Thursday, 21 April 2016

Adventures in Melbourne

Just back from a little trip interstate to Melbourne 

When I say "little" - it took 6 hours travel to get there and nearly 8 hours back - with all the waiting and connecting between trains, shuttles, planes and taxis! So I crammed in as much sight seeing as I could while there...including the Australasian Quilt Convention of course. Unfortunately we cannot share photos taken of the many inspiring quilts. Annette Gero's collection of War Quilts was the most outstanding for me and a google search found these links for pics here and here and here

I finally got to shop at L'Uccello - they had a lovely stall at the AQC - a new pattern and a tin from there, and pretty toile (Mas D'ousvan) and stitchy supplies from other stallholders.

I followed that up with a visit to the shop itself. It is well hidden (no shop front) in this building...
image from Design Files
...enter through this arcade - a bit dark and mysterious but beautiful

image from Nicholas Building blog

up two flights of stairs... the suspense was building!

then this burst of colour at the doorway to welcome visitors! 

Some chat and some more shopping. These threads are new to me - fine waxed French thread for applique (Fil a Gant) in gorgeous colours and not expensive  - looking forward to trying them out.  

Melbourne's streets in the CBD are great fun to walk around - lots of history and character and colourful trams. Wandering down one narrow street (Flinders Lane - historically the centre of Melbourne's rag trade) I spotted a sign - couldn't go past of course! 

image from Tessuti website
It is a dress fabric shop but does include some gorgeous linens and Liberty fabrics. I "rescued" this piece from a table of half price roll ends - labelled "silk cotton" (feels like a very fine lawn) and if nothing else might make a pretty scarf? 

Some stitching updates: 
Hexagon Star - the centre star came together quite quickly as half inch hexagons don't take long to sew together once the prep in done - and I had been prepping obsessively! 

Travel can provide a lot of opportunities for stitching (all that sitting around waiting) and I had some EPP supplies with me. I got loads of hexagons prepped in little bags - grouped by colour...

... and more stitching has been done and so it grows...

My Quilt group holds a Mother's Day stall fundraiser each year and members are asked to provide/donate some stitched items. I thought I'd make a few mug rugs. Now don't look if you are squeamish as this involved some sacrifice of doilies - all in a good cause mind you! And they were pre-damaged doilies...
I machine pieced some fabric scraps in a random crazy-quilted style around the embroidered doilie pieces.

A little wadding, backing, machine quilting with walking foot, and binding. Attaching the binding strip took the longest of course lol! So I tried Self Binding (the rug on the right) - it was a quicker method but not such a nice plump finish to the edges. I later found a Youtube video on binding a mug rug - looks like a good method and I might just try that next time.

Sarah Fielke BOM - two more blocks and they are applique this time - a large Bird block and a Hearts/tulip block. But I dithered getting started as I was getting that itchy feeling that I needed to mess with them - will I/won't I? And in the end I did make changes because I felt the bird was not in keeping with the style of fabrics and look I had in mind. Sarah's bird is lovely for a modern quilt and certainly a great choice for an applique beginner: 
small pic from pattern notes - 12 inch bird block
I came up with this sketch - same branch but with a more classic bird to suit my fabric choices - especially in view of the bird toiles I have used in the star centres: 

my version - 12inch block
I also changed the Hearts/tulip block because I am a fuss pot and not keen on heart motifs

Sarah's block

my version - 12 inch block

Here's a look at some of the blocks together - not the final layout but gives an impression

Oh dear - it has been another long post. If I posted more often this wouldn't happen of course! Catch22 because then I'd not get the sewing done...
Anzac Day long weekend coming up - hope you all get extra sewing time too :)