I’ve just come back from a three day break, and as usual a bit of fabric crept into my suitcase along the way, so in true quilter fashion, here is my show and tell:

First stop was Beamish – The Living Museum of the North.   Many folk will have heard that Beamish has now recreated the cottage of “Joe the Quilter” (Joseph Hedley, who was brutally murdered in 1826), but besides the quilt on Joe’s bed and a couple of reproduction samples of quilting in the cottage, there are many more examples of quilting in almost every house within the museum, and if you are particularly keen to examine quilts, it is possible to book a group education session.

An unexpected find was that the “Annfield Co-op” drapery department was selling quilting fabric and took “modern currency”.

A quick check of the quilting shops list in the UKQU facebook group files identified a few shopping possibilities in the area.  I noticed a shop in Birtley quite close to both Beamish and where we were staying, so that also went on the “visit” list.   High St Quilting in Birtley was very easy to find, and while it’s street frontage was fairly unassuming, inside was an absolute treasure trove.

Hilary made us feel very welcome and encouraged us to wander through the lovely light, bright workshop room (with a really nice little kitchenette space) and then upstairs where there were another two rooms – one with some more fabric, and lots of different types of wadding, and another workshop space.  Again, I couldn’t leave empty handed, so along with a couple of pieces of yardage, a fat quarter of yarn dyed fabric and a packet of my favourite Bohin needles were added to my stash.

Neither of us had been to Durham before, so we used the park and ride service and our bus passes to get ourselves into Durham market (where another quilting/fabric shop was found and a few sewing notions purchased), and then made our way to Durham Cathedral.   I was most impressed with the display showing embroidery work in progress with delicate gold work stitching, but then also ended up taking loads of photos of mosaic tiles that screamed “quilt design” at me.

 I’m sure you will be seeing more of the Durham Cathedral mosaic designs in a future blog post.

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