Sunday, February 5, 2012

Block One of Swoon

This is my first swoon block.

I don't know how happy I am with it.

Firstly, the centre block is my theme fabric.

It's from a line called

and all my swoon blocks will have the centre blocks cut from these this fabric, all different colors and different motifs.

Even though all the fabrics around this themed block are complimentary, I think because the themed fabric is so bright I may have to use some of it in the surrounding areas to bring the block together. As I'm looking at it now it looks a bit disjointed, even though all the colors match well (though it doesn't show up as such in these photos).

Rats - I'm going to have to remove the centre block I think and maybe replace it with one of the other themed fabrics for a better fit or I'll have to unpick some of the surrounding blocks and incorporate some of the centre block fabric into it. Either way it means a lot of 'reverse sewing'.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ode to a Quilt Shop

Cullingully Cottage Patchwork Barn

These are just some of the shops here in WA - not an all inclusive list.

I live in a part of Australia that is rather secluded.  Perth, Western Australia has the unique distinction of being the most isolated capital city in the world.  I can tell you that coming from a place like New York to the quiet life here in Perth has been an adjustment.   I’ve learned to regulate the pace of life to a slower cadence and I’ve even resigned myself to no grocery shopping on a Sunday (as the stores aren’t open....).  However the one thing I continue to find extremely frustrating is the lack of variety in my fabric shopping options.  I don’t mean the variety of fabrics exactly – it’s more the variety of shops to get them from.

Here in Perth I can count how many dedicated quilt shops there are on one hand – in less than 5 fingers.  And for a fabric-a-holic such as myself that is pretty poor picking.   Living in Western Australia means I don’t really have the option of hoping into my car to drive to a quilt shop a state away.  Doing that means days of driving and crossing the Nullarbor desert.  And even I’m not THAT frustrated.  So I must content myself with what is available here in WA.  And I have to say I hand it to those cherished few shops in what they give in serve to their customer base are tenfold what they lack in numbers.  

With only one exception I have never walked into a quilt shop here in WA that didn’t have pleasant and helpful staff and a welcoming atmosphere (the one exception has since closed – geez, I wonder why????).  No matter what bizarre or obscure question I may have thrown at them over the years (telephone call to a quilt shop “ I have this really neat fabric, it’s black and grey with an interesting motif in centre.  No, I don’t know the maker or the designer – but can you tell me if you have it in your shop?”) they have always tried to help me with a smile on their faces and patience in their voices.  I know how hard working retail can be and how demanding customers are at times - I once worked in the ladies shoe department at Macy’s!  So when I completely dumbfound a sales clerk and they still keep their cool, they have my undying respect and admoration.

So here’s a toast to the quilt shops of Western Australia.  Who provide an important service to the quilting community in uncertain fiscal times.  We sewers would be lost without them.