I love checking out new crafty shops, don’t you? The anticipation of what lies beyond that front door is palpable. You never know what you will find; will it be a thrill, or a let down? Will they carry the lines and designers you love, that elusive collection that you can only order online but really want to see in person first? Or maybe, best of all, they will have something unexpected that catches your eye and you absolutely cannot leave without.
That was it for me last week. On the way to one of my son’s audiology appointments we stopped in a tiny village to pick up some quilt batting I needed for my current Wildwood sampler quilt (my local quilt store changed brands- ugh). I called ahead to an tiny shop I had never been in before to see what they had in stock, and it was exactly what I was looking for- Warm & Natural by the yard. Score. We drove a half hour, walked in, and right there at the front of the store were tables and shelves of wool tartan for rug hooking. Cue the angels singing.
Plaid and tweed are weaknesses of mine. In university I bought myself a custom made to measure kilt from Locharron for a reason I can’t remember. I’m sure it was a good reason though, because it was expensive! I should add that I’m not Scottish (some mix of Irish/Native Canadian/French/etc.). I love that kilt to this day and break it out once the frost hits with tights and boots. After that it was a wool plaid blanket for my car (now several in my house), then scarves, a Barbour tweed hacking jacket off eBay, and it just grew from there.
The shopkeeper cut my batting, and then it was over to the shelves and tables to pet the wool. She had an amazing selection and it was hard to choose, but I came away with two half yard cuts of tartan, one in berry and one in rusty tones… I have big plans for you, rusty tartan!
Until that happens, I have cut into some Cloud 9 voile (left) and am sewing up McCall’s M7094 flowy gathered top, with some modifications, as a break from the scary FMQ. I am eliminating the front centre pleat and shortening the back length in response to another blogger who commented on the “butt cape” effect (hahaha). This pattern was another Pinterest find- you can check out my boards by following the links at the top/bottom of the blog. I also found the mint Cotton + Steel voile (right) in a shipping bag misfiled in my Raskog cart of UFOs… Oops! Totally forgot about that one! Maybe I’ll end up with two of these tops.