Norfolk Makers' Festival

Norfolk Makers’ Festival

I had a lovely day yesterday in sunny Norwich, at the Norfolk Makers’ Festival. It’s been running at The Forum for the last two weeks, but it had only just come to my attention when I saw one of the displays featured on television.

The work on display was of really high quality. There were plenty of hands-on opportunities for both young and old, ranging from free drop-in activities to paid workshops.

I loved these life-sized models from the Petal and Purl craft group, from Caston in Norfolk. They are going to feature in an event in June, which is taking a nostalgic trip back to the 50s and the celebration of the Queen’s coronation. I’m hoping to visit; it sounds fabulous.

It was through the following display getting some press coverage that I got to hear about the Festival.

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Margaret Seaman and friends have re-created 1970s Great Yarmouth (or should that be Yarnmouth) seafront. So much attention to detail has gone into the piece. By the way, Margaret is 90 in a few weeks time – there is hope for us all.

#SayItWithStitchGY, a Great Yarmouth craftivism project, ran a drop-in session where people could create mini protest banners.


Lots of granny squares have been made at another drop-in session. These will be joined together to make a blanket which will be raffled off for charity.


There were some wonderfully dated British Pathé films about sewing being screened – take a look at their website for hours of fun guaranteed.

A gallery of displays showcased a diverse range of crafts from crochet mandalas to felted pictures, woven hangings to embroidered panels.


This embroidered wall hanging was inspired by Lorina Bulwer, an inmate of Great Yarmouth workhouse. Lorina vented her anger at being locked up in a stream of stitched messages. The Costume and Textile Association (C&TA) and designer, Kirstie Aylen, invited visitors to The Forum to embroider panels reflecting their views and thoughts.

Embroidered Wall Hanging

This Suffrage Quilt, also made by members and friends of the C&TA, is formed of individual squares with hand embroidered statements associated with the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Prison arrows represent the suffragettes sent to prison for protesting against the government. Each arrow was made using sewing machines dating from the early 1900s.

Suffrage Quilt

Knitted and crochet poppies

Knitted and crochet poppies made by Knapton Knitters and Stitchers to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War

TOPstitch embroidery

Pieces from the TOPstitch embroidery and textile group reflect Norfolk’s flora and fauna

Norwich Castle Tapestry Group

This hand-sewn piece was made by volunteers who plan to create a 20-metre tapestry, using medieval techniques 

White ribbons, decorated by artists from around Norfolk, raising awareness about domestic abuse

White ribbons, decorated by artists from Norfolk, raising awareness about domestic abuse

The Big Draw at the Norfolk Makers' Festival

There were some brave souls drawing in public

Crocheted mandalas created by Kally Davidson from Woollenwood together with local makers

Crocheted mandalas created by Kally Davidson and local makers

Graffiti Jam at the Norfolk Makers' Festival

A Graffiti Jam taking place outside The Forum

It was a well-organised event, and I’m pleased that I made the effort to visit (well worth the 80 minute train journey).

You can see more photos on my Facebook page.




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