Saturday, November 12, 2011
A little me-time trip!
As you know, Thursday I got to pack my bag, set off all by myself in the car and head to Dublin. What bliss, a whole journey without having to look over my shoulder into the back seat constantly! And I even got to listen to the radio in peace and quiet :-)
I landed at the Knitting and Stitching show reasonably early, it was already jammed with people. But I valiantly founght through the crowd in search of fabric goodies and I did not fail in my mission to overspend my budget ;-)
The very first stand I arrived at was, by chance, Oakshott Fabrics. I have seen their shot cottons on a few blogs, mainly Judith's lovely Needles and Lemons, but I'll be honest, I found it hard to really see the difference to regular cottons online. Oh, how wrong was I!! I was completely blown away by these fabrics. Take my word, they are absolutely and utterly fabulous. Really gorgeous quality, the array of colours and fabrics looked like they were shimmering in real life. So vibrant and beautiful. Here's one of the pink shot cottons I bought, to give you some idea of the colour balance:
It is really true that browsing fabric online is nothing like seeing it in reality and this was especially true here. I spent a long time drooling and stroking fat quarters in an amazing array of colours before finally deciding on an Elements fat eighth bundle in Spirit. They are a little bit pricier than your regular cottons, but, oh my, SO worth it! I have tried to pick up the quality of the fabric in my photo here, but in the watery November sunlight today, it was really very hard. All I can say is if you like solids and you want to treat yourself, you should definitely check them out.
Next I wandered around the corner and found the Pippablue stand. Now, lots of you will know that Eva there was one of my secret partners in Cindy's Goodie Swap back in August and even though they are up in Galway, I've never been to their shop or met Eva in real life. So meeting up with her was one of the things I was really looking forward to and chatting with her and Ger was a real highlight of the day for me. Not to mention their gorgeous fabric - I hadn't realised what a lovely range they stock. Look at this FQ bundle I picked up:
They also have a fab range of Japanese imports and myself and my friend Helen picked up these 3 lovelies to go with the Russian doll fabric (top) that I am basing a quilt for Helen's niece on.
Pippablue have also started to stock some Klona solids, so all in all I think I'll be doing a bit more online shopping with them in the future!
I also found The Crafty Fox, who are a new shop in Drogheda and picked up these super cute Tilda fabrics there. I'll definitely be popping in to visit them next time I'm up in my mum's!
And I picked up these half metres from a huge fabric seller called Doughtys at a great price.
In addition to all my fabrics, I got some great basics - batting at fantastic prices, new cutting rulers, etc. And I also discovered another thread brand - Wonderfil - who had a stand. I grabbed a trial pack of variagated threads in 50wt cotton to try:
And also found some perle cotton tucked away in the corner of another seller's stand which I promptly bagged. I'm slightly scared of that orange, its for a particular project but its so bright!!
All in all a great day was had. I also managed to have a chat with Anne Marie of Kilbora Quilt Shoppe where some of us Sew Irish girls are heading for a quilting retreat in Feb (places still available if you're interested! Just drop me an email) and to Sherry of Irish Quilting magazine. Plus I had a lovely wander around the quilts exhibition which was really interesting.
It was then on to an evening meetup with my some of my real life buddies who, for the first time in over a year, were all in Dublin on the same night for a meetup and we had lots of fun over some good food and wine. I scarily realised that we have been friends for almost 20 years - since our early college days -somehow, it really doesn't feel that long!
Fluffy Sheep Quilting. We met for a coffee and yapped happily for over and hour and a half and I think if I had not had to leave for home, and she for the show, we possibly would be still there talking! We had so much fun chatting and I can't wait to meet up again. I am always a little nervous meeting people in real life who you have an online relationship with - in case it doesn't turn out the way you expect, but happily this trip showed me that there's nothing to fear - they are all even nicer in real life that they are online. And now I have faces to put with the names. Happy days!
So, yesterday evening it was back to real life and I realised that I am really a big softie - 24 hours away from my kids and hubbie and I just couldn't wait to see them all, it was like I was away for a week. So now I need to put away all that new fabric and decide what I am going to use it for. But in the meantime I'm fancying some handquilting on the sofa this evening catching up with the new series of Grey's Anatomy on the Sky Plus :-)