Thursday 28 September 2017

West Country Textile Fair...

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, 
With summer's best of weather 
And autumn's best of cheer. 

Helen Hunt Jackson

Well as promised the adventure of last weekend continues because after staying over in the Cotswold's we got up and breakfasted and went to Ali's shop ( Betty and Violet) to say goodbye and then headed down the M5 to Taunton.  In a picturesque village of Lydeard St Lawrence is a village hall and this is where yearly three lovely ladies take it over with all their gorgeous stock of vintage treasure and sell all weekend.  The A team had got together and all under one beautiful old roof! 

The Washer Woman ( Lizzie and Jack), Donna Flower Vintage and  Vintage to Victorian( Sue) - We arrived at lunchtime to a wonderful welcome of coffee and cake! yes I know .. There is a lady in the village that make them for the fair and this time it was carrot cake and a ginger cake with large bits of gorgeous ginger on top of the icing!

The hall had coloured fairy lights on the beamed ceiling it was warm and inviting after our two hour journey ( which was so much better than the journey the day before, the traffic was not bad at all and
we had the music on with the blue skies above) ...

There was music in the background of the hall and a fresh pot of coffee was made and I had a large cup of that to start ( cake was later) and it was lovely seeing them all and catching up.  They had been there on the Saturday too and this was the second and final day when we arrived on the Sunday.  I had also organised to meet one of my lovely readers of this blog there and there she was Julie with her husband and we finally after talking and emailing for 2 years or more met face to face!  What a treat.  She had got there a little before me and had her cup of tea and was busy treasure hunting herself.  
So lovely to finally meet you Julie and say hello in person.  It was such a great place to meet because it is a intimate and cosy fair with a huge amount of atmosphere and laughter.  The bag that you had with you that you made was stunning and it was just so lovely to meet up with a like minded and talented stitcher such as yourself.

It was time for me to look around at all the goodies that were set out beautifully in this hall, trestle table after trestle table was filled with fabrics, threads, laces, trimmings, buttons, motifs, french laundry ribbons, linens, antique quilt pieces, antique whole quilts, vintage patterns and so so much more... Let the truffling begin and off I set - forgetting all about the list and having a great time.

There was constantly people coming and going but we were there the whole three hours left of this wonderful vintage textile fair in the heart of the West Country.  I wanted to catch up with them all and later Donna Flowers other half turned up and my husband and Johnnie love to talk cars.  Jack found time to have a chat with them and so the 'boys' were all happy.  I wanted to not only look at everything and take photos but indeed have a chance to catch up with all three ladies and we managed it and had a few

laughs along the way.

Firstly I went to see Donna with coffee and she had gone to the kitchen to get it for me and it was great just stood there sipping away at that and chatting about her shop, family and general vintage chit chat.  The work that goes in to being at a fair is enormous and for those of you who think it is a glamorous life then think again.  Not only have they got to source all the stock but fabrics have to be washed, pressed and folded as do the quilts and eiderdowns.  Then there is making sure of stock levels and getting it just so with so many baskets and gorgeous little display cabinets, lamps and more.  They do trial runs and set it all out after they know what the size space they have to display.  The travel to get to where they are selling and the packing up after along with cleaning the venue.

I spent ages looking through the threads on this gorgeous shelf unit of Donna's I mean why wouldn't you for a start but the colours and sizes it was like finding a precious jewel mine for me.

Then there were the quilt baskets with pieces of old quilts washed and wrapped beautifully, a basket of pieces of delicious fabric bundles and fat quarter size pieces of old and very pretty fabric.  I was in wonderland and I had hours of this to just enjoy myself.... 

Then there was this very old Clark's Anchor box of silk threads for embroidery just there! Oh my I was in
treasure truffling heaven and totally in love with buttons, threads, fabrics and more!
Truly I was having a great time.  What was so lovely is that you could keep going round and looking and matching this with that or deciding.  This was turning out to be a great vintage treasure hunt weekend indeed.

People coming in and the hall filled with chat and laughter and I moved around to where Lizzie and Jack were, I had kind of gone a different way around - for those of you who know me really well you will now know this is totally who I am.  Like an excited puppy.

Well so much to look at and I had spied some paisley on Lizzie's stall earlier and we had organised to look at a gentleman's hat stand for my husband so some choosing was being done and some catching up with how the weekend had been for them all and our journey going on the Saturday.

Bearing in mind there was some gorgeous and I mean gorgeous old fabrics that Liz had to offer I was fairly restrained but still had to look through everything just because.

There were boxes of buttons and baskets of lace and ribbons along with an old basket of French rubber stamps which were used to ink the image onto fabric for embroidering.

Rolls of old but still beautiful ribbons on shelves and so much fabric folded and display I just wanted to see everything.  I am so much looking forward to finally making our house move so I can buy some of the old furnishing fabrics and fabrics to cover foot stools and chairs with ....

Then there was this little pile of my kind of sewing and applique fabric and of course as I said I had spied some gorgeous paisley fabric from the moment I walked in the hall.  I am like a magpie when it comes to it and to me it just glistens and is like a beacon, even in a huge pile of other fabric I can almost sniff it out!!

Now it looked lonely don't you think and you can see why it was calling out to me!!

Now it was time to go a truffling at Vintage to Victorian / Sue, and we had a lovely chat first catching up on the time that she has taken off of fairs to just do things she wanted to do, as I said earlier the work that goes into to it all is huge.

 Sue is a wonderful gardener and knows so much about plants and things, my go to guru when I see a beautiful tree or flower - I take a photo and send it to her and she will let me know what she herself knows about it.  I am writing it all down for our forever home so that I know what I would like in the garden.

Well Sue has decided to actually give up the vintage fair circuit but is however hosting a large three day event next year in the Spring at The Dairy House.  I will be giving you all the details of this huge event where the haberdashery and gorgeous antiques will be amazing nearer the time with date,times etc.

Sue will continue to sell vintage haberdashery on line and at The Dairy House and she will continue with the West Country Textile Fair as well so do not panic vintage lovers.... She will from time to time pop up at fairs of course either on a visiting or helping capacity so she is not disappearing from us all. 

Now it was time to get in and truffle through the threads, buttons and cottons.  It was so exciting to just rummage about.  It is all part of it for me and looking through a box of goodies and finding something that is beautiful and you can use is just the cherry on top.

Look at the picture on the left A Cupful of Buttons for £5 how fabulous is that. !  This is the type of thing that makes a great vintage fair event for me.

There was a basket with little red and white samplers in and other embroidery bits.  Pegs with French laundry initial tape wound around it, threads, spools and fabrics and lace ... such a great fair with only three stall holders but with oodles of goodies, like walking into the best shop in the world!

Well the day was coming to the end but we stayed and helped pack up.  I got my lesson in packing boxes with goodies ... I was born to do that! and the putting away, packing the cars and vans and of course the sweeping, vacuuming and moping of floors.  Kitchen and toilets to be cleaned along with all the tables and chairs put away again.

 The hall looked like a new pin. This is hard work and the part of any fair that we the visitors sometimes forget.  With all that they do to bring these events to us the prices on the tickets are well worth it ladies and gents ....

There was a scary moment too, not where I was packing thank the lord but across from me, which was too bloomin' close for my liking a big black arachnid appeared I nearly keeled over.  I wanted to run but did not know where to run and which direction because the one thing I have learnt is they run too and if they head in the same direction as me I feel I am being chased and then of course huge panic and fear set in for me! ... eeek. I swear it had boots on! .....It was duly removed from the equation and brave me continued, well I thought myself brave anyhow.

We all said goodbye and went on our way home.  It was a lovely drive back to the South Coast although it had started to rain.  We stopped off for a meal ( you can not live on cake, sometimes
vegetables are required!) and then got home around 9.15pm ...

We had a wonderful weekend with lots of wonderful friends and we were wished a happy holiday as we will not see any of them before now. It will be November when we meet up again.

Well that is it today and I hope that you have enjoyed a little look at The West Country Textile Fair,  they will be doing it all again next year and I will of course publish the details on here as well for you all.

Have a fabulous day and as always Happy Stitching! XX


  1. Lovely to say Hello to you too. Thank you I feel so humble for the kind words. I love that fair it is so intimate with just three sellers, three lovely ladies with lots of lovely things for sale.

    Julie xxxxxxx

    1. Morning Julie

      It was a beautiful fair as you say it is a lovey atmosphere and intimate.,Cake and coffee and free to get in.
      It was a pleasure to finally meet you in person after all these years.
      So much beautiful haberdashery and fabric a stitchers dream!

      We need to try every year to meet there if possible.
      Have a lovely day..

      Sarah xxxxxx

    2. That would be absolutely lovely, and look forward to it

  2. It was lovely to see you both Sarah. Thank you for your purchases and all the help at the end. Thanks too for your lovely words here xxx

    1. Our Pleasure Sue, it was lovely to see you.
      See you hopefully at Cowslip.

      Take Care

      Sarah xxxx

  3. That sounded like a lovely fair. I wonder what vintage treasures that spider was hoping to find? Eeeeek x

    1. Hi Dawn!
      Eeeeek! .. bloomin' spider, truly I am so scared.
      It was a really lovely fair...,
      Hope you are well.

      Sarah xxx

  4. What a lovely post Sarah. It does sound like a delightful fair. You are right to point out the work involved before and after to make it all happen. Hats off to the three ladies. Like you, I did love the idea of a cup of buttons - who could resist - certainly not me. The red and white samplers look gorgeous - that's a particular favourite of mine. It can't be long until your holiday now - how many big sleeps? Mo xxx

  5. Hi Mo
    I am so pleased you enjoyed this blog post.
    It was a wonderful fair and so much haberdashery to choose from!
    Not long now and its 11 ... at the time of typing this...
    Not long until you give up work .. would that be 31 sleeps?

    Sarah xxx

  6. Haha! Yes it would - I am so utterly ready for this next exciting chapter! Have a lovely day! Mo xxx