A week or so ago I had a trip into Birmingham to suss out the Rag Market, looking for suitably priced fabric for making bunting. From working out how much fabric I needed to make a decent length, I had decided that doing it with fat quarters just wasn't viable.
I hadn't been into Birmingham on the train for ages and I was pretty much blown away by what they've done with the concourse at New Street Station and the old Pallisades, now known as Grand Central. It took me a while to get my bearings, but I soon managed to find my way to St Martin's Church, where I was meeting mum.
It was a glorious bright sunshiney day and the city looked impressive.
Now, you may ask why we didn't travel together ...Well, it's all to do with free transport! As the wife of someone who has worked on the railway since the year dot, I get a certain amount of free rail travel each year and, as a pensioner, mum gets free travel on the bus. Hence, in the name of frugality, whenever we go anywhere on public transport, we each make our own way.
We headed into the Rag Market, where we knew we would have a long, slow browse of all that was on offer, hence leaving dad at home.
I was dead excited to be greeted by one of the owl sculptures that I had missed seeing last year. Not sure how it ended up here, but I was really pleased to get to see it.
There weren't as many fabric stalls as I expected, but there was a really good choice of fabric that would hit the spot for £2 a metre, which is a really good price, compared to what I've seen elsewhere, even on the Internet.
There were lots and lots of other stalls selling all types of crafty bits and pieces and I couldn't resist a stack of zips, of all different colours and sizes for just 10p each and some decent sized square cushion pads for just £1.50 apiece.
As well as looking round The Rag Market its also worth a wander around the outdoor market, where we picked up some more fabric, and the meat market, which has a really good craft stall right at the back. It's not all about meat, though if you're squeamish, you need to avoid looking at some of the stalls.
Laden down with our purchases, we decided to have a quick pitstop and we ended up in the cafe in St Martin's Church, which was actually quite nice, and was absolutely fine for a sandwich and a quick drink.
Ready to head for home, we couldn't resist a wander round Grand Central, which is packed full of lovely shops like Cath Kidston, The White Company and John Lewis. There are also loads of cool looking places to eat and some of the patisserie just looked out of this World, I wish I'd taken some pictures.
I was soon back on the train for the short journey home and had managed to walk back home by the time mum was halfway back on the bus!!
I was really pleased with the fabric I bought, it was perfect for bunting and I've even made a patchwork cushion with some of the scraps.
If you are looking for cheap, but cheerful, fabric, I would definitely recommend The Rag Market, it's well worth the trip and I will most definitely be going again, probably quite soon.