Passion For Fabric And Travel

I have two passions. I love to sew and I love to travel. Several years ago, I decided to combine my two passions and lead groups of sewers to see the world. I am now organizing my seventh trip and have stopped to reflect on my top reasons for traveling.

I love to make new friends. I always plan at least one day of each trip to be spent with quilters. We share smiles, fabrics, books, and sometimes quilts. Usually they speak some English. In Prague, Edita took us to a tiny quilt shop which we would never have found on our own. In both Australia and New Zealand in 2003 we plan to visit with quilters who have visited my King’s Quilting Studio in Paducah.

I love to eat wonderful foods. Italy is my all time favorite country for its food. In the foothills outside of Rome quilters treated us to homemade sandwiches, Italian style—with wine, of course.

Learning about a different culture is a mind expanding experience. In Chinca we visited the Chinese Embroidery Institute where we saw women doing silk embroidery on tulle. When they were finished, embroidered pictures were on both sides! In Spain we saw the men in the jewelry factory in Toledo making the beautiful gold jewelry for which they are famous.

China was a land full of silk for us so we plan to return there in 2004. We saw how silk strands come from plump white cocoons and are spun together with about ten other strands to form one silk thread in a reeling factory. So another reason I travel is to learn how things are done.

I love to travel to see sights. The Rock of Gibraltar is something that everyone knows exists, but few have seen. I was surprised that it really does not look much like the Prudential ad and that it is inhabited by monkeys. I am especially excited about seeing The Great Barrier Reef in January of 2003 when we go “down under” for a summer vacation while the US is having winter.

Textiles, of course, are important for me to see in any part of the world. On our recent trip to Hungary, my husband found a wonderful warehouse full of fabrics. We were lucky that the wholesalers would let us enter, touch, enjoy, and even purchase!

I love the delight of surprises on our trips. By going with a group, we stay at very nice hotels with no surprises, thank goodness. However, the surprises I enjoy are the quaint shops and children we find during free afternoons when we have time to buy an ice cream cone and walk through old districts in a city.

Exploring a country with the help of new found friends is delightful. We have visited a group of quilters who live near Vienna on four different trips. Once they took us in their cars for a very relaxing day. We visited a fabric shop, a hardware store, a seaside resort, and ate lunch under a grape arbor at a restaurant that specialized in pumpkin soup.

I get sewing ideas during travels. The cutwork embroidery of Hungary gave me ideas for vests. The silk fabrics in China gave me ideas for silk dyeing. I loved finding shibori indigo dyed fabrics in Beijing, beautiful cottons in Florence, and lovely crochet in Korea.

I started taking sewing friends on trips with me so I could do all of the above at an affordable price. By going with a group, we see more things and stay at better hotels than we could do alone for the same price. Besides, the added advantage is that we enjoy sharing the experiences together with a wonderful group of people—those with a passion for sewing.

Portugal and Spain in March 2002:

Sara Newberg King is owner of King’s Quilting Studio in Paducah, KY, author of “Dye and Discharge: Playing on Fabric”.

If you would like to join Sara and a group of sewing enthusiasts for a tour, you can go directly to Sara’s site http://www.paducahquilts.com/ and look at the tours available.

Sara Newberg King


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