I went down to London on Monday for a study day at Harefield Hospital, I packed a little cross-stitch kit in my handbag to keep myself amused! I started it last week, it’s cross-stitch box called Summer in the Dales by The Nutmeg Company.
I traveled down by train which takes just over two hours, I managed quite a bit of my cross-stitch! I concentrated on the border which is fairly repetitive as I wasn’t convinced I would manage the fiddlier centre picture, not quite smooth enough for that!
I had a few hours to spare in London and I had planned out where I wanted to go. I was very good and avoided the danger areas like Goldhawk Road or Walthamstow High Streeet! First stop was Kentish Town, straight opposite the station is Delicate Stitches or The London Bead Shop. I remember going there twenty years ago with my mother and I don’t think it’s changed much since, it’s a fascinating shop! In the front part are all the beads, I made my way straight into the back half of the shop which is all embroidery threads.
They have an amazing selection of embroidery threads; flosses, silk thread, perle, hand-dyed silks, tapestry wools..I was looking for some variegated ones mainly for a new project, an embroidered panel by Di Van Niekerk, it’s going to be a huge learning curve as there’s lots of different types of embroidery, particularly ribbon and stumpwork. I’ll show the start of it next weekend, in the meantime, here’s my new flosses.
Next I caught the bus to Oxford Street to have a nosey round John Lewis, we’ve got a John Lewis opening any day now in Leeds, so I was looking to see what I could expect in their haberdashery and fabric department. Whilst it’s nothing like it used to be when I lived in London in the 1980’s it’s still has a pretty good selection.
I wandered down to Liberty’s, it’s just such a beautiful shop. I then mosied round to Berwick Street in Soho, mainly for old times sake. When I lived in London I used to go to Borovicks for ballgown fabric, it was an amazing shop, they had a big cutting out table in the middle and they would pull rolls of fabric off the shelves and pull a couple of yards for you to look at and feel. I took my mother once, I think she was a bit shocked at first being taken to Soho, I had to reassure her that it was very different during the day to the seedy area (in the 1980’s) at night time. I remember afterwards I took her in a great coffee shop where everyone sat together round big refrectory tables. The waitresses kept coming out with piles of fresh croissants and jugs of coffee. When you went to pay they just asked ‘How many croissants did you have? How much coffee?’ Memories…
I missed Borovicks this time, I think I turned up towards Oxford Street too early, next time…
I had to catch a train from Marylebone Station so I meandered my way through the streets and by chance found the Button Queen, I’d seen it on the internet but it was by chance that I found it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, I was thinking something along the lines of Duttons for Buttons, jam-packed full of buttons of every colour. The Button Queen is a very different shop, the two gentlemen who run it sell vintage buttons, all neatly stitched onto satin covered cards. There were some beautiful buttons there from about 1900 which did tempt me, but I resisted!
Just round the corner I spotted VV Rouleaux, now that is a gorgeous shop. They sell trimmings of every kind and in every colour, all beautifully displayed. I bought a trim which I hoped would coordinate with my bedroom curtain fabric. I’ve enough fabric left to cover a small chair and this will trim the edge. Luckily it matches perfectly! I’ll definitely be going back there another day!
I had two nights in Denham village, I was staying at the pub, a lovely old timber-framed building, my bedroom was on the top floor with open rafters, lovely! I spent the evenings working on my cross-stitch. I finished the picture of the Dales which will be the top of the box and on the train on the way home I finished the border around the picture.
I’ve just got the inside picture and the lid sides to stitch now. I’ve got another night away this week as we’re off to collect Helen from Army Training Camp in Pirbright, we’ve to be there for 9am so we’ve booked into a hotel the night before, so I might just get a bit more done!
I’m linking in with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow-Stitching Sunday, why not have a look what everyone else is stitching?