This is quite a long post and I dithered over whether to break it up into several blog posts but then I had the idea to write it in chapters but in the one post.. This way you'll be able read a chapter a day if you like, or make a cup of tea and settle in to read it all at once, whichever suits you. It's only 3 chapters so not as scary as it sounds. :)
Chapter one - Beautiful Quilts!
Last week Mr Daisy and I packed our bags and stepped out into the big wide world. We literally caught trains, a plane and an automobile before being deposited in front of this building that looks like a giant crazy patch quilt.
I loved every stitch of this amazing exhibition! Australia doesn't have quilt museums so we rarely get to see these beautiful old quilts in real life. To see the maker's hand through their stitches, fabrics from other eras and different styles of quilts and patterns was a treat from the very first quilt till the last.
It's early days for the show so I don't want to spoil it for those going to the show by showing lots of quilt photos. I really enjoyed the way the exhibition unfolded as we wandered through the different rooms. Each room had a theme and you never quite knew what wonders lay around each corner.
But it's nice to share a few quilt photos (shown with permission from Annette Gero)..
The Rajah Quilt. This would be one of Australia's most famous and special historical quilts. It was made by a group of convict women in 1841 on their way to Australia aboard the HMS Rajah.
Mary Jane Hannaford didn't start quilting until she was in her 80's. Her quilts are like no other, wonderful liberated applique shapes and figures that feel as though they tell stories.
There was a wall of waggas, those wonderful Australian utilitarian quilts patched together from old blankets, flour sacks, woolen pieces and other textile leftovers.
This was one of my favourite quilts. The Westbury Quilt was made by members of the Hampson family. 52 blocks of applique and embroidery showed scenes from farm life and inspirational sayings. so perfect in red and white.
The stories of the makers and details about the quilts were fascinating. It's so much to take in in just one visit but I've been enojoying learning more by reading the catalogue written by Annette Gero and Katie Sommerville. It's a 150 page hardcover book with lots of colour photos. For those interested you can buy it from the NGV bookstore here.
Chapter Two - Beautiful Melbourne
Melbourne is famous for being cold with icy winds in winter but we were lucky with beautiful sunny days and friendly fluffy clouds
Both Mr Daisy and I used to live in Melbourne but it has been 10 years since we last visited so we enjoyed wandering around reminiscing and seeing what has changed. It is a beautiful city, easy to get around on free city center trains but mostly we just walked so we could stop and look at artistic graffiti, building architecture or displays in shop windows.
We used AirBnb for the first time and found it worked smoothly. The building we stayed in was very grand with lovely details, like iron work clamshells over the entrance.
And a lovely place to have a cup of tea and watch the city buzz around.
The next morning we ambled through ornate arcades, admiring ceilings, mosaic floors and stylish shops.
If I hadn't just had breakfast I would have been tempted to pop into The Hopetoun Tea Rooms for some cake.
We saw a giant dresdan plate window glowing as the light streamed through.
But that wasn't the only sewing related thing we found...
Chapter Three - A Most Beautiful Fabric Shop
Every quilter knows that all trips should include a patchwork shop. In the city center of Melbourne is L'uccello.
I'd heard L'ucello mentioned in revered tones before but nothing prepared me for how special it was. I felt as though I was stepping into another time.
Bestill my beating heart!! So much prettiness in one shop.
L'uccello has been described as" Alice in sewing Wonderland " and it really is. It's not a huge shop, Just one room but it is full of vintage trimmings, interesting haberdashery of all types, embroidery kits displayed on vintage counters, in pretty boxes or baskets.
and pretty plates.
It wasn't all vintage goodies though, yes there were repro fabrics, but lots of the latest modern fabrics and classic Liberty prints too. It was all just a perfect mix.
I would have loved to buy everything in the shop but seeing as I was sticking to hand luggage I restrained myself to just two things, some large scale border print and a cute little hanky.
For more information about this pretty store visit their website here.
EpilogueWe ended our stay on the other side of the bay with a walk along the water with family. Merry times and then it was off to the airport and home again. With a suitcase full of inspiration and a happy heart of memories of a fun trip.