Amsterdam is known for its canals, red light district and coffee shops. But what they don't tell you in the guidebooks is how full of detail the city is. Aside from the ubiquitous XXX city symbol – which appears everywhere from street poles to flags to buildings – there's graffiti, ornately carved stonework, creepers climbing the walls, personalised houseboats, flower boxes on bridges, decorated bicycles… and no billboards. It's an inspiring place with interesting sights around almost every corner, just waiting to trigger an idea:
I visited two or three craft stores, but Den Haan & Wagenmakers was the one that stood out. It's a quilt/fabric shop that reproduces Dutch chintz from the 17th and 18th centuries. The store also stocks vintage reproduction cotton quilting fabric and I recommend a visit if you find yourself in Amsterdam.
The Albert Cuyp market is another must if you're looking for fabric. There are quite a few stalls selling fabric, but the bigger stores are behind the stalls. Look out for them – they have a great selection for everything from coats to quilts and a substantial selection of notions as well.
For some more interesting shots of the city, head over to my friend Kath's blog.