, lunch, then FSS and Barry's...and then the pub!
    Find us on TSF, next meets are Tuesday Nov 27 and Saturday Dec 1.
    I'm Elaine, 'Demented Fairy' on TSF...

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    1. Thanks Elaine! Will come look you up ;o)

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  27. Sounds like you all had a fantastic time - those fabric stores look amazing! I'm quite new to blogging still but it is just brilliant that it gives you a chance to discover like minded creative people. I would love to participate in something like this someday xxx

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