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Yesterday I had an almost completely non-computer day, which was refreshing. I did check email for about two minutes (nothing of note).

At 10am Freda and I headed over to Marrickville to see what treasures we could unearth at the Remnant Warehouse, which was having a huge moving sale. Not your ordinary kind of sale either – this stuff is amazing. 25-50% off everything, and the most gorgeous dressmaking and craft fabrics I’ve seen in Sydney. I’ve always been disappointed at places like Spotlight and Lincraft; the stock is expensive and unimaginative, the staff tend to be harried, unhelpful and rude, and I’m never that satisfied with what I end up buying.

However it was the completely opposite experience at the Remnant Warehouse. They really do need to move to bigger premises; it’s a big space but so crammed in with stuff it feels a lot smaller. This wasn’t helped by the long queue that snaked through all the aisles of fabric and moved at a glacial pace. They had five cutting tables going, but of course when there were so many bargains to be had, people were buying up lots of stuff and it took a long time to cut everything.

But the thing that amazed me was that even though it was hot, cramped, and uncomfortable, everyone was in such a good mood. Nobody was rude, nobody snapped at people, nobody pushed, nobody shoved. The staff were polite, friendly and helpful. We stood in the queue for 45 minutes and it wasn’t an arduous wait at all. In fact I found it interesting looking at all the different types of people buying fabric; older ladies buying up big for their next quilts; small Asian ladies buying bulk dressmaking fabric; trendy pierced design school types who all seemed to know one another and were imagining what amazing things they could make. I think that’s one of the things I love about good fabric shops – the possibilities. You stand there looking at all the different patterns and textures and your imagination runs wild.

I got some great fabric – backing, batting and border for Imogen’s quilt (the alliteration is unintentional), three packs of yummy looking fat quarters* that included some gorgeous Japanese prints, and some delightful yellow Beatrix Potter fabric that I thought mum would love and will go nicely in a nice baby’s quilt or cushion. All up I spent about a third of what I had set aside for that shopping trip so I was pretty pleased!

Then we went back to Freda’s place for lunch and sewing. I find sewing a lot of fun but also exhausting. I get so focused on the project I forget to eat or straighten up my back, so after a while I’ll get a bit trembly and have a big sugar crash. Not such a good idea. But we were very productive. Imogen’s quilt top has been sitting in Freda’s cupboard for the better part of a year because I haven’t had time to go back and work on it, and Freda looked a little sceptical when I said I wanted to try and finish it before I go overseas so I can give it to Imi for her birthday.

Well what do you know? Yesterday I finished Imogen’s quilt.

We did a lot of work at Freda’s with the sewing machine, and then I brought it home to do the hand sewing. I watched about five episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and finally finished at about 1am; I was determined to finish it while I had the momentum, otherwise it might never get done. And I love it! I hope Imi does too.

Details for the interested: it’s spread on a double bed, but it’s actually a single bed quilt. Made of 100% cotton top and backing, with polyester filling. You are supposed to use wool for children’s quilts but I think this is okay.
It’s tie-quilted, which means I’ve just threaded purple Perle thread through all 3 layers and tied it at the corners of each square, rather than quilting patterns. It means it’s quite plain, but I thought there was enough interest in the fabric that it didn’t matter too much, and I quite like the cute, ‘naive’ look it gives to the quilt. It also means it was really quick to finish, as the quilting is the bit that takes the longest time (for me, anyway)!
I just have to sew the label onto the back and then it’ll be done.

* the term ‘fat quarter’ still delights me – for non-quilters, a fat quarter (or a quarter of a yard) is a yard of fabric cut in half horizontally and again vertically – in metric that’s approximately 45cm x 56cm. They’re usually packaged together in co-ordinating colours/patterns.