Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Big Red

In an effort to stem the flow of one inch hexagons seeping out of the sewing room (because now I begin to find them in the bottom of my handbag, lurking under the bed concealed amongst the shoes, in plastic snap lock bags strewn about the place and adhering to my clothes even), I banned myself from cutting a single extra one last weekend.  

Instead I have pressed on with Big Red, who is beginning to get ideas above her station and think she will take over the world.  (My friend Ma’am started a hexagon quilt which has similar ambitions, only hers can’t be “leveled up” and is growing ever larger as Ma'am struggles to find symmetry around the edges.  Her quilt ended up being named La Marquee because of tent-like proportions and she is even considering making a miniature version for her much loved cat, leaving the papers in of course because cats adore the rustle of the backing papers.)  For some reason when I commenced work on Big Red I thought that one unit was more enjoyable to make than the other.  (You can see that it looks rather complicated at first glance, but is really only composed of two units pieced together in strings.) 
 There is the long lozenge 
and the smaller hexagon shaped, but both surrounded by the neutral shaded blocks

She looks a bit wavy here but that is because of her enormous size and the difficulty in holding her up ready for photographing.   

Thinking ahead I somehow made more of the long lozenge shaped units, which were the ones which were more time consuming and less enjoyable to make, so now am left with “spares” which I will feel compelled to use somehow.  And so it goes on, the never ending process of using up all the various hexagons.   Maybe they could go into a couple of cushions for Big Red, only then of course there would be needed some others to complete the project….. aaargh. 

I did have some inspiration about using up all the one inch hexagons though, rather than just randomly continuing to join them together.  I found two sets of bag handles in my local Japanese bargain store (how I do love that shop) and I think they could be just the thing to use when making hexagon bags, rather than the old metal bag handles I had been thinking about. 

And while we are on the subject of favourite stores I have to recommend two unusual shops in Auckland which are well worth a look if you have time (or live in the vicinity).  The first is The Fabric Room which until recently was located near my apartment, in Parnell.  Whenever you call in there you will find not only the most wonderful range of luxury upholstery and curtaining fabrics, but also (and this is the best part) a bin with natural coloured and white linen remnants perfectly suited to embroidery and counted cross stitch.  If you are used to paying $60-odd per metre for something to embroider on you will be thrilled to find large sized remnants for only $10 or so, and you will be able to get several good sized pieces from each one.  If you want a fabric for the back of a needlepoint cushion you are sure to find something suitable too.  I was sad to hear they are moving to 715 New North Road, Kingsland.   But at least that is still quite nearby.

The other shop is completely different, called Red River Trading Company and there you can find a huge selection of wares imported from Asia.  (67 Maurice Road, Panmure is where you will find them.)  What took my eye to begin with was the enormous collection of kimono and obi which come in every colour and style you could dream up, some obviously very old and some more modern.  Most are silk and some are wool, and what a luxurious garment a silk kimono would make to lounge around in at the end of a busy day.  The enormous choice means you are bound to find one just perfect for you and they are very reasonably priced as well.  You can find boxes full of old pieces of silk and some of them have been lovingly darned and are worth buying just for the artistry in the darning.  Old sewing boxes, pieces of furniture, bric a brac, pictures made up of a few simple brush strokes, ceramics and old handbags, photos and amulets make up some of the other wares to pore over. Life is so much richer with just a tiny bit of magical retail therapy added into the mix.  Or if not retail therapy just an inspection of all the beautiful things on offer.