Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Stash, wildlife and an amazing old quilt book
But first of all I was off to Glasgow yesterday to spend my birthday money, and also to meet up with the 3 lovely girls who worked with me in our, now sadly departed, Glasgow store.
Glasgow School of Art shop (Well done Jen, who just graduated from there with a 2.1 in Product Design - way to go Jen!!). So after lunch Sarah and I wandered over to say hello and I found this amazing bowl of ceramic buttons for sale (see top). I couldn't help purchasing the 3 buttons above, and jen wrapped them up so beautifully with the cute GSA birdy sticker.
Mandors, which in my opinion, has the best selection of fabric and haberdashery in Scotland. The fabrics in the bottom left are all from the craft selection, with the pile to to the right from the dressmaking. I love the sribbly yellow flower one on the top. Also there are 4 Liberty designs amongst that pile, all at half price (£13.99 a metre). I always pick up some of these discounted Liberty fabrics at Mandors - worth going there for that alone. The 3 fabrics at the top are also from dressmaking and I loved them so much I bought 20cm in each colourway - they look so good together!
The 'rat-tail' cords are for the button hole loops I make in my cushions and also some extra wool for my 'African Flower' crochet blanket.
What a haul!! All bought with birthday money from Jonathan (well almost, I may have gone ever so slightly over budget, shhh...).
I also managed to get Sarah started with fabric for a log cabin cot quilt for her sister. This will be Sarah's first quilt so I expect the 'quilting hot line' will be busy soon. Sarah and I have a deal - if she doesn't get herself signed up with some recruitment consultants this week then she doesn't get anymore help with making the quilt - tough but fair!
Also I would like to thank our lovely assistant, Devin, who was very patient with me while I piled up bolt after bolt of fabric and dithered over cutting instructions. She even let me talk about this blog and promised to have a look later!
So imagine my surprise when I discovered a leaflet for Loch Sunart Yarns & Buttons in a tiny place called Salen. Of course I had to stop by for a look...
Emma Moss runs a mail order business selling the yarns she spins and dyes herself as well as natural buttons she has sourced. She also has a super little craft shop selling lovely gifts.
When I got there Emma was stting in the sunshine spinning Alpaca wool on her lovely Dutch, 'barge painted' spinning wheel. Unfortunately, the photos I took of her and the shop have got corrupted on the stupid disk thing in the stupid camera, but if you click on the link above there are plenty of photos on her website.
Although I am not usually so interested in neutral colours, this wool was so beautiful and soft I knew I would find a use for it. The 3 skeins to the left are a silk/alpaca mixture and the one on the right is a camel hair mix! The blueish buttons to the left are made from mussel shells - how cool is that?! They are really beautiful.
The best thing about our holiday was all the wildlife we saw. Over only 3 days we managed to encounter:
otters, seals, basking sharks, dolphins, puffins, guillemots, cormorants, razorbills, gannets, skuas and a golden eagle! I felt like David Attenborough!!
I have to point out that not all of this was available on the mainland. We took a day long trip by boat to the Treshnish Isles to see most of it. It was a 4 hour trip out to the Atlantic (in my mind I was half way to Nova Scotia!) and had a wonderful, magical time walking around amongst the puffins, who were very relaxed around people and also incredibly cute, especially when they fly and land.
Jonathan took loads of great photos but unfortunately, I can't share them with you as he tells me none of them are 'ready' yet so I will have to save them for a future post.
The book is full of charming, moving passages like that, which really bring to life how important and central quilts and quilt making was/is to this community. There is a nice history of the Mennonites too. I didn't know much about them as they seem to have been slightly overshadowed by the Amish in quilting books.
This one looks So modern! The sort of quilt I expect to see on Red Pepper Quilts blog. And yet it was made in 1930! 'Dutchman's Windmill', "Quilting was a winter activity for my Nebraska grandmother. Piecing was done during the summer in spare moments between chores, gardening and canning and, often, field work for some women. A scrap quilt doesn't have to look like a scrap quilt. My grandmother tied this quilt together by purchasing the blue for the border and the backing. This quilt is very special to me because I never got to know my grandmother. She died the very day my parents were married."
Looks like the book is out of print now but there are still some used copies around on Amazon and I would definitely recommend it for the inspiration.
I am going to feel ever so slightly ashamed as I start cutting in to my new fabrics, the Mennonites would definitely NOT approve!