Thursday, November 27, 2008

On the Trail of Vintage Textiles

You certainly couldn't help but feel a little bit festive and fuzzy inside, walking down the high street of the old fashioned town of Illminster yesterday. The traditional shops that line the road all have a 'step-back-in-time' feel about them and had all gone to a lot of trouble to create a Christmassy atmosphere.
Lizzie mentioned the old drapers shop in one of her blog posts recently - I love the shop doorway with its etched glass and dark wood pediment.

The florists had this spectacular display to draw people in - obviously some very talented ladies working here...
And I had to post this photo of the puffed-up pussy! Have you ever seen such chubby cheeks on a cat? This old boy was sat out side one of the shops, watching all the passers-by....
But, the main reason for being in Illminster yesterday was to attend another vintage textile fair. It's only a small venue, but the treasures inside are always spectacular.
This stall holder had a lovely mix of French and American bits and pieces, as well as some lovely fabrics.
And Lizzie's sublime arrangements; I was seriously tempted by the vintage and antique shoes that she had on offer...but had to be restrained with Christmas looming, like it is...
My friend Debbie, who I had gone along with, and I, were able to spend a lovely hour or so chatting and having a delicious lunch with Donna and Sue, who were also enjoying the fair. Here we are with Lizzie, clutching some of our purchases. Lovely to see you again, ladies! x

My finds included this very pretty spriggy printed cotton, in a cheerful colour scheme. Two beaded purses and the very unusual vintage brooches.

They look good enough to eat, don't they?!

Some panels of hand stitched American patchwork, with some very early fabrics.

Lengths of antique lace, flapper feathers and this fabulous Fair Isle sweater, which I have an idea for...;-))

Before going home, Debbie and I called into a new little cafe which had recently opened - the young girl inside was extremely welcoming and she stoked the open fire for us whilst we supped our tea!
A lovely day to punctuate a week of paperwork, emailing and sewing...
Hope you are all having a wonderful week,
Niki x
PS: I would also just like to thank everyone who ordered a copy of my 'Living with Nostalgia' 2009 calendar. I was completely overwhelmed by the response, and so shall order a larger batch next time. They were a big investment for me, so I didn’t know how many to chance having printed! I shall email my mailing list again when I have had some more printed and hopefully I shall have enough for everyone who would like one next time….should be in about 2 weeks, I would think…


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for blessing me with your fun and informative blog this year! I want to go shopping with you - you always find the best stuff! Have a great day!

  2. We love Ilminster but I did not know of the vintage textiles fair, another reason to visit now. Love the spriggy fabric very much. The old drapers shop is fab isn't it. It's the sort of place I hope never closes, the interior is just fab.

    Could you please keep two calendars for me if you have some left in your next batch?

    Hen x

  3. It was a great day wasn't it? Over too quickly for me and with a long drive home at the end :-( Love your purchases.

    Thank you for the calendar, I think I might have to keep it which is a drag as it was the only present I have bought so far eeek!

  4. Looks like a really, really great place to visit. I may just have to one day.

  5. Hi Niki!
    What a wonderful day you had at the Fair- and your purchases were lovely (I especially love lace, American patchwork panels and... roses!).
    What a lovely thing to have the fire stoked just for you!
    Monica x.

  6. Great to see you Niki. I think I should of checked your blog before I did mine just now.. one or two similar images.. whoops!
    Enjoy the rest of today.
    Lizzie xx

  7. What a wonderful place to visit, and beautiful treasures you've found yet again! I LOVE the lace... and that CAT!!! And to have a fire stoked while having tea... how very British that is! =) Hubby and I had tea once at Taylor's of Harrogate in York where we had an upstairs room to ourselves with a cozy fire - I thought I was in heaven! lol

  8. Niki - I just showed hubby that handsome black cat, and we both agreed the cat resembles a Dicken's character with mutten-chops! =)

  9. I'm so jealous... vintage textile fair! We don't have those in Virginia, darn it! xo, suzy

  10. Hi Niki

    Love those roses. Didn't we do well with our purchases. I've been so busy today at Dairy House that I haven't had a chance to look through mine properly yet.

    Thanks for bringing Francesca and the calendar etc.

    Sue xx

  11. Anonymous12:55 am

    Hi Niki!
    What a lovely day out you had...missed it myself I'm afraid :-( !
    Please could you add another two calendars to your order if poss? Just have to have one for my Mum and...well I NEED one too!!!
    Hope that's ok?!
    Love and best wishes
    Amanda (Shabby Chick) xxx

  12. What a lovely day out and such great company! Well done with the calenders! I think you're the only person who is surprised that they sold out so quickly!! ;-)!
    I do love a tea shop with odd chairs and an open fire. We have just one in Norwich and it's my absolute favourite place to sit! t.x

  13. Aww sounds like a perfect kind of day! Really enjoyed the photos-almost made me feel like I was there too! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  14. Hi Amanda! Thanks for your interest in my calendars. With luck I may have them in time for the next Flea - will you be there? You can email me via my profile if you like.
    Love to you - have a great weekend,
    Niki x

  15. OOOOh if I had seen that black cat he would have to have gone in my very large Birdie Sling always delightful finds and pictures to make us all very very jealous...have a lovely weekend

  16. Niki - I am sure there is a North south divide in existence when it comes to these fairs you go to - I never see anything advertised up here. As so many people read your blog - and hardly any read mine - mind you I havent posted for ages!!) perhaps you could ask the question if anyone knows of any vintage type fairs they know of preferably in Yorkshire/Cleveland/Durham areas??
    Even my local collectors fair no longer runs.......I am bereft as I have almost abandoned ebay - I hate the new structure.

  17. Lovely pictures Niki! That sounds like my kind of day.



  18. Looks like a lovely day out. The black cat looks positively Dickensian with his whiskery cheeks!

  19. I wish I could just poof myself into the pictures you post and take a grand vacation! Some day after my daughter is married next year and i actually have money of my own to spend I will! In the mean time, keep on posting those lovely pics. :)

  20. Hi Niki..what a lovely time you must have had. I love the pictures.

    I missed the calender...I will have to make sure I check in with you when you get the next batch.

    Deanna :)

    Word to verify today is: satiny. How fitting since you wrote about textiles!

  21. What a simply gorgeous blog!

  22. Lovely day with lovely buys by the looks of things, the cat is amazing and the roses are gorgeous.
    Very chilly here today,
    Jan x

  23. Hi Niki!

    omg, that town looks so picturesque and charming charming!! how lucky that you can walk through such quaintness too, Im envious :)

    Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Season! Im still savoring your fabulous book too! what beauty!!

    ~ hugs ~ Cynthia

  24. Anonymous9:42 am

    You girls have far too much fun! The textile fair looks wonderful.. this is whole new world to me and one that I feel strangely drawn to!! Lovely pictures as always x

  25. Ditto what your gracious commenter said that you have at the bottom of your blog.
    You are officially my new "favoritest" blog ever. Oh my. I simply MUST tear myself away to get somethings done around here. I've fluffed the laundry in the dryer three times now, and wet clothes await!!


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx