Interview with Thread Festival of Textiles || Pom Pom Quarterly

Remember when we went to Unravel back in February? Well, you might already know that we’re pretty smitten with the goings-on over at Farnham Maltings. The events team there just seems to know which of our crafty buttons (ahem) to push! Next month will see the second annual Thread festival take place at the Maltings and we’re so intrigued! Though we’re mainly knitters and crocheters here at PPQ, we do love a bit of sewing and embroidery. We had a little chat with Lynsey, who’s one of the organisers of the event, to find out more!

PPQ: Thread is a relatively new festival having only started last year – what was the inspiration for the event?

We have loved hosting our knitting festival unravel and been delighted to see it grow over the last few years. Our regular programme of textile workshops which we programme here at the Maltings is so very popular it seemed a natural progression for us to develop a textiles festival.

Farnham Maltings Thread Festival - photo by Liene Abaronina
photo by Liene Abaronina

PPQ: How was the first year and what were some of your favourite moments from the festival?

We were so pleased with the first festival, especially as we welcomed many new visitors to Farnham Maltings. Working with textile artist Alice Kettle with her stunning stitched works was a highlight for us. Alice is just lovely, and her talk was well received. We also enjoyed working with the undergraduate textile students from UCA Farnham, as they curated their own exhibition of their work, and they were present throughout the festival so they could chat to visitors.

alice kettle
Above: Stitched work by Alice Kettle

PPQ: Pom Pom readers are mostly knitters, but we dabble in sewing and embroidery and have a general love for all things needlework – what can you recommend that knitters or beginner sewists will enjoy at thread?

There will be many designers and makers in the marketplace  and they are always happy to talk to visitors about their work and encourage us all to have a go at our own textile projects. There will also be a range of workshops on offer including a hand embroidery workshop with Nancy Nicholson and cross stitch with What Delilah Did.

For those interested in giving dress making a try or working from patterns, you could try making a tallis collar with independent pattern designers, gather.

Farnham Maltings Thread Festival - photo by Liene Abaronina
photo by Liene Abaronina

PPQ: We notice the lovely Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons will be exhibiting! We love how she’s brought so many more people into the sewing world by making it a more “approachable” craft. We can we look forward to from Tilly at thread?

We are so excited Tilly will be joining us at the festival, and giving a talk about her new project book Love at First Stitch. There will be an opportunity for visitors to buy a signed copy of the book as Tilly will be signing copies after her talk.

PPQ: We love heading to Farnham for unravel and we know lots of crafters travel from London and further afield for the show. What tips can you give us for making a weekend of it?

Within a five minute walk of us here at Farnham Maltings there are lots of lovely shops, restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy.  Also, New Ashgate Gallery have a private view on Friday 26 September of the Surrey Artist of the Year competition, between 6pm – 8pm, they are located across the car park from us. This competition always includes some truly inspirational work.

On Saturday 27 September, Farnham Town Council will host a free food festival in the town which includes live music, food stalls and live cookery demonstrations.

PPQ: Anything else we should know about thread?

We are excited to launch a goody bag for the first 100 people to buy an advance ticket. The goodies include a limited edition brooch made by Ladybird Likes, and a cross stitch pattern by What Delilah Did.

We will also have some beautiful work on display including the work of Japanese weaver Nao Fukumoto.

Yellow Shell Kimono by Nao Fukumoto, Hand Weaver & Dyer, Maltings Studio Resident


Thanks so much to Lynsey at Farnham Maltings for chatting with us! We can’t wait to delve a bit further into the world of sewing at Thread.

Giveaway time!

Want to go too? You can be in with a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets courtesy of Farnham Maltings! Just leave us  us comment below telling us your sewing or needlework aspirations! Extra points if you share this post on Twitter or Facebook and let us know that you did so in a separate comment. You’ll need to get your comments in by the end of Thursday 4 September. Gooooooood luck! This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Julie & Chris!



  1. Emma August 27, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    My mum is my sewing inspiration! She made the best little dresses for me as a kid, and hasn’t sewn for the last 15 years, but last weekend she presented me with a dress she’d just decided to make, and her sewing skills are just as good as ever! I’m kind of jealous.

    I went to Unravel earlier this year and looooved Farnham Maltings – I’d love to have an excuse to go back!

  2. Maria August 27, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

    Loved Unravel – Thread looks fabulous. I would love to encorporate some on my handspun yarn with the lovely fabric thats available to make some unique and out of the ordinary !

  3. Sarah August 29, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I so want to find my dressmaking mojo; I still get way too intimidated by pattern-cutting. Thread looks great fun; thank you for the opportunity to go!

  4. trish August 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    I want to make myself a dress but am too scared! I bought a pattern 2 years ago and take it out and look every now and then …. I can knit anything so its time to break out of my comfort zone. fingers crossed I will win and go be inspired by amazing people.

  5. Bee August 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Well, you know me, a sewing maven and general all-round stitching raver so it’s fairly obvs that I’ll be on my way to Farnham at the end of September for a peek. I’ve been sewing from the day, aged 7, that I received my first tiny tot sewing machine all the way from my little maiden aunt back in Blighty. I think a duster coat (look it up in the 1950’s fashion terms!!) was my first garment and I’ve been hooked ever since, trying to inspire and encourage everyone I meet to try and enjoy the wonderful world of thread.

  6. Kelly September 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    This festival looks amazing, I’ve never been to one before. I’m a fairly confident knitter, but having recently completed my first garment (the Clemence skirt, from Tilly’s book), I’m really keen to sew more, I could even participate in Me-Made-May 2015!!

  7. Chris September 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    My granny owned a haberdashery shop when I was young, she was also a trained Nottingham lace maker and generally good at everything! I loved her to bits and have been inspired to ‘make’ my whole life by those early experiences with granny

  8. Laura September 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    I would love to make a quilt or two – they just seem like such big projects, I find them a bit intimidating! I’d also love to learn to make some simple clothes and have some me-made things in my wardrobe.

  9. julie September 5, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    I have always sewn – my grandmother taught me. But most recently Jacquie Gehring and the modern quilt movement have sparked my interest and I’m trying to become a long arm quilter, along with the weaving and knitting! Thank you for the giveaway!

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