Monday, 7 July 2014

Two Go off On An Adventure

Mrs A and I decided some time ago to have a few outings during the summer months. So Saturday was our first outing. Goal was to visit a fabric shop but I added a few extra stopping off points to give us a full day. So the giggly girls first stop was Heart of Shires.

There is a craft shop here but it is only small and due to close down this month. BUT the most amazing shop was a cooking one! We walked upstairs, in a converted stable, to an array of pottery but as we turned the corner there was more and this kept happening like something out of Narnia. If ever I need something for the kitchen I know where to go. Sorry should tell you the name of the shop in case you ever want to visit them - Abraxas Cookshop.

Spotted this swallow and amazingly it sat still long enough for me to get my camera out. My experience of these birds is just seeing them flying around at a rate of knots. Have to confess to having to check out what sort of bird this was as I get my swallows, swifts and house martins all confused but the BBC have a useful page for even someone as ignorant as me to identify it successfully - click here.

Time to head off to the craft shop - wahay! Sooooo excited. Minutes away from Weedon we drive to Weedon Bec to The Bramblepatch. Many many years ago I visited this shop when it was located up a country track in someones back room. So went expecting to see something similar but possibly larger. Well we were not disappointed. The shop has moved to larger premises.

We chose this day to visit because they were having a quilt exhibition. As we walked through the door we were greeted with the most amazing array of fabrics displayed deliciously. It was hard to stop ourselves from looking and go into the exhibition!

Apparently the building is a converted Roman Catholic church. The lady in the bottom right of the above picture in a black t.shirt is Barbara Chainey. She was there to answer quilting questions and also to look at peoples old quilts that they've bought or been given. She was helping them to date them and suggest where they may have been made. It was fascinating listening to her and her knowledge.

Here is Mrs A having a well earned coffee break and this is all placed by a library of craft books - think we were in a temporary heaven. We both had to say to each other "we do not need anymore books!" It was sooo tempting.

We like the simplicity of this quilt, just using stripey squares. Noted in the foreground these wooden cotton reel racks - aren't they wonderful? They are rather expensive to buy - wish we could get one of our hubbys to make one!

This tie bag was rather cleverly constructed.

Even inside the bag they've added interesting detail.

The store runs various classes and they were displaying some of the things that have been made at some.

Note they are not just doing quilting but making clothes too. Click here for a list of their classes and workshops.

This quilt, above, was made in the early 1900's and was found in a bin!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank goodness someone found it.

The display was mainly of older quilts and I love the one above made of lots of bits and different shapes of fabrics. Golly it makes me think of my basket full of small pieces of leftover fabrics that I cannot bear to throw away.

Initially you may think this is another large quilt but it is a dolly's quilt! So I took my ring off so that you can get a sense of the size. How did anyone make this? To cut out the fabric, sew them together so perfectly but so tiny! How did they do it? I'm in awe I could never ever do this.

Here is Mrs A as we are about to leave. Note only one small bag. We were both very restrained! Yes I know that is hard to believe but I guess common sense prevailed - we both have too many things we need to complete before buying more stuff.

Then we went down memory lane to Stowe Dairy Farm for our lunch. This was then followed by a drive down towards Towcester. We stopped at some friends - place where the chickens come from. I knew we could just stop there without having previously phoned. We were treated to some earl grey tea, caught up on each others family news and treated to more craft work made by their daughter. We then drove into Towcester to see where I had lived many years ago and then we headed home. We had a wonderful day.

Sunday after church was time to use the material I bought. But as it was sun shining I decided to take my sewing machine into the garden.

I enjoyed sewing by my raised beds - note the green beans are having a race as to which plant will reach the top of the cane first! I loved this fun fabric, especially the ladies on the beach. So I decided to use it to make a bag that I can use when I go to the gym to swim and also to use on holiday.

It turned out larger than I had anticipated but this was because I didn't want to waste any fabric but also I wanted it to be big enough to put my clothes inside to put into a locker. Note I actually quilted around each lady! Oh my back did ache by the time I had slumped over my machine.

I've kind of made the bag into a sort of pump bag/ ruck sack. Not sure I've got the straps exactly right but it works.

Inside the bag I used more of that leftover gingham fabric, I squeezed into a bag from a trip to Belfast, and also I added a quilted glass case to the fabric. This is to use as another pocket but also for when I go on holiday to store my glasses. Well time for me to get out of my night clothes and do some housework. Hope you all have a good week and enjoying the sunshine.

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