Last week I was in London for work, and I managed to squeeze in fabric shopping alongside a gallery visit, meetings friends and the course I was there to attend. I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and headed straight to Walthamstow to meet Shivani, Kathryn and Claire to experience the joys of the market and the infamous Man Outside Sainsburys.
To be accurate, his stall was actually outside Lloyds Bank that day, so he was TMOLB instead of TMOS, but I still felt like I was visited a sewing world icon. I was delighted that Shivani, Kathryn and Claire were there to show me the area because I wouldn't have found him by myself. They also knew which shops were worth visiting too, and I made some purchases:
I was delighted with my purchases and really impressed/jealous at the amazing fabric resource that the market and surrounding shops are. So much cheap fabric! Although I spent less than two hours there, it was lovely to see Shivani again and to meet Kathryn and Claire, who I know via blogs and social media.
The next morning I had time to visit the Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain. It was great and I loved seeing her beautiful sculptures. A few I had seen before in places I've worked or visited, so they felt like old friends, and it was wonderful to see them all together in the wider context of her work. Her carved wood works are so tactile that it was hard to resist giving them a stroke. But I did resist, of course! I don't have any exhibition photos, but I did take this picture of the very photogenic staircase in Tate:
All I can say is Wow. This shop has a beautiful selection of wax prints, with prices from £20 to £75 for a 5m+ length. You can see a selection of wax prints on their website - and if I hadn't already bought the 2 lengths of fabric I had allowed myself for the trip, I would have been sorely tempted. I really love the Voila for You Vlisco range, which are really great geometric patterns.
From Empire Textiles I wandered along to find MORE shops selling wax prints, such as Middlesex Textiles and a host of smaller independent shops. I spent so much time looking that I had to do a bit of a rush back to Euston to get my train, thought luckily I was still in good time for it.
Then back on the train it was on with my knitting:
Have you visited the fabric shops around Middlesex Street? I saw so many beautiful wax prints that I think I might go back and visit again next time I'm in London, and actually buy something this time!
Thanks Shivani, Kathryn and Claire for meeting me and showing me the delights of Walthamstow Market, it was fab.