Tuesday 28 April 2015

A Trip to Castlemaine

Phew! I'm finally back on my feet and not a minute too soon. There's so much I want to share with you all and I will...just as soon as I've caught up on my emails and caught my breath! Thank you to everyone who emailed me whilst I was sick; you sent me your favorite chicken soup recipes ( I have three now) as well as your much tested ginger and thyme tea ideas and honestly, they all helped. It's so nice to get so much love and encouragement from quilters out there, it really made a difference. I have eaten so much chicken soup that it was really getting boring for a while there so your ideas (anise in one and sesame seeds in another) really perked me up just when I needed it. Thank you for thinking of me when I was unwell. I think I must have the best blog readers out there - in fact, I'm sure of it.

On Friday my DD took a day off work and came to visit me to cook and help me out around the house as nothing much has got done lately. Although I was still feeling a bit under the weather I was determined to get to Castlemaine to satisfy a very particular fabric craving. There's a fabric shop there which, based on many recommendations, I was sure would have just what I needed.
Now, I know what you must be thinking - more fabric? aren't you trying to sell your stash? do you really need MORE? And the truth is no, I don't need any more fabric and yes, I am still selling and giving away my stash (mostly giving it away each week as I volunteer in a sewing circle). But I do have one allowance - and that is finding quilt specific fabric in a limited amount for a specific thing.

Specific is the word I have to keep in mind when browsing through gorgeous fabrics. You see, both my Love Entwined projects have reached a point where they need a very specific kind of fabric - which I haven't been able to find anywhere. And I was certain I would find it there. Castlemaine is 2 hour drive from where I live. So we ended up having a mini day trip, all in aid of my fabric craving.

The shop is full of beautiful fabrics and has a good range in there, I must say. And if I wasn't living by my self imposed rule of limited my fabric purchases to actual projects, I would have walked out with many metres of ideas. But that is just my problem. My stash is full of potential ideas...and not enough quilts. So I stuck to my resolve. And if I'm honest, my DD constantly reminding me about my excess fabric stash at home helped too!

You know when you really want to buy something...but you cant find anything suitable? That's how I felt. I really tried to pick up the fabric I needed, but there was nothing that worked for either of my LE's. What a shame!
I feel in love with this fabric but unfortunately it just didn't work with my red and white LE. I tried looking at it every which way - but finally had to admit that it was all wrong for my white background quilt! How I yearned to buy the whole bolt! But I stopped myself, I have plenty of reds at home. I even tried 'buffering' its overly dramatic impact with another fabric first - but neither worked. I had to walk away from this wonderful print and accept that it wasn't for me.
Hard but true. This whole shelf here was calling my name and I wanted a few metres of each one. But neither suited my LE.
After realizing that my red and white LE was too difficult to match, I pulled out my first heirloom LE as I also need some more fabrics for that quilt, and again - there were so many beautiful fabrics but nothing just right for my quilt. I tried and looked and re-tried but nothing zinged. Here I was, in the middle of Castlemaine and not a single fabric to buy. It seemed unbelievable to me. But then I had to remind myself that if I can't use it immediately I probably won't use it (as my stash has proven). So I had to walk away.
Being a historic old town which I hadn't visited in a while, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon looking through all the shops and stopping for lunch with my DD. It was a really enjoyable outing but not a productive one. Using a white fabric background definitely poses its own challenges. For one thing, many era style fabrics have beiged backgrounds that look too dull or just out of place with my quilt so far so I have to be careful in matching up tones so that the whole quilt is complimentary.

It's a challenge but I'm fairly sure that if I had opted for a light warm background, everything around now would be printed on a white, so it might just be the luck of the draw...or maybe I'm ahead of the trend (?!) We'll see.

Technically I keep telling myself that I have plenty of time,and I might just have to wait until white backgrounds come into trend again. There's no use buying beautiful fabrics if they don't zing, I'll have have to keep an eye out until I spot the right fabric for the project.

I'm impatient and want to progress on both these projects so I hope that's soon!


  1. So glad to hear you are feeling better.

  2. sorry you are having such difficulty finding your fabric, I had thought for some reason that you had purchased all you needed at one time, I'm sure eventually you will find what you need. Glad you got out and are feeling better

    1. I thought so too, its really about a tricky placement on the border, I'm stuck with which way to go. On both the LE quilts I'm making. I'll wait this one out until the fabric 'comes' to me. Which I expect it will once I stop looking for it.

  3. It's not easy to visit a fabric store and not purchase any fabric. It is better to wait until you find the right fabric than to use a fabric that you are not 100% pleased with. You will always wish you had used another fabric. I know this from personal experience! Beige background fabrics are in style now but I personally like white better.

  4. Glad you are feeling better. Why do Australian quilt shops look so much more interesting than US shops?
    I'm listening to A Town Like Alice, I expect Willstown would have a good shop now too :)

  5. I hardly ever destash. My stash is my palet. I do occasionally give fabric away to a local group but I know in 10 years time I will end up hunting for something similar.........


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