Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fabric Shopping in the Netherlands, Part 2

In my last post I wrote about our trip to the Utrecht Fabric Market. While that was a quilter's Disneyland, I also made a point of stopping as as many fabric shops (stoffenwinkels) that I could Niels would let me. I wasn't able to get photos of most of the shops because they were pretty small. But one store in Niels' hometown of Helmond is worthy of a post of it's own. 

De Graaf is a huge store that offers fabrics for quilting and apparel, home decor fabric for curtains and furniture, plus a huge feest department for anything a Dutchie would want to celebrate Carnival. The southern part of the Netherlands, where Niels' family lives, is predominantly Catholic. And in the Southern part of the Netherlands, Carnival is big deal. Imagine Halloween without all the ghosts and goblins, and throw in a little Independence Day patriotism. And everyone, not just the little kids dress up. That's Carnival. I'll come back to Carnival in a moment.

de Graaf was the largest fabric store I visited, and the most like a Joann in the States. 

In addition to Delft patterns, it seems every store had a section of fabric bolts with stripes and polka dots in a variety of colors. 

Like any good fabric store, there were mannequins modeling apparel. I thought this was the quintessential Dutch mannequin. (And a really cute dress if I had a little girl). 

Here you can get an idea of the size of the fabric section of the store. Behind me in this picture is a wall of notions.

My son's favorite part of the store was the play area, complete with Legos. 

There was a costume section near the play area. I think this dress is just adorable for a little Dutch girl.

Love the tulip pocket!

I almost bought this astronaut costume for our space-obsessed future rocket scientist. 

While Niels hung out with D in the play area, I took a quick peek at the rest of the store. There's a little walk way from the fabric section into the feest section, and then another walkway into the home decor fabric section. I only walked briefly into that section, and forgot to take photos. 

This is about one third of the feest section. It was HUGE! 

As you can imagine, the store had every possible costume you can imagine. I was mostly interested in the Dutch-themed costumes. 

One big difference between the Netherlands and America is that in the Netherlands, citizens don't typical wear patriotic clothing, displays flags, etc, except for specific occasions, such as Carnival, Konninedag, and the occasion sporting event like the Olympics or soccer. But when they are patriotic, they go all out!

Lots of fun orange hats. I should explain that while red, white, and blue are the colors of the Dutch flag, the royal family is the House of Orange, and thus, orange plays prominently in Dutch patriotic dress. 

I decided against this dress. 

And Niels vetoed these overalls. 

All in all, I'm happy with the fabric I found in our 3.5 week European adventure. In addition to the Fabric Market, I visited seven different fabric shops and bought something at almost every one! 

I'm not sure yet what I'll do with all my Delft fabric--I'm sure I'll make at least one quilt!--but I know I would regret not having some in my stash if I didn't take the opportunity.

I love this quilted purple and blue pattern. I'm thinking I may try to make a Vera Bradley-esque bag for myself with this. 

I also bought a non-quilted version of the same fabric. 

This fabric covers all the typical Dutch icons: kissing couple, wooden shoes, tulips, windmills, red, white, and blue.

Here's the pink Dutch motif fabric I picked up in Utrecht. 

I liked this pattern best of the red and blue Dutch fabrics. 

I like this modern take on the traditional Delft pattern. 

These two fat quarters are not necessarily traditional Dutch patterns, but they work well with the others I bought.

One of my fabric goals was to find fabric that I could use for Niels' citizenship quilt. I needed blue and red tonal fabrics for mimicking the Dutch flag. I'm not certain I'll use these floral patterns, or if I'll splurge on a few Spoonflower patterns.

I bought this purple and gray scroll fabric for me. At some point in the future, I will make a quilt for myself. I have a design in mind and I'm pretty sure this fabric will be part of it. 

I thought this heart fabric was a lot of fun.

My in-laws are really into their Vespas. (We even visited the Vespa museum in Italy!). I had to pick up some of this fabric for a quilt for them!

All of my new additions are safely home in my craft room (which I will be revealing soon!). 

I added a new category to my fabric bins.

What would you make with my new fabrics?

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  1. What a wonderful adventure of fabric. lol. It all looks amazing. I am sure it was so much fun.

    1. It was! Now I just have to get over this jet lag so I can get back to my sewing machine!

  2. Oh yeah, fabric-markets in the Netherlands are so great!
    And I love that we have this travelling Dutch Fabric Market here in Germany. Twice a year in my town…

    And the Delft fabrics are awesome! I love the Delft style, although I wouldn't know what I would wanted to do with them. I'm excited to see, what you'll be creating!
    As I can't sew that good, just learning, I would probably only make some simple shopping bags or cushion covers out of it. You can do for sure some more thrilling!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

  3. I was disappointed that I didn't get to check out a fabric shop in Germany. Next time! How cool that you have traveling market. You'll have to do a post about it!

    I'm still new to sewing. Just started in February of this year with my unpaper towels. I like the shopping bag idea, definitely I'll make a quilt, and maybe use some scraps to dress up some bath towels.

  4. Next market here is in september - I will report :)

    I am still struggling with straight lines, so a quilt wouldn't be a good idea to sew for me… To use individual rows from the Delft fabric, sewn on towels could be nice, I think!


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