Monday, August 21, 2017

One Monthly Goal :: August 2017 Update

We're back from Europe and I'm happy to say that I succeed with my August OMG: I visited quilt shops in the Netherlands and Ireland! 

Quilt Shop #1: Quilt It & Dotty, Overloon, NL

The first quilt shop I visited was Quilt It & Dotty in Overloon, NL. We stopped here six days into our trip when everyone was ready for a low key day. I had been in bed with a headache all day the day before while everyone else went to visit the War Museum in Overloon. So the next day, while the ouders stayed in Helmond, Niels, D and I headed back to Overloon. I walked around town while the boys went ziplining, and on the way home we stopped at the quilt shop. 

The owner's mom was sitting at a table hand quilting a scrappy quilt with tiny pieces.

As I looked around the shop, I noticed that teeny tiny scraps were a theme with her quilts. 

I forgot to take photos of the store because I was in awe of her work. 

My favorite of her scrappy quilts was this one, called Baksteen (paver stone) Scrap Quilt.

A lot of the fabric in the store was imported from the States, which meant it was pretty pricey, or a little too traditional for my taste, so I bought the baksteen pattern.

Quilt Shop #2: Bird Blocks, Amsterdam, NL

The next day, we headed up to Amsterdam before our flight to Ireland. We met up with a quilting friend, Els, I met online a few years ago when we sent a couple blocks to Sew It Forward, the FB group I started to collect blocks for quilts for my dad, stepmom, and stepbrother after their house burned down. By the way, one of the members of Sew It Forward has stepped up to manage the page. It makes me so happy to know that other fire victims will be receiving quilts. 

Els took me her favorite shop, Bird Blocks. The shop owner, Merel, has packed a whole lot of awesome into her little shop. 

I had so much fun admiring all the Dutch-themed minis on display. 

 It was a good thing that several were out of stock because I may have bought them all!

I learned about the Dutch equivalent of Color Catchers,  which I was able to pass on to my SIL, to keep Celtic Midnight, Fireworks for Ingrid, and Lindsey's Gymnast looking bright and new.

I couldn't resist bringing home the pattern for this fabulouse row house quilt. 

I can also make this wall hanging with the same pattern.

I giggled when I saw this book in the shop because here in Ohio, I live very close to Amish country. For a moment, I forgot I was on the other side of the world!

I love the fabric in this shop, but I limited myself to some Delft fabric I can't get in the States, a blue bundle for my row house quilt, and because my son was with us, some more blue prints, plus one purple for me. 

In addition to the "Little Amsterdam" pattern, I also bought mini patterns of tulips and a windmill, as well as a metric ruler. 

Since I can still cut strips with my regular 6.5" x 24" ruler, I bought a smaller metric ruler (60cm x 40cm) that would fit in my suitcase better. 

Quilt Shop #3: den Haan en Wagenmakers, Amsterdam, NL

Right next store to Bird Blocks is a more traditional shop called den Haan en Wagnemakers. I stopped in for just a minute, but the natives were getting restless--especially after they saw my bags from Bird Blocks. Alas, no souvenirs or photos from this shop.

Quilt Shop #4: Home Focus, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland

The next two shops are found in beautiful Ireland. It was a dream come true to finally see the land of my ancestors after so many trip to visit Niels' family in the Netherlands. That said, it's a bit of a nightmare to find a good quilt shop! Especially one that was open when we were passing through town! My first attempt was Home Focus in Tralee.

It's not so much of a quilt shop as a fabric store that focuses on home decor--drapery fabric, furniture coverings etc. They did have this little tiny section of quilting fabric and notions.

I didn't end up buying anything here, though if I could have figured out how to get this one in one piece, I would have.

Quilt Shop #5: The Sewing Shed, Ballyarkane, Keel, County Kerry, Ireland

It was pretty comical--to everyone else--who difficult it was for me to find a quilt shop open on the day we were in town. Ireland has a lot more to offer knitters than quilters with all that amazing whole. But, I have a fun story about the Sewing Shed.

Every search or message board or recommendation list for quilt shops in Ireland mentioned The Sewing Shed in Kerry. Alas, the website showed it as closed when we were in Kerry. I was pretty bummed because we were headed back to the Netherlands the next day and I hadn't found one real quilt shop to browse in five days of looking. I was feeling a bit discouraged as we headed to our AirBnB for the night. My husband, in an effort to cheer me up, decided to stop at the shop so I could at least get a picture.

The shop itself is on the second floor, above a gas station. I climbed up the stairs so Niels could take a picture of me peeking in the window. When I got to the window, I noticed the door was cracked open. Intrigued, I pushed it in and called out, "Hello?" I didn't want a thief in the quilt shop!

I heard voices, so I tip toed inside, not sure what to expect. I gazed at some of the quilts lining the hallway, trying to make out the sounds.

The voices were friendly and I heard laughter. When I turned the corner, I saw a room full of quilters! It was open quilting night!

Check out the cool bias tape applique Celtic designs!

The owner of the shop, the talented Nikki Foley greeted me and invited me to look around.

I admired more quilts. 

When I saw this one, I sheepishly asked if she would be willing to open her register so I could buy a few things, including the pattern for this mini.

I saw that she was about to kick off a new block of the month inspired by the Ring of Kerry! It kicks off in September and you don't have to live in Ireland to participate. Nikki has details on her Facebook page

It's not the greatest picture, but I think you can still tell what an amazing view she has out the window.

And I left with a very big smile on my face.

I bought a few souvenirs. Darn luggage restrictions got in the way of me getting everything I wanted.

Quilt Shop #6: van der Vorst Modestoffen, Helmond, the Netherlands

After a whirlwind five days in Ireland, we returned to the Netherlands. On a low key day at home, Niels and I went into town to visit a local shop, van der Vorst Modestoffen.

A lot of the big fabric shops in Holland have fabric not only for quilting but also for Carnival as well.

This mermaid fabric was very popular. I'll have to look for it at home. 

I did buy this canvas Dutch postal print. I saw it a few years ago and regretted that I didn't get any. I was so happy to see it was still here!

Quilt Shop #7: Utrecht Stoffenmarkt

The only "shop" I re-visited for our last trip is the Utrecht Stoffenmarkt, or fabric market. It's an open air fabric event with more than 100 stalls. It has been part of Utrecht for 400 years!

The stalls are arranged in an L-shape, down two streets.

The majority of stalls focus on drapery or apparel fabric. I wish this awesome design was in quilting cotton. The vendor made a jacket out of it.

This looks like a paper pieced pattern waiting to happen. 

I did find a few flatfolds.

And grabbed two meters of this fabric. I've never seen anything like it. It's minky on one side and terry on the other. I couldn't pass it up. I think I'll use it for an appliqued towel for my son.

Quilt Shop #7: Quilt Puzzel, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

On our last full day before heading home, Niels and I drove to Einhoven for a few last minute purchases. We try to get back to the NL every other year, but this time it had been four years. We wanted to make sure that we had plenty of our only-available-in-the-Netherlands favorites in case life gets in the way.

Before we headed back, we decided to check out one last quilt shop, Quilt Puzzel.

It was small, but filled to the rafters with awesome goodies. Plus, they cater to supportive spouses. Niels enjoyed coffee and tea while I looked around.

I found lots of great things in this shop, especially on the clearance shelf!

I am especially excited about the two on the right below. The marbled one is going to go into the Grandma's Kitchen mystery quilt I am making in memory of my Gramma Ann. Turquoise was her favorite gem. I'm not sure what I'll do with the blue hearts but I couldn't leave them behind!

I also bought this canvas fabric. I have the same print in white cotton. It's discontinued in the US, so I was thrilled to find it. 

The one place I did not go was my favorite quilt shop in Holland, closed on July 15. I just missed all the closing deals. The day we got home, it was announced that de Greef would be re-opening in September. Next time...

In case you are wondering how I got everything home, I delivered three quilts to the Netherlands.

The new owner of Celtic Midnight, the one on the left is a talented seamstress and a bit of a quilter herself. She gifted me this vintage Laura Ashley fabric!

It was a good thing we saved the vacuum sealed bags. We used them again to shrink down my fabric so our suitcases would close!

We did have to do a little switching around at the airport, but the real trick was getting all our luggage in our car!

Oh but wait, we had one more stop to make! We had to pick up my new travel sewing machine! I'm a Pfaff girl through and through. I've been waiting a second machine as a backup. I thought I would get another Quilt Expression 4.2, but I test drove a little Passport 3.0 at the Quilt Canada a few weeks ago. It has everything I love about my QE, but is more portable so I can take it to my quilting group easier. 

So now I'm home, working on getting unpacked, and happy with my fabric memories of a wonderful trip. 

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  1. I met Meryl at Quiltcon - she is just a nice person. We had fun volunteering together. You sure got to visit fun shops.

  2. What a wonderful summary of your trip. I felt like I enjoyed it vicariously through you. Some lovely fabrics too.

  3. How amazing that you found all those quilt shops on you trip. You will have fond memories of your travels overtime you use some of your purchases.

  4. I laughed at the sign reading: Your husband called, You can buy whatever you want.

    No, my husband didn't call. He came with me and picked out fabric for shirts. He buys way more fabric than I buy.

  5. So much good stuff! I love the sheep quilt.

  6. I need to make time to find a quilt shop the next time I go somewhere. So fun! :)

    1. My boys are trained now. If I have to go to a science center, they can go to a quilt shop! :-)

  7. When we were in Ireland last year we stopped at The Sewing Shed. The door was locked but there was a note telling us to get the key in the gas station. We shopped and brought our treasures down to the gas station to pay!

  8. Hi Jen,
    I will have to remember these shops when I visit NL. It looks like you had a fabulous time, and found lots of great things to bring home to remember your trip. Thanks for sharing all these gems with us! ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. What a lovely trip I jut went on with you, I really felt i was there. My goodness you did manage to bring a lot back you must have been over your flying quoter LOL Love the ladies quilts who was working in tiny tiny pieces her fabrics and colours were lovely. Seeing the street fabric stalls bought back memories from the South of France. You were spoilt with the laura Ashley fabric thanks so much for sharing you wonderful trip I did so enjoy it. Cheers Glenda

  10. That sounds like so much fun! And how lucky that you were able to go into The Sewing Shed after all :)

  11. What a lot of shopping! So glad you were able to get it all back home,

  12. Thanks for sharing your quilt-shop-hopping. Both my parents came to Canada as teenagers with their families from the Netherlands. I've never been there, but always enjoy hearing about other peoples trips ....maybe one day.

    My sister also lives in Ohio (Garrettsville), very near many Amish. That area is so picturesque.

  13. Wow, what a fantastic journey of international shop-hopping! Thanks for sharing with us!

  14. What a trip! Man I'm so jealous. Looks like you had a fabulous time. Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss.


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