Lately I have not been blogging or in my sewing room as I have travelled to opposite corners of the world. Living in Singapore makes me feel in the centre of the world. My first trip was to England. Unfortunately the main reason for the visit was to visit a friend from my youth that is terminally ill. One exciting thing about the trip was being back in London where I worked in Oxford St as a pattern cutter in my 20's. One of the places I used to frequent was the Liberty store, so it was with great excitement that I headed off to Regent St and once I came up out of the subway and saw Piccadilly Circus I knew I had arrived!
How exciting to see
that the Liberty business has continued to grow, but still keep the need for quality. The Liberty building just oozes with character from the minute you see it. The business was started in 1875 by Arthur Lasenby Liberty and the mock-Tudor building was built in 1924. The address is Regent Street but I found the entrance on Great Marlborough St.
As I walked in through the front entrance I was greeted by an amazing maypole made from strips of liberty fabric falling from the roof down 3 floors. I really enjoyed that I was under no time pressure as I needed lots of time to soak up all the items on each floor. I went through the fabric section many times! I do not think many companies have managed to beat Liberty for the quality they have in their cotton fabric. I had researched about the Tana Lawn and how it is made without crease resistant chemicals or irritating allergens and the use of ultra fine long staple cotton. Once you handle the silky cotton it is like nothing else. I did walk out with a length of their Tana cotton and resisted overbuying as it was so tempting once you are in the shop, but the price per metre helped!
Over the many years of living as an expat and being involved with quilting groups means you meet and make some great friends and this has been one of the bonuses in my expat life. Of course this also means that quilting friends travel too and end up in all corners of the world, and they make perfect people to stay with as you get taken to quilting shops!
Cowslips Workshops was so intriguing as it was on a farm in the country and there in the paddocks was a cafe, shop, rooms for workshops and an area that houses exhibitions. I was so engrossed with the whole place that photos did not happen so this is the web site for the photos. Janet Bolton had an exhibition when we visited. I was fascinated by her work and spent a lot of time intrigued by the effects from work that appears to have such simplicity.
I had to share this photo from Plymouth, England
My next flight was to New Zealand, the other corner of the world and into the icy winter wind which was a nice change from the Singapore heat. I managed to take a weekend away from house maintenance and head to the Mahurangi coast in the upper North Island, where my childhood Christmas holidays where spent. One of my favourite places to visit is James & Morris Pottery. Anthony (Ant) Morris and Sue James started the business in 1977 and it is great to see it still going strong today. The pottery is truly unique and a nice reflection of New Zealand's craft heritage.
The New Zealand winter sun still makes a visit to the beach pleasant.
Have a great week