Posted by: marymarthatours | July 8, 2013

Quilt Shops & Fabric Shopping for 2013 Tour

I hope all the serious shoppers traveling with us on the September 2013 Quilt & Textiles of England & Wales Tour are saving their shopping dollars so they will be ready to support the UK economy.  There are many quilt shops and other wonderful spending opportunities built into the itinerary of this year’s trip.

Here are a few to get you excited and motivated to save-now-to-shop-later.  and if you are not traveling with us, these sites might be stops for a personal UK trip.


Immediately after our arrival at Heathrow Airport, we will head to Lady Sew and Sew in Henley on Thames.  I learned about this huge warehouse store from my English quilting pal, Jan.  Normally Lady Sew and Sew is open to the public only on select days, but we will have a private time there.  Lady Sew and Sew has the largest collection of quilting fabrics available in the UK and the “best prices”.  UK quilt guilds take van loads of shoppers to the open-to-the-public days.  Check out the website for sales and to see the fabrics.  I chuckled when I found that some of the batting sold there (they call it ‘wadding’)  is made only 20 miles from my home in western Washington state.

cupcake cottons logo

On the morning that we will spend in the pretty Cotswold village of Burford, the coach will first drop of any who wish to check out the local quilt shop, Cupcake Cottons.   This is a US style quilt shop and will be fun to explore.  I see from the website that Jo Morton fabric and American Civil War period fabrics are popular here.  That’s a hoot.



welsh quilt ctr website2   lampeter, rhys williams, CCASA2.0

Welsh Quilt Centre and Calico Kate shop in Lampeter, Wales

On our Saturday in Wales, we will visit the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter in the morning.  This stop ought to be a highlight with a presentation by Jen Jones on Welsh quilts and an exhibit of Kaffe Fassett quilts.  A wonderful blog about the exhibit, with lots of fabulous photos, can be found here.  The museum has a lovely museum shop and next door is a fabric and needle arts shop called Calico Kate.

Natl wool mus., David Gearing, CCASA2.0

National Wool Museum in Drefach, Wales

That Saturday afternoon, we’ll stop at the National Wool Museum in the small community of Drefach Felindre.    Located in an historic former woolen mill in what was a center of the Welsh woolen industry, the National Wool Museum combines historic machinery, a modern mill, a textile collection, and more.  Anyone interested in purchasing Welsh wool yardage will have several opportunities this day.  And the wool will be  worth the price, as it is something you can’t get in the USA.

Hever Castle, PD

Hever Castle

Skipping ahead to the end of the tour – on our last full day in Britain, we will go to Hever Castle during their annual Country Life at the Castle weekend which includes a quilt show.  The Hever Castle Patchwork and Quilting Exhibition is put on by members of The Quilter’s Guild from the Southeastern Region of England.  I attended this show several years ago and enjoyed the display and selection of vendors.  I purchased a wall quilt pattern of a Clarice Cliff design and some hand-dyed embroidery floss.

Our travelers will receive a listing of the many shopping opportunities along the way, especially in Bath and London.  A few of my favorites are:

  • Liberty for the lovely Tana lawn cotton fabrics
  • Shaukat & Co. with its huge collection of fabrics including Liberty cotton at a reduced price
  • the many fabric, trim, and button shops on Berwick Street in Soho

Even if you do not make purchases abroad, it is fun to visit shops that offer the kinds of items you enjoy.  Sometimes “window shopping” is the best bargain!

(by Martha)

Photo credits:  Welsh Quilt Centre – from website, used by permission; Calico Kate’s – copyright Rhys Williams and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license;  National Wool Museum – copyright David Gearing and licensed for reuse by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license. 



  1. How long is the waiting list for this Sept. trip? I would drop everything to go!

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