The first in my Travel and Quilt Shop Series
Last October, I went to the Netherlands – a country I’d not visited since I was a toddler. My husband and I did all the regular tourist things while we were there, and I had the opportunity to take him on a side trip to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (called Den Bosch for short) to see where my parents grew up. And, of course, I sought out quilt shops.
Unfortunately, the shop in Den Bosch was closed the day we visited the city, but I did have the pleasure of visiting a lovely shop on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 95 in central Amsterdam, called Den Haan & Wagenmakers.
I popped in briefly earlier in the day as we passed the store on our way elsewhere. I returned later and I must say, I made quite an entrance. After I came through the door, I turned to my right and promptly tripped on a step, scraping my shin through my jeans, and taking out a quilt display along the wall. Mortified is a pretty good description of how I felt. That could explain why I spent a good bit more than I had originally planned on!
The store has two floors. Once my embarrassment faded, I ventured carefully to the second level. Along the walls were some fabrics I was familiar with, and some other traditional patterns, but there were some by Dutch designers as well, which is what I was looking for. Before I knew it, I had several bolts of fabric in my arms, ready to bring to the cutting table.
Like so many Dutch, both women in the store speak excellent English. This was good because my Dutch has become practically non-existent, unfortunately. We chatted as they cut the fabric and I showed them photos of some of my quilts.
I haven’t decided what to do with these pieces yet. I’m in no rush. I still have the fabric I bought in Paris in 2017. I only last month used fabric I bought in Taos, New Mexico, almost 10 years ago. The fabric in my stash brings me joy – it remind of the places I travel to and bring a smile to my face.
I love visiting quilting stores when we travel. Some cities don’t have any or they do, but they’re either too hard to get to or the hours don’t work. But when I do get to a shop, I’m happy. I may only be one yard of fabric, but I always buy something. And no matter where I go, the quilt shops always feel welcoming. There is something about seeing the familiar shelves of fabric, rows of thread, and all the other stuff you find in a local quilt shop. And I figure that I never know when I may find or learn something that I’ve never seen before.