Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sauntering about in Sussex...

Yesterday, I had occasion to be down near the South Coast in the picturesque town of Lewes. I've visited 3 times in the last 6 months and I always enjoy looking around its little alleys and in its huge array of independent shops. It feels like a such a relaxed place and you get the impression that everyone knows each other.

For those of you who've never been there its famous for, among other things, its incredible and surreal bonfire night celebrations:

Red flares and pirates, what more could you want?

This picture was taken last bonfire night. I'd never been before but now I hope to make a tradition of it!

Anyhow, while I was wandering about looking for some lunch before I got on the train home, I came across The Needlemakers. I've just looked it up and, unsurprisingly, it used to be a needle factory (during WW1) and now its a group of little shops and a cafe. One of these shops was the sort of craft haven that could have been dangerous in terms of money spent if I was feeling particularly flush. It was called The Patchwork Dog and Basket ( and had an extraordinary array of cotton fabrics, buttons, ribbons and craft books (and a little dog welcoming you when you entered!)

The Patchwork Dog and Basket
The fabrics and such were arranged all over the small room making it seem like the shop itself was wrapped in a colourful quilt. I could have spent all day in there thinking about potential projects and dreaming about turning each fabric into a dress or accessory, but I tried to keep myself grounded in the reality of my bank balance and the fact that it took 3 hours to get home.

In the end I bought some buttons to turn into a necklace and earrings (or at least that's my intention!) and a fat 1/4 (strange term...must look it up) of daisy covered cotton to add to my 'fabric stash' as the craft books would call it.

(Fat Quarter apparently refers to a quarter of a square metre of fabric, usually used for I guess its 'Fat' because its a square 1/4 metre rather than a long thin 1/4 metre. Still, lets not give it a complex, eh?)

Its always nice to find new crafty places to explore, you find inspiration and, usually, something different that you never thought existed (and immediately think of a million reasons why it has to become part of you craft-kit...). As useful as the internet is for finding things, it'll never take the place of spending an hour or two sifting through the wares of a beautiful little shop.

In any case, I enjoyed my time in there and was glad it took up so much time otherwise I might have caught more logical trains and then I would have missed out on the chance to visit this wonderful place:

Don't you agree?
Some places like to put up signs to associate their stations with local universities, some with historical significance but Redhill, fantastically, chooses to put up a sign about signs! Oh, I do enjoy a good pun...after all, a good pun is its own reword. 

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