Tuesday, August 25, 2015

quilting while travelling

I haven't been posting to WIP Wednesday due to travelling. So far, Vietnam and the UK, with the transfer over to America on Wednesday.

I have been looking at/buying fabric, and doing some quilting - I just haven't really taken photos of it.

Vietnam has some lovely, extremely cheap silks. This was in a shop near the Tan Dinh markets - patterned silks:


They were 500000 VND/m which comes to about 22 USD/m according to my exchange rate calcs. Which is pretty cheap for silk, even before you argue the price down in bargaining.

I bought some ao dai silk from another shop - a formal one, where there's no bargaining. The ao dai is a traditional Vietnamese gown worn by men and women, although these days it's mostly just the women and for formal occasions like weddings/functions/events.

hanging silks hanging silks

The fabrics are printed, patterned silks, and are designed with the ao dai in mind. There are also silk brocades:

brocade silks

I bought two fabrics, same design, different colours. I'm going to make slip dresses out of them, hopefully suitable for parties and summer days out!

sunflower silk

Of course, no travelling is complete without a little handwork that needs doing! I brought my #plainjanepassacaglia of course, in little bags, and a quilt that's a gift for one of my hosts, which still needed binding. The quilt took up a quarter of my luggage space, so I decided to send it on to the West Coast USA by mail, so I wouldn't have to lug it the long way around.

Which meant I had to finish the binding!

USA Hurray. Bound and finished. Going to mail it to the west coast rather than drag it to UK.

And the back:
Fabric and cats

So it's off to it's new home in the US. Hopefully it reaches there before I do! :)

Anyway, I'm working on my #plainjanepassacaglia, when my stepmum and her sister start asking me what I'm doing. Then they pull out the sewing kit and start helping me!

the family that sews together...

They did all the pentagons I brought along with me for the trip. ALL OF THEM. Seriously, I couldn't stop them. They kept on asking "More? You have more? We do them!" *shakes head* At least I don't have a bajillion pentagons to sew, though...

On my way out of Vietnam, I was in the taxi when I spotted sewing machines, including an industrial JUKI which I was too slow to pull out my camera to take a pic of! But I did get its Brother:

Last shot of Vietnam: that's a Brother industrial sewing machine! Alas for I missed getting a shot of the juki - I was in a taxi on the way to the station...

And that was Vietnam. I wish I'd gone back and bought the patterned silk, but it should be there the next time I visit my Dad, and I have too much fabric as it is. (Yes, yes, I do...)

24 hours or so after leaving Vietnam, I arrive in London. 10am. I'm exhausted, I feel disgusting after 24 hours in transit. I check into my homestay, get a wash, and then go out into London. Because I knew if I didn't, I'd lie down and fall asleep and never get my body into the time zone.

So out I went on a mission: find Liberty of London. And I did!

London Saturday afternoon

Fabric and cats

I had lunch, bought some Liberty Tana lawn, then wandered around Soho for a bit before going back to the homestay and pretty much falling asleep with a six-hour nap. Got up, had dinner, went back to bed and slept through until morning (okay, so 5am, but my body has been doing about 5 hours for the last month so this is not unusual).

Sunday was wandering with a non-quilty friend, but Monday I was back on the trail, hunting up the quirky little fabric stores in Soho:

The Cloth Shop is - as it is says - a fabric shop that also sells buttons and trimmings:

Fabric things

And some closeups of the trimmings:
Fabric things Fabric things

The Silk Society has a lovely array of formal and wedding fabrics - this seems to be the thing with this area: a lot of old, tucked-in-the-corner type shops that are the remnant of what used to be a much larger garment district in London, but has since been taken over with a lot of pubs, foodie shops, and a few clothing chains.

But their array of silks is LOVELY.

the Silk Society

A shop whose name I don't remember - I ducked in and out of plenty of these on Saturday afternoon, took photos, but never remembered the shop.

bolts of silk

more silk

It kind of matches my nailpolish!
matching nails

Amidst all this I have been doing some handsewing - some of it on the London Underground, which makes people stare: I gather they're not used to people pulling out handsewing and basting paper pieces together! Ironic, considering it's English Paper Piecing!

I don't have any photos of the #plainjanepassacaglia yet, but I'm getting some of my hexie flowers done. More now means less later!
Fabric things

Today (Tuesday) I'm going to head out into the city to do more touristy things - mostly markets, I think. I doubt there'll be much by way of fabrics there!

And then tomorrow I'm off to Chicago!

I'm debating whether I should even try walking into quilt shops while in the US; on one hand - cheap fabric! On the other....I have a really large stash and it's not getting any smaller! Tough choices.

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