I love living in Norwich but, geographically, it is a bit out on a limb and I will take advantage of any opportunity to combine looking at quilts with shopping for sewing supplies. Twice a year a quilt show is organised at Duxford Airfield. Duxford is part of the Imperial War Museum and from my point of view is an ideal venue for a quilt show. My husband likes looking at planes and I like looking at quilts. We both enter the quilt show, have a cup of tea (I love tea), a cake and then husband gets half price entry to the Air Museum. This leaves me free to have a really good look around at the quilts and to buy all the sewing supplies I NEED (more like want!). Husband has a really good look around the planes and other military type things and I don’t have to worry about dragging around a bored husband.
I take the opportunity of these shows to buy supplies that either my local shops don’t carry, to look at items ‘in the flesh’ so to speak or to take advantage of special show prices. I try to be organised and make a ‘wish list’ of items that I have researched beforehand or items that are for specific projects. Strangely, however, it always seems that a few Fat Quarters always seems to find their way into my shopping bag.
I am not sponsored and have had no gain from any person or trader and any comments that follow are totally my own opinions.
The blue scroll fabric is to back a future quilt project as is the maroon spots on grey. I have been looking for some grey fabric for a long time but all the suitable fabrics have been at least £14 a metre which makes for an expensive quilt back. I expanded my collection of Sissix Bigz dies. These dies are great for appliqué work. Back fabric with fusable web, die cut the shapes, iron onto the project and then secure around the shape in the stitch of your choice. I bought these from Lady Sew and Sew and that is when the two bundles of Christmas Fat Quarters accidentally must have ‘fallen’ into my basket. I wanted some small scale Christmas prints and like the Sissix dies, were at a good show special price.
I discovered Aurifil thread last year at The Festival of Quilts. I had previously been using YLI thread which I had been recommended to me instead of using Guttermann. Unfortunately, my sewing machine is not happy with this and appears to love Aurifil. I can’t pretend that this is an economy thread, however, after having used it to free machine quilt a reasonably sized project and the hours spent, I came to the conclusion that this project deserved top quality thread. There is nothing more frustrating than struggling with inadequate tools and material when working on a project as I discovered the day before I visited the quilt show. I realised that I didn’t have a good pair of large fabric scissors. I don’t really do dressmaking and usually use a rotary cutter. After a visit to the Creative Grids stand I came away with a funky pair of titanium scissors along with some other interesting bits and bobs. Water dissolvable thread (ok, I admit I’ve been looking at some fancy schmancy sewing techniques on a certain video app), crushed walnut shells (pincushions here I come), silver, iron-on, narrow bias tape for a future project I have in mind and finally a pair of free machine quilting gloves. I have been using two squares of rug grip type material, which works for small projects, but for full sized projects there was nothing for it but a proper pair of gloves. My final purchase from another stand was three packets of sewing machine needles, including a twin needle.
My final visit of the show was to Steve Broomhall from Sewing Machine World in King’s Lynn. I had query about a very small part my sewing machine needs and he sorted it out virtually by the time I had finished explaining it to him. I also took part in a workshop organised by the quilt show, but the end result will be revealed at a later date.
The standard of quilts on display as always was high but inspired me to improve my work rather than making me give up in despair! I deliberately did not take any photographs of any of the quilts. I am trying to hone my creativity and do not want to copy any quilts created by these talented makers. This means I can get an overall impression of certain quilts and use that to influence future projects. Husband and I came away from Duxford both feeling that we had a good day out.
I hope that you had a good day and I am taking a look over at Handmade Monday to see what has inspired other makers this week.