There was no Internet connection for the first half of today so I’m a bit late in getting this post out. Enjoy!
Last Sunday, I drove several friends over to Gauthier, Mississippi to attend a Downton Abbey Trunk Show. Gauthier is only about an hour away and an easy trip across I-10 through Mobile, AL. One of our favorite Mississippi quilt shops, Block Therapy, was hosting the Trunk Show and High Tea.
A delightful assortment of finger foods along with several varieties of tea were presented in lovely silver teapots and china cups.
We had a great time seeing the actual fabric “up close and personal”.
Andover Fabrics, the company with the license to create Downton Abbey fabrics, sent a very friendly representative to tell us all about the Downton Abbey line. I wish I could tell you his name, but I didn’t write it down. I think it was Dennis! He was tall, with a big black beard and so friendly and easy to talk to. Most importantly, he is a QUILTER! He loves the PBS series and has lots of inside information. He shared some of that with us, other info he kept to himself. Andover Fabrics sells only to independent fabric stores so you will not find them at JoAnn’s and Hancock Fabrics. Anything you want can be ordered at Block Therapy.
Andover Fabrics has sole rights to produce the DA line which consists of four color ways representing the three Downton Abbey daughters, Lady Mary, Lady Sybil who was beloved by all DA followers and died in Season 3, and Lady Edith. The fourth color way represents the Dowager Mother. You can see the different fabrics HERE. There are 37 different fabrics in the Downton Abbey collection.
Quilts, bags, table runners, clothing, storage boxes, hair decorations and the actual fabrics decorated the room where the trunk show was held. A delightful assortment of finger foods along with several varieties of tea were presented in lovely silver teapots and cups. Each table held a teapot full of flowers with a quote attributed to one of the cast members, often the Dowager Mother. One of her sayings is “What the eye don’t see, the heart won’t grieve.” This was spoken by Mrs. Patnow, the head cook at Downton Abbey. Below is a comment said by the Dowager Mother during a scene with Shirley MacLaine playing the mother of Mrs. Crawley was visiting. The mother of Mrs. Crawley is an American and the Dowager Mother finds her quite outrageous!
Dennis showed us many clips from the three previous seasons, gave a few glimpses of things to come and shared some videos of the actual castle in England where the show is filmed. One funny thing you might enjoy hearing. The dog you see on the show is not a cast member. He is the dog of the owners of Highclere Castle and appears only when the dog feels like coming onto the set. Any take that has the dog in it is at the risk of not being able to be re-shot if the dog doesn’t feel like cooperating! How’s that for power? Go HERE for some photos inside and out at Highclere Castle. It is a real castle, owned by a real Earl and Countess.
There were quizzes and prizes for the winning answer as the Andover Fabric representative gave us details about the Andover Fabrics line.
One thing that I hadn’t thought about was that this line of fabrics is the FIRST licensed fabric that is marketed toward WOMEN. All other licensed fabrics are geared toward the child, like Winnie the Pooh, Strawberry Shortcake, Smurfs (all from when my children were small) as well as Olivia and Very Hungry Caterpillar today; and Superman, Cars, Star Wars and, of course, Sports lines. ( don’t know if Andover Fabrics created these particular lines. I do know they created Olivia and Very Hungry Caterpillar. Dennis talked about how proud Andover Fabrics is to feature the Downton Abbey line.
Another thing I learned that Andover Fabrics is an off-shoot of Concord Fabrics whose most popular all-time fabric was kettle cloth. They sold over 17,000 bolts of kettle cloth back when it was popular in the 70′s. I bought a lot of kettle cloth back them for sewing clothing for the children.
Andover Fabrics used actual fabric samples from the time period to create the fabrics true to what was used at that time. We were allowed to examine a number of samples on the actual sample papers from the archives of history.
A door prize was awarded at the end of the Trunk Show. It was a packet of fat quarters, one of each of the 37 Downton Abbey fabrics in the Andover Fabrics line. Imagine our excitement when one of our friends won the door prize! Congratulations, my dear friend, Brigitte!
It was a fun time and a unique experience. Here are some more of the items featured using the Downton Abbey line of fabrics.
OrnamentDress and hat patterns
This quilt caught my eye right away. The blocks are unique. Most of the quilts shown at the Trunk Show are available FREE online at Andover Fabrics but not this one. It’s called “Bride’s Garden”.
A few close-ups of these blocks.
This final quilt I’ll show you is a “one of a kind” in that the clothing designer took samples of all the fabrics and created this quilt. There is no pattern. If one wants to make it, the photo is the only way to get it right. The designer had just started making hexies so they are part of the quilt, as is the Downton Abbey castle in the center. She took a Pigma Micron black pen and drew over the gold lines to make it show more.
Notice how the quilting was done following each shape in the background design. It really makes it stand out!
A great time was had by all!