Last month I visited the V&A museum. I especially wanted to see the Winnie the Pooh exhibition (a tad disappointing), I saw the Ocean Liners exhibition – more interesting than I expected! Most unusually for me, I took advantage of one of the museum’s guided tours. I am not a guided tour type of person, but this one on the design of the museum – its buildings rather than its exhibits – was well worth an hour of anyone’s time!

Nestled between the Pooh and Liners exhibitions was a gallery of photographs. I actually don’t know what it was about, if it was a special exhibition or a permanent space, but as I walked in I saw the most amazing large scale black and white photograph of trees, more particularly tree trunks.

My brain immediately went towards quilts and I knew that I would have to design something inspired by that photograph, but to do that I would need a multitude of grey fabrics (from whitest white to blackest black and all in between). I had, a few years ago, picked up a fat quarter bundle of blue solids so surely I could do the same for greys.

Well, apparently not!

Eventually I looked on the website of the Village Haberdashery, based in Hampstead, North London and could buy a selection of the Kona Solids fat quarters from them.

Fine. Until it came to completing the purchase. Who knows what was wrong, but for a variety of reasons my purchase would not go through. I emailed the company with my plea for help and received a very prompt response with suggestions for how to sort this out.

I tried, but could not resolve it. Annie, at The Village Haberdashery, was so very helpful – she replied promptly to every query over the course of a week (and never once suggested that I was a technological idiot!), made really sensible, helpful and useful suggestions and at the end of the day really put herself out and went the extra mile to help me.

I have to own up that I found a bundle on Craftsy in the end and ordered that – not quite what I wanted, but it would do, but when I received another email yesterday with a further suggestion, I just thought that I would try it out. And it worked! So I ordered anyway – not least because great customer service needs rewarding!

They have lots of interesting workshops there – not just p&q, and seem to be a modern quilters paradise. A couple of years ago I wanted some fabric urgently, and on a Sunday of course, for a modern quilt I was designing for one of my classes. I popped along and it was an Aladdin’s Cave full of really interesting fabrics. It was quite an expensive visit that day!! Well, when you see unusual fabrics, you just have to buy them, don’t you – it’s a rule!

If you are local, visit, otherwise, have a look online. Excellent customer service deserves sharing.