Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Quilt Shop Stop and the Inspirational English Countryside

As a child, I (Kara) lived in England while my father was stationed there with the Air Force. Our family had a bright, orange Volkswagon van that carried us to the many wonderful places throughout the island for our holidays. Ever since that time, I have always loved Britain—the cities, the countryside, and especially the people.

My husband often has to travel there for work, and anytime I can tag along, I will. On one of our previous visits, I visited the shop Bee Crafty and met some wonderful ladies (you can read about that here), so I decided to visit another quilt shop on this trip. This time I went a lovely shop called the Poppy Patch, located in Great Doddington, Northamptonshire. This friendly shop is located in a converted barn in a quiet little village. The owners, Mary and Sam, couldn't have been more welcoming! The store may not be large, but it is well stocked with some amazing and tempting things, and there is an open, well-lit space upstairs for classes and workshops.

The delightful owners, Mary and Sam

Glorious fabrics to tempt anyone
Liberty quilting cotton tempted me to break
the bank!

In addition to fabric, Mary and Sam stock a wonderful variety of embroidery and quilt patterns and also exclusively carry a lovely selection of hand dyed flosses from the Australian company, Cottage Garden Threads. Sam gave me one to try, and I am looking forward to using it, as the color is divine.

Some of the many embroidery and quilt kits

I really should have taken more pictures of the shop, but I was busy spending time upstairs for one of their Social Sewing days. There are three during the week, and I happened to be there for one of them. Again, I was warmly welcomed and enjoyed spending time with the lovely and fun ladies there. 

It was wonderful day spent with new friends

Lots of laughter and fun!

My stitching for the day—our Marcia's Flowers pattern.

Of course, I didn't leave the shop empty handed. I had to restrain myself as I only had so much space in the suitcase, but I did bring home some wonderful fabric from a couple of the many Australian fabric designers the Poppy Patch carries. This bird kit also found some space in my suitcase:

I am a sucker for birds of all kinds, and this kit was no exception.

I can't wait to dive into this!

I love to meet quilters from other countries and especially visit the local quilt shops. It is so important that we support our local quilt stores, as so many are having to shut their doors. There is no online substitute for seeing beautiful fabrics right in front of you and choosing just the right ones for what you need—or maybe just want! I wish I could have spent more time in the shop, but I certainly hope to return and maybe teach a little wool appliquĂ©. Thank you to Mary, Sam, and the lovely ladies at the Social Sewing day for a warm welcome!

After my visit to the quilt shop, my husband and I traveled to the beautiful, Devon coast. The southwest part of England offered up some beautiful sights that were so inspirational—I may even make a landscape quilt or two! Please enjoy some of the beauty of the English country and coast.

The harbor in Clovelly, Devon

The top of this planter made me think of quilt border

Carved wood door front in Clovelly but made in Oberramagau, Germany

Embroidered postcards from Oundle, Northamptonshire

A hidden cottage in the Salisbury countryside

I love birds, but mushrooms are a close second—this stone one was amazing!
Not an inspirational country scene, but one of my favorite things in England—Sticky Toffee Pudding!

One of our stops this trip was to the American Museum in Bath. The Kaffe Fassett exhibit there was amazing and deserves its own post, but that will have to wait for a week or two. Here is a little tease:

I hope you have enjoyed this little trip to Britain and a glimpse into a splendid quilt shop. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see some outstanding quilts both old and new!


  1. Wish I was your travel companion! And I love Sticky Toffee Pudding.

    1. My husband is a "Geordie" from Newcastle Upon Tyne, & in the 80's & 90's we traveled each year to visit his parents & family. We always did a side trip to somewhere. One was to Bath, but before I was in to quilting, so I have not had the joy of visiting the American Museum, except their collection on line.
      Your mentioning Clovelly brought back another trip. I think it is one of the gems of Britain. Loved the cobbled steep streets & the little donkeys that would carry things in to the town since no cars were allowed.
      Love your blog & am enjoying hearing about your time in Germany.

    2. Clovelly was lovely and so interesting, We are so glad you like the blog!

  2. Oh what fun! Thanks for sharing this delightful trip. And, I have always felt it was fitting for the American Museum to be in Bath since I live in Bath, Maine!

    1. You are welcome Wendy! Of course, it is the perfect place to have an American Museum 😉