Firstly, hello to all those joining me from Lily’s Quilts. The Small Blog Meet is a great way to get to know others just like you. There’s so much inspiration and creativity out there, so take a moment to enjoy it by visiting some other blogs. If you’re a blogger with fewer than 50 followers, be sure to link back so that others can find you.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I had my mini holiday in London. I love that city; the sights, the sounds and the bountiful opportunities for stash-sourcing. What with shopping and sight-seeing the two-day break flew by, but I made sure to save time to visit The Village Haberdashery.
I first came across this shop online late last year. I was looking for a fabric retailer that focused on the high quality, designer prints that I was beginning to incorporate into my quilts. In fact, my first purchase was a number of the fabrics I used in the dinosaur quilt. The whole ordering process was simple and hassle-free and I vowed then that it would be my go-to online store. Imagine then my pleasant surprise when I found out that a bricks-and-mortar store was to open; an expansion of the online operation. I was excited…very excited. The opportunities for fabric shopping here in Cardiff are somewhat limited, so I knew that I’d have to visit the store whenever I next found myself in London.
The Village Haberdashery is easy to find. A 15 minute walk from West Hampstead underground station (located in Zone 2 on the Jubilee line) will take you past a bustling concourse to the quieter, more idyllic Mill Lane, where the beautifully dressed shop front will catch your eye before the sign above it. I’d arrange to meet Annie, the owner, who’d kindly agreed to answer some questions about how the shop came about. She’d just returned from Quilt Market so I was eager to find out about all the goodies she saw there. After my wandering eye had taken in the wall of fabric, the notions and trims, we got talking, stopping now and then to serve a customer or see to Harvey, her adorable son who she told me is also director of sales; quite an achievement for somebody still in nappies!
“I used to work in PR”, Annie tells me, masterfully juggling materials and motherhood, “but that would be hard to go back to now.” I learn that the online store started in February 2012. Annie lives just down the road from the shop and used to work from home. “When things started to take off I knew I’d need a bigger space. It was perfect timing when this place came up.”
The store is gorgeous. Bolts of fabric line one wall. Even with a quick glance I spotted Heather Ross, Riley Blake, Michael Miller and Denyse Schmidt. Despite the media-fulled warnings of a super storm days before, the sun streamed through the window and made the prints all the more appealing. As the name suggest, the shop stocks more than fabric, offering shoppers a delightful array of threads, yarns, notions and trims. With so much choice, I asked Annie what fabrics she likes and how she decides what to order. “I’m drawn to bright colours and interesting, small collections. I love anything by Anna Maria Horner and Cloud 9. I tend to stare at things until something takes my eye.”
Annie told me that a typical day involves getting up at around 7am, feeding Harvey and packing supplies to bring to the shop. It’s so nice that Harvey and Annie get to spend their days together at the shop. At 10am they open, and the hours are filled with fulfilling web orders, checking the inventory, ordering stock, blogging and general tidying, all whilst attending to the steady stream of customers that come through the door. The shop also runs classes. Thursday nights are knitting nights, but a quick glance at the ‘classes‘ section of the website and you’re bound to find something that takes your fancy, from crochet to machine applique. There are also patchwork classes run by fabric designers, though these fill up quickly so it’s best to book early. “Another thing we’re doing at the moment is projects in a bag. Everything you need for a project to just grab and go.”
Despite the money burning a hole in my pocket, I left with just a couple of additions for the stash, though it was hard to walk away from the as-yet-unreleased ‘Botanics’ jelly roll by Carolyn Friedlander that Annie had brought back from Market. When I say I left with just a couple of things, that’s not entirely true. I’m so excited about Quilt From The Attic’s first giveaway! Annie has very generously provided a bundle of ‘Collage‘ by Carrie Bloomston. This gorgeous fabric is bold and artful, filled with letters and textures that make it perfect for so many projects.
As this is my first ever giveaway, you have 5 chances to win:
- Sign up to follow Quilts From The Attic and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
- Sign up to receive The Village Haberdashery newsletter and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
- Share a link to the giveaway (tweet, blog, Facebook, Pinterest) and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
- Like Quilts From The Attic’s Facebook page and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
- Like The Village Haberdashery’s Facebook page and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
I’ll leave the giveaway open for a week then randomly draw a winner. Please make sure I have a way to contact you should you win. I’ll also announce the winner by edit to this post. Thanks for entering and good luck!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
The winning comment was number 9. Congratulations hannlib! I hope you enjoy your prize.