Although yesterday was spent talking law all day, followed by a journey home in such horrendous rain we were forced to pull off the road, my journey to Derby on Monday was pleasantly enhanced by taking the meandering route via several stitch related places - purely for blog research you understand.
First Wye Needlecraft in Bakewell. Bakewell has a severe parking problem and in fact Dennis never managed to get out of the car here as there literally was no parking in the town and when he stopped to ask he got abused for being a tourist. I of course got to look at this shop with its ground floor stuffed with embroidery kits and its upper floor festooned with silks and cotton floss. I am not a big fan of predesigned embroideries but am just getting into more creative freestyle stitching so I restricted myself to these few threads of a specific project. I also bought Dennis a Bakewell tart ( of the pastry variety of course) for his forbearance in driving in circles. I have to say the people in this shop are very nice indeed. When I rang today to ask them to send me back the camera case I left in their premises they instantly declined to accept postage from me.
From there to Darley Dale to Heirs and Graces which also trades as Patchwork Direct. Housed in this former Wesleyan chapel this is a fabulous shop. Chocka with bolts stored on the old pews it also has a yarn section and even some new friends to make.
This is also where a miracle occurred. Last time Dennis visited his father, who is a gardener, his Dad had been sitting out trying to enjoy the weak Northern Irish sunshine, wrapped in a tatty dog blanket. I offered to make a quilt for his Christmas present and had recalled seeing some fruit and veg fabric at Festival 07 but didn't see it this year. But guess what they had at Darley Dale?
Not my style at all but perfect for his Dad
Dennis said if it was for his Dad he would pay and the so miracle occurred - I went on a shop hop all day and he spent more on fabric than I did:)
By late last night the fabric looked like this - see it never even touched the sides of the stash basket! However I made a mistake in my oh so quick strip piecing. My original plan for a very straightforward squares and sashing quilt with border did not in fact require strips on either side like this, only on one. Drat. Time to unpick 49 seams and work out what to do with 49 strips of sugar snap peas! Or, maybe time to play and to use the intended border fabric as block fabric....
Now the fabric looks like this....actually a much better design
( and I get to buy more border and backing fabric at The Great Northern Quilt show on Sunday!)
From Patchwork Direct we went to Quiltessential in Cromford - somewhat disappointing in comparison. Adequate stock but a soulless shop I thought. It just didn't have that feeling of entering a treasure trove, no warmth to the surroundings although the owner was perfectly pleasant. I bought two batik half meters just to be polite..
Next, Scarthins bookshop down the road, an old fashioned building stuffed with books both new and old floor to ceiling. I grabbed this one which I made myself travel sick with reading on the way home last night as Dennis drove.