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craftiness in new york city

New York Craftiness

When planning our recent trip to New York, My friend Katie started a sheet of places that we wanted to visit, and everyone on the trip could add ideas. There was a whole section devoted to craft stores, and though we only made it to a couple, we still got to see plenty of fabric, yarn, and more.

I was also especially excited to encounter some art and craft in unexpected places. But then, since it's New York, should anything be unexpected?

New York Craftiness

This installation was at the Brooklyn Museum. Each needlepoint piece is on plastic canvas and is a collaboration between Shantell Martin and her grandmother, Dot. The thing I found interesting about this this that Shantell is listed as the artist (perhaps because this was in a collection of Brooklyn-created items, and she resides in Brooklyn, while Dot lives in England), but Dot did all of the stitching, including some design adaptation.

I found this wall to be pretty incredible, and the kind of project I'd like to try. Maybe with embroidery, though?

New York Craftiness

We stopped into Free People as they were decorating for Christmas, and I politely asked a woman holding a bottle of glitter if I could take some photos of their quilt-bombed security detectors. I love this style of Indian quilting, and how delightful to wrap things with it!

New York Craftiness

J. Crew also had some crafting on display. My sister thought it had a slightly obscene look to it (she might be right), but I assure you, the title called this an owl, which is traditional for macramé. Can you get a sense of the scale on this? It was easily 20 feet high!

New York Craftiness
New York Craftiness

But let's get to the craft shops. Our first stop was Brooklyn General, and it was incredible. Almost everything in New York was smaller than I pictured it, and this was one of those places. It's cozy and quaint, and filled to the brim with charm. And completely wonderful supplies! I somehow managed to only buy a small piece of Cotton + Steel fabric.

While we were there, a kids sewing class was going in in the back room, people were crafting and chatting around a table, and there was a sense that everyone was connected by the making we do. Oh, and there was that squirrel...

New York Craftiness

But no trip to NYC is complete without a visit to Purl Soho. Again, the shop was smaller than I imagined it would be, but I still managed to find plenty of goodies! (I'll share pics of my spoils soon.) I seriously wish I had taken more photos, but Liberty + Purl Soho is a pretty great combo, right?

When it comes to beautiful, well-made projects, their blog might just be one of the best crafting blogs around. Seeing all of the projects on display, in-person, had me a little star struck. Oh, and each member of the staff was completely wonderful.

And along the way, in the apartment we stayed at, and in -light, I managed to stitch a bit too. All vacations should have a bit of crafting, I think!

6 comments:

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  2. I went to NYC for the first time in October. I went to Purl Soho as well as The City Quilter. I purchased my first pieces of Liberty at Purl Soho. I, too, managed to squeeze in a little cross stitching while on vacation. The airport is a perfect place to whip out a project. That's the beauty of hand stitching, isn't it? You can take it anywhere!

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  3. Too bad you didn't know about (or have time to visit) Pins and Needles on the Upper East Side of Manhattan! I've only been there once (going into NYC is expensive!) but I stayed an hour longer than I had intended. They had gorgeous fabric (including Liberty of London!) - meticulously curated, a selection of wonderful felt, all sorts of hand embroidery supplies, patterns, and kits, an enviable library of sewing and craft books and interesting and cool other items. The place was empty when I was there (fortuitous timing on my part!) and the two women working couldn't have been nicer and more helpful. It was a small but lovely space with lots of light and room to move around (I think I might have read that they are expanding). It was a bit hard to find as it is upstairs so you have to find a little door between other shops and go up the stairs, but once inside the noise of Lexington Ave fades away and it's a crafter's dream! I highly recommend it!! http://pinsandneedlesnyc.com

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  4. I love the purl Soho blog it's fantastic. I'd love to visit the shop in person.

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  5. Purl Soho I found unfriendly! No one even spoke to us so we left! Very disappointed!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that's so sad! I had some great little chats with the employees, one person climbed up to get me some fabric, and I think they even stayed open a few minutes late for us. Maybe they were having a rough day when you were there?

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