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Dutch chintz

Last month I had to go to Amsterdam for a trade fair and so before I went I thought I’d Google fabric shops in Amsterdam.  I spent a few fruitless minutes not finding anything of interest and then I stumbled across this site: Dutch Quilts.

It was a revelation.  I saw these chintzes and knew that this is what I wanted to use to make myself a quilt.  The fabrics are all reproductions of traditional 16th Dutch glazed chintzes, and the designs are just lovely. And even though I live far away from Amsterdam the shop has a great online shop so I could buy whatever I needed. 

However virtual fabric buying isn’t quite the same as seeing and touching the real thing.  So I decided to pop into the shop when I was in Amsterdam.  This was nearly impossible because my only free time was about an hour on the day I was leaving (it was a business trip after all!).  However I got to the shop a few minutes before it opened and waited, peering in through the windows at the amazing fabrics inside.

It was well worth the wait.  Inside where all the chintzes featured on the site, but even better there were a number of handmade quilts made by the women that run the shop.  And each one was hand quilted in the most exquisite designs.  It was at that moment that I understood what was so important about hand quilting.  As someone who has yet to start quilting (although I hope to very soon) I always thought that the idea of hand quilting was just too long-winded and fiddly.  However when I saw these quilts and how the hand quilting added so much to the beauty of the fabric, I finally understood what all the fuss was about.  And so I will definitely be trying my hand at it, hopefully first on my daughter’s hexagon charm quilt and then on a quilt for me made from Dutch chintz!

I would have loved to have bought an enormous supply of fabric there are then but as the chintzes are quite pricey I limited myself to buying a charm pack (they have quite a few to choose from) and two fat quarters of other fabrics I loved that weren’t in the charm pack.  As now that I’ve seen them in real life I can buy more online and know exactly how the colours are going to be.

If you are in Amsterdam it is definitely worth a visit.  I know I will be going back again and again, even if it is to just gaze longingly at the all the prints on offer.

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